We parents have a lot on our minds right now. From racial unrest and protests to lingering worries about COVID-19 and hurricane season, I think it’s safe to say we don’t quite know how our future is going to look a week from now, much less in the fall for our kids. For South Florida families, the 2020-21 school year is a huge mystery. Public schools have not announced their plans for next term and Florida’s leadership hasn’t given the state the green light to open just yet.
However, one Boca Raton school has already published its re-entry plan accounting for the most likely scenarios over the next twelve months. Plus, they have some valuable insight to share with local families who might be considering alternative education methods such as homeschool come August.
Grandview Preparatory School, a private, independent PK3-Grade 12 institution located in east Boca, like others, had no choice but to pivot when it came to offering virtual learning to its students this past March. And, it doesn’t look like they’ll be completely moving away from that in the upcoming 2020-21 school year.
“Over these past months, Grandview has consulted with experts worldwide, updated training for staff, and prepared our campus for a post-COVID world. We have developed, and continue to refine, an industry-leading re-entry plan to provide both safety and learning continuity for all of our students,” said Stephanie Wood, Director of Admission.
Grandview’s campus will open on schedule on August 19 unless authorities declare that schools must remain closed. “Regardless, we understand some families may not be comfortable with their child returning at that time,” said Wood. “That’s why we developed three different re-entry options for our students. Going forward, families will now be able to choose from an on-campus learning experience, a blended learning model or online learning option.”
As a mom, I can’t believe this is the world we now live in. Though, I do appreciate that my family and others have choices, especially if there’s a resurgence of the virus. I’d much prefer to have my makeshift homeschool guided by a more experienced entity, especially if (like me) that wasn’t necessarily the plan prior to the pandemic.
As for on campus learning this fall, Grandview is currently organizing pre-determined groups called cohorts. An educational cohort is a group of 9 students or less working through curriculum and learning experiences together. The goal is for teachers to transition from cohort to cohort versus the students from class to class, reducing their exposure to multiple locations. Cohorts may include different ages as well as those who’ve chosen the blended learning path. For extra peace of mind, students will even be equipped with a remote-learning kit in the event on-campus instruction needs to transition to the blended model.
“In this day and age, students must adapt to being agile learners. As a parent myself, I must give our children a lot of credit. They’ve done well so far, so it’s up to us as educators and parents to be prepared for whatever comes our way next year,” says Wood.
I’m certainly trying my best. And as I’ve learned, that’s all a parent can do.
Disclosure: Michelle Olson-Rogers is an employee of Grandview Preparatory School.