Reconvening Our Community

Model 3: Remote

Overview of Model 3: Remote Teaching, Learning, & Community

While we are hoping for a return to full-time, in-person teaching, learning, and community, we are also aware of the possibility of state-mandated shifts to remote teaching and learning in the coming year. Thanks to the extensive feedback provided by our students, staffulty, and parents/guardians through multiple surveys in the spring of 2020 we have made significant updates to our remote teaching and learning plan, to ensure we are ready should we need to shift into remote teaching, learning, and community at any point this year.

Note: All details shared below are subject to change based on evolving public health data and state directives. 

Within the Remote Teaching, Learning, & Community model, we will adhere to our four common goals in the following ways:

Goals of Model 3: Remote Teaching, Learning, & Community

List of 4 items.

  • Goal 1: MINIMIZE RISK THROUGH ADHERENCE TO COVID-19 SAFE PRACTICES

    We are committed to doing everything we reasonably can to mitigate risks in support of community health. This is critical to stop the spread of COVID-19, which is a requirement to support moving as efficiently as possible from a remote teaching and learning model to a model that better supports our second goal of maximizing in-person teaching, learning, and community. In order to do this we will: 

    1. Base Decisions in Data: 
    2. Take All Possible Measures to Prevent Communicable Spread: 
      • If mandated by the governor, we will close our campus to all but essential workers, and shift our student and staffulty community to remote locations to minimize the potential for communicable spread.
      • All essential workers on campus will be required to wear COVID appropriate masks at all times, except during eating/drinking as per State directives and CDC guidelines.
      • Social distancing protocols will be implemented, per state guidelines.
      • Ventilation will be maximized through the use of open internal and external doors and windows.
      • Cleaning procedures will be enhanced.
      • Sick staffulty (essential workers) will be required to stay home and anyone displaying symptoms will be immediately isolated and sent home.
      • All non-essential visitors will be restricted from campus and all essential campus visitors will be required to check in with on-site staffulty, wear masks, and complete screening questions and a temperature check.
    3. Promote Optimal Health:
      • Support the health and wellness of our community in preparation for a return to campus, through thorough and thoughtful data collection [all medical records, physical exams, and up to date immunization records (or exemptions) obtained from families and comprehensively reviewed prior to the start of school and stored for all students].
    4. Collaborate and Support Our Community:
      • Provide responsive communication between staffulty, students, and family.
      • Provide the best remote support possible for all of our students, families, and staffulty.
      • Provide students, staffulty, and families with access to our support staffulty including the school nurse, school counselors, learning specialists, deans, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Director of Service Learning.
  • Goal 2: MAXIMIZE IN-PERSON TEACHING, LEARNING, AND COMMUNITY

    This goal would be impossible to meet if the state mandates that we must close our campus and shift to a purely remote teaching and learning model. We would, therefore, adapt our efforts to support the most meaningful teaching, learning, and community we can through remote methods. 

    Our Priorities If Required To Implement Remote Teaching & Learning:
    The landscape of our current work will change, but our commitment to our mission and core values of Inspiring Academic Excellence, Cultivating Community, Fostering Integrity, and Learning from Place will not.  These four pillars provide a consistent framework for our teaching, even if the interface and tools are dramatically and unexpectedly altered. In all aspects of our planning for any periods of remote teaching and learning, we are centering these values. In particular, it’s critical for us to maintain a meaningful connection with our students during this challenging time. We’re equipped to offer a powerful sense of community and the experience of being seen and supported ⁠— something not available in many online learning experiences. We are also committed to responding to very meaningful feedback from Spring 2020 which have informed the following goals:
    • Design a model of remote teaching and learning and core expectations that most closely align with Bosque’s mission and core values and what students would experience when on campus. 
    • Acknowledge the additional strain of being online all day and design a schedule that creates intentional daily and weekly breaks to create as much balance as possible, within this model.
    • Maintain the expectations of academic engagement and excellence that guide the Bosque model of Challenging Education.

    Schedule for Remote Learning:
    Based on multiple points of feedback, our Academic Leadership Team has created the following schedule for use if needed in the 20/21 school year. Its core facets include: 
    • A 5-day schedule that does NOT rotate. All academic class periods meet twice a week in 1-hour class periods. This schedule is common across 6-12 grades, which is essential to provide support for our high number of cross-divisional teachers and clarity and consistency for our families. 
    • An extended lunch break and 15 minute breaks between classes to give students a chance to stretch, get offline, get some fresh air, and have a snack.
    • The schedule includes a “Wellness Wednesday,” with no academic class periods. These days have been designed to reduce weekly exhaustion (generated by remote learning) and to allow students to engage with:
      • Co-curricular activities, including WILLDS curriculum and programming (Wellness, Identity, Leadership Life Skills, Diversity, & Service), clubs, activities, more extended advisory time/activities
      • Time for students to catch up on schoolwork, faculty to catch up on planning and grading and to provide a digital decompression break from the strain of being online all week. 
      • Time for campus deep cleaning.

