Coming together as a community is the cornerstone of the Milton experience, and we are finding creative ways to convene and connect. As we continue to plan this academic year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the safety of our students, faculty, and staff guides all of our decisions. We hold an unwavering commitment to educating our students in an engaging and fulfilling program, whether they are on campus or remote. This year looks unlike any other in the history of our School. It requires us to remain flexible and adjust due to factors beyond our control, but we are working together as a community to provide our students with the best experience possible.
Given the uncertain nature of the pandemic, we have initiated a phased reopening this school year, beginning with welcoming back our Lower and Middle school students to on-campus learning in mid-September. The next phase of our plans includes the return of Upper School day students to campus in early October, as well as boarding students who have opted to shift to temporary day-student status. We will continue to offer fully remote learning to any day student who does not wish to return to campus. Our dorms will remain closed until 2021; we will update families prior to Thanksgiving on plans for January. Please refer to the September 25 communication from Head of School Todd Bland and Upper School Principal David Ball for more information.
- Lower School students are currently learning on campus and remotely; COVID-19 testing is conducted weekly
- Middle School students are currently learning on campus and remotely; COVID-19 testing is conducted weekly
- Upper School students started classes remotely on September 14
- Day students and temporary day students will begin returning to in-person classes in assigned groups on Monday, October 5
- Boarding students will continue learning remotely until January 2021 unless they have switched to temporary day-student status
- All on-campus students must receive a COVID-19 test prior to in-person learning, and testing will continue weekly
COVID-19 testing is provided for all students, faculty, and staff in advance of and during their time on campus The results of these tests—combined with local COVID-19 trends, expertise from public health and medical experts, and guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts—inform the phases of our plan. We remain prepared to pivot quickly as circumstances change.
Our success requires shared commitment from every member of our community as we navigate these new protocols together. We thank you in advance for your support of our School.
HEALTH & SAFETY
We base our approach on guidance from public health and medical experts and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as our experience as educators.
We are committed to a rigorous and collaborative approach that cultivates curious and engaged learners.
EQUITY & ACCESS
We work together to ensure that all have access to learning via curriculum and technology.
COMMUNITY & CONNECTION
We facilitate and nurture student relationships—with teachers, advisors, and peers—through academics and co-curricular activities.
We support every individual in our community, helping students to become resilient young adults.
At the core of Milton’s academic philosophy is our deep commitment to student-centered learning. While the execution of our program must change this year, our philosophy does not: We will continue to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences for students across our three academic divisions.
Informed by data, research, and experience, our learning models affirm our teaching values. On campus or remote, our students will collaborate authentically with guidance from their teachers; work independently and learn to self-pace; reflect frequently on their growth as students; and discover themselves in the larger context of our world.
Although curricular approaches will vary across our three divisions, we are committed to providing our students a sense of belonging and social-emotional safety; engagement and motivation; and empowerment to connect with one another, their teachers, and the world around them with a nuanced understanding of responsibility, morality, and equity.
Our top priority is ensuring that we provide a safe educational and workplace environment for our entire community. As we adjust our program and transform our campus—with the goal of having all students engaged in as much live teaching and learning as possible this fall—the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is paramount.
Our campus de-densification and COVID-19 protocols, including testing, are based on official guidance and public health expertise specific to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area. Our renovated health center and revised health and safety protocols, new training for faculty and staff, and partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital, are only some of the modifications the School has made in response to this pandemic. Read more about our health and safety measures for the academic year.
Maintaining a sense of dorm community is a focus of house heads and faculty as boarding students learn remotely during this phase of hybrid learning. In Wolcott House, Joshua Emmott, house head and history faculty member, runs a weekly scavenger hunt for the students, who are competing by advisory group for the “grand prize” in December. The advisory that has 100 percent participation wins custom dorm gear.
Each week, Emmott posts in CampusGroups a place or item that the student needs to find and photograph. One week was a photo in front of their local post office and another was a local coffee shop. Students post their photos, from places like Beijing, New York, Michigan, and Massachusetts.
Last weekend, the Emmott family hosted a cooking Zoom, featuring “the best cupcakes in the world.” Students received the same recipe so they could cook along with their Wolcott family.
Comfort food is having a moment and science faculty member Heather Zimmer is showing students how to make it at home on a weekly cooking show. It’s part of the new Opt-In Program, where faculty host casual and fun Zoom sessions such as trivia nights and current event discussions.
The Opt-In Program started earlier in the semester after a few faculty members and student head monitors Eliza Dunn ’21 and Garvin McLaughlin ’21 thought about ways to keep the strong sense of community at Milton while in a remote/hybrid environment.
Zimmer said she and her husband, the head chef at 2nd Street Café in Cambridge, loved cooking with students when they lived in Norris House and this is a fun way to replicate that experience. On their first episode, they taught students to make mac and cheese from scratch.