Middle School 2020
In DA Hybrid, the goal is to provide the best learning environment for students in the safest way possible, in accordance with the DA’s Roadmap for a Return to Campus and Guiding Principles. DA’s priorities for Middle School students while on campus are:
- Ensuring health and safety protocols while students and teachers are on campus.
- Establishing and building important student-teacher connections and creating supportive learning communities.
- Providing opportunities for students to build relationships with their peers.
- Developing student agency and independence so that they can work independently and successfully at home.
DA Hybrid divides Middle School students into two rotating groups: the Academy group and the University group. Each week, each group will have two days of on-campus instruction and two days of remote instruction. On five-day weeks, the fifth day is either for remote work or, for some students, half-day activities that focus on social-emotional learning. Reducing the daily on-campus student population to 50% allows DA to implement safety protocols and social distancing throughout the school day.
This weekly schedule is designed to be used in both DA Hybrid or Durham E-cademy scenarios. Also, all academic programming is designed to be accessible from home or on campus, allowing for easy transition between these two instructional models. This will also accommodate the needs of students and families who may choose to or need to access remote instruction for a portion of or the entire academic year.
Students are enrolled in a regular slate of academic classes. Time spent in PE and arts classes will be reduced to accommodate safety protocols.
DA’s ability to offer hybrid educational experiences hinges on the willingness of the DA community to come together in support of our collective health and safety. Families are required to electronically sign the DA Community Health Compact and COVID-19 Addendum to the All-School Handbook, which outline DA’s health and safety protocols designed to protect the DA community.
Academic Year Schedule
During a four-day academic week, students attend classes on campus for two days and learn remotely for two days. On weeks when there are five school days, all students learn remotely on Fridays.
A Typical Five-Day Week Schedule:
Extended Day will offer on-campus remote learning day care Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Upper School campus in Kenan Auditorium.
DA recognizes that there may be students and families who may choose to or need to access remote instruction for a portion of or for the entire academic year. Students will be learning at home — some for longer periods by the choice of their families, some for shorter periods due to precautious quarantining. DA cannot promise a matching experience for stay-at-home learners. Every DA faculty member attended workshops over the summer to hone their abilities to teach remotely and to keep at-home learners connected and moving forward.
The Middle School program is designed to be accessible to students whether they are on campus or learning remotely. Daily and weekly schedules are designed to be predictable and consistent so that students know when classes are happening regardless of their learning environment.
During orientation, students and teachers will learn how to use online platforms to facilitate learning. Through those platforms (mostly Google Classroom), teachers will design lessons that deliver content virtually. The exchange of materials (student submission, delivery of feedback) will be facilitated online. Students participating in on-campus instruction will experience the in-person exchange that has always been at the heart of sound instruction. Students who are learning remotely will still participate in that exchange, facilitated by Microsoft Teams and other technology platforms. While it is not possible for remote learning to be equivalent to attending classes on campus, we will provide a robust learning experience.
Stay-at-home students will be able to complete academic tasks, participate in group work, converse with teachers and peers regarding feedback and remain on the same learning schedule as students who are able to attend classes on campus.
Arrival Times and Locations
Students will arrive on campus in two shifts, one at 7:45 a.m. and one at 7:55 a.m. Families will drop off in specific campus locations
Dismissal Times and Locations
Dismissal will take place in shifts with pick-up at specific locations.
Arranged to provide six feet of distance between students, making most classrooms appropriate for 10-12 students.
Specific protocols to direct foot traffic to ensure appropriate distance. Teachers will oversee students during times between classes and break times to reinforce safety behaviors.
On-campus Extended Day runs until 6 p.m at the Middle School campus. There is no Extended Day care on Friday "flex days." Middle School enrichments will be online only. Space is limited for these programs.
Fall teams have voluntary practices. In order to maintain cohorting of teams by division, student-athletes in Middle School (grades 7–8) will not be allowed to “play up” on an Upper School team this fall.
On-campus practices and evaluations for team placement will be held the week of Aug. 31.
All scheduled competitions prior to Sept. 11 have been either cancelled or postponed.
All student-athletes must have a valid up-to-date physical on file and complete the COVID-19 waiver through Veracross (click on “Sign Policies” under “My Household”) prior to participating.
- All Middle School students have been issued a school-issued iPad.
- Students receive in-person and online instruction about appropriate iPad use and care, and efficiency in using remote learning platforms.
- Every student iPad is configured with appropriate security controls (e.g. to prevent downloading of inappropriate apps).
- Parent information sessions about DA's school/parent partnership regarding technology are available.
- Google Classroom (accessing assignments/submitting classwork)
- Veracross (student/family database)
- Microsoft Teams (synchronous meetings/instruction)
- Microsoft Outlook (email)
DA’s Office of Communications will keep families informed about announcements and information related to COVID-19 and the school's learning environments. You can sign up to receive updates via email alerts through our website or via RSS feed.