This page represents the essential information that Moravian Academy community members need to know for a successful and healthy school year during the Covid-19 pandemic. This page will be updated throughout the school year. For complete details on our reopen, stay open plan, please read through the community guide to the right.
July 31, 2020
Dear Moravian Academy Families,
I write this week’s update to you, knowing that many of us are acutely feeling the difficulties associated with the start of this school year. I recognize the hopes and fears that you are experiencing, many of which you have shared with me and the leadership team. While this shared journey is both wearying and worrisome, I am immensely grateful for your strong support for the safety, wellbeing, and educational priorities of our children and our school.
Moravian Academy will be prepared to open for in-person school for all students. As I trust you know, this includes an understanding with families that you are best equipped to determine if your child should attend in person or remotely. This is an imperfect set of choices, I acknowledge, but we feel strongly in giving you as parents this option, knowing that each family has its own unique blend of factors. Moreover, you will be able to decide based on what is happening each day and how your child is responding. We are not asking you to make a determination in advance for the entire year.
This is a key difference in our approach at Moravian Academy, as an independent school. While we believe generally that the benefits of in-person school are significant, we know each student is unique, each family’s situation is distinct, and Moravian Academy’s priority will be to support your decision on whether in-person or remote learning is best for your child and your family.
Health and Safety Updates
We know that providing as much information as possible in advance will help you in making these decisions. It is vital for everyone to read the Community Guide, which details our plans for reopening. This week, there are additional sections on the following topics: Cleaning and Airflow, Community Illness, Transportation, Uniforms/Dress Code, and Attendance. In addition, we are arranging for grade-level community meetings in the following weeks, where you can discuss information and ask questions.
We have also decided to institute a new individualized orientation process to help each student return to school, write goals, and make a plan for this new kind of school year. Parents, students, and teachers/advisors will work together to write each child’s roadmap, which will help students start the school year with confidence and prepare them to pursue goals throughout the year. It has been a long time away from school, and all students should have some additional help in preparing to return. Moravian Academy teachers and advisors will lead this process with you and your student since we know how important it is to commit from the start to maximizing your child’s learning, participation, and potential in the year ahead.
At the heart of the Moravian Academy difference is that each student should expect to be challenged in their learning - academically, socially, and emotionally - and ultimately, they are inspired to do their best work in this environment. As you consider in-person or remote learning, we know each family will be assessing the impacts on learning and academic progress. I want you to know that we have been working on how to raise academic challenges and personal expectations, especially in remote learning, as much as we have been working on health and safety this summer. It is paramount at Moravian Academy that each student sees and understands how much is expected of them.
All expectations will need to be re-articulated for this year, knowing that students will be learning under a wider assortment of situations, including sometimes at home and away from the helpful reminders of teachers. We understand this was one element that was underdeveloped during virtual school last spring. I am convening teams starting next week to develop these expectations, at developmentally appropriate levels, so that over the first several weeks of school we are sure each student understands clearly what is expected of them throughout the year. These expectations, expressed in pledges and learning agreements, will be built into their personal roadmaps, will be the subject of individual check-ins, and will be extended into their homes with the help of parents and families.
Overall, the pandemic continues to sharpen what we know as the difference Moravian makes. For our students, I believe much of this difference is living up to the expectations that the teachers and community have set for them. For parents, I believe much of the difference is seeing your child’s education adapt to who your child is and what your child needs most to grow and thrive. None of this is easy! It is important and worth striving for, however, and Moravian Academy shares both the difficulties and the triumphs of this journey with you.
We will have additional information available for you next week, and will update you accordingly.