About

Fall Plan 2020

Throughout the spring and summer Nashoba Brooks School
has been working closely with our partners in public health to
prepare for a safe and healthy learning experience this year.
Guided by our local and regional partners as well as the perspective and expertise shared through our networks at AISNE, ExploElevate, ISM, NAIS, NBOA, NCGS, and more, a task force with subcommittees focused on auxiliary programs, employees, facilities, health and well-being, program excellence, communication, events, and technology has met regularly to explore and refine multiple scenarios for 2020-2021.

Below is the result of drawing on this collective wisdom to open our school safely and responsibly. While we hope to do so, as scheduled, on September 10, we also recognize that the situation in our state and our nation continues to change on a weekly basis. These plans represent our current aspirations, but we will adjust them, as needed, in accordance with data trends and public health guidance from the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
 

Our Approach

Nashoba Brooks will launch a flexible, hybrid program beginning in September 2020. This program is designed to welcome students back to campus for a Monday through Friday schedule with a focus on the core academic day of 8:30–3:30 Monday–Friday and 8:30–12:30 on Tuesdays with a proactive, layered approach to safety. Students and families may elect to learn from home through a 5-day, synchronous program, linked directly to live classes with their teachers and classmates throughout the day. 

All members of the Nashoba Brooks community will commit to maintaining multiple layers of risk mitigation initiatives to support the collective health and safety of our community including:
  • Completion of twice daily mandatory health screenings. 
  • Face coverings at all times and physical distancing indoors.
  • Continued and enhanced utilization of our beautiful 30-acre campus and outdoor classroom settings.
  • De-densifying and maintaining small cohort groups to limit the number of close contacts throughout the day.
  • Minimal movement through shared spaces throughout the day.
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols.
  • Commitment to enhanced training and awareness of hand hygiene and disease prevention protocols.
  • Upgraded ventilation and filtration systems to enhance air quality.
  • Adherence to wayfinding protocols to minimize and manage movement throughout shared spaces.
  • Welcoming only essential visitors to campus.

We will operate with a risk mitigation strategy informed by data from our School, local community, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts—proceeding with caution and prepared to adjust with increased restrictions or fewer restrictions as appropriate. 
 

Shared responsibility

In the current climate, it is essential for the School and our families to work together to achieve and maintain a successful opening. We know our students’ learning experience is enhanced through personal connections and relationships, and our goal is to keep our campus open, healthy and safe. 

To support this effort, 

Our families will:
  • Limit travel and follow state travel orders. 
  • Avoid group gatherings outside of close contacts to reduce risk of virus exposure.
  • Follow School requirements and on-campus protocols (e.g. masking, distancing, drop-off, pickup, etc.).
  • Use the MyMedBot app to complete self-screening twice a day.
  • Report any symptoms of, exposure to, or presumed or confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 to the school nurse immediately.
  • Cooperate with supportive health protocols (e.g. sunscreen, insect repellent, flu shots, etc.).

The School will:
  • Implement a flexible, accessible, hybrid instruction model, with appropriate supports.
  • Require employee health screenings through MyMedBot twice a day.
  • Allow essential visitors only, and in limited spaces, on campus.
  • De-densify work and classroom spaces to allow for social distancing of 6 feet.
  • Reduce the need for student transitions and movement around campus.
  • Create clear traffic patterns in the building and outdoors to strengthen distancing.
  • Enhance cleaning and disinfecting of all spaces, and proper school-wide protocols for hand washing and hygiene.
  • Provide support for the physical and emotional health of students and adults in the community.
  • Manage individual student supplies to minimize shared resources and follow regular  cleaning protocols.
  • Provide personal protective equipment to all employees.
  • Increase our capacity for health screening, reporting, and contact tracing through various staffing initiatives.
  • Create a schedule that allows students to shift efficiently and successfully from on campus to online learning as circumstances require.

Guiding Principles

Our Core Values
Integrity, collaboration, inclusivity, empathy, and resilience are at the heart of everything we do at Nashoba Brooks. These core values help us to define our work and relationships. They help our students build a perspective on their lives at School and in the world beyond our walls.

A Healthy, Safe Community
It is important for students to feel comfortable and safe at school so that they can be ready to learn. We plan to meet or exceed the state’s health and safety guidelines for opening schools. Social and emotional awareness and well-being are key components of a healthy community. Each of uschildren and adultsneed to take good care of ourselves so that we can help to take care of each other.

High Quality, Flexible Learning
Our teachers use a creative, collaborative, and student-centered approach to developing our program both on campus and online. Because each of us has differing needs, vulnerabilities, and circumstances, we will adapt as needed to maintain a high degree of student engagement and academic progress.

