The Hayground School in Bridgehampton on Monday announced its plans for resuming in-person teaching and learning "in anticipation of a final decision the first week in August" expected to come from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo regarding school attendance in general, school officials said this week.
"Hayground's 13-acre grounds, well-ventilated buildings, large classrooms, and small class sizes make it uniquely well positioned to be a school that operates safely with social distancing," Marcelle Langendal, the school's faculty chairwoman, said in an email to parents. "Our plans for opening are capitalizing on these assets."
Teachers will have outdoor classrooms in addition to their traditional, indoor spaces. School will begin two weeks earlier than initially scheduled, on Sept. 3, to take advantage of pleasant fall weather, and school will close between Thanksgiving and Christmas "to minimize the indoor classroom time during flu season," Ms. Langendal wrote.
There will be new protocols for drop-off and pickup times, as well as daily temperature checks, frequent hand washing, wearing of masks, and more rigorous disinfecting procedures.
Classrooms have been redesigned to keep six feet of distance between children, and students and teachers will operate in cohorts or "pods." Each individual classroom has its own sink and bathroom. There will be as much outdoor activity as possible. Scheduling will mimic the previous years' procedures as much as possible, Ms. Langendal said in the letter, and the faculty and staff "will consider child development and our innovative ideas about teaching and learning in our choices."
"Teachers are researching, preparing, and taking workshops over the summer to be ready with a comprehensive program for distance learning should we need to close the school again," she said. "Since Hayground teachers are accustomed to designing new curriculum every year, this is not new to us. The ability to individualize and be flexible and spontaneous are not only skills we have been honing since our inception, but is what we do best."
Ms. Langendal said additional information would be forthcoming.