fall reopening 2020-21

Even through uncertainty, God’s in control.

Dear Hope Academy Parents and Staff,

All Hope Academy parents will need to make an important choice this fall about how to best educate your children—either in-person or online. We believe that having this flexibility is important to you, and so we’ve prepared this document to give you the information you need in order to make the best choice for your family.

If we look at learning across the ages and around the world, we will quickly realize that learning is rarely easy; it almost always comes at a sacrifice. Schooling during the last 100 years in America will likely be seen by historians as abnormal because of its relative ease. Our current pandemic has created conditions for learning that are actually more similar to the challenges faced by most schools throughout time—challenges such as wars, famines, economic depressions, etc.

C.S. Lewis described the challenge of learning during the second world war, like this:

“There are always plenty of rivals to our work…If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come… We must do the best we can.”

We have developed a reopening plan that is flexible, in order to meet the varied needs of our families. Our plan prioritizes the health and safety of our students and staff and addresses the educational, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of our students. As we cautiously proceed this fall, we ask you to continue to be in prayer for this year. It will be a school year like no other.

With firm hope in our faithful God, the Hope Academy community will persevere amid the current adversity and do all within our power to help all our children continue “to grow in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). I am praying for you as you make your choice.

Let Hope Arise,

Russ Gregg

Co-Founder & Head of School

Flexibility for Families

Because of the many different opinions about comfortability with returning to school in-person this fall, we have created a plan that allows for family flexibility. Each family will decide which option works best for them for the first academic quarter (ending Nov. 4th) and let us know their choice before Friday, August 7th at 11:59 p.m.

Lower School

100% In-Person or 100% Distance Learning (online)

Upper School

50/50 Hybrid or 100% Distance Learning (online)

A special thanks to our PFF team, Greater Minnesota Schools, Bellwether Education Partners, and the Achievement Network for all their hard work putting this plan together!

health & safety

Breakfast & Lunch
Students will be provided breakfast in their classrooms each morning. Hot lunch will be served in the cafeteria. Students in 3rd through 5th grade will eat lunch in their classrooms and students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade and 6th through 12th grade will eat physically distanced in the cafeteria. Plastic barriers will be placed on the cafeteria tables to separate students as masks will not be worn while eating.

Masks
As an act of love for one another and out of obedience to the Governor’s order, we are requiring all students and staff to wear face coverings. If your child has a medical condition that is covered under the exceptions in Governor Walz’s order, please contact our COVID-19 Program Coordinator at reopeningplan@hopeschool.org. There will be exceptions for K-2 reading lessons behind plastic barriers and for all students while eating.

Transportation & Busing
We are working to provide safe busing to and from school for students. We will enforce the use of face masks and physical distancing. Family groups will be able to sit together on buses. To reduce the number of students on buses, we are asking all parents who are able to drive their children to and from school to do so. Please contact Janette Takata at 612-540-2010 if you have any questions regarding transportation.

What if someone contracts covid?

One student or teacher The student/teacher will be in quarantine for 10 calendar days The class cohort will resume as normal. If a teacher is out sick, a substitute teacher will be brought in for the class to resume as normal Each classroom at Hope Academy will be cleaned to the COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting standards. Where applicable, each classroom will be fogged with disinfectant spray
Two students or two teachers (simultaneously within a cohort) The class cohort will be in quarantine for 10 calendar days The class cohort will move immediately into Distance Learning (online) Each classroom at Hope Academy will be cleaned to the COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting standards. Where applicable, each classroom will be fogged with disinfectant spray
Five or more students or staff members (simultaneously across 2 or more cohorts) The entire school will be in quarantine for 10 calendar days Hope Academy will move immediately to Distance Learning (online) for all students K-12 Each classroom at Hope Academy will be cleaned to the COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting standards. Where applicable, each classroom will be fogged with disinfectant spray
Family member of a student/teacher is diagnosed with COVID-19 and is living within the same household or had close contact The student/teacher will be in quarantine for 10 calendar days The student/teacher will move immediately into distance learning even if they have no symptoms An assessment will be made after 10 days to determine whether the student/staff is ready to return to school in-person

Lower School Fall Options

OPTION #1

100% In-Person

9:55 a.m. - 4:25 p.m.