Shared Responsibility
Parents are an integral part of positive learning outcomes for students, both at home and in school. Our School-parent partnership is essential to creating a safe and healthy learning environment at Nashoba Brooks. The School and our parents both have important roles to play in helping our students to achieve their best. 

Equity and Transparency
In order to open School with confidence, it is important to lead with our core values. They will help us to maintain a climate of collaborative problem-solving, open communication, and trust, in which all members of our community feel supported, valued and understood.
 
 

Multiple Layers to Maintaining a Healthy Campus

Face Coverings

Face coverings have emerged as one of the most effective measures one can take against the spread of COVID-19, and remain an essential practice for maintaining safety at School. In addition, face masksrather than buffs, face shields, or other optionsare recognized as the most effective option to cover one’s nose and mouth. For this reason, we are asking that all students and adults wear a face mask upon entering campus and for the duration of the school day. In alignment with  guidelines from the CDC, the School recommends a face mask that is comfortable and washable, has multiple layers of protection, fits securely, does not inhibit breathing, and does not have a valve. Please contact the school nurse if you have questions or concerns regarding face masks.
 

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing is another key aspect of risk mitigation. Nashoba Brooks School will require at least 6 feet distance between all persons on campus wherever possible. All classrooms have been measured, and a maximum capacity has been determined following the 6 feet distancing criteria. The hallways have been marked with one-way directionals, and student movement throughout the building will be limited.


Group Gatherings

In order to reduce the risk of exposure, families and employees are asked to avoid group gatherings and to limit interactions to only their close contacts for the two weeks prior to the start of school, and while school remains in session.



Building Cleaning and Disinfecting

The School has enacted the following measures to ensure that our buildings remain as clean as possible:
  • An extra cleaner will be on campus during the school day, focusing on restrooms and high touch surfaces like railings, restrooms, and door knobs.
  • Enhanced nightly cleaning will include cleaning all hard surfaces with an electrostatic machine and wiping down all classroom desks and chairs.
  • Cleaning kits have been placed in all classrooms so teachers and students can clean their personal areas regularly throughout the school day.
  • Touchless bottle filler stations will replace the use of all touch points on water fountains.


Hand Hygiene

The School has built formal procedures for hand washing and sanitizing into the daily schedule. Posters will be placed around the building and in all sink areas and bathrooms with reminders and instruction.





Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning Systems

Having fresh, clean air circulating throughout the building helps to ensure a healthy learning and working environment. Following the guidance issued by the American Society of Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the CDC, the School has:
 
  • Upgraded filters in our centralized air systems and installed portable HEPA air purifiers, where needed, to provide continuous recirculation and improve air quality.
  • Ensured that classroom windows can be opened to the outdoors for fresh air.
In addition to these upgrades, we will schedule increased outdoor learning and play time to give students as much time outside as possible. If your child suffers from seasonal allergies that may limit outdoor time, please contact the school nurse to discuss an appropriate health plan.


 

Academic program

The Nashoba Brooks academic program is a student-centered approach that is built upon the School’s core values: integrity, collaboration, inclusivity, empathy, and resilience. With an emphasis on the interpersonal relationships between students and their teachers, students are encouraged to take healthy academic risks and develop a greater understanding of the world and their ability to make a positive impact on it. 

Hybrid Program
While we look forward to the day when all of us can be back to campus safely, we know that some students and families will have health vulnerabilities that require them to work remotely. The School will work closely with these individuals to make it possible for them to engage fully in our daily program. Our IS team is also available to give families technological support, as needed.

We have also added Swivl cameras to each of our classrooms to help remote learners follow the activity of the class more easily from home. Each student will receive their own laptop, Chromebook or iPad, and a personal learning kit with the necessary supplies for the subjects they are taking. These kits will make certain that students have everything they need, whether at School or at home, to complete assignments and fulfill teacher expectations.

Whether in person or remote, a Nashoba Brooks education inspires self-confidence, encourages self-advocacy and accentuates the individual strengths of our students.

On Campus Instruction
While on campus, students will learn in small cohort groups with a dedicated team of teachers assigned to each group. Additional small group and one-on-one support will be provided by our talented teachers and specialists. Through the use of technology in the classrooms, students will engage in simultaneous, direct, and differentiated instruction. Teachers and students will have the flexibility to teach and learn simultaneously from outside the classroom as needed to maintain flexibility and accommodate cohorting needs. In addition to the core academic subject areas of math, reading, social studies and writing, students receive instruction in Spanish, science, physical education, library, music, and art. In the Middle School, students also are instructed in Latin, drama and English.

