Here you'll find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about our new flexible calendar and how it works for the 2020-21 School Year.
The colors on the calendar are designed to help clarify:
Yellow: days that the school will be open, beginning on our new first day, August 3.
Grey: days that we would normally not be in school, but that have been set aside as potential school make-up days in the event of intermittent closure. Parents should expect for both campuses to be closed on these days (unless a special announcement is sent out by the school).
Blue: scheduled days out of school due to various holidays. Again, both campuses will be closed.
Orange: Faculty Work Days, at which time both campuses are open to faculty and staff only.
Why an earlier start date?
The earlier start date allows for us to "bank" school days in the event that there might be intermittent school closure. As we want to ensure that this cushion remains intact moving into the Spring semester, school leadership has decided that we will NOT extend Winter Break, even if there have been no closures. Families can expect to hear about the decision concerning a potential extension to Mardi Gras Break sometime on or before Winter Break. The city has not yet announced whether Mardi Gras will be celebrated in 2021, which will directly affect our decision.
When Does Distance Learning kick in?
For students who are sick or need to quarantine, we are offering our Hybrid Learning model year round. That model is outlined in our Distance Learning Handbook. We will not have to resort to our distance learning-only plan until WSNO has been closed for 27 days (or 5 weeks of school).
When is the last day of school?
If we are fortunate enough to proceed through the year without closures, and choose to close school for the extended Mardi Gras break, the last day of school could be as early as May 14. Please keep in mind that we have built five weeks of flexible time into the calendar. If closures do occur, the school year could potentially extend until as late as June 11.
Why is so much flexible time built into the calendar?
Our reasoning for including ample flexible time is to attempt to maximize the number of in-person instructional days, which is the optimal way to learn, particularly for our youngest students. We are prepared to shift once again to our Distance Learning model in the event that we exceed five weeks of school closure. We invite you to explore the extensive Distance Learning Handbook the school has shared, which details how this program would be carried out in all our programs from Nursery through Grade Eight.
We understand that this form of calendar brings some hardship to parents due to the changes we have made, particularly with regard to the earlier start date and the fact that we cannot lay out the entire year's schedule with complete certainty. We thank you for your patience as we work to adapt to these challenging times. Please feel free to reach out to Head of School Joe Peychaud or to Interim Grades Co-Chair Rebecca Nelson if you have further questions.