Marin Academy is tracking news and information related to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may impact our community. This page provides information and resources for MA families and will be updated as the situation evolves.
- August 24, 2020: Welcome to the 2020-21 School Year
- August 9, 2020: Important Update on the Start of School
- July 17, 2020: Email from Travis: COVID Update
- May 29, 2020: Email from Academic Dean: Last Weekly Update
- May 27, 2020: Email from Travis: A Preview of the 2020-21 Academic Schedule
- May 22, 2020: Email from Academic Dean: L4L, Week 6 Student Email
- May 20, 2020: Email from Travis: A Look Ahead at the 2020-21 Academic Year
- May 15, 2020: Email from Academic Dean: L4L, Week 5 Student Email
- May 15, 2020: Email from Travis: Notes from the Circle
- May 8, 2020: Email from Academic Dean: L4L, Week 4 Student Email
- May 8, 2020: Email from Travis: Notes from the Circle
- May 2, 2020: Email from Academic Dean: L4L, Week 3 Student Email
- April 24, 2020: Email from Academic Dean: L4L, Week 2 Student Email
- April 18, 2020: Email from Travis: Notes from the Circle
- April 10, 2020: Email from School Counselor: Support to Help Manage Student's Emotional Health
- April 10, 2020: Email from Academic Dean: L4L, Week 1 Student Email
- April 9, 2020: Email from Travis: Notes from the Circle
- March 30, 2020: Email from Travis: Notes from the Circle
- March 27, 2020: Email from Travis: Level 4 Learning, Conferences, Grades, and more
- March 25, 2020: Email from Travis: Notes from the Circle
- March 23, 2020: Email from Travis: Notes from the Circle
- March 21, 2020: Email from Travis: Notes from the Circle
- March 17, 2020: Email from Travis: COVID-19 Exposure in Our Community
- March 16, 2020: Email from Travis: Notes from the Circle
- March 16, 2020: Email from Travis: Important Safety and Social Distancing Responsibilities for Students and Parents
- March 15, 2020: Email from Academic Dean: Preparing for Virtual Classes
- March 14, 2020: Email from Academic Dean to MARC Students and Families
- March 13, 2020: Email from Academic Dean: Upcoming Weeks/Days
- March 13, 2020: Email from Travis: Marin Academy's Plan for School Closure
- March 13, 2020: Letter to Faculty Regarding School Closure
- March 12, 2020: New Message about Junior Class Parent Potluck
- March 11, 2020: Virtual MA Celebrates - A Note from the Co-Chairs
- March 11, 2020: Coronavirus: Student Expectations
- March 11, 2020: Email from Travis: MA Distance Learning Practice Day
- March 10, 2020: Email from Travis: Important Update about March 21 MA Celebrates
- March 10, 2020: Announcement - Thacher Event Postponed
- March 9, 2020: Letter from MA Class Deans re: COVID-19
- March 6, 2020: Email from Travis: Coronavirus Update
- March 5, 2020: Email from school transportation service, KidzJet
- March 3, 2020: Press Release: Marin County Schools Prepare for Coronavirus/COVID-19
- March 2, 2020: Email from Travis: Coronavirus Update
Dear MA Students and Families,
Welcome to the 2020-21 academic year!
Much of our summer has been spent waiting and wondering. How will school start? When will something different happen? Who can we see? What will tomorrow be like? I’m sure, like me, you are feeling a mix of emotions. On the one hand, this year begins in a momentous time in history, one we will likely talk about for the rest of our lives. On the other hand, we welcome a return to routine and purpose. We’ll meet with teachers and classmates in virtual classrooms, we’ll juggle schedules and assignments, we’ll get involved in co-curricular activities. In a nutshell, it will feel very much like high school—students and teachers will meet each day to discuss, explore, think, write, and solve in a learning community that seeks to ignite each student’s passions.
But more than that, we are poised and prepared as a school to meet inevitable uncertainties with resilience, grit, and creative thinking. This has always been the MA way.
