COVID-19 Update: What’s Next?

Dear CADETS & PARENTS:

I apologize for the somewhat formal tone of the following letter. But somehow just saying “we’re going to be smart, reasonable, have goals, make achievable plans, work together and remain flexible” doesn’t live up to the expectations of an academic type being long-winded!

Background (Who & Why):

The Hargrave faculty are striving to meet the academic needs of our cadets while remaining sensitive to the social, mental, and emotional health and well-being of each cadet. The COVID-19 public health situation has been quickly-evolving and forces us to change the delivery component of our current educational model (ie it’s about a relationship — sometimes walking shoulder to shoulder and other times, face to face). We understand that Hargrave “works” for specific reasons that include structure, order, and discipline.

We will work on creating a “remote learning environment” (i.e., “Hargrave at home”) that strives to minimize structural changes in the learning environment while acknowledging the obvious: the cadet will be at a remote location. Otherwise, we will strive to provide structure, order, and accountability for cadets as they work toward academic goals.

Just as so many other things at Hargrave, academic success is predicated on clear expectations, time to meet those expectations, and a meaningful relationship between faculty and cadet.

Review of the last 2 days:

  • The majority (but not all) cadets have left campus.
  • Some cadet travel plans cannot be easily changed and consequently some remain on campus.
  • Our faculty & staff are healthy and expected to be on-campus.

What’s Next (the What’s, When’s, Where’s, and How’s)?

During the week of 16 March,

  • Faculty will contact their students in each class to provide at-home work.
    • Think of this as close to “business as usual” as possible when we have a sick cadet or faculty member and/or activities require faculty or cadets to be away from the classroom. Each faculty has a different approach (problem packets, readings, research work, etc.). In reality, some faculty already have a daily classroom highly augmented by technology resources. Others… not so much. We are not interested in jumping to a new model with “no notice” (and with predictably poor results) when it is not necessary.
    • Parents and cadets: consider this a “school week.” It is a time to sort through the details of the reality of remote learning. Some cadets are now leading their siblings or neighbors. Some families will be struggling to figure out the new normal. Please identify challenges to faculty so that they can better understand the home situation.
  • Cadets will get credit for the work assigned by faculty.
  • The results of their efforts will be reflected on the Interim grade (the interim marking period ends 3/20 and interim grades will be posted on 3/23). An “interim” grade is not the “official” marking period grade, but it gives parents and others a more formal notice about how things are going.
  • Hargrave will remain open during normal hours with faculty on-campus and available to answer cadet questions.
  • During this week, the Hargrave faculty will be working on preparing their remote learning “how to’s” through a deliberate course of training so we can provide the highest quality lessons for the week of 30 March and beyond.

During the week of 23 March,

  • Faculty and Cadets are expected to be on “vacation.”
  • Hargrave offices will be open.
  • For cadets and families that were unable to adjust to expectations during the previous week, this is some “breathing room” to make adjustments.
  • We expect that this is a first reasonable date for our Country to have seen “good data” on the outbreak and for the dust to settle.

During the week of 30 March,

  • Cadets do not return to campus on 29 March
  • Hargrave will begin using a “remote learning” model. Cadets will have “classes” with posted times to be able to contact faculty and classmates starting on March 30th. Remote class details (will they be chats, Google classroom documents, video, etc.) will be provided NLT March 28th.
  • Remote classes will continue until a “Return to Hargrave” directive is given.

The end-date for this remote learning environment will be determined by the Hargrave Administration. Considerations include:

  • Health, safety, and environmental conditions that exist locally, regionally, and nationally.
  • Ensuring 7 day notification prior to expecting a cadets’ return to campus.
  • Expectations and location of exams and/or graduation.
  • Expectations and location of other campus activities that require the participation of outside organizations.

Please do not hesitate to contact me or any other administrator to discuss these issues.

Respectfully yours,
Dr. Jim Tung

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