Students of Ridgefield Academy (RA) and Landmark Preschool (LPS) will be pleased to know that their teachers and other members of the school community are looking forward to their return to campus on September 1. After months of planning and consultation with health professionals, RA/LPS has released its “Roadmap to Reopening” plan that offers multiple learning scenarios for the year. Most significantly, this plan offers choice, something that many other local schools may struggle to provide.
Head of School Tom Main comments, “Where your child attends school this fall is now more important than it has ever been before. We have created options for families to make certain that all students will be able to safely engage with our teachers and their classmates - whether they are learning on campus or from home. To that end, the school made a significant investment in technology to allow students to engage in parallel learning from home should they need to remain out of school or if a family wishes to keep their child out of school.
Parallel learning allows students who remain home for any number of reasons to still participate in their classes happening in real-time on campus through the use of classroom cameras and monitors. Students will have the opportunity to interact with their teachers and classmates, engage in discussions, and make presentations. The school’s quality connection between students and teachers that leads to powerful and authentic learning experiences will take place regardless of the participation path, offering a more positive and comprehensive learning experience and important student-teacher-class connection.
And, as a small, independent school with low teacher-student ratios and large classroom and outdoor spaces, grouping students in cohorts and obtaining safe social distancing will be much more easily accomplished here than many other schools. Ridgefield Academy’s scenic 42-acre campus is already undergoing additional outdoor classroom development to facilitate allowing students and teachers to bring their learning outside in nature. The school’s Landmark Preschool campus in Westport offers two large outdoor play spaces and the Landmark Bedford campus enjoys a beautiful slice of open land and a large 30x60 tent, and a large outdoor playground area.
Students in K - grade 8 will also use a new online lunch ordering system where they can select from up to 60 menu choices on a mobile device in their classroom and have their lunch of choice boxed and and ready for dining in either the cafeteria with plexiglass dividers on tables, in the classroom with social distancing, or outside on the school grounds.
Regardless of the learning environment, RA and Landmark students will continue to thrive academically and emotionally because the school's mission to celebrate childhood, pursue excellence, and cultivate kindness informs all that is done in our classrooms - on campus or virtually. Our comprehensive and intellectually inspiring curriculum ensures that students will be prepared for the next challenge, and our talented teachers create a forward-thinking, top-rate educational experience for their students that is rooted in a keen understanding of child development.