Remote Learning for Fall 2020-2021

Brooke Newsletter

As we adapt to the COVID-19 reality

Brooke Will Begin With a Remote Learning Model for All Grades

We are thrilled to welcome our scholars back to school today, September 8, 2020, but we recognize it’s a first day unlike any in our school’s history. Brooke students will be logging into school remotely today, except for a small number of students with significant and complex needs, who require in-person support.

Our decision to implement a remote model was informed by:

  • Guidance from the Center for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Massachusetts
  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Two staff surveys and two family surveys, which asked for input on possible in-person, hybrid, and remote learning models
  • Thirty video calls with small groups of Brooke families to discuss concerns about safety, academics, and students’ social emotional needs

The Brooke leadership team ultimately chose a remote model for this fall due to 1) staffing concerns, as we were unable to adequately staff in-person school because too many staff are in the COVID-19 high risk categories; 2) lack of access to rapid testing, which would help us detect and contain potential virus spread, instead of having to shut down if members of our community display symptoms; 3) a desire to do one approach well, rather than trying to plan for and shift between both a hybrid and remote structure (as cases will likely fluctuate) – instead, we wanted to focus on doing one approach very well.


Brooke’s New Approach to Remote Teaching and Learning

By the time our teachers and staff returned from their summer breaks, the leadership team had decided on the remote model, giving our teams five weeks to do the intensive planning required to deliver high quality remote instruction to our scholars.

We learned a lot from teaching remotely last spring and recognize our approach this year must be different. Specifically, we plan to implement:

  • More structured learning, with more consistent schedules and expectations across all grades.
  • More live classes, with required student attendance and credit for participation in discussions
  • More data-informed support, which means teachers will continue reaching out individually to students and families, but will base those conversations in data and assessments of progress
  • More in-person services, especially for our students with high and complex needs


A Larger Conversation About Education, Racial Justice, and Equity

Our community has seen and felt so much loss due to the COVID-19 crisis, the related economic fall out, and the continued loss of many Black lives to police brutality and injustice. As a school, we are coming together to process these events as we steadily grapple with what it means to be anti-racist educators.

These conversations began again this summer in our professional development and will continue throughout the school year. We invite you to read some of the texts that we’ve discussed:

We look forward to sharing more materials and insights on these topics and others as, undoubtedly, the 2020-2021 school year will bring learning for all of us.