Over the past 10 days we have sent regular notes home to families to keep parents and students informed of schedule changes, and to announce our plans to maintain teaching and learning during these unprecedented times. I would like to share the most recent note with our larger Academy Hill family at this time.
I hope you and yours are well!
I was able to join Heads of early elementary and lower schools from around the region this morning on a video call organized by the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE). AISNE, for those who do not yet know, is our accreditation agency. The call was at once helpful, informative, and affirming. I want to share some information with our families as well as our plans for the near term.
Our early education and primary grades are attempting to organize the many valuable and free resources that have made themselves available to us in the past few days. If you are on social media you know that the number of resources and links has grown to be overwhelming. I've asked Ms. Bates, Mrs. Grenier, Ms. McNierney and Ms. Desjarlais to provide families with 2 suggestions per core content area each week. In addition, they are also sending specific activities per parent request. I am asking each of them to find one time each week for a "face to face" check in, as well. Some families have asked to have this time so that the children remain connected. If any of these plans become intrusive, or if you are unable to join check-ins or accomplish work, please let your teacher know. We do not want to send more stress home! We know that childcare and technology situations vary by household. We want to be of assistance, and most certainly not a burden.
Mr. Brody is attempting to stay connected via a virtual two hour class each day, followed by prescribed student work. I've asked him to assess this plan regularly. Again, if this virtual class proves to be a burden, please let him know. It is our intent to maintain teaching and learning to the extent possible, assisting families without becoming an additional stressor during an already stressful time.
The middle school will begin a synchronistic Google Hangout schedule on Monday morning, after one week of independent learning activities.I am attaching the middle school schedule below this note.
The faculty will hold a weekly meeting, starting tomorrow, so that we can share our ideas and thoughts as we bring your concerns forward, too. Dave Wells and I are also meeting with the Board of Trustees on Monday evening (via conference call). We are receiving US mail twice weekly, so please continue to forward your outstanding contracts. As we navigate unchartered waters we are also planning for the 2020 - 2021 academic year. For the time being, we have moved to a virtual admissions process. I am pleased to share that our most recent Open House was a success, despite the unfortunate timing, and we have generated inquiries and applications from prospective families.
If you would like to share photos or stories of your child's time at home, I would be happy to include them in a social media post or in upcoming special editions of the Friday newsletter. Please send them to me at
Please feel free to share your thoughts with me directly via email at
, or, if you prefer, I will schedule a time to call you.
We appreciate your partnership during this unprecedented and uncertain time.
Melissa Earls, P'16
Head of School