The STVM administration has made the decision to delay the start of school by one week. Freshmen will now have a first day of school on Wednesday, August 26 and all upperclassmen will begin on Thursday, August 27. This decision was not made lightly, but with great thought and consideration. This will NOT extend the end of the year because we always build several extra days into the calendar to account for bad weather days and a number of other unforeseen events.
The primary reason for delaying the start of school is to allow the teachers and staff to receive training in several different areas. First and foremost, all employees of STVM will undergo extensive training on the new safety procedures and plans that will be put into place to begin the 2020-2021 school year. All families will receive a copy of the "Return to School Plan" (in response to COVID-19) document early next week. In this document, all of the new plans and procedures are clearly outlined. Second, teachers will also begin working in cohorts on best practices in teaching in a block schedule. Roughly 50% of our teachers are experienced teaching in this model, and these experienced teachers will be paired with those teachers who are new to teaching in the block.
We have some exciting events planned for the students as they return to school. During the first week, students will be sorted into their STVM houses as well as their mentor groups. It is going to be a very different start to school this year, but one that we are working hard to make memorable.