Ethical Culture and Fieldston Lower

Phase-In Plans

We are prioritizing the phased-in time on campus for community-building, full grade-level orientations, and social-emotional learning activities; the academic program will begin as remote-only. All students will have opportunities to practice and experience remote learning and on-campus learning.

Wednesday 9/9: Students receive introduction from teachers.

  • This welcome message to children and families is the first introduction to their teachers.

Thursday 9/10–Friday 9/25: Virtual live meetings on Google Meet and staggered school visits.

  • Each grade has at least two visiting days on campus during this time.

  • When students are not on campus, they are engaged in remote learning. This approach allows students to experience remote learning, see everyone in their grade, and connect with teachers and other students without masks.

  • For school visits, families and teachers meet outside in short, informal meetings meant to provide more time for students to connect. In small groups, students visit classrooms, staggered by grades.

Beginning week of Monday 9/28:

  • No classes on Monday 9/28 (Yom Kippur).

  • Pre-K–3rd Grade students are back on campus full-time.

  • 4th and 5th Grade students begin their A/B weeks.

Learning model and on-campus presence (Pre-K–3rd Grade)

With appropriate physical distancing, Pre-K–3rd Grade will be on campus 100% of the time.

The two lower schools will prioritize the return of the youngest children to campus five days a week. We will be organizing the students into pods that will stay together each day. Creating these pods will allow the maximum number of students to be on campus five days a week while also maintaining safe physical distancing. The pods will consist of 8–12 students, depending on class and room size. We will be repurposing specials classrooms and other rooms throughout the School in order to accommodate the extra number of necessary homerooms. Outdoor classes will take place in Central Park and on the Fieldston campus as much as possible. Both classroom teachers and teachers of specials will be assigned to these pods.

Learning model and on-campus presence (4th–5th Grade)

Hyflex model: With appropriate physical distancing, 4th–5th Grade will be on campus 50% or more of the time in alternating A/B weeks.

Our hope is to have the maximum number of children on campus five days a week, but it is possible that children in 4th and 5th Grades will learn in a hyflex model. In the event that building limitations or state requirements prohibit every lower school student from being on campus, students in these grades will be on campus every other week (A/B weeks) with a full remote learning schedule during the week spent at home. The plan would be to keep full grades together, so 4th Grade would be on campus while 5th Grade is off campus, and vice versa. Both Ethical Culture and Fieldston Lower are exploring options for additional space and are preparing for all possibilities, including having 4th5th Grades on campus five days a week.

Schedule modifications for remote learning

New York State requires schools to provide a remote-only option for families who choose not to send their children back to school.

We will be implementing the recommendations of the Remote Learning Working Group, which included proposals for more synchronous teaching and small group lessons.

In a fully remote learning scenario, we would maintain the same pod groupings and schedule sequence when possible so that we could easily transition between being remote and in-person.

New families

  • Orientation for new Ethical Culture families is on Wednesday 9/9 at 9:00am. (Virtual)

  • Orientation for new Fieldston Lower families is on Wednesday 9/9 at 4:00–5:00pm. (Virtual)