Jamie's Update: Planning for Fall Re-Opening
Dear SGS Families,
I hope your summer is going well and you are enjoying the beautiful weather. I can’t believe it is already mid-July . . . where does the time go?
We continue to develop our plan for the start of the 2020-21 school year as the COVID-19 landscape across the state and nation remains fluid and uncertain. This continues to be a challenge as the virus spikes, guidelines evolve, and attitudes are quite diverse in regard to safety and health concerns. We continue to plan for an in-person start (with a back-up plan in place) to start school the week of August 31 as previously published on the school calendar. The in-person start includes accommodations for those unable to be on-campus.
We convened a Task Force and working groups of administrators and teachers to research and create recommendations in multiple areas for a successful school year in any scenario. We have completed the first draft from three working groups to share with our faculty and staff that outlined:
- Essential Learning Recommendations
- Technology Recommendations
- Community Expectations and Norms Recommendations
Three other working groups have identified their initial recommendations, and now are waiting for the release of new/updated information from outside agencies. These groups include:
- Athletics and Activities
- Community Well-Being (Social, Emotional Health)
A Secondary School schedule (Grades 6-12) will include one 8 period day and 4 block days that will be used for both in-person and in distance learning.
This provides fewer transitions between classes throughout the week, longer periods for differentiated instructional methods (synchronous/asynchronous/group, etc.) and also allows students to focus on 4 periods per day during the block days. The 8-period day will be on Mondays as a way for teachers and students to connect in all classes and provide an overview of the week.
Lower School (K-5) Schedule for Distance Learning:
This has been created to provide a coordinated structure and routine for students, teachers and Specialists in a distance learning situation.
Lower School classes will maintain their grade-level cohort and will follow their respective daily schedule within the classroom for in-person school days.
Safety expectations and norms are still developing as we are evaluating the best way to conduct recording of daily wellness checks among students and faculty. Items still under consideration include self-testing at home, temperature taking, tracking and tracing protocols.
Masks and/or face shields will be required.
Social distancing in classrooms requires 6 ft spacing between students. We are setting up rooms and other teaching spaces to accommodate these Department of Health guidelines.
Athletics and Activities are still under consideration by the WIAA with an update expected next week.
The WIAA has delayed the start of fall sports by two weeks.
During the first week of August, we will publish our final Re-Opening Plan. As the situation evolves, we hope to have the information to finalize our decisions. We know school will be different in the Fall on many levels, but safety will remain paramount as we mitigate the risks to our community and provide the quality education to which our SGS families are accustomed.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and stay safe during these challenging times.
Head of School