Walden's Way Forward
Progressing in Community
All of us at Walden look forward to welcoming both new and returning students and families back to school! As we embark on the 2020-2021 school year, we remain guided by our mission and our commitment to delivering an exceptional and innovative educational experience that is rooted in inquiry, experience, and collaboration.
Our plans and protocols put the safety and wellbeing of our community at the heart of everything we do. We are preparing for two educational models: Enhanced Hybrid (remote to in-person) and Walden@Home remote learning. We recognize the indelible social and emotional benefits that on-campus, in-person programming brings while also providing remote learning options throughout the year for families who are not ready to return to campus, as well as at times when the evolving COVID-19 public health situation mandates full remote learning.
As of August 12, we are not seeing a positive trend in COVID-19 community transmission rates that would provide us the data or the confidence that is required to begin the school year for Kindergarten to 6th grade in person. Given this present reality, Walden will begin the year fully remote.
This page is designed as a centralized family resource for navigating the return to school on September 10 and beyond. Here you will find information on:
- Our guiding principles and priorities
- Educational programming options for the 2020-2021 school year
- Program information
- Our health and safety measures
- Public health and family resources
We will continue to monitor updated health and safety guidelines and recommendations. Throughout the year, we will all need to remain flexible, collaborative, and committed to a growth and learning mindset as we navigate the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite global uncertainty, one certainty remains: students learn best in a community, supported by caring adults who know them and understand their needs. The core of Walden's community will not change. Our educational programs are intentionally designed to engage students in deep learning and reflection, whether they are on campus or learning remotely.
Our guiding principles for planning the 2020-2021 school year are informed by our mission and values of equity and inclusion, excellence, ethical behavior, responsibility, developmentally appropriate practices, and teaching that we all have stewardship for the world in which we live:
Providing a healthy, risk-mitigating experience for our students, employees, and families, utilizing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Pasadena Public Health Department.
Continuing to nurture creative, critical thinkers by offering our full curricular program, adapted to required health and safety modifications. Regardless of instructional modality, students will continue to receive the hallmarks of a Walden education: engaging academics and specialty classes; teaching by excellent, dedicated faculty; meaningful collaboration and dialogue; child-led inquiry; multi-age learning; and strong and responsive student support.
Establishing new routines and protocols (e.g. cleaning, recess rules, arrival and dismissal procedures) as well as effective use of spaces to support physical distances.
Supporting social-emotional development and creating a sense of belonging for all students by adapting practices that build community and wellness, and partnering with parents and guardians.
Flexibility and adaptability to respond to up-to-date data and factors beyond our control, such as a mandated health order.
Throughout this year, we will work with parents and guardians to ensure students' wellbeing — whether on campus or at home. Please review the health and safety expectations for students and families provided on this page and make time to read updates from the school as they are released.
Belonging to a community is essential for social and emotional wellbeing, and an integral part of the Walden experience. Even though the way we gather, share, and celebrate will look different this year, Walden is dedicated to ensuring our values continue to thrive. Just as we were able to pivot to virtual events in the spring and joyfully celebrate the Class of 2020 in a new way, all returning and new students will continue to enjoy Walden events upon our return.
Our Planned Learning Scenarios
We are offering two learning scenarios for families to choose from for the duration of the school year: Enhanced Hybrid (remote to in-person) and Walden@Home remote learning.
Our Planning Details
Click on the image buttons below to learn more about each learning scenario.
Family Back-to-School Checklist
Sit down together — students and parent/guardians — to go over the information on this page and talk about what it means for your family.
Attend a virtual Community Conversation on August 18 or 19.
Respond to the family survey choosing Enhanced Hybrid or Walden@Home for your family that will be send to you following the community conversations by August 21.
Complete the Family Health Agreement that will be sent to you prior to the beginning of the school year.
Make sure your student and family information is up to date on Magnus Health and My Backpack, accessible through the Walden Pond.
Download the Magnus Health mobile app to your device(s) and familiarize yourself with the platform, which we will use for daily health screenings for all students, beginning one week prior to the start of school on September 3.
Purchase cloth face coverings for your student.