Did You Know?
The Antioch School puts safety first for students and staff!
In His Own Words—Executive Director, Nathan Summers
The Antioch School has faced many challenges during its century of existence, but none quite like the obstacles created by COVID-19. The lockdown was announced two days before the annual Auction Gala and Comedy Show—traditionally our biggest scholarship fundraiser. With support from the Paycheck Protection Program, we were able to recover lost income and provide tuition forgiveness to families most deeply impacted by the virus.
Our teachers created an online learning option in the spring, allowing our students to stay connected with school and each other. Due to growing safety concerns of the virus over the summer, many of our families opted to keep their children home. We then created a Safe Schooling Plan, increased our marketing efforts, and more than twenty new children enrolled in August.
The children are engaging in their academic subjects, project time and free time entirely outdoors, and have quickly adapted to being outside all day and wearing masks. We created a third outdoor classroom, and parents volunteered time and resources to improve these spaces with more robust shade structures. The children have always spent a lot of time outdoors, including weekly hikes in the Glen, but this has still been a big adjustment!
Our teachers will continue teaching outside but will shift partly indoors as the weather changes. In preparation, UVC light air filtration systems are being installed throughout the entire building. Some of the most important learning here happens between traditional academic lessons—including developing self-confidence and practicing conflict resolution. These life skills do not translate well to online learning, so we feel lucky to have the space and history to support outdoor learning and to have access to new technologies to improve our safety when we start spending time indoors again.
The past seven months have underscored the importance of our core values of empathy, mutual trust, taking reasonable risks, caring for the whole child, and learning from the natural world. We look forward to building on our 100-year history of creating an educational experience that incorporates these values that our graduates will continue to embody for years to come.
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