Return to Campus Plan

We look forward to welcoming students and teachers back to campus at the start of the 2020-2021 school year!
 
While some adjustments will be necessary, we are confident that students will continue to find their learning environment to be one that is welcoming, joyful and inspiring. We are fortunate to have a dedicated and expert faculty, ample physical space, robust technology and most importantly, a shared commitment to our community values.
 
As we plan, we are committed to the following Guiding Principles:
 
⟹ Safety and Wellbeing First
We know that students learn better when we first attend to both their physical and emotional health.
 
An Exceptional Academic Program 
Our program – as always – will challenge students to question, explore and engage with their learning in ways that ignite their curiosity and build connections.
 
Design for Flexibility
Our plan recognizes the dynamic nature of our current situation and is built in a way that will allow us to pivot as necessary to meet the needs of our community as external factors shift. We are committed to providing equitable access to our students as well as addressing the individual needs of students and families. 

Informed Decision Making
We will continue to base our decisions on the most up-to-date information available from local, state and national resources, independent school and state education guidelines, as well as our internal expertise and knowledge about childhood education best practices. We will meet and exceed all mandated guidelines and hold ourselves to high educational standards. 

Supporting a Healthy Community

We are counting on our entire community to support a healthy school environment.  As we return to campus at the start of the school year, several new health and safety measures will be in place. Detailed Community Guidelines will be published prior to the start of the school year. 

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 AT HOME

ON CAMPUS

  • Teach healthy hygiene
  • Maintain preventative health practices
  • Attend to children’s emotional well-being
  • Practice social distancing
  • Practice wearing face masks
  • Monitor the CT travel advisory and self-quarantine as necessary
  • Increased sanitation and cleaning
  • Limitations on visitors to campus
  • Physical distancing protocols
  • Handwashing protocols
  • Face coverings
  • Expanded Health Office
  • Space capacity limits
  • Ongoing outreach & feedback from families

STUDENT EXPERIENCE

Throughout the summer, a group of faculty guided by Director of Studies Reshan Richards is actively developing the 2020-2021 academic program at each grade level.
 
Principles of Design

Low-density learning spaces
Our campus space audit confirmed that we have ample room across our four divisions and 75-acre campus to create a low-density and physically distanced environment.
 
Cohorting
Students and teachers will form learning communities that remain together throughout their school day with limited exposure outside of their immediate classroom and grade level. Wherever possible, teachers will work with only one grade level in a given term (e.g., trimester, quarter, half-trimester, etc.). Class rosters will be published in mid to late August as usual.

Flexibility
Nevertheless, we continue to operate with a mindset of flexibility, and we are planning for both in-person and distance learning scenarios. Further, we know that not all of our students may be able to attend in person due to pre-existing conditions, a family member being at-risk or other factors. As a result, we are also planning for online access to our program.

 

Key Academic Dates

  • Aug. 26-28: Start of Year Parent Meetings
  • Sept. 1, 2020: First Day of School (Sept. 1-4 will include half days and other variations in order to onboard and orient the entire student community to new procedures.)
  • Nov. 5-6: Fall Conferences (All Divisions)
  • Jan. 19-20: Winter Conferences (EC)
  • Feb. 11-12: Winter Conferences (LS, MS, US)
  • April 12-13: Spring Conferences (EC Only)
  • June 11: Early Childhood Closing Date
  • June 14: Lower & Middle School Closing Date
  • June 16, 2021: Upper School Closing Date

Additional Calendars

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • + Professional Development Days (No School for Students)


    Wednesday afternoons will not be reserved for professional development. Faculty & staff meetings will take place on Wednesdays from 3-4:15 and professional development will take place on dedicated Professional Development Days:

    • Sept. 29
    • Oct. 13
    • Nov. 23-24
    • Jan. 19-20
    • Feb. 11-12 (EC)
    • April 12-13 (LS MS, US)
    • May 10
    • May 28
  • + Holidays

     
    • Sept. 7: Labor Day
    • Sept. 28: Yom Kippur
    • Oct. 12: Fall Holiday
    • Nov. 25-27: Thanksgiving
    • Dec. 21-January 1: Winter Break
    • Jan. 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    • Feb. 15: Presidents Day
    • March 15-26: Spring Break
    • May 31: Memorial Day
    Note: Fridays before holidays will not be half days.

FACULTY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT/TRAINING

Throughout the summer, Director of Studies Reshan Richards is overseeing Program Design Development. Building from the framework created by the Instructional Team, a team of program leaders from across grades and academic subject areas are developing a school-wide program that will deliver the same exceptional Country School education, but with a new set of parameters. Below is a roadmap of this team’s work.

Return to Campus Design TeamAnother group of cross-divisional faculty will meet in August to further develop and implement this plan at the grade and classroom levels. All faculty and staff will participate in professional development & training in health and safety as well as distance learning techniques the week of Aug. 24, prior to our students’ arrival on campus.

RETURN TO CAMPUS TASK FORCE

Our Return to Campus Task Force 1) serves as an advisory group to help examine our plans through multiple lenses filtering them through their own areas of expertise (including academic, health and safety, legal and financial) as well as external recommendations, and importantly, through the lens of our school’s values, and 2) ensures coherence of our plans. 

Working groups have been formed to support: teaching and learning, physical health (procedures and monitoring), mental health, campus procedures, buildings and grounds, technology, dining, athletics, transportation, auxiliary programming, communications, legal/compliance, finance, admission and outplacement, and HR/employee relations.

Task Force Members

Arlety Bowman, JD, Trustee
Vanessa Brown, MD/JD, Parent
Aaron Cooper, Head of School
Rebecca Comizio, School Psychologist
Arman Gokgol-Kline, Trustee
Reshan Richards, Director of Studies
Pam Safford, Director of Enrollment Management & Financial Aid
Nancy von Euler, Executive Director, Horizons @ NCCS
Josh Ziac, Director of Safety & Security