At Allendale Columbia School, the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and entire AC community is our number one priority. We were the first school in our area to make the decision to close campus due to COVID-19, even before the government mandate, and on April 24th, we again were the first to make the decision to extend distance learning through the remainder of the school year. We are continuing to take proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of our school community, and we are closely monitoring and following the advice of local and national health professionals and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This area of our website is dedicated to providing resources for our families and information about how Allendale Columbia School is responding to COVID-19, how we are supporting our AC families academically, socially and emotionally through distance learning and engagement, and making resources available for families.
Responsive to Parent Inquiries and Needs
Town Halls – To keep parents informed, Allendale Columbia has been hosting Town Hall meetings to share updates, decisions, and plans for the future as well as answer questions parents have about various topics about remote learning, scheduling, engaging their child, safety and socialization just to name a few.
Safety measures put into place – After closing our campus on March 13th, our facilities team conducted a deep clean of the interior of all of our buildings. We will be putting additional cleaning procedures in place before our campus reopens and we are currently planning various scenarios for student safety. At this time, we are also consulting with medical professionals and a cleaning and sanitizing company.
Engaged in Daily, Interactive Distance Learning
Allendale Columbia School teachers and staff prepared for the possibility of remote learning prior to deciding to close our campus and move to an online model. Our students, parents, and teachers were already utilizing two platforms: SeeSaw (for Lower School students) and Canvass (for Middle and Upper School students) so the transition from in-person classroom learning to distance learning was seamless. As part of our regular academic program, AC invests in technology for students in all grades, so they are comfortable with utilizing technology as a learning tool and understand the difference between “academic” screen time and “leisure” screen time. This technology along with innovative teaching, consistent communication, and collaborative partnerships with our AC parents allowed us to only miss one day of learning and develop a robust distance learning program where students have not only been able to continue the academic program, but strengthen their skills in the digital landscape.
Providing Social/Emotional Support
Student support – Our number one priority is the health and safety of our students, physically and mentally. Our faculty work closely with students in Zoom classroom settings, but also one-on-one to talk about, and work through, the challenges they’re facing and the emotions they’re experiencing. Our School Counselor, Kate Dunlavey, has been available for all students and their families, providing coping mechanisms, guidance and social/emotional support.
Parent support – Continuing our strong partnerships with parents and guardians during this pandemic is essential for the success of our students. We are constantly engaging internal and external health professionals to provide the best guidance and advice to our families to help cope with the stressors we all sometimes experience. Here are some examples of resources we have provided so far:
- Grade-specific Parent Support chats with Licensed Social Worker and AC School Counselor, Kate Dunlavey
- Weekly and bi-weekly or by appointment parent meetings with teachers and Division Heads
- COVID-19 Panel of Health Professionals webinar
Looking for a way to learn more about AC, here’s how!
- Virtual Open Houses – Attend one of our upcoming virtual Open Houses, May 28th, 6 p.m. or June 10th, 9 a.m., to learn more about AC and see if it is the right fit for your family. Learn more & register
- Coffee and Conversation every Wednesday from 8:30-10:00 a.m. Learn more & register
- Saturday Pop-Up Classes – AC is proud to offer Saturday Pop-Up classes for students and families from ANY school! Get to know our teachers and learn something new— just for fun! Learn more & register