Healthy Concord

Academic Plan

(Last updated December 15th)

When our campus reopens for in-person learning on Monday, January 11, 2021, we will engage once again in an educational model that includes hybrid, HyFlex, and remote learning, along with a limited and phased boarding program.

Our modular STAC schedule and hybrid approach allow us to maintain one of the signature features of CA’s academic program: the extensive array of courses that allow for curricular individualization (120 sections across 77 courses offered in STAC 4 alone). Many of our classrooms have physically distanced capacities lower than our class sizes, so we have to be intentional and planful about accommodating in-person students in classrooms as well as during free times. Employing a hybrid model for in-person learning by dividing the student population into two groups allows us to respect 6-foot spacing in classrooms and common spaces, in accordance with all COVID-19 compliance guidelines from the Concord Department of Public Health.

Each student will attend classes in person twice per week (Monday and Thursday for one group, and Tuesday and Friday for the other group). Wednesday will continue as a remote day for everyone. Boarders will attend classes in person on their “in-person” days and will take classes remotely from their rooms in their houses on their “remote” days. Commuting boarding students will follow all of the day student guidelines within this plan.

Day student scheduling will consider access to winter athletics and P.E. commitments, taking into account commuting and sibling schedules to the best of our ability. Boarding students will be assigned P.E./winter athletics according to their house.

We will continue to monitor conditions and current guidelines throughout the academic year to assess whether we are able to modify our hybrid schedule as the semester progresses.

We will continue to offer remote academics for the rest of the school year for students who cannot or choose not to return to campus in person.

STAC 4

(Last updated December 15th)

STAC 4 classes will begin on campus on Thursday, January 28. During STAC 4, we ask that students commit to a regular and consistent schedule of remote or in-person learning. Students will be asked to commit to their learning schedule by Wednesday, February 3. This includes committing to the days and classes for which they will be in person and following that attendance pattern throughout STAC 4. For example, students can decide if they will come only one day a week instead of two or if they will attend only some blocks per day, but they must stick with their choice. Exceptions will be made for illness, quarantine, or other extenuating circumstances. Similarly, students should be either remote or hybrid for the duration of STAC 4, except for in exceptional circumstances. We are pleased to be able to offer this flexibility, and we appreciate students and families following their commitments so that we can track attendance for safety and contact tracing purposes.

We will hold the Semester 2 drop/add period before the start of STAC 4 on Tuesday, January 12; Wednesday, January 13; and Friday, January 15. We will publish the open course list for students and advisors on Monday, January 4, on CA Connect.

Schedule and Curriculum

(Last updated December 15th)

We will continue to utilize our STAC system for the remainder of the 2020–21 academic year. This schedule is designed to support all students in accessing CA’s academic program, whether in-person or remote. The schedule supports our mission-driven work: equity, love of learning, close adult-student partnerships, deep learning, purposeful collaboration, and creative engagement.

BNC Online Bookstore will open at the end of December for parents/guardians and students to order books for the second semester (STACs 4, 5, and 6). Parents will receive an email with ordering information and instructions on December 28.

Components of the STAC model in Semester 2 will include the following:

  • Students’ course loads will be spread across three STACs, with students typically taking no more than four classes per STAC.
  • There will be breaks between classes to allow students to step away from their screens, rest their eyes, and check in with themselves and their families.
  • Classes will not meet on Wednesdays. Instead, Wednesdays will continue to feature programming designed to foster meaningful connections between CA students and adults and enrich students’ academic and community experiences.
  • Time has been preserved for advisor meetings, College Counseling Office (CCO) meetings, individual music instruction (IMI), club meetings, and more.
  • Classes will continue to be shorter on Fridays, allowing time for students to complete remaining assignments for the week and take time to rest and recharge.

We have designated the period of January 11-18 as a flexible time for students and faculty in terms of presence on campus. We recognize that returning to campus during this week might prove challenging, due to quarantine needs following travel or a potential sense of disruption to an established routine during STAC 3. We will hold hybrid in-person learning for day students and commuting boarders who are able to attend and would find being on campus useful during the final weeks of STAC 3. On-campus learning during this period will follow our hybrid schedule.

January 27, 2021: Virtual MLK Day Programming

Each year, the CA community participates in a “day on” to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to celebrate Black culture and history, and to engage in social justice learning. This signature event is a critical marker in the cycle of a CA year and includes standout keynote speakers and special guests. This year, MLK Day falls on Monday, January 18, just before final assessments for STAC 3. To allow students to be fully engaged in the important work that occurs in our MLK Day programming, we have moved our celebration to Wednesday, January 27, the first day of STAC 4. This is a required day of programming that has been redesigned to be fully virtual and promises to be an exciting kickoff to community life in the second semester.

March 6-21, 2021: March Break

March break is scheduled for March 6-21. Houses will not be open during March break, and students will be expected to depart campus. Understanding that it may be difficult for those who live far away to secure a guardian, we have established a relationship with the highly regarded company Gold Star, which can help families with any local guardianship and quarantining needs. For more information, see our December email to boarding families.

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Attendance

(Last updated December 15th)

Students are expected to attend all CA commitments — classes, chapels, community meetings, announcements, weekly advisor meetings, P.E./athletics, class meetings, and any required X- or H-block events — on time each day.

Excused absences will not result in any disciplinary action by the school, provided that the individual is complying with these policies in good faith. A student who accrues multiple unexcused absences in an academic class or in P.E./athletics will be at risk of not receiving credit for that particular course. A student who accrues too many unexcused absences for mandatory community events may receive a Dean’s Warning for failing to meet community expectations.

We remain committed to working with students in distant time zones who are participating in our program remotely and synchronously. For students who are finding it difficult to balance time zone differences and the expectations of our synchronous academic and student life program, please be in touch with the Academic Office so that we can offer support around attendance.

You will find additional guidelines around athletics and P.E. attendance in the Athletics section.

Visual & Performing Arts

(Last updated December 15th)

The arts are an essential part of the CA experience and are rooted in CA’s academic program. CA continues to offer a full range of visual and performing arts courses, adapting approaches and curricula to serve a blend of in-person and remote learning. Both departments have been shipping materials and sending supply lists to enrolled students to ensure they have access to materials needed for their courses.

In addition to scheduled courses, the Visual and Performing Arts Departments will continue to reimagine art shows, concerts, theater, and dance productions that bring students together across locations.

The Performing Arts Department is reviewing its offerings, updated state guidelines, and best practices in the field to determine which aspects of its program can return to in-person programming. Individual music instruction (IMI) is currently being assessed to determine how it will be conducted for the second semester. The dance program and athletics are being assessed together, and guidelines for indoor participation are forthcoming.