The 2020-2021 academic year has officially begun, and it has been without a doubt our most unconventional opening of school in Advent’s 70-year history. On August tenth, our PreK through 5th Grade students returned to campus for classes and our 6-8 grade students began the year from home with our distance learning program. We also had 49 lower-school students elect to participate in our HYFLEX and distance learning programs.
On campus, desks have been spaced six feet apart, all students, faculty, and staff are wearing masks, and we have updated cleaning and carpool procedures to help maintain proper social distancing. Our French, music, and art teachers are moving from classroom to classroom, rather than teaching from their own separate classrooms. Students are also eating lunch in their classrooms to keep their circle of interaction small.
While we hope that many of our current precautions will not need to be implemented in the long term, some of the recent changes have been very positive. Claire Vaughn, Assistant Head of School for Advancement says, “The current challenges that we face have made us stronger as a school. We’ve been forced to examine and reevaluate our processes and we’ve come up with innovative solutions such as new carpool procedures and new technology such Panopto and document cameras that I am confident will be positive additions to our school going forward.”
Advent is small by design, and now more than ever, we are thankful for the size of our school community. Not only does it afford us the physical space we need, but it also enables us to be nimble and adapt quickly as we strive to meet the evolving needs of our students, faculty, staff, and parents.
We know there will be many changes and challenges over the course of this academic year, and Advent is ready to face them with a spirit of determination, integrity, and hopefulness. In this time of uncertainty, Advent is committed to being a light for our students and our community.