Task Force Update: July 10

Task Force update from 7/10/20

Program sub-committee report

The program committee began by reviewing feedback on our experience in remote learning from all three divisions. We continue to interview families and gather more data from them.  We also reviewed the DOH expectations and guidelines from OSPI. Using a space assessment tool, the “Rosner tool”, we have been mapping learning spaces in buildings to estimate appropriate occupancy in each space. Using the following design principles, we are now prototyping daily schedule models:

  • Where possible, keep students in small consistent cohorts to reduce the possibility of community transmission.

  • To help manage cognitive load and allow for greater ease in potential transition to remote learning, reduce the number of classes/courses students are taking at one time (intensives model)

  • Focus on as much in-person learning as possible, while also recognizing the need to plan for our Tarriers in Asia who may not be able to travel back to the USA in August, and those students who may have a need to engage remotely instead of in-person.

  • Create opportunities for fun, social connection, relationship development, and community building.

Each Division has been prototyping scheduling models to determine how best to plan classes.  We do know that to help establish and uphold new behavioral norms around mask-wearing, physical distancing, and health screenings, faculty will need to share in the responsibilities of caring for students throughout the day and be a presence in spaces even when they are not teaching their own classes. 

Community Support sub-committee report

The need to provide additional family support (with particular emphasis on families with challenging circumstances) has become evident from our experience this past spring. Student support is now more essential with all the implications that result from the disruption of social norms, and we are reviewing the advisory and homeroom programs as a possible avenue to better care for and connect with students. Community events like Charlie’s picnic and Back to School Night are being considered for the best possible experience for all given the circumstances, and orientations, family education presentations, and other training sessions are getting a fresh look and may follow an updated format as well. 

The sub-committee is reviewing thoroughly all recent feedback and survey data from families, students, and staff to inform how and why adjustments in any area are made. Faculty and employee support is one other area the group is working on as we need to care for the staff here so they can care for students and families. At the base of this work is a recognition that the school educational experience is best when all students and families feel connected, safe, cared for, and valued within the community. The current unique environment presents us both with challenges and opportunities to provide support in a way that fosters continued healthy growth and learning, despite the conditions, new routines, and restrictions necessitated by the pandemic. 

Health and Safety sub-committee report

The Health and Safety Committee is reviewing school safety practices through the lens of the Dept. of Health, OSPI, and CDC guidance for reopening.  Safety protocols are being developed around arrival/departure, groups and group size, cleaning/sanitizing, and flow of students and staff throughout the day. Changes that have already been implemented include: daily wellness evaluation and sign in for all members of the community; staggered arrival times for summer program students; additional janitorial support; and signage to promote physical distancing.  As the Program Committee and the Support Committee develop plans for the fall, Health and Safety will review to ensure these are in alignment with the most current safety guidelines.