Assessing the Present, Charting the Future
We recently surveyed our faculty and staff as well as our students and families to gauge their readiness for the school year ahead. I’m deeply grateful for everyone who took the time to provide us with your comments and suggestions. The vast majority of our community is looking forward to a return to school as soon as it is safe (and permissible) to do so and with the right health and safety protocols in place. You’ll be hearing more about these protocols and preparedness in the weeks ahead as we build upon the work accomplished over the summer with an expanded team of people that now includes administrators, faculty members, and students. I am also pleased to announce that we’ve hired Gayle Masada, a registered nurse, as our COVID-19 coordinator to help us in the work of ensuring the health and safety of our community.
Many of you also encouraged us to find safe ways to bring small groups of students to campus during the fall L4L quarter to help students maintain a sense of connection with the school and to prevent social isolation. We hear this loud and clear. At orientation, students have learned about the many ways they can engage and get involved with their classmates, teachers, and advisors in the first quarter. We are also hosting a Zoom session on September 2 at 6:00 p.m. for parents/guardians to discuss their role in supporting student emotional well-being during remote learning. And you’ll hear more from the leadership team as we work through the complexities of opening campus to certain groups. The health and safety of students, teachers, and staff is our North Star in all of our decisions.
Planning for an Eventual Return to Campus
Like all of you, I hope to return to campus as soon as possible. How will we make this decision? It is complex, involving dynamics both within and beyond our control, including state mandates, the robustness of testing in Marin and surrounding counties, campus readiness, and where we are in our learning cycle. In other words, is it Safe? Are we Ready? Does it make Sense? (SRS)
Once we are closer to a date to return to campus, we will share our Return to the Circle protocols. These protocols will be based on the most up-to-date guidelines from the Marin County Office of Education, Marin County Public Health, California Department of Public Health, and the CDC, as well as input from medical professionals and learnings from other schools and universities. I am grateful to the expanded team of administrators, faculty, and students who will be involved in making these protocols effective and practicable for our community.
Keeping You Informed
As the school year gets underway, we want to continue to communicate frequently and openly as we find ourselves on paths that are both familiar and unfamiliar. I’ll be scheduling Zoom calls in the first few weeks of school for both new and returning families, with updates on virtual learning, our return-to-campus planning, and an opportunity to answer more of your questions. We have also scheduled a Town Hall with students on Friday, September 4 at 3:00 p.m., to continue the important conversation around systemic racism and to ensure we are leaning into our vision of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.
We begin this year in momentous times: a global pandemic, addressing systemic racism, and the challenges of a Presidential election year. The journey ahead requires our partnership and commitment to community, now more than ever. We will work together to find solutions with empathy, curiosity, and flexibility. We stand by these MA Competencies; they will guide our decision-making as we partner to create another meaningful year of learning and evolving at Marin Academy.
Dear MA Families and Students,
I’m fortunate that I live within walking distance to the Marin Academy campus. Today, I stopped by the school garden for the first time in weeks. Figs, apples, plums, and persimmons are thriving in the school garden, and the next round of strawberries are ripening. Sunflowers tower in the SIC garden. Nature persists as do we.
Much has changed in these few weeks. This is the nature of life and decision-making in the midst of a pandemic that moves quickly and impacts each of us in very different ways. The governor’s announcement on July 17 has placed new restrictions on every public and independent K-12 school in Marin County and other counties in California on the watch list. Data trends tell us that the virus is still too prevalent in Marin and the Bay Area, causing many schools and businesses to reassess or retract re-opening measures. Daily, we see evidence of what happens when schools and businesses reopen too quickly—a spike in new cases and hospitalizations.
This new mandate by the State of California as well as our review of the data have led us to the decision to begin school at Level 4 Learning (100% remote) and remain at that level through at least the first quarter (October 16).
This difficult decision requires us to hold two contradictory truths: returning to in-person instruction is best, and doing so would pose health risks given current data trends. First and foremost in our decision-making is the health and safety of our MA community—students, employees, and families. We are justifiably concerned about the spike in COVID-19 cases in Marin and the Bay Area, that testing is still not widely available, and that test results aren’t obtained quickly enough.
It boils down to this: the likelihood of individuals in the MA community testing positive or spreading the virus at this stage of its trajectory presents a real health risk.
