Middle School (and High School) Returns to Five-Day In-Person Learning
Weston Middle School and High School students return to five-day per week in-person learning this morning. Remote Learning Academy continues for those students who prefer to stay remote. Due to staffing challenges, the Owl will be covering only the Middle School plan in this article.
A Middle School Principal’s Coffee on March 10, 2021 explained the new schedule and protocols that were put in place to make today possible for grades 6-8. The recording can be seen here.
One of the bigger changes is that there will be no live-streaming for Math, English, Science, and Social Studies (including Civics) classes. Other subjects including World Languages will be teaching to a classroom and live-streaming at the same time.
Assistant Principal Phil Oates asked for patience and understanding through the first week: “The first week will be messy at times, drop-off is going to be a disaster the first day.” Changes have been made to drop-off and pick-up routines and mapping; details of these changes can be found online. In addition, Weston Police and School Administration have been advising residents to avoid the MS/HS campus during dropoff (8:10-8:30 am) and pickup (12:45-1:10 pm) times. Please note that at press time, the Owlets’ bus is still at the red light at the corner of Wellesley Street and South Avenue (it’s 8:33 am–school started 3 minutes ago. Ah, north side livin’).
Classes remain 40 minutes long and there are six periods in a day. Lunch will not be offered in school, though Grab ‘N Go lunch is available.
Weston schools are also moving to pooled Covid testing, as covered in a previous Owl. Testing will be on Mondays for grade 8, Tuesdays for grade 7 and Wednesdays for grade 6. Options are before school or during mask break.
Middle school administration emphasized the need for students to remain vigilant about wearing masks fully over their mouth and nose, and to maintain physical distancing.
Larger class sizes will be the norm–Cohort A and Cohort B are now combined, so the days of 12-person classes are over. As Principal Gibbons pointed out, 12+12 equals 24 (don’t say your kids learn less in public school, people) and that will be the maximum class size going forward. This means three-foot distancing “nose to nose”.
At the time of the Principal’s Coffee, there were 88 Remote Learning Academy students in the Middle School, with 18% of the sixth grade class, 16% of the seventh grade and 22% of the eighth grade class in RLA. Thirty RLA students had requested to return to the in-person model so those numbers are expected to go down. Principal Gibbons did state that the number let in to the full in-person model would be managed so that no classroom exceeded 24 students.
A follow-up Principal’s Coffee will be held on Thursday, March 25, and parents will receive the zoom information in their email boxes.