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Be Prepared ROBUST AND HEALTHY TEACHING AND LEARNING

PLAN FOR FALL 2020, JULY 15 UPDATE

Part 2 of our plan REVIEWS Implementation of safety protocols AND PROVIDES details on THREE MODELS THAT WORK TOGETHER—ONSITE, OFFSITE, and hybrid.

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

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

  • 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

GOALS

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)

ROBUST and HEALTHY PRACTICEs

Healthy Arrival and Monitoring Practices

  • Use of Magnus Health app to record the health of each student and faculty member every morning
  • Expansion of health office staff to include two full-time nurses
  • Expanded nursing space to include separate quarantine space
  • Supplies of PPE allowing for two masks per student and two per faculty member
  • Protocols for working with suspected COVID-19 cases, notifying agencies, and creating a reentry plan
  • Training in new expectations and protocols will be scheduled for faculty, students, and parents at the beginning of the school year and strictly adhered to
  • Limited entry into the building by parents and visitors will be instituted when school is in session

Healthy Practices for Hygiene

  • Frequent handwashing - on arrival at school, between classes, and before eating
  • Students will wear face masks in classroom spaces, when moving through hallways, and in bathrooms
  • Regular mask breaks will be incorporated into the school day
  • Face shields and clear masks will also be utilized
  • Students will use their own individual classroom supplies and materials
  • Lids will be added to toilets and frequent cleaning of bathrooms will be instituted
  • Easily accessible gloves will be added to all bathrooms

Healthy Practices for Physical Distancing

  • The school will actively work to reduce cross-cohort interactivity throughout the school day
  • Students will work and play in small cohort groups
  • Cross-cohort work by specialist teachers will be kept to a minimum
  • Modified social experiences across cohorts will be outside with 6 feet distancing
  • Individual lunches will be provided in the indoor or outdoor classrooms each day for grades 1 to 8
  • Healthy pre-packaged snacks will be provided for all grades
  • The number of students out at recess at the same time will be limited
  • Grade-level recess spaces will be spread throughout the campus to maintain safe play
  • Larger gatherings such as curriculum night, parent meetings, and assemblies will be held online

Healthy Practices for Mental Health

  • Increased parent education such as a parent forum series on how to have developmentally-appropriate conversations with children about difficult topics.
topics may include Safety Concerns; Student Anxiety including School Refusal and Separation Anxiety; COVID- related questions,concerns, and addressing misinformation
  • Creation of a faculty health series and resources for classroom and personal support during the pandemic
  • Continued faculty professional development with McLean Hospital
  • Increased mindfulness work

Healthy Practices for Classroom and Community Spaces

  • Cohorts will work in indoor spaces sized for 10-16 students working 6 feet apart
  • Outdoor classrooms tents will also be available for each grade level and specialists to utilize
  • Fresh, clean air in classrooms will be maximized with HVAC review and updates, open windows, and air-filtering fans
  • Plexiglass shields will be installed in common spaces and classrooms where needed
  • Classrooms spaces, surfaces, and bathrooms will be frequently disinfected
  • Movement patterns and schedules will be closely designed to provide the least cross over of cohorts through the building

ONSITE, Offsite, and HYBRID - THREE MODELS THAT WORK TOGETHER

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.

onsite program

Our onsite program will continue to incorporate a robust academic curriculum and plenty of opportunities to connect and play together. We embrace the need to provide both familiar and innovative curriculum and structures for our students. While program design will continue throughout the summer, we are excited to share our most recent decisions.

