What Is Blended Learning?

Blended learning is a teaching model that offers students a combination of in person learning inside the school building and both synchronous and asynchronous learning online.

Blended learning will bring several changes from NCS’s traditional teaching and learning environment.

When faculty and students are able to return to school, to limit the number of people on campus at one time, each student will be in one of two “cohorts.” Cohorts will alternate weeks on campus: While one group comes to school and learns in the classroom; the other will remain at home and pursue asynchronous schoolwork and engage in community meetings and office hours with teachers online via Zoom.

Fewer students in classrooms at one time will create the space to provide 6 feet of separation between desks in classrooms, which also follows health and safety recommendations. When engaged in learning in the school building, students will join large, online group meetings from their classrooms.

Faculty will plan their courses in two-week increments, alternating a week of instruction and educational experiences to engage students in the classroom with a week of independent and group work for students to complete remotely. Both cohorts will have access to their teachers, whether working remotely or in the school building.

Academic Calendar

To better match parents’ work schedules and provide the flexibility to move between remote learning and blended learning, as circumstances require, the academic calendar will shift to a five-day block schedule (from seven) for 2020-2021.

  • Academic classes will be held on A, B, D, and E days from 8:15 am to 3:30 pm. Students will have five hour-long academic blocks, as well as a half-hour for lunch. Free time for students on campus will be structured.
  • Each C day will be devoted to community, and they will be remote for all so that we may gather as one school, one division, or one class. These days will feature Cathedral and divisional chapel services, extended office hours, ensembles classes and co-curricular sessions, class and club meetings, and divisional assemblies. School commitments are from 9:10 am to 3:30 pm.

The Lower and Middle School daily schedule reduces movement around the campus: Students will remain in classrooms while faculty move between classrooms. Upper School students will move between classes as they have traditionally; however, during free periods, students will be assigned to a classroom for study hall.

Teachers will have the option of holding class outdoors when conditions allow, and NCS is obtaining tents to provide additional outdoor learning space.

Lunch will be ordered in advance by families and then delivered by food service staff to the students, whether outside or in classrooms.

NCS will not offer an Extended Day program to Lower School students while the school is in Blended Learning, nor will students be able to remain in school buildings after the conclusion of the academic day or after athletics.

Domestic overnight travel has been canceled for the remainder of 2020, and international travel has been called off for the 2020-2021 school year. In the interest of health and safety, there will likely be fewer field trips off-campus this year.

For the foreseeable future, NCS will hold large in-person gatherings online only. Meetings with college representatives and other visitors will also take place online, rather than on campus.

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