August 20, 2020
Dear Madeira Families,
As an update to my communication from August 15, I want to express my deep gratitude for your confidence, trust, and patience as we continue to adapt to the fluid situation. With new rhythms developed in this very different year, our community has come together in new ways, keeping Madeira’s mission at the center. I’m proud of how the faculty and staff have continued to pivot as they focus on the best ways to serve our students.
Below this letter, you will find important updates and details about Mod 1. Please know that Madeira, and I personally, are wholly motivated to bring your daughters back to campus for in-person learning as soon as we are safely able to do so. While we are in remote learning, our faculty and staff are committed to providing excellence in our academic, Co-Curriculum, and extracurricular programs, and are excited for the new academic year.
We look forward to seeing many of you at the Parent Webinar on Tuesday, August 25, at 6:30 pm EDT. Thank you to those who have been submitting questions about our reopening plans. We are responding individually to questions and we will also compile these into themes to be released as an updated FAQ page on the reopening website on Friday, August 21.
Whether remote or in-person, our overall goal remains to help every Madeira girl achieve her personal best while thriving academically, emotionally, socially, and physically. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus in Mod 2. Until then, we will work together to sustain this incredible community in a physically distant and socially connected manner.
We are here for you. We are here with you. And together, we will thrive.
MOD 1 UPDATES AND DETAILS -
Register for Parent Update Webinar 8/25 at 6:30 pm EDT
Please register in advance for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Parent Connection Series and virtual student events
During this time of remote learning, we are excited to share that we’ve designed a series of connection events for parents and students alike. While the full details will be announced next week, we want to give you a preview of some of the parent and student events that will take place in September.
Parents will have access to a six-week Parent Learning Series, beginning September 3, and continuing every Thursday evening, which will feature key department leaders connecting with you on timely topics. A full schedule of student events, such as Red/White sorting (For new families, this is the big moment when new students and employees find out if they are on the Red or White team!), Club Fair, and dorm get-togethers, have been planned.
Remote Learning Daily Schedule
The daily schedule (shown below and linked here) for this remote learning period has shifted from our anticipated opening schedule. Classes have been extended because we will not need time for cleaning, disinfecting, or completing on-campus health screenings, nor do we need an extended lunch period. We designed daily connection time to accommodate our various time zones and teachers will offer daily office hours. We encourage everyone, students and adults alike, to get off their screens mid-day, and to get physical activity each afternoon.
As our plan had been to open campus in person, it is not possible at this time to predict if or when additional disruptions may occur or how they might affect the budget. Our budget is based on tuition and fees from families according to their specific contracts, though tuition alone does not cover our operating expenses.
We anticipate increased expenses related to health and safety guidelines required by the Virginia Department of Health and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, particularly when we open for in-person learning. Some of these increased expenses may be offset by reduced expenses in other areas. Therefore, we are opting for a responsive rather than proactive budgetary approach this year. During the academic year, we will assess the impact on expenses and make appropriate credit or refund adjustments. We will issue a credit associated with the Mod 1 decision.
New Arrival Dates
We are eager to welcome students back to campus! Our plan is to open in person for Mod 2 and we will affirm that decision by September 11. Here are the arrival dates for students.
Fri., Sept. 25
Boarding Students taking public transportation to campus (by appointment afternoon & evening)
Sat., Sept. 26
Boarding Students taking public transportation to campus (by appointment)
Fri., Oct. 2
New Day Students (will register on campus)
Sat., Oct. 3
New Boarding Students, & Boarding Students who are S.W.I.N.G. Sisters, traveling in private cars to campus (by appointment)
Sun., Oct. 4
Remaining Boarding students* (by appointment)
*If boarding students traveling by private car prefer to arrive on September 25 or September 26 they may choose to do so.
The Dean of Students Office will send out a Mod 2 arrival email late next week with more detailed information and a link to an arrival survey where boarding students can indicate their arrival date. Consistent with our initial arrival plan, to ensure physical distancing is possible during move-in, every boarding student will be assigned a specific arrival time.
We are asking every student to self-quarantine and ask her family to take necessary precautions to reduce virus exposure risk for the 14 days prior to her arrival. In addition, each student must provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR test when she arrives on campus for the first time.
Labor Day Holiday
Given our move to remote learning, we will revert to no classes on Labor Day and will celebrate Monday, September 7 as a holiday.
Please continue to use the question submission form to send us your questions; this helps us to curate our FAQ page on the reopening website and will inform our conversation on August 25.