Preschool through Grade 12

Academics

On Campus Learning

Home Learning

 


On Campus Learning

What are cohorts and how will they be assigned?

  • Students will be grouped into class or grade size groups, or cohorts, that will attend classes and school activities together, with minimal interaction with other cohorts. 
     
  • Following the state health and safety guidelines and based on the physical square footage of our classrooms, most cohorts will consist of 10 to 14 students, with slightly larger groups in larger spaces such as the Media Center. Students in the same grade living under the same roof will be part of the same cohort.
     
  • In Maternelle and Lower School, a team of French and English certified teachers and assistants will be assigned to a single grade and they will rotate teaching duties between the cohorts in that grade. These teams were thoughtfully created to cover French, English, all of the specials, and FSL and ESL classes for all of the students within that grade.
     
  • In Maternelle and Lower School, cohorts will be distributed as follows:
    • In Building 4:
      • 1 group combined 2 and 3 year olds (TPS/PS) : room 26 (formally Maternelle cafeteria).
      • 1 group of 3 year olds (PS) : room 100.
      • 2 groups of 4 year olds (MS/MidK) : rooms 120, 124.
      • 3 groups of 5 year olds (GS/K) : rooms 200, 212, 218.
      • 3 groups of CP/1st graders : rooms 302, 310, 318.
    • In Building 2:
      • 3 groups of CE1/2nd graders : rooms 2 (formerly Art room), 22, 24.
      • 3 groups of CE2/3rd graders : rooms 26, 28, 30.
      • 3 groups of CM1/4th graders : rooms 37, 39, 41.
    • In Building 3:
      • 3 groups of CM2/5th graders : rooms 112 (formally Lower School library), 114, 116.
         
  • In the Middle and Upper School, each grade level will be its own cohort, except for the grades 11 and 12 which will be combined due to their smaller size. Cross-grade level activities such as the SEP program, assemblies, and clubs will take place safely on a remote learning platform. 
     
  • In Middle and Upper School, cohorts will be will be distributed as follows:
    • 6th grade: rooms 210, 212, 214, 216.
    • 7th grade: rooms 226, 234, 236, 238.
    • 8th grade: rooms 330-336.
    • 9th grade: rooms 43 and 47 (formally music room) on the ground floor of the Lower School building.
    • 10th grade: The 4th floor Media Center, student lounge, and room 428.
    • 11th and 12th grade: rooms 300, 302, 316, 318 and 412.
       
  • The labs and gym space will be used only when needed, and by no more than one cohort each day. 
     

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What will the academic schedules look like this fall? 

ISB plans to hold class five days a week when we reopen the campus in September. Class schedules will be shared soon.

  • Maternelle and Lower School students will be on campus five days a week for regular school hours, including garderie. 
     
  • Middle and Upper School students will be on campus 4 days a week, and learning remotely from home one day, following the schedule below:
     
    *On campus school day is marked by a checkmark
     
  • Middle Schoolers, who are on a remote learning schedule on Wednesdays, will start the school year remotely on Wednesday, September 2nd, and be expected on campus on Thursday, September 3rd. 
     

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What are the hours of an on-campus day?

  • Maternelle: 8:15 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Lower School:  8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Garderie: 3:15 to 6:00 PM
  • Middle School from 8 AM to 3:30 PM
  • Upper School 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Some Upper School students may need to leave at 4:30 or 5:30 PM.
  • At the end of the school day in the Upper School, students will be expected to leave the building as there will be no Study Hall, for safety reasons. Each cohort will have access to the Learning Center once a week.
     

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How will learning be structured during the one day a week that MS and US learn remotely?

Classes will be taking place in a synchronous or asynchronous way, based on needs, from 8:00 AM until the end of the school day. In any event, the teacher will be available to the students to conduct activities or to help students in need of guidance and support.

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Will all teachers be teaching on-site?

The wellbeing of all our community - students and teachers - matters to us. Due to medical or visa reasons, and a possibility of a required self-quarantine, there will be a handful of our teachers who will have to teach remotely. The school will put plans in place for students in these specific cases.

