Head of School Will Moseley Announces Phased Reopening of Campus and New Opening Dates for the 2020-2021 Start of School in August

On Thursday, May 14, Head of School Will Moseley alongside Board of Trustees President Paul Westhead and a task force of St. Margaret’s school leaders representing academics, health and wellness, facilities, campus services and financial sustainability unveiled new plans for a phased approach to reopening campus in the coming months to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year, including an earlier start of school, in a Virtual Fireside Chat with parents.

“We are going to start school one week earlier moving the start date up to August 19 (for students grades K – 12),” said Mr. Moseley. “We want to capture some additional time to enable us to roll out our new orientation program for the entire student community as we bring people back to campus in August. We will have new health care protocols and procedures that we will all have to adhere to and therefore will have a moment in those first few days to bring everybody back and adjust to the new normal here on campus at St Margaret's.”

The Early Childhood School will also start earlier with individual student and parent classroom visits beginning August 17 followed by a first day of school on August 24.

The earlier start for all divisions allows for a rolling, progressive start of school over the first several days to accommodate welcoming all new and returning students back to campus with orientation to new campus procedures related to social distancing and health considerations. A rolling start may include staggering start times and dates by division and grade level over the first three days.

Mr. Moseley also announced a phased approach to the return to campus for all Tartans with the school’s goal of “Every Tartan, Every Day at St. Margaret’s” for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. In accordance with current and anticipated government and health agency guidelines, the phased approach is planned to begin in June with essential office employees returning to campus, followed by a possible structured reactivation of campus in mid-July for summer school continuous learning activities and sports practices, with a final phase focused on the entire student community returning to campus for the start of the 2020-2021 school year in August.

The presentation also detailed plans in development by each task force leader including a new Campus Flex teaching and continuous learning model, implementing new technologies in classrooms and throughout campus, the expansion of the school Health Center along with new student wellness and illness procedures and protocols, and campus facilities and maintenance modifications and enhancements.

Task Force members include Assistant Head of School for Strategic Initiatives Ryan Dahlem, Chief Financial and Operating Officer David Bush, Director of Athletics and Student Wellness Patrick Bendzick, School Nurse Jeanne Kang and Director of Technology and Innovation Lynn Ozonian. A detailed update, report and link to a recording of the Virtual Fireside Chat will be shared with parents next week.

Today, St. Margaret’s also announces the launch of the “2020-2021 Campus Opening and Start of School Guide” on the mySMES Parents Portal, as it simultaneously begins to sunset the School Closure resource guide.

“We are a professional community in shared focus toward our goal of Every Tartan, Every Day and excited to start the process with all St. Margaret’s parents for our upcoming school year,” said Mr. Moseley. “Our goal with the Campus Opening and Start of School page is to provide parents a one-stop hub of all information you need for our campus reopening and start of school with new health and campus considerations as details are available.”

The new 2020-2021 Campus Opening and Start of School Guide is an easy-to-follow resource of information, timeline and necessary steps to prepare students through the summer months for the upcoming school year, including ongoing updates regarding the campus opening information and new procedures and protocols.

To access the 2020-2021 Campus Opening and Start of School Guide, please click here.
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
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