Campus Re-Opening Plan

Letter from the Head of school

As we complete our first quarter of virtual instruction for this school year, we would first like to celebrate our students and teachers for their creativity, tenacity and flexibility over the last several months. We are especially impressed by the thoughtful ideas we’ve received from the students, reminding us of their genuine role as the co-creators and co-owners of the Areté model and culture.   

While enjoying exceptional online instruction, we all miss seminars in three dimensions, the playfully random vibe of the student lounge, chicken kabob Thursdays, B-Sweet bread pudding, and the Kogi truck. With the quarantine extending from a few weeks to a few months to “is this the new normal?”, we understand the frustration, anxiety, and restlessness that many are feeling. Unfortunately, as we know, we are dealing with an insidious and enigmatic pathogen, requiring the highest levels of caution and planning. Therefore, consistent with the ongoing state order requiring middle and high schools to remain closed to in-person instruction, Areté is extending its period of virtual instruction until at least the end of fall semester, January 22nd

As the country enters a third wave of infection with record contagion rates, we are closely following scientific findings about in-school transmission as well as epidemiological information about transmission patterns in teens and preteens. To this end, Areté has joined a weekly medical pandemic briefing for private schools led by pediatricians and viral experts. Based on their evaluations of current research (including data on virus transmission in private schools that have reopened), we will continue discussing responsible timing and protocols for a safe return to in-person instruction.  As we’ve previously stated, medical and scientific advice and findings, rather than legal or political shifts, economic pressures, or “what other schools are doing,” will inform our  decisions about when and how to reopen. 

Embracing feedback and flexibility as guiding principles, we continue to consult  the students to ensure that our revised schedule and other Covid-related accommodations are effective in minimizing the stresses of online learning. This is resulted in our most recent endeavors: 

  • The launch of our student-directed peer tutoring program
  • “Fun Friday” activities designed by the students to provide social opportunities.
  • Our newly-created competitive e-sports teams, coached by internationally ranked players, are going strong
  • Our battle bots club was created for our eager robotic-building 
  • GLA/GSI alliance at the high school.   

We continue to encourage our students to step up with more creative ideas for extracurricular (or just plain silly and fun) activities to help us stay happy and connected.

Thank you for all you do, and have done, to make Areté such a strong, tight-knit and flexible community. By communicating and staying nimble, I know that we will harness the best of our brainy, innovative culture to keep thriving and finding joy in this challenging time.

With affection and appreciation,

Jim and the Areté Team