Highly recommended by Hope!

For families who would like their Kindergarten through 5th grade children in school every day, or for families who are unable to provide the individual parental involvement for distance learning, Hope Academy is offering a 100% in-person option for students. This instruction will all be in-person at Hope Academy during the normal school hours of 9:55 a.m. to 4:25 p.m. This instruction will include all core subjects and specialist classes (Art, Music, Technology, and Physical Education). Because of the social, emotional, spiritual, and mental health benefits of being together in-person, as well as the benefits of in-person instruction, Hope Academy recommends this option.

OPTION #2

100% Distance Learning

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

*may require additional hours in the afternoon

Students will be taught through an online format. Instruction will include times of live instruction, pre-recorded video lessons, and times of independent work. A parent must be committed to sitting alongside their child, viewing and working on the lessons for up to three hours each day. Instruction will happen during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and may require additional hours in the afternoon. This instruction will include all core subjects, but will not include instruction in the Specialist Classes (Art, Music, Technology, and Physical Education). Additionally, parents will have a required weekly 15-minute virtual meeting with the classroom teacher.

In some cases, if parents are not able to provide the individual support expected or if students are not making the academic progress necessary, they will be asked to attend school in-person.

Lower School Cohorts

The goal of the cohort model is to minimize the chances of exposure to COVID-19. Students in the Lower School will remain in stable cohorts. Their primary cohort will be their grade level classroom. Students will not mix with any other classrooms. Students can be in more than one cohort if necessary. For example, if a student rides a bus to school, the students on that bus are a cohort. In the event of an individual who tests positive for COVID-19, the cohort model allows for us to quickly notify anyone else who may have been exposed.

Upper School Fall Options

OPTION #1

50/50 Hybrid

Highly recommended by Hope!

For those who choose to enroll in the 50/50 Hybrid option, students will attend school in-person every other day. On the days students are not in school, they will receive their instruction online through Distance Learning. Students will be grouped into cohorts (see “Upper School Cohorts”). Each grade will have two cohorts. If a student is not making the necessary academic progress, he or she will be asked to attend school in-person every day.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Cohort A In-Person Online In-Person Online Alternate
Cohort B Online In-Person Online In-Person Alternate

School hours for the in-person days will be from 9:55 a.m. to 4:25 p.m. School hours for Distance Learning (online) days will be from 9:55 a.m. to 2:47 p.m. The 50/50 Hybrid Model will include all core subjects and will only include Specialist (Art, Music, Technology, and Physical Education), Advisory, and Elective Classes on in-person days.

OPTION #2

100% Distance Learning

Students who choose to enroll in the 100% online option will receive all their instruction through Distance Learning. Teachers will focus on Distance Learners every other day. Distance Learning instruction will happen during the hours of 9:55 a.m. to 2:47 p.m. This instruction will include all core subjects, but will not include instruction in the Specialist (Art, Music, Technology, and Physical Education), Advisory, or Elective classes. If a student is not making the necessary academic progress, he or she will be asked to attend school in-person every day

Upper School Cohorts

Rather than rotating from classroom to classroom, students will be in mixed-gender, grade level cohorts that remain in one room for most of the day, while teachers visit each classroom to teach. Students will also sit as a cohort at lunch in the cafeteria. The only times where students will not be in their cohort will be on the buses and in specialist and elective classes. Cohorts will attend school on the same days together. After one academic quarter, we will reevaluate the cohort method dependent upon COVID-19 updates. In the event of an individual who tests positive for COVID-19, the cohort model allows for us to quickly identify/notify anyone else who may have been exposed.

To make scheduling easier for families who select the 50/50 Hybrid Learning option, we will group US siblings together to create the same in-person and Distance Learning (online) schedules.

Make your choice for the first academic quarter!