A Planning Update from the Reunite 2020 Committee

Dear St. Mary’s parents,
Last week we shared with you the various sub-committees which comprise our Reunite 2020 Committee. These sub-committees continue their dedicated work in determining the best plans for our re-opening strategy to have our students back on campus in August. Today we would like to share information about the likely scenarios we will flex between during the 2020-2021 academic year, as well as some details regarding safety considerations. This is not a complete listing of information, but we would like you to stay informed on the progress being made.
The following graphic describes the four scenarios for which we are planning, with brief information distinguishing each case.
Some of the precautions we will have in place this fall to minimize potential health concerns, particularly if we are in the Orange scenario, include:
  • Classes may be split so that students will be in cohorts of approximately 10-12 students per classroom.
  • Reconfigured classroom layout will allow adequate space and physical distancing in each room.
  • Redesigned class schedules will reduce classroom changes and student travel in hallways.
  • Academic and Enrichment teachers, rather than students, will travel between classrooms to reduce hallway traffic and interaction.
Physical Distancing
  • All-school and all-division activities will be limited.
  • All facilities on campus, as well as outdoor areas, are being examined for expanded classroom spaces and learning experiences.
  • Lunch may be eaten in classrooms or other small gathering areas.
  • Recess and snack breaks will be restructured to provide outdoor activity in smaller groups.
  • Enrichment activities (athletics, chorus, drumline, etc.) are currently under review.
  • Outreach programs that require interaction with individuals outside of our school community may be paused or rescheduled as needed throughout the year.
Personal Hygiene and Safety
  • Additional hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations have been added throughout the school.
  • Students will keep their belongings with them and not share materials.
  • Visitor access to campus will be limited.
  • Our facilities crew will provide enhanced school-wide cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Face coverings will be used if mandated.
  • A new space has been added to our Health Room, providing room to isolate children who are ill.
  • Our Health, Safety, and Well-being committee is reviewing health screenings for students and faculty.
Drop-off and Dismissal
  • Our drop-off and dismissal process will limit large group interaction.
Distance Learning
  • In case we must return temporarily to distance learning, we are enhancing our Saints@Home program to include more structure and additional synchronous learning sessions.
  • Our Educational Programming Committee is reviewing age-appropriate best practices for distance learning, and our faculty is receiving additional training during the summer to be well-prepared with the planning, technology, and creativity needed to provide the highly regarded St. Mary's education that you expect.
  • Training will be offered to parents regarding our distance learning structure, available resources, and the required materials and learning space that students will need.
  • If we pivot to our Red scenario and all students shift to distance learning, St. Mary's will once again provide a device for student use at home.
  • Flexible Learning is an opportunity for distance learning available to any family with COVID19 related concerns. Flexible Learning is available during Green, Yellow, or Orange scenarios for time frames of 14 days or more, due to family quarantine or strict social distancing due to a family member who is immunocompromised. Families will sign up for Flexible Learning with their Division Head.
The Reunite 2020 Committee will continue our work over the coming weeks with regular updates and presentation of the complete Reunite 2020 guidebook in late July. This timing will allow for gathering the most up-to-date information from CDC, state, local, and Diocesan guidelines, and will also provide time for our plan to receive approval from the Board of Trustees, the St. Mary's Church Vestry, and our Bishop.
If you have questions regarding Reunite 2020 plans, please feel free to reach out to any member of the Strategic Oversight Committee. We look forward to sharing updates throughout the summer months.
Stay well, Saints!
Sarah O'Brien, Trustee Chair
Matt Schifeling, Associate Head for Strategic Planning
Steve Salvo, Incoming Head of School
Kathleen Lopez, Assistant Head of School
Liz LeBlanc, CFO
Craig Mayfield, St. Mary's Church Senior Warden
Scott Laird, Headmaster (continuing on Committee until June 30, 2020)