Archer administration announces school-wide return-to-campus plans


Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

The administration announced return-to-campus plans in a series of emails which includes specific dates for each grades with a combination of social/emotional learning and academic learning. More information and updates to follow.

By Vaughan Anoa'i and Thea Leimone

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to decrease in Los Angeles County, Upper School Director Meghan Tally recently explained Archer’s return-to-campus plans for US students via email and video message. Archer students and faculty have been working remotely since March 2020 when the first lockdown was put into place. On Feb. 12, some of the senior class returned to campus in cohorts to celebrate Palentine’s Day. Since then, Archer has received permission from Los Angeles County to host more students on campus for social and emotional learning opportunities.

We are working around the clock on plans to have on-campus opportunities for 7th through 12th grade students for the three weeks in a row leading up to Spring Break,” Tally wrote in a recent email to the Archer community. 

Seventh through 12th grade students are not allowed to return to campus for educational classes but instead are given the option to go on campus for social and emotional connection with their grade-level classmates. For pre-kindergarten through 6th grade students, in-person learning is now permitted now that Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 cases have fallen below the 25 per 100,000 threshold.

“Offering students the opportunity to come to campus and be together in person is a priority. Once our plan is approved and the community has been consulted, students will be brought back in phases in order to test and refine protocols,” Head of School Elizabeth English wrote in her most recent return-to-campus update. “Programming and staffing under the circumstances will require flexibility. The goal, however, is to provide the connection our students need.”

As students arrive to campus, they will remain in “stable cohorts” which will be composed of two mentorship groups and the designated advisors. Each cohort will be assigned a specific zone of the school that is made up of various classrooms and outdoor spaces. Each grade will return to campus on their designated day of the week and must wear a mask and remain 6 feet apart from their classmates and teachers.

Teachers will be getting reacquainted with classrooms and campus in general next week, and we will likely make some adjustments to the week’s schedule to create room for the training and preparation both teachers and students need,” Tally wrote.

Archer will be taking the recommended precautions given by state health officials for returning to campus. These include daily temperature checks, health screenings, hand-sanitizing stations and strict protocol for the use of restrooms. On Archer’s part, there will be continuous surface cleaning and students and adults are required to bring their own food to campus. Seniors have the option to wear free dress instead of their uniforms, while all other students are mandated to wear their uniforms on campus starting after Spring Break.

On-campus testing will begin Tuesday March 2 as all Archer families have been required to sign a Community Safety Pledge. Tests will be administered weekly. As for transportation, socially distanced bus services will be available along with parent drop-off and student drivers will be allowed on campus for their designated day.

 “This will not be like school as we knew it before, or as we imagined it even,” Tally said in a video message. “This is something totally different.”

More information and updates to follow.