Healthy Concord

Academic Plan

Hybrid and HyFlex Learning 

(Last updated October 9th)

HyFlex refers to the classroom space. A HyFlex classroom is one in which technology — cameras, microphones, and large display monitors — allows for a physical classroom to bring remote students and in-person students together into a shared, synchronous learning experience. Remote students have sight and sound into the classroom, and in-person students are able to see and hear their remote classmates on screen. The HyFlex classroom aims to provide an active and interactive experience for all class members, regardless of location, and allows the teacher, either remotely or in-person, to engage with all students.

Hybrid refers to students learning in classrooms in distinct groups on designated days of the week, and learning remotely on their off days. All students will attend classes four days a week, either in-person or remotely. For students who have decided to participate in in-person learning, their hybrid schedule will determine when they are in the classroom.

When our campus reopens for in-person learning on Monday, October 26, we will engage in an educational model that includes Hybrid, HyFlex, and remote learning, along with a limited and phased boarding program. Courses will be taught through the HyFlex technology we have installed in every classroom. You may see examples of this technology, and of the many other facilities changes we have made to make CA safe for in-person instruction, in this slideshow.

To limit numbers in classrooms and common spaces, in accordance with all COVID-19 compliance guidelines and the Concord Pact, we will employ a hybrid model for in-person learning, dividing the student population into two groups. Each student will attend classes in person twice per week (Monday and Thursday for one group, and Tuesday and Friday for the other group). 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. Boarding students who plan to attend school as a day student will follow all the day student guidelines within this reopening plan.

Day student group scheduling will consider access to fall athletics and P.E. commitments and take into account commuting and sibling schedules to the best of our ability. Boarding students will be assigned by house.

Schedule and Curriculum

(Last updated October 9th)

The 2020–21 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.

In developing a new mode of virtual learning at CA, we have reimagined the academic schedule with Short Terms at Concord, or STACs, a modular-style program that allows deep engagement with a few subjects at a time.

The STAC model will carry through the 2020–21 academic year regardless of CA’s virtual or in-person operational status. The academic year will consist of six 5.5-week STACs, with breaks between each STAC. Components will include the following:

  • Students’ course loads will be spread across three STACs per semester, with
    students typically taking no more than four classes per STAC.
  • There will be breaks between classes to allow for students to step away from their screens, rest their eyes, and check in with themselves and their families.
  • Breaks between each STAC to allow for grading, comment-writing, and rest.
  • Classes will not meet on Wednesdays. Instead, Wednesdays will feature X or H blocks whose programming is 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 be shorter on Fridays, allowing time for students to complete remaining assignments for the week, and take time to rest and rejuvenate.

Between STAC 1 and STAC 2, teachers will train on the HyFlex technology and will work in partnership with students during STAC 2 to adapt to this new classroom environment as we enter a phased reopening of on-campus learning.

Thanksgiving Break (November 25 until December 3) and the start of STAC 3 (December 3 until January 3): Beginning with Thanksgiving break and continuing through the first part of STAC 3, CA will be fully remote for all students. It is our intention to reopen in January with on-campus living and learning for students, and we will share our plan for January reopening in mid-December. We considered many factors in our decision to transition back to a remote schedule:

  • Time to learn and operationalize in preparation for HyFlex after winter break: We intend to use this period to learn how to re-open campus in the safest way possible. We will learn from our pilot period, make necessary adjustments to our program, policies, and infrastructure, and communicate early and often with all of our constituents in a clear and comprehensive way.
  • Challenge of travel over a holiday: For those who celebrate it, Thanksgiving is a time of communal celebration, and generally one of the busiest travel periods of the year.
  • Frequency of travel for boarding students: Hosting boarding students on campus during this period would require extensive travel, which would increase the risk of community exposure due to the short duration of our breaks in the STAC schedule.
  • Alignment with our plans to be remote for STAC 3: We had always planned and constructed our STAC schedule around a remote STAC 3. We designed a shorter
    Thanksgiving break schedule, which would preclude move-in days on the back end of Thanksgiving break to ensure the time needed to properly test and allow the return of students to campus.
  • Consistency with regional and peer secondary schools and institutions of higher education: The majority of independent secondary schools and many of the region’s colleges and universities have opted to shift to remote learning for the period after Thanksgiving. We’re grateful to have benefited from the collective wisdom of schools that used hybrid models throughout the fall.

Quick links:
2020–21 Course Catalog
2020–21 Academic Year Calendar
Weekly STAC Schedule

Assessment

(Last updated October 9th)

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

Excused absences and those necessitated by self-quarantining policies 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.

Students participating in in-person learning may choose to attend classes remotely on their in-person days. These decisions may be made on a day-by-day or class-by-class basis. Attendance will be determined by presence either in-person or online. In order for the teacher to prepare the most appropriate lesson for the class configuration, we ask that students who will be remote for a class on an in-person day alert the teacher as far in advance as they are able.

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

Please note: We recognize that students and families will be trying hybrid learning for the first time. Students may opt back into remote learning at any time if they decide that this mode works better for them, or for any other reason.

Visual & Performing Arts

(Last updated October 9th)

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 the current conditions, some music ensembles and dance classes are being held remotely, and the Performing Arts Department is reviewing ways to incorporate some in-person, modified opportunities for these groups. In addition to scheduled courses, the Visual and Performing Arts departments will be working to reimagine art shows, concerts, theater, and dance productions that bring students together across locations.

Individual Music Instruction (IMI) is operating remotely for all three STACs of the fall semester. The Performing Arts Department is currently assessing how available campus spaces align with currently scheduled IMI lessons, and will be in contact with any day or boarding students whose lessons might need to be adjusted.