Dear ROBS families,
I am writing to update you on our plans to reopen school. Like you, we are intently following the data models tracking COVID-19 levels in our area. While it appears there has been some positive movement, we continue to tighten operations given the severity of current conditions. Specifically, we developed a much more restrictive hybrid scenario (Hybrid 2) than the one in the original reopening plan, reducing the number of students on campus each day by nearly half. Based on current metrics, the ROBS Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to reopen ROBS in Hybrid 2 on Monday, August 24.
Features of the Hybrid 2 plan vary by division, the details of which are outlined here
. The main difference is that Lower School students will attend school every other day and Middle School students will attend every other week. Preschool students will attend every day and be separated into smaller sections. In addition, we have greatly reduced interaction of special area teachers with students in different cohorts, eliminating crossover completely in most cases. Please note the revised daily school schedule as well.
It is possible that upon continued examination of local trends, we modify Hybrid 2 even further.
This year will be more fluid than ever. I predict we will be moving in and out of the different scenarios all year long. We may even have to pivot to another scenario before school starts on August 24. We will communicate these changes as quickly and clearly as we possibly can. To give you a sense of how and when we might transition, check out our reopening matrix
Infection Prevention and Mitigation
Our learning scenarios are designed to accommodate physical distancing, density reduction, and diminished contact with others. In addition, we have instituted a full complement of infection prevention and mitigation strategies ranging from enhanced cleaning and sanitation to daily health screenings and universal face masks. Many of them were explained in the initial reopening plan, but we have consolidated the information on our reopening webpage.
We so look forward to welcoming our kids on Monday, August 24. Our teachers have a considerable amount of extra training to complete this year. The extra week ensures their proficiency in new health and safety protocols, and it gives families time to make arrangements for Hybrid 2, in which children will be home part of the time.
You will receive a back-to-school guide on Friday, August 14 with information on everything from carpool routes (through our new, expanded campus!) to revised arrival and dismissal procedures. As a heads up, we will use a software called School-Pass to manage student arrivals and dismissals as well as the required daily health screenings. Information on setting up your School-Pass account and how to use it will be in the back-to-school guide. The guide will also illustrate daily schedules in more detail. Information on an additional waiver for any student who will be on campus this year will be included. Class lists will be posted on August 14.
Virtual Town Hall Meeting August 5
I hope you will join me on Wednesday’s virtual town hall meeting. Because this year is so different, I imagine you have lots of questions. Please submit them via this link
by 12 noon tomorrow so I can be sure to address them in the town hall. I encourage you to read through this email’s supplementary material before submitting a question. You will receive a link Wednesday morning that will allow you to join the webinar, which begins at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5
. We will share the recorded link following the meeting for those who cannot attend.
To say that we have prayerfully deliberated over our decision to open school is an understatement. The threat of this novel, uncontrolled virus is very real. And our love for your children is deep and abiding. Our number one priority is to do what is best for them—while considering the safety of our teachers, families, and others in our community. Our commitment to our children’s well-being compels us to balance their full and healthy development against the health risk. With mounting scientific evidence discrediting the notion of children as super-spreaders,
we believe the benefits of attending school prevail over the documented risk. We will continue to follow the science and realign school operations as needed over the course of the next year.
I have shared a lot of information today! It can be accessed at any time on our Reopening ROBS
webpage, which now also includes an FAQ section. I thank God daily for your support, patience, and demonstrated flexibility. It is an honor to lead the remarkable ROBS community, alongside the Board of Trustees and Administrative Team, as we navigate this undoubtedly formative period in our children’s lives.