Utilizing Campus Space
We are in a fortunate position to be able to maximize the use of our spacious campus for learning, play, lunch and more. Our goal is also to create a “home base” or “pod” in each specific grade level to limit the cross-utilization of space. This already exists naturally in the lower school, and we will follow a similar model in the upper school. Rather than students moving to a new space for different classes, the teachers will move into a common student space. We will also schedule our Specials classes in two-week increments to limit cross over use of space. This approach will allow for less cross-exposure and better contact tracing should an exposure occur. (Rest assured, students will have ample opportunity to access the outdoors either for class or to move around and “stretch their legs” between classes.) Because there are some classes where space is clearly linked to program (art, science labs, the IDEA Center), in cases where more than one grade level will utilize a space during a school day, the space will be thoroughly cleaned between classes.
We would like to offer the opportunity for any family who is uncomfortable or unable to access in-person learning to join school remotely. Indeed, this may be a necessity for many or all if illness occurs, quarantine measures take effect, or authorities mandate a return to distance learning. To help in our preparations, we ask any family electing to choose distance learning for health reasons during the fall 2020 semester to notify the School Nurse (firstname.lastname@example.org
) no later than August 15.
Upland Online, our distance learning platform, will build upon our experience and feedback from the spring. Our goal through distance learning will be to provide a reliable and dynamic program that provides predictable and consistent access to material and assignments as well as a synchronous component for students regardless of their ability to be on campus.
Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)/Mental Health
When the COVID-19 pandemic initiated a stay-at-home order for two and a half months, Upland students, parents, and teachers moved quickly into remote learning. We are proud of the way that the community responded during this unprecedented time, however, we recognize that the isolation that this caused, coupled with the economic distress that many have experienced, compounded by the trauma that many have felt in the wake of national protests may have heightened the level of stress and anxiety for many.
At Upland, we believe that addressing the social and emotional well-being of our children’ must be considered along with inspiring their intellectual growth and development. With this in mind, we will be enhancing our SEL efforts to support wellness, social justice, and Mindfulness, and modifying our PE/Athletics program to amplify our focus on the social-emotional health of students.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We recognize that the global pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing inequities in our school, neighborhoods, and country. Current events have put systemic inequities at the forefront for us to examine how we engage around these important topics while maintaining a safe environment for all. We aim to facilitate an increased level of developmentally appropriate conversations around bias, prejudice, and privilege; offer affinity groups; provide resources to the community to engage around these topics; address any emerging equity challenges we may face; and continue professional development on DEI for faculty and staff.