Upper School

Phase-In Plan

We are prioritizing the phased-in time on campus for community-building, full grade-level orientations, and social-emotional learning (SEL) activities; the academic program will begin as remote-only. During the month of September, all classes will be fully remote, with selected days for students to return to campus by grade for structured co-curricular learning experiences. In October, we will transition to a hyflex model with density reduction. A more detailed schedule can be found here.

A note on athletics: We are still looking for ways to create team-based activities this fall and fully intend to offer athletes the opportunity to develop their skills through team training sessions that comply with New York State guidance. We will offer team-specific remote training sessions during the month of September and intend to advance to on-field sessions as students begin to return to campus in October. We will share more details once team practice schedules are finalized.

Week 1: Monday 9/7–Friday 9/11 Form orientations and textbook distribution

  • Wednesday 9/9: Form III orientation, 11:00am–4:00pm (on campus)

  • Thursday 9/10: Forms III–V orientations (remote); Form VI orientation and Senior Day (on campus)

  • Friday 9/11: First day of academic classes

Week 2: Monday 9/14–Friday 9/18 Academic classes resume (fully remote)

  • Thursday 9/17: Form IV orientation, 8:30am–12:30pm (on campus); asynchronous classes for Forms III, V, and VI

  • Friday 9/18: Form V orientation, 8:30am–12:30pm (on campus); asynchronous classes for Forms III, IV, and VI

Week 3: Monday 9/21–Friday 9/25 Academic classes (fully remote)

  • Wednesday 9/23: Form VI SAT testing, 8:30am–2:30pm (on campus); asynchronous classes for Forms III, IV, and V

Week 4: Monday 9/28–Friday 10/2 Academic classes (fully remote)

Week 5: Monday 10/5–Friday 10/9 Begin Phase 1 of Upper School on-campus reopening plan

  • 25% of each form on campus + other 75% remote

  • Prioritizing students with specific targeted needs for in-person support

  • Hyflex instruction in class

Week 6: Monday 10/12–Friday 10/16 Continue Phase 1 of Upper School reopening plan

  • Wednesday 10/14: Form V PSAT testing, 8:30am–12:30pm (on campus); asynchronous classes for Forms III, IV, and VI

Week 7: Monday 10/19–Friday 10/23 Begin Phase 2 of Upper School on-campus reopening plan (as outlined in ECFS Reopening Plan)

  • 50% of each form on campus + other 50% remote; cohorting by alphabetical order in Forms III–VI (A–K, L–Z)

  • Alternating attendance (A/B weeks)

  • Hyflex instruction in classes

Learning model


The Upper School will be utilizing a hyflex model for all academic classes and as many non-academic classes as possible. The Upper School schedule will maintain the commitment to breadth and depth in our academic program, which allows for both rich elective offerings and for leveled courses in 9th–12th Grades.

on-campus presence

With appropriate physical distancing, students will be on campus 50% of the time (in alternating A/B weeks) with constraints based on de-densification and the ability to offer electives and leveled classes.

We anticipate that in order to adhere to the physical distancing requirement, our individual class sizes in the Upper School will need to be reduced by half — with no more than 12 students in a classroom, although many classes will have fewer than 12 students. The other students in a given class section would access class remotely. Students would be on campus for one full week (an A week) and then attend classes remotely for one full week (a B week).

Other details

  • Based on student, faculty, and family survey data, the Upper School will have more frequent, shorter bands, or periods, in the Upper School schedule (not 70-minute bands). Our most recent draft of the Upper School schedule has “long” blocks that will meet for 55 minutes and “short” blocks that meet for 35 minutes. Major courses would have 180 minutes of instructional minutes and minor/half-major courses would meet for 90 minutes each week.

  • Advisory will meet fewer times per week likely twice a week.

  • We will dedicate time for virtual community gatherings (e.g., assembly) and form meetings, and we will maintain some flex times (open time in the schedule for clubs or other group meetings).

  • Over the next few weeks, we will be working on the specific weekly schedule in the Upper School while we are simultaneously resolving the typical scheduling conflicts that emerge every summer. We will also be sharing more details about the length of each specific class period and the frequency of class meetings (number of times classes meet each week) for major and minor courses. Students and families received academic schedules electronically during the week of Monday 8/3. All schedule change requests need to be sent via email to kgraves@ecfs.org by Sunday 8/23.

  • 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 the entire Upper School need to transition to fully remote learning, we will keep our schedule as similar to the hyflex schedule as possible and will maintain multiple synchronous contact points each week between students and teachers.

New families

  • Orientation for 9th Grade students (Form III) is on Wednesday 9/9 at 11:00am–4:00pm. (In person, but prepared for virtual if needed)

  • For students who are new to ECFS in 10th Grade (Form IV), Dean Reyes will reach out to you to set up a personalized orientation.