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August 27, 2020   Announcement

Phased Reopening Plan


Dear Families,

The priority for St. Peter’s Reopening has always been the safety of the students and teachers. This has not changed and we have continued to make decisions with this in mind. Recently, the CHOP PolicyLab made the recommendation that the safest way for schools in Philadelphia (public AND independent) to open would be virtual, while the City of Philadelphia announced that they are relaxing the guidelines for in person dining and retail as of September 8th. Additionally, several local independent schools have modified their Reopening Plans in hopes of adjusting to these changes in our community recommendations.

St. Peter’s has continued to follow the metrics in the county of Philadelphia, listen to CHOP, medical professionals in our community, the CDC, and the Department of Health, and consider the decisions other independent schools have made in order to make a safe and appropriate decision for our community. The School, with the support of the Board of Trustees of the School, has decided to modify the reopening to adjust to additional factors that we feel are necessary to ensure our student and faculty safety.

Based on the current recommendations and the trends we see in the data collected in our area related to transmission, we have decided to stagger our opening and return each grade level to in-building instruction in a slower and more deliberate approach. Schools around the country that have followed this approach have found success in maintaining the safety of the students and faculty. Additionally, we appreciate the need for students and families to return to a school routine, in the building or through a remote learning model, which is so important for children.

Below is our modified reopening plan with students in Preschool through First Grade returning to in-building instruction on Monday, September 14th. The Second through Eighth Grade students will begin remote instruction on that day. On Monday, September 21st, the Second through Fifth Grades will return to in-building instruction, and the Sixth through Eighth Grades will remain in remote instruction. Finally, on Tuesday, September 29th, all students will resume in-building instruction. (Monday, September 28th is Yom Kippur – no school for students).

Wednesday, September 9th through Friday, September 11th will be an orientation period with students engaged with some in person activities and experiences with their cohort on campus. This was planned in order for our students to refamiliarize themselves with our building and the changes to the spaces, have an introduction to the classroom environment with the new physical distancing requirements, and experience St. Peter’s School in this new model. The schedule below outlines each grades’ expectations for those first three days.

We will send along each child’s teacher next week and the schedule they will follow (Second through Eighth Grades) during their remote instruction period beginning September 14th. We are also creating opportunities for families (both via Zoom or pre-recorded videos) to get a glimpse into the building and the classroom spaces. While we recognize it would be helpful to have families come into the classrooms and see the spaces in person, it is not recommended by the health professionals. We hope this video access to our classrooms, coffee discussions with classroom teachers and administrators, and the opportunity for the students to see and experience the building prior to the first day of classes on the 14th, will prepare our students for their first day of in-building instruction.

Our faculty and employees have been working to get the building ready for your children. Our new faculty orientation was this morning and we look forward to welcoming the full school staff back for Opening Meetings next Monday. We have missed you all and are so excited to be back together in a few short weeks. Stay tuned for additional information and contact from your child’s teacher. We will have our final summer Coffee and Conversation with the Head tomorrow at 8:00 AM (Zoom link was sent earlier today). These will begin again later in September.

Onward,

Matt

SCHEDULE FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL: SEPTEMBER 8 – 11

Tuesday, September 8
8:00 AM, Family Orientation Meeting via Zoom (optional)

  • Hosted by Matt Evans, Kate Seltzer, Caryn Rivers, Valerie Hill, and Kate Childs
  • This optional meeting is intended for the parents of our students, to answer any questions our families may have regarding the return to school

Wednesday, September 9
8:00 – 10:00 AM, In Person Orientation for:

  • Preschool
  • First Grade
  • Fifth Grade

Thursday, September 10
8:00 – 10:00 AM, In Person Orientation for:

  • Prekindergarten
  • Second Grade
  • Third Grade
  • Seventh Grade

Friday, September 11
8:00 – 10:00 AM, In Person Orientation for:

  • Kindergarten
  • Fourth Grade
  • Sixth Grade
  • Eighth Grade

Additional Orientation Week Notes:

  • Each teacher will send out additional information with details regarding the two days your children are not in the school building, which will likely include a Zoom session with “get to know you” activities.
  • Your child’s teacher will email you a video tour of their classroom.

  • Your child’s teacher will set up a time to meet one on one with each student in their class via Zoom. Teachers will also set up a family Zoom meeting for the entire class which will be recorded and sent out to you if you are unable to attend during the allotted time.

  • Uniforms are not required during this week

STAGGERED SCHEDULE FOR IN-BUILDING INSTRUCTION