Reconvening Our Community

Starting the School Year Remotely

Dear Bosque Students, Parents, and Guardians,
 
I am sure many of you were glued to yesterday’s (7/23) press conference with the Governor. Based on how COVID has continued to negatively track in our state, she has mandated no in-person teaching and learning until at least Labor Day (9/7). 
 
I am guessing that this news is both disappointing and reassuring for many of you. I am feeling both emotions equally, but stand in support of the health and wellness of our students, staffulty, and families, and I am grateful for our Governor’s ongoing commitment to public health. 
 
Our Educational Task Force met today to discuss the need to:
  1. Provide high quality, immediate, and ongoing professional development for our faculty that will keep building their capacity in delivering outstanding remote educational experiences.
  2. Provide clarity to our staffulty, students, and families about how remote teaching and learning will look different this fall, from last spring. I encourage you to revisit the Model 3: Remote Teaching & Learning webpage and familiarize yourself with the model, schedule, plan, and FAQs. I specifically encourage you to click to expand “Goal 2: Maximize In-Person Teaching, Learning, and Community” and then scroll down to “Core Expectations of Students, Staffulty, and Families During Periods of Remote Teaching, Learning, and Community” as this lays out the significant updates to the ways we will engage in remote teaching and learning.  
  3. Consider how we can most joyfully launch the new school year, given our current realities. I will be back in touch, likely next week, with further details on this. As always, Bosque will remain committed to community, on and off campus for the year ahead. 
 
Many of you are probably wondering what will happen after Labor Day. This will ultimately be dictated by how COVID trends track in the coming weeks as I have no doubt that the Governor will continue to prioritize public health if things do not improve. I hope that each of us will contribute to positive trending by wearing masks and reducing gatherings and travel. The Governor made it clear that she is eager to shift schools to in-person models as soon as public health trends allow. As the Chair of the New Mexico Association of Independent Schools, I met this morning with my fellow independent school heads. We are collaborating and communicating with the Governor’s office to ensure they are aware of the unique natures of our schools. Based on the size of our student populations, our low student to teacher ratios, our large and flexible campuses, excellent ventilation systems, and infrastructures, we are in a unique position to potentially deliver full-time, in-person teaching, learning, and community as soon as public health data allows. I will keep you updated as more information develops on this.  
 
In the meantime, I stand with you in disappointment that we will not be able to come together, as we hoped, under the cottonwoods of Sanchez Park for our first day of school. This is not the start to the school year we had hoped for, but we are committed to do everything in our power to honor Bosque’s (updated) mission and values, and to manifest our model of Challenging Education through these challenging times.  
 
As a reminder, the next parent/guardian optional virtual meeting will be held on Thursday 7/30 from 6-7 pm. Please check your email for log in details.
 
Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions to any of us at any time.
 
Sending support to each of you and looking forward to the year ahead, in community. 
 
Jessie Barrie, PhD.
Head of School

We Can't Wait to Be Back In Community With You!

Parent/Guardian Virtual Meeting

Please join us for our next optional virtual meeting on Tuesday, August 25 from 6-7 PM with Dr. Jessie Barrie, Dr. MacDonald, Ms. O'Hanlon, Ms. Jefferson, Mr. Stell, and Dr. Leacock.

This event has been moved up from Thursday, August 27 to Tuesday, August 25. Please 
email us for the link to attend.

Have Questions?

As you review our plans, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the following people with questions:
  • Medical questions should be directed to our School Nurse: Alyson Jefferson
  • Academic or student support-related questions should be directed to your child’s Division Head 
  • Facilities questions should be directed to Director of Facilities, Bruce Stell
  • Financial questions should be directed to Mary Stockavas, CFO
  • Admission/re-enrollment questions should be directed to Ryan Hannon, Director of Enrollment and Communications
  • Big picture questions should be directed to Dr. Jessie Barrie, Head of School.

Three Models of Teaching, Learning, and Community

FAQs for Reconvening Our Community: Common FAQs Across The Models

General FAQs

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • Who was involved with formulating the reentry plan and three models?