With an all-virtual Q1, we minimize health risks and the disruptions that seem likely, such as sending cohorts home if a member tests positive for COVID-19. We give ourselves another six weeks to monitor the pace of the pandemic in our community. More importantly, we afford ourselves the opportunity to take a gradual and safe approach to our return to campus at the time when the virus is better controlled and testing is easier and faster to obtain. For example, if and when circumstances allow, we want to find safe ways to bring small groups to campus so we can teach, learn, and practice the new health and safety protocols that will become part of our school experience when we do return.
Although I am heartbroken that we cannot return in person at this point, we are poised and prepared to provide an exceptional virtual learning experience for all of our students. At MA, we believe that education at its best incorporates experiential learning with intellectual rigor and global citizenship. We strive to create a learning community in which adults and students are engaged and connected — with each other and with the world around us. That’s our ‘why’, and it remains constant. Only our ‘how’ is changing. These are the steps we are taking to deliver on our educational promise:
We’re making remote learning highly effective.
We are confident that remote learning will be a very powerful way to engage and to connect. While teachers have worked hard to envision and plan for teaching in the L2L mode we had hoped for in August, starting with L4L will allow for more student group work, collaboration, and connection, given the health and safety risks that are present now.
Based on feedback last spring from students, faculty, and parents/guardians—as well as ongoing research and information shared by other institutions (local, national, and international)—we have made adjustments to our L4L instructional design. That is, L4L in the 2020–2021 school year will take the best parts of the spring experience and incorporate these learnings and your feedback.
We’re developing forward-leaning skills in remote learning.
I’m confident in this pedagogical approach in large part because of our remarkable faculty. Our teachers have spent significant time this summer redesigning our entire curriculum. They have been online learners themselves in a course on the best practices for online learning, supplementing this required learning with additional professional development and consulting in competency-based learning, developing community in virtual settings, caring for the well-being of all students, and continuing to focus on creating equitable and inclusive classrooms.
We’re investing in new technologies.
We’re launching a new Learning Management System, Canvas, that is far superior to the MyMA platform we were working with last year. Teachers have been meeting in small groups up to twice a week since the start of summer to get up to speed with the new platform, and we are genuinely excited about our new-found functionality in this realm. Teachers are building out robust course pages, and students will find that regardless of which level learning is occurring, all of their work will be consolidated in a single location and that they are able to Zoom with classes, submit work, and access a “to do” list of their asynchronous assignments all in one place. We’ve also equipped classrooms with enhanced audio and video technology for the moment when we do return to campus.
We will continue to help students thrive in all the ways MA is known for.
We know school this year will feel different for students, whether we are learning virtually or back in the classroom with new safety protocols in place and conditions permit. We’ll continue to offer ways to connect and feel supported as we travel unfamiliar paths together. Even in L4L mode, students will meet weekly with their advisors in small groups, have monthly class meetings, and join twice weekly all-school assemblies—via Zoom. Student clubs will continue to meet virtually, as will the student government. There will be virtual art shows and performances, as well as virtual wellness offerings such as yoga, mindfulness classes, and online workouts. Virtual events for parents will include new parent coffees with me, parent education, and Zoom meetings on a variety of topics. I am also looking at other ways to connect with our students, given our virtual presence. Everything that makes MA a great place to go to high school will be on offer — just in a format that respects COVID-19 concerns.
Since the onset of this pandemic, I’ve promised to communicate openly and frequently, sharing the best information as I have it. I will continue to do so as new information emerges. And now we need your feedback. We want to hear what you anticipate about remote learning, an eventual return to the classroom, and what ideas you might have for ensuring the best possible educational experience for our students. Please take a moment to complete this very short survey by August 7. Your input helps shape our decisions and provides feedback on the equity and educational effectiveness of our approach for the 2020-2021 school year.
I am looking forward to the start of school in spite of how different it will be. I’m confident that our learning community will lean into these new challenges with empathy, curiosity, and intellectual flexibility as we always do. Please refer to our updated FAQs for more information.
With gratitude and optimism,
Dear MA Students and Families,
In my June 26 letter to parents and guardians, I promised to share with you today our return to campus guidelines and other decisions about the start of school.
