The Middle School will be utilizing a hyflex model for all academic classes taught on campus and as many non-academic classes as possible.
With appropriate physical distancing, we anticipate that each Middle School student will be able to be on campus at least 75% of the time, meaning each student will be on campus four days per week most weeks.
We believe that being on campus is valuable to Middle School students, as in-person interactions with teachers and peers increase the potential for social emotional learning. Adhering to physical distancing requirements, most of our classroom spaces in the Middle School hold 11 students and one teacher. By reducing the number of students who can be on campus, we should be able to utilize our classrooms with minimal overflow. In any cases where there are too many students present to fit in a given space, there will be an “overflow space” provided where students can participate in their classes virtually as they would from home. Class sections that contain more students than can fit in a classroom on a typical day (even with only 75% of students on campus) will establish a rotation system so that no student is in an “overflow” space more than any other.
Students will be in cohorts of 15–16 students for significant portions of their schedule in order to reduce the total number of individuals with whom each child is in contact and reduce the number of times students need to transition from one space to another during the school day.
Students in a given cohort will all have the same English, science, and history teachers, and will be with their cohort for at least one other class as well, depending on grade level. Students will not be in the same cohorts in subjects such as math, music, and world languages. We anticipate being able to maintain leveled class sections where they currently exist in math and world languages, and we also plan to maintain student elective choices to the highest degree possible. In keeping with our whole-child approach, we plan to conduct in-person PE, music, and art classes, though we will do so in modified ways that adhere to state and national health guidance.
We hope to keep instructional time per class as close to that of a normal year as possible. Most classes will meet three times weekly — as opposed to four in a normal year — but for a longer duration of time per class. This modification will allow us to further reduce the number of transitions students are making, which will help preserve instruction time and will be safer for our students.
Student schedules and advising assignments are typically sent to families at the end of August. Given the circumstances, we will let families know as soon as possible which days their child will be able to attend school in person and which days they should plan to be off campus. We are hopeful that we will be able to send this information several weeks before school begins. Siblings in Middle School will be grouped so that they are able to be in school on the same days.
Students will receive grades as per our prior practice.
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.
Should we need to transition to a fully remote model, we will maintain the same hyflex schedule sequence. Taking into account screen time concerns, we would adjust a fully remote schedule and make some classes in the schedule asynchronous. However, two of three class meeting times per subject would continue to be synchronous and synchronous class time would be spread across the day. This plan represents an increase in both frequency and duration of synchronous class time from the Middle School’s remote learning schedule in the spring.
Orientation for all 6th Grade students, as well as students new to the Middle School in 7th Grade or 8th Grade, is on Wednesday 9/9 from 8:30–11:00am. The event will be in-person with a virtual option.