As the situation of COVID-19 pandemic continues, Concord Academy’s re-opening plan shifts and evolves. Recently, the Head of School, Rick Hardy, informed the community about the newest plan from the Safe Return to Concord Academy (SRCA) committee on partially reopening the campus and introducing pilot groups for boarding life.
In the email, Rick introduced the “HyFlex” element integrated into the new system. “The HyFlex classroom aims to provide an active and interactive experience for all class members, regardless of location, and allows the teacher to engage with all students,” wrote Rick. With Massachusetts social distancing regulations, CA’s classroom capacity is limited to allow only a small number of students. To combat the situation, CA is dividing students into two groups, each having two days of in-person classroom experience per week.
CA has made arrangements with the Cataldo Company to conduct COVID-19 testing on campus. Though the specific testing protocol has not been communicated yet, the administration is working hard to ensure the safety of every student and their family.
Boarders are even anticipated to return to campus by late October, despite the numerous protocols their return may entail. These will include wearing masks at all times, limited capacity in the common rooms, and following state guidelines on extended campus, along with others.
All of the policies are made meticulously by the SRCA committee, which consists of scholars and experts in the health area, faculty, and students. The SRCA functions by having subcommittees work on different aspects of the re-opening and then combining them in a larger committee where members of each subcommittee are represented.
Zahaan Khalid ’21, the Student Head of School, is on the community and equity sub-committee, and his work specifically pertains to the subgroups. As a part of the student voices in the committee, Zahaan works hard to make sure every student’s opinion is heard, advocated, and addressed. The community and equity sub-committee, Zahaan said, is in charge of doing research, collaborating with other subcommittees, and addressing the priorities and the vision of an equitable and fair safe re-opening of Concord Academy.
The situation of the pandemic in the United States is still constantly evolving with the US political, economic, and social environment. However, SRCA, along with all members of the CA community, is trying its best to provide the students a healthy, safe, and equitable solution amidst the uncertainty.