Lower School Return to Campus
Thank you for your continued support, patience, and understanding as we work diligently to finalize our plans for the upcoming school year.
Please know that during this time, the leadership team of Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy has been keeping abreast of CDC and government guidelines and consulting with experts from many different arenas to ensure that our plans prioritize students’ safety while taking into account the developmental needs and capabilities of our early childhood and elementary aged children. Precautions such as frequent hand washing, regular temperature checks, following physical distancing guidelines, and encouraging the wearing of face coverings are necessary to help protect members of our community, but will realistically pose challenges for young students. In addition, we must be cognizant of the need to maintain a sense of normalcy and safety for our children while implementing significant changes in their daily routines and procedures.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. — Isaiah 41:10
Summary of Calendar Changes:
Start Date and Last Two Weeks of First Semester:
One of the biggest changes to our academic calendar is moving the start date for the 2020-2021 school year to Wednesday, August 5, and correspondingly, ending the first semester on December 11. This decision was made to allow our families as much flexibility as possible in how their child finishes out the end of the first semester. Lower School students will be able to finish out the final two weeks of the first semester instruction on campus OR remotely. It is our intent that families who travel to potential hotspots, interact with out-of-town visitors, or feel uncomfortable being physically on campus after holiday interactions be able to complete the semester remotely if desired. In order to facilitate the ability of Lower School students to work on campus or remotely during this two-week time period, teachers have been asked to focus on providing students with a project-based learning experience during this time. A project-based learning experience will allow students to connect multiple concepts from a variety of content areas, including Enrichments, Chapel, and Physical Education, to produce a culminating product. The nature of the project, the level of teacher or parent guidance needed, and project requirements will vary based on grade level. Families choosing to pursue the remote learning option during this time will be responsible for assisting their child in completing the project in a manner that meets project guidelines established by the teacher. During this time, teachers will be available to consult with families engaging in remote project-based learning, and will not be providing synchronous or asynchronous instruction to students working remotely.
Throughout the summer, our faculty and staff have been diligently analyzing your survey input and participating in high quality professional development with the goal of making improvements to our remote instructional practices. While it is our intention to prioritize face-to-face instruction, the realities of our current situation make it necessary to plan for possible periods of remote instruction. In order to serve our families and provide a top-notch remote learning experience, we are proactively choosing to practice remote learning periodically throughout the year. This will keep the skills necessary to provide remote instruction fresh for both families and teachers.
First semester dates for remote instruction
August 26: Teachers across all disciplines, including enrichments, physical education, and chapel will provide a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction from 8:15 a.m. - 3:05 p.m. (early birds) and from 8:15 a.m. - 3:20 p.m. (later gators).
September 23: Teachers will provide a blend of synchronous and asynchronous instruction from 8:20 - 11:30 a.m. Parents will have the opportunity to sign up for remote or in-person parent-teacher conferences from 12 - 3:30 p.m.
October 14: Remote or in-person parent-teacher conferences available between 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. No remote instruction will be provided on this day. (Please note that school will be in session on October 15 and 16.)
November 4: Teachers across all disciplines, including enrichments, physical education, and chapel will provide a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction from 8:15 a.m. - 3:05 p.m. (early birds) and from 8:15 a.m. - 3:20 p.m. (later gators).
Second semester dates: Remote learning dates for the spring semester have not been determined at this point.
What We Are Doing to Mitigate Risks:
Multiple chapel times
Grades four through six will attend chapel from 8:20-8:40 a.m., with Wednesdays being reserved for Character Education, Reading on the Green, Eucharist, Service Projects, or regular chapel.
Grades one through three will attend chapel from 10:05-10:25 a.m. Due to chapel availability, chapel will be held in the classroom on Fridays via a variety of different formats.
Preschool will have chapel every other week in their classroom.
Prekindergarten and kindergarten will attend chapel once per week, on Thursdays from 10:30-11 a.m.
Wiping down desks between classes
Teachers and members of the maintenance staff will wipe down hard surfaces regularly throughout the day using HDQ - Neutral.
Frequent hand washing and sanitizing
Students will be reminded to wash their hands after using the restroom, when returning from enrichments, physical education, chapel, recess, and lunch, and before snack and lunch.
Additional hand sanitizing stations will be located around campus and we will be using an alcohol-based sanitizer as recommended by CDC guidelines.
Lunches in classroom and Cub Cafe
Students in preschool and prekindergarten will continue to eat lunch in their classroom.
Kindergarten students will eat in the Cub Cafe to allow appropriate spacing while eating.
Under normal circumstances, two grade levels eat lunch during the same lunch period (e.g. 1st and 2nd eat from 11 to 11:30 a.m.) in the Cub Cafe. To better adhere to CDC guidelines, one grade level will eat in the Cub Cafe and the other grade level will eat in their classroom, then switch lunch locations on a weekly basis. Purchased lunches will be delivered to the classrooms.
Limiting visitors to campus
Athletics and extracurricular activities will be sponsored and coached by school faculty and staff for the time being.
Character Education parents will present monthly virtue lessons via remote meeting platform.
Faculty and staff will help assist the lunch program in lieu of parent volunteers.
Classroom volunteers will be limited to providing assistance remotely.
How You Can Help:
Have your child practice wearing their face masks over the summer. Explain that face masks are a means of protecting others.
Instruct and supervise children as they wash their hands. Incorporate regular hand washing throughout the day.
Talk to your child about practices that can help keep them and others safe, such as using a tissue to blow their nose, not touching frequently used items, and washing their hands with soap and water.
Suggest ways your child can greet others without or with limited physical contact – air hugs, elbow bump, etc.
Please review the Return to Campus Plan for additional information. Thank you for your support of Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy as we work to make returning to school safe and enjoyable for our families. The outpouring of love and encouragement are deeply appreciated. I have already spoken with many families in the last few weeks and will continue contacting families next week. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions or concerns.
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