Fayerweather Street School believes that children learn best within a community. Our students, teachers, administrators, staff, and parents have an array of identities and life experiences that coalesce to form a strong community of invested learners. We are deeply committed to a purposeful and empowering education for our students, as we believe that education, in the broadest sense, should encourage a love of learning, social responsibility, and the mindsets and skill sets necessary to grapple with a diverse, changing, and complex world.
After reviewing the recommendations from the CDC, DESE, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and many early studies from other regions and countries in the context of our values, Fayerweather will be moving forward with Scenario 2: Hybrid Learning Model for the fall. It is important to emphasize that our plan is subject to change, as we continue to monitor the rate of COVID-19 infections in our local communities, and await the final guidelines to come from DESE this August.
Hybrid Model Reopening Plan
Our plan and process worked to maximize in-person learning for all students. We started with the question, what would it take to bring all students and staff back to school? After a lengthy process of analyzing our space limitations, DESE guidelines, and health and safety recommendations, we concluded we could not safely accommodate all students and staff on campus every day. Thus, we decided to move forward with a Hybrid Reopening Plan that blends the best of in-person and remote learning.
Some key features of this model are:
This model creates three groupings: PK-K, Grades 1-4, and Grades 5-8. Within each grade level, students will be divided into smaller cohorts of roughly 8-13 students.
Grades 1-4 cohorts and Grades 5-8 cohorts will alternate a week of in-person learning at school with a week of remote learning.
Given that early elementary learners developmentally struggle the most with remote learning, the Pre Kindergarten, TK, and Kindergarten cohorts will attend school in-person Monday-Friday every week, with half days on Fridays to allow for teacher teams to plan collaboratively. We acknowledge that ALL students benefit from more in-person learning, and our plan tried to maximize in-person learning as much as possible.
For all of the groupings, Fayerweather is excited to use experiential outdoor learning in new and intentional ways this fall.
Why we decided on this model?
This Hybrid model allows us to be in-person safely.
We used 6 feet of spacing in classrooms as recommended by the CDC
Only having half of our students on campus each week allows us to:
Deeply clean the building between groups and minimize the chance for any illness to spread to other cohorts in the school.
Safely execute drop-off, dismissal, and bathroom use.
This plan allows us to keep cohort sizes small in number and enhance the educational experience of students both in-person and remotely.
This plan will set the school up for a successful transition to remote learning if the virus conditions dictate such a move.
Teachers are excited to apply the lessons they learned this summer engaging in robust professional development and planning around remote learning. We understand the need in remote learning for consistent structure, engaging projects, more opportunities for collaboration between students, and the need for strong social emotional support and connection.
The School Leadership Team is producing additional FAQs to add to our website based on this specific plan and in response to the July 16 Town Hall Meetings. In addition, grade level teams can now construct our grade level cohorts in a very intentional way. We will communicate information on those cohort groupings in August. While we are excited about the ways in which this hybrid plan fits with the school’s values, maximizes safe in-person instruction, and prepares students for successful remote learning experiences, we acknowledge that no plan can perfectly suit every member of our community. In this, we ask for your partnership and understanding while dealing with the challenges and future adaptations that are presented by a global pandemic.
Health and Safety
Fayerweather will adhere to all of the emerging state guidelines for health and safety protocols in schools, and will do everything possible to adapt these guidelines to our building and community. This includes:
List of 7 items.
All students in grades Pk-8 and all adults will be required to wear masks. We know this will be developmentally more difficult for some students, particularly those in PK-1. Students will be given mask breaks and mask wearing will be supported as appropriate by teachers. We will make accommodations for students with medical conditions where required.
Every family will be required to use the Magnus symptom checker app every morning before arriving. We all must take responsibility to be honest, accurate, and careful about reporting and staying home if we suspect or have any illness, and students will not be allowed in the building if the family has not provided the information required on the app. Additionally the school has purchased 6 hands free, automatic, free standing hand sanitizer dispensers. They will be placed near entrances where students will be entering the school, from the playground. In addition, there are 4 automatic hands-free hand sanitizer/foam soap tabletop dispensers that will be placed on hallway counters/cubbies.
