5/13 Bosque Summer Canceled & Fall Scenario Planning

Dear Bosque Parents and Guardians,

As we look towards our final week of the 2019-20 school year, we know you are likely eager for a shift in the 
intensity of the past few months, while you may also be wondering what the summer and fall might look like. Schools across the country and around the world are all finding ourselves in the same current and very unfamiliar boat, earnestly steering towards a fresh start to a new academic year on campus, while also battening the hatches for the very strong likelihood of a few swells to come before we reach our destination. 

Since our campus closure, the Academic Leadership Team adjusted from a bi-weekly meeting schedule to three meetings per week: two meetings to focus on the urgency of our shift to remote teaching and learning, and one meeting dedicated to making progress on our very exciting three-year academic strategic plan.  Our Board of Trustees Executive Committee shifted from monthly in-person meetings to weekly virtual meetings to ensure efficient and thorough communication and planning. We launched the Bosque School Community Commitment Fund to support bridge tuition assistance to those families who have suddenly found themselves facing significant economic impacts. We have hosted weekly virtual parent/guardian coffees, sent weekly emails, and have surveyed our community multiple times. We also hired Bosque’s first school nurse who will start on July 1st and work in partnership with our Medical Reserve Corps students in support of student and community health. We have been very busy managing both a strong ending to the 2019-20 school year, analyzing options for Bosque Summer, and scenario planning for the fall. 

At this point, based on current realities regarding the New Mexico Reopening Plan, and with concern for student and community health and well-being, we have made the heartbreaking decision to cancel all Bosque Summer programs. Should anything dramatically change over the coming month, we will revisit the possibility of offering some camp options in late July.  If you have registered for Bosque Summer programs you should be expecting to hear from the Bosque Summer staff in the coming days with refund information. Please contact Zach Lang, Bosque Summer Director, with any questions. I know how disappointing this will be for so many of you and we share your sadness. 

For two weeks, post Memorial Day, we will have a number of task forces working on scenario planning for the fall with a focus on:
  • Debriefing what we learned in our eight weeks of remote teaching and learning and planning for the adjustments needed to support sustainable and meaningful engagement, should we find ourselves in intermittent times of remote teaching and learning next year. To share your summative feedback on how the past eight weeks of remote teaching and learning have gone for your child(ren) and inform our planning, please complete this survey by Sunday, 5/24 (note: This is a DIFFERENT survey than the Family Satisfaction Survey sent out last Friday, 5/8, for which we are ALSO eager for your feedback  on your experience of the 2019-20 school year, PRIOR to COVID-19/campus closure). 
  • Exploring how we might adapt elements of our in-person experience to allow us to safely reconvene on campus in the fall, while doing our part to avoid future resurgences. 
  • Planning with our medical team and advisers for enhanced medical oversight to ensure community health and well-being when we do return to campus.
  • Planning with our facilities team for enhanced campus cleaning and risk mitigation strategies. 

Schools across the country are considering a variety of different scenarios for next year. We will be exploring these scenarios in our task forces and looking to state guidelines, CDC recommendations, and lessons learned from schools across the world who have already re-opened. Some scenarios we are considering (largely informed by the State of New Mexico Reopening Plan Preview and CDC interim guidelines for schools) include:
 
Scenario
Goal
Action Plan 
Social distancing has contained the spread of COVID-19. School starts, on schedule, in August 
* Keep the community healthy.
* Positively contribute to internal and public health to avoid a resurgence.  
* Enhance daily deep cleaning procedures & presence of hand sanitizer stations across campus.
* Enhance education and daily routines around handwashing, sanitizing, reducing germ transmission.  
* Reconsider schedules and large group configurations to reduce resurgence likelihood (morning meeting, lunch, athletic events, staggered schedules, etc.)
* Shift away from supply sharing. 
* Require sick/symptomatic students/staffulty to stay home. 
* Check temperatures and have isolation strategies for anyone who displays symptoms and are waiting to be picked up. 
* Have a quickly accessible and implementable plan for remote teaching and learning for anyone needing to self-isolate. 
Social distancing has made promising inroads but has not yet contained the spread of COVID-19 to the level required for school to open on schedule.
Begin the school year later than originally planned if a delayed start could avoid remote learning.
Reconfigure our master calendar to delay the start of the school year, by up to a month, to allow school to start in-person/on campus. 
Social distancing guidelines allow for some percentage of our population to be on campus at the same time.
Maximize in-person instructional time and minimize class sizes. 
Possibilities:
* Reconsider use of space on campus to spread students and teachers out more physically. Use of outdoor classrooms.
* Stagger school days by grades.
* Stagger morning and afternoon sessions.
* Provide a mix of remote teaching & learning and in-person instruction.   
Mid-year resurgence or intermittent resurgences of COVID-19 that require social distancing.
* Respond promptly to reduce the length of resurgence. 
* Keep consistency and forward momentum teaching and learning.
* Return to in-person instruction ASAP.
Efficiently shift to remote teaching and learning, with a modified/simplified schedule that eases transition to/from in-person/remote learning. 
For ALL scenarios, our core guiding philosophies are to:
  • Ensure we are contributing positively to the public health of our school and our state while adhering to all state/government mandated public health guidelines.
  • Maintain connections between students & students, students & staffulty, and staffulty & parents/guardians.
  • Hold true to our academic mission statement and ensure all teaching and learning (in-person and remote) honors it: We design learning experiences that inspire students to explore challenging concepts and ideas and to be daring in their pursuit of deep understanding.  Our academic program is grounded in inquiry and prizes curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. Decisions of content and pedagogy reflect the diverse and changing world in which we live and offer a pathway to discovering individual passions and how to live ethically in the world.” 
  • Ensure all students have access to every available opportunity for academic growth, connection to community, and richness of educational opportunities. 
 

Regardless of the potential stormy seas and the uncertainty ahead, we are committed to doing right by you and your children. We are in a unique position to respond to this current crisis because we have always been nimble, innovative, and student-centered. Our staffulty adores your children and will do everything to support them in the most comprehensive ways possible.  We are so honored to be partnering in your children’s educational and developmental journey with you and extremely grateful for your belief in the transformative gift of a Bosque education.

I (Jessie) will be scheduling a series of virtual parent/guardian coffees over the summer (to be shared in my coming Friday communications) to stay in touch with you and understand how your child(ren) are doing over the coming months. I will also plan to be in touch by mid-late July with an update as we prepare to launch the 2020-21 school year. 

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

All the best,

Jessie Barrie, PhD         Eric Herrera                         Santana Fontana, MD
Head of School             Chair, Board of Trustees        Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
 
 
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