COVID-19: DISTANCE LEARNING PLAN

In the face of the complex and rippling effects of the novel coronavirus, we are mindful of all who are experiencing this pandemic across the globe. We are committed to doing our part to limit the spread of infection, while ensuring the best educational experience we can for our students.
College Prep continues to be a community that engages in teaching, learning, and collaborating—now remotely. On Wednesday, March 18, we launched our Distance Learning Plan, bringing our classes and advisories online; we will now meet in our virtual campus through the month of April. We invite you to review the plan, found here, which also includes a list of faculty, staff, and administrative resources. Please visit this site to see pertinent updates. We will also communicate directly with our near and extended community via email, and invite you to contact us as well. 

As we move forward with thoughtfulness and care, we will do our best to anticipate challenges and protect the health and well-being of our school and the broader community.

Community Communications

List of 7 items.

  • March 29, 2020: To Students and Families

    Dear Students and Families,
     
    As we head into Spring Break, our first thoughts are for the health and safety of those in our close and extended community. We hope that you are well.
     
    When we first closed our campus and moved to distance learning, it was with the sincere hope that we would be coming back to 6100 Broadway right after Break. As we are all now aware, based on the mandated school closures in Alameda County, our earliest possible date for resuming classes on campus is May 4. We will steer toward this new possibility.  
     
    In the face of the kaleidoscopic demands of the present situation, we want to thank and acknowledge our faculty and students for their spirit and adaptability as we have leaned in to recreating the rhythms of school life in these new environs. Students, you have been remarkable! Parents, we know that your lives have been profoundly altered as well. We appreciate all of the ways that you have continued to support your students’ learning and well-being.
     
    As we look to the coming weeks of continued distance learning, we’re eager to build on the feedback you’ve shared through advisory, emails, and conversations. We have learned a great deal about how to best offer our particular program virtually. One of the key insights we’ve gained is that, while we are not able to recreate all of the richness of our face-to-face learning community,  we want to continue to honor relationship-based learning, preserve the core of our academic program, and nurture community connections. 
     
    In order to best accomplish this, we have adjusted our Distance Learning Plan schedule as follows here.
     
    Some things to notice about the new Distance Learning Plan schedule:
     
    Later Start
    Our scheduled classes will start at 9:00 am. We hope that this slightly later start allows for students to get a bit more sleep (and maybe some exercise!) before classes begin. 
     
    The Flow of the Week
    Mondays will start with “homeroom” style advisory gatherings. These meetings are required, as attendance will be taken for the school day. Monday class blocks are shorter; teachers may choose to use the time to share goals for the week, offer a short lesson, or hold office hours.  Teachers will use the Portal Assignment Calendar to let students know what they should expect to do during these Monday blocks. 
     
    For the rest of the week, classes will rotate through our familiar longer block periods. We know that distance learning (and sheltered-in-place living) requires greatly increased “screen time” for everyone. Our teachers are aware of this, and will be using the 75-minute class blocks flexibly, in ways that best meet their learning goals for their students.
     
    We are working on assembling some simple calendaring tools to help students and adults alike navigate this new schedule. Look for an email from Linh with a good starter template.
     
    Use of Collaboration/Community Blocks
    We have preserved two long blocks each week for community and collaboration time. While these blocks can be used for clubs and community events, they may occasionally be used for assessments in courses taught across a whole grade level.
     
    Unscheduled Time
    This schedule has also reduced or repurposed some of the time that students have traditionally used to meet one-on-one with their teachers and support staff. It is important that we preserve these connections, especially now that our opportunities for informal connection are more challenging. Students and teachers may arrange to meet anytime between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. 
     
    Coming Back After Break
    On Monday, April 6, our teachers will come together (virtually) for an in-service day. While teachers will spend the day working on their courses, we ask that all students gather midday for an all-school Assembly, followed by opportunities to meet in smaller groups for games and social time. We will share more on this as plans are developed. The first full day of classes after Break will be Tuesday, April 7.  
     
    What About the Rest of the Year?
    While we hope to be back on campus on May 4, it is possible that we will be in “distance” mode for the remainder of the year. We are aware that many of our students, especially our seniors, are concerned about how the year may close out—what will happen with finals and graduation? How will we reimagine and reinvent the many events and traditions that typically crowd our end-of-year calendar? 
     
