Message for TBS Families (May 2020)
Dear TBS Families,
It has been quite the year! As our school term concludes this week, an issue that continues to be discussed is how students will be graded during these unusual times (remote learning).
We want all students to be rewarded for the work they have completed despite the particular difficulties of our current situation. As an independent school, TBS is aligning itself with other independent school policies in the state and region in terms of third trimester grading policies. Flexibility for technological challenges, late penalties and the need for one-on-one instruction have been built into the individual classes. Teachers have offered alternative assignments and alternative due dates for students with extenuating circumstances. Therefore:
● LS students will receive standards-based grading as normal for non-specials classes. Teachers will provide a performance rating for individual curriculum standards taught within the regular classroom. Specials classes will not provide grades for Trimester 3.
● US and MS students who have turned in all their work will not earn a Trimester 3 grade lower than their lowest trimester grades from Trimester 1 and 2. In other words, if a student (who has turned in all their assignments) earned an 80 for Trimester 1, 85 for Trimester 2 and a 77 for Trimester 3, then their Trimester 3 score will become 80.
Graduation is a topic of conversation as well. I am hoping to announce my decision at the end of the week. Thanks to all the parents and students that made recommendations. The graduating seniors have done a tremendous job this year. Their college acceptance rate is 100% and they have raised $3,286,652 in academic and athletic scholarships!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how proud I am of our teachers and staff on the work that they have accomplished. Remote learning has been a challenge for all. Parents, thank you for your patience and support during these difficult times – you have been great!
Each MS and US family should have received a schedule for cleaning out lockers, returning books, receiving yearbooks, etc. the week of the 18th – 22nd. If not, please contact the appropriate academic dean. Reminder: All students and parents entering the building must wear their own masks and gloves, as we will not furnish these items. LS families may pick up student belongings (including yearbooks) by driving through the carpool line on Thursday, May 21 from 5:15-6:30 p.m.
As of right now, I am hoping to see you for the start of the 2020-21 school year on August 17, 2020.
COVID-19 5/7 Update
Dear TBS Families,
Thank you so very much for showing patience and support during the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We all have many questions and not enough answers at this point. Despite everything, our staff, students and families have all done a phenomenal job adapting to remote learning.
Unfortunately, we will not be returning to in-person instruction this school year. The academic calendar will conclude on Friday, May 15. The week of May 18 – 22 will be used for students to return textbooks, return borrowed school resources and library books, clean out lockers and pick-up their 2019-20 yearbooks. The academic deans will be providing a division schedule for each family to follow during this particular week. Please look for those schedules to come in another email via Renweb. All staff members, students and parents will be required to wear masks and gloves while they are in the school buildings. If your student or anyone in your family is running a fever or has had any symptoms of illness in the last two weeks, please STAY AT HOME and reschedule your appointment time.
The new start date for Summer Camp and Day Care will be Monday, July 6. We will not be providing any services in June.
The graduation date of Thursday, May 28, has been postponed until further notice. I will continue to communicate with the seniors and their families once we reach a decision.
Stay safe and thank you again for your support.
COVID-19 4/23 UPDATE
April 23, 2020
Dear TBS Families,
I hope you all enjoyed your Spring Break and had a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather.
In alignment with our governor’s executive order to close all public schools until Friday, May 15th, our new tentative start date will be Monday, May 18th. While we are sad to extend our remote learning experience once again, we also know our job is to protect the TBS community first and foremost. We continue to pay attention to any announcements from the governor, as well as advice from other local health organizations and the CDC.
As our sixth week of remote learning begins, and we get closer to the end of the school year, I want to ask seniors and senior parents for your help regarding graduation. It is becoming quite evident that graduation will not look the same this year, but we want to make this day as special as we can for each of you. Seniors and senior parents, please consider the following questions and forward any ideas or thoughts to me or Killian Barefoot. As I said, we truly want this day to be the best it can be given the circumstances:
• Do you have any creative ideas that would enable TBS to have a safe and special graduation?
• Would you prefer to keep graduation in May – even if it means virtual graduation? Or would you prefer to move it later in the summer in the hopes that an in-person graduation is possible?
Also, Lower School families may deliver completed work to the school building on Saturday, May 9th from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Boxes for each classroom will be located outside the building at the main entrance. Please place completed work in the appropriate classroom box.
