At Park, we know our students best thrive when they can learn in the company of peers and teachers, and we responded to the challenges presented by COVID-19 by finding new ways to use our campus resources in support of these guiding principles:
Preserving the health and safety of our whole community
Supporting community connectivity
Affirming our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism
Delivering Park’s mission through our excellent and innovative academic program
While campus looks different than we are used to, we know that Park is still Park. We continue to deliver the Park experience – academic excellence and joy in learning, strong teacher-student relationships, and a committed, caring community.
Our highest priority is the health, safety, and social-emotional well-being of our students, families, faculty, and staff. All our decisions are built on this, including our commitment to remaining flexible and responsive to our community’s needs as circumstances and recommendations change.
Community is central to everything we do at Park. With this in mind, we have worked hard to help Park families remain at school despite financial hardship brought on by global pandemic. And, through our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we are committed to making Park a place of belonging for all, working together to support racial equity and anti-racism.
Flexibility and the ability to listen and learn – as a community and as individuals – are the core strengths that will make us stronger as we move forward together.
In November and December, all students will be required to undergo weekly testing for COVID-19. Families will be charged for all five tests even if circumstances prevent someone from taking the test. There will be no charge for families receiving financial aid.
Tuesdays: Grades 6-8 A/B and Employees
Fridays: Grades 6-8 C/D and All Students PreK-Grade 5
Park's HYBRId Approach
Grounded in guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Center for Disease Control, and The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Park’s return to campus has been built on the careful reimagining of how we work and learn together on campus in defined clusters.
Park’s classroom-based clusters and grade-level based superclusters allow teaching and learning to take place while keeping subsections of the community isolated from one another to protect the health of the group. Clustering shapes all aspects of the school day from the moment students arrive until the moment they are picked up at the end of the day.
Because the cluster system necessarily limits the ways in which teachers and students can interact, Park decided to build its reopening plan on a hybrid model. The hybrid schedule creates room for virtual cross-cluster classes and meetings that enrich both academic and social-emotional learning opportunities. Students are able to gather for clubs, affinity groups, language study, and other important programs essential to both academic growth and overall well-being.
Our All-remote Wednesdays also provide a welcome mid-week break from masks and social distancing, while ensuring that students and teachers maintain their comfort with remote teaching and learning -- important, given the likelihood that students will need to move in and out of remote learning over the course of the year.
PreK – Grade 5:
Four Days on Campus/All Remote Wednesdays
Community safety depends on our successful commitment to maintaining the integrity of our grade level clusters. While we can confidently contain our PreK through Grade 5 students within their clusters and superclusters without meaningful loss to the program, we believe the challenge of operating in a fully masked, socially distanced way for five consecutive school days is too much for younger students to manage. Teaching remotely on Wednesdays also allows the School to thoroughly clean the facilities, purposefully evaluate the state of health and safety in the School and surrounding community, and give students and teachers a break from the restraints that are inherent while operating in the COVID context.
On Wednesdays, students and teachers will follow a synchronous schedule focused on core curricular content areas and providing space for social-emotional learning and connection.
Remote learning will provide the freedom to work without worrying about masks and physical distancing – a break we believe is essential to our students’ well-being.
Grades 6 – 8:
Two Days on Campus/Three Days off Campus
While PreK – Grade 5 classes are built on a homeroom model that naturally supports the integrity of our cluster system, the academic experience for Grades 6 through 8 requires students to be taught by multiple teachers across the full array of disciplines.
In the hybrid model, half the students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 will learn on campus two days a week — either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday — and remotely the other three days. Because only half the students in each grade will be on campus at a time, those students who are on campus will have the ability to move around the building more safely and teachers will be exposed to fewer students each day. Additionally, critical programs such as World Language, advisory, Growth Education, and student clubs and other activities, which require teacher and student mixing, can happen remotely in the hybrid model.
Students will be assigned an AB schedule (on campus Monday, Tuesday) or a CD schedule (on campus Thursday, Friday), and will follow the same synchronous schedule when they are off campus that they would have followed on campus.
All Remote Wednesdays
Campus Cleaning and Evaluation
With all students and teachers PreK–8 remote on Wednesdays, our Facilities Team will be able to thoroughly clean the building, while Park leadership reviews community health data and evaluates safety measures on campus. In addition, the Wednesday schedule will allow teachers and students to keep their remote teaching and learning tool kits sharp, in preparation for the possible need to shift to an all-remote program in the future.
Park's Approach to COVID-19
Preparing for Multiple scenarios
The uncertainties surrounding public health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic will require that our community be prepared for a variety of possibilities. We believe we will be best prepared for new challenges by remaining flexible and adaptable as the situation dictates. While we cannot predict how the coronavirus will continue to impact our community, we will be able to move between a hybrid, remote, and perhaps a fully in-person model while maintaining as much continuity and challenge in the academic program as possible.
The School will be actively monitoring the progression of the disease at the state, county, and local levels as well as within our Park community, and we will make appropriate changes that meet our multiple guiding priorities.