In a special Zoom session held on July 6, Head of School Craig Bradley introduced the framework for the School's fall reopening. A team of School leaders who have been involved in the planning process fielded questions submitted by families about reopening procedures and Hotchkiss's reimagined community life and academic model. (Watch a replay of the session below. A second informational Zoom session will be held on July 13 at 7:30 p.m. EDT)
Bradley expressed excitement about the reopening, but he cautioned that there are countless details that are still taking shape.
“I ask you to bear with us as we work out those details. As you can imagine, there is a significant degree of complexity to the work of mitigating the health risks of reopening the School in the fall, and we are being deliberate and comprehensive in our planning,” he said.
During the reopening planning, the School relied heavily on external expertise, including: Dr. Sten Vermund, Yale’s Dean of Public Health, serving as an advisor to the School; the State of Connecticut Higher Education Task Force, which applies to boarding schools as well as colleges and universities; Environmental Health and Engineering (EHE), which offers expertise in the safe operation of buildings and physical spaces; the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools; colleagues at peer schools in the Eight Schools Association and the Founders League; and colleagues at schools around the world in places that reopened, such as South Korea and Germany.'
Bradley said he was pleased to have a plan in place that will bring students back to campus safely. "But we do need to count on one another to make this happen," he said.
The School will follow a hybrid learning model this fall, which allows the School to pivot between two modes: in-person instruction and distance learning.
“We’re combining the best online learning practices with meaningful in-person activities," said Jared Hall, dean of academic life.
Hall emphasized that the Hotchkiss community has "highly motivated and capable students, collaborative, qualified teachers who are flexible and willing to try new things, and terrific tools available.”
“We also see this as an opportunity to see what learning might look like years in the future,” he said
To learn more about reopening plans, visit www.hotchkiss.org/reopening.