Our School Reopening Plans
When our staff members came together for their end of the year retreat last June, we all had one question on our minds: could Arthur Morgan School reopen in a COVID-19 world? We felt confident we could maintaining social distancing norms and implementing new health and safety precautions . However, if students and staff were going to spend their days monitoring and reprimanding one another because they got too close, would it still feel like AMS?
We wanted students to be safe, but we also wanted them to continue to feel free to explore the world around them. Our challenge was to create reopening plans that would uphold successful preventative practices while staying true to AMS’s philosophy of prioritizing students’ social and emotional needs. Of course, the answer came from the same place AMS usually finds solutions: its community!
Putting Together Our School’s Reopening Plans
Throughout last spring, while our students were learning remotely with the rest of the country, our staff members kept in close contact with medical professionals and other academic institutions. We stayed (and continue to stay) up to date on the best practices recommended to prevent COVID-19 from being transmitted in schools.
Interviewing every single one of our parents, we learned their preferences about what school would look like this year. We listened to their concerns as well as their hopes for what AMS might look like. Students were queried too about what they wanted for the upcoming year. We then brought together all these different opinions and viewpoints and put together a plan.
Everyone In It Together
Arthur Morgan School’s reopening plans prioritize the social emotional health of our students while keeping them physically safe too. We accomplish this goal as a community. Outdoor class spaces and well thought out social distancing norms will do a lot of preventative work while still allowing students to interact easily. To maintain a safe bubble, boarding students will restrict visits with their families and trips off campus will be limited by everyone.
In addition, our families will communicate regularly with both the school and each other. By informing one another about our risk levels and potential vectors for infection, we are committed to caring for each other as a community. We know that everyone will be making sacrifices this year, and we are very grateful for their willingness to do so. It is through those compromises that AMS will continue to be the vibrant and inspiring place for middle school it has always been.
This year AMS is fully enrolled with 28 students. As the start of the school quickly approaches, we are excited to meet new faces and welcome all our returning students. Together, we will persevere through this challenging time!
-by Nicholas Maldonado