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August 10, 2020
We hope you are enjoying your summer and staying safe. We know that many of you are making plans for the upcoming school year and we thank you for your patience as we navigate this process. This is an extremely challenging time for our entire community, and we know that the decisions we make as a school deeply impact all of our families and scholars.
Alma del Mar is fully committed to the health and safety of our families, scholars, teachers, and staff. We also remain dedicated to delivering a high-quality education to all of our scholars. With these priorities and your valuable feedback in mind, we feel it is best to re-open for a smaller number of scholars and staff. Then, we will look to welcome back additional grade levels in person as soon as possible.
Therefore, we intend to re-open on September 14th with the following learning models:
- In-Person Learning for a small group of older scholars with complex learning needs will attend school in person Monday through Thursday.
- Remote Learning for Scholars in Grades K-8: Scholars will participate in a structured and consistent daily routine beginning with a virtual crew meeting each morning. While scholars will receive virtual instruction from their teacher throughout the day, scholars will also have independent work time and breaks. All scholars will have access to a Chromebook computer.
We recognize that this may be difficult for our working families, and therefore we did not make this decision lightly. We will continue to identify ways to support our families as much as possible. Marie Tavares, Alma’s Families Helping Families Coordinator, is working diligently on this effort.
Below is a timeline showing how Alma will continue to prepare for our reopening:
- August 17: Teachers and administrators will begin training for the new school year
- Sept. 3-4th and Sept. 8-11th: In person, Socially Distanced Family Orientations and Informational Sessions (More details to follow)
- September 14: First Day of School
Upon re-opening, Alma will follow all state guidance regarding health and safety measures. Key safety measures include:
- Face masks are required for all scholars and staff in school and when riding the bus. Face masks will be provided by families, and Alma will have extra masks on hand as needed. Mask breaks will be built into the daily schedule. (note: exceptions to mask/face covering requirements will be made for those for whom it is not possible due to medical conditions, disability, impact, or other health or safety factors underlying condition or disability)
- Families are responsible for screening their scholar for symptoms of COVID-19 on a daily basis. Any scholar or staff member exhibiting symptoms should stay home.
- Class sizes, schedules and classroom set-up will be adjusted to comply with social distancing guidelines throughout the school day.
While we will continue to follow state guidelines and emerging health information, we are confident that the plans developed in partnership with our teachers and families will help us to continue to meet the mission of our school, while keeping the safety of our community at the forefront.
Alma will continue to collaborate with the New Bedford Department of Health and DESE to determine if we need to adjust our model throughout the school year.
Will Gardner, Executive Director
Please find our full Reopening Plan (In English or in Spanish) as approved by Alma del Mar’s Board of Trustees on Aug. 7, 2020.
You may also review our Frequently Asked Questions.