Laptops, Chromebooks, and iPads are utilized by students to support productivity, access asynchronous assignments, and engagement with teachers on video. Each student will receive their own learning kits that contain necessary supplies for the subjects they are taking.

In addition to classroom instruction, students utilize the natural elements of campus to enhance their learning. Where possible, lessons may be delivered outdoors by homeroom and subject-specific teachers.


Learning From Home 
The Nashoba Brooks School remote learning program, NashobaBrooks@Home, aims to build and maintain the connectivity between all members of the community: students, teachers, families, and staff. Our program provides an educational experience that fosters curiosity, supports academic growth, and promotes collaboration. Students communicate with their teachers and classmates through class meetings and instruction, as well as in small groups and individual coaching sessions. Students learn through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. 
 
Asynchronous instruction
Students engage with class assignments and instruction at their own pace, often completing assignments within a specific timeframe. Asynchronous assignments may be project-based, involve tech-free activities, require interaction with a discussion board (Flipgrid), and incorporate video recorded lessons (screencasts).
 
Synchronous instruction
Students engage in real time with peers and teachers, face to face, over a video-conferencing platform (Zoom or Google Meet). Synchronous learning allows for immediate feedback and communication. These sessions are essential for building and maintaining healthy relationships when not in-person.
 
We are prepared as a community to have some or all of our School participating in remote learning, as the public health climate dictates.

School Schedule

Our School schedules have been designed with our hybrid model in mind and recognize that at any given time some teaching and learning will be happening remotely, even when we are back to school. The schedules support developmental growth in all our students and have been simplified to allow us to navigate both in-person and remote learning seamlessly. We have tried to maintain a good balance between synchronous and asynchronous options, and between device use and non-screen time. Each schedule incorporates recess, snack, lunch, routine hygiene, co-curricular subjects, and embedded opportunities for individualized instruction and support. Below are sample schedules for each division of the School to give you a sense of the pace of the school day.


Lower School Sample Schedule
On campus
Remote 
8-8:30
Arrival - centers, individual student check-ins
8:30-8:45
Morning Meeting
Zoom
8:50-9:35
Reading 
Zoom
9:40-10:25
PE 
Zoom
10:30-11:00
Snack/Recess
Break
11:05-11:50
Math
Zoom
12:00-12:20
Lunch - in class
Break
12:25-12:45
Recess
Break
12:50-1:35
Social Studies, handwriting
Zoom
1:40-2:25
Science
Asynchronous
2:30-3:00
Flex class time
Scheduled
3:00-3:15
Closing Meeting 
Zoom
3:15
Dismissal


Middle School Sample Schedule
On Campus
Remote 
8:00-8:25
Arrival - centers, individual student check-ins
8:25-8:45
Advisory/Flex/Homeroom
Zoom
8:50-9:35
Humanities
Zoom
9:40-10:25
Reading
Zoom
10:25-11:05
Snack/Recess
Break
11:05-11:50
Drama
Zoom
11:50-12:10
Recess
Break
12:25-12:45
Lunch - in class
Break
12:50-1:35
Music
Zoom
1:40-2:25
Math
Zoom
2:30-3:15
Spanish
Asynchronous
3:15-3:25
Homeroom
 Zoom
3:30
Dismissal
 

The Cohort Plan: a Community of Neighborhoods

Nashoba Brooks has developed a cohort model to structure how our students and adults engage with one another and stay connected. Physical distancing and limiting the number of an individual’s close contacts over the course of the week are two key measures for creating a safe community; therefore, our model is designed to limit the number of students and adults that each person comes into contact with each day. Each cohort, or homeroom, will live in their grade level neighborhood as seen in the School map below. 

In our hybrid model:
  • Students remain in their homeroom grouping for the entire school day.
  • Each homeroom has a designated teacher and an affiliate teacher who stay with that group and alternate coverage throughout the day.
  • Homerooms allow students to learn alongside each other, both with their in-person peers and their peers in other homerooms via synchronous streamed classes.
  • All students have planned times to use outdoor spaces (e.g. recess and outdoor classes).
  • Each grade level neighborhood has assigned rooms, bathrooms, hallways, and other shared spaces to limit the number of close contacts.

Our schedule is structured around our grade level neighborhoods. Each homeroom is assigned a home classroom, and each neighborhood has an additional flexible classroom for small group instruction, check-ins, or creative lessons. All flexible classrooms will be sanitized between use by different homerooms.

