Saint Paul's Choir School Update

July 13, 2020

Big picture

Dear Saint Paul's Community:

Update on Teacher Search: We made an offer to a wonderfully experienced educator, and she has accepted the offer. I will provide more details and provide an opportunity to introduce her to all families as soon as we can make appropriate arrangements.


Update on Teacher Training: We held our second round of training in partnership with “Connected in Class Program” with Prof. Matthias Ehrhardt during a full day last Thursday. This training helped our teachers to practice with more advanced equipment and to receive coaching and tips on how to engage students within the classroom while using the equipment and hold the attention of remote learners. The training is fascinating and our wonderful teachers who are eagerly embracing the idea of live streaming their instruction so that all students, regardless of their circumstances during COVID can continue learning.


Update on Re-Entry Planning: Each week brings with it new events and currently we are experiencing a dreadful increase in COVID cases across the nation. We pray for all who are currently struggling with the new outbreaks and continue to encourage our own families to be prudent in your actions and protect yourselves. While the news in other parts of the country is sobering, we are fortunate to be experiencing relatively positive trajectories in New England.


We believe that with appropriate planning for any number of scenarios, we will be able to protect the health and well being of our students, staff, families and communities and return to in-person instruction as reported in my last update. We remain committed to providing excellence in teaching and learning and ensuring that each student at SPCS has the opportunity to thrive in the 2020-21 school year.


Several cross-sectional teams are working with me to ensure that we reduce the risks to our children and staff when we return. I am confident that our talent pool of dedicated colleagues will use their thoughtfulness and ingenuity to allow us to achieve all or our aspirations for a wonderful start to the school year in September. Our external consultants will begin to review our progress to date during a committee meeting on Wednesday, July 15. We will provide updates on our health and safety protocols, purchases of personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and remote learning technology tools. We will also address the physical plant and plans for ensuring that our facilities will be readied for a safe return to school. The improvements in the HVAC systems for the school will commence later this week.


As an outcome of meetings with our internal team and external consultants, we will be publishing frequently asked questions that will help you to better understand our plans for re-entry. If you have questions, please send them to me and I will do my best to include answers in our materials. Highlights of the FAQ’s will include:


· Our strategy for screening and following the basic principles of wearing masks, physical distancing, and heightened hygiene and sanitation


· Protocols for space reconfiguration, visitor limitations, modified schedules and rehearsal practices all in the name of safe interactions between community members


Enrollment Update: With video footage of the teacher training and other profiles of key staff and alumni, Mr. Moran is preparing outreach material that we hope you will share with friends and neighbors who you think might find our school a good fit for their boys. We can accommodate two more boys at each grade level given our new staffing model and encourage you to help us in find good families with boys who would thrive at our school. We recently admitted another student for next year’s sixth grade and are in conversations with several families who are looking to move their boys to Saint Paul’s this summer. As news of the conditions that most ordinary schools must make to meet CDC criteria for a safe return to in-person instruction (e.g., attending 2 or 3 days out of the week or continuing with entirely remote learning), we believe that many families might be interested in a small school unlike any others that is able to meet the safety requirements at the highest level.


Last week was a period of transition for the Haferd family as we returned to our former home in Cambridge and said farewell to Medway, our home in the country. I appreciate all the support from everyone at the school, and especially appreciate your patience while I tended to the important challenges of packing, moving, and unpacking. Today I am back working from the Choir School and will be here for most of the rest of the summer. If you would like to stop in and visit (with masks and at appropriate social distance), please send me an email and I will try to accommodate.


I encourage everyone to continue to pray for a successful year ahead and share the Zoom information below if you wish to join our Zoom Rosary prayer that meets every evening at 8:00 p.m. Thanks to everyone for your unwavering support of our school. I sincerely apologize if you were not able to connect with the link that I sent out in my previous update.


The one below is our new link.


Thomas Haferd

Head of School

Join our SPCS Rosary - Daily at 8:00 pm

SPCS Rosary is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: SPCS Rosary's Personal Meeting Room

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/2547952353?pwd=TU1XcUlaV2V6ME9VYW1ScVhsZ2xkdz09

Meeting ID: 254 795 2353

Password: 2iaAiQ