    We have begun administrative conversations around these questions, and will most certainly bring students and parents into our planning when school resumes. While there are no easy or sure answers, there are some things of which we are certain: that staying healthy and practicing resilience will continue to be our top priority; that we will likely each endure some frustration and  disappointments as we go; and that we will emerge stronger if we focus on what we can control, trusting that with our collective energy and imaginations, we will find our way through. 
     
    As always, feel free to be in touch with thoughts or questions. Although we are apart, we are here with and for you, and hope you will reach out with any concerns. We are so proud of this community for navigating these difficult times with such spirit, hard work, and care for each other. Enjoy the much-needed rest, and see you in April. 
     
    Our best,
     
    Monique DeVane
    Head of School
     
    David Kojan
    Assistant Head/Academic Dean

  • March 18, 2020: To Students and Families

    Dear Families and Students,
     
    As we wrap up our first day of distance learning, I am full of mixed feelings: concern, for the many in our region and world who are dealing with illness and anxiety; protectiveness, of our students around the disruptions they are now navigating; pride, in the enormous effort and creativity I’ve seen from our faculty and administrators as they’ve leaned into bringing our program to life through new channels; gratitude, for the opportunity to be moving forward together during this time.
     
    Our understanding of the broader challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shift and evolve daily. In the face of great uncertainty, I am heartened by the spirit and resilience of our students and teachers as they shift back into the structure and opportunities of school life: Kiet’s early morning offering of a Stretching and Mindfulness Zoom class; Om and Juliet’s initiative to create a youtube version of Assembly; Dr. Cushman’s virtual sharing of his passion for King Lear; and Amy’s launch of a New Books Newsletter. It’s clear that we are still very much in community, with and for each other. 
     
    Students, thank you for rising to the occasion of this unusual first day of the fourth quarter. Parents, if you have not yet done so, I encourage you to review our distance learning plan, particularly the sections on how to support your student and the summary of different resources for you to call upon. We will be sharing regular community updates in the PrepWeekly, and on the College Prep COVID-19 site.
     
    As we get deeper into classes, there will be exceptional moments, as well as bumps and tests of bandwidths of all sorts. I am confident that we will continue to demonstrate the values of intentionality and care that are at the heart of this school.
     
    With gratitude,
    Monique
     
    Monique DeVane
    Head of School
  • March 17, 2020: To Students

    Dear Students,

    I hope you all got some rest over this least-welcomed long weekend in the history of weekends. And most of all, I hope you and your families are safe and comfortably hunkered down. As we get set Wednesday to embark on our new adventure of distance learning, I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts, and to make a few requests of you. 

    Be serious. This is going to be an interesting and fun new adventure, AND distance learning is serious schooling. You will be learning deeply. We will take attendance. There will be homework and assessments. Please be ready to hit the ground running on Wednesday. 

    Set up a routine. Create a workspace for yourself and be ready to move through your class schedule and turn in work on time, just as you would on campus. 

    Be a good communicator. Check your email, at least twice per day, and more often as needed. Ask questions. Participate actively in class discussions and group projects. Be in touch with your teachers just as you would on campus. 

    Be adventurous.  We are not going to recreate our on-campus classes, but we will reinvent them to make the most out of this new learning opportunity. The more we can approach this work with a spirit of adventure and resilience, the more we will learn and the more fun it will be. 

    Give and get help. Over the coming weeks, please look for opportunities to support your fellow students, and to assist your teachers as they transition into distance teaching. Check-in on your friends and take care of yourself. If there is something that you need, please ask for help. 

    Mens Conscia Recti. As always, we will practice and expect the highest standards of academic integrity and community-minded engagement. 

    I am so appreciative of College Prep in this moment. Challenging times have a way of revealing the character and strength of a community, and the flexibility, resilience, and positivity that I have observed in you over the past two weeks have been remarkable. I have the utmost confidence in you and your teachers to navigate distance learning together with deep learning, grace, and joy. 