    CORE EXPECTATIONS OF STUDENTS, STAFFULTY, AND FAMILIES DURING PERIODS OF REMOTE TEACHING, LEARNING, AND COMMUNITY

    Expectations of Students:
    • Students are expected to attend, and actively participate in, all their classes via the live Class Meetings. Please maintain a working camera and microphone, as teachers will need to be able to see and hear all students during all class meetings. Students should understand that teachers will take attendance and expect active engagement through the entirety of the meeting. As always, please communicate any issues, including technology issues, directly to your teacher.
    • Classes will meet twice a week. Class meetings will be one hour in length, and will include a mix of modalities at the teacher’s discretion. 
      • During the scheduled hour, students are actively learning. This may take different forms. The whole class might meet together for an opening segment, and again for a closing segment. Students might work in group break-out rooms for a segment. Or students might be writing in a Google document, while the teacher checks in on each document and responds. 
      • Note that teachers may require a specific virtual background screen for those students streaming into class. Students will be expected to follow these expectations. 
      • Students should become familiar with Google Calendar in order to easily see and access their class meetings.
    • Google Classroom is our main platform for submitting work in digital form. Students are required to check Google Classroom frequently for assignments and communications from teachers.
    • Assessment/Grading: We believe our established assessment policies appropriately translate to remote teaching and learning. Please refer to the Student and Family Handbook for further information.
    • Homework: In addition to attending class meetings during weeks of remote learning, students will be expected to complete assigned homework (asynchronous work). Homework amounts will depend on grade and course level. In classes taken by older students (juniors and seniors) and/or in advanced classes, students may be expected to do the same amount of work and make the same amount of progress as they would if we were in person. In classes taken by younger students (sixth grade and to a lesser extent all MS, and still to a degree for grades nine and ten), we recognize that the capacity to work independently (asynchronously) is still developing. Students will still be expected to complete homework, but with some adjustment to the pace that might be set if we were in person. In all classes at every grade level, we recognize a heightened need for differentiation and sensitivity to individual student circumstances. Please communicate stay in communication with your teacher about any individual challenges.
    • We understand that remote learning may present individual challenges. Students who encounter significant difficulties in completing assignments or in negotiating other challenges during this time should utilize the many connections and support systems Bosque provides: reaching out directly to a Teacher, Advisor, Dean, Learning Specialist, Counselor, and so on, to discuss challenges and seek solutions together.  
    • Teachers will communicate directly with students via in-person or virtual conference, email and/or Google Classroom, and other formats if the student is not actively turning in assigned work or attending live class meetings. If this lack of engagement reaches a level at which the teacher expects it to significantly alter the student’s final grade in the class, they will communicate home with an official note, which lays out the concerns and is sent to the students, parents, and relevant Bosque administrators. 
    • It is expected that everyone conducts themselves appropriately. 
      • All participants will be very mindful that any interactions must follow current expectations about student-student, and teacher-student interactions as members of the Bosque community. Bosque’s Student and Family Handbook provides guidance on expectations for appropriate in-person and remote/online behavior. 
      • Should something concerning or inappropriate arise in the context of live instruction, teachers will follow up with their relevant Deans and Division Heads, according to current procedures. 

    Expectations of Teachers:
    • Teachers will work to design lessons that are aligned with Bosque’s Mission & Values, especially our value of Inspiring Academic Excellence.
    • Teachers understand that current conditions affect individual students differently, and will differentiate teaching as needed to accommodate individual needs, while working closely with Bosque’s Learning Specialist and/or Nurse. If a situation requires more formal documentation, plans will be made to explore potential accommodations.
    • While striving to make online learning equivalent in value to on-campus learning, teachers understand that the new modalities demand flexibility from all, and therefore focus on core learning outcomes.
    • As with on-campus learning, teachers will communicate directly with students via email and other formats if the student is not actively turning in assigned work or attending live class meetings. If this lack of engagement reaches a level at which the teacher expects it to significantly alter the student’s final grade in the class, they will communicate home with an official note, which lays out the concerns and is sent to the students, parents, and relevant Bosque administrators. 
    • Teachers will need to commonly use the integrations between Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Gmail to schedule class meetings, so that students have one, coherent method for planning their online meetings and workflow. 

