Sandia Prep's Plan for Reopening
Fall 2020 Reopening - Parent Survey & Virtual Choice Form
- Please click here to take a one-question survey about your preferences for the start of the 2020 - 2021 school year.
- If you have made the decision for your child to follow the Virtual At-Home Learning option, please click here to complete the Virtual At-Home Learning Form. This will help us to get a count of students who will be taking advantage of this option. Please note that choosing the virtual platform does not mean that you must stay with it throughout the year. At any time, if you want your child(ren) back on campus, we ask that you contact us to ensure a seamless reentry. (If you are choosing the on-campus/in-person platform, please do not fill out the form.)
Message from the Head of School - August 1, 2020
First, I want to thank those who completed the survey about learning platform options that was sent out last week. Please, if you did not have a chance to complete the survey, we truly would appreciate you doing so.
So far, the results indicate that 25 percent of our families wish to take advantage of our virtual/remote platform. I know that is not what you might ordinarily choose for your child(ren), but I understand your concerns about sending them back to campus. I say with confidence that the virtual/remote option will be a sound alternative, and your children will receive an outstanding education. As I mentioned previously, our teachers have been working incredibly hard all summer to plan and execute the very best virtual learning experience for our students.
If you have made the decision for your child to follow this virtual option, we ask that you complete the Virtual At-Home Learning form found HERE. This will help us to get a count of students who will be taking advantage of this option. Please note that choosing the virtual platform does not mean that you must stay with it throughout the year. At any time, if you want your child(ren) back on campus, we ask that you contact us to ensure a seamless reentry. (If you are choosing the on-campus/in-person platform, please do not fill out the form.)
As some of you may know, the Governor has instituted a Public Health Order specifically directed at private schools. That Order requires that we operate at 25 percent classroom occupancy and that we adhere to the “face covering and other requirements for in-person instruction.” I won’t lie to you; this is going to be a challenge. That’s one of the reasons we need a count of how many students will be attending Sandia Prep via the virtual/remote classroom. We are also planning to use the full campus, including outdoor and other non-instructional areas, as classroom space.
Our plans for reopening have not changed. We open with two weeks of virtual classes on August 10. Both August 10 and August 11 will be half days, and we will move to full days beginning August 12. We then want to begin to slowly, slowly, slowly bring small numbers of students back on campus to orient them to the new routines, to ensure they are able to adhere to the requirements of wearing a mask and maintaining social distance, to provide some joyful interaction, and to evaluate our protocols.
That’s most of it for now.
Bill Sinfield, Head of School
Message from the Head of School - July 23, 2020
I want to start by thanking you for your patience, which I understand may be stretched to the limits. In the many questions that you have forwarded me, I can read your concerns, fears, and frustrations. The uncertainty of these times is the hardest thing to deal with. It is so difficult to make definitive plans when this situation continues to change in real-time. Even as I write this, the situation is changing, as the White House is reconsidering its position, and our Governor may update Public Health Orders.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have witnessed the spiking of COVID cases all around us, and that news is certainly alarming and disheartening. I realize that many of you are growing more concerned about the prospect of sending your children back to school in these conditions. Our faculty and administration share your fears, as we, too, have children and families that we are worried about. Also, with so many school districts announcing that they will maintain online learning, we have felt the pressure to provide for your children safe alternative models. So, over the last week, we have had to regroup and reassess our plan.
I must, first, concede that there is no perfect plan. Not everybody will be satisfied, and we cannot completely assuage your fears. The physical and mental health of your children weighs heavily on my mind, as does the physical and mental health of our teachers. The basis of our plan is to provide choice, within the restrictions of Best Practices. Because we all have differing views about how the school should reopen, you will need to make decisions as to what will work for your children and what provides all of us the most confidence that we will be safe and will continue to provide and receive a quality education. We believe that, in this time of crisis, it will be the schools that provide innovative solutions that will survive and, indeed, thrive.