    My best,
    Kojan 
     
    David Kojan
    Assistant Head/Academic Dean
  • March 12, 2020: To Families

    Dear Families,
     
    Watching our students chat and laugh throughout this final day of the third quarter, I am struck by the gift and grace of our everyday time together. Given the significance and scale of the COVID-19 situation, however, it is clear that it is time to accelerate our mitigation measures. After consulting with school leadership, our peer schools, and local and state agencies, we have determined that College Prep will transition from in-person to distance learning beginning with next week’s classes. Please know that this is a proactive decision: there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our school community. 
     
    Starting on Monday, March 16, the campus will be closed to students for three weeks. All extracurricular activities and programs, including theater and athletics, will be suspended. As tomorrow (Friday) is our quarter break, there are no classes. Administrators will be on campus, and students are welcome to stop by campus to secure their belongings.
     
    As we transition to distance learning, we aspire to provide our students with the best teaching and learning experience that we can while helping them feel connected to the school and others. Please review our Distance Learning Plan, found here, which also includes a list of faculty, staff, and administrative resources. We ask that you check your home internet reliability, and be in touch with Edwin Kirimi, Director of Technology, with any questions or concerns: edwin@college-prep.org.
     
    Students should plan to access key academic information on the Community Portal on a daily basis. During this time, classes will follow our Week 2 schedule:
     
    Week of March 16
    Monday and Tuesday: No Classes
    -- Faculty continue preparations for distance learning
    -- Students complete work already assigned
     
    Wednesday-Friday: Distance Learning
    -- Week 2 Schedule (Mon/Thurs/Fri)
     
    Week of March 23
    Monday through Friday: Distance Learning
    -- Week 2 Schedule
     
    Week of March 30
    Spring Break
     
    Toward the end of Spring Break, we will assess the possibility of returning to on-campus classes, and will communicate next steps.
     
    We will continue to send updates via email and are happy to connect with you should you have questions or concerns. Thank you for your kindness during these complex times, and for your flexibility and engagement as we all work to navigate this evolving reality together.
     
    With appreciation,
    Monique
     
    Monique DeVane
    Head of School
  • March 11, 2020: To Families

    Greetings,
     
    We continue to monitor the evolving situation with COVID-19. While we have no confirmation of exposure to the virus among our faculty, staff, or students, we have received updated guidance from the Alameda County Public Health Department yesterday regarding large group gatherings and social distancing. Based on this new information, College Prep has cancelled, modified, or postponed a number of upcoming events.
     
    The events impacted between now and Spring Break include:
    • Wed, 3/11: TONIGHT Parents’ Association Meeting -- Cancelled
    • Sat,  3/14:  Berkeley Men’s and Women’s Shelter volunteer meal service -- Cancelled
    • Thu, 3/19 - Sun, 3/22: Spring Musical -- Modified for a limited on-site audience, details to follow
    • Mon, 3/23: PA Equity and Inclusion Committee Meeting with Kim Papillon -- Cancelled
    • Tue, 3/24: Senior Parent Gift Launch Party -- Cancelled; details to follow

    (Clarification:Spring Break will take place Monday, March 30 through Friday, April 3)
     
    As of this time, our athletic program will continue as scheduled. Given the range of sports, facilities, and league rules represented, we are prepared for possible modifications in the future. Team coaches will communicate directly with players and parents about changes to schedule.
     
    Since last week, a team of administrators representing all aspects of school life has been meeting daily to assess this very fluid situation. This group will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation at school, in our local community, and the broader region. Should we need to close for an extended period, we will shift to a distance learning program for which our faculty has been training. As long as school is in session, we will consider the viability of our program and events calendar, with the intention of making decisions between three and four weeks ahead. We will keep the community updated, both by email and at the School’s COVID-19 website
     
    While the effects of cancelling or modifying programming can be disappointing, we are focused on the wellness and safety of the entire community. We support recommendations that are meant to slow the spread of the virus, even as we strive to keep school running in as normal a fashion as possible.
     
    Please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns. Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation as we do our part to keep our school and broader community healthy.
     
    Best,
    Monique
     
    Monique DeVane
    Head of School
  • March 5, 2020: To Families

    Greetings,
     
    During what is a challenging and uncertain time for us all, I write to provide an update on the actions we are taking in relation to the COVID-19 virus to prepare and protect our school community. While the total number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. remains relatively small, experts expect the number to grow as testing increases and more individuals seek care. We are in contact with the Alameda County Public Health Department to stay updated on the situation and take actions as needed. 

