As an independent school, Canterbury has the flexibility, caring faculty, and curricular framework in place to be able to pivot swiftly from on-campus learning to distance learning with minimal disruption to student instruction. Both on campus and at home, Canterbury will continue to challenge students’ minds and nourish their spirits in a caring learning community.
ON CAMPUS LEARNING
We are planning for students to begin the 2020-21 academic year together on campus, with the implementation of crucial health and safety procedures. If, as a family, you have determined that you are comfortable with your child returning to the physical campus AND your child meets the health requirements, school will look much like this:
- Schedule: Canterbury will be open five days/week for all students.
- Blended learning: This school year, Canterbury will incorporate a “blended learning” framework, whether on campus or off campus. The combination of face-to-face and video lessons allows students to learn at their own pace and teachers to provide more one-on-one and small group assistance. Click here to learn more about blended learning.
- Community: We will continue to prioritize activities that connect the students socially and emotionally.
- Campus: We will utilize the outdoor chapel and take advantage of our abundant outdoor spaces on our 35-acre campus.
- Extended Day: We will support working parents with after-school care in small cohorts, though there will not be drop-in care available this year.
DISTANCE LEARNING OPTION
For a variety of reasons, students may not be able to participate in person while school is in session on campus. If a student is symptomatic, ill, or potentially exposed to COVID-19, but well enough to complete school work, or if a family wishes to remain enrolled but does not feel comfortable having their child on campus, they may participate in the distance option.
Through the use of technology and our instructional methods, Canterbury will strive to make the transition between home and school as seamless as is possible for families that choose to learn from home full-time or for students who are home temporarily due to COVID-19 exposure or illness.
As virtual learning is fully established over the course of the first weeks of school, we will do this in a number of ways:
- One-to-one technology assigned to all students (iPads in K-3rd grades, Chromebooks in 4th-8th grades);
- Swivl robotic cameras that will livestream and record teacher lessons on Zoom;
- Devices that will record teachers’ writing on whiteboards;
- A blended learning approach that allows students to self-pace some of their instruction using technology, both in class and at home;
- Small group collaboration using Zoom breakout rooms that includes students both in the classroom and at home;
- Online class pages with assignments and resources for enrichment and at-home learning (Seesaw in grades PreK-4; CLAW in grades 5-8)
Of course, we will have to rely on parents to make sure their children have a distraction-free location and adequate internet access to participate in their online classes.
For the continuity of classroom dynamics and teachers’ logistics, we ask parents to make a trimester-by-trimester commitment to distance or on-campus learning. Families will have the ability to change their students’ learning mode at the trimester breaks in November and March. Of course, COVID-19 related absences will be considered individually and separately of this policy.
WHOLE-SCHOOL DISTANCE LEARNING
While our expectation is that Canterbury will remain open throughout the school year, there is a possibility that we may have to move to whole-school distance learning because of local health conditions or a mandate from the governor.
In this case, Canterbury’s enhanced distance learning plans will ensure that students are receiving a well-balanced, developmentally appropriate program for academic continuity and progress, as well as regular interaction with faculty and fellow students to support the social-emotional well-being of our students. Families can expect the following:
- In the lower school, teachers will present real-time lessons and a schedule similar to the school day, although the hours will not be as long as the usual school day. We do not expect our youngest students to be online and in front of screens all day. Students will be provided with packets of hard copy and manipulative materials to use at home, as well.
- In the middle school, real-time lessons will continue and students will be expected to maintain their daily schedule with full attendance in distance learning classes. Schoolwork will be able to be completed during the school day. Specials such as PE and art will be replaced by one-on-one tutoring and collaborative learning.
We recognize the particular importance of in-person instruction for our youngest learners. Even when campus is closed to older students, we will keep Cubs (3-year-olds) and PreK (4-year-olds) classes open from 8 a.m. through 6 p.m., as state regulations allow for childcare facilities.