Learning Model Update
Learning Model Update for Second Quarter
Dear Woodstock Academy Community,
Two weeks ago we asked our students, families, and staff to weigh in on whether we should modify our current educational plan. We wanted to inform the larger community of the survey results and of the subsequent changes that will be starting at the beginning of the second quarter on November 9, 2020.
Over 900 members of our community weighed in about what we should do—which was an overwhelming response and demonstrates significant support and commitment to The Academy. The survey data showed that while the majority of people wanted to have students on campus more frequently, there was no clear consensus as to which direction was preferred. Over 30% of the students and parents/guardians believed we should stay in the current model and make no changes. This indicates 69% of students and 66% of parents believe students should be on campus more frequently. Over 62% of students and 53% of parents stated we should not go back fully given the current pandemic environment. In addition to the numerical hard data, we received over 230 comments—all of which demonstrated significant passion for the many aspects of this difficult issue.
Modifying our Model
Based on this data, the leadership team has determined that we should modify the current schedule to include an opportunity for all students to be on campus. Our main goal is to better support the social/emotional needs of our students while continuing to provide the highest quality educational offerings possible. Currently, about 200 students sign up to be on campus each Wednesday, but we feel more students could benefit from this experience. Developing a plan that allows students to be on campus more often while not limiting the educational advantage of having access to teachers four days a week was not easy. We struggled to modify the traditional hybrid in such a way that class time would not be reduced. For example, our students would never be prepared for AP exam courses or be able to meet the ECE requirements if we went with the traditional hybrid model other elementary/middle schools are using. We also know students need contact with adults for their social/emotional health and we are committed to meeting the needs of the whole child. Given our current reality, we believe the schedule linked below is the best possible solution for this period of time.
While there will be more details coming out as we prepare for this transition, we wanted to share the following information so you can prepare.
• All day students with last names starting with A – K will be in the Blue Group on campus on Mondays.
• All day students with last names starting with L – Z will be in the Gold Group on campus on Tuesdays.
• All boarding students will be in the Blue Group.
There will be some students who will be asked to attend both days, but that will be through individual conversations with families, students, and their guidance counselors.
The current schedule will be followed through the remainder of the first quarter as we prepare for students returning to campus. The first week of November will be a week of transition.
• Monday, November 2 and Tuesday, November 3 – eLearning Days
• Wednesday, November 4 will be the PSAT for all freshmen and teacher office hours by appointment for other students. After taking the PSATs, freshmen will run through their class schedule to familiarize themselves with the campus.
• Thursday, November 5 and Friday, November 6 – No school for students, as the staff readies the campus for the return of students and participates in professional development.
• Monday, November 9 – The linked hybrid schedule begins.
It is important to note that this is not an easy decision or an ideal time for anyone. The ever-changing public health scenarios we are seeing in our state, region, and in several of our sending towns make this a tentative plan which can change at any moment. Nevertheless, we are committed to transitioning to this plan as long as health conditions allow it.
We are requesting that each family complete the following form for each of your students notifying us of your intent for the remainder of the first semester; to either return to campus on your assigned day, or to not attend live classes on-campus on your assigned day, but instead complete asynchronous learning from home. We ask that you complete a form for each of your students by November 2 so we can plan accordingly.
If you have any questions, please reach out to your child’s (or children’s) guidance counselor; they will be able to provide specific information about your child. Please look for additional information being sent in the weeks ahead.
We thank you for your continued support.
The Woodstock Academy is an independent, day and boarding, co-educational, college preparatory high school for grades 9–12 and postgraduates located in Woodstock, CT. The mission of The Woodstock Academy is to prepare all students by providing diverse opportunities through a rigorous curriculum and a variety of programs in order to cultivate the necessary skills to become lifelong learners and global citizens.