Re-Opening of Campus
Navigating Teaching & Learning in the Uncertainty of the Coronavirus Pandemic: Planning for Fall 2020
At this point in time, we have decided to start the year with On-Campus Learning the week of August 17 and our landing pages outline how we aim to optimize a return to campus. Should executive orders preclude this plan, we are bolstering our e-Learning practices in order to make a quick pivot.
“At no point in history have educational leaders been called to innovate as dramatically as we have been tasked during the COVID-19 global pandemic. At each step in our planning we’ve drawn inspiration from our mission, working to align our next steps to be “prepared for a dynamic world.” Our deepest values are affirmed as we develop flexible plans for our families, students, and faculty/staff.”
Over the past few months, we optimistically set forth to make plans for a return to campus for in-person learning. Of course, our primary goal was to modify programs and services as necessary to keep each other safe and healthy.There are known and unknown risks in navigating these uncertain times, but the following safeguards are being adopted and implemented to elevate our chances of being together. Beyond policy and checklists, we must also adjust our mindset, expectations, and conversations in order to bring such plans to fruition. In our return to campus, we aim to foster belonging over fear, resilience over shame, hopefulness over angst. Emotions and opinions will fluctuate and our community may even experience COVID-19 cases directly, but paramount to our task is caring for ourselves and those around us in a way that brings us closer as a community and does not divide us. We ask for your partnership, grace, and understanding. Most importantly, we ask you to model these behaviors for your children. Cues from parents, coaches, teachers, and mentors will inform our students’ ability to adapt in this new era.
Our small class sizes and student:teacher ratios will ensure maximum flexibility to cluster or cohort, and allow us to teach in ways where students will continue to be cared for, celebrated, and delighted over while adhering to recommended gathering sizes.
Our 28-acre campus will allow for creative and expansive social distancing opportunities and the repurposing of spaces throughout our 10 buildings.
A trusted and committed community of students, faculty/staff, and parents who will act in partnership with each other to meet the challenges of the moment. Our trust is witnessed through our Community Pledge.
Resources to remain nimble and agile in our planning. We will utilize tuition revenue, philanthropic gifts, and our well-connected network to maximize our budget and make wise investments to positively impact the student experience.
- Prepare students for a dynamic world by modeling leadership in these dynamic times.
- Promote a culture of vibrancy and joyful learning while embracing a growth mindset in this new era of safety standards and mask-wearing.
- Provide social & emotional wellness support.
- Monitor state and federal guidelines in order to develop and adjust plans to be in compliance with current local and state health requirements, licensing, accreditation standards, best practices, and government orders.
- Communicate regularly, clearly, and transparently to families, faculty/staff, and students, especially when seemingly abrupt changes are necessary.
- Develop a flexible approach to teaching and learning (on-campus learning and e-Learning).
- Create plans to ensure safe learning and working environments for students and faculty/staff.
- Train and support faculty/staff, students, and parents to ensure new protocols are easily understood.
In order to prepare for a re-opening of campus, The Colorado Springs School Leadership Team and the COVID-19 Task Force have worked to develop plans and align resources to comply with emerging and evolving safety guidelines. These action plans translate to protocols to keep both students and faculty safe.
While our objective is to be on campus together, we are prepared to deliver On-Campus Learning and e-Learning @ Home. We may need to toggle between plans if we are unable to provide a learning environment on campus which is safe for our faculty/staff and students.
On-Campus Learning: Students return to school for on-campus classes with Steps to Success defined below. In the event that local authorities close schools or initiate a stay-at-home-order, students will transition to e-Learning @ Home.
e-Learning @ Home: A virtual learning environment designed to support students’ continued growth and development and keep students and teachers connected. The program offers structure to a student’s school day with a schedule of synchronous and asynchronous sessions. Students will be guided to complete independent and collaborative work both on and off-screen.
Possible reasons to move from On-Campus Learning to e-Learning:
- Confirmed positive case(s) of COVID-19 identified as a “School Outbreak”
- Significant absenteeism amongst teachers or students
- Stay-at-Home orders issued
*While we are in session for On-Campus Learning, we cannot support long-term, individualized at-home e-Learning plans. When teachers are instructing on-campus, it simply isn’t feasible for them to deliver a high-quality e-Learning experience simultaneously for other students who may choose to stay home. We will work individually with families who may be quarantined or having illness symptoms to keep up with school work or adjust assignments through Google Classroom. We are not offering bimodal learning or a virtual academy as a concurrent enrollment track for On-Campus Learning.
Steps for Success
Click on the pages below to learn more about these important aspects of our planning.
While we are paving a path that optimizes the natural gifts, infrastructure, and personnel of The Colorado Springs School, we are also closely aligning our plans with recommendations and guidance being published by local, state, and country authorities.
- El Paso County Public Health’s COVID-19 School Guidance
- Colorado Health Institute and the Metro Denver Partnership for Health’s COVID-19 Strategies for Schools
- Colorado Department of Education and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s ReOpening School’s Resources
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Plan, Prepare, and Respond
Last updated: July 27, 2020