We all know that it's been a time like none other. So here's a look into what life is like these days at The Evergreen School.
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. Our reopening plan is 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 kindergarten through 3rd grade had joined the younger cohorts for 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 will be in person. We will continue following the situation closely and adjusting as needed.
What Does it Look on Campus?
Each time more students arrive 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 (currently 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.