Kirby Hall School’s Distance Learning Philosophy
(as of July 10, 2020)
During this time, Kirby Hall School will prioritize asynchronous learning while also
offering synchronous class meetings strategically scheduled throughout the week. We
believe this approach provides the flexibility necessary for various family circumstances,
including those of our teachers, during this unusual time. A fully synchronous plan
would likely result in student and teacher burnout and would not be beneficial to the
overall well-being of the student.
We have devised our plan for Kirby Hall distance learning based on the educational
expertise of our teachers, while taking into consideration research from the American
Academy of Pediatrics, as well as The Vision Council. We have also looked closely at
models proposed by other private schools and recommendations from
AdvancED/Cognia, the organization through which we are accredited. We have taken
into account that effective screen time requires limits, as well as quality of instruction. As a private school that prides itself on challenging academics, we know we must also be mindful of the amount of information we require students to ingest daily, particularly via screens.
While we know there is no perfect model for distance learning, we believe the plan we have developed, based on the science of learning, takes into account the various needs of our families. It has been created keeping the whole child in mind, and while we are eager to get back to our classrooms, we feel confident that we will be providing a
balanced approach to learning through this plan.
Distance Learning Handbooks:
Kirby Hall School was one of the first schools in Austin, private or public, to transition immediately from at-school to in-home/distance learning in March 2020 at the onset of COVID-19’s presence in our city. We are poised to continue pivoting seamlessly throughout the school year as needed while this situation remains extremely fluid.
School Safety Protocol & Re-Opening Plan
We take the safety of our students very seriously here at Kirby Hall. Once we are able to return to the classrooms–where we know the most effective learning takes place–we will follow our School Safety Protocol in order to ensure the health and well-being of all of our students, faculty, and staff. This protocol has been designed with recommendations from health and education experts and authorities at the local, state and federal levels. We will adjust it accordingly as guidelines continue to evolve. Please know that the care and safety of your child is always of the utmost importance to us.