Upper School Phase 2 Details

March 27, 2020

I have been so heartened by the enthusiasm, patience, flexibility, and perseverance of the entire Upper School community - for the whole school, really. I am proud of all stakeholders in this division as we continue to acclimate to new paradigms. Bravo!

Shared below is some important information for the entire Upper School community, including divisional specific information pertaining to Phase 2 of our implementation of virtual school. In Phase 2, students will begin to experience both asynchronous and synchronous teaching and there will also be a new daily schedule that prioritizes continued learning and each student’s health and well being.

Here are a few items to highlight for our community:

  • The first day of Phase 2 will be Monday, March 30, which will be a "C" Day. We are beginning fresh with "C" day and the COMENIUS letter days will remain intact for the duration of virtual school. 
  • All students in Grades 5-12 will follow the same Virtual Comenius Schedule, which will be posted to myMA and can be seen here.
    • School begins at 8:45 am and concludes at 3:15 pm each day
    • Students will have two required advisory check-ins each day - one in the morning (8:45 - 9:00 am) and another in the afternoon (3:00 - 3:15 pm). These are virtual touchpoints to ensure the students are doing okay and for us to keep building relationships despite the distance between us. 
    • Classes will meet either live during the scheduled time or asynchronously with assignments posted to myMA at/before 9:00 am. 
    • Classes are 45 minutes in length, yet this does not mean that this entire time will be used for synchronous learning - a variety of methods will be employed by the teachers 
    • Community programming will be scheduled asynchronously and shared with student’s email accounts.
    • Daily personal wellness and lunchtime are included from 11:00 am - 12:45 pm. This time was designed to allow students to disconnect from school and to be off their laptop or iPad screens.
  • “S” Days will be called curioSity days during virtual school. Our students are curious and passionate about learning.  A “curioSity day” is an opportunity for students to take learning to a new level with each individual directing their learning. It’s a day of deep, self-directed learning where students are not required to follow the Academy’s curricula, where students can follow their own passions and interests, and where students may conduct their own research. It is not a day for teachers - it is a day for students. All students will be expected to showcase their learning at the conclusion of each “curioSity day” through a medium of their choosing. Ninth graders will be able continue their FIRE projects. Comenius Project participants will be able to continue their independent work.
  • In the second phase of implementation for the Upper School, homework may be assigned. All assignments will be posted to myMA. All schoolwork and homework may receive feedback, but will not count towards a student’s year-end grade. All course materials will be available through Google Classroom or myMA.
  • Attendance will be monitored and maintained by the Upper School Main Office.
  • When a synchronous class is facilitated by a teacher, it will be recorded. Teachers will be using Google Meet or Zoom for these sessions.
  • Dress for virtual school days follows the general expectations in the Parent-Student Handbook.
  • Email is the best method to contact any member of the school community. Please email before 4:30 pm each day of the week. If a student is feeling overwhelmed with virtual school, please reach out to your child’s advisor to begin a conversation.
  • Important contact information:

Remember to continue practicing sound preventative measures, including remaining home, thoroughly washing your hands and keeping them away from your face, staying informed through reliable sources, and maintaining physical distance as best as you can. 

Thank you for your partnership as we continue to lean into these unprecedented times.

Dylan Deal

Director of Upper School


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