Meyer Preparatory School has served our community since 1973. We will continue to do so no matter the challenges we face! Together, we have developed a deep bond as a Meyer Prep family, shaping the lives of children throughout the country and the world. Our rich history has served us well in the past, and we will need the strength of the Meyer Way to support each other going forward.
We are working tirelessly to prepare for the reopening of our beautiful school campus on August 18. The COVID-19 virus will likely remain part of our daily lives for the 2020-2021 school year, but we are committed to working with public health officials and scientific experts to resume campus operations and welcome our Eagle students, faculty, and staff back. We have developed a series of re-entry options for our families. Please click here for our 2020-2021 reopening plans.
With the help of our administration, school board, and guidance of health professionals, our school has also developed a four-point plan that outlines the steps we are exploring in preparation for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
This four-point plan includes:
I. Distancing and Containment
We are a proud Jewish day school that celebrates our collective strength and camaraderie as a Junior Kindergarten-8th Grade school. However, given the nature of a pandemic, our plans for next year include running our campus with proper social distancing school guidelines. Our efforts will include limiting students and staff from occupying the same spaces during the school day and in programming. This includes Tefilah and lunch, which we will attempt to contain within grade levels.
Specifically for lunch, instead of offering our normal buffet-style serving stations, there will be sealed packaged options available for students and staff.
II. New Maintenance and Sanitizing Protocols
We are in the process of creating all-new cleaning and disinfecting procedures and protocols, including the purchasing of new maintenance equipment. This new equipment is not a replacement for the same types of older equipment. Instead, we will be bringing the latest in maintenance technology to our campus, with advanced cleaning machines and solutions.
To further this effort, our school has retained an outside consultant who specializes in the maintenance and sanitization of healthcare facilities and schools. The consultant will provide expert oversight throughout the school year and allow us to better train our maintenance team. This additional level of supervision and expertise provides further confidence in the implementation and effectiveness of our school’s maintenance and sanitizing procedures.
III. Testing, Monitoring, and Contact Tracing
Testing is an important part of the plan we are considering for reopening our campus. Testing capacity is not yet known, but we continue to analyze and explore the use of COVID-19 saliva tests and thermal temperature instruments. The frequency of these tests and assessments has not yet been determined, but policies and procedures for their use are currently being developed by our school.
Our IT Department is also exploring the use of an app for wellness tracking of our students, parents, and staff. This technology will allow our nursing office confidentially to monitor and track any health concerns within our school community.
IV. On-campus and Online Option
For the start of next school year, we will be offering our families two school options - on-campus learning and online learning. These options are meant to give our families alternatives so they can decide which form of schooling is best for their child(ren) under the circumstances come late August. Both learning options provide the same curriculum, pacing, and access to resources.
To implement this synchronous option in our upper school (grades 6-8), our IT Department is in the process of acquiring and installing hardware and software that converts many of our classrooms into video conferencing classrooms with new oversized large screen monitors and sound amplification systems. These new classroom systems create tremendous new opportunities for learning and collaboration that expands the opportunities beyond the walls of our school.
Further, we are looking into Clear Touch and BrightLink classroom interactive board technology. Together with our upper school's one-to-one laptop structure, this will allow all of our students to fully participate and collaborate with each other regardless of their location.
For our lower school (Junior Kindergarten - 5th Grade), our online option will be offered as an asynchronous model. This means that our online learning option for lower school will operate as a separate track, with their own teachers, different from the on-campus model. This track will run with the same curriculum, resources, and pacing as our on-campus option. Please note that there is a minimum student enrollment requirement per grade level for our asynchronous lower school online learning option. For both online learning options, the tuition will be very similar to our already published on-campus tuition costs.
To help our school best prepare for the different options offered for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, we kindly ask our parents to please complete the following survey. Filling out the survey only takes a few minutes and will provide our school with much-needed information about the interest levels for each option. The link to the survey will remain active for the following week.
Each of these four steps requires a significant investment by our school, during a time of financial uncertainty. But it also sets up our school for long-term health, safety, and security - an important and worthy investment for all of us. Thank you to all of our parents and donors for supporting this effort and our Meyer Way.
Throughout the summer, our school continues to monitor the virus situation and will modify any of our plans accordingly. It is important that, while we have a plan for the reopening of our campus for the start of next school year, this plan continues to be flexible in order to meet the changeability of the ongoing situation.
All of the above steps are driven by our values of supporting our Meyer Prep community. Our children are the leaders of tomorrow, and we are committed to their future and purpose. With chessed and resolve, we will move forward together and gain inspiration from our collective efforts to overcome this challenge.