Dear Dragon Families,
Summer Camp (our first online!) is a wrap and we are just two weeks away from the 2020-21 school year, which begins Tuesday, August 25. In the coming week, you will be hearing from the teachers, Deans and front office with all the information you'll need to be ready for the first day of school. Orientation date and time, material pick-up, supply lists, daily schedules, checklists for success, etc. can all be expected. I'd like to give a special welcome to all our new families and students joining us for the first time this year. And we are all equally excited to welcome back all our returning families and learners!
As we have all experienced, this pandemic has caused many changes in the way we do things at home, at work and at school. We have spent the summer piloting new materials and online learning formats, listening to parent and student feedback, and making thoughtful adjustments to deliver the best possible distance education possible during this very unusual quarantine period.
The new school year will not be just the same as last year, nor the same as summer camp. We are always working to improve the students' learning experience. As we get back to school and students try the new daily schedules, seminars and methods, let’s be patient and understanding with ourselves and each other.
In a usual school year, the first few weeks are a period of orientation and adjustment for the students. This year will require the same, and may be especially true for new students and those who did not attend summer camp. We are introducing new schedules, more small-group classes, new online learning and testing methods, and even some new staff, so we recommend patience as the children get reoriented and get back into the groove of attending classes. Please be assured that we will provide information, instructions, guidance, and the resources needed to make this a successful school year.
This Coming Week (Aug 10-14)
- You'll receive a welcome from your child's teacher with information about the class orientation, first day meeting, material pick-up, supply list, Google Classroom access, schedule, etc.
- If any registration forms are missing for your child, you'll hear from Ms. Susie in the front office, or Ms. Maria in Admissions.
Tuesday, August 25: First Day of School
- Teachers will have already let you know how your child can log in and join online.
- The first few days of school will focus on connectivity, orientation, setting expectations, and building community in our virtual classrooms.
- Reminder: It is not necessary to purchase school uniforms at this time. Children do not need to wear a uniform while distance learning.
First Few Weeks
- In the first week or two, teachers will hold virtual "Back to School Night" to orient parents and share goals, news and updates for the class.
- Once students are settled in, teachers will post sign-ups for parent-teacher conferences. These are an opportunity to talk about your child's progress and goals for the school year.
Plan on Distance Learning through September
As you know, by the governor's order on July 17, 2020, we pivoted from planning for in-person learning with its many school health and safety protocols to preparing for distance learning while our county remains on the state's "watch list" for rising COVID-19 cases. The rule specifically states that schools may not hold on-campus classes until the county has been off the watch list for 14 days.
Since we cannot predict how the rules will change or when, we have committed to distance learning through the month of September. We'll evaluate the situation again in mid-to-late September. It is possible that safety will require us to continue distance learning, but that will be our first checkpoint.*
It is a Dragon tradition for parents and staff to work together to provide the best possible support for our young learners -- your wonderful children. In spite of the pandemic and the enforced physical distance between us, we are still looking forward to the teamwork that is so successful at helping each student thrive. Many of our annual traditions are likely going to be on hold in 2020. We will be asking parents to join the Parent Association; there are many ways to support the school and to bring enrichment to the students. We welcome ideas for new ways to carry on beloved traditions like Bike-a-thon, cultural festivals and Science Fair, we always appreciate your help as Ambassadors to introduce new families to the school. Perhaps you have a special talent or project you'd like to contribute -- please reach out and let us know.
These are challenging times, but we will face it all together. Let’s start this 2020-21 school year strong with a positive attitude and excellent teamwork -- students, parents and staff ready to learn, grow, build community, and make this a great year. Welcome, team!
Head of School