Since I sent that letter, our decision-making landscape has changed significantly. On July 3, Marin County was placed on the California watch list due to a spike in COVID-19 activity. On Wednesday, the Marin County Office of Public Health changed their guidance for reopening schools, pushing back in-person instruction. Today, the State of California mandated that all schools in counties that are on the governor’s COVID-19 watch list may not begin in-person instruction until the county has been off the watch list for 14 consecutive days. While our hope was to start classes in person, we will likely start school at the Level 4 Learning level, and continue in that mode until restrictions are lifted and guidelines evolve. I will be communicating with you more details in the coming weeks.
Since the first outbreak of the pandemic, our shared goal has been the health and safety of our students and employees. The developments of these past few days have put into very sharp relief for me just how important it is for us all to take personal and collective action to help slow and limit the spread of the coronavirus. We know what to do. Wear masks. Practice physical distancing. Wash our hands frequently. We are all deeply eager to return to campus in person. Now it is up to each and every one of us to take responsibility so we can help make this happen. It starts by doing our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Marin County.
This time has been exceedingly difficult for us as a nation; it has been a challenging set of circumstances in which to lead an independent school. That said, I’ve been encouraged by the enthusiasm and intention with which all members of our community have embraced these new and unfolding challenges. I’m also grateful for the fact that MA is well-poised to navigate the unfolding challenge of COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. First, we have exceptional faculty who have dedicated themselves this summer to extensive professional development in online and flexible learning modes. They are joined by talented administrators and dedicated staff members who are working diligently to ensure educational excellence for all of our students while protecting the health and safety of our community. Second, our campus affords us great flexibility for physically distanced in-person learning, both inside and outdoors. Finally, we have developed an incredibly robust plan for Instructional Continuity that will allow us to pivot quickly and intentionally between different learning levels as the pandemic evolves and guidelines change. In fact, our four-level learning framework and new quarter on/quarter off schedule positions us well for this very moment—and others to come.
We feel confident, well prepared, and nimble. And while we would very much love to welcome you to campus with open arms at the end of August, please know that we will welcome you with open hearts.
We will continue to communicate openly, honestly, and frequently as new information emerges.
- What level will we start at next year?
- What protocols—like mask wearing or temperature taking—will be in place next year?
- What will happen with athletics and co-curriculars?
- 12th grade: Thursday, Aug 20, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm
- 11th grade: Monday, Aug 24, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
- 10th grade: Monday, Aug 24, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
- 9th grade: Friday, Aug 21, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
- Seniors can come to campus today (Friday, May 22) between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. or tomorrow, (Saturday, May 23) between 10:00 a.m. and noon to pick up their cap and gown, yearbook, and a couple other special surprises. Please drive in the Circle, up to the porch at Foster Hall, wearing a face covering. You will not exit your car.
- 9th–11th graders can come to campus tomorrow (Saturday, May 23) between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. or Tuesday, May 26 between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. Please drive in the Circle, up to the porch at Foster Hall, wearing a face covering. You will not exit your car.
- Classes will start the week of August 24th as originally planned. Orientation for new students, sophomores, juniors, and seniors will take place the week of August 17th.
- Our schedule will be built to flex. We are prepared to meet the challenge of intermittent and unpredictable closures based on the trajectory of this pandemic, as well as the possibility that illness or immuno-compromised health may keep some students and teachers away from school for extended periods. We are building a schedule designed to minimize the impact of these inevitable disruptions in terms of scheduling, grading periods, workload demands, and assessments. Classes may be held face to face, or in a hybrid model, or in 100% virtual mode as circumstances warrant. The important thing to know is this: every day’s class schedule will remain constant even if the learning mode may vary.
- We will use our spaces differently. When we return to campus, we will do so in a way that complies with the most current guidelines and requirements for minimizing the risk of COVID-19 exposure for everyone in the MA community. This may include social distancing, minimizing overall campus density, grouping students and teachers into smaller classes, frequent sanitization measures, deep cleaning between groups, scheduled use of cafeteria and library, and re-envisioning our larger group gatherings such as class meetings, tutorials, and assemblies.
- Financial assistance will be available to families that need it. We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant economic disruption for our community, and we expect more students will need tuition assistance in the coming academic year. Marin Academy has set aside additional funds for tuition assistance in order to meet the demonstrated needs of our students and families.
