Over the summer, our team thought through contingency plans and researched COVID resources and school calendars to get a sense of what the 2020–2021 school year would be like. Now that school is back in session and campuses are starting to reopen, we are looking at reopening plans from charter schools and schools of choice. Here, we are going to analyze the Anne Frank Inspire Academy Reopening Plan 2020-2021. It’s notable for providing families with week-by-week flexibility about choosing among on-campus, distance learning, and hybrid options.
Family Instructional Options
All students are participating in online learning from the start of the school year on August 17 until the eve of Labor Day weekend, September 4. Beyond that, families will be able to make a weekly choice about their children’s instructional plans. The four types of plans include Face2Face, Face2Face + Remote, Remote, and Face2Face + Campus Remote Learning.
- Face2Face: Students are on campus Monday through Thursday, and do remote learning at home on Fridays.
- Face2Face + Remote: Students are on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays, and do remote learning on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
- Remote: Students participate in remote learning Monday through Friday.
- Face2Face + Campus Remote Learning: Students are on campus Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays (and in December) they are on campus for supervised remote learning.
Fridays are meant to be planning time for facilitators. For that reason, every Thursday, the school will offer the parents the option to choose their child’s instructional plan for the following week, and parents will need to send notice by 7:00 AM on Friday. If the parent doesn’t respond, the student will continue on the same plan they were before.
If a parent wants their student to be on campus, they request the change for the following week. If a parent wants to keep their student home for remote learning, they can choose that option at any time, but the student will need to participate in one of several ways that show they are attending school.
The reopening plan offers parents guidance for making choices among the instructional plans. Safety is a top priority, and the school recognizes that most students will be safer at home than on campus. However, they also recognize that “researchers have found that the most significant impact on student performance is the teacher.” The deciding factor for each family should be their personal situation. Anne Frank Inspire Academy promises to make the school experience meaningful for all students, regardless of which instructional plan they choose.
Face2Face Campus Plan
For families that choose the Face2Face Campus plan, the reopening plan has a set of procedures for keeping students and staff safe on campus. Everyone—students, facilitators, and visitors—will be expected to self-screen for COVID symptoms and will have their temperature checked upon entry; students and facilitators will have their temperature checked a second time during the school day as well. Everyone will wash their hands often during the school day.
For elementary school students (grades K-5), children will be grouped in pods of four students, and will stay together throughout instructional time.The reopening plan notes, Each pod will be 6-10 feet away from other pods. The reopening plan notes, “The pod limits student exposure but allows for social interaction and development.”
Elementary students will eat lunch in pod groups, with their grade level group. At recess, student groups will be assigned an area to play, and they will be able to interact with students outside of their pods.
Face coverings are optional while elementary students are grouped in pods and while students are outside. Also, face coverings are not required for students in grades K-3. However, face coverings are required when pods are not possible—such as while students are moving around the classroom or across campus.
For middle and high school students (grades 6-12), students will be encouraged to social distance as much as possible. The reopening plan notes, “Enforcing social distancing at these grade levels does not seem realistically feasible. We want to develop a plan that parents can expect to be executed so you can make the best decision for your family.”
Middle and high school students are required to wear face coverings on campus, with some exceptions, such as if a student is 6-10 feet away from other students, or for a span of 3-5 minutes. Face coverings are not required outdoors. Students will be able to eat together in groups of up to six.
Students who refuse to wear masks, or require continual reminders to wear them, will be assigned to remote learning.
Facilitators will be expected to wear face coverings when they are unable to social distance. The plan allows for full-face shields “whenever a mask is not feasible or whenever the education context may benefit from the ability to see an individual’s full face.”
The reopening plan also outlines procedures for when students have symptoms and need to be isolated and picked up by their parents, and the areas they were using need to be cleaned. The plan also specifies when students who have symptoms or who have been diagnosed with COVID can return to campus.
For the families who choose to continue with online learning, the school is offering options about when and where students access their courses. The school uses a learning management system (Treehouse) to organize assignments, and video conferences (Microsoft Teams) for facilitators to interact online with students and families—in groups or one-on-one.
The school is adopting new grading procedures to give better feedback. Every three weeks, parents will receive two reports. The first report will offer standards-based information as part of a mastery learning approach. The report will describe what students know about the content, what they can do with it, and what they are becoming. The second report will assign numerical grades to the “know” and “do” aspects of the evaluation; students will have the opportunity to improve these numbers until the summative assessment. Assigning numbers is part of what charter schools are required to do, but Anne Frank Inspire Academy is trying to reimagine grading in a meaningful way.
Offering different instructional plans poses a challenge for attendance procedures. For Face2Face plans, the school will take attendance and 10 AM daily. Students must attend 90 percent of instructional days, and not have too many unexcused absences. For Remote learning plans, there are multiple ways that students can show they are engaged with school. Each day, as long as a student does at least one of these actions, they are counted as present: completing a daily exit ticket, contacting a facilitator via the Treehouse family portal or email, joining a video conference with a facilitator or instructional assistant, or turning in assignments online.
What to Expect at Anne Frank Inspire Academy in 2020-2021
The reopening plan for Anne Frank Inspire Academy demonstrates a desire to reimagine education. By offering families four different instructional plans and allowing them to make changes week by week, the school is offering an unusually high level of flexibility in terms of both location and modality.
Charter Moms Chats
Justin Johnston, Head of School at Anne Frank Inspire Academy, spoke with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats about their school reopening plans .
Read More About Anne Frank Inspire Academy
- “Learning That Matters: Using an Inquiry-Based Learning Approach at Home,” Justin Johnston, San Antonio Charter Moms, July 22, 2020
Read More About Schools Reopening
- “Information for Residents: Remote Learning for Schools,” City of San Antonio
- “Bexar County Health Authority Amended Health Directive”, August 7, 2020
- “COVID-19 Support: Public Health Orders,” Texas Education Agency (TEA)
- “Considerations for Schools,” Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- “BASIS Charter Schools Reopening Plan: Families Choose in 2020–21,” San Antonio Charter Moms, August 13, 2020
- “What Boerne ISD Has Learned From Having Students on Campus During COVID-19,” San Antonio Charter Moms, September 3, 2020
- “Strong Start 2020: IDEA Public Schools Back to School Plan for 2020–21,” San Antonio Charter Moms, September 8, 2020
- “How Compass Rose Public Schools Is Reopening Schools in 2020–21,” San Antonio Charter Moms, September 15, 2020