8/28 Pivoting Our Plan
Dear Bosque Students, Parents, and Guardians,
Since announcing that we would be starting the school year remotely, we have been carefully tracking COVID statistics across our county and state and eagerly anticipating the shift to an in-person model of teaching, learning, and community. In light of the very positive public health data, and the Governor’s press conference on 8/29 supporting bringing students back to school, our COVID task force and the Bosque Board of Trustees have approved the following pivot plan for the coming weeks:
What Students and Parents Need To Do Now:
- Please spend some time reviewing the details of our Hybrid Learning plan to familiarize yourself with what is to come (make sure to click to expand each of the four goals at the top of the plan for extensive additional information).
- As we prepare to have our students return to campus, today we are launching the COVID-19 Student & Family Handbook Addendum, which includes a Bosque School Community Commitment Pledge. Each of our students and families will need to review and acknowledge/electronically sign this addendum, along with submitting all required student health records and online forms before they can return to campus.
- Students: Please log in to your student portal today to review and acknowledge the addendum.
- Parents/Guardians: Please log in to your parent portal today to review and acknowledge the addendum and any other outstanding online forms. Only one parent/guardian needs to sign for each student on all forms. (If you have any issues with completing these forms and acknowledgments please email us.)
- We will continue to provide the opportunity for any students and families who do not feel comfortable with a return to campus to stay in Model 3: Remote Teaching and Learning (click here to opt-in now). Within our community, I am aware that there will be varying levels of response to this pivot plan. Some of you will be celebrating a desired return to campus, some of you will wish we could move more quickly to a full-time, in-person model, and some of you will feel that bringing our community back on campus in any capacity during a pandemic is unwise. Our individual responses will be guided by each of our unique set of life experiences, personal circumstances, and levels of risk tolerance.
- The next optional Parent/Guardian Virtual Meeting will be on Tuesday, September 8th from 6-7 pm (please email us for a link to attend). Please plan to join me and my fellow administrators to receive first-hand notification of any updates and an opportunity to ask questions. We had 80 attendees on Tuesday’s call and a really robust time together.
Our decisions regarding this pivot plan were informed by the following guiding principles (that will continue to inform future pivot planning):
- Ensuring appropriate time to train our community on new campus policies and procedures as we launch a new model.
- Ensuring thoughtful pacing between model shifts that don’t create whiplash for students and teachers.
- Ensuring thoughtful scheduling of model shifts based on school marking periods, to avoid negative impacts at critical times.
- Ensuring appropriate time to support the significant infrastructure changes (facilities and student scheduling) that will accompany each model shift.
- Ensuring that we slowly and steadily transition between models to create the highest likelihood of being able to successfully maintain in-person schooling.
- Ensuring our teachers have an appropriate amount of time to plan for a model shift (recognizing the teachers map out their classes and curriculum many weeks in advance) and to provide them professional development and instructional support to build their competence and confidence in each model.
- A recognition that we may find ourselves needing to pivot between our three models throughout the school year and an awareness that “slowing down to speed up” by giving our teachers a suitable amount of time to gain experience, competence, and confidence with each new model, will pay dividends should we need to revisit that model at a later time in the school year.
As we prepare for the pivot to Model 2: Hybrid Learning on 9/14, we have much work to do. Please look for upcoming communications regarding hybrid groupings, a special “first week of hybrid schedule” (to create enhanced time to train students in on-campus procedures), and further details about bus and lunch services.
I am grateful for each of you and your trust in Bosque School. We take your trust very seriously and will be doing everything in our power to continue to honor our mission and our commitments to you and your family for the year to come.
Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. I cannot wait to see our Bobcats back on campus in a few weeks!
All the best,
Jessie Barrie, PhD Chair Bosque Board of Trustees
Head of School