- May 15—2020 Senior Art Exhibit: A digital exhibition to celebrate senior art students for their dedication and hard work, both this year and throughout their time at MA. Our wonderful tradition of Night of the Arts, presented by our Visual Arts department, moves online to showcase art work and reflections of senior art students this year with the 2020 Senior Art Exhibition.
- May 26-27—Marin Academy Research Collaborative Wildcat Colloquium: Our Senior MARCers will present the results of their research projects and answer questions during the 2020 Marin Academy Research Collaborative Wildcat Colloquium. Student presentations will be held during two evening Zoom sessions and a virtual reception for all Senior MARCers, their families, friends, and mentors will follow the second evening session.
- June 1—Festival of Learning/Athletic Banquet: We will celebrate our Festival of Learning and honor our student-athletes at this special assembly. All families will receive a Zoom invitation to participate.
- June 6—The 47th Commencement Ceremony at Marin Academy: A blended graduation (some virtual, some partially in person) celebrating the Class of 2020. At 10:00 a.m., we will begin our virtual graduation with speeches and music to celebrate the achievements of this extraordinary class. At 1:00 p.m., in predetermined groupings, the Class of 2020 will come to campus in groups of 10 cars with one family per car, drive up into the Circle and graduates will be able to receive their diploma at MA, in person. More details to follow.
- Routines will be messy or nonexistent, things may feel very out of sorts, and productivity may be at an all time low. And that’s okay! The anxiety of the current situation is a lot for us all to manage, and giving ourselves and our children permission to prioritize our mental health is so important. Reassure your teens that everyone is struggling to adjust to this new reality.
- I find it helpful to focus on this rare and uninterrupted family time. Years from now, our children won’t remember the schedule they had during these strange months. However, they will remember how their families made them feel loved and gave them a sense of safety in a time where so much is uncertain and unknown.
- Self care. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and your own needs. It may be tempting to put ourselves aside to care for others in our family, especially when we see that our children are struggling. However, prioritizing our own mental and physical health is just as important.
- Create a safe space for your student to talk, if they want. Let them know that you’re here to talk with them whenever they feel ready, and allow them to determine when and if they want to engage. You might say something like “I know this is all really difficult and overwhelming. I’m here if you want to talk about it, and it’s also okay if you don’t want to talk.” Give them the choice and space to decide what feels best to them.
- See something, say something. If you are worried that something deeper is happening and you’re noticing changes in sleeping/eating patterns and behavior, name your worry. Again, no need to press them to open up, but letting them know that you’re worried might help them feel seen. You could say “I’ve noticed that you aren’t sleeping a lot these days and I’m worried. If there’s something you want to talk about, I’m here. And if you don’t want to talk, that’s okay, though I will probably check in with you about how you’re feeling because I love you and I care about you.” You can let them know that there are other supports available (school counselor, another trusted adult, outside therapist) available to them if they would feel more comfortable speaking to someone else.
- Work to validate and not solve. When your students come to you with a social, academic, or personal issue, I imagine most parents are ready with a list of amazing suggestions to help. However, for many of us when we’re feeling upset or anxious, we just need to talk and have someone hear and validate our feelings. Let your teen know that you completely understand their feelings, and that you’re feeling frustrated too. Let them know that they’re doing a great job balancing all of these new challenges and that if they want to talk through ideas of ways to manage this time, you’re here to help them brainstorm.
- The importance of naming feelings. Right now, emotions are running high and when your teen yells at you, lashes out at their sibling, or won’t come out of their room (all ways of externalizing their emotions), they might need your help in naming what’s happening for them. Simply saying “It sounds like you’re angry that you can’t see your friends, and I totally understand that feeling” can help calm them down and reduce their anxiety.
- 9th Grade Practice Form: Registering for Sophomore Year
- 10th Grade Practice Form: Registering for Junior Year
- 11th Grade Practice Form: Registering for Senior Year
- You will remain in your regular classes for 4 weeks after break, ending on May 8. As noted earlier, this is one week longer than you originally planned.
