Brown School Reopening Plan Fall 2020

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While the Brown School Reopening Plan has been carefully designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 at Brown School, such risk cannot be eliminated, and there is no assurance that COVID-19 exposure or infection will not occur in connection with in-person, on-campus instruction. It is understood that all families will uphold the community safety protocols, procedures, and an acceptance of risk.

Reopening Plan for NYS Religious & Independent Schools

Brown School is an independent, co-ed, day school in Schenectady, NY serving students in preschool through high school. We are committed to following the guidance provided by the Department of Health and the New York State Department of Education in our Reopening Plan for our students, faculty and staff.

This plan includes input from various stakeholders in our community including our faculty and staff, administration, Board of Trustees and family members. Our school mission is to mindfully educate all students to pursue their individual potential in a nurturing, collaborative environment through the arts, humanities, mathematics and sciences. Our mission served as a guide through the creation of this plan. It is our goal to uphold our mission while we incorporate these health and safety measures for the 2020-2021 school year.

Brown School is a two story building, with a lower level, where the gym/auditorium, cafeteria, music room and restrooms are located. Administrative offices, Community Room, Music Cafe, preschool classes, the health office, science lab, lower school art studio, and some additional upper school classrooms are located on the first floor. The Media Center, upper school art studio, after school room and classroom space for kindergarten through eighth grade are located on the second floor. Our outside spaces include our sports field, Mindful garden, Preschool playground and blacktop area. Our classrooms will accommodate 11 to 14 students, depending on the size of the room, which will allow for recommended social distancing of six feet. For larger grades, such as our 8th grade, we will use two adjoining rooms. Our preschool classes will each be assigned two classrooms for each cohort. As of the beginning of August, we have 113 students enrolled, but we have calculated enough space to enroll 150 students with the available classroom space. If we elect to transform other spaces for classroom purposes, we will be able to enroll an additional 20 students. Anything beyond that will cause a disruption to our schedule and jeopardize our social distancing plans.

Brown School will open on September 8th, providing schools have been granted permission by the Governor and the local Department of Health. We have offered our families an in-school option or a virtual option. Families were given the following choices:

  • The student will attend school (in person) for the full school year.
  • The student will participate in the virtual online option for the full school year.
  • The student will participate in the virtual online option for the beginning of the school year (September through November) and attend school in person for the remainder of the year.
  • The student will participate in the virtual online option for the middle of the school year (December through February) and attend school in person for the remainder of the year.
  • The student will participate in the virtual online option for the end of the school year (March through June) and attend school in person for the remainder of the year

Families were also notified that if the school is ordered to close, all students will transition to online learning. If a family is quarantined, their child will be able to access Brown School’s online learning. Students will be permitted back to class after receiving the proper clearance. Any family that selects in-school learning may switch to virtual learning if their need changes. If a family has selected virtual and then wishes to attend in-school classes, they must first speak with administration to see if there is adequate space to add them to the class.

Our preschool students were offered the same option. In addition, our preschool students will have an adjustment to their schedule. To allow additional time for the students in grades K through high school to be screened (temperatures taken) and sent to class, Brown School has opted to stagger the Preschool arrival and departure times. The Preschool students’ day will now be 8:30 am – 3:30 pm. Half day students will be dismissed at 11:30 am, after lunch.

For reference: Attached to this plan is the Brown School Reopening Plan which was submitted to the Department of Health (p.17-27).

About Brown School

The Brown School community is strong and supportive, and we believe that our students deserve not only an academic education but also a place to enjoy traditions and experiences that they cherish for years to come. Our faculty and administration are committed to mindfully educating each individual student in a nurturing and collaborative environment.

Our School Day

Our school song states that “Brown School is joy, friendship, and laughter. Memories dear, now and long after. Working each day, growing together. Brown School is learning and love.” Even though we have modernized our teaching and offerings, these words hold true even decades after they were written.

Beyond the School Day

Brown School students of all ages have a plethora of options available after the school day is over. Whether it is partaking in the after school or Plus programs that offer a purposeful place for students while parents are working, exploring new interests or established hobbies, or getting together beyond the walls of our school, our Brown School community is strong.

Prospective Parents

We know that you are looking for just the right spot for your child, and we want to partner with you in that process. It is hard to get a sense of the community and daily routines of Brown School online, and we encourage you to schedule a visit or join us at one of our Open Houses.

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Current Families

There are so many things happening in our school community each day, and we value your partnership in making amazing things happen. These links will help Brown School students and families stay connected to keep our community strong!

kids smiling on floor