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Hybrid Learning: COVID-19

How we're responding to the COVID-19 crisis

What does the 2020-21 school year look like?

Students returned to school in September 2020 for both on-site and distance learning in a hybrid model. We remain flexible and able to pivot at any moment should the need arise. To read more about our plans, go to the Fall 2020 section.

In 2020-21, our teachers are engaged in a year-long professional development program to continue to refine their craft in this new environment. They will be learning more about implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in a distance learning and hybrid model.

Health and safety are our utmost priority. If we need to switch to distance learning at any point during the 2020-21 school year, we will be ready to do so. Likewise, if we’re able to safely phase in more time when students can be on-site, we’re ready. This is a year of flexibility!

Go to Fall 2020 Info

How did distance learning work during the spring of 2020?

Mustard Seed School successfully moved to distance learning on March 16, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We’re proud of the strong work and learning that’s happened. Each division, Early Childhood (PK-K), Lower School (1-3), and Middle School (4-8) implemented distance learning in ways that were appropriate to their students, teachers, and parents. It involved email communication, teacher videos, and the use of platforms like Seesaw, Google Classroom, and Flipgrid. Synchronous learning occurred through Zoom and Google Meet. Parents helped us shape the program through responding to frequent surveys.

We’ve taken what we learned from the spring, as well as from professional development over the summer, and have used this information to shape the distance learning portion of our hybrid model.

State of the School 10/9/20: Hybrid Learning Update

Head of School Tom Postema addresses why we’re staying in our current hybrid learning phase. Covers results of a recent parent survey. And reveals that results of MAP Growth testing in the Middle School. (Spoiler alert: good news!)

Go to more State of the School videos

We’re working to provide resources for families during this time.

September 29, 2020

What do young children need after school during a pandemic?

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September 10, 2020

How you can help your child prepare for school: an interview with Dr. Schteingart

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April 14, 2020

Spring Break (And Other Times!) Activity Ideas for Preschool and Elementary-Aged Children

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April 14, 2020

Spring Break (And Other Times!) Exploration Ideas for Middle School Students

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April 2, 2020

How to talk with children about COVID-19, grief, anxiety, and more: mental health resources for parents

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April 1, 2020

Need food for your family? Or want to help a neighbor in need? Here’s what you need to know.

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April 8, 2020

Movie Recommendations from MSS Parents

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March 20, 2020

Need some resources to keep your young child occupied during social distancing? Try these.

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March 27, 2020

12 strategies for a successful shelter in place from survivors of SARS and H1N1 (The Postemas!)

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March 31, 2020

Movies, podcasts, video games, and music recommendations for older Middle School students

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What are parents saying about distance learning?

There is no other place like Mustard Seed. The kids miss school but it has been a different experience. We enjoy seeing how their independence and sense of responsibility comes naturally with this new method of learning. They both loved seeing their classmates via video, even if was only for a few minutes. Thank you teachers for being so proactive in activity assignments!

— Jerry Zapata, parent

I just wanted to say thank you so much for all the incredible work you’re doing! As a teacher who knows how challenging this all is, and as a mom who knows how deeply you care, I am so incredibly grateful. I’m not surprised – MSS always comes through with creative, thoughtful, rigorous, and meaningful work for the students. I just wanted to express my deepest gratitude to you all. May the Lord strengthen us all during this time.
Be strong! Take heart!

— Shannon Cassadayho, parent

The perseverance, enthusiasm, and faithfulness of the Mustard Seed School teachers and administration is remarkable. THANK YOU for all you are doing to prepare, pivot, and communicate well with families.

— The DeMarco Family