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How will music, art, and theater classes be conducted? 

The arts are an integral part of the learning experience of every student at every grade level. The state has released guidance on safety considerations specifically for these activities, given increased respiration and sharing of equipment involved. 

  • Music classes will take place without singing. If shared, equipment will be disinfected before and after each use, while woodwind and brass instruments will not be shared. In compliance with state guidelines and because of risks of airborne transmission, traditional band and choir activities will be suspended until further notice.
     
  • Art classes will take place with limited sharing of equipment between students, with disinfection between uses. We will also have individual art kits with assigned supplies.
     
  • Theater will still take place but in a scaled-down way, with masks on and 6’ of  physical distancing, and with individually assigned costumes and props.

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What are the plans for PE classes and Athletics?

According to the latest state guidelines, Physical Education (PE) classes can be held outdoors with 10’ of distance if not wearing a mask. They can be held indoors or outdoors with 6’ of distance if wearing a mask. No PE classes, indoors or outdoors, will have activities involving close physical contact, and priority will be given to being outdoors and without shared equipment. Locker rooms will be closed. Students will wash their hands before and after PE classes and gym mats will be disinfected after each use.

State guidelines regarding Athletics have not yet been released, and we will share that information with you in the weeks ahead.

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How will students with learning needs be supported?

  • Students with learning needs will continue to receive support throughout all divisions, including IEPs, 504 plans, and private evaluations.
     
  • We will provide adequate and targeted support, and we will continually assess ongoing learning support interventions. Coordination between learning support specialists and teachers, administration, and parents will continue. Learning support specialists will provide information on outside testing and services when appropriate.
     
  • Students with learning profiles who are learning from home will have access to learning support services similar to those offered last spring.

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How will ESL/FSL be provided?

  • In Elementary School, FSL and ESL classes will be held within a cohort/grade.
     
  • At the Middle School level, ESL/FSL 1 students from all three grades will be working with the language learning teacher in a hybrid model. The number of classes has been increased from five to seven, and the teacher will spend at least one day per week, in class, with each grade level. The ESL/FSL 1 students who are in a different grade level will still participate in the class, but remotely. ESL and FSL students who have moved beyond level 1 will continue to receive three hours of support per week.

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Has the school considered holding some classes outdoors?

To the extent possible, some classes will be held outdoors.

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What health and wellness programs will be available to the students?

  • The health and wellness of our students is our priority. As in previous years, a complete wellness curriculum that spans both physical and social-emotional wellbeing will be delivered by faculty and trusted outside providers. Lessons and activities are being prepared to be offered in a remote and safe way.
     
  • Students will continue to be able to access school counseling and student support services. Our wellbeing team and school counselor will be available to students in an individualized and safe way.

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Will there still be "room parents"?

Yes, room parents play an essential role in nurturing our community relationships and the connections between parents and teachers. In Maternelle and Lower School there will be one room parent per group (cohort). Division Directors will be reaching out to parents with details and opportunities to sign up.
 

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Home Learning

 
Students with preexisting conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or other health issues should consult their physician to make the best decision for their individual health. ISB will offer home learning to students who chose to stay at home even while most students are learning on campus. We will work with individual families to accommodate their needs. If you are considering home learning for your child, please contact your Division Director at your earliest convenience.

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What is the deadline to register for Home Learning?

If you would like to register your child for the Home Learning program, please let your Division Directors know by Friday, August 28th, 2020. Families who opt for home learning will have an opportunity to reconsider their choice after the school year begins. Requests to switch back to in-class learning can be submitted to the Division Directors by Friday, September 18th for an early October in-classroom start. 
 

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How does home learning work?

Students in the home learning program will be able to remotely follow their classes that take place at school, thanks to the new cameras that we have ordered for every classroom. Please note that home learning is not the same as full remote learning, which happens when an entire group of students and teachers go online due to campus closure or individual cohorts self-quarantining.

  • Home learning students will connect to their classes in real time from their devices at home. There will be a camera and a microphone in each classroom to stream the lesson, and the teacher will be able to see the home learners on a computer screen while facing the students who are in the classroom. 
     
