Pods and Cohorts

As an added safety precaution, we have organized all students into largely self-contained pods (i.e., homerooms/advisories) and cohorts (i.e., grade levels). Pod size is limited by the number of students who can be seated in a classroom such that no student sits closer than six feet to another student or their teacher. Virtual attendees, though not present in the classroom, are accounted for in that calculation.

This measure of creating pods is taken to reduce the number of people with whom any student comes into “close contact” (i.e., within six feet for 15 minutes or more during the course of a day). That said, no pod or cohort can be completely self-contained. For example, students have siblings in other grades, some students ride the bus, and other students might attend after-school care through ESP (during which we will try to keep students from different cohorts separated). Nonetheless, the care put into creating pods and minimizing movement through the school is a key risk-mitigation measure that will help keep our community healthy and well. To help with any necessary contact tracing in the unfortunate event of a confirmed case of COVID-19, we will be tracking every group, be it a pod, a bus, a family, or any other structured grouping, that each student belongs to.

ECC Pods and Cohorts

Each class in the ECC is considered a “pod.” Each grade level for which there is more than one pod is considered a “cohort.” Students will stay in their classroom during the day, except for P.E., recess, lunch, and outdoor classes. Specials teachers will come to each pod’s classroom to teach. Contact between pods will be minimized, even more so for cohorts.

Lower School Pods and Cohorts

As in the ECC, Lower School homerooms are “pods,” and each grade level is considered a “cohort.” Students will stay in their classrooms during the day, except for P.E., recess, lunch, and outdoor classes. Specials teachers will come to each pod’s classroom to teach. Contact between pods will be minimized, even more so for cohorts.

Upper School Pods and Cohorts

Every student in the Upper School has been assigned to a “pod” of students who can fit comfortably in a classroom with at least six feet between each student seat. These pods will also serve as advisory groups. The students in each pod have an assigned classroom and assigned seats, where they will stay for science, social studies, English, and arts classes as teachers come to each pod’s classroom for instruction. Because of our commitment to offering appropriate challenge and support in mathematics and because of differing student world language choices, students may switch classrooms for those two classes. We consider each grade level to be a “cohort,” and cohorts will not mix with other cohorts, except in the rare circumstance that a student’s math level requires them to attend a math class that is designed for a higher grade level. In those circumstances, students will be seated in such a way that they are seated more than six feet from students outside their cohort, preventing them from being “close contacts” of any students outside their cohort.

Upper School Mathematics

Students have been placed within grade-level pods with mathematics readiness as a guiding framework. With our criteria at the heart of placement conversations, math faculty make recommendations that focus on critical-thinking skills, growth over time, and academic progress. The schedule this year was designed to allow students who have been placed in a course one or more grades higher than theirs to switch classrooms. In order to maximize safety and maintain social distance of six feet, students will be guided to move to their math classroom by faculty. Seats closest to the classroom entrance, more than six feet from any students outside their cohort, will be designated for incoming students.

Upper School World Language

As a means to create the most conducive and safest learning environment for our students, we have designated a large space (PAC) for students enrolled in Spanish, the classes for which are traditionally the largest at LFCDS. The PAC will allow students to come together for class while maintaining social distance between seats. During World Language class periods, students in each grade-level pod will be guided by faculty in an organized fashion and redistributed to their appropriate sections while maintaining at least six feet of social distance. French and Mandarin classes will be held in Upper School classrooms. Students who receive a language waiver will work independently in another space during that time.

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