I am writing to update you after two days of distance learning in the Upper School. We have amazingly talented and dedicated faculty at Cape Cod Academy, and the sense of community I have witnessed these past days is inspiring. This crisis has highlighted our commitment to the emotional well-being and continued learning of each student from ninth grade classes to the AP level. We have been planning this possibility for some time, though we did not expect to implement distance learning so quickly. However, our faculty shifted their work so nimbly in response to COVID-19 that the learning and connections have continued almost seamlessly.
As an overview of what we are currently doing, Upper School students begin work by 11:00 a.m. and must complete classwork by 3:00 p.m. Some students have been getting up early, as they prefer a slower pace of work spread throughout the day. Others are getting started at 11:00 a.m., taking advantage of this opportunity to get the sleep their teenage bodies need. Homework is assigned nightly, due by 11:00 a.m. the day of the next class meeting. We are following the regular five-day class rotation for classwork and homework. Many teachers have met virtually with classes through Zoom or Meet to stay connected, check in, and discuss class material. We are coordinating these meetings, so students are able to attend each virtual meet up.
Here is the latest news from College Board, released yesterday: “The AP Program is developing resources to help schools support student learning during extended closures, as well as a solution that would allow students to test at home, depending on the situation in May. Additional information will be posted by March 20.We will announce portfolio submission deadline extensions for AP Art and Computer Science Principles courses by March 20.” I will update you all as we get more information.
College Board also made the following announcement: “In response to the rapidly evolving situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19), College Board is canceling the May 2, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration are also canceled. Students who already registered for May, whose March test centers were closed, or who do not receive March scores because of any irregularities will receive refunds. In the coming days, College Board will share additional information and details directly with registered students and test centers. College Board will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as possible in place of canceled administrations. We’ll be as flexible as possible to give students the best chance to show their skills and stay on the path to college. We have not yet canceled the June 6, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration and will continue to assess its status, with the health and safety of students and educators as our top priority. We are also exploring the possibility of adding an international SAT administration later this school year.”
We are implementing our coordinated distance learning program to keep students healthy, learning, and on track to complete spring work by the end of term. As we each adjust, let’s think of ways to help our children shift to learning online while getting the support and contact with teachers and others they need. Establishing schedules and areas dedicated to study at home will be essential. I ask you to help us by engaging in conversations at home about how your child is managing the workload and time. Growing pains are to be expected, and we anticipate this situation will cause some discomfort and require extra support. Please communicate with me, and let me know how your child is doing from your point of view. I am here to answer questions and address concerns. I believe this is an amazing opportunity for intellectual and personal growth and a rare chance for each of us to step out of our norms into a new space of teaching and learning. I appreciate all you are doing to make this happen.