  • All students, both on campus and at home, will use the same platforms (like Seesaw or Google Classroom) to access their homework assignments and upload their work. Home learners will have access to office hours with their teachers.
     
  • To protect the safety and integrity of cohorts, lSB will ask families to commit to home learning for a fixed period of time, such as a quarter or a semester, except in cases where a 14-day self-quarantine may be required. Before home learning students can return to on-campus learning, families will be asked to fill out a health and safety questionnaire.

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What happens if a student has to be quarantined?

When individual students must stay home for self-quarantine or isolation, they will be able to follow lessons through a home learning option for the duration of their quarantine. If an entire cohort must self-quarantine, then the cohort will move to a remote learning model until their collective return to the physical classroom.

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If my child, who follows in-person learning, is at home sick for a couple of days (non COVID-19 related), can he or she participate in home learning while at home?

Students who are out sick should rest and get better, and they will not follow the home-learning program during this time. For logistical reasons, home learning will be available on a medium/long term basis to those who registered and when students or entire cohorts must self quarantine for 14 days.

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My child does not have any pre-existing conditions, but I am not sure I am comfortable sending him/her back to school just yet.

We respect the decision of every family when it comes to sending your child to campus this fall. Families who would prefer that their children do home learning should contact their Division Director by Friday, August 28th.

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Will ISB guarantee in-person learning throughout the academic year 2020-2021?

Our top priority is the health and safety of our community and delivering excellence in learning in this unpredictable and changing environment. While we cannot control the course of this pandemic, we can assure you that we are prepared to deliver the curriculum to our students and nurture their wellbeing through any of the learning models that the situation may require from us. We will seek feedback and reevaluate on a continual basis in order to best respond to the needs of our students while protecting their safety.

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What metrics will be utilized to determine if the school needs to close down?

  • If there is more than one confirmed COVID-19 case in the school at one time, or if there is a series of single cases in a short time span, we will work with the Cambridge Board of Health to determine if there is transmission at school and what the next steps should be. They could include closing part of the school or the entire school for a short time for extensive cleaning, or closing the school partially or fully for a 14-day quarantine period.
     
  • Because the impact of the virus is local, it is also important to consider COVID-19 trends at the municipal level.  Each Wednesday, the Department of Public Health releases its Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report that contains critical metrics for each municipality. We will review these metrics in consultation with the Cambridge Board of Health and look at whether cases are increasing or decreasing, what the local test positivity rate is, and other contextual factors to help us decide if the impact of COVID-19 requires us to switch between educational models throughout the school year. 
     
  • We are expecting additional guidance from DESE to point to the appropriate data for schools like us that draw from multiple cities and towns.
     
  • Please note that if the school has to close, the Maternelle will close as well. 

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If we have to go to remote learning again due to another surge in COVID-19, will anything be different as compared to last spring?

  • We are upgrading our technology and internet capacity so that we can offer home learning to students who cannot be on campus, and deliver the fully remote learning model should that need arise in the course of the school year.
     
  • We have invested in personal devices for our students and faculty, and in fixed or mobile web cameras and document cameras for the classrooms. Sixth and 7th graders, and all new students in 8th-12th grade will receive new personal Chromebooks to take home (returning students from 8th grade and up will keep the Chromebooks they had last year). Students in Grade 12 are allowed to use personal laptops if they prefer.  
     
  • Platforms used in the classroom and for home learning will be streamlined.
    • Seesaw will be used to post and submit assignments in TPS through 2nd grade, and Google Classroom will be used in grades 3-5. Information sessions on the use of these platfroms will be offered to parents of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.
    • In the Middle and Upper School, all teachers will be using Google Classroom and will post the lesson plan prior to the beginning of the class.
    • Zoom and Google Meet will be used for all live sessions in all grades.
       
  • Over the course of the summer, many of our Secondary School teachers have attended trainings on the hybrid model, remote assessment and grading, and online community building. Students will witness an increase in the usage of tools such as breakout rooms, Nearpod checks for understanding, and Jamboard.

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This page was last updated on: August 24th, 2020.