This page was updated on July 30, 2020.
After a great deal of consideration, the Shlenker Board of Trustees and I have determined that the first day of school will be Wednesday, August 19th, as originally planned; however, we have also determined that school will begin virtually for Young Toddler through fifth grade.
This decision was not made lightly and there were many factors that were evaluated. While many of you may be disappointed to hear this news, I know others are relieved. Our community, like the rest of the country, is divided on the issue of whether or not school should reopen in person. We support our community obligation to help minimize the spread of the virus. Although I am certainly disappointed not to welcome you back to school in person on the 19th, I am optimistic that as we continue to see downward trends in percentages of positive cases of COVID-19, we will be able to reopen in-person on our new target date of September 8th.
When we do reopen our building, please know that all families will have the opportunity to choose between a distance learning or in-person learning experience, based on what is best for their individual family. I believe our students need to have the option of returning to campus, and I believe that our school can be a safe space for all. We have the power and privilege to give our children the stability they deserve during these turbulent times.
Some schools have moved their start date back in the hopes of beginning in-person; however, we believe it is best for our community to maximize our instructional time and begin the school year as originally planned. We have great work to do and we are eager for our children to return to their learning. We do not want to wait any longer.
Below, you will find our comprehensive reopening guidelines. In this plan, you will learn more about the health and safety precautions that we will implement once we reopen. You will also learn about improvements to our distance learning programs, an exciting 1:1 technology roll out plan for students in PreK-4 through 5th grade, and a refund policy for Young Toddler, Older Toddler, and PreK-3 students, which goes into effect on 8/19/20, as we begin distance learning.
Thank you to our incredible COVID-19 Task Force. These individuals have worked tirelessly all summer to develop our robust reopening guidelines that mitigate risk and allow us to return to our campus when the time is right. I am immensely grateful to them and to the Board of Trustees for their guidance and commitment to our community.
I know there is a lot to process in the video message, email, and reopening guidelines and I know that you may have questions. I will be hosting two Town Halls (Monday, 8/3 at 7:30–8:30pm and Wednesday, 8/5 9:00–10:00am) where you can ask live questions via the chat feature. The Zoom links are forthcoming. I encourage you to join me at one of these sessions.
I am grateful to you for your flexibility, patience, and support. We are #shlenkerstrong and we will get through this together!
Dr. Michelle Barton
Head of School