Fall Reopening Update

July 8, 2020

Dear Benchmark Families,

We’re pleased to be able to share with you this update on our progress toward a safe and educationally robust reopening this fall. Before we delve into the details, I want to offer my sincere thanks to the many families who participated in our recent parent survey. We greatly value your input and we are carefully considering your comments. Our five Working Groups (who are dedicated to planning every aspect of reopening) are actively employing your feedback to help improve our plans.

We share your fervent desire to return to campus, and we are working toward that as our primary goal. As long as Delaware County remains in the green phase of COVID-19 reopening, we are planning for a full school day on campus (with recess!) in September.

While we are planning to be together on campus this fall, the health and safety of our community is of paramount concern. As such, we are also planning for two other alternate learning scenarios, in addition to being together on campus. If needed, we have plans in place to support fully online learning (in an enhanced version of what we experienced in this spring) and a hybrid model of a combination of online and on-campus learning. We are prepared to pivot quickly between plans, with supports for students and parents, should the changing nature of the viral outbreak require that we do so.

Over the next several weeks, our Working Groups and administrative leadership will be dedicated to building out and refining our plans outlined below. Supporting the health of our community and our dedication to our mission have dually guided our desires and decision making. To help us make the best possible decisions with regard to health and best practice for schools, guidance from national, state, and local experts (CDC, PA Department of Health, and local health departments), as well as NAIS, ADVIS, and PAISBOA has informed our work.

When you read our plans below, please keep in mind that these are based on the current situation and our expectations of what will be possible this fall. Plans may need to change, based on shifting COVID-19 circumstances and state decisions. Also, please understand that our diverse Benchmark community is made of many individuals, some of whom are at higher risk than others for contracting COVID-19. We have made decisions that seek to protect the health of our entire community.

Finally, please look out for a communication in mid-August, which will share updates on our reopening plans as well as class-specific details for the upcoming school year.

I hope you and your family have a restful and joyful summer, and that you remain in good health!

Sincerely,

Written signature black text on white backgroud

Chris Hancock
Head of School


 

Our Plan for Reopening in September 2020

Our Goal: Being on Campus in the Fall

Thanks to our spacious campus with large indoor facilities and extensive outdoor spaces and our low student-teacher ratio, we have the flexibility to implement necessary health and safety protocols while still providing a high level of individualization. Because of these significant assets, we intend to provide our academic program on campus while practicing social distancing, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and a focus on hand hygiene this fall.

What the School Day Will Look Like

We greatly appreciate your patience and trust as we continue to develop our plans this summer. These plans are flexible, and will evolve as needed.

We may not have an answer to every question at this time, but if you would like to be in touch about these plans, please contact communications@benchmarkschool.org.