Letter to Families - December 17, 2020



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Dear City on a Hill Families,

As 2020 comes to a close, we want to take this opportunity again to thank our families and students for your unyielding support during this very difficult school year.  We are hopeful that relief will come in 2021.  We pledge to continue to communicate with our families and listen to feedback from all stakeholders - families, students, and staff.  We truly believe that we are strongest together.  Have a safe Winter Break!


After we come back from break, we have two short weeks until Midterm Exams.  City on a Hill administers midterm and final exams similar to colleges in that we cancel classes for the week and have written exams and oral presentations scheduled throughout the week.  Each student will receive their own individual testing schedule for oral proficiencies, but the written exam schedule is below:



          Thursday, January 21      8:00 - 10:00

History Written Exams

          Friday, January 22           8:00 - 10:00

Science Written Exams

          Monday, January 25        8:00 - 10:00

Spanish Written Exams

          Tuesday, January 26        8:00 - 10:00

Math Written Exams

          Wednesday, January 27   8:00 - 10:00

English Written Exams

          Thursday, January 28      8:00 - 10:00

Electives Written Exams

Some things to note:

  • If students do not take a class in a certain subject, they may not have an exam that day (but should double check their individual schedule).  If students do not have a written exam, they do not need to log into zoom at 8:00am.
  • Some students who take more than one class in a given subject will receive an individualized schedule indicating which day they will take each exam.  
  • At 10:00am, students may log off zoom for the day until their next written exam or their oral presentation.  


The following classes have Oral Presentations that will be individually scheduled for each student after 10:00am each day of midterms:

English Language Development


World History

Constitutional Law

Algebra 2

Schedules will be emailed out to students and Parents/Guardians when we come back from Winter Break.  Please be sure to have your student double check their schedule


City on a Hill is using a new app to push out the most up-to-date information, dates, and announcements. This step by step guide will show you how to easily download and link up the School News app to receive announcements in real time! To access the guide, click here.


The State of Massachusetts has postponed the MCAS for 11th graders until later in the year.  12th graders who have not yet passed ELA or Math MCAS are still scheduled to come in to take the test in early February.  Our current 10th and 11th graders are scheduled to take the ELA and MATH MCAS in May.  9th graders will take the Biology MCAS in June.  The school will be reaching out to students and families of those grade levels to provide extra MCAS prep support as the time nears.

COAH School Hours

It came to our attention that a number of teachers were meeting with students via zoom on evenings and weekends.  The school and teachers will be available Monday through Thursday 7:45am - 4:00pm with the option of working until 6:00pm at the discretion of the teacher and Friday 7:45am - 11:40am with the option of working from 2:30 - 3:30 at the discretion of the teacher.  We are asking our teachers not to hold review sessions or meet with students after 6:00pm Monday-Thursday or on weekends unless there is a school-sponsored event that includes weekend hours. If you have any questions please feel free to to  reach out.


For midterm exams and oral proficiencies, it is of the utmost importance that your student has a school-issued computer with a working camera and sound system.  

  • We mailed home headphones with Quarter 1 Report Cards.  Please ensure your student is using their headphones for best sound quality when speaking.
  • We still have hot spots for rent!  For a $20.00 deposit, you can receive a hotspot to use for the current school year.
  • If you are still experiencing Technology or Internet issues, please reach out to the Front Office at 617-445-1515 as soon as possible so we can support you with solving any technology issues.



Laura Edouard, Principal Sonya Pratt, Chief of School


New CoaH Connectivity Policy!

Beginning Tuesday, January 5th, when students return from Winter Break, City on a Hill will be implementing our new connectivity policy. 

What is the new connectivity policy?

CoaH teachers will have the option to include camera presence and microphone use as part of a participation grade for their classes.  In order to get full credit for participation, students must:

  • have their camera on during class.
  • have their faces visible when requested by the teacher.
  • come off mute to speak into the microphone when requested by the teacher.

We recognize there may be occasions when a student is having technical difficulty or a specific circumstance that precludes camera use on a specific day.  For such instances, the students should email Ms. Pratt, Ms. Edouard, or call the Front Office to explain the situation.

Why are CoaH students required to use cameras and microphones?

Studies have shown that having cameras on and using the microphone to speak in class improves the pacing of class, allowing the teachers to improve their instruction.  Having cameras on and being visible to each other and speaking to each other also fosters relationship-building and a sense of community within the class.  

(Note: If your current device does not have a  functioning camera and/or microphone, please email [email protected] and we will give you a replacement immediately.)

The DO’s and DON’TS the Connectivity Policy


  • Dress as you would if you were attending school in person. 
  • Sit in an area of your home where you feel comfortable. (It is recommended that students sit with their back close to a wall, or in the corner of a room if there are concerns about the background.)
  • Make an effort to show your active engagement in class through your verbal and nonverbal 
  • participation (teachers and classmates can tell when you are not paying attention.)
  • Show your face whenever your camera is on. 
  • Turn off your camera temporarily if you are away from your computer, or if you need to address something personal in your work space.
  • Communicate with teachers regularly.


  • Engage in activities that prevent you or others from making academic progress.