Plans for the 2020-2021 School Year

 

Boston Trinity Academy will be ready to open in the fall. We plan to operate the school in the building, but recognize that our ability to do so depends on an evolving health situation with continuously developing medical understanding. 

We are working hard to ensure that we have the flexibility to respond to changing circumstances, so that the school can function effectively within the public health and government guidelines and requirements. Given the unpredictability of the situation, we are preparing to operate in any of three modalities: 

a) Regular school with all students present

b) A hybrid model that blends online and in-school learning 

c) A fully online school with all members of the community learning from home.

As we undertake a thoughtful and thorough review of all our operations, our mission and core values remain at the fore of our thinking and planning. Academic excellence, authentic community, and purposeful faith will continue to be at the heart and center of all we do. Two working groups (one to address campus use and safety and the other to review programming) meet regularly and will continue to do so throughout the summer. They carefully consider the information provided by public sources, consultants, peer schools around the world, as well as the yet-to-be-published Massachusetts' School Reopening Plan, to make sure that our school can operate safely without compromising our core values.

As we work to produce a complete set of new health-related protocols for the coming year, we are reviewing our campus master plans through the new public health perspective. This includes scrutinizing (and potentially repurposing) common spaces, exploring different room configurations and occupancy thresholds, investigating in-building movement, and identifying other potential issues in day-to-day operations. We anticipate that regulations around physical distancing, hygiene and use of common areas will impact our program and are considering reconfigurations of our daily schedule and annual school calendar to deal with this. For example, we are organizing classes in new ways with the possibility of fewer class periods in a day. 

Hybrid and online learning have their unique challenges and opportunities. We are working to adapt our programming and curriculum to be ready to teach using the best practices for these approaches. We are investing extensively in appropriate tools, training and professional development this summer and are examining ways to continue to help faculty with this transition throughout the upcoming year. This effort will effectively shorten a typical adaptation period of 1 - 2 years to a period of a few months. We anticipate providing training for students also to be able to take best advantage of learning in this new environment.

These changes will require all of us to approach school differently. Yet, we believe there will be ways to leverage the need to minimize risk to produce a school experience that will enable students to grow in dynamic and unexpected ways.  Learning how to face up to and overcome challenges with flexibility and creativity is a lesson we hope all our students will learn while at the school. We believe that in this same spirit, we can make the coming school year an exciting new learning environment for our students. 

All of this necessary work of preparation has impacted the usual timelines for releasing summer work and book lists. As these are updated, we will send confirmation by email. Meanwhile, I recommend reviewing the summer program options, which will be released in the next few days. These will not only provide some great opportunities for your student to engage in learning and growth over the summer.

In the face of possible challenges and disruptions, the school will be ready to operate in the fall and will continue to provide an outstanding experience for your students. We will release the school's official reopening plan in the upcoming weeks. We hope that the Massachusetts authorities release their official school reopening directives soon so that we can finalize our reopening plans in a timely manner.  We will also be letting you know about parent preparedness workshops to help you understand how to support your student throughout the upcoming school year.

I look forward to working with you and your students for a successful 2020-21 school year.

                                                                                                                                     

Yours sincerely,

Tim Belk
Academic Dean / Assistant Headmaster