In excess of the recommendations, we will be social distancing at a minimum of 6ft. We have recently purchased new furniture for many classrooms that can allow for the social distancing but is also modular and can fit together for collaborative groupings in the future once the social distancing required by the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.
We have created small self-contained cohorts of 8-11 students to avoid commingling of students or adults between groups of students. This allows for a thorough cleaning protocol, downtime in-person for quicker identification of symptoms and implementation of contract tracing, quarantining, and testing.
The school and Spotlite Cleaning have been coordinating together and have reviewed DESE/CDC/DPH/ MISPO guidelines, including which products to use. Spotlite Cleaning will wipe down commonly touched walls, fixtures (door hardware, faucets, toilets), surfaces, desks, counters daily. The school has also purchased a disinfectant mist/fogger for heavy sanitizing.
The school has purchased and will outfit each learning space and the health office with Jade SCA5000 air filtration units. These units include HEPA/CHARCOAL/UV/IONIZED treatment of air for each instructional space. This treats the air where it counts most, where people are breathing.
Our self-contained hybrid cohorts allows for half the students in the building at a time which facilities implementing staggered arrival and dismissal as well as schedules for moving around the building and to outside spaces to minimize students coming in to contact with other students or adults. Where possible, students will enter their classrooms directly from an exterior door and not through the building.
Teaching & Learning
The goal of a Fayerweather education is for students to know themselves as learners and have a voice and advocacy in their learning. In order to prepare for all three scenarios of instruction, Fayerweather teachers are currently engaging in robust professional learning this summer that fits with the developmental, cognitive, and social-emotional needs of their students and adapts to all learning scenarios. Teams are building their capacities in a wide range of offerings that focus on online instruction, project-based learning, differentiation in math instruction, and social emotional learning. Each grade level team will meet over the summer to plan collaboratively with the Educational Leadership Team so they can seamlessly flow between in-person, hybrid, and remote learning.
At Fayerweather we believe, “truly knowing each child is the heart of a great education.” Establishing relationships that allow students to feel known, cared for, and safe will be our primary goal when school begins, whether remotely or in person, as we know that most students will return to school with more social emotional needs than is typical in September. We will seek to meaningfully connect with each child as quickly as possible and use those relationships to process what has happened and what will happen this school year. The process may look different for some students - whether new or returning, a Zoom lover or not - our work will be to find the right path to connection for each.
To that end, we are making several additions to our program to enhance our capacity for social emotional support to students. We are looking at several ways to create developmentally appropriate versions of the successful Unit Advisory program in younger grades, in order to strengthen adult to student relationships. Across the school we are adding to our social emotional curriculum, creating social emotional checklists to keep best practices at the forefront of our minds in all classes, and providing opportunities for staff to learn creative ways to connect with students remotely. We are also strongly considering adding a position that can support our counseling and student engagement work.
Community is at the center of the FSS experience and mission. Fayerweather is more than a school. Our communications and community engagement activities will be clear, transparent, consistent, frequent, and will not, in the process, sacrifice the humor or personality Fayerweather embodies.
We commit to providing and reimagining ways of connecting and celebrating our students and being responsive to the needs of families. We will work hard to strengthen existing bonds and look forward to cultivating relationships with our new families. We value, understand, and embrace the importance of connection and relationships. This central tenet of a beloved community is what continues to make our school an impactful and vibrant place to learn, develop, and grow. It is through our communications shared by email, video, in the ‘Weather Report, and on the website that you see and experience who we are. We rely on and strongly encourage community participation in upcoming virtual Town Halls; on the Board, Parent Association and as PA reps; with surveys; and in-person or virtual gatherings of students, cohorts, classes and grade bands of families, affinity groups, and volunteer committees both at school and outside of the school building to counter the disruptive nature of modified in-person, hybrid, and remote learning scenarios we may face in the coming school year.
An In-Person Learning scenario will have all students, teachers, staff, and administrators present in the building, while following health and safety protocols informed by state and federal guidelines.
A Hybrid Learning scenario will be a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning where some students may be in the building, implementing a staggered schedule, while other students are learning at home, while following health and safety protocols, informed by state and federal guidelines.