Academic Program

Reopening Header

Based on current conditions in Connecticut, we are planning for a full re-opening of campus in the fall with reduced class sizes. We have reimagined our program and learning spaces in a way that makes this full return possible and will engage students in a comprehensive and inspiring program while taking significant steps to mitigate health risks. 

We recognize that conditions can change quickly and that everything depends upon the public health situation. We are therefore developing contingency plans that are flexible and student-centered.

In This section

1. Guiding Principles
2. Learning Cohorts
3. School hours
4. Schedule
5. PE & Recess
6. Staffing
7. Learning Support Program
8. Technology
9. Students Not Returning to Campus
10. After School Program
11. Extracurricular Activities


 

Guiding Principles

Social-emotional wellbeing: The social-emotional development of children is best served through being in community with one another. We know that personal contact has numerous benefits for the development and wellbeing of children. Together children learn how to collaborate, discuss, share, problem solve, question and resolve conflict. One of the things that the faculty missed most last spring were the nuanced interactions that can only happen in person.

In-person learning: Our on-campus program will be a blend of in-person and live, remote instruction in order to continue to offer a full range of experiences and development of skills and content. The in-person experiences will be dedicated to those things that are best suited for this setting, including discussion, debate and collaboration.

Interdisciplinary curriculum: Even in this new learning environment, students will benefit from Foote's interdisciplinary curriculum by engaging in projects that combine writing, the arts, social studies and more in creative and exciting ways. Each stable cohort has an interdisciplinary teaching team working with the students in person and collaborating to deliver the most authentic curriculum possible.

Academic rigor: The faculty's commitment to knowing each individual student, and expertise with their subject matter, will ensure that our program continues to be rich and rigorous. The Middle School schedule has been modified to support differentiation and leveled instruction with a combination of both 90- and 45-minute blocks.

Health and safety: There will be a lot of changes to get used to during the first days of school. We view this as an opportunity to learn together about how to take care of ourselves and our community, and to keep one another safe. Teachers will spend ample time in the opening days establishing good habits for hygiene, mask wearing and physical distancing in order to lessen anxiety and create happy, productive classrooms.


 

Learning Cohorts

To reduce the number of students in each classroom—and create as safe an environment as possible—students will be grouped in stable cohorts.

  • A stable cohort is when students remain together, and different adult teachers move between classrooms in that grade.
  • Grades K–5: Each class will be no larger than 12 students. Together, the classrooms in each grade will form a stable cohort. Homeroom teachers will not move between classes. In Kindergarten, only the specials teacher assigned to that grade will move between classes. In Grades 1–5, the associate teachers and assigned specials teachers will move between classrooms to teach in-person.
  • Grades 6–9: Cohorts will be no larger than 11 students. Each grade will be assigned an interdisciplinary team of teachers, including one specials teacher, who will teach in person.
  • Learning in stable cohorts reduces the need to quarantine large numbers of individuals in the event of a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19.
     

 

School Hours

  • Staggered arrival will begin at 7:45 a.m., Monday through Thursday.
  • Staggered dismissal will begin at 3:00 p.m.
  • There will be no early drop-off or After School Program for at least the first six weeks.
     

 

Schedule

  • In-person learning will take place four days a week, Monday to Thursday.
  • Fridays will be reserved for remote learning; connecting with students who are not able to come to campus; and faculty planning and professional development.
  • The schedule will alternate between "grey" and "maroon" weeks with slightly varying class schedules in order to provide students access to a full program of academics and specials.
  • Students will have one in-person special, with others taught remotely during the school day.
  • Lunch will be outdoors when possible or in the classroom.
  • All microwaves have been removed from classrooms. Children must bring a non-microwavable lunch.
  • Classes will have access to tents for outdoor learning.
  • Students will still have the same number of recess periods and opportunities for mask breaks.
     

PE & Recess

  • Physical Education class will happen by homeroom. In the Lower School, each class is a homeroom. In the Middle School, two advisory groups constitute a homeroom.
  • Physical Education will take place exclusively outdoors for the first several weeks.
  • Students will still have the same number periods for recess.
  • Recess will happen outdoors by grade level.
  • At least initially, each class will have a designated area for recess.
  • If it is safe to do so, we will ease restrictions so that students can have recess with a greater number of peers within their grade.
     

 

Staffing

  • In order to create the smaller, stable cohorts that are required to get back on campus, we have reassigned some teaching faculty to new roles and hired additional staff to support head teachers.
  • This model relies on staffing a greater number of classrooms with fewer students in each one, and we are fortunate to have such a deep well of talent and experience among our faculty.
     

 

Learning support program

  • Because some of our Learning Support teachers are taking on lead teaching roles in classrooms, we have had to modify our Learning Support Program.
  • We will evaluate the needs of our students and prioritize the children who need the greatest level of support.
     

 

Technology

  • Our academic program will utilize new hardware and online learning platforms to support in-person learning and to provide a seamless transition to remote learning should that become necessary.
  • Grades K–2 will use Seesaw as their online platform.
  • Grades 3–9 will use Google Classroom.
  • All grades will use video conferencing for remote meetings when that is required.
  • Parents will have access to all student learning platforms.
  • All students will be provided with a school-issued device: iPads for Grades K–2 and Chromebooks for Grades 3–9.
  • Students should bring their device back and forth each day in the event they have to be quarantined or switch to remote learning.
  • Be sure to charge your device at home each night, as the classrooms will not have charging carts.
     

 

Students Not Returning to Campus

For those students who are not able to return to campus, we are developing a model for off-campus remote learning. If you are contemplating not having your child(ren) return for in-person instruction, and have not already done so, please contact the appropriate division head by August 14 so that we can discuss your situation. Email Chrissy Khachane for Grades K–5 (ckhachane@footeschool.org) and Beth Mello for Grades 6–9 (bmello@footeschool.org).


 

After School Program

  • There will be no After School Program for at least the first six weeks of school.
  • We understand this will pose an inconvenience for some families.
  • We will re-evaluate the public health situation as the fall progresses and loosen restrictions if we are able to safely do so.
     

 

Extracurricular Activities

  • There will be no after-school sports or extracurricular activities for at least the first six weeks of school.

Latest Updates

The social-emotional development of children is best served through being in community with one another.

Key Contacts

Aléwa Cooper, Head of School
Phone: 203-777-3464
Email: acooper@footeschool.org

Student Health Office
Phone: 203-777-3464
Email: healthoffice@footeschool.org

Beth Mello, Assistant Head of School & Acting Head of Middle School
Phone: 203-777-3464
Email: bmello@footeschool.org

Chrissy Khachane, Head of Lower School
Phone: 203-777-3464
Email: ckhachane@footeschool.org

David Sklar, Business Manager & CFO
Phone: 203-777-3464
Email: dsklar@footeschool.org

Foote Front Desk
Phone: 203-777-3464
Email: info@footeschool.org