    Prevention
    The health and safety of our students, staff, and families continues to be our top priority. We are encouraging regular, thorough, handwashing and asking that symptomatic individuals avoid social contact. We reminded students of these behaviors at Tuesday’s Assembly, and assured them that, should they need to stay at home, they would not suffer any academic penalties. We greatly appreciate your help in reinforcing this message, and that you keep students with any signs of respiratory illness or flu-like symptoms at home.

    Campus Hygiene
    To support prevention, we have installed ten additional hand sanitizing stations around campus. In addition to disinfecting high-contact areas (bathrooms, locker rooms, door knobs) twice a day, we have also enhanced our evening cleaning protocols.
      
    Parents’ Association Dinner & Auction CANCELLED
    After much consideration, we have decided to act with an abundance of caution and shift this Saturday’s Sunset Sail event to an online-only auction in support of faculty and financial aid. I want to thank and acknowledge Emily Sah and Melissa Hilal, our incredible auction co-chairs, who have worked for many months with a team of wonderful volunteers and donors to create a special event for the school. You will hear more from them shortly. 

    Planning for Extended School Closure
    Our administrators and teachers are refining plans for how teaching and learning will happen in the event of an extended school closure. We are implementing distance learning protocols and methods, as well as tools for staying connected as a community should this become necessary.
     
    School/Community Travel
    We continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travel guidelines. At this time, there are no restrictions or recommendations against domestic travel. Regarding family travel, particularly over spring break, if you are experiencing respiratory or flu-like symptoms following your trip, please do not come to campus.
     
    Communication
    Should our school need to close, or if the situation changes quickly, we will notify you directly via our emergency notification system. Otherwise, you will find the school’s latest updates and information on our website
     
    Finally, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the complex nature of these events. Holding uncertainty is never easy, yet I have been struck by the good-will and resilience I’ve already seen in our students and faculty as we prepare for and tackle these challenges. I am confident that we will take this spirit forward, and invite you to contact me with questions or concerns. 
     
    With gratitude,
    Monique

    Monique DeVane
    Head of School
     
  • February 28, 2020: To Families

    Greetings,
     
    I hope that everyone has enjoyed a wonderful Intraterm week. As we anticipate turning our attention back to “regular” school, I’m writing to share information about what College Prep is doing to monitor and prepare for the possibility of a local outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
     
    As you are likely aware, there is much still unknown about the path the Coronavirus might take. On Tuesday, February 25, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gave a press conference updating the country on the current status of the coronavirus, saying it is not clear when it will arrive or how severe an outbreak could become. The CDC has emphasized that there is not currently a coronavirus pandemic in the United States. A pandemic occurs when a disease is spreading from a variety of sources across a large region, and the number of cases across the US is still small. However, given how quickly the global situation is evolving, we are monitoring new developments and will continue to reevaluate our steps and actions daily. 
     
    As new information comes to light, College Prep will follow guidance and directives from the World Health Organization, CDC, and the Alameda County Public Health Department. If necessary, the school is prepared to alter our programs and procedures. We are also thinking ahead regarding the impact of the coronavirus on spring travel, upcoming school events, and other school activities. We will communicate any changes in a timely fashion.
     
    In the meantime, the most effective way to stay healthy and minimize the spread of infectious disease is to follow basic health best practices, such as washing hands frequently, covering mouth and nose when sneezing, and avoiding contact with those that are sick. Symptoms of the Coronavirus are similar to those of the common cold and flu, such as a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, headache, and stomach ache. If you are experiencing such symptoms, we strongly encourage you to stay home and if symptoms worsen, contact your healthcare provider. 
     
    Some resources for understanding the Coronavirus include:

     
    We remain grateful for the care and togetherness of this community and will be in touch with further communications as this situation unfolds. 
     
    Sincerely,
    Monique DeVane
    Head of School
    The College Preparatory School
To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus and the flu, follow these important tips: 
 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional. 
  • Get vaccinated every year

mens conscia recti

a mind aware of what is right