Dear Parents and Guardians,
As this current school year ends, we reflect on the opportunities and challenges of this year and look ahead to the 2021-2022 school year. For the fall of 2021, we are excited to announce that Providence High School is planning for a full return to in-person instruction for all students, barring any changes from the Los Angeles Public Health Department. It is important to note that with these plans we will no longer offer remote learning as an option.
We learned through the difficult circumstances of the pandemic how much we all benefit from being in community with one another. The challenges of the pandemic also bolstered us in new ways. As a learning institution, it is important that our school continues to reflect thoughtfully on the past year and adjust in ways that tangibly improve student experience and learning. We learned that students benefit from more flexibility, balance in their schedule, and additional opportunities for individualized supports from teachers and counselors. One element that will shift to facilitate those benefits is our school’s daily schedule. These schedule changes are improvements that will provide the flexibility and balance that students need.
Block Schedule Adjustments
Although we will continue with our rotational block schedule, the following adjustments will be made for the 2021-2022 school year. Please note that a more detailed daily schedule will be communicated to parents and guardians this summer.
School will begin at 9:00am. We know, and research supports, that sleep is a key factor in supporting our students’ overall health and well-being. A later start time will allow students to sleep in longer and be better rested. Campus will be open for students beginning every day at 6:30am and zero period classes will run from 8:00am – 8:55am.
Prior to the pandemic, we operated with 85-minute blocks and during the past year, all classes were 60 minutes in length. The consensus from academic leadership was that while 60-minute classes were a necessity during remote learning, teachers are in favor of slightly longer classes moving forward. Therefore, 70-minute blocks will be incorporated Tuesday-Friday for the 2021-22 school year.
Modified Mondays (Shortened School Days)
New this semester, we introduced Community Connection Mondays to create space and time for peer-to-peer and community-wide connections. In the fall, Mondays will include four blocks with 40-minute classes. This will ensure regular frequency of class meetings and open the afternoons for student participation in co-curriculars including Student-Led Organizations, clubs, internships, and athletics while maintaining a healthy school-life balance. This time will also be designated for important faculty/staff collaboration and professional development.
Online Learning Days (asynchronous) scheduled monthly
Prior to the pandemic, Providence High School implemented Online Learning Days (OLDs) on designated days in which all students learned off-campus and engaged with each of their classes asynchronously. The pandemic has reinforced the need for our students to practice and participate in independent learning opportunities during high school. Therefore, Online Learning Days will be scheduled once per month in the 2021-2022 school year. This does not mean that learning must happen from home. On OLDs, we encourage students to schedule time at local libraries, potential college campuses, coffee shops, etc. Our school calendar will be updated with all those dates in advance.
We are excited by the recent developments of COVID-19 vaccines for adolescents. Many of our current students, ages 12-17, are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Please reach out to your family physician or pediatrician to learn more about your child’s eligibility and local availability.
While a COVID-19 vaccination is not required for student enrollment or faculty/staff employment, Providence High School highly encourages all eligible members of our community to get an FDA/CDC sanctioned COVID-19 vaccine.
To prioritize the health and safety of all our community members, students, and employees who do not provide proof of completed COVID-19 vaccinations may be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 PCR surveillance testing when we resume in-person classes for the 2021-2022 school year. Students that receive the vaccine may opt-out of weekly COVID-19 PCR surveillance testing by submitting digital copies of their completed vaccination cards online.
We are thankful for the patience and understanding of our students, families, faculty, and staff throughout this school year in the face of the pandemic. With our commitment to the health and safety of our community in mind, we continue to plan and prepare for a full return to in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year. Further details and updates for the fall will be communicated later this summer and will be available on our website.
Mr. Scott McLarty
Head of School
Mrs. Allison Castro
Assistant Head of School