On August 26, the 2020-2021 school year will begin for all Cape Henry students. As we make the final preparations for the opening, we are announcing a change to our initial plan. Our goal remains to have all students back on campus, but we have decided that the safest and best way to achieve that goal is to implement a gradual return.
On August 26, we will launch “Wave One” of this gradual reopening of the campus by bringing our students in Prekindergarten-Grade 6 back to campus to begin in-person instruction. Meanwhile, our students in Grades 7-12 will initially begin classes remotely via Zoom.
It is our intention to have every student back on campus as quickly as possible. Yet, we believe that adopting a gradual approach allows us to reopen in a safe and focused manner. We are hopeful to bring back “Wave Two” of students shortly after Labor Day and will make an announcement prior to the holiday weekend.
Unless circumstances change, “Wave Two” will include Grades 7-9. Grades 10-12 will make up “Wave Three.”
Our decision to begin with a gradual reopening is guided by our desire to:
Operationalize our health and safety protocols with a gradual increase of the student body population on campus - We have had great success this summer with our Summer at the Cape Camp program that allowed for us to put into practice the health and safety protocols outlined in our “Return to Campus Student Policy” (will be sent separately on Tuesday, August 11). By bringing students back in waves, we are able to monitor and adjust our protocols in an efficient manner. With the return of Prekindergarten-Grade 6 students, we will launch the school year with 450 students. When we add our next wave of students, we will be able to focus our attention on the newly added group.
We chose “Wave One” to be Prekindergarten-Grade 6 because:
Cohort or “pod” designed instruction for Prekindergarten-Grade 6 - Students in PK - Grade 5 have been separated into pods that will not intermingle. Students in Grade 6 have been scheduled in a manner that will limit their “close contacts” to an average of 30 unique individuals for the nine-week quarter. The reduction in “close contacts” mitigates the risk of transmission and spread of COVID-19. Because these are our smallest pods, it makes sense to begin our return with these grades.
Instructional learning styles/needs of younger learners - Through the spring semester, we were able to establish a high standard for quality remote instruction. However, we recognize that while all students learn best in person, the needs of our youngest learners for both instructional gains and social skills are best met through in-person learning.
Childcare/supervision of younger students whose parents may need to return to work outside of the home - From a pragmatic perspective, we recognize the needs of our families with younger children to have supervised care while parents return to work. While school is much more than childcare, it is important for us to provide an essential service in our community to care for the physical, social, and emotional needs of our youngest community members.
Current COVID-19 data in our immediate CHC community - We are aware that transmission within our own Cape Henry Upper School community has occurred. We appeal to our older students to follow health guidelines in order to help us more quickly return to campus.
For Middle and Upper School, the remote schedule mirrors what the Middle and Upper School on-campus schedule will look like. Start and end times for academic blocks will not change. Time has been added to the schedule to allow breaks from screen time and additional programs such as clubs, Global Scholars (US), advisory, academic support, and community time. The remote and on-campus schedules mirror one another so that we can quickly pivot and bring additional students back on campus for the “second wave.” CLICK HERE
for to view the instructional schedule.
In closing, please remember that your family’s commitment to adhering to CDC and state-wide guidelines will help us to open Cape Henry Collegiate in-person for all students. We encourage healthy habits and ask our families, faculty, and staff to follow physical distancing, face-covering, and hand hygiene protocols, and to make every attempt to avoid high-risk situations including non-essential travel and large gatherings. As parents, as you prepare your Prekindergarten-Grade 6 students for their return, please have your students spend time getting used to wearing a mask.
As you read through our plan, if you have division-specific questions, please contact your Division Head.
I thank you for your continued support as we move forward and reopen the Cape Henry Collegiate campus.