December 23, 2020
Dear St. John’s Parents:
As I was attempting to answer a parent’s questions earlier today, I realized that this kind of information would probably be appreciated by all of you.
There are still so many questions, and so many variables, regarding the re-opening of schools. As we wait for official clearance to return to in-person instruction, we continue to collect input from parents, students, and teachers. On December 10th I attended a meeting in which the DODEA Superintendent gave a briefing on their successful-so-far return to face-to-face instruction, and the DPHSS discussed requirements for schools. They have not made significant changes from the requirements we met in August.
Details like the length of class periods, passing times, and better pick-up protocols are things we are still reviewing. Mrs. McCormic has passed along some excellent recommendations from our student leaders in these areas. Our need right now is to get a sense of how many kids in which grades and courses will be here and who definitely will not.
The reason that we have asked parents to give us a decision now is so that we can examine the possibility of separating our online and in-person classes so that teachers aren't trying to teach students in the classroom and at home simultaneously. We want to have some time to look at who the at-homers are so that we can try to schedule them in classes together. While we can’t promise to make that work, we will spend next week in serious scheduling mode.
As we always do, we will try our best to accommodate subsequent changes that parents request. The restrictions on making those changes will have to do with the numbers of in-person students in a room if someone wants to return. That is why we have asked for a full-quarter commitment to a particular method.
I will try to publish an updated version of our guidelines next week. But please understand that changes and improvements will be made as we proceed…and learn. And of course, you should always feel free to submit your own ideas as well. It is important to know how things look from your point of view.
(As you know, St. John’s School is on vacation until January 11th. So, you shouldn’t expect a return for students any earlier than January 12th, if in-person school is approved.)
AND: Merry Christmas to you and all of our children!