Other announcements/updates are as follows:
• May 1st and May 15th, scheduled as half days on our school calendar, will now be regular remote learning days.
• Emersion Term and WOW week events are cancelled.
• There will be no cumulative final exams for Upper or Middle School, teachers will choose individually how to assess their current/final unit.
• The End of Year Awards Program has been cancelled.
• There has been no decision on when Summer Camp will begin as of this time.
As always, I thank you for your patience and stay safe.
Remote Learning Videos
Even though remote learning has its challenges, our staff has continued to educate our students. Below are videos that features just a few of the things our teachers have been doing with their classes.
COVID-19 4/9 UPDATE
Dear TBS Families,
As we come to the end of our fourth week of on-line education, we are becoming more comfortable with the use of technology in remote learning and are finding a more effective pace of instruction across divisions. Being involved with conference calls composed of independent school leaders across the state, I am pleased that TBS has been proactive with our approach. We are excited about the new schedule and changes that have been put in place this week, and the staff has worked extremely hard in being creative and putting lessons and assignments together.
It is important that all students continue to take their work seriously, as we are moving forward with instruction and content. Students will continue to be graded on all assignments during our remote learning, and we appreciate your help with setting up routines and schedules at home to assist with this. Progress reports will be sent digitally tomorrow, and we hope you will take some time to look over your child’s academic progress and narrative comments.
I am happy to report that the two individuals within our TBS community that had the coronavirus symptoms are out of quarantine and doing much better.
Please be reminded that Spring Break is next week. The timing is perfect, as we can all use this break, parents included! We will start back with remote learning on Monday, April 20th.
I appreciate your patience and flexibility during this crisis. I wish you all a restful and enjoyable Spring Break.
4/1 COVID-19 Update
The April 20th start date has been changed to April 30th
Dear TBS Families,
Due to the Stay-at-Home Executive Order issued by Governor Roy Cooper on March 27th, we will extend our remote learning through April 29th. Our new tentative start date will now be Thursday, April 30th.
In light of our remote-learning extension, we want to make sure our academic schedule reflects the needs of both students and teachers – and is sustainable. Therefore, the Lower School will provide daily direct instruction and the Middle and Upper School divisions will be adopting new schedules. We have added more structure for increased direct instruction, as well as more time for individual or group work. Please note that the goal is not to reduce work expectations, but to shift the way in which the academic day is structured. This will be put into effect beginning Monday, April 6th.
For Lower School:
LS has increased instruction in an effort to move forward in our curriculum. Teachers will provide at least one pre-recorded academic lesson each day that students may view as the family’s schedule allows. Teachers also will host daily live class meetings for students who are available to attend. This live interaction, held at the same time each day, will provide students an opportunity to interact with their classmates and will focus on topics important to social-emotional growth. Teachers will continue to be available for one-on-one and small group live instruction upon parent request.
Work packets for LS will be turned in when students return to campus. Work will be assessed and used to determine end-of-trimester grades and end-of-year comments.
For Middle School:
Monday – B (9-9:45), C (10-10:45), D (11-11:45), Lunch Break (11:45-12:30), Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (12:30-3:45)
Tuesday – F (9-9:45), G (10-10:45), Advisory Check-Ins (11-11:45), Lunch Break (11:45-12:30), Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (12:30-3:45)
Wednesday – Independent Work (9-11:45), Lunch Break (11:45-12:30), Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (12:30-3:45)
Thursday – B (9-9:45), C (10-10:45), D (11-11:45), Lunch Break (11:45-12:30), Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (12:30-3:45)
Friday – F (9-9:45), G (10-10:45), Advisory Check-Ins (11-11:45), Lunch Break (11:45-12:30), Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (12:30-3:45)
• Every teacher will either teach live or release prerecorded direct instruction at their two class times.
• Work will only be assigned on the day you have “class” and at the time of that “class.”
• Work is always due by midnight the night BEFORE the meeting of the next “class” (For example: Monday’s assignments are due by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.).
• Wednesday is reserved for an independent workday.
• Attendance is highly recommended, but all lessons will be recorded and posted in case of “absence” due to illness, computer issues, internet issues, etc.
• Tutoring sessions via Google Meet may be offered by teachers during the afternoon hours, or they may use this time to help students individually. When tutoring sessions are scheduled they are optional for those who would like more help (see MS Group Tutoring Session Offerings for the schedule).
