RETURNING TO SCHOOL

Our top priority as we work to reunite is the health and safety of our
community: students, their families, and staff.

GUIDING OUR DECISIONS

Health and Safety

We are establishing rigorous health and safety measures and designing the schedule and environment to maximize spaces and minimize risk of virus transmission.

Equity and Access

All experiences are designed with all families in mind, knowing some members of our student community will be unable to return physically and will choose to engage remotely.

Student Well-being

We are designing experiences to amplify and promote connection and belonging in our student-centered community. We know some students will need to engage remotely and mitigation measures will alter our community and cultural habits.

Teaching and Learning

While we redesign courses to be delivered in-person and remotely, relationships remain central to our pedagogy.

CONTRIBUTING TO OUR PLANNING

Our strength at Greenhills comes from the expertise that lies in our community. As we respond to evolving state guidelines, best practices, and emerging science on COVID-19, we have sought advice from experts in medicine, public health, and education. We have also created the following working groups within our own community to help us prepare and make recommendations that serve our students and further our mission.

Operational Planning Group

This group is focused on maintaining the standard of care, developing mitigation protocols, and adapting our school spaces and supplies to public health and safety recommendations.

Members include: Laura Bird, Alyssa Friendly, Lisa Hogan, Caroline Huntoon, Quincy McLaughlin, John Nickel, Nina Scheinberg, Meg Seng, Deano Smith, Tom Ward

Academic Planning Group

This group is focused on guiding our exceptional instructional practices and the design of our robust courses for the flexible instructional landscape with a focus on sustaining engagement and the learning experience.

Members include: Jeff Allen, Bob Ause, Susan Beamish, Nicole Burroughs, Neil Donato, Jenna Goldenberg, Mackenzie Hess, Caroline Huntoon, Rob Kinnaird, Sara LeBlanc, Monica Lewis, Quincy McLaughlin, Alex Monte-Sano, Becky Randolph, Deano Smith, Tom Ward, Kelly Williams

Student Care and Well-Being Group

This group is focused on reconnecting our students to their school community by creating practices that support positive school relationships and a sense of belonging.

Members include: Heidi Butz, Nadine Hall, Caroline Huntoon, Quincy McLaughlin, Liza Ruggiero, Caitlin Smead, Tom Ward

COMING TO CAMPUSGreenhills School remains closed, but we know all of you are starting to imagine what school might look like in the fall and how our routines might shift. When we reopen, as always, we will seek to protect the health and safety of students and staff, especially those most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. With the recommended physical distancing guidelines in place, the learning environment will be reshaped. Specific plans and protocols will be determined over the next several months as we learn more information and receive updated health guidelines. At the moment, we are developing strategies which may include but are not limited to:

CURRENT MODELS FOR REOPENING

In-Person Model

  • All students are able to be on campus at once
  • Remote options for students who choose not to return to the physical campus but wish to remain enrolled remotely

Staggered Hybrid Model

  • Smaller groups of students are able to be on campus in shifts
  • Remote options for students who choose to remain remote

Remote Model

  • All students participate in programming remotely
  • This occurs when public health officials direct us to close our building and/or when stay at home orders resume

WHAT TO EXPECT THIS SUMMER

June
Committees continue to plan and make recommendations to the school, and continued planning for all three reopening options


July
Based on requirement from the state, decide details of reopening options

Communications to Expect

  • Update on reopening planning
  • A survey about returning to school
  • Course assignments
  • Book and supply lists

August
Based on requirements from the state, decide how we will return to school in the fall

Communications to Expect

  • Specific protocols for re-opening
  • Grade level and advisory welcomes

September
First Day of School on September 8th!

The Benefit of Independent

As we continue to design our return to Greenhills in the fall, we benefit from the talents within our community and our ability to be both imaginative and flexible. Regardless of the details, we remain committed to our families and will provide a program that is safe, equitable, and robust.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSIn addition to the communications listed above we will continue to update this FAQ with answers to questions from the Greenhills community. Please keep in mind that the landscape is changing constantly; and, as a result, our answers to these questions may shift as we learn more.

How will students be screened? Will students need to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to school?We are still determining our gating criteria and methods for screening.

How will access to campus be changed and/or limited?This will be largely affected by the reopening model selected, as outlined above. There will likely be a need to reduce density within the building, and a limited number of students might be allowed in the building at any given time. Access to campus will also be limited for families and visitors to maintain the safest space possible. More information to come.

Will students be required to wear masks?At this time, we are following public health guidelines that recommend everyone—students, faculty, staff, and visitors—wear face coverings in classrooms and in common indoor and outdoor spaces.

How will the lunch service function?We are working with our lunch service provider, PlumSmart, to generate a plan that maintains our high standards while offering students a variety of options for their meals on campus. More information to come.

Will students be able to gather in large groups for assemblies?It is unlikely we will be able to gather in large groups, but alternative methods of maintaining community and communicating with students are being developed. More information to come.

Can families choose to have students receive instruction remotely?Yes. We know some students will need to engage remotely—both synchronously and asynchronously—and we are redesigning courses to accommodate that need while preserving the relationships that are central to the Greenhills learning experience. In order to help with this planning, we will be sending out a survey at the beginning of July to get a sense of each family’s intentions with regards to returning to the physical campus should that be an option.

Will the academic calendar change?At this time, we have not made substantive changes to our academic calendar and our start date continues to be September 8th.

Will team sports take place?Decisions about athletics are guided by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), including when and how teams are permitted to practice and compete. It is likely that sports teams will be affected differently based on their level of contact and risk associated with each, and guidance from the MHSAA is forthcoming.

How will students participate in wellness classes?Our wellness faculty navigated these waters well during the spring of 2020 and continues to work over the summer to develop lessons and activities that will allow all students to participate.

Will on-site performances take place?We continue to discuss what performance options will allow us to maintain our standard of care. More information to come.