Reopening Updates

REOPENING MOSES BROWN A Plan for Fall 2020 is available here.

Additionally, please review specific guides for Lower School, Middle School and Upper School.

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An important 2020-2021 School Year Update (July 13)

“MB will be publishing a comprehensive reopening plan on July 31, including details about academic schedules, teaching models, attendance policies, after-school programs, lunch, transportation, cleaning protocols, safety measures, and more. Division Heads will also follow up with more information in the month of August.”

July 13, 2020

Dear Moses Brown Community,

We hope that you and your family are healthy, safe, and enjoying these languid days of summer.

We’re writing to provide an update on MB’s plans for a return to school this fall. As the national debate about reopening schools becomes increasingly politicized, we want the MB community to have accurate and up-to-date information about our emerging plans.

At Moses Brown, we understand that students’ academic, social, emotional, and physical wellbeing is enhanced by attending school in person. Our preference, therefore, is a full return to campus in September. Given the current trajectory of the pandemic in RI, we are planning for an in-person start of school following the hours of a normal school day. However, this plan is contingent on public health conditions, and if the pandemic worsens at any point, the school is ready to adopt hybrid or full distance learning if directed by state officials.

Since our last update two weeks ago, we have spent an enormous amount of time studying state and federal guidelines for schools, consulting with medical experts, and considering various academic models. Last week, we held a productive focus group with representatives from the Parents Association and the Parent Diversity Committee in which we tested some leading priorities, assumptions, and decisions. Overall, our planning has been rigorous and comprehensive, and we are confident that we will be ready for school to resume on September 2.

Life at MB will be different this fall as a result of new safety measures. For example, wearing masks and practicing physical distancing will be required nearly everywhere on campus. Classrooms and schedules will be structured to reduce section sizes and keep students in stable groups wherever possible. And the whole community will need to commit to some new practices, such as self-screening at home every day and washing desks between uses. In short, going to school during a pandemic requires that we put limits on choices that we normally take for granted, like what group to play with during recess, where we sit during lunch, and what kind of meetings and events we can hold in person.

One unfortunate outcome of this pandemic is that MB will not be offering any trips this fall. This means that Middle School team trips as well as the Ninth Grade orientation trip will not take place this year. We regret this deeply, as hands-on, exploratory learning is an important part of an MB education. Division Heads are working on alternate plans for orientation and building community this year.

In the meantime, we’re pleased to announce that MB summer camps have been operating successfully since June 29—it’s been great to see children running, playing, and learning again. Non-teaching staff will begin a phased return to working on campus on July 20. And captains’ practices for Upper School athletes will also begin at that time. We’re thrilled that MB’s artificial turf field is being upgraded this summer and will be ready for fall play. However, we still haven’t received any information from the state or the RIIL about the status of interscholastic sports. Similarly, we’re anticipating further guidance in regard to music, drama, and other performing arts programs.

These mid-summer updates may be raising more questions than they answer, and if so, we apologize. MB will be publishing a comprehensive reopening plan on July 31, including details about academic schedules, teaching models, attendance policies, after-school programs, lunch, transportation, cleaning protocols, safety measures, and more. Division Heads will also follow up with more information in the month of August.

As we work through the final details of our plan, we’d like to know what questions and concerns are on your mind. Are you and your children excited about returning to school? Are you anxious? What could MB do to help address your concerns? Please reach out to any one of us to share your thoughts and questions. Our planning gets stronger the more perspectives we consider.

In friendship,

Matt Glendinning, Head of School
Debbie Phipps, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs
Vickie Monta, Chief Financial Officer

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