Hybrid Learning Plan
The below information is drawn from the reopening plan that we filed with the New York Department of Health.
Calhoun’s highest priority is the health and well-being of its community – including students, employees and families.
Please direct any questions to Megan Sanderville.
- Flexible Hybrid Model
- Division Schedules
- Phased Return to Buildings
- Healthy Hygiene Practices
- Screening and Other Restrictions
- Distancing Inside and Around Classrooms
- Pods and Cohorts
- Distancing Beyond the Classroom
- Community Norms
- Maintaining a Healthy Community
- Response to Exposures and Cases in the School
- Hybrid and Distance Learning
- After School Programs
● Calhoun will employ a “flexible hybrid” model for teaching and learning in the 2020-2021 school year. This means that any class may combine in-person and remote learners, and in some cases teachers may also be remote. In grades 7-12, students will be required to join remotely on scheduled days to limit class sizes and facilitate social distancing. Students may also join remotely if they are quarantining as a result of illness or exposure to COVID-19, and families may also opt to have students join remotely.
● Students who are joining remotely as a result of quarantine must receive approval from the school office before rejoining their class in-person.
● Students who are joining remotely as a result of family choice must a) either provide a schedule for remote learning to be approved by the Division Director (e.g., “Mondays remote until further notice”), or for protracted absences must provide not less than two weeks’ notice before rejoining class in-person and receive approval from the Division Director; and b) comply with all health screening protocols before rejoining class in person.
● We will be sending families a questionnaire asking whether they intend to begin the year in-person or remotely. Responses to the family survey in July showed that more than 30% of families were still undecided about this question. We will need more definitive responses in order to responsibly assign students to clusters.
Subject to change, division schedules for in-person classes will look as follows, following the phase-in period at the start of the year.
- Lower School–Early Childhood: In non-mixing classroom groups (pods), five days per week.
- LS–Elementary: In non-mixing pods, with some teachers shared across a grade, five days per week.
- Middle School: In non-mixing pods, with some teachers shared across a grade. Three days per week for seventh grade (M-W) and eighth grade (W-F), with remaining two days remote. Five days per week in-person for sixth grade.
- Upper School: Divided into two parallel and non-mixing cohorts, alternating in-person days. Two days per week for each cohort (e.g., Cohort A -Thurs., Fri. then Mon., Tue.; then Cohort B - Thurs., Fri. then Mon., Tue.); Wednesdays remote for all.
● As the year progresses, frequency of in-person instruction may be adjusted in response to public health or other considerations.
● We will reopen by phasing in the grades and cohorts that are on campus for in-person learning, to decrease the number of students re-entering the building at the beginning of the school year and ensure that all students are fully trained in the health and safety protocols created for this year.
● During the phase-in period for in-person learning, remote learning will be utilized more frequently
● 74th Street (Little Calhoun): For the 2020-21 school year, we expect to have no more than 100 LS-EC students in the building at maximum loading, down from 150+ last year and well below the building capacity of 225 students.
● 81st Street (Big Calhoun): For the 2020-21 school year, only the Middle School (MS-grades 6-8) and Upper School (US-grades 9-12) will be housed in Big Calhoun. In the fall, we anticipate that the building will either contain two MS grades and half the US, or all three MS grades when the US is remote. We expect occupancy at Big Calhoun to be below 50% of normal levels, with no more than 225 students at maximum loading, as opposed to 515 last year.
● For the 2020-21 school year, we are leasing additional space: the third and fourth floors at Redeemer Presbyterian Church (RPC) at 150 West 83rd Street, comprising approx. 20,000 square feet. This will temporarily house our Lower School—Elementary (LS-E) division, numbering approximately 95 students. We will have exclusive use of these floors during the school day.
● The Townhouse: For the duration of the 2020-21 school year, many Townhouse employees will work remotely or on limited rotation, ensuring less than 50% occupancy in this building.
● All students, faculty and staff will be required to wear masks at all times. Students will have designated, supervised "mask breaks."
