August Update & Plans

A Message from the Head of School

August 2020 Update

  August 4, 2020

 Dear Meadowbrook Community,

 We are one month away from welcoming students back to campus for our 101st academic year. So much has changed since we were last together. Obviously, keeping your child safe has always been our top priority, but the health and well-being of our extended school community means more now than ever. To that end, we have implemented several new safety protocols that must be followed when children return to campus.

In the coming weeks, there will be a revised Health & Safety Manual available on our website. This document states new protocols for all members of our school community. As you can imagine, we will request the use of masks when entering school, walking in hallways and through all common areas; teachers will use a face shield while instructing and wear a mask when working one-on-one or in small groups. Several outdoor spaces are being planned to maximize using our spacious campus, as well. Needless to say, CDC regulations will be enforced and additional measures will be constituted to best control the spread of COVID-19. It is important that every member of our community make certain sacrifices to help give as many children the opportunity to learn on-campus this year.

Each of us must be diligent about evaluating ourselves and our children. If and when symptoms appear, please act responsibly. I imagine most of us have already developed new habits at home; similarly, the faculty and students will learn new routines on campus - all aimed at reducing transmission of this novel coronavirus. Inevitably, someone will get sick. It would be wise to anticipate a disruption of your child’s schedule at some point during the academic year. Our plan is to minimize the disruption for as many students as possible and only alter the routine of attending classes on campus for the cohort affected, when necessary. For more information about those situations, please refer to the aforementioned Manual.

In addition to resuming our in-person experience, the School is preparing to offer MeadowbrookOnline for families who prefer to stay home. Not to be confused with MeadowbrookVirtual, MeadowbrookOnline is a NEW alternative that will be in place for new or returning families designed for students to learn remotely. This program is only available for children in 1st through 6th grade, and it is designed to afford those families concerned with being on campus an opportunity to continue their child’s education regardless of how the pandemic impacts schools moving forward. This does not mean we are offering a hybrid experience for children to fluctuate between MeadowbrookOnline and attending classes on campus. We are not live streaming instruction for those choosing to stay home. We are essentially adding an option of full-time, remote learning for a separate fee. The Board will determine the price for this service, and I will share more about this alternative in the coming weeks.

To be clear, MeadowbrookVirtual is our online platform that we implemented last spring. It will be used for students in all grades who attend classes on campus if (or when) the State shuts schools down again. This Canvas program is run by Meadowbrook faculty, and it is the online solution that will be launched again only if classes cannot be taught on campus. 

In other news, I am happy to welcome a couple more teachers to the staff. Laura D’Angelo will be taking over as the 3rd grade teacher for Arlene Bowler who is staying home on maternity leave this year, and Ruth Borrmann will be joining Brittany Stout as an aide in Pre K. Laura worked at Meadowbrook as a sub last year and has taught multiple grades during her career. Laura also coaches at Bryn Athyn Church School. Ruth has been leading classes of young children at Open Door Christian Academy for many years as well. Each woman brings a lot of experience and passion to Meadowbrook. I am confident that these new faculty additions - coupled with the returning staff - has the right expertise and demeanor to advance our Mission.

 

The Meadowbrook School brings life to learning for

elementary-aged students

in a nurturing, fun, collaborative, and SAFE environment!

 

Besides the new staff just announced, there is the possibility of a few more teachers joining us before school begins. The reason for late summer additions is because we have received a lot of inquiries from prospective families for various grades recently. In an effort to maintain small class sizes and enforce social distancing expectations in certain rooms, we may add an additional section where needed. More than anything though, this letter is a reminder that we are proceeding with the goal of returning to campus on August 31st for all students. Keeping each other safe and reducing the risk of transmission will require a community-wide commitment. Regardless of how proactive we are, you must understand your role in making Meadowbrook a safe environment. Certainly, several aspects of the school experience will be different, but I am confident that our community will make the best of the unknown challenges regarding this pandemic...TOGETHER!

 

Sincerely,

Michael Reardon

PS - If you feel returning to Meadowbrook is no longer a viable option for your family, then please let me know as soon as possible. Although we have fixed costs, ordered supplies, issued contracts to staff, and made many decisions based on your initial commitment, we will still refund your $1,000 enrollment deposit as long as we are informed before Aug. 10th. After that, the deposit is no longer refundable and we expect you to adhere to the tuition payment schedule you selected moving forward. If you have any questions about your balance or next payment, then please contact Heather Sowden at hsowden@themeadowbrookschool.org.