Dear Duke School Families,
We are writing to share Duke School’s plans for the opening of the 2020-21 academic school year. As you know, the Board of Trustees, COVID-19 Task Force, Clinical Health Advisory Group, and the Leadership Team have been spending countless hours for months building plans for multiple scenarios for how the start of school may look in August.
The Board of Trustees has made the decision for Duke School to begin with our On-Campus Model for instruction, coupled with the Bridged Distance Learning Model for those who have selected that option. This decision is the result of thoughtful guidance from the Clinical Health Advisory Group and the COVID-19 Response Task Force. The groups dedicated to this critical decision evaluated the school’s ability to provide a low-risk environment and the local COVID-19 indices Durham and Orange counties. Our ability to make this decision is predicated on a substantial investment by the Board to prioritize the health and safety of Duke School’s students, faculty, staff, families and broader community and to deliver on our commitment to provide a comprehensive experience that embodies the Duke School philosophy and spirit.
The Academic Team has developed a gradual opening schedule (CLICK HERE) for the start of school, taking into account faculty and staff feedback, student and family needs, Duke School’s pedagogical underpinnings of our program, and the circumstances of this year.
Next week, the Clinical Health Advisory Group will provide to the community a Policies for Return to School document. The Group will meet with faculty and staff to assist in their preparations for operationalizing procedures that will be necessary. As we move forward with thoughtful deliberation with this return to campus plan, we are mindful that COVID-19 still looms in the foreground, and the school’s ability to remain open requires a concerted, disciplined and shared commitment by all families, faculty and staff.
Bimal Shah, Chair, Board of Trustees
Duke School Board of Trustees
Lisa Nagel, Head of School