Friends STRIDEs Toward Remote Learning for 2020-21 School Year

The school is preparing for a fall in which COVID-19 might make in-person school impossible

While many of us are hopeful that we will be back on campus come late August, school will probably look different than it has in past years. 

A possible outcome for fall 2020 is that we will be continuing our remote learning. So Friends School has partnered with Constellation Learning to introduce the STRIDE program (Strategic Transition to Remote Instruction Designed for Excellence) for our teachers this summer, to enhance our distance learning experience during this unprecedented moment in history.

Head of School Matt Micciche says he wants to “make sure we have an outstanding educational program” next year, and STRIDE will help teachers meet this goal.

Throughout the summer, teachers will work for roughly 40 hours, both individually and in cohorts, to develop a curriculum that is best for learning in an online environment. Teachers will attend classes and collaborate to ensure that the 2020-2021 school year will be meaningful no matter what the circumstances.

Mr. Micciche says he has confidence that our teachers will be able to master remote learning. He notes that this year, our teachers “have responded heroically” to the sudden change that needed to take place due to the spread of coronavirus. He says he has also been impressed with the courage of students and parents during the transition to remote learning, and that he is certain they will be able to continue next year, no matter what changes arise.

As of now, it is hard to imagine what Fall 2020 will look like, due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, social distancing orders, and stay at home orders. Multiple changes have been made to CDC guidelines, state of Maryland orders, and Baltimore City regulations over the past few months. These policies and protocols are likely to change again over the summer, potentially altering what our first semester will look like.

Friends could adopt a hybrid system of learning to allow some students on campus, but as of now, we don’t know what the world will look like in three months when we are scheduled to return. As Micciche put it, it is everyone’s “strong preference” to return to campus in the fall, but the safety of students and adults will be the priority when making a decision.