Six months ago, we sent our students and teachers home. Now, we are welcoming everyone back to campus. We give thanks for our good fortune, recognizing that the control of the spread of coronavirus in Connecticut makes this reopening possible. But, the pandemic continues, and we need to be vigilant about safety protocols. We have always enjoyed small class sizes that facilitate physical distancing, single-occupancy dormitory rooms, and a spacious campus by design. There have also been are some significant changes at the school.
First, students are now organized into coeducational cohorts. Next, masks are mandatory, and there will be regular COVID-19 testing of everyone on campus. We have four outdoor tented team spaces that will be used for teaching, mask breaks, meals, and socializing when the weather is nice. Cross-cohort electives will be taught virtually. Of course, there is one-way traffic in and out of buildings and limited occupancy in public spaces and restrooms. We will stagger mealtimes. Finally, fall and spring semesters replace five-week terms as we cocoon on campus, reducing travel from school to home and back.
Some things have not changed. Franklin Academy’s veteran administrative team of six educators remains in place. We are starting our nineteenth year together. Out of a staff of thirty-five teachers who finished last year with us, we needed to fill only three vacancies. And our mission remains the same. We serve bright students with unique learning styles, developing and strengthening academic and social competencies vital to pursuing college goals, professional aspirations, and fulfilling lives. We are looking forward to a very good year.