• Students may contact their teachers at any time during the afternoon work sessions, and teachers will get back to them as soon as they can.
For Upper School:
Monday – Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (9-10:15), A (10:30-11:30), Lunch Break (11:30-12:15), B (12:15-1:15), C (1:30-2:30) Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (2:45-4)
Tuesday – Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (9-10:15), D (10:30-11:30), Lunch Break (11:30-12:15), E (12:15-1:15), F (1:30-2:30) Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (2:45-4)
Wednesday – Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (9-10:15), Advisory (10:30-11:30), Lunch Break (11:30-12:15), G (12:15-1:15), A (1:30-2:30) Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (2:45-4)
Thursday – Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (9-10:15), B (10:30-11:30), Lunch Break (11:30-12:15), C (12:15-1:15), D (1:30-2:30) Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (2:45-4)
Friday – Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (9-10:15), E (10:30-11:30), Lunch Break (11:30-12:15), F (12:15-1:15), G (1:30-2:30) Independent Work/Small Group Tutoring (2:45-4)
• Teachers are expected to have pre-recorded or virtual lessons for both teaching days in the week.
• Wednesday morning is reserved for small-group tutoring sessions, work time and advisory.
• Attendance is highly recommended, but lessons will be recorded and posted in case of “absence” due to illness, computer issues, internet issues, etc., or alternative assignments will be available.
• Tutoring sessions may be offered by teachers during the morning or afternoon hours or students may use this time to get help individually.
• When tutoring sessions are scheduled, they are optional for those who would like more help.
From an academic perspective across all divisions:
• Students are carrying on with the learning process and are being provided rigorous work with new content.
• Teachers are working with students daily and providing whole group, small group and one-on-one digital instruction.
• Teachers and advisors are communicating regularly with students and their families to keep everyone in the loop.
• Advisors are helping coach students through this transition.
• Teachers are working to increase direct instruction and face-to-face meeting opportunities as we transition to a longer-term virtual platform.
Some other supports we are continuing from remote locations include:
• Mrs. Charmin Lee, our College Counselor, has been keeping up with the changes in college admissions due to the impact of the pandemic. She is communicating with seniors about admissions decisions and financial aid options and also gathering information from the College Board about AP and SAT/ACT Testing. She is working with our TBS Juniors on gathering information about admission deadlines, the Common Application and summer programs, as well as helping guide some of them through the application process to the Collegiate Start Program at Elon University. Charmin can be contacted at email@example.com.
• Mrs. Ashley McGrath, our Community Life Facilitator and School Counselor, is continuing to help provide emotional support to students as they make the transition to home-based learning. She is available for individual virtual meetings and is happy to provide resources and support to parents and students for anyone who is interested. Students have been asking questions about Community Service hours, and she is continuing to help them log their hours. Please feel free to contact Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**NEW LS PACKET RETURN**
Lower School Parents,
Due to the "stay at home" order issued by Governor Cooper, our plans for Thursday's Lower School work packet drop-off are canceled.
At this time, our teachers will base your child's progress on work samples acquired prior to remote-learning and any completed work that has been shared with your child's teacher since remote-learning has begun. Any student who has not been able to share completed work with his/her teacher during remote-learning will not be penalized.
We regret that the coronavirus pandemic has necessitated another change in our plans. Thank you for your understanding and continued support of TBS.
If you have any questions, please contact Lower School Academic Dean Kellie Kirkpatrick at email@example.com.
Remote Learning Extended
The March 30th start date has been changed to April 20th
Dear TBS Families,
To say this has been a tough few weeks for the TBS community and our world would be an understatement. During my 38 years in education, I have never dealt with such difficult decision making regarding a crisis.
We cannot predict all the challenges coming our way. I know the amount of information that we have had to digest recently is overwhelming.
I really appreciate the support of our families and the dedication of our teachers/staff. They are doing a great job with online learning. This has been a learning curve for both parents and staff, and we will continue to improve as we move forward.
My goal is to communicate with all families once a week. The teachers and academic deans are communicating with parents and students almost daily. Our goal is to keep you informed as we make important decisions. No one knows how long this situation is going to last, so please be safe and patient, and we thank you for your understanding.