We also are considering a third “blended” option that will allow parents and students to determine the days of the week that they will be in class and those days when they will learn through the virtual platform. This option will require parents and students to sign up for those classes in advance. There are many details that need to be worked out with this option, so information is to come.
I realize that in my original School Reopening Plan, we had students coming onto campus as early as August 10. That plan has changed. Instead, we are electing to take a much slower, gentler approach to reintegrating our students onto the campus. So, until at least at Labor Day (September 7), all students will do Virtual At-Home Learning. Teachers will be in their classrooms producing and streaming their lessons, so you will have a chance to see how they work. During those two weeks, we will schedule very small groups of students (by grade and advisory) to come to the campus for orientation. We want the students to get a feel for the campus enhancements, learn more about the protocols we have put in place for their safety, and have a chance to say hello to their friends (from a social distance). Also, it allows the school to iron out any details to improve our protocols and safety measures.
Bill Sinfield, Head of School
On-Campus and In-Person Learning
- The campus will be open to students from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (with the exception of students who are playing on teams). If a child needs to be on campus before 8:00 a.m. or after 3:00 p.m., they must be in a supervised area. Parents should make every effort to make arrangements to get their children off campus soon after dismissal.
- Before entering campus, students will be screened using a questionnaire and temperature check. (We are looking at launching an app with which parents can have students self-report prior to arriving at the campus.) The screening will take place at three different entry locations to the school.
- If all students return to campus, there will be five to 16 students in a classroom, depending on the course. Each classroom is restructured to ensure social distancing.
- In the middle school, students will be grouped in cohorts organized according to their foreign language selection and their electives.
- Advisories will consist of 10 students that will be organized, using input from parents and students, so that a positive social mix is accomplished.
- During any free/study period, students will be required to go to a supervised indoor or outdoor location.
- Students/faculty/staff will wear masks and maintain appropriate social distancing at all times.
- While our cafeteria may offer a limited menu, we strongly suggest that students bring their own lunches to school.
- Until such time as the Governor announces the opening of indoor dining, all lunches will be eaten outside in assigned areas.
- There will be a limited number of clubs, activities, and community service opportunities offered during this first semester. We will do our very best to offer safe activities during lunch and after school (such as tennis, pickleball, badminton, bocce, archery, eSports, online board games, Mock Trial, Model UN, service clubs, etc.)
- The release of students after each class and at dismissal will be slightly staggered to help avoid any congestion, and foot traffic throughout the campus will be directed by signs and stanchions.
Virtual At-Home Learning
- While offering instruction within their classroom, teachers will be streaming and/or recording their classes for students who are at home.
- Students will be able to engage, real-time, with teachers and fellow students.
- Kits for various subjects (such as science labs, art projects, engineering, etc.) will be made available for students to pick up from the school.
- Computer equipment, musical instruments, and other essential equipment will be loaned to students who elect to take the Virtual At-Home option.
- All assignments will be posted on Veracross/PrepNet Portal in advance.
- Students will have the opportunity to participate in some of the activities/clubs offered.
- It is important to note here that our faculty have been working throughout the summer to develop their distance learning programs. In the next week or so, we’ll be sending out samples of those lessons so you can see how they work.
Daily School Schedule
Please note: We open with Virtual At-Home classes on August 10. Both August 10 and August 11 will be half days, and we will move to full days (using the schedule above) beginning August 12.
August 10, 2020
8:00-8:45 a.m. - Advisory/Class meetings
9:00-9:30 a.m. - 1st Period
9:45-10:15 a.m. - 2nd Period
10:30-11:00 a.m. - 3rd Period
11:15-11:45 a.m. - 4th Period
August 11, 2020
8:00-8:45 a.m. - Advisory/Class meetings
9:00-9:30 a.m. - 5th Period
9:45-10:15 a.m. - 6th Period
10:30-11:00 a.m. - 7th Period
11:15-11:45 a.m. - 8th Period
All Back to School Information - Fall 2020