Dear Upper School (US) Families,
Hope all is well. We have made it to our full 50% capacity and day one went fairly smoothly. We had a small problem at lunchtime with some delayed meals (rough for ravenous teenagers at 1:00), but overall it was gratifying and exciting to see everyone on campus.
I wanted tonight to provide a couple of updates/reminders for you about next week, along with one request. Starting with the request, because it attaches to our being at full capacity. Please help your student understand that the protocols that we have established are for the sole reason of keeping the community healthy and safe. If we can do that, then we have the best chance of staying open.
You can read about schools that are having to close because of the number of positive cases they have, and those cases are often related to not following the protocols, or behaviors outside school. We really do not want to be one of those schools, and the best way to avoid that is following our compact
or go to https://reopening.d-e.org/the-d-e-community-compact/).
I know it’s our broken record comment, but the more we witness around us the more truthful it seems to be.
Next week we have two big events: one for you and one for the students.
US BACK-TO-SCHOOL NIGHT
(For Parents/Guardians, Wednesday, Oct. 14)
Your (parent/guardian) event is our Back-to-School Night, on Wednesday, October 14. Because of the large size of the division, and the number of classes we offer, we have decided that this program will work best if we conduct most of this event using pre-recorded videos that teachers are making.
We will begin the evening with a live Zoom at 7:00 PM ET (a link will be provided soon). Then you will be able to visit the classes of your student at your leisure over the next couple of days. We hope this method makes the event easier, and while live interaction would be preferable, these videos will best accomplish the main purposes of this event, which is for you to know what the courses are about, and to get a feel for how the teachers are working in the class. The usual opportunities for conversation will really not be possible anyway, and keeping the evening on track and on time feels chaotic, so in this unusual year we will try this system.
You will have the chance for conversation later in the fall during our parent/guardian conferences with teachers, and of course you should always feel free to contact a teacher if you have concerns or questions.
ELECTION REFLECTION 2020 STUDENT PROGRAMMING (For US Students, Tuesday, Oct. 13)
The other event, for US students (only), is our half day election programming on Tuesday, October 13. All students will be home that day, and we will send you the program so you can see what is happening that morning from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. It includes speakers from the legal world and high profile politicians, from varied political parties and beliefs. Students will then have their regular classes in the afternoon.
VIRTUAL V. HYBRID LEARNING
(Learning Change Requests due Wednesday, Oct. 14)
We are now ready to ask again about students who might want to switch from virtual to hybrid for the remainder of the semester. If you are thinking about making this switch, we need to know about that by Wednesday, October 14.
Students will need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test done within one week of returning. We will then welcome your student back to school. Their Cohort will be based on the sizes of the students classes, and our classroom limitations.
We would ideally like to know about any students who want to move from hybrid to virtual at the same time because that also impacts our numbers of students in any one classroom, so please let us know that as well by Wednesday, October 14.
Please email your child's dean with any shift that you are going to make, and of course if you’d like to discuss a potential shift, feel free also to contact me directly as well.
Finally, know that we will be polling students next week to see how they are doing this year, so we get a more informed sense. But for now, that’s it. As always, please write with concerns or questions.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Joseph W. Algrant
Upper School Principal