    We are grateful for the diverse group of individuals who have been involved with our COVID Scenario Planning Task Forces and who have invested countless hours in the formation of our reentry planning and design of the three models. These have included:
      • Educational Task Force: Jessie Barrie(Head of School), Leslie O’Hanlon (Middle School Division Head), Spree MacDonald (Upper School Division Head), Nina Leacock (Dean of Academics), Ebony Booth (Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion), Sheryl Chard (Director of Sofia Center for Professional Development), Amy Lucero (School Registrar). 
      • Risk Management Task Force (Medical and Facilities): Jessie Barrie (Head of School), Bruce Stell (Director of Facilities), Ali Dyer (HR Manager), Alyson Jefferson (School Nurse),  Sharon Boselli (School Nurse Consultant), Dan Shaw (Head of the Medical Reserves Corps), Santana Fontana, MD (Board Chair).
      • Financial Task Force: Jessie Barrie (Head of School), Mary Stockavas (CFO), Ryan Hannon (Director of Enrollment & Communications), Santana Fontana, MD (Board Chair), Eric Herrera (Board Treasurer).
      • Additional guidance provided by:
        • Bosque Parents Association Executive Team: Mitchie Benavidez, President; Becky Branch, Co-Vice President;  Kristelle Siarza, Co-Vice President; Jenny Sandow, Secretary
        • Bosque Board of Trustees Members: Mark Fidel, Lee Patchell, Rachel Gupton, Kristin Salazar-Coffman.
  • How will you decide which of the three models you will implement to start the school year?

    • Our decision has to be, first and foremost, guided by state directives and/or public health data and how effectively we can mitigate risk on our campus and for our community, while best meeting the holistic developmental, social, and academic needs of our students.
    • Because a full-time, in-person instructional model is most aligned with our mission and values and most beneficial for our students, our hope is to open with the full-time, in-person model,  but we need to be prepared with the remote teaching and learning and hybrid model alternatives, should that not be possible. 
    • Until the Governor’s press conference on Thursday, July 10th, our plan was to share that we would be opening in August with the full-time, in-person model of teaching, learning, and community. The sobering details shared 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 school, made us realize that it is premature to confirm any plan definitively at this point. As a state, we all have urgent work to do in the 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. 
    • 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.
  • What if I already know that I will ONLY want my child to take part in Model 3: Remote Teaching and Learning, regardless of if you implement Model 1 (Full-time, in-person) or Model 2 (Hybrid)?

    • As a school, we will ultimately need to make the decision that best manifests our mission and values and meets the needs of the majority of our community, AND we will support families making the choice that feels best for their unique circumstances that could include:
      • A medically unique situation for themselves or a family member
      • Students or families who have to self-isolate for extended periods of time due to a potential exposure or diagnosis of COVID-19
      • Families who do not feel comfortable with their child returning to campus, for any additional personal reason.
    • Families can elect, at any point, to sign their child up for Model 3: Remote Teaching and Learning, regardless of which Model the school implements. Families who elect to do so will take responsibility to have their child stream into their regularly scheduled classes. There will be no tuition discounts or reimbursements for families who elect this option (please see the FAQ that explains the reasons for this). If at any point, the family changes their mind and wants to shift their child to an initiated in-person model they will need to communicate this, by email,  to their child's Division Head so a transition plan can be implemented to efficiently reintegrate the student back onto campus. 
    • If you already know that due to any of the above circumstances that IF we as a school elect to implement Model 1 (Full-time, In-Person Teaching, and Learning), or Model 2 (Hybrid Teaching and Learning), that you would prefer for your child to still engage in Model 3: Remote Teaching and Learning, please use this form should you want to sign up for this option. This will aid in our planning to best support your child.  
      • Your child's division head, adviser, and the student support team will coordinate a plan with you and your family to support your children streaming into their classes and any reasonable activity remotely, based on the core implemented model's schedule. 
    If you would like to further discuss this decision please reach out to our school nurse Alyson Jefferson and/or your child’s Division Head (Middle School Division Head: Leslie O’Hanlon, Upper School Division Head: Spree MacDonald).
  • What if you pick a model that I disagree with?

    • 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.
    • After reviewing the three models, please complete this form as soon as possible. We are interested to know what your preferential model would be, at this point, and what questions remain for you.  
    • 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.
  • Why haven’t you decided on a confirmed model yet?

    • 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 inform state directives regarding school openings and which model of teaching, learning, and community we can implement. Our hope is to open with the full-time in-person model,  but we will be prepared with the hybrid and remote alternatives, should that not be possible.  We will be closely following how COVID trends are tracking in the coming weeks and any new directives from the Governor. We will ideally be able to make our decision regarding which model we will employ to launch our school year no later than Friday, July 31st.
  • If the COVID numbers are still high across the state, will you start remotely, despite what the state does or does not approve?

