Academic Framework for Second Quarter
As anticipated, the feedback from our surveys showed what we had been hearing: that teachers, students, and parents felt that the current academic framework required a degree of rigor and screen time that is unsustainable. I would also like to note the consistent theme of gratitude for the teachers and their commitment to their students. Families appreciated how flexible, available, communicative, and creative the faculty has been since the start of the school year. Our students and families also have a strong desire to return to campus.
In response to this feedback and with the possibility of a phased return to campus, it was clear that significant moderation to the academic framework is needed. In looking at various models, both in the Jesuit West Province and at local schools, the Academic Board agreed to a new Bell Schedule (see below). Some may recognize that we used St. Francis High School’s second-quarter schedule as a model for our own. Two immediate features that I want to note is a structure that allows for a hybrid or 50% return to campus as well as built-in time for the weekly COVID screenings.
The experience of navigating campus and the experience of teaching to in-person and remote-learning students simultaneously will not be easy, especially at first. Fortunately, our faculty trained for this scenario over the summer, but it will take some time to practice those skills and find what works best for each teacher– and for their students. Everyone’s mental health and wellness must remain just as much a priority as our physical health. As such, we need to be mindful of managing academic expectations in this new reality we all share.