The 2020-21 school year is one unlike any that we’ve ever encountered – and it is one that we are facing together as a community. We know this school year brings up a lot of questions, challenges, anxieties, and fears. We feel them too. Nothing is more paramount than the safety of our students and staff, and we did our best to honor that in the plans we developed for this school year.
School and network leaders worked together to develop our plans based on feedback from staff, students, and families about what worked and didn’t work during remote learning, and what our students need the most. We hosted Town Halls across all of our regions in July 2020 or both staff and families to get more feedback. We incorporated that input into our approach.
All of our states (CT, RI, NY) asked us to prepare for 3 scenarios as we started the school year:
When designing for this school year, we began by asking ourselves: what do we want our scholars to say about the 20-21 school year? Our goal – regardless of whether a student is learning in-person or remotely – is for all of our students to say:
“I am known, safe, loved, and learning.”
In order to create this environment for our scholars, our plan follows several guiding principles.
- We implement all state health guidance and safety measures – and, in many cases, go beyond them – in order to ensure the health and safety of our scholars, staff, and families.
- Our families should be able to choose whether they want to have their scholar learn remotely or in-person based on what they think is best, and we will ensure that both options are high quality.
Prioritize our youngest scholars
- If we are not able to serve all of our students in-person, we will prioritize the in-person learning of our youngest scholars (K-2 especially) since they struggle the most during remote learning, and their families are often in the greatest need of childcare.
- We don’t know everything that will happen, but we do know that things will change. We have built a flexible plan that can adapt based on feedback from scholars, families and staff – and that can move seamlessly between fully in-person, hybrid, and remote.
Strong socioemotional support
- We must create an environment that builds love, connection, and relationships within our school community
Strong student learning
- Our job is to provide engaging live instruction in all core subjects as well as opportunities for tutoring and enrichment to ensure our scholars continue to learn, grow, and achieve.