In response to the current local and state recommendations, we will be extending our remote learning. Remote learning will now continue until April 20th. Thursday, April 2nd and Friday, April 3rd will become teacher workdays in response to the need for our teachers to do planning and complete progress reports. All teachers and administrators are working on a plan for a new schedule for remote learning that includes more direct instruction and live tutoring sessions. Our goal is to begin the new schedule on April 6th. We will continue to assess the situation, monitor recommendations, and communicate updates in a timely manner as we navigate this challenging situation.
In addition, we feel it is in the best interest of our school community to cancel the following events:
Drama – Aladdin
Spring Choral Review
Emersion Term (Refunds will be given to the extent that TBS is reimbursed. More information is forthcoming.)
No decision has been made on the following at this time:
Arts Awards Banquet
Athletics (NCISAA will make that decision.)
Auction (It has been moved to September 12th.)
This year’s service hour requirement has been modified to 12 hours. We will continue to review this as circumstances change.
Progress reports will be sent out on the afternoon of Friday, April 10th as normally scheduled.
Spring Break will remain Monday, April 13th through Friday, April 17th – as previously scheduled.
Students in Preschool and Lower School will be issued a printed-work packet to supplement remote instruction during the continued period of remote learning. Your child’s teacher will notify you when live and recorded remote instruction is available.
• Printed-work packets will be available to pick up on Wednesday, March 25, from 7:30-8:30 a.m. or 5:00-6:00 p.m. at the main entrance of the LS/MS building.
• Packets are not optional, as the completed work will be used by teachers to assess student progress and assign report card ratings/grades. Please ensure your child completes the packet during our remote-learning period. The packet contains important curriculum content that will help your child continue to prepare for next year.
• For those that are unable to pick up packets on Wednesday, March 25, packets can be scanned and shared digitally upon request. Please email the teacher directly to request the packet.
• Completed packets from the previous two-week remote learning period should be returned to school (if completed) when the new packets are picked up.
• Virtual tutoring sessions may be arranged by contacting your child’s teacher.
• Teachers will continue to be available by email throughout the regular school day.
COVID-19 3/18 UPDATE
March 18, 2020
Dear TBS Families and Staff,
TBS continues to monitor the quickly evolving situation with the COVID-19 Coronavirus. As we stated last Friday (March 13th), our top priority is the health and safety of our students, staff and families.
Our school buildings will remain closed through March 27 to allow time for additional deep cleaning. While the additional cleaning may not be necessary, we want to ensure that we are doing everything we can to keep our school community healthy.
Our Leadership Team continues to monitor updates from the CDC, local health authorities and our governor. Based on advice from these experts, we will make changes to our plans, if necessary, and will keep you informed in a timely manner. Please continue to look for communication from the school through the website, TBS app and email and expect periodic updates.
Remote learning has begun in earnest. Teachers, students and the administration are all growing together as we explore new ways of teaching and learning. While this is surely a transition for all, and we miss our in-person community, our teachers are excited to learn and use new methods of instruction, and we hope that this will become an opportunity for growth in new ways for our students.
Please encourage your student(s) to continue working throughout the school day and throughout this time; this is a shift, not a stoppage, and it is important that we all continue to work together. If you have any concerns about how your student is handling the situation, feel free to contact Mrs. Ashley McGrath at firstname.lastname@example.org for online resources and helpful websites.
March 13, 2020
Dear TBS Families,
The TBS Leadership Team has been monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19. Following the suggestion of the Governor and keeping in line with many schools in the area, TBS will move to a home-based remote learning curriculum for at least the next two weeks, March 16 to 30. We will reassess the situation in a week and communicate with the community accordingly.
We understand that this will be a hardship for many families, but we feel we must err on the side of the safety of the members of our community.
Students in Preschool and Lower School will be issued a printed-work packet to complete during the remote learning period. Packets will be available to pick up on Saturday, March 14. Please observe the following schedule to pick up packets:
PS3 and PS4 10:00-10:30 a.m.
TK and Kindergarten 10:30-11:00 a.m.
1st and 2nd grades 11:00-11:30 a.m.
3rd and 4th grades 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
● For those that are unable to pick up packets on Saturday, March 14, packets can be scanned and shared digitally upon request. Please email the teacher directly to request the packet.
● Teachers will be available by email throughout the regular school day. Packets are not optional. Please ensure your child(ren) completes the packet during our remote learning period.
