June 23, 2020
Dear Orchard View School Community,
I am writing to let you know about our plans for the upcoming fall semester. As an Independent study school, OVS is in many ways uniquely situated to serve students during the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 epidemic. However, this will require flexibility and some changes as to how we serve students when school reopens. The health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority.
An important and popular part of the OVS program is the opportunity for students to socialize and participate in collaborative learning by attending onsite classes. For older students these classes provide instruction in core academic classes and electives. The classrooms at OVS are typically used by students in grades K-12 on a rotating schedule from Monday to Friday. At the same time, Individual student/teacher meetings take place in our Resource Rooms. After careful review of the key considerations for schools to reopen, we have determined that our small OVS campus and shared offices do not have the space required to meet the social distancing protocols and the necessary reductions in class size. Therefore, our current plans for opening in the fall are as follows:
Fall Semester 2020
K-12th grade classes will be offered as distance learning classes. These classes are optional, and students can choose to work independently under the direction of their Supervising Teachers (with the exception of some high school classes.) OVS will have a schedule of distant learning classes and workshops for students in all grades.
Teachers and staff are building on their experiences this spring to better provide students with opportunities to learn and collaborate in virtual group settings. Students enrolling in a distance learning class will receive an email invitation sent directly to them or their parents from the class teacher. Class updates and assignments will continue to be posted on the OVS website.
Individual meetings with Supervising Teachers will also take place in virtual meetings or by phone. Exceptions will be made when an in-person meeting is necessary for school orientation or to meet the needs of students and families who can’t access or be fully served by virtual meetings.
Curriculum and materials will continue to be decided by families and their Supervising Teacher. Materials will be gathered and available for pick-up (and drop off) at OVS during office hours. As always, we will offer choice in curriculum and allow you to review materials and make adjustments as necessary. We are currently working to develop an online catalog of available curriculum. We also hope to use this time to research and expand our home study curriculum choices.
Chromebooks and hotspots will be made available to students who need them to access classes and meetings. Additional information will be sent about requesting technology resources in August.
At any time that staff, students or parents are on site we will follow safety measures established by the school with guidance from the Sonoma County Office of Education and in compliance with state and county health orders. These measures will include protocols around social distancing, facial coverings, and wellness checks prior to coming campus.
We are committed to our hybrid style program, and it is our goal to return to holding classes as soon as possible. We will continue to monitor re-opening conditions, and we will resume on-site instruction and meetings when they are safe and appropriate. In the meantime, we will continue to seek solutions that uphold our school mission- to empower students with a learning process that is designed to challenge their intellect and to support their emotional growth and natural curiosity. Building community will continue to be a school priority, and we look forward to working with you towards that goal.
These are challenging times, and If for any reason you have changed your mind about enrollment for the coming year, please notify us immediately. Interest in enrollment at OVS has increased, and we currently have a large number of families on the waitlist. Contact OVS office manager, firstname.lastname@example.org to notify us of any changes.
All of us at OVS wish you a safe and relaxing summer, and we look forward to reconnecting with you in August. Please continue to check the OVS website for updates, class schedules, and important dates.