● Additional handwashing and hand-sanitation stations are being installed in all locations. Water fountains will be closed.
● Cleaning and disinfection schedules will be increased throughout the day in all locations.
● Ventilation is being upgraded. Central HVAC at 81st Street and Redeemer Presbyterian will have MERV-13 filtration. Windows at 81st and 74th Streets will be opened when possible. Ventilation will be augmented by fans and portable HEPA filters.
● Faculty will be encouraged to take all opportunities to move students outside (ex: park, Green Roof, terrace) for class times or as breaks.
● Students and employees will be required to complete a questionnaire via an app (Ruvna) and report temperatures daily.
● Parents or visitors will not be allowed in any classroom spaces. In Big Calhoun, parents will not be allowed in the building, with a limited exception of the Commons during inclement weather pick-up. At Little Calhoun, parents will be permitted to drop and pick up students in the theater, which will be used as a transitional space. At Redeemer, parents will drop off and pick up students in the ground floor lobby.
● Arrival times will be staggered by division and grade to limit crowding in lobbies and stairwells.
● Any students or employees receiving a positive test for COVID-19 or learning that they were exposed to a positive case must report this to the school immediately.
● Community members are reminded that all individuals returning from a list of states or countries identified by New York State will be required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival in New York and will not be permitted to enter Calhoun until the conclusion of this quarantine period.
● Teaching spaces will be configured with front-facing seating and spacing of six feet (or in some cases three to six feet with partitions) between students. Six feet of spacing will also be maintained with teachers.
● Teaching spaces at Big Calhoun will be reconfigured to accommodate this spacing — no more than six teaching spaces will be on floors 2-4. Small classrooms and offices will be single-occupancy only.
● Teaching spaces at Little Calhoun and Redeemer have more conventional walls and doors and will be laid out in compliance with spacing guidelines above.
● At Big Calhoun, the theater, gym and library will be used as teaching or meeting spaces with appropriate distancing measures.
● Stairways will be one way (or, in Little Calhoun, used by just one group at a time), and some hallways may also be restricted to one-way traffic.
● Protocols for bathroom use will be developed to limit multiple occupancy, crowding and lines.
● Elevator use will be restricted. Senior elevator privileges in Big Calhoun are suspended.
● Academic schedules and classroom use will be designed to keep students in smaller, consistent groups during the day. This will reduce the risk of viral transmission and allow for discrete cohorts to quarantine in the event of infection without requiring that the entire campus close and shift to distance learning.
● In LS-EC, LS-E and MS, students will be divided into pods of up to 14 students. In LS-EC and LS-E, these pods are equivalent to traditional clusters; in MS and US, cluster assignments are cross-grade and play a different role. Pods will be assigned to home areas during the day and rather than move between spaces, teachers will move among pods.
● In LS-E and MS, teachers will have home pods, but since teachers teach specific subject areas they may teach multiple pods within the same grade. For the purposes of potential quarantining, the cohort is defined as pods sharing one or more teachers on an ongoing basis, which may in some cases be the full grade.
● In US, since many classes and other activities are cross-grade, the pod system is impractical. To limit class sizes to effect proper distancing within class spaces, the US will be divided into two cohorts (A/B) of approximately 130 students each, alternating in-person and remote learning. Teachers will rotate with cohorts to limit the potential for cross-cohort disease transmission.
● Specialists, i.e., teachers who teach subjects across multiple grades in LS-EC, LS-E or MS (e.g., music, woodshop, art, theater, PE, etc) will either teach remotely or be assigned in-person to specific cohorts on a rotating basis.
● All performances and assemblies will be held virtually until further notice.
● All inter-school athletic events are suspended until further notice, per order of NY State. We will keep the community updated on athletic events as guidance is distributed moving forward.
● Curriculum nights and family conferences will be virtual until further notice, with the possible exception of orientation conferences for new students or students new to a division.
● Any events for adult members of our community (including PA events, parent coffees, receptions, etc.) will be held virtually until further notice.
