I hope this note finds you all healthy and safe. As we close in on the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, I would like to update you on a number of topics pertaining to the months ahead.
The End of the School Year:
The final day of remote learning on all four campuses will be Friday, June 5. There will be events, by location and division, through June 8 to celebrate our year together and give our students and teachers a chance to connect, from a distance, with a smile and a wave. Families will be invited to come to school at a scheduled time and collect their child’s belongings. Plans are also developing for parades at our Preschool campuses. Currently, 8th grade graduation is scheduled for Wednesday June 10th. We are hard at work planning a special and unique celebration of the Class of 2020 while remaining in compliance with state guidance on social distancing and gathering size. Our soon-to-be graduates continue to work on their graduation reflection speeches and we are determined to find a meaningful way for them to share their RA experiences with all of you. We look forward to updating Grade 8 families with our plans in the near future. All of you will be hearing from your division heads and preschool directors with detailed plans for these final June days.
After much discussion, we have made the difficult decision not to offer any on-site summer programs. This includes preschool camps at all of our campuses as well as our K-8 camps. While this is disappointing, it was a decision that was hard to avoid. Many local schools and organizations have already made this decision, and we are certainly not an outlier in this regard. Further, our camps were scheduled to begin on June 15, and as the Governor has said that camps cannot open until June 29, the first third of our camp season has been effectively canceled by the Governor’s order. Preparing to open camps is comparable to preparing to open school, and we believe that our best efforts need to be focused on preparing for a variety of scenarios for the upcoming school year. We are working on a number of interesting and fun remote summer offerings and will get the word out on those as soon as they are fully planned. Families who have registered for our summer programs and have paid deposits can expect refunds no later than the end of June.
Planning for Next Year:
We are well into our initial planning for the next school year. We all hope, fervently, to be on our campuses with all of our students and teachers for the entire year. When our students return to campus, the school will operate with comprehensive and thoughtfully-planned hygiene, safety, social distancing, and disinfecting protocols. We are currently waiting for direction from the state that will need to be incorporated into this plan. It is prudent, however, amid so much uncertainty, to comprehensively plan for a variety of scenarios. We will do this work in earnest and with a seriousness of purpose as we are committed to providing a complete and substantive educational experience for your children, regardless of the scenarios we might face. As I mentioned in an earlier note, we have a team assembled to address the logistics and the educational priorities and goals that will guide our work with students next year. Next week, I’ll write with more details on our approach to this planning and some of the things we are hoping to accomplish. While the detailed planning will be the focus of administrators and teachers for much of the summer, I would like you to have a good sense of our priorities and direction long before we start school next year.
As always, thank you for your support and solid partnership. During this most stressful and difficult time, it is comforting to know how thoughtful and caring this community is.
Be safe, and have a great weekend.
Head of School