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2020-21 calendar update

Posted on: May 28, 2020

May 28, 2020

Dear Holland Hall Families,

I hope the start of summer is treating you well and that you and your families are staying healthy.

As our team plans for the 2020-21 school year, our priority is on being flexible. We want to spend as many days in the classroom as we can this year, and we know you want that, too. To that end, we’ve made some decisions on the school calendar.

We are moving our first day of school to Thursday, August 6, and, if needed, we may finish later than typical.

We are targeting 170 teaching days for the academic year. Because of the emergency situation the virus has created, an early start will allow us to get as many days as possible before a projected second surge, and gives us flexibility to take breaks as our community needs them.

The absolute last day we would have school is Friday, June 11, although we certainly hope to not need all of that time.
We will be sending regular emails this summer to keep families informed of proposed physical distancing practices, daily schedule adjustments and other precautions and safety measures.

Getting to that 170 days

We are committed to a data-driven, flex-and-respond calendar. Ultimately, the data will tell us what we can and cannot do with regard to safety, on-campus learning, and remote learning.

An early start:

  1. Allows us to collect as many on-campus days as possible prior to the predicted second surge;
  2. offers more flexibility in the days we must devote to remote learning, hopefully reducing these days significantly; and
  3. creates flexibility in our overall academic calendar so we can get to the target of 170 academic days with, again, fewer days fully in the remote paradigm.

Also, please note the following about the early start, flexible academic calendar:

  • We are targeting 170 teaching days for the academic year. An on-campus day counts as one day; a remote learning day counts as one day. When we get to 170 days (+/-), the school year concludes.
  • 170 teaching days is our five-year average and includes any day that students are required to come to school, including exam days, service days, X Days, etc.
  • We are scheduling fewer breaks and holidays. We are only scheduling days off for:

Labor Day
Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving
Two weeks at Christmas
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Good Friday

  • Tentative days off are being scheduled for Winter Break and Spring Break, subject to banking enough days earlier in the year that it makes sense for us to take the time off.
  • The absolute last day we would have school is June 11, 2021. Again, if we have to go this long, the total teaching days would be at, or very close to, 170 — our normal commitment.
  • If the number of teaching days allows, we can certainly add more days off later in the year.

Again, while quite unusual, this approach will let the data and guidance from local health officials drive our decision making and keeps safety and the school’s mission at the core of the overall experience.

Again, expect more information about our overall reentry plans in the next two weeks, including additional safety measures, updates to our remote learning planning (if needed), and others.

We look forward to seeing you back on campus safely and soon!

J.P. Culley
Head of School