Within each homeroom, students will remain with a consistent group of students and adults. Homerooms within a grade will not mix for classes, but there will be opportunities for virtual neighborhood activities. The designated classroom is where instruction will take place in a few different formats: in-person with the homeroom teacher and affiliate, synchronously through video conferencing with another teacher, or asynchronously completing assigned academic work. In their designated homeroom, students will maintain distance from one another and desks will be spaced 6 feet apart. Additionally, students will have their own “academic kit” to effectively engage in all of their classes throughout the day and limit the number of shared supplies.
 

Additional Details for the Fall

Before- and After-School Programs

Interscholastic athletics and before- and after-school activities will be suspended for the time being. We do plan, however, to offer some after-school programs online, once our daily school routines have become well-established.


Bus Transportation

At this point in time, Concord transportation is planning to provide morning drop-off and afternoon pickup at Nashoba Brooks School. The private bus system with Fenn School will continue to run. Both bus systems will have social distancing protocols in place and require students to wear face coverings.


Lunch

Sodexo dining services will be providing individual box lunches for members of the community, and we are very pleased that they will be able to provide hot lunch options each day. This dedicated and talented team—working closely with the school nurse and with families—will continue to support and accommodate students’ dietary needs and food allergies. Students and teachers will eat lunch in their home classrooms where proper social distancing can be monitored and maintained for safe eating.


Health Screening

All School employees and students will complete a health screening twice daily using the MyMedBot mobile application. Completion of this form is required in order to enter the building. The first form will be completed by 8:00 a.m.—prior to arrival on campus—and the second form will be completed in the evening by 8:00 p.m. From data obtained through a series of questions, employees and students will learn if they may come to School, or if they should remain at home for further consultation with the school nurse. This will allow us to track the current health status of our community members and to respond efficiently to any signs of illness.


Suspected Case at School

If an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms while at school, the nurse will be contacted and the individual will proceed immediately to our designated assessment area for a clinical evaluation. If the nurse determines that symptoms are consistent with COVID-19, an employee would be required to leave campus, and a student would be picked up by the parent/guardian as soon as possible. Symptomatic students and employees are instructed to consult with their healthcare provider to determine a plan of care, including a medical assessment and COVID-19 test. Students and employees may not return to School until medically cleared by their healthcare provider in consultation with the school nurse.


Isolation, Quarantine and Contact Tracing

If a student or employee receives either a presumed positive or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, they must alert the school nurse immediately and remain isolated at home until they have met the criteria for recovery. All close contacts of the affected individual in the School community will be notified by the school nurse of the need to quarantine at home for 14 days, and they will transition to online learning for the duration of the quarantine. The individual and their close contacts also may be contacted and tracked by the local department of public health’s contact tracing team. The school nurse will work closely with the affected person, their health care provider, the contact tracers, and the Town of Concord Department of Public Health to monitor the case, and determine when an individual may return to School.


Parent Engagement

We are not able to have parents on campus at this time. School employees will assist with the process of getting students to and from classrooms safely during morning and afternoon transitions. We will continue to support and engage our families through online presentations, Parents’ Association meetings, and teacher conferences via Zoom for the time being. We will return to meeting in person once group gatherings are deemed safe.


Travel Policy

With the health and well-being of our community of paramount importance and in order to mitigate exposure risk, we ask all families and employees to limit travel, in accordance with the governor’s travel order, and remain close to home two weeks prior to starting School, and while School is in session. 

Per order of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, any student or employee who has traveled outside of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, New York or New Jersey must quarantine once home for 14 days. If a parent or family member has traveled outside of these areas, and remains asymptomatic, the student may continue to come to School as long as they remain asymptomatic as well.


Financial considerations

Tuition
To demonstrate our commitment to investing in Nashoba Brooks School families in the same way that they invest in our School, the Board of Trustees decided that tuition would not increase for any grade level for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Financial Assistance
The School has worked closely with families financially impacted by the pandemic to determine if they qualify for financial assistance. If you have questions or are concerned about your ability to pay full tuition, please reach out to discuss your circumstances with the Director of Finance and Operations. 

School Investment in Health and Safety
The School is committed to meeting or exceeding CDC health and safety guidelines. In order to achieve this goal, we have dedicated funds to:
  • Install air filtration systems to improve School air quality.
  • Increase staffing and resources for keeping all school spaces sanitized more frequently.
  • Create individual supply kits for students to reduce sharing.
  • Increase staff who can provide healthcare. 
  • Upgrade our wireless network and Zoom webinar capacity.
  • Add teaching staff to help de-densify classes.

Nashoba Brooks School is a coed Lower School from Preschool to Grade 3 and an all-girls Middle School from Grades 4 to 8 located in Concord, Massachussetts.