- You will NOT (unlike what I wrote when I thought we would be returning to campus on May 4) continue in your classes working on “non-evaluative work that focuses on creativity and connection.” Instead, between May 11–29 you will work on a “passion project” (individually or partnering remotely with peers) and you will have a range of options from which to choose, including “design your own project.” The restrictions will be looser than the original senior project; instead, you will focus on and dedicate time to a particular area of need, interest, or growth that you would like to pursue. We will create space to virtually share out these projects between June 1–3. Juliet, Lynne, Mya, and I are working on these details, and we will get them to you as soon as possible.
- There’s no easy way to say this. Senior experiences—WQ, backpacking, environmental studies, and night photography/car camping—have been canceled. We are examining what types of optional opportunities might be able to be put together for the future.
- Although coaches will continue to communicate with their teams, there will be no more practices, games or final contests—the spring season has concluded;
- We will be communicating by the end of next week about the end of year from an academic perspective, including how we will conclude final arts performances and shows;
- I will continue doing Zooms for parents and also with students;
- We are working on our end of year culminating events, including graduation, and will communicate in the next two weeks or so.
- If you need to reach the school during this time of closure, please email firstname.lastname@example.org instead of calling.
- If your child will be absent please email email@example.com.
- If you have a concern about your student please email Lynne Hansen.
- Please do not call the school during this time and leave voicemails, communicate through email only.
- If your child will be absent please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you have a concern about your student please email Lynne Hansen.
- Remember to check your email at least daily. Teachers will be communicating through it, and you don't want to miss anything.
- Look for Zoom or Google Hangout meeting requests from your teachers. That's how you'll be able to "get into" your virtual classrooms. (Pro etiquette tip: always mute yourself when not speaking.)
- Remember backdrop matters. Whether using Google Hangouts Meet or Zoom, please don't video chat from your bedroom or from other spaces that have overly personal items in the background (the horror stories we've heard ...). I also realize this isn't possible for everyone: with parents, siblings, or others also needing to work remotely, space may be challenging. So wherever you are, DO make sure your background is appropriate for school. Worried about showing any of backdrop? If you're using Zoom, you can also use a computerized backdrop. See how here.
- As a reminder, we will have regular class times tomorrow and then starting Thursday for one full week. There are no classes this Tuesday and Wednesday (March 17–18), nor are there classes on Friday, March 27.
- Teachers will be available for tutorial on all class days. Look for Google Hangout/Zoom invites to join. If you need one-on-one support, please email your teacher directly.
- Advisory will happen on Wednesday, March 25. Look for the invite from your advisor.
- There are no assemblies during the next two weeks.
- The student wants to work on the project and chooses to be on campus
- The parent(s)/guardian(s) consent to the student being on campus to work on their MARC project
- There are no more than 2 students in the lab at a time
- Stori or Mary Kay voluntarily choose to be in the lab with the student(s)
- The day/time is scheduled with Stori or Mary Kay during appointed times and KaTrina is made aware
As you read from Travis, out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to transition from on-campus classes at Marin Academy to our distance learning model, based on a protocol we’ve developed for when school is closed for up to 6 days, beginning next Thursday, March 19. Athletics and other co-curricular activities (including Outings) will be suspended beginning today, March 13th. Marin Academy itself is not ‘closing’; academics will continue online as previously shared.
Timeline and Virtual Instruction Processes
As indicated just a few days ago, we will move to a distance-learning model using the video conferencing software Google Hangouts/Meet, something you already have access to. (Note: it is possible some teachers will use Zoom, but they will prepare you for that if it occurs.) As a reminder, the MA class schedule will remain constant, though online, with students and teachers meeting at their regular times but in a virtual classroom. Learning will happen both synchronously (students working together), and asynchronously (students learning at their own pace, not all at the same time). We will follow this schedule through Thursday, March 26th.
Here are what the remaining days leading up to spring break will look like:
Monday, March 16
DEFG classes are remote. Campus is open from 9–3 for students to gather materials, supplies, and sports equipment if they wish.
Tuesday, March 17
Faculty training, planning, and preparation. Campus is open from 9–3 for students to gather materials, supplies, and sports equipment if they wish.
Wednesday, March 18
Faculty training, planning, and preparation. Campus is open from 9–3 for students to gather materials, supplies, and sports equipment if they wish.