ONSITE LOWER SCHOOL PROGRAM

  • New curricula will be designed to take advantage of the woods, school garden, and open spaces
  • Assigned outdoor learning spaces will be available for cohorts
  • Communication will continue to be frequent and support the building of a strong connection between home and school
  • Technology skills will be integrated and explicitly taught during onsite instruction to prepare for offsite learning
  • 1:1 technology program will be introduced

Onsite Lower School Schedule

  • Arrival will take place at the classroom doors to reduce cross-cohort mixing
  • Students will be assigned a staggered drop-off time by student last name
  • Schedules will include core academic subjects, projects, and movement. Specialist classes will continue to be an important part of the curriculum

Onsite Lower School Health and Safety

  • Pre-kindergarten to grade 5 students will be divided into classroom cohorts
  • Student belongings will be stored in each cohort’s classroom to reduce cross-cohort mixing at cubbies
  • New protocols around handwashing, bathroom use, and mask wearing will be part of the school day
  • Each student will have a personal collection of supplies (colored pencils, scissors, glue, pencils, sharpener, etc.) for their individual use
ONSITE MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM
  • The middle school day will continue to incorporate core academic subjects—math, science, English, world languages, focus, social studies, athletics, and the arts
  • Each teaching department will, under the leadership of department chairs in close consultation with the division head, use subject content and skills standards to determine how curriculum should be adapted to meet the key core skills and content of each subject
  • While math classes will not be leveled in the fall, differentiation will occur within each cohort
  • Cross-cohort subjects such as world language will be moved to large spaces that allow for the necessary physical distancing
  • New curriculum will be introduced that covers social-emotional learning, and topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion and health and wellness during the traditional clubs and trimester split times to support students' mental health and cultural competency
  • All teachers will develop a system for early detection, communication, and response for any student whose performance and/or presentation, whether academic, physical, or social-emotional, diverges from their usual level of output or engagement

Onsite Middle School Schedule

  • Middle school classes will be divided into grade-level advisory cohorts
  • Cohorts will stay together for academic and arts classes
  • Athletics will continue to take place during its regular afternoon time slot with adjusted offerings and protocols

Onsite Middle School Health and Safety

  • Advisory will include a regular and explicit check-in on students mental and emotional health
  • Advisory groups will meet daily in a large space or preferably outside whenever possible
  • Affinity groups such as Climate Lunch and GSA will meet outside throughout the fall to continue their work while following protocols
  • Student belongings will be stored in each cohort’s classroom to reduce cross-cohort mixing at cubbies
  • Middle school meetings will be offered in large outdoor spaces or online
  • Locker rooms will not be used during the fall season; instead students should wear comfortable athletic clothing appropriate for both class and athletics
  • Students will be assigned a staggered drop-off time by student last name
  • Each student will have a personal collection of supplies (colored pencils, calculator, binders, scissors, glue, pencils, sharpener, etc.) for their individual use
  • Advisors will gather information regarding their advisees’ wellbeing from their teaching teams at weekly team meetings
  • Advisors, in collaboration with the division head and teaching team, will serve as the point people for tracking and communicating any concerns about their advisees’ wellbeing to parents
  • Faculty teaching teams will develop methods to provide opportunities for students to reflect on and express how they are doing for at least the first trimester as students adjust to re-entry

offsite program

ENGAGE THE THINKER ▪︎ HONOR THE CHILD ▪︎ CONNECT THE COMMUNITY ▪︎ INSPIRE AND CHALLENGE THE LEARNER
A thoughtfully adapted curriculum that supports both synchronous and asynchronous approaches to learning will fulfill our promise to inspire and challenge each student.
GLOBAL ONLINE ACADEMY (GOA)
“WHAT DOES GREAT LEARNING LOOK LIKE IN ONLINE SPACES? HOW MIGHT TEACHERS DESIGN FOR COMMUNITY, CONNECTION, AND STUDENT SUPPORT IN ONLINE SPACES? HOW MIGHT TEACHERS DESIGN LEARNING EXPERIENCES THAT ARE EASY TO NAVIGATE, INTUITIVE, AND INTERACTIVE? HOW MIGHT STUDENTS DEMONSTRATE AND PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF THEIR LEARNING IN ONLINE SPACES? HOW MIGHT TEACHERS COLLABORATE WITH ONE ANOTHER IN ONLINE SPACES?"

