MCS has committed to continue with distance learning to start the 2020-2021 school year until January. This is not a decision taken lightly or without deep consideration. The safety and health of our entire community is paramount. Continuing with MCS En Casa is the clearest way to ensure that the community remains safe.
The MCS Back-to-School Task Force created an inclusive process for collecting and synthesizing perspectives and data regarding the experience of MCS En Casa last spring. As we have mapped out how we could best deliver hybrid instruction at 85th Street, we simultaneously have been preparing to iterate and improve our approach to remote learning. If you have a moment, feel free to watch our Fall Reopening Overview video, which discusses why we made this decision, how it is in the best interests of the entire MCS community, and what we all can do to make En Casa 2.0 a success.
With En Casa 2.0, we have a solid pedagogical foundation that nurtures children’s cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development and enables students to develop academic mastery while strengthening their understanding of self and commitment to others. En Casa 2.0 is benchmarked against peer schools’ remote models and aligned with MCS’ philosophy on developmentally-appropriate progressive education. We are confident that the revisions to our distance learning model will significantly enhance the experience for students and families alike. Still, we continue to refine our program. Among other things, we are exploring the ways in which we can leverage open space to allow for in-person, socially-distanced relationship building activities to begin the school year as well as other ideas to ensure our newest families feel welcomed and engaged in our community.
MCS and its approach to pedagogy and community are needed now in the world more than ever, whether in-person or online. We have an opportunity not only to lead on how to do digital progressive education in exemplary fashion but also to reimagine the ways we constitute and cultivate community. The MCS community is an incredible asset and resource in these challenging times. Now that we are sharing our plans, we are eager to partner with families and alumni to imagine ways we can support one another and the school community as a whole. We look forward to collaborating with the PA, Class Reps, and everyone else in that work and creating ways for your ideas to be shared and activated.
It is important to note that we are still doing our due diligence to prepare for delivering a high-quality hybrid model, as it is likely we would have to employ some version of these plans in the spring.