July 14, 2020 message from Mr. Dotoli

July 14, 2020 message from Mr. Dotoli


Dear HA Families,

Ms. Davis and I hope you are having a safe and healthy summer, even finding moments of joy among the many challenges.

The team is working hard to plan for a safe and productive school year.  We will not have a concrete plan to announce until the governor provides final guidance, which he says will come the first week of August.  However, we are using this email to update you on current thinking and seek your advice on how various options might best support your family’s needs. A survey link is included at the end of this email.

Currently, we are examining and want your feedback on three potential scenarios:
1) Full Hybrid: All or most instruction is generated at school with an option for students to participate either in-person at school or remotely from home.

  • Each classroom is outfitted with a video camera and connected to Zoom so that students at home and in school can fully participate in direct instruction, independent practice, advisory, community meeting, and other programming. All students will receive an independent kit of books, materials, and supplies to use at home or school.
  • School building is open for eight hours (exact timing to be determined – but likely 8 or 8:30 a.m. through 4 or 4:30 p.m.) for school-based learning, with required programming from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • To be determined whether the school-based option would be available 5 days per week, 4 days per week, or fewer (based on how many families choose to access the hybrid model remotely).
  • Examples of likely policies and procedures for school-based learning:
    • Temperature checks and other screening before entering in the morning.
    • Only students and staff admitted to the building.
    • Masks worn in all classrooms and common spaces at all times, with mask breaks and outdoor time scheduled as frequently as feasible.
    • Movement mostly limited to students’ designated classroom, single-use bathroom, and any designated conference or common space. There will be little/no mixing of staff and students in different grades.
    • Desks spread out 6 feet.
    • Surfaces sanitized frequently.
    • Collaboration with parents, other caregivers, and volunteers done online.
  • In this scenario, we predict that around ¼ of families would opt for learning from home, which will further ensure school-based learning is as socially distant and consistent as possible. However, we have limited 2020/21 new student enrollment so we can accommodate our current families.

2) Mostly Remote: Most or all instruction is generated online with an option for students to participate from school as circumstances dictate (work schedule, home learning productivity, etc.).

  • All policies and procedures of the Full Hybrid model remain.
  • Fewer students at school supported by a smaller team of teachers and administrators in accessing the online classes and navigating the day.
  • This scenario works best if at least 2/3 of families opt for learning from home, allowing school-based oversight of online learning to be as limited as possible.

3) Full Remote: Instruction is generated online with no option for school-based learning.

  • We are unlikely to start school in the Full Remote model based on what we know today.  However, given the need to adjust based on the spread of the pandemic, this model is still a possibility for the start of school or later in the year.
  • We recognize the challenges of remote learning.  At the same time, most of our students earned strong outcomes in the spring, with many students thriving even with the change.
  • We have learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work in remote learning and are excited for the way our remote program can run in best support of students and families!

Here is the link to the survey: Family Survey  

It is really important that we hear from every family by Friday, so please fill it out as soon as possible.

Of course, we wish this email were coming with definitive news and recognize that the uncertainty is challenging on many levels.  At the same time, we believe it is important to be in dialogue with you based on our understanding today.  We will continue to do our best to develop and execute the safest, most mission-productive, and most family-supportive path forward, responding to data and updated recommendations and requirements from local health officials and making changes as needed.

Thank you for your continued support and best wishes always.