In times of uncertainty, we must hold on to that which is constant. Although we are now required to conduct school in a different manner, at least one thing remains the same--we at Berkeley Carroll are marked by the strength of our community and, although we are physically apart, in spirit and endeavor we are together.
2020-2021 Remote Opening: We have decided to start the 2020-2021 school year remotely through October 12th (Indigenous People’s Day) with the hope of, ultimately, scaling up to our on-campus hybrid model. Update: On September 22, we announced our plan to transition to a reduced capacity hybrid model across all divisions on October 13. The 2020-2021 remote schedules offer more synchronous class meetings and small group work time than the final iteration of last year’s schedules are designed to provide our students with a rich academic and cocurricular experience. Each division director sent families additional details about remote schedules and programming in early August; these letters can also be found in our BConnects Communications Archive.
On-Campus Support: We recognize that a remote start will be particularly challenging for some of our families and we are working to provide on-campus supervision for students for whom accessing remote learning from home is not feasible; these students would be able to access the remote program from a room at school with the support of an adult. All of the health protocols outlined in our reopening plan (e.g., temperature checks, mask wearing, hand hygiene and distancing) will be in effect. A parent survey elaborating on these plans and soliciting input regarding individual students’ need for this supervision will be forthcoming.
On-Campus Community-Building: In order to foster a sense of connection within our community, we will start the school year with opportunities for students to participate in on-campus, physically distanced outdoor and indoor activities with their teachers and a small pod of peers. We look forward to providing time for in-person bonding and enjoyment at BC. Again, all health protocols will be in effect whenever community members are on campus.
Rationale: Our decision to open remotely is informed by a number of considerations. Paramount among these is our commitment to prioritizing the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and their family members; consequently, given escalating concerns regarding spread and mitigation of COVID-19, we have decided that it is wise and proper to take the most conservative approach to the wellbeing of our community.
At this point in time, we also believe that a remote opening will offer the best possibility of an uninterrupted start to the school year with the most equitable access to the academic program. During the early weeks of school, we will not have to contend with students and faculty presenting symptoms that might or might not be COVID-19, requiring extensive absences, quarantining, and potential facilities closures. This approach also supports our faculty, many of whom have health, childcare, and transportation concerns, while providing them with maximum flexibility to begin the academic year consistently engaged with their students.
To read Dr. Waller’s August 3 letter to the community in its entirety, click here.
Organizations that specialize in online learning, including the Global Online Academy, stress that successful remote learning does not attempt to replicate the on-campus school day. When using online learning to bridge an interruption in school, the goal is to maintain connection, provide structure, and create ways for students to move through content more independently.
Each of Berkeley Carroll’s divisions has developed its own plan for remote learning to reflect students’ different developmental stages; specifics can be found on these BConnects webpages.
The BC Library Wiki
In addition to providing access to books, databases and apps, the Berkeley Carroll Library Wiki has a new section on remote learning. The student wiki includes helpful tutorials on Google Hangouts and Zoom, which Middle and Upper School students will use in addition to Google Classroom and other tools with which they are already familiar. All Lower School students will connect with their teachers via Zoom meetings, with adult supervision, and will receive learning assignments and materials via email to parents/guardians. Third and Fourth Grade students will also be able to access assignments via Google Classroom.
Berkeley Carroll provides its students access to a variety of technological resources that assist in furthering the school’s mission of preparing students for a life of critical, ethical and global thinking. It is the responsibility of students to exercise appropriate personal responsibility in their use of these resources. This technology use policy provides guidelines that govern the efficient, ethical and legal use of these resources. Read more...
If your student is missing critical materials, please have them contact their grade dean or homeroom teacher. All families were surveyed in early March regarding their home access to hardware and internet; please reach out if you have any concerns about technology or technology access. The tech department will be available from 8am to 6pm: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Will Classwork Be Posted? How Will the School Day Work?
Faculty will be available during normal school hours, from 8:30am to 4pm. The day’s work will be posted in advance and we urge students to establish and adhere to a schedule when engaged in remote learning, as much as is possible.