Students in Middle School will receive work for all their core classes through Google Classroom. Students should expect approximately one hour of work per academic core class as follows the rotation schedule (total of three to four hours of work per day depending on the rotation day). Following our schedule, each assignment will be due on the next day that the class would typically be held in the rotation. It is expected that students are completing assignments daily and keeping up with their work and deadlines, just like we were at school. Students and parents can communicate with teachers via email, as teachers will be checking email every day. Teachers will also be available to set up tutoring sessions via Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. depending on the subject and need. If you have limited internet access at home, please let Kristi Tanner know at email@example.com.
Students in the Upper School will be expected to follow assignments for all their classes on the Google Platform. For some courses, this is using the Google Classroom, for others, it will be the Google Drive, and for others, it will be using the school Gmail accounts to send video links and assignments. Students will receive emails from all their teachers (including Arts and Electives) outlining instructions for how to access lessons and assignments as well as directions for turning in completed work. Upper School students should expect to work for six to seven hours a day for the duration. Teachers have set up virtual office hours to answer questions and check-in with student progress. If you have limited internet access at home, please let Killian Barefoot know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Middle and Upper School students who need to pick up any materials (computers, books, binders, etc.), Mrs. Tanner and Ms. Killian will be available on Saturday, March 14, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to open the buildings. Mr. Wall will be available in his MS/LS office to open the buildings on Monday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. only.
We want to keep our students and staff healthy and safe at home. However, this should not be considered an extended vacation for students in any division. We will continue to follow the daily rotation and will not lose instructional days.
Our Guidance Counselor, Ashley McGrath, will be available for online office hours for any students who are feeling anxious or uneasy during this time. Please contact her at email@example.com to set up a meeting.
We will continue to update the website and app with information as we know more.
TBS & COVID-19
March 12, 2020
Dear TBS Families,
On February 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised American businesses and schools to begin preparing for a larger outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) within the United States. The TBS Leadership Team is aware that the CDC’s announcement has created a sense of unrest and anxiety around the potential for this virus to create disruption in our day-to-day lives. We want to assure you that we are not only paying attention to this developing situation, but also working through options and contingency plans for our school community in the event that we need to deliver course work remotely.
Our community is prepared to alter our procedures and planning should the situation change (including strategies like working from home for several weeks). We are also thinking ahead regarding the impact of spring travel, upcoming school trips (including Emersion Term and WOW Week), and other school activities in the context of the coronavirus. We will communicate any changes when the time is appropriate.
TBS continues our standard hygiene and cleaning protocol. We will evaluate any needs and make adjustments to our protocols as needed. In addition, we are already making the following changes:
● Increasing hand-sanitizers in classrooms and focusing our cleaning protocol on frequently utilized surfaces such as doors, door handles, desks, chairs, etc.
● Reinforcing that students wash their hands many times each day at school and when they return home; sneeze or cough into their elbows; do not shake hands or use fist bumps; and do not share cups or water bottles.
● Suspending the absence policy due to the current extenuating circumstances. Anyone who is not feeling well or who has symptoms of any illness should stay home. We encourage all families to document any visits to their physician and continue to communicate with the school.
To support our efforts at school we are asking that parents do the following:
● Monitor the current outbreak and travel recommendations according to the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
● In an effort to keep everyone in our community safe, we ask that you voluntarily inform the Head of School, Ronnie Wall, of any travel plans (firstname.lastname@example.org).
● If your family is traveling to a level 2 or 3 zone (as defined by the CDC) or going on a cruise, we ask that you voluntarily observe a 14-day self-quarantine upon return (see CDC guidelines:
● If your child has a fever, please keep them home until they are fever-free for 24 hours. Due to the current extenuating circumstances, the absence policy will be suspended. We encourage all families to document any visits to their physician and continue to communicate with the school.
It is important to remember that handling the spread of a serious contagion like the coronavirus is primarily a task for public health agencies. Any directives from the World Health Organization, CDC, or local governmental organizations should be followed.
If your child is anxious about this situation, here are some resources you can use to talk to them:
● Healthline has published How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus.
● Psychology Today has published How to Talk to Your Anxious Child About the Coronavirus.
We will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and will make decisions accordingly. Please check our website and app for any immediate changes. We will keep these updated with all decisions and information regarding our school community and events.