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Reopening Plan Letter

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Dear TLS Families,

Educator Christopher Emdin has suggested, “If we are going to learn with each other, we should also learn about each other so we can bring each other up.” As we think about the community care required for our reopening in the fall, the wisdom of Emdin’s advice has been reflected time and again in the ways that our community has shared experiences and ideas and listened to one another. Since April, over 120 families participated in Zoom Town Halls or focus groups. Seventy percent of you completed the Reimagining Fall survey. Thank you for your participation and care. It helps us each lift and “bring up” The Little School and its students. 

The pages that follow reflect a synthesis of our community’s input, feedback, questions, suggestions and collective preferences. Our decisions are also anchored in research, reflection, design, collaboration and care. We are excited to share them. 

Of the 70% of TLS families who responded to the survey, more than 75% preferred a blended daily outdoor/ indoor campus learning model. Nine percent responded that alternating time on- and off-campus would be best. Currently, 12% would like to return to Connected Learning. 

We are proceeding with a plan to offer a full-time, blended indoor/outdoor program on campus with a Connected Learning alternative for the fall. 

We want to welcome as many students as possible back to campus. By using our outdoor spaces more actively and optimizing the spaces afforded in our new building (opening October 2020), we are confident that we can promote hygiene, physical distancing, safety, friendship and learning to students on campus each day. 

We also recognize that we have families who cannot return to on-campus learning until a vaccine is available. To support these families, we will offer a redesigned distance learning program. 

All families are asked to the choose the program in which they wish to begin school in the fall: on-campus or at-home. Decisions need to be communicated to the school no later than July 16, 2020 in order to provide optimized dual programs. A clear understanding of student enrollment and program preference is necessary for us to finalize details. If you have not yet completed the Reimagining Fall survey, please use it to communicate your decision. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this carefully. We will continue to share updates and further details throughout the summer. Expect our next opening update on Friday, July 24, 2020. In the meantime, we hope you are safe, well and enjoying the start of summer. 

On behalf of the faculty and staff,