6.18.2020 A Note from Mr. Moore: School Opening Scenarios
Dear Woodland Families,
As we move closer to the 2020-2021 school year, Woodland continues our deep commitment to our mission of embracing academic excellence, spiritual development, social consciousness, community collaboration, and a positive self-concept. In all of our endeavors, our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and the entire Woodland community. It is our earnest desire to teach our students on campus, as we believe children learn best in the classroom when collaborating with their teachers and peers. Woodland is planning for the school year to begin on August 11th for LW-1st grade and August 12th for all other students.
We stand committed to the belief that children grow best academically, socially, emotionally, and developmentally within an engaging and interactive educational community. Our goal is to have all of our students on campus for the majority of the school year. Having said this, we also understand that these are unusual times that have already required a great deal of flexibility on everyone's part for the last several months. This flexibility will continue as we follow the guidance of the Shelby County Health Department, local and state government, and the Centers for Disease Control to best protect our students, faculty, and community.
We will be implementing a comprehensive health plan developed by our school nurses in conjunction with the National Association of School Nurses and the Shelby County Health Department. All parents will be provided access to this plan several weeks before the beginning of the school year. The Woodland health plan currently includes temperature screenings for students, faculty, and all visitors, health screenings, increased hand hygiene, disinfecting of the learning spaces, and a host of other safety measures (see below) being refined throughout the summer based on the ever-evolving guidance.
Below are four possible scenarios for instruction during the coming school year. Adaptations and variations within each scenario can be made as additional guidance is released. Woodland's smaller class sizes, and contained campus, along with the creativity and flexibility of our teachers, parents, and students, will help achieve our goal of keeping as many students as possible on campus for the coming school year. The flexibility and agility to toggle between different scenarios with short notice will be the mindset we approach this coming school year.
All students in Early Childhood, Lower School, and Middle School will be on campus with appropriate guidelines, restrictions, and safety measures.
Students in Early Childhood, Lower School, and Middle School will be on campus with appropriate guidelines and restrictions with the possibility of temporary/short term remote learning in specific grades, classes, or cohorts.
Students in Early Childhood and/or Lower School remain on campus with increased social distancing, smaller self-contained workgroups, and further safeguards to protect our students and faculty's health and safety. If needed, we have the ability with our space and faculty to reduce all EC and LS classes to a class size of 10 or fewer students. Middle School students will engage in off-campus remote learning. A remote learning schedule will be instituted for each middle school grade level.
Students from Early Childhood through 8th grade would be engaged in off-campus remote learning. A remote learning schedule will be instituted for each grade level. Only extraordinary events or a government mandate will constitute an extended school closure. Woodland would return to on-campus learning as soon as restrictions were lifted.
A Note About Remote Learning
Our teachers and administrators are dedicated to their ongoing professional development in best practices for remote learning. If necessary, we will combine synchronous (in real-time) and asynchronous (pre-recorded) teaching and learning. All grades will have regular opportunities for the whole class, small group, and individual meetings with their teachers through a remote mechanism such as Zoom or Google Classroom.
Potential adjustments & safety measures could include but are not limited to:
• Creation of additional outdoor learning spaces/classrooms
• Reducing or eliminating shared materials within the classroom
• Individual work stations or desks for lower school and middle school students
• Increased physical distancing strategies and procedures within the classrooms, hallways, and school building
• Allowing for social distancing for larger programs (i.e., live-streamed chapels and assemblies)
• Morning, afternoon, and after school care pick-up and drop-off adjustments to prevent multi-grade gathering spaces
• Staggered playground and lunchroom schedules to allow for physical distancing
• Individually prepared and packed lunches in coordination with our lunch service
• Adjusted classroom and specialist teacher schedules to reduce student transition times, including block scheduling
• Face coverings for employees and students
• Eliminating all non-essential parent visits within the school building
• Limiting student movement and transitions within the school for all grades, including special classes teachers moving to the primary classrooms for classes
In considering all school activities, we want to be mindful of not only the children's physical safety and well-being, but also their social, emotional, and developmental needs.
Thank you so much for your continued support of Woodland, we are very much looking forward to seeing our students in August!
Head of School