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2020 Opening Plans

In late spring, we began scenario planning for the fall 2020 opening of school.

The planning for our fall opening scenarios was
guided by our experience in the spring, parent and student feedback to our distance learning, consideration of our mission, faculty surveys, medical advice, government recommendations, and the best practices from National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, National Association of Independent Schools and New York Association of Independent Schools. Our common goal is to provide the best overall experience for our students and their families, and our faculty and their families, while prioritizing the health and safety of all.

Families and school form a partnership. We all must acknowledge that in order to have the privilege of being on campus, we will make the necessary sacrifices and adjustments to protect our community. We are all responsible for checking the constantly updating Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State guidelines for health and safety.

To do the school opening planning work three small teams were created to explore three possible fall scenarios.


  • Health & Safety
    Head of School Helen Marlette, Director of Buildings & Grounds Jim Cody, School Nurse Kim Skomra, Director of Finance Denise Merrell
  • Academic Programming
    Assistant Head of School Kanika Durland, Science Faculty Joanie Wienckowski, Dean of Teaching & Learning Caitlin Littlefield
  • Student Life Programming
    Assistant Head of School Natalie Stothart, College Counselor Molly Greene, Senior Advisor and English & History Faculty Jessica Silverstein, School Counselor Karen Knab


  • Scenario 1
    On-campus learning model. Students return for in-person education with adjustments.
  • Scenario 2
    Hybrid learning model. Residential students and/or students who are not comfortable returning to campus to learn remotely.
  • Scenario 3
    Remote learning model. All students shift to off-campus learning due a mandated shutdown by the state.


  • Social/emotional well-being of all is a priority – teaching and learning are impossible without it
  • International students and students who cannot return for medical/personal reasons must have the opportunity to participate fully in our programs
  • Program a mix of sychronistic and asynchronistic learning