Message from the head
At the mid-point of an incomparable summer, we continue to plan for a fall that will be unlike any other. Our process has reached a critical point where the research, planning, evaluation, and assessment have started to turn into substantive plans that place community health and safety at the fore alongside the preservation of our mission to inspire and challenge. What you will find in this update is evidence of Belmont Day’s commitment to both. You will also find movement from the pivotal question—What are we going to do?—to the equally critical one—How are we going to do it?
As you read the designs that follow, consider them along a spectrum of possibilities. In every iteration of the design work, we plan and hope for the best case of an onsite experience for our students and teachers. However, it is our responsibility to be prudent as well. There will be times when we must be offsite and when we find ourselves somewhere in between. In this update of our work, there is evidence of a community’s diligence in preparing to deliver our best no matter the format or phase. Flexibility will be the key to our success.
With each day, indeed, each hour and minute that passes, we move closer to realizing the experience that will serve as evidence of the diligence and excellence that marks Belmont Day. I hope that the document that follows helps you move more confidently towards fall with the knowledge that the school will be there for your children and you as we navigate this uncharted path together.
Brendan Largay, Head of School
- Keep all community members safe by managing and mitigating risk
- Inspire and challenge the whole child through a mission-driven program, which upholds the BDS core values
- Keep equity and inclusion at the forefront of our program, with stress on allocating additional time and energy toward anti-bias curriculum and programming aimed to support students’ health and wellness, especially as we return in the fall to our broader school community
- Provide equitable evaluation measures and access to programming
- Devote time in the day and thoughtful planning both to structured physical activity and free play for all students
We commit to being:
- Mission-driven leaders that make student-centered decisions
- Innovative and nimble thinkers and designers who dream big and take action
- Data and feedback-based decision makers who model flexibility, iteration, and responsiveness
- Resilient, responsible, and supportive community members who champion equity and open-mindedness
PLANS AND IMPLEMENTATION TO DATE
PROGRAMS AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS ARE DESIGNED USING THE LATEST INFORMATION AND GUIDELINES FROM STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES ALONG WITH CLINICAL RECOMMENDATIONS from the american academy of pediatrics (AAP)
Onsite, offsite, and hybrid models
The three models of onsite, offsite, and hybrid learning are designed to align with and complement one another. The design is intended to flow well together so that our school community can be nimble, respond to state regulations as they may change, and switch from one mode of learning to another with minimal complication.
While onsite we will be intentionally and proactively reviewing and practicing skills that will help us effectively navigate offsite learning. We know this year will not look or feel the same as our typical academic school year program, and so have planned carefully to make sure that skills, materials, routines, and connections can be transferred easily across modalities.
Offsite Lower School Schedule
- A consistent weekly schedule will be created so that teachers, parents, and students can plan ahead
- Each offsite day will include academic time for math, reading instruction, language arts, project time, and movement. Specialist classes will continue to be an important part of the curriculum.
- Schedules will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning, small group and individual instruction, and community time
- Any changes will be clearly communicated to students and parents in a timely manner
Offsite Middle School Schedule
- Each core academic class will have three 45 min. synchronous classes a week.
- Short breaks will be scheduled between classes.
- Synchronous classes will be limited to 4x per day
Offsite Middle School Health and Safety
- Thoughtfully balanced homework and classwork
- Social-emotional, diversity, equity, inclusion, and health and wellness curriculum will be introduced during the traditional clubs and trimester split times to support students mental health and cultural competency
The hybrid model is designed to create a flexible, responsive, and cohesive experience that combines learning on-campus and off-campus. The model limits the number of students in classrooms, mitigating risk while incorporating social and academic experiences.
Leadership Team members
Space Design & Allocation • Program Design • Health, Wellness & Hygiene • Finance & Legal • Communication
- Brad Abruzzi P ’20 ’22
- Ellie Brennan, lower school learning specialist
- Deborah Brissenden, assistant head of school and director of curriculum and instruction
- Nicole Buck, middle school Latin teacher
- Fred Colson, director of finance
- Brit Dewey P ’19 ’21, trustee
- Sasha Ebrahimi P ’22, trustee
- Pati Fernández, director of development
- Jill Finnerty ’84 P ’17 ’20, trustee
- Blair Fross, director of after school and enrichment programs
- Liz Gray, middle school division head
- Minna Ham, lower school division head
- Tom Hancock P ’09 ’26, trustee
- Elinor Hannum, middle school math teacher
- Sally Harriss, middle school learning specialist
- Lana Holman, grade 4 teacher
- Dr. Carlos Hoyt, director of equity and inclusion
- Dr. Ingrid Katz, MD, MHS P ’22, infectious disease specialist
- Yui Kitamura, music teacher
- Brendan Largay, head of school
- Liz LaRocque, RN, NCSN, school nurse and director of health and wellness
- Tara Lightbody, chef and kitchen manager
- Koreen McQuilton, director of communications and marketing
- Dr. Leesa Mercedes, school psychologist
- Emma Nairn, grade 5 teacher
- John O’Neill, director of athletics
- Kate Oznick, pre-kindergarten teacher
- Betty Pryor, kindergarten teacher
- Bea Rooney, director of summer programs
- Dolly Ryan, director of technology
- Anderson Santos, director of operations
- Jim Walker, associate director of communications and marketing
- Angel Williams P ’24 ’26, trustee
- Heather Woodcock, director of the associate teacher program
- Liza Ziering, pre-kindergarten teacher and lower school reading teacher