We plan to be fully open this fall...
We believe that our students learn best and are better emotionally supported if they are in the classroom with their peers, even if they are wearing masks and socially distanced. That is why we are working hard to be able to fully open for in-person learning this fall, for all of our students and faculty, 5 days a week. Of course, if there is a spike in COVID-19 cases and the NY Department of Health advises against opening, we will follow that advice and move immediately to a robust distance learning program.
Right now, we are closely following and guidelines and updates from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the NYC DOH (Department of Health) to help us design a safe and comfortable environment that will be fully compliant for students and faculty alike throughout the school day.
We are perfectly positioned to do this: our classrooms are already small in size (10 students or fewer) and that’s a huge advantage. We even have the space and capacity to increase some of our classes and still adhere to safe distancing guidelines. Our students also have immediate access to the outdoors – Central Park and our roof top.
Our list of procedures will continue to evolve throughout the summer and our enrolled families will receive a full list prior to the first day of school. Here is an example of some of the safety measures we are implementing:
- Temperature checks and daily health surveys upon entering the facility.
- Masks will be provided for all.
- Hand sanitizers in every classroom and strict hand washing protocols.
- Individual desks for students in grades K through 5.
- No mixed group activities.
- Increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures throughout the day.
- New procedures for spaced lunch routines.
- Modified transitions on stairways and in hallways.
- Physical Education instruction with non-contact activities only.
If we have to move to remote learning...
We have to be prepared for the possibility that the pandemic forces us to revert to distance learning. We were pleased with our teachers' skills and flexibility last spring to work within unprecedented circumstances. We learned a lot about what worked well, and what could be improved. This summer, we are taking that knowledge to design a remote learning model that maintains our high standards while being mindful of screen time and social-emotional well being. It will be a mix of live online classroom gatherings as well as pre-recorded lessons. There will also be regular one-to-one sessions between teachers and their students to provide extra help and emotional support. We hope we won't have to implement distance learning, but if we do, we will be ready for it.