We are excited to welcome everyone back for the start of the 2020-21 school year! We are planning to teach first trimester online, through November 19, 2020. If conditions significantly change before then and it is safe to shift to our hybrid model, where cohorts of students will come to campus in rotations by division, we will do so. We look forward to starting the new year with the kind of energy and vigor that is a hallmark of life in The House. 

  • Click here  to read our most recent communication about our opening plan for fall 2020.
  • Click here  to read the philosophy behind our decision.

Curriculum and Program

We are committed to ensuring a robust, equitable learning experience for all. With the support of professional development grants, all teaching faculty will continue to work over the summer to refine teaching methods and develop curricula that can flow smoothly across both in-person and remote learning platforms. Given their success this spring, and the growth of our online program, and the opportunities for additional learning this summer, we are confident we will open in the fall with an excellent program in place for all of our students.

Pertaining to Finances

Our chief goal in this crisis is to keep our community intact. In recognition of the impact the pandemic has had on some of our families, we have reopened our financial aid application process. If you’ve experienced changed circumstances, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Jonathan Hochberg or Michele Sanchez in our Admissions office. We have also dropped the finance charges for families who opt to pay in three or ten installments. If spreading your payments out would ease your tuition burden, please contact Michal Allaire, our CFO.

  • When will school start in Fall 2020?

    Student orientation will be Sept. 8, 2020.

    Classes will begin Sept. 14, 2020.

  • Will the school calendar be what was published in January?

    As of now, the general calendar for the fall will be the same in regards to holidays and beginning and end of trimester, following the “2020-2021 School Calendar Highlights.” This is subject to change based on the needs of the academic program and the dormitory.

  • What will the school schedule look like?

    We are still working through our daily and weekly schedule models and puzzling through room capacities and campus safety. Our current schedule models use the following parameters:

    • The academic school day will begin at 9:00 am and end at 3:30 pm.
    • Academic periods will be from 45–60 minutes in length, with the possibility of a shorter 30-minute check-in block.
    • There will be built-in time each morning, first thing, for advisory/homeroom or for a larger group gathering (with Morning Meeting in our minds).
    • There will be dedicated time(s) for Office Hours, for individuals or small groups.
    • There will be Community Meeting time each week, with Drop Everything and Read in tri-weekly rotation.
    • There will be weekly time for advisory period with a dedicated Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Advancing Equity curriculum.
    • There will be weekly time for Affinity Group and Interest Group meetings.
  • Will students with travel and/or personal health concerns be allowed to learn remotely?

    Yes. When we transition to in-person classes, we will ensure that students who cannot return to campus due to visa or travel restrictions, or to concerns for their own health or that of their family, will be able to experience Northwest wholly online.

  • How will grades be issued?

    We will return to having letter grades in both Upper School and in 7th and 8th Grade. Sixth Grade will remain on a Credit/No Credit basis.

  • Will there be Summits (our two-week immersion and experiential education courses), International Trips, or participation in Exchange Programs in the 2020–2021 academic school year?

    Our current plan is to make a determination about Summits, International Trips, and Exchange Program participation by January 6, 2021. At that time, we will decide what is the safest way to proceed with these programs that we believe are essential to who we are as a school. If we proceed with Summits and International Trips in the spring of 2021, we will need to provide time in the calendar for professional development to allow faculty to prepare.

  • Will the dormitory be open?

    Our dorm will open to students on Aug. 22, as stated in an email sent to families on July 23. We are asking students who already arrived in the United States to continue their current homestay until Aug. 22. If any international students has questions about the boarding program or visa applications/renewals, please contact Dmitry and Jack.

  • Will Boarding Program students be allowed to go off campus during the school day?

    Our boarding program will have its own set of rules regarding leaving campus and accepting visitors at the doom when classes are not in session to minimize possible exposure to the virus. Later this summer, we will communicate to international families the special arrangements we plan to implement in the dorm.

  • Will students be able to participate in athletics?

    We will follow the lead of the WIAA and our league regarding what form athletics will take. The WIAA modified the 2020-21 sports season calendar on July 21. Click here to read how it affects the different sports seasons. To every extent possible, we will provide avenues for students to enjoy the physical, mental, and social benefits of participation.