Our Mountain as a Classroom
Since the 2017 launch of "Courage to Climb," one of our strategic priorities has been to optimize our more than 600-acre campus for learning, play, and growth. This priority is front-of-mind and our commitment to the outdoors is deeply ingrained in our Pre-K through Grade 9 programs. Part of our Reopening Plan will be to utilize our outdoor spaces even more for learning and activities throughout the year. We know from neuroscience and research that nature positively impacts health, happiness, and brain development, and you can expect more information about the ways we will utilize our outdoor spaces this year.
IMS Planning Committees
Administrators, faculty, and staff have been working to safely and responsibly reopen campus this fall. Planning committees include:
- Repopulating Campus
- Monitoring Health On Campus
- Containing the Virus On Campus
- School/Campus Closure
- Continuation of Program
- Community Engagement
A Hybrid Learning Model
In order to continue to provide an educational experience that best suits the diverse needs of our students during this time, IMS will offer a hybrid learning model beginning this fall. Our goal is to provide students with the ability to learn in-person, the flexibility to learn remotely should the need arise or exist, and the support to thrive in either scenario. This option may be particularly helpful for our boarding students, who may need to remain off campus for periods of time for a variety of reasons, such as travel complexities. Similarly, students and families who are not comfortable with an in-person return to school may elect to learn in a remote capacity at the outset of the academic year. Families and students will find that remote learning will look different than the program that was offered this spring (see “Professional Development” section for more information).
1:1 Device Program for Students in Grades 5-9: To support the hybrid learning model, students in Grades 5-9 will have access to computers provided by the school. This will allow them to interface with the online aspects of the course when at school or at home, and should permit a more seamless transition between the two. Read our complete 1:1 announcement here.
Professional Development: With expert instruction and an emphasis on best practices in online teaching, our faculty will begin the school year energized and equipped with new tools and systems to best support your children. Our remote learning program will look different than the program that was offered in the spring, and our class design and structure have been reviewed and adjusted to accommodate a variety of circumstances and contexts. The main goal of our summer professional development work (outlined below) is to make transitioning between in-person and remote learning a seamless process.
Upper Campus faculty members will complete a training course this summer in remote instruction through One Schoolhouse, an accredited nonprofit organization and leader in online education for independent schools. The online professional development course, as well as other divisional and departmental preparations, will help to ensure a predictable and cohesive educational experience for all students.
Lower Campus faculty will be leveraging the capabilities of our new learning management system and other familiar platforms. Summer professional development work and training is focused on building academic systems and structures that can easily transition between learning modes. We will be inventorying device access and connectivity capacity and we will prepare students at the outset of the academic year for potential shifts in our learning mode.
Face Mask Recommendations
We have lots of helpful information about face masks in our Reopening Report Supplement above! In short, we are not requiring specific mask brands, but it is important to note that some materials are more effective at filtering air particles. The following masks meet the criteria listed in our "supplement." Please feel free to shop around and decide what is best for your child. As a reminder, we also have face masks available upon request!