Moving Forward in Semester 2
March 02, 2021
As we move through this COVID school year, our program has evolved. We continue to prioritize health and safety, and also strive to balance that priority with ensuring as much student academic engagement as possible.
March 1 marked our biggest program shift yet, with full implementation of our 2nd semester schedule. Starting this week, students are attending 1-2 classes per day with their classmates and teachers. We are still ironing out all the systems, but at the end of day one students and teachers alike were expressing a lot of enthusiasm about teaching and learning together again in person.
TA students were welcomed back to school at the start of the year on September 8, and during first semester they spent their school day in small, self-contained pod groups while engaging in their classes online. Unlike many of their peers around the country, TA students benefitted from having an on-campus experience throughout the fall. By December, however, it was clear that many of them deeply missed being with their teachers and classmates in real-time, in-person classes. Our 2nd semester plan aims to address this need, while maintaining a COVID-safe environment and also keeping the pods as an anchor for students throughout the pandemic.
TA’s Safety Committee was instrumental in the planning process to make this happen–redesigning classrooms, laying out traffic patterns for student movement, and ensuring that the new schedule supported students’ learning needs without compromising the health and safety of the TA community. Teachers also did extensive planning to prepare for the new schedule, especially with the complexity of having some students choosing to be fully remote and ‘attending class’ from home.
In the coming months, TA will continue to carefully monitor COVID data, follow Vermont state guidelines, and adapt and evolve as needed. But right now, we are celebrating the return of in-person instruction and looking forward to a semester of learning together, safely.