    Expectations of Parents/Guardians:
    • Please be aware that students are expected to attend, and actively participate in, all their classes via the live Class Meetings. Please support them in maintaining a working camera and microphone and using required virtual backgrounds, as teachers will need to be able to see and hear all students during the entirety of all class meetings. As always, please communicate any issues, including technology issues, directly to your child’s teacher or Division Head.
    • Please be aware that during remote learning students will be expected to complete homework as well as attend class meetings. Homework amounts will depend on grade and course level. 
    • Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s individual teachers as they are the experts on your child’s progress in each class; communicate directly with them.
    • We understand that remote learning may present individual challenges. Please support your children in communicating their needs. Students who encounter significant difficulties in completing assignments or in negotiating other challenges during this time should utilize the many connections and support systems Bosque provides: reaching out directly to a Teacher, Advisor, Dean, Learning Specialist, Counselor, and so on, to discuss challenges and seek solutions together.
  • GOAL 3: BE PREPARED TO PIVOT

    Over the past five months, we have learned that our journey through this global pandemic requires significant patience, flexibility, and nimbleness. Bosque has always been known for its ethos of innovation and that has and will continue to help us as we acknowledge that the best-laid plans can be turned upside down by factors beyond our individual control, at any point. Should we find ourselves in a state-mandated Model 3: Remote Teaching, Learning, & Community, then we will be doing everything in our power to contribute to positive trending of COVID data that would allow us to shift as soon as possible to our desired Model 1: Full-Time, In-Person Teaching, Learning, & Community, or secondarily to Model 2: Hybrid Teaching, Learning, & Community.
  • GOAL 4: WORK IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR COMMUNITY IN SUPPORT OF OUR COMMUNITY

    Now, more than ever, we all need to be working in partnership to support our students, school, community, and the world. We recognize that should we find ourselves once again in a period of remote teaching, learning, and community, that we will navigate it as thoughtfully as we can while maintaining our connection in every way possible.

    WHAT WE NEED TO ASK OF YOU:
    As parents and guardians, we implore you to help us help your children by:
    • Carefully review the core expectations of students, faculty, and parents/guardians listed above and help support your child’s successful engagement with remote teaching, learning, and community. 
    • Communicate closely with your child’s teachers, adviser, and Division Head if your child is struggling with remote teaching, learning, and community, either academically or personally. 
    • Recognizing the critical contributions each of us needs to make towards positive trending of COVID data that will allow us to shift as soon as possible to our desired Model 1: Full-Time, In-Person Teaching, Learning, & Community, or secondarily to Model 2: Hybrid Teaching, Learning, & Community. Please partner with us in supporting your child and family in consistent and sustained mask-wearing, social distancing, and healthy hygiene habits at all times.  
    • Stay on the side of caution: If your child or a family member has any potential exposure to COVID or concerning medical symptoms (see Common Medical FAQs), stay home to gain more information and reduce potential spread.  

    WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT OF US:

FAQs Specific to MODEL 3: Remote Teaching, Learning, & Community

Logistical FAQs

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • 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 below 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 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). 
    • Our advisers, deans, and Division Heads will be thinking very thoughtfully about how to engage and connect students who opt into remote teaching and learning connected to their peers and the day to day life of the school.
  • How is this remote teaching, learning, and community plan different than what was in place during the spring of 2020?

    • We received extensive feedback through multiple surveys of students, staffulty, and parents/guardians in the spring of 2020 and have made significant updates to the remote teaching, learning, and community plan in response to that feedback. We are grounding our plan in the following goals:
      • Design a model of remote teaching and learning and core expectations that most closely aligns with Bosque’s mission and core values and what students would experience when on campus.
      • Maintain the expectations of academic engagement and excellence that guide the Bosque philosophy of Challenging Education.
      • Acknowledge the additional strain of being online all day and design a schedule that creates intentional daily and weekly breaks to create as much balance as possible, within this model.
  • If we find ourselves in periods of remote teaching and learning again this year will we receive a tuition reimbursement?

    • The true value of a Bosque education is in the quality of education, the diversity of course offerings, the small student to teacher ratios, the commitment to and creation of community, the support of a whole-child education through extensive curriculum and programming beyond core courses, and personalized attention for our students and families. These values do not change regardless of which model we need to implement.  Even though there are some facilities savings during periods of remote teaching and learning, our primary expense, the salary, and benefits for our staffulty (over 75% of our annual operating budget), continues (and has increased as we have had to hire additional staffulty to support smaller class sizes and enhanced student supervision needs connected to risk mitigation strategies). Additionally, costs for the technology, sanitizing supplies and equipment, medical supplies, and facilities modifications are exponentially higher than normal. In light of all of these realities, we will be unable to provide any tuition reimbursements over the course of the 20/21 academic year, regardless of what models of teaching, learning, and community we may need to initiate. 
  • As a private school, why does Bosque have to abide by the Governor’s orders?

    • In a press conference on 7/23/20, the Governor mandated no in-person teaching and learning until at least Labor Day (9/7). As an independent school, Bosque does not fall under New Mexico Public Education Department guidelines and mandates, but we are considered a business and are bound to the State Public Health Orders that currently limit group gatherings to no more than five people and 25% occupancy limits.  Under the current order, this means we would only be able to have classes of four students (a regular section is approximately 16 students). In order to bring students back to campus at this point, they would have to rotate through once every 4-5 days. We have therefore made the decision to start remotely, providing our students with five-day-a-week schooling.
    • 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 the Governor will continue to prioritize public health if things do not improve. We can each 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 (NMAIS), Dr. Barrie is working in partnership with the other NMAIS Heads to collaborate and communicate 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.