COVID-19 Continuity of Education Plan for The New School 2019-2020 School Year

The New School has always provided a flexible approach to education, working with our students and their families to individualize learning to meet the needs of all learners in our community. As we face the uncertainty of the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are uniquely positioned to continue providing quality, holistic educational services to our students because of our flexibility. 

Remote learning will be a challenge for many of our students who thrive in our relationship driven, community learning environment. Students who struggle with time and resource management will find this transition particularly challenging.  However, as you will see in this Continuity of Education Plan, we are dedicated to continuing to find ways to work with students to meet their individual needs.

Delivery of Instruction

Since Tuesday, March 16 in-person classroom instruction has been suspended.

Teachers will offer remote learning opportunities for all students using Zoom conferencing for Virtual classes (see the schedule here)and video conferences, and a combination of Google Classroom and email to distribute learning objectives and resources.

On average, students will participate in a Zoom call for each class 1x week, at least 1 Advisory Zoom call per week, and a community meeting 1x week.

Class content and work expectations have been modified in response to the abilities of individual students to cope with the stress caused by the pandemic.

After April Vacation, students will receive an Individualized Remote Learning Plan with detailed information about curriculum goals and anticipated standards and credits for each class they are enrolled in. Teachers will consult with advisors to ensure IRLPs are appropriately challenging and rigorous. 

Access to Technology

During the first weeks of the shut-down, efforts were made to ensure each student had access to the necessary technology required for Remote Learning. Currently one family is borrowing a school laptop and another family has been provided with a printer.  Efforts were made to acquire video cameras for two seniors who did not have cameras, but these items were backordered until June 5.  Efforts will be made again this week. 

Assessment and Credit

Students will continue to submit work electronically to their teachers.  This can be done in a variety of ways, and teachers have adapted to meet students where they are. Depending on the assignment students may send video footage of work, or photos and pdfs of work,or submit/share documents via Google Classroom/Docs.  Teachers will continue to hold virtual classes using Zoom and 1:1 conferences with students using appropriate digital platforms.

Assessment of work will continue to use our narrative assessment model. Students will be provided with feedback on their work through electronic communication–for example comments on papers using Google Docs, or in Google Classroom’s gradebook. 

Credit will be awarded for successful completion of the goals and objectives outlined in the IRLP distributed at the end of April.

Community Communication

Because we serve,  not only our students, but also their families as members of our Learning Community, Advisors and teachers will continue to connect with students and their families to offer support, instruction, or just the occasional virtual shoulder to cry on through email, phone calls, and also through Google Classroom with our students.  

Christine Knowles will broadcast Morning Announcements every morning via The New School Community Classroom and will also send the same announcement out to parents via email.  If anyone else would like to receive the Morning Announcements, they can receive them. 

The New School News will continue to be published weekly, but has been shifted to a mid-week publishing schedule to allow for more timely communication of changes that occur during the week.

Gateways

Students who need to present Gateways can still do so using the Zoom platform. They will schedule Gateways with their advisors.  Given the challenges presented by social distancing and the increase in screen time for all of us, the minimum number of people attending a Gateway may be waived if necessary.

Seniors and Graduation

The Informed Thinker Portfolio will not be required for this year’s graduates.  

All Graduation Requirements should be complete by June 8th (classwork, gateways, research paper, etc.).  

Seniors will work with their teachers, advisors, and graduation committees to create a plan for success. Every Senior will schedule a Zoom meeting with their Graduation Committee to have a roundtable discussion about the status of their senior projects and to discuss possible modifications for their projects. These Roundtables will happen as soon as possible.

Final Round Tables will be scheduled for the week of June 8-11.  At this time, Seniors should be planning to hold these meetings via Zoom. If social distancing restrictions lift enough to hold meetings in person, then that will also be an option.

We are holding our options open at this time. Graduation remains on the calendar for June 13. The Leadership team will schedule 2-3 possible other dates for graduation, separated by 2-3 weeks. 

Calendar

 The last day to introduce new materials in classes will be May 8.

The last day of second semester classes will be May 15.

We will hold virtual 3-week Intensives from May 18-June 5.

A Virtual end of Semester Learning Exhibitions and Performances (LEAP) will be posted to our website June 8.

The last day of school has been shifted from June 18 to June 12.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission

Mental Health and COVID-19 – Information and Resources

Building Resiliency to Isolation & Loneliness: How to Increase Our Resiliency During the COVID-19 Crisis

Stay vigilant to stop the spread of Coronavirus

Zoom Fatigue: Don’t Let Video Meetings Zap Your Energy

Distance Learning Is Taking an Emotional Toll on Students

NAMI- National Alliance on Mental Illness