Learning and Teaching

Just as I wear a mask to protect you, and you wear a mask to protect me, remember that the decisions you make impact others’ children, and the decisions others make will impact your children.”

Last Updated June 26, 2020. This reflects our best thinking up to this point and we are constantly working on it. Updates will be shared here and via newsletter.


Early Childhood Division (Preschool - Grade 1)

In the Early Childhood Division (preschool-grade 1), we are currently planning to provide on-campus, in person learning five days per week, provided that local government and public health guidance allows it. Our approach will include: 

  • Smaller, stable, and self-contained cohorts informed by local government and health department guidelines in order to limit discrete exposures and minimize risk where possible.
  • Students remaining in the same classroom everyday with teachers traveling to the students. 
  • Scheduling ample time for daily outdoor activity. 
  • Curriculum and instruction informed by assessment and observation that meets children where they are academically, socially, and emotionally. 
  • Partnership with families to support children’s success at home and in school through the transition into school and beyond. 
  • Prioritizing building strong relationships between and among teachers and students. 
  • Staggered morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times to allow a risk-mitigated process.
  • Offering a virtual option every day for students to learn and stay connected if there are factors that prevent a child from being able to attend school on campus on a given day.
  • Sincere attempts to work in tandem with Lower School and Middle School models, to support our many families with siblings within and across the divisions

Lower School Division (Grades 2-5)

In the Lower School Division (grades 2-5), we will host students on campus for the greatest amount of time possible in person with instructors. The amount of time students spend engaged in distance learning will primarily be driven by public health, space, and staffing factors.

  • Organizing students into smaller, stable, and self-contained cohorts, informed by local government and health department guidelines, in order to limit discrete exposures and minimize risk where possible. 
  • Providing students a homebase classroom for the day while on-campus, and prioritizing teachers coming to the students, rather than students traveling to additional spaces. 
  • Curriculum and instruction informed by assessment and observation that meets children where they are academically, socially, and emotionally.
  • Students alternating language (Chinese/English) on a rotating hybrid schedule that blends on-campus time with off-campus distance learning, allowing meaningful on-campus time in both languages.
  • Having approximately half of the 2nd-5th grade student population and a subset of our faculty and staff on campus on any given day.
  • Publishing at-a-glance schedules denoting which days various cohorts will be on-campus, in order to support families’ advance planning and scheduling.
  • Planning for staggered morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times, to allow a risk-mitigated process for bringing shifting cohorts of CAIS and French American students and employees on campus each day.
  • Providing time in cohorts for breaks and outdoor play every day that students are on-campus.
  • Offering an online place every day for students to learn if there are factors that prevent a child from being able to attend school on campus on a given day.
  • Continuing to preserve important time in the work day for teacher collaboration, continuing professional development, technology training, etc.
  • Making sincere attempts to work in tandem with Early Childhood Division and Middle School models to support our many families with siblings across the divisions.

Middle School Division (Grades 6-8)

In the Middle School division (grades 6-8) our objective is to allow for the greatest time possible on campus for students in view of public health requirements, staffing, and classroom space. Our goal is to create a hybrid on-campus/distance learning model that will allow students to be on campus, but still follow the guidelines for social distancing recommended by public health officials.

  • To reduce the possibility of exposure, students will be divided into cohorts that will spend the day together. Currently we are considering groups of half an academic group (approximately 11 students), however, this may change based on updated guidelines from public health officials.
  • Cohorts will remain in the same classrooms while on campus and will not interact with students from other groups.
  • There will be supervised activity breaks so students enjoy important outdoor time each day they are on campus.
  • Curriculum and instruction will be informed by assessment and observation that meets children where they are academically, socially, and emotionally 
  • We are considering several schedules that will, to the extent possible, coincide with plans in the Lower School to support families with siblings in both divisions.
  • We are researching technologies that will allow students who cannot for a variety of reasons attend on campus classes to attend their cohort’s classes by video.
  • Sincere attempts to work in tandem with the Lower School model, to support our many families with siblings across the divisions.