The COVID-19 pandemic has changed Concord Academy’s 2020-2021 school year dramatically. With remote learning, hybrid systems, and the new STAC schedules, the CA community has confronted constant changes and challenges in the past year. Many students are hoping to return to their old schedules and lifestyles. Though not every aspect of our learning environment can recover immediately—after all, they are dependent upon the COVID situation—CA faculty has made certain decisions to optimize the community’s experience in the near future. 

The 2021-2022 school year will offer a two-semester schedule similar to what students had pre-COVID. Blocks will be alternated throughout the week, meaning that unlike the current STAC schedule, students will not have the same classes every day. In addition, the working plan proposes an increased number of blocks (A to G), with the return of assembly and class meeting blocks. Mandatory community gathering times such as announcements and the chapel will be moved from 10:15 am to earlier in the morning in order to accommodate potential students in different time zones. Overall, it appears to be a modified version of the schedule CA had prior to COVID-19, with shortened classes and small breaks in between. The working plan is open to modifications in the future, as the CA faculty continue to pay close attention to the evolving conditions of the pandemic. 

One significant change is that the school expects all students to participate in person for the next school year. The hybrid system most likely will not continue as every member in the CA community should be returning. While there might be flexibility for some extenuating circumstances, this statement signals CA’s determination to return to our traditional learning environment. Of course, some protocols will possibly extend to next year, such as weekly COVID-19 testing, mask-wearing, and physical distancing. Safety is the ultimate priority. 

Uncertainties still remain for other aspects of the school program. Guidelines for risky activities like athletics are not yet determined, as the Eastern Independent league hasn’t proposed any new plans at the moment. However, with vaccinations, improving conditions of the pandemic, and faculty’s efforts in perfecting the plan, our campus experience for next year will certainly be more vibrant.