Tonight, I presented our current reopening plan to the NFA Board of Trustees. While the state mandated that we prepare for three distinct opening possibilities – all students every day, hybrid model, all remote learning – we received guidance yesterday that schools like ours do, in fact, have more flexibility in deciding the safest and best way to open for our students, faculty and staff.
Based on that, and tonight’s discussion with our Board, I’m writing to inform you that we are planning to begin our year following a hybrid learning model. With your feedback for providing a safe environment and in-person learning opportunities, our Reopening Task Force feels confident this is the best – and safest – approach for us to take.
This model will bring half of our students on campus Monday and Tuesday and half Thursday and Friday. Each group will participate in remote learning on Wednesday and the other days of the week they are not on campus. This plan will allow for additional preparation time for our faculty as we enhance the remote learning that took place in the spring. It will also allow us a chance to thoroughly clean our campus twice a week.
There is much work to do in order to fully operationalize our plan. I know you will have questions, and hopefully many of them will be answered in our plan. Others will be answered in time as we continue to develop our approach. I assure you we will provide information on a regular basis, including how our campus will look under this model. You’ll see what our classrooms will look like. You’ll see what our cafeteria will look like and understand our new traffic patterns.
Having this focus with a month to go is important as it will let us dial in on what we need to accomplish to be ready. While we will consistently be monitoring the situation in our community, we anticipate utilizing the hybrid model for the entirety of the first semester. A decision about the second semester will happen when we can fully evaluate where things stand later this fall. And, as you know from the spring, change can happen at any time.
The Board also approved our adjusted calendar. The first day for ninth graders and Sachem students is Monday, August 31. The first day for all others is Tuesday, September 1.
Ninth grade families, you will receive additional information about how your student will best acclimate to our campus this year. We are working through those plans now.
As you know, this entire process is very fluid. I ask for your continued patience as we work through all elements of the start to our school year. There will be questions, and we will continue to share information as plans develop.
Brian M. Kelly
Head of School