7.22.2020 August Reentry Plan and a Brief Survey
Dear Woodland Parents,
It has been great to see many of our middle school students back on campus for sports camps, practices, and laptop distribution! Also, seeing our Early Childhood and Lower School students at B.L.A.S.T. summer camp reminds me of how much our students want to be at school. Our students' desire to be in school must be balanced with their physical and emotional health. Woodland continues to plan for the school year to begin on August 11th for LW-1st grade and August 12th for all other students. We are leaning on the Shelby County Health Department to inform schools if an in-person start is not advised; otherwise, we are moving forward with our scheduled opening for all students. You may also reference this helpful guide from the CDC, click here, on how schools can make decisions for opening on-campus learning.
Although the first day of school and the school year will look different than a typical year, parents will have the opportunity to walk their child in to meet the teacher and see their classroom on the morning of August 10th for Little Woodland-1st grade and during the afternoon of August 11th for our 2nd - 8th grade parents and students. Parents will have a designated time to visit so we can limit the number of people on campus at a time. More details will come out a few days before the event.
Our Health and Safety Plan for the 2020-2021 school year has been reviewed and approved by Dr. Randolph from the Shelby County Health Department. To view our Stronger Together plan, which includes the School Health Office Guidelines, click here. Do realize that this plan will likely change as we monitor the local conditions in Shelby County, and additional guidance for schools becomes available.
On the teaching and learning front, while most of our students are planning on being on campus to start the school year, I have spoken with parents with family health concerns that may prevent their child from attending on-campus learning to begin the school year. Woodland is preparing a "hybrid" educational plan that will allow students to experience Woodland teaching and learning from home while their classmates are at school. For students who will begin the year at home, we will ask you in early August to commit to learning from home through Labor Day. This commitment will help our teachers with lesson planning, class assignments, schedules, and staffing. As we move toward the end of August, we will ask again for a commitment to either continue at-home learning or return for on-campus education. We plan on continuing in that same pattern at least through October and likely beyond the first quarter of the school year. Our commitment remains steadfast to our Woodland families to see that each child succeeds to the greatest of their abilities no matter the circumstances.
Division and grade-level specifics of this hybrid teaching model and learning will come from your Divisional Directors in the coming weeks, Dr. Jordan for Early Childhood and Lower School, and Mrs. Hackmeyer for Middle School. Students at home will receive a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction from their Woodland teachers as well as work, projects, papers, etc. At-home students will receive all materials, supplies, books, and workbooks that on-campus students will receive. Student assignments will have to be completed and returned to teachers by specified deadlines for our teachers to assess and provide feedback for each student.
A few items that I wanted to highlight for our families regarding the plans for on-campus learning.
•Morning drop-off will include a temperature screening for all students.
•We are moving several classrooms around from where they were last year to accommodate different class sizes and provide more physical distancing within the classroom.
•Each student in grade Senior Kindergarten through eighth grade will have their own workstation in the classroom that will be physically distanced from other stations.
•Each student will have their own supplies and a way to store and organize his/her materials.
•Specialist Teachers will begin the year primarily traveling to the classrooms to reduce student transition times.
•Middle School classes will be in a modified block format to allow for fewer transitions throughout the day.
•Students in grades Little Woodland through Senior Kindergarten will eat in their classrooms.
•First grade through eighth grade will eat in the lunchroom with two grade levels at a time, with appropriate physical distancing.
•Every homeroom classroom has the ability for cross-ventilation, and Woodland does have a contract with an air filter company to routinely change all air filters in all HVAC systems on campus.
•Woodland has numerous opportunities to utilize our outdoor spaces for teaching and learning, including the addition of tents that will be used across campus as outdoor learning spaces.
•After School Care will be available. Parents will not enter the building to pick-up children; we will have a system where parents do not have to get out of their car.
•Before School Care will be available, but pre-registration will be required for PK-8th grade; students drop off will take place between 7:00-7:15 will be available.
Once again, we ask that you take a few moments to answer this three-question survey, click here, regarding your family's thoughts on returning to campus as planned on August 11th and 12th. Please complete this survey by Friday, July 24th, by 10 am. Your responses will help inform Woodland of how we can continue to best support our families as we move towards the beginning of the school year. This is by no means a binding survey, and we are not asking you to make a definitive decision at this time. We know that your thoughts may change with the continually evolving and new information in the coming weeks. The survey is an effort to understand how Woodland can best meet the needs of our students and families. We do plan on sending a similar survey next week as well.
Thank you for being so incredibly supportive of Woodland. The Woodland community is indeed one of a kind and one that is a treasure in the entire mid-south!
Head of School