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Duke School Lower and Middle School News

Dear Parents and Guardians, Thanks so much for your partnership the past few weeks as we work to prepare for this extraordinary year for our students. When teachers returned to campus last week, we undertook our work with your children at the center of every conversation. Their world has been turned upside down during the pandemic, and it’s our job to help them return to virtual or on-campus classes in which they feel comfortable, valued, and empowered.  Our Responsive Classroom and Developmental Designs social curriculum have guided our work with the fundamental belief that we cannot address students’ academic needs until we have addressed their social and emotional needs. Our slow roll-out will allow students to enter their new classrooms in a new way and feel connected with their new community and teachers. Both Bridged Distance and On Campus learners will receive an iPad or laptop and learn ways these tools can be used to do project work in new ways and collaborate with peers and teachers. They’ll discuss their hopes and dreams for the school year and will collaborate with classmates as they construct a social contract or school rules, which will enable them to achieve their dreams. The teachers have worked diligently to create a plan for a soft entry for each child—whether on-campus or at home. The following three links share the plan and schedule for the various age groups. · Preschool · Kindergarten through Fourth · Middle School You will note that the on-campus sessions are divided into visiting groups. Shortly your child’s grade level teachers will email you the following: · Class lists/Pod Groups · Visiting Group Information · School Supply Information · Morning Drop-Off Sign-Up Families enrolled in the Bridged Distance Learning program should register for a time to come to campus to pick up their device on Thursday, August 20. · Bridged Distance Learning Tech Pick-up Sign-Up Carline With the classroom information, you will find a link to sign-up for morning carline. The drop-offs are set in five-minute intervals between 8:00-8:45 am. When families choose a time block, it becomes the drop-off time for the semester. We recognize that some mornings you may be a few minutes off, but we encourage everyone to try to be on time each day.   Before you arrive on campus, please complete the health assessment for your child using the Ascend app (please stay tuned for the instructions). When you arrive on campus, we ask that everyone in your car put on their masks before pulling to the curb, where a staff member will lean in to take your child’s temperature. Once your child’s temperature is verified, they can walk to class. We know that the first few days parents may want to walk their child to class Please just keep in mind social distancing protocols and that parents need to drop students off at the door and not enter the building. We will not sign up for afternoon carline times until the first full day for all students—September 14. During the hybrid opening days, we ask that you pull up in front of your division. We will call students for pick up with a Google Doc system. We hope to work out some of the kinks and then send a formal sign up. As you prepare for next week, we ask that you take time with your child/children to practice wearing their masks and that you review our Return to School Policymost importantly the Community Commitment. It will take all of us observing the commitment to keep our children, teachers and community healthy and safe As always, we are here if you have questions. Nicole & Jenny Nicole Thompson Lower School Director Jenny Murray Middle School Director

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