Dear CA Community:
What’s best for students, based on age
We have tailored our plans for each division, with age-appropriate best practices and ones that employ current research around COVID-19 and its transmission. Our work this summer has included planning for multiple scenarios, the underpinning of which is the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and parents. Our hope is to support in-person learning as much as possible. To do so will require the disciplined engagement of every teacher, student, parent, and family member acting in the best interests of our school community. We also know we must be agile and nimble, with the flexibility to quickly switch to alternate teaching modalities on short notice.
Our goal is to re-open in ways that prevent us from having to shut down again. In other states and nations, we have seen schools move too quickly only to have to retrench. I know so many of our families want to be back immediately, But, there are very few workplaces in this nation that have all their adult employees back full time. We are not willing to experiment with the safety of our students and faculty. Therefore, with full support of our Board of Trustees
, we are going to move methodically and intentionally towards getting our students back safely.
- August 18-24: Remote Learning for all grades
- August 25-28: LS Modified CA Flex schedule; MS and US Remote Learning
- August 31-September 4: varied CA Flex schedules by division
- September 5-7: Labor Day Weekend
- September 8: By this date, conditions permitting, all CA students are operating on the CA Flex model. (Note the 9:30 a.m. Upper School start, either in the CA Flex model or the On-Campus model.)
This division-specific, phased-in approach
provides for greater safety should there be transmission, greater teacher comfort and experience with new technology, and a greater ability to orient students to critical health protocols. The remote start for each division also provides a uniform experience for all students to the start of the school year; we know of several families who have opted to participate in remote learning for an extended period of time. The initial time spent in remote learning will allow for cohesion as we get the academic program going again at CA. See a calendar version of the first few weeks.
The one- and two-week windows of virtual school are also intended to give all families time to isolate and quarantine. For Lower School
families, we ask that you start immediately a 14-day effort of being disciplined about social distancing prior to when your students come to campus in our CA Flex model. Upper School
and Middle School
families should also redouble their efforts 14 days prior to the week of August 31. It will only take two positive COVID cases reported within 14 days to warrant “outbreak” status and possibly force closure. We all need to take this seriously so we can have our students return to campus.
The student body is arranged into two groups—the Mustangs and the Rockies—to allow for six-foot social distancing in our classrooms and throughout our campus. Those groupings define the location from which a student learns—either on campus or from home.
The many unknowns about how students might transmit the virus in a school setting makes us more cautious about a three-foot distancing model. While we know that having your children home every other day is going to be challenging, we as educators have to manage a very new reality of keeping students apart and safe. Reducing the overall number of students on campus at the start of the school will allow us to operate more safely.
Please read the COVID Safety Handbook Supplement,
which describes in greater detail how we will work together to navigate school every day. Please review it carefully with your children. Note that mask-wearing, hand hygiene, and social distancing are the required behaviors of everyone on campus. We know that if students, both on campus and off, can follow very simple steps, we can reduce the likelihood of an outbreak. We need to be disciplined.
FIVE THINGS PARENTS SHOULD BE DOING NOW
- Begin to limit your social activities and quarantine. This will mean a safer start to the school year.
- Ensure that you have signed your required forms through the Magnus portal, and that all student health records and vaccinations are up to date. If your child requires a health plan, please see that our Health Office has complete information.
- Notify your division principal by Wednesday of this week of you plan to take part in remote learning only and not be part of our On Campus or CA Flex schedules.
- Watch for these future communications: Bus information is coming to you via mail. All families who requested transportation should be able to be served by our bus program. Later this week, we will be able to provide more information about Middle and Upper School athletics based on CHSAA’s most recent guidelines. Division principals and department chairs will communicate with parents and students about picking up necessary supplies, books, and other materials. There will be additional information about available child care through our expanded Extended Day program.
- Review the COVID Safety Handbook Supplement.
I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important our safety protocols are, and how the participation of each and every member our community is vital to keeping our school open and to keeping our community safe. I firmly believe that if we all work together, we can maximize health and learning, and minimize difficult and prolonged interruptions to our school year.
Our faculty and staff are truly excited to see the students. We are grateful for the trust that each of you places in us, and we look forward to safely navigating this year together.
Mike Davis, PhD
Head of School