June 16, 2020
Dear St. Andrew’s Families,
We are writing to follow up on our May 21 letter regarding our preparations for the 2020-21 school year. We remain committed to creating a physical environment where learning can happen safely and joyfully next year. We are optimistic that we will be able to resume on-campus instruction in September, and are preparing our physical plant and educational program with that goal in mind. We also know that some students may not be able to be on campus for various health reasons, and that local or regional health concerns will continue to evolve this summer and next year. Therefore we are preparing detailed blended learning scenarios (when most students and faculty are on campus, but in which some students and teachers can learn and teach remotely), as well as updating our distance learning plans from this spring.
We are now ready to share our summer work/assignments with families and provide updated logistics around our rescheduled fifth- and eighth-grade ceremonies and graduation. We also want to provide you with updates on the progress of our five administrative task forces that are planning for the coming school year.
Senior Banquet, Graduation, and Fifth-Grade and Eighth-Grade Step-Up Ceremonies
More detailed information to come in July.
- Senior Banquet will be held on July 30 at 5:30 p.m. on the St. Andrew’s campus.
- Graduation will take place on July 31 at 10 a.m. at Washington National Cathedral.
- The fifth-grade step-up ceremony will take place on July 30 at 8:30 a.m. on campus.
- The eighth-grade step-up ceremony will take place on July 30 at 11:00 a.m. on campus.
Updates on Returning to Campus
Health and Safety:
This task force is creating adaptable, criteria-based plans for safely reopening the campus for employees and students. When we return in person, families can expect:
- Enhanced daily cleaning measures.
- Classrooms and other spaces configured for physical distancing in all buildings.
- Daily health screening measures for students, employees, and visitors.
- All employees and students K-12, barring a medical reason, will wear a face mask/cloth face covering throughout the school day. Preschool students will be asked to wear face mask/cloth face covering when appropriate and as able to do so.
- Updated procedures for lunch service and school transportation to ensure safety. Those procedures will be shared later this summer.
Teaching and Learning:
This task force is creating multiple academic and staffing models to accommodate smaller section sizes and other anticipated health protocols and restrictions during on-campus learning. It is also developing a Blended and Distance Learning Plan for 2020-21 to address academic schedules and programs, pedagogy, assessment, professional development, and staffing. When school resumes this fall, we know the following changes will be implemented:
- Every classroom will have live streaming capability.
- If we are in a blended learning scenario, or if students cannot attend in-person classes for medical reasons, students will be able to participate in all their classes.
- We will utilize Zoom, which has upgraded its security protocols and now has stronger educational features than Google Meet, as a blended and distance learning platform.
- The ISL and MAC (our girls and boys athletics leagues) are currently evaluating options for interscholastic fall athletics. We are committed, along with other member schools, to giving our students safe and meaningful athletic and physical education options next year. We expect to have more information to share about athletics in July.
Culture and Community Well-being:
This task force is updating plans and structures for proactively and responsively supporting well-being, connection, and equity in on-campus, blended, and virtual scenarios. In order to help foster this connectedness, the following events will take place this summer:
- Newly enrolled Upper and Middle School students will meet their academic deans on June 25 at 11 a.m. via Zoom. Parents and students can submit questions prior to the event. More details will come early next week.
- All Upper and Middle School students will have time to virtually connect with their advisor the week of July 27-31. You will receive more information in mid-July on the date and time for these 30-minute sessions.
- In late August/early September, all Lower School students will have the opportunity to be part of orientation, potentially in small groups and on a rotating basis either virtually or in-person. This will give them an opportunity to meet teachers and tour the building/classrooms. You will receive more information later this summer including specific timing of the event.
- In late August/early September, there will be an opportunity for Upper and Middle School students to interact with their teachers. Several models for this event are being considered. You will receive more information later this summer including specific timing of the event.
- All newly enrolled Upper School students will attend, either virtually or in person, a New Student/Parent Breakfast and Laptop Orientation on September 1. You will receive more information later this summer including specific timing of the event.
Finance, Enrollment, and Staffing:
This task force has worked hard to ensure that St. Andrew’s stays institutionally strong and can provide the necessary funds for significant infrastructure and staffing investments as we prepare for next year. This task force is also working on plans to issue credits to families for the costs of any fee-based and vendor services (e.g., lunch, shuttle transportation, and extended day programs) that St. Andrew’s could not provide if the school were to utilize distance learning for all students for an extended period of time next year. More information about these plans will be provided in our July update.
Throughout the summer, administrators will be available to meet and discuss concerns should you have any questions about summer work and/or the start of school. We will next communicate about planning for the coming school year in mid-July, when we will also send out course schedules for our Upper and Middle School students along with information for ordering books and supplies. By early August, we will be ready to communicate definitive plans for what school will look like in the fall. We remain hopeful that we will celebrate the start of the new school year together, in person.