We all know that it's been a time like none other. Here's a look into what life has been like this year at The Evergreen School.
-Update 2/22/2021: Hybrid Continues-
We are happy to announce that we now have preschool through 2nd grade on campus every day! (Families still have the option to for children to learn remotely, but over 80% of our students are currently in person.) Grades 3 through 8 are continuing in the hybrid model of one week on, then one week off. It's a great feeling to have students of all ages on campus again. -Update 1/20/2021: Healthy ReStart Program & Hybrid Learning-
With updated recommenations from the governor's office, we are bringing more students back to school in person. Preschool, prekindergarten and kindergarten started off on campus a week after the break, and the rest of elementary school is joining them in a one-week-on, one-week-off hybrid
. Today we were happy to have 1st and 3rd grades back on campus for the week! Next week, they'll work from home, and we'll welcome 2nd, 4th and 5th back. Middle school is tentatively scheduled to join the hybrid model in February. Some families are still choosing to stay home, and teachers are integrating them into classes (almost!) seamlessly. Read more below about EverConnected Learners. -Update 11/30/2020-
Grades K-8 will be fully remote until Winter Break due to rising local case numbers. Early childhood programs—
preschool and prekindergarten—
will remain on campus, -Fall 2020-
In-person Learning: Our Staggered Start Program
Our leadership and staff spent the summer planning and preparing, and in mid-August, campus opened for a short summer program for preschool and prekindergarten, which are essential early-childhood programs. Having these students on campus helped us understand how all of our carefully planned procedures actually worked in practice. This smaller group was a great way to launch our reopening.
Then, as the countywide COVID-19 case numbers continued to drop in September, we began re-introducing students to campus, one grade per week. This reopening plan was based on Governor Inslee's recommendations for K-12 schools, tied to the latest data from King County. Like other schools, we are following Governor Inslee's recommendations of having numbers drop below the threshold of 75 total new cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days.
By early October, students in preschool through 3rd grade were on campus for full-time in-person learning. However, since then, as countywide case numbers rose, Evergreen made the decision to reduce the number of students on campus. As of November 9, only preschool, prekindergarten and kindergarten were in person. We will continue following the situation closely and adjusting as needed.
What Does it Look on Campus?
Not as different as you might think! Our students and faculty have adapted so well. But it took a lot of work for faculty and staff to reach this point, and each time more students come to school in person, we continue to ensure that our safety protocols scale up appropriately. Here are some of them:
* Students and faculty/staff alike have their temperatures taken on arrival, and fill out screening forms beforehand.
* Classes have been relocated if necessary to larger rooms, allowing distancing.
* Individual plexiglass shields surround desks on three sides.
* Campus is dotted with arrows, marking one-way paths and indicating spacing.
* Sanitizer is everywhere and hand-washing frequent.
* Students use strategies like "airplane arms" to maintain distance.
* And of course, everyone is wearing masks!
We are so proud of our students! Seeing them run and play, accepting masks as a matter of course, reminds us of our adaptability.
Home Learning: We've Come a Long Way
Our older students (4th grade and up) are learning from home, but faculty have learned so much about teaching remotely since our abrupt switch to online back in March. Our team spent the summer preparing and considering all three models: home learning, hybrid, and in-person. When teachers started their prep week in August, they were ready. Right from the start, they planned how to integrate online teaching tools like Seesaw and Flipgrid in Primary Division and our new LMS (learning management system), Canvas, in Upper Division.
EverConnected at Evergreen
We understood early on that some families would choose to keep students at home during this time, even if campus re-opened. From the beginning, we have considered how to integrate these "EverConnected" students into the classroom, making sure they feel part of their class and connected with their peers.