Dear TJ Family,
Today I am writing to share our planning document for fall of 2020. While preparation for the new school year continues apace, we still face a number of uncertainties due to the current public health crisis. The CDC and St. Louis County Department of Health continue to modify recommendations as circumstances evolve. The ambiguity of our local and national situation requires us to design a reopening program that allows us to respond to the changing guidelines while still serving our educational purpose: to create rich and robust learning experiences for our purposefully-sized, close-knit school community.
We had, of course, hoped to be definitive here about whether we intend to begin classes in person or online, but the situation has not allowed that. What we can be definitive about is that the schedule we have developed will allow us to move nimbly between in-person and online learning no matter what the outside world does. We anticipate that students will need to move between in-person, online, and a hybrid model of instruction at different points throughout the year, depending on the specific needs of students and families.
The planning document (linked here as well as published to MyTJS) provides an overview of the academic program as well as operational policies and procedures necessary for resuming in-person instruction. This is a living document and updates will be made and shared as circumstances necessitate. Please look for a subsequent communication on Monday, August 3, two weeks from today, with additional information.
Before I close, I want to thank all members of our TJ family. The faculty and staff have worked in a continual state of adjustment, response, planning, and preparation since March. Their critical thinking and creativity will be central to the success of this school year. The parent body has followed us into the unknown and supported TJ’s young scholars as they grappled with the seismic shift in their lives. Finally, our students have responded in ways unimaginable. They have innovated, again and again, and they will continue to challenge—and to teach—their teachers. Without all of these efforts, TJ would not be the vibrant community that nourishes us all.
Whether we share a room or a screen next month, no principle guides us more strongly than our desire to engage students in daily dialogue about ideas that will lead them—as our mission states—to lift up the world with beauty and intellect. In the meantime, we thank you all again for your patience, your support, and your partnership.
Matthew R. Troutman
Head of School