Pine School Reopening
Head of School Binney Caffrey hosted individual remote Parent Connections with the three PINE Divisions. A range of topics (including health/safety protocols, dining service, and upcoming event details) were shared.
If you were unable to attend or would like to take a second look, click on the links below to enjoy video recordings of each session.
Dear Pine School General Music and Choral Families,
As we prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, I would like to outline our plans for safe music classes. We will be adhering to guidelines set by the CDC in tandem with school-wide safety guidelines. Our plans for the safe implementation of our general music and choral classes are as follows:
GENERAL MUSIC K-4
- Until further notice, Kindergarten, First, and Second Grades will receive music instruction in their homeroom classrooms. Third and Fourth Grades will travel to the music room. Students will sit in chairs spaced equally to practice social distancing. In some instances, classes may take place in larger spaces (ie: outside, breezeway, dining hall, etc...) to allow more flexibility in activities.
- Students will be expected to wear a mask at all times, including while singing and participating in activities.
- Students will be responsible for their own material toolbox (pencil, colors, etc...) for various music activities and will not share materials.
- Instruments used both in the homeroom classroom and music room will be thoroughly cleaned before and after class, and will not be shared between students.
- The use of recorders, kazoos, and other wind instruments will be postponed until further notice.
- Families who choose to attend school from home will be able to livestream each class as well as participate in activities via our SeeSaw and FACTS platforms.
MIDDLE SCHOOL CHORUSES 5-8
- 5th and 6th Beginning Chorus will meet in the dining hall for each class until further notice. 7th and 8th Middle School Chorus will meet in the chorus room for each class. Students will be spaced 6 feet apart and conduct class as a full ensemble for both choruses.
- In the event of possible small groups or sectional rehearsals, students who are not included in these groups will attend study hall during that time.
- Students will be expected to wear a mask at all times, including while singing. Please note that masks must cover the nose and mouth even while the mouth is open. I also suggest a mask that does not suck in when you take a deep breath. This may call for an additional "chorus mask" that is worn for the purposes of our class. You may also have the option of purchasing a mask specifically for singing: click HERE to check out the Resonance Singers Mask. Chorus-specific masks are not required for the class.
- Students are required to bring their own materials (pencil, yellow and pink highlighters, school-issued folder with music) to and from class. There will be no sharing of materials or music and it is preferred that students do not leave folders in the music room (please take them home to wipe them down regularly).
- Music stands and chairs will be set up and sanitized for you when you enter the room. We will practice good cleaning at the end of our classes to help keep our shared space sanitized.
- Families who choose to attend school from home will be able to livestream each class as well as participate in activities via our Google Classroom and FACTS platforms.
Thank you so much for your understanding and cooperation. I look forward to making music with you soon!
Dear Pine School Band Families,
As we prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, I would like to outline our plans for safe band classes. We will be adhering to guidelines set by the CDC as well as International Performing Arts Organizations. Our plans for the safe implementation of our bands are as follows:
- All traditional band classes have been pared down into smaller groups of fewer than 10 to accommodate proper spacing of students who may not be able to wear masks while playing. The spacing will be approximately 10 feet per wind player. Students who are not meeting in a small group during a given band period will have the opportunity to participate in a study hall.
- Students will be expected to wear a mask upon entering and exiting the band room, and while not playing during class.
- To further reduce aerosol output:
- Students who play the following instruments (Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Bassoon, and Saxophone) are asked to purchase a bell cover for their instruments. Here are examples of bell covers. You do NOT have to purchase from this site, this is an example of a bell cover. If you can make one, that is fine also. If you are worried about "drips" on the floor you can purchase a puppy pad to place under your instrument, then dispose of the pad after class.
- Flute Players, please purchase a flute air shield.
- Clarinet Players, please bring in a large Tee shirt and some hair ties to make a clarinet bag. I think there are patterns online if you want to make one.
- Percussionist, bass players, guitars, and piano players, please wear a mask at ALL times in the classroom.
- All musicians, you MUST have your own reeds, mouth pieces, mallets, and sticks. There will be no sharing or borrowing class instruments this year.
- Students will be arranged in straight lines and face the same direction during band classes.
- Students with wind instruments should purchase a bell cover to reduce the aerosol output.
- Music stands and chairs will be set up and sanitized for you when you enter the room.
Thank you so much, I am looking forward to having you back with me.
Dear Pine School Parents,
My administrative team and I continue to monitor the progressing COVID-19 situation in our local community and watch closely as school districts around us clarify and refine reopening plans. While The Pine School operates independently, it is essential that we adhere to local public health guidelines. Please take a few minutes to read our updated Reopening Plan, which is in line with the health guidance that public schools will also follow. Due to our small student population, expansive campus and overall flexibility, I expect our implementation to be smooth. Please remember, the opportunity exists for any student to attend classes remotely should that be necessary or preferred. Letters from our division leaders will follow this communication to indicate how you can opt in to PINE@Home.
Last night, the Martin County School Board met and heard extensive information from the local Department of Health. The Pine School will follow the guidance of the Department of Health, especially as it relates to necessary school closure to suppress a COVID-19 outbreak. The Pine School is arranging, through our School Nurse, Kandis Torchia, a meeting with Martin County Department of Health to confirm our response to COVID-19 cases in our School and answer any questions.
I realize there are wide-ranging emotional reactions to the information I share today. As we all come together as a community in a few short weeks, please recognize the trust we must place in each other. As I write to you today, I make the humble request that we all choose actions in our personal lives that will ultimately support our staying healthy and avoiding a necessary School closure. Thank you in advance for being a little more circumspect as we offer students an on-campus educational experience.
Several districts around us, including Martin County, have opted for or are considering a delayed school start date. As my administrative team and I assess what we need to implement to open our campus, we too see the merit in a slight delay. I am asking for your understanding as I move The Pine School to a staggered opening. We will welcome Lower School students on Tuesday, August 11 as originally planned. Middle School students will begin class on Thursday, August 13, and Upper School students will follow on Tuesday, August 18. We will slightly amend the semester one calendar as we balance out instructional days.
By gradually increasing our student population, we will be able to carefully learn and follow our new procedures for health screening, arrival and dismissal, regular hand washing, lunch, breaks, etc. This will also allow staff to focus on monitoring healthy social distancing by division as we all work to create new habits. I apologize for any inconvenience this might cause. However, I know staggering our start dates will help create the safe environment we will maintain at The Pine School. In light of our staggered start and desire to minimize crowds on campus, we will reimagine our orientation plans for new and returning students. Please expect an update on this from Assistant Head of School Kelly Hilton-Green tomorrow.
I remain so appreciative for the trust you have placed in The Pine School. For all that is unprecedented at this time, I find comfort in the consistent care and support we enjoy together at our School.
Binney Caffrey, Head of School
Dear Pine School Families,
In order to comply with safety guidelines and recommendations, we have updated our bus transportation procedures, which will be in place beginning with the start of the 2020-2021 academic year. Please take time to review the updated Bus Transportation Procedures. As a reminder, this document, along with all transportation-related information, can be found through the following link: The Pine School Public Documents.
Jonathan Tolliver, Middle School Dean