7/14 An Introduction to Bosque School's Reentry Plan

Bobcats,

Bosque has always been known for its ethos of innovation; our nimbleness, responsiveness, and flexibility have never been more needed than during the current reality that we find ourselves in as a school, nation, and world. 

As we look with great anticipation to the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, while also paying close attention to the concerning trends of COVID-19 cases across our state, we have designed three different models of teaching, learning, and community that we could employ over the course of this year:
  1. A full-time, in-person model (our preferential model, should state directives and/or public health data support this)

Until the Governor’s press conference on Thursday, July 10th, our plan was to share, with great joy, that we would be opening in August with the full-time, in-person model of teaching, learning, and community. The sobering details revealed by the Governor,  and the clear warning that if trends do not improve that she will have no choice but to rethink the opening of schools, made it clear that it is premature to confirm any plan definitively at this point. As a state, we all have urgent work to do in the coming weeks to stop the spread of COVID-19. How we each respond to the urgency of this work will ultimately dictate state directives regarding school openings and which model of schooling we can implement. Our hope is to open with the full-time in-person model,  but we will be prepared with alternatives, should that not be possible.  

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued guidance that "strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school" and that "schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being." In a follow-up statement they shared an essential nuance: “returning to school is important for the healthy development and well-being of children, but we must pursue re-opening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff. Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools. Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics.” These two statements will ultimately guide our decision making in regards to which model we implement at which time, throughout the school year. 

Our three models are grounded in our updated mission and values and in four common goals: 
  1. Minimize risk through adherence to COVID-19 safe practices
  2. Maximize in-person teaching, learning, and community, whenever possible
  3. Be prepared to pivot based on credible new information
  4. Work in partnership with our community in support of our community

We will be closely following how COVID trends are tracking in the coming weeks and any new directives from the Governor. We will ideally make our decision regarding which model we will launch our school year no later than Friday, July 31st.

We recognize that each of our families will have their own unique preferences for which model they think is ideal, based on a variety of personal factors. As a school, we will need to make the decision that best manifests our mission and values and meets the needs of the majority of our community. That said, we will be eager to partner with you to best support your child and family with appropriate accommodations, regardless of which model we end up launching. We also would be remiss to not acknowledge that over the course of this coming school year, we may find ourselves having to implement a variety of different models in different times and ways, based on state directives and/or public health data. We have created a list of general FAQs on this page that we hope may be helpful, along with additional FAQs specific to each model that you will find on their specific pages. After reviewing the three models we are interested to know what your preferential model would be, at this point, and what questions remain for you. Please complete this form as soon as possible. We will continue to update the FAQs. Please also note the two parent/guardian virtual Q&A sessions that have been scheduled on the sidebar. 

Continued uncertainty can be especially difficult. We wish we could be more definitively sharing a concrete plan at this point, but it would feel disingenuous to do so, given how uncertain current trends are and the Governor’s clear warning

Our community is strong. Our students are brilliant and resilient. Our staffulty are committed and creative. Our families are our partners. We have no doubt that the spirit of Bosque will carry us through the challenges to come in the year ahead.

Thank you for your trust in Bosque and for being a part of our community. As we finalize more details in the coming weeks, please expect future communications from us. The Division Heads will be sharing this information with their students shortly and be sharing a form that students can use to submit questions and feedback.   

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions and we will be in touch as plans further develop.

With gratitude,

Jessie Barrie, PhD (Head of School), Santana Fontana, MD (Chair, Board of Trustees), Spree MacDonald, PhD (Upper School Division Head), Leslie O’Hanlon (Middle School Division Head), Alyson Jefferson, RN (School Nurse), and Bruce Stell (Facilities Director) 
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