Letter to CoaH Families – July 31, 2020

Dear City on a Hill Families:

We are excited to welcome you back for the 2020-21 school year! Thank you for your in-depth responses to our recent survey regarding school reopening plans. Your input has been invaluable in helping us determine the best path forward regarding how to begin the 2020-21 school year. Here is a sample of what we have learned from your responses:

The CoaH team is hard at work on a preliminary plan that we will share with the community next week. In order to make the best possible decision for the most people, our work is being guided by the following priorities:

  • Health and Safety
  • Student Learning and Social Emotional Well-being
  • Plans that Consider the Needs of both Families and School Staff
  • Plans that Can Smoothly Transition as Conditions Change

We will be fully developing three program model options for school: (1) Fully In-Person; (2) Hybrid model; and (3) Fully Remote.

While it is true that this message does not provide all of the details about the three program model options, that information will be included in the preliminary plan released next week. Please read this full message for information about our timeline and opportunities for parent/guardian forums to learn more about the program models and have your questions answered.

CONTEXT AND RATIONALE

Health and Safety

In order to bring students and staff back to school, we must do everything possible to create a safe environment. Along with social distancing, other mitigating measures will be in place such as the wearing of masks, handwashing, cleaning and sanitizing, taking all possible steps to improve our existing HVAC systems such as increasing filtration, and bringing in outside air. We will also work to minimize the movement of students from class to class and have teachers move as much as the schedule will allow. 

Student Learning and Well-being

Whether we are in school or remote, we will be working to ensure that students receive the highest quality education we can provide. This could include regular Zoom classes if we are fully remote, in-school instruction if we are fully in school, and regular office hours for students on their remote week if we do a hybrid model. In all three of our models, we are providing counseling services, special education accommodations and modifications, and opportunities for students to socially engage with each other.

Considering the Needs of both Families and School Staff

We understand that the needs of families and faculty are wide-ranging and that there is no perfect solution to match every need. While the survey responses varied widely, the majority of respondents preferred a hybrid model with students and staff returning to school for some duration of time as noted in the chart above. If this is not possible, a fully online model was the second most preferred option.

Transitions

Our goal is to create models that can adapt and flex as circumstances change. Changes to our models will be made based upon guidance from the Governor, DESE, local and state health departments, and medical and scientific experts. If the state continues to improve related to COVID-19 infection rates, we will be able to consider adjusting our protocols and allowing more students to return to school in accordance with guidance on the same. Similarly, if the infection rates increase and the COVID-19 situation declines, we will be able to move into a full remote model. 

OPPORTUNITIES FOR INPUT AND Q&A

Parent/Guardian Meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, August 5 from 7-8 p.m. and Thursday, August 6 from 1-2 p.m. via Zoom. The Zoom links for the meetings are below:

Join Webinar

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82128769924

Webinar ID: 821 2876 9924

One-Tap Dial-in: 16465588656,,82128769924#  or +13017158592,,82128769924# 

During these forums, preliminary plans will be presented and we will answer questions and gather input.

TIMELINE AND NEXT STEPS

  • Friday, July 31 – Preliminary Plan Submitted to DESE (in-person, hybrid, and remote)
  • Wednesday-Thursday, August 5- 6 – Parent/Guardian Meetings (see above)
  • Monday, August 10 – Final Plan Submitted to DESE
  • Monday, August 10-Monday, August 31 – Finalize Instructional Plans and School Based Processes and Protocols

We know that you will have additional questions about the details of our plans and the protocols that will be put in place. Please be assured that City on a Hill is working hard to think through all aspects of planning to begin the school year. In the coming weeks we will continue to share information with you. If you have questions or concerns please feel free to contact Chief School Officer Sonya Pratt spratt@cityonahill.org or Principal Laura Edouard, ledouard@cityonahill.org


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