● All faculty meetings will be held virtually.
● US students will no longer be allowed to exit and re-enter the school building during free periods. Instead, we will have designated study hall space where students can go during free periods.
● In light of the small size of many offices at Big Calhoun, administrators and student support staff will have 1:1 meetings with students virtually or in alternative locations like the gym.
● All Calhoun families will be asked to read, sign, and submit a Calhoun Community Agreement before returning to campus.
● The agreement outlines a set of mandatory commitments and strongly recommended guidelines, based on city and state recommendations and requirements, with the goal of prioritizing the health and safety of our students, families, caregivers and employees.
● All employees will be trained in new measures, both school-wide and appropriate to their specific role (e.g., cleaning and maintenance staff).
● At the start of the year and periodically throughout the year, students will be instructed in proper mask use, hand hygiene and other essential practices.
● Non-teaching staff will be asked to telework for some or all days, to reduce building density.
● Employees with underlying medical conditions placing them at elevated risk can request accommodations.
● Calhoun will support formation of carpools and use of Citi Bikes by employees.
● Calhoun will help families seeking to create carpools to coordinate with one another.
● All community members are strongly urged to obtain flu shots once they are available.
● If a student or teacher is exposed to a confirmed case of COVID outside of Calhoun, they should notify the school and quarantine for 14 days (or until a negative COVID-19 test result is obtained, if practical). No other students or teachers are required to quarantine in this case.
● If a student is confirmed to be COVID-19 positive, that student and their pod, including teachers instructing that pod, should quarantine for 14 days.
● If a teacher is confirmed to be COVID-19 positive, that teacher and their cohort (students they have been instructing, and other teachers in regular contact instructing that cohort), should quarantine for 14 days.
● Other factors may result in suspension of in-person learning for a division or the school, including multiple outbreaks in a single grade or division, or rising prevalence rates in the broader NYC community.
● All students or teachers who are confirmed to have COVID-19 will be asked to share contacts within the Calhoun community over the prior 7-10 days beyond the immediate pod or cohort.
● All medical information will be treated as confidential, and any contact tracing will preserve confidentiality of individuals who have contracted the disease.
● Status of pods in quarantine at any time across the school will be displayed on a dashboard accessible to the community.
● In general, distance learners will be incorporated into in-person pods to limit disruptions as students move between in-person and distance modes over the course of the year. Schedules for distance learners will be variants of the in-person schedule.
● In older grades, where students are on a fixed rotation of in-person and distant days, teachers may develop different activities for in-person and remote groups, allowing for greater differentiation and maximizing the pedagogical advantages of each instructional mode.
●In some cases, a sufficient number of students in a single grade may be distant to permit the formation of a remote-only pod. Creation of such a grouping depends on the resources available and is at the discretion of Division Directors.
● All teachers will be expected to have distance learning contingencies ready, should an extended interruption to in-person learning occur (i.e., two weeks or longer). In such cases, divisions may introduce a one-day buffer to facilitate the transition from in-person to distance mode.
● Calhoun will offer a limited ASP program this year, recognizing the need to limit mixing of students across grades.
● ASP groups will be grade-specific and fixed. Groups will have assigned instructors; some specialist instructors may join groups remotely to supplement the programming. The usual à la carte menu of ASP options will not be available this year.
● There will be limited, packaged grab-and-go lunch service prepared by our chefs at Big Calhoun. All plates and utensils will be single-use. See further details on lunch protocols at 81st Street.
● MS and US students will either eat in the Commons during assigned times with distanced seating and partitions, or in classroom areas.
● LS-E students will have lunch brought from Big Calhoun and will eat in their home pod classrooms.
● There will be no salad bar at 81st Street. Recognizing that meal options will be limited this year, students will be permitted to bring in lunch from home. No nuts; no sharing.
● Breakfast service at 81st Street is suspended until further notice.
● Off-campus privileges for US students are also suspended for the year. Students will not be allowed to leave the building during the school day and then return.