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Fall Planning Update

Friday, May 15, 2020

Hi TLS Families, 

This week, the CDC released recommendations for the decision-making process for schools to reopen. We are studying these carefully and still need details from the State and Department of Health to solidify our plans. With each week, TLS’ priorities and opportunities are becoming clearer. The Little School is planning on reopening in September as long as CDC & Washington State policy allow for it. I'd like to share how we are building plans for what a reopened campus might look like in the fall. 

Our priorities are: 

  • Safety and Wellness: 
  • Follow guidelines and protocols for safety from the Department of Health and the CDC. 
  • Share protocols when we distribute class lists in August. We anticipate the following: 
  • Take temperatures when students and adults arrive on campus. 
  • Wear PPE as recommended. 
  • Expand our cleaning protocols during the school day. 
  • Require adherence to stay home when sick or fevered. 
  • Community: 
  • Connect with children in person and build community on campus.
  • Prepare for the possibility of Connected Learning using methods that optimize learning and community connection.
  • Create experiences for families to safely connect with one another and the school. 
  • Offer on-campus learning as often as possible as is responsible and safe. 
  • Dispositions:
  • Maintain organizational dispositions towards: 
  • Solutions. 
  • Creativity and curiosity. 
  • Partnership and collaboration. 
  • Design and iteration. 
  • Connection. 

The opportunities we recognize are to: 

  • Capitalize on our small population, multiple buildings and large campus
  • Given that we have 12.5 acres, four buildings and under 220 people on campus on a typical day, we are uniquely poised to offer on-campus learning for all students. Some considerations at this time include:
  • Creating additional outdoor classroom spaces: 
  • To possibly rotate students through indoor and outdoor learning experiences as per distancing and safe gathering guidelines. 
  • Use new courtyard space for socially distanced outdoor gatherings. 
  • Use Big Field for socially distanced play and group meetings. 
  • Reimagining indoor classroom spaces 
  • Use open classrooms to create smaller group learning and play experiences. 
  • Capitalize on time to reflect and plan
  • We have several planning groups that will be meeting regularly into summer to ensure we are best prepared and planned for the year ahead: 
  • Reimagining Team: This is a faculty and staff group that continues to imagine how to stay true to our values and mission while reimaging how school can look both in-person and virtually. This group is synthesizing lessons from Connected Learning to help us continue to elevate this program should we need to employ it. It is also designing solutions to CDC recommendations to maximize connection and learning.  
  • Campus Use Team: This team is planning for our new building protocols and use, as well as creative ways to use existing indoor and outdoor spaces. 
  • Technology Think-Tank Team: A small group of parents, community members and teachers are working together to understand ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our technology use during times of Connected Learning. This group is considering platforms that would streamline access and communication for families as well as trainings and resources that would support faculty. 
  • “All the Logistics” Team: The team that brought you a Parking Plan in 2019 has reunited for a Pandemic Plan for 2020. This team will design solutions for protocols, policies and safety. You’re gonna love their work! 

No matter what the year ahead holds in store,  we have every intention of making it magical and meaningful.  

We hope Art Festival Week has been a nice change of pace for your family. For us, it has been a reminder of our commitment to nourishing all parts of children’s curiosity, creativity, intellect and humanity. 

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Julie