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Return to School Plans: Lower School

Dear lower school parents,

As you read in Mr. Milroy’s updates on November 6 and 23, in January we are updating and expanding our in-person learning plan. In order to assist you in your family plans for January and February, I wanted to share the new in-person learning timeline with you as soon as possible.

When school resumes in January, we will move to a full homeroom, five-days-a-week learning model in kindergarten through third grade. The fourth and fifth grade students will begin their return to campus with three days of rotational small group, outdoor learning. This will be followed by a two-week rotational program prior to returning to their classrooms full time.


Below is the timeline of our current, target in-person learning start dates and plans for each grade level. It is possible that the dates or plans could change based on state or county requirements.

return to campus

Health and Safety Protocols
It is very important that all members of the Villa community fully recommit to all the safety guidelines listed on this web page to keep our community safe and well. Before students arrive together on campus in January, I will follow up with you regarding these requirements. In essence, we expect all families to monitor themselves and their children for illness every day, to quarantine and get tested if someone in your house is sick, and to quickly communicate your family health and travel information directly to Ms. Padilla in the main office. Additional health and safety details and reminders will be in your in-box in both December and January.

Students Remaining Fully Remote in January
Kindergarten through 3rd grade students who are remaining fully remote in January may notice that their “at home” learning will have a different feel once the majority of their peers are at school for in-person learning. At home learners will see fewer classmates in their zoom sessions and might notice that the amount of time for a lesson will flex from day-to-day as teachers appropriately adjust for the needs of students on campus. We will share additional information about these normal changes to routines that will occur when the majority of students are learning from the classroom. These differences will vary by grade level and across subject areas. Later this month we will survey fourth and fifth grade families to learn who might need fully remote instruction once in-person learning begins.

Faculty Professional Development January 4 - 8
The lower school faculty will spend the week of January 4 - 8 in professional development to refine and update our safety and logistical procedures to align with newly updated health guidelines from the CDC, state and county; revise materials, supplies and lessons from a hybrid instructional model to an in-person instructional model with a smaller number of remote learners; further align math and reading instruction across grade levels and continue the detailed coordination between preschool, lower and middle school use of outdoor spaces for over 400 learners and instructors each day. We are excited that the outcome of our hard work is increased in-person learning for all lower school students.

Thank you for your careful attention to this information and upcoming emails regarding health and safety, fully remote learners, and any needed logistical changes. We appreciate your committed partnership and look forward to a blessed Christmas season and joyful New Year.

All the best,


Julie Thenell Grasseschi
Lower School Director, Villa Academy

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