Thursday, March 19 –Thursday, March 26
Level 3 (school closed for up to one rotation) Begins
The MA class schedule will remain constant, though online, with students and teachers meeting at their regular times but in a virtual classroom. Learning will happen both synchronously (students working together), and asynchronously (students learning at their own pace, not all at the same time). As a reminder, follow these guidelines and expectations.
Friday, March 27
Spring break begins one day early. School undergoes deep clean.
I have greatly appreciated hearing from many of you about your desire to continue learning and from seeing your willingness to move forth with flexibility and generosity. Thank you. We will do this together!
With care (but with appropriate social distance),
Monday, March 16
As we indicated in our correspondence on March 11, 2020, we will move to a distance-learning model using the video conferencing software, our regular Day 6 Schedule, and MyMA for attendance.
Tuesday, March 17
All Classes Meet on Campus
Tuesday, we will run a modified schedule wherein all classes will meet (schedule to follow tomorrow). This will be our last on-campus day through the end of spring break. Please use this time to wrap up any loose ends, share any learnings from the online practice day, encourage students to gather their materials, etc. We will also gather for a last chambers (before break) at 3:00.
Wednesday, March 18
Teacher Work Day
Wednesday is a non-teaching day. Faculty are encouraged to take the day to finish comments (they will now be due at 9:30 on Thursday), engage in remote or in-person (if you choose) professional development related to online teaching, and prepare for the full-cycle of online instruction that will begin on Thursday.
Thursday, March 19
Level 3 Begins (and continues through March 26)
Thursday marks the first day of our Level 3 cycle. From Thursday, March 19 through Thursday, March 26 (day 3 through day 2) the MA class schedule will remain constant, though online, with students and teachers meeting at their regular times but in a virtual classroom. Learning will happen both synchronously (students working together), and asynchronously (students learning at their own pace, not all at the same time), and, as is the case with our typical MA classrooms, instruction will contain multiple learning activities, broken up into short chunks.
Friday, March 27
Spring Break Begins
Thursday the 26th will mark the end of our Level 3 event. Friday will now officially be considered one of the days of spring break.
- MA Promise: Fund-a-Need: Please consider supporting this innovative program to fund next year’s MA Promise Scholars. Under the MA Promise, any admitted family whose income falls below $100,000 annually will pay no tuition. Additionally, families who earn more than $100,000 annually will pay only what they're able to afford. Our goal is to fund several students for next year’s 2024 class. You can donate in increments from $250 - $25,000.
- Parties & Gatherings: Secure your spot at 20+ incredible MA Parties! There is something for everyone - class parties, intimate dinners, Ultimate Frisbee, CrossFit, yoga, and outdoor hikes. These parties are fun and engaging ways to connect with other MA families. Parties fill up quickly!
- MA Exclusives: Our community members have donated an unbelievable array of unique vacation homes, sporting events, and once in a lifetime experiences. Here you will find your only chance to buy Dead & Company tickets with backstage passes, BACKROADS trip or coveted MA student parking spaces. Bid soon, as these items are going fast.
- Wine: We have over 90 lots of unique and collectible wine donated by our MA community. Help us reach our two bids per item goal by placing your bid today! We have an outstanding online wine catalog - lots range from $60 to $1,000. Historically we have sold about 90% of the auction wine at the actual event, so this year it’s even more important to bid online. Don’t miss out on these rare finds.
- Stay home if you are sick or if you have a persistent cough. Teachers, advisors and class deans will support your catching up while out. Please remain home for 48 hours after you are free from fever and a productive cough.
- For students recovering at home, check MyMA and contact your classmates and teachers to determine the best way to stay involved with the work at school.
- Wash hands right before and right after class.
- Protect others from your cough or sneeze. Your best choice is to cough/sneeze into a tissue and quickly dispose of it, and the second choice is into your elbow. Clothes that you cough/sneezed into should be washed before wearing again.
- Avoid hand to hand contact by waving or greeting with elbows instead of handshakes, high fives, fist bumps, etc.
- Be informed: follow and listen to the CDC and county departments of health and be mindful of the rise in racism towards Asians and Asian-Americans—in both the media and in our communities—since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak.
- Test the camera and microphone on your laptop and make sure they both work. If not go to the tech office for help ASAP.