    • Bosque is not looking to be out of alignment with reasonable public health advice or state directives. Our first goal, for all three models, is to minimize risk through adherence to COVID-19 safe practices. We will not make any decisions that violate our reasonable ability to do this. The health and wellness of our students, staffulty, and families will be core to decision making, along with grounding decisions in data and CDC and Department of Health guidelines. Based on the Governor’s sustained focus on public health and stopping the spread, we are confident that she will continue to guide our state thoughtfully in regards to her mandates.  
    • As a small independent school, we have the ability to be flexible in ways that many larger public and charter schools do not. We are confident that if public health data supports the ability to offer in-person teaching, learning, and community that we may likely be able to reasonably minimize risk through adherence to COVID-19 safe practices with a full-time, in-person model, when larger public schools may not have the ability to do this. The reasons we can do this include: the manageable size of our student population, our low student to teacher ratios, the large size of our campus, our campus layout, our excellent ventilation system (including many classrooms with internal and external doors), and our newer buildings and infrastructure. For further information please refer to the FAQ “In regards to risks, what is the difference between Model 1 (Full-Time, In-Person) and Model 2 (Hybrid)?” on Model 1 and 2 pages.

Medical FAQs

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • I just realized I haven’t submitted all of my required student forms (in the parent portal). When are they due again?
     

    ALL FORMS ARE DUE BY JULY 20th. This deadline ensures that we have ample time to audit student records and for our school nurse to have follow up conversations with parents/guardians and implement any necessary health plans prior to the first day of school. Collecting and reviewing comprehensive student medical data is one of our risk mitigation strategies of our re-entry plan. Missing forms and medical records will result in a delayed start to your child’s participation in the academic year. We are grateful for your collaboration in this important annual process (the initial letter about this process was emailed to families on 5/21 and the most recent letters sent on 6/9 and 6/22 about this process are linked here for more information).
    • If you have any questions about medical records please contact our School Nurse Alyson Jefferson:
      • Phone: (505) 898-6388 X241
        • Confidential Fax: 505-391-2721 (ONLY for Doctor’s Offices to fax documents)
    • If you have any logistical questions about the electronic/online forms, please contact Executive Assistant Diana Schesser for assistance.
  • What should I do if my child or someone in my household has a potential case of COVID?

    • Keep your child home. Contact the School Nurse and your child’s Division Head immediately. 
    • Work with your personal physician regarding treatment, testing, and/or continued monitoring of symptoms.   
    • Get tested  (see NM testing locations here)
    • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19
    • Watch for fever (100.4◦F internal), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19
    • As per CDC guidelines, if you have not had a COVID test but are assumed positive for COVID, you can return to school under the following conditions: 
      • After 3 days with no fever AND
      • Respiratory symptoms have improved (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) AND
      • 10 days since symptoms first appeared
        • Please ensure you are in direct contact with our School Nurse Alyson Jefferson to discuss your child’s return to campus.
  • When can a student/staffulty return to campus if they have a confirmed positive COVID case?

    • Your personal healthcare provider may recommend repeat COVID-19 testing. 
    • Continuous communication between affected families and our school nurse will ensure that the student/staffulty can return safely to campus.
    • Further return to campus guidance will come from the Department of Health and CDC.
  • What will the school do to minimize risk for others if there is a confirmed case of COVID in the Bosque School community?

    • Immediately evacuate spaces frequented by a sick community member, ventilate the room and do a deep clean, as per CDC recommended cleaning procedures
    • Our School Nurse will report the confirmed case to the New Mexico Department of Health and support their contact tracing procedures.
    • We will adhere to CDC guidelines: [The] duration of school dismissals will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the specific situation in your community. Students and staff should be prepared for durations that could last several days. Administrators should work with their local health authorities to determine the duration of dismissals.
  • What should we expect from communication from the school if there is a potential COVID exposure or confirmed case of COVID in the Bosque School community?

    • As soon as we are aware of a suspected or confirmed COVID case within our community, we will work in partnership with our Department of Health Liaison, who is committed to providing us situation-specific guidance based on the nuances of each situation, regarding the appropriate next steps regarding communications/contact tracing. 
    • Based on the specifics of the situation, we will then send an email to the community or specific people who may have had contact with the suspected or confirmed case, while maintaining confidentiality.
    • We will work in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Health regarding appropriate responses  on campus (e.g. deep cleaning, potential short term closure, re-entering guidelines, etc.) 

Logistical FAQs

List of 5 frequently asked questions.