- Global Online Academy

Faculty are working over the summer to reimagine offsite learning. The Global Online Academy is helping the school navigate a changing landscape and deepen the student learning experience. This professional development exposes faculty to new structures and curriculum design protocols and connects them to thousands of educators across the country who are working to provide an exemplary online experience.

offsite lower school program

  • Curricular expectations will be adapted as needed for offsite learning with math, reading, and writing being prioritized
  • Cohorts will start each day with a consistent routine that includes Morning Meeting or activity to build community and connection, social-emotional skills, and cover diversity, equity, and inclusion topics
  • Learning goals and objectives will be articulated so parents can work collaboratively with teachers
  • The Seesaw platform will be used as the primary mode of communication, and for asynchronous materials, updates, and student feedback in pre-kindergarten to grade 3
  • Google Classroom will be used as the primary mode of communication, and for asynchronous materials, updates, and student feedback in grades 4 and 5
  • Student training in using Seesaw and Google Classroom will begin onsite so students and families will be ready to engage
  • Communication will continue to be frequent and support the building of a strong connection between home and school
  • The curriculum will be adapted to provide a developmentally appropriate balance of screen time and hands-on learning. Curriculum content may be modified to emphasize depth rather than breadth.
  • Students will be provided with an offsite kit that includes an iPad or Chromebook, supplies (such as colored pencils, and glue), and required workbooks and reading materials
  • Teachers will create opportunities for synchronous 1-1 check-ins

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 Lower School Health and Safety

  • Community building and social-emotional learning opportunities will be intentionally integrated into the curriculum each week
  • We will create meaningful ways to help new students feel a part of the Belmont Day School community
  • Opportunities will be provided for students to share their work with each other and their families through updates, presentations, or a class website
  • Students will be provided with an offsite kit that includes an iPad or Chromebook, supplies (such as colored pencils, and glue), and required workbooks and reading materials
  • Teachers will create opportunities for synchronous 1-1 check-ins

Offsite middle school program

  • Curricular expectations will be adapted as needed for offsite learning
  • Teachers will use Google Classroom and Google Calendar as their learning platforms for all classes
  • Zoom will be used for all synchronous class meetings and meeting links will be available on Google Calendar
  • Tools, advice, and resources from Global Online Academy (GOA) will be used for program design
  • Competency and standard-based assessment will be utilized

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

hybrid program

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.

hybrid program - lower and middle school

  • Time spent onsite will focus on curricula with themes of community building, social-emotional learning, and diversity, equity, and inclusion topics in combination with academic direct/explicit instruction.
  • During time onsite teachers will prepare students for upcoming offsite work
  • Students will have a kit of materials and resources they will use both offsite and onsite
  • Seesaw (for pre-k to grade 3) and Google Classroom (for grades 4 to 8) will be used for all models—onsite, offsite, and hybrid

Hybrid Program Schedule

  • The school will use the 5/9 model—5 days on-campus, 9 days off-campus to incorporate time to work together with quarantine time; including weekends, you can think of this model as one week at school and one week at home
  • Grade-level cohorts established for the onsite and offsite plans will remain cohorts during a hybrid period
  • Specialists will teach each day during the onsite period and design an extension project for the offsite period
  • Students will be sent home with materials that they will need in order to complete projects
  • While offsite, specialists and students will have at least one synchronous class to bring balance and closure to the experience
  • Teachers/advisors will solicit feedback from students and families each week with a survey or other method to help teachers prepare for any academic and/or social-emotional needs that may have arisen during the week off-campus

Hybrid Program Health and Safety

  • Faculty will solicit feedback from students and families each week with a survey or other method created and sent by classroom teachers/advisors to help teachers prepare for any academic and/or social-emotional needs that may have arisen during the week off-campus
  • Community building and social-emotional learning opportunities will be intentionally integrated into the curriculum each week
  • Opportunities will be provided for students to share their work with each other and their families through updates, presentations, or a class website

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
Members of the heads team are available to answer questions and provide support.
  • Email Head of School Brendan Largay at blargay@belmontday.org
  • Email Assistant Head of School Deborah Brissenden at dbrissenden@belmontday.org
  • Email Lower School Head Minna Ham at mham@belmontday.org
  • Email Middle School Head Liz Gray at lgray@belmontday.org