- If you do not have reliable internet service at home, please let KaTrina and/or Kyle know so we can help find a solution for you.
- View and read emails daily.
- Bring home textbooks, novels, classwork, folders, devices, chargers, and any other resources that might be necessary for learning daily.
- Determine, with family support, the best place to attend class virtually. This should be a spot with minimal distractions and with nothing too personal (or inappropriate for school) in the background.
- Make sure your laptop is fully charged or able to stay plugged in before classes begin.
- If you have them, identify headphones/earphones you can wear and make sure they are charged if necessary.
- Run a practice Google Hangouts Meeting to test equipment and space. Family members can assist you with this, being a collaborator from another room, or you can set up a test meeting with a group of peers.
- If your teachers review their online plans with you as a class, help them think of any ways you as students can be helpful in a virtual school experience. Also, help them to think about obstacles that you might encounter in the type of work you typically do in that type of class.
- We all need to work together to move through this with flexibility and generosity.
- If you know school will be meeting virtually, look for and accept any Google Hangouts/Meet “invites” by teachers (for classes, advisory, etc.)
- Continue to dress in school-appropriate attire
- Continue to follow school and class guidelines for respectful discourse and behavior
- Get online several minutes before each class; have MyMA course page open as well as Google Hangouts Meet
- Login to your classes using the Google Hangout Meets calendar invites sent by teachers
- Follow your teacher’s instructions for each class
- If you become ill while at home, please 1) have your parents email email@example.com and report your illness and 2) inform your teachers, advisor and class dean, all of whom will support you getting back on track once you are feeling better.
- Communicate! If you are struggling with the lessons or workload for any reason, please let your teachers and advisor know so you can get the support you need.
- be flexible
- be curious
- be generous of spirit
- Students and teachers will begin together at the start of class on the regular schedule. Classes should all start with a Google Hangouts/Meet.
- Class time and work time should equal 75 minutes. Learning can happen both synchronously (students working together), and asynchronously (students learning at their own pace, not all at the same time).
- Advisory and tutorials will continue online. Your teachers/advisors will communicate more about this.
- A Block: Day 1 (8:00–9:00)
- B Block: Day 3 (1:00–2:00)
- C: Block: Day 5 (1:00–2:00)
- D Block: Day 2 (8:00–9:00)
- E Block: Day 2 (9:30–10:30)
- F Block: Day 4 (9:30–10:30)
- G Blocks: Day 6 (9:30–10:30)
- The advisor contacts all of the teachers asking about missed work. Missed work is usually collected in a Google Doc and shared with both the student and family.
- As needed, the advisor (in conjunction with the class dean) puts together a plan for making up missed assessments.
- Teachers show empathy as students get back on track.
- Increased and regular van cleanings and disinfection, as well as the accessibility to disinfectants, hand sanitizer and face masks for “positions” that need them.
- We are requesting students to stay home when they are sick. Also students should follow preventive measures provided by the CDC.
- Encourage students and staff to stay home when they are sick.
- Those who have a fever at school should go home and stay home until fever-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medication.
- Separate sick students and staff from others until they can be picked up to go home.
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
- Promote hand hygiene among students and staff through education, scheduled time for handwashing, and availability of soap and water and/or hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Teach and encourage proper cough etiquette—cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve, or arm (do not use hands).
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash or sanitize hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Challenge Success Workshop: Navigating Remote Learning for Families
Many families are concerned about the impact that remote learning will have on their child’s academic journey and what role they should play along the way. If you were not able to attend this Marin Academy workshop, please see the resources below including a recording of the 45-minute webinar with Challenge Success that explores practical tips and guidelines for what families can do to best support student well-being and engagement with learning right now.
- Video: Navigating Remote Learning for Families
- Additional Tips and Resources
- Q&A Videos from Denise Pope Sorted by Topic
Marin Academy Family Community Action
We can continue to feel connected through service, and there are ways we can support our community partner organizations at this time.
MAPA Recommendations for Support in the Community
Our MAPA community of parents are always tirelessly working in a myriad of ways to support members of our community. During this pandemic, there are many ways to get involved and volunteer to support your neighbors, the elderly, and those communities that are hardest hit. Below are some ways you can get involved:
MA-Affiliated Businesses and Services to Support