Beginning of the 2020-2021 School Year at ACS: Measures and Traditions
Ever since the reopening of the American College of Sofia in the fall of 1992, the First Day of School has been among the most inspiring and invigorating moments in school life. Opening Day for the 2020-2021 School Year was no less special, while compliant with the measures prescribed by the educational and health authorities to counter the spread of COVID-19.
Social Distancing, Face Masks, Frequent Disinfection
In order to reduce the risk for the students, faculty and staff, the American College of Sofia held, in essence, five consecutive but separate First Day of School Ceremonies. Each event observed the long-standing traditions, such as a photo of the class, greetings by the President, passing of the Flags, receiving block t-shirts and grade level presentations. As to observe the counter-COVID-19 measures, in lieu of an all school photo, this year each grade only took a photo with their own class. Similarly, the incoming prep class had their traditional photo taken on the steps of Ostrander Hall, which offer more space than those of Sanders Hall, where the photo has been taken since 1992.
The School Year Begins with 20% Online Learning
The 2020-2021 school year is unprecedented in the recent history of the American College of Sofia. The experience from the Distance Learning of the spring 2020 semester is of great help in designing a curriculum with built-in anti-epidemic measures. The College has scheduled 20% Online Learning. In practice, each grade level will have classes online on one day of the week, thus reducing the traffic on campus. The courses that will take place online are in those subjects for which the class would normally meet twice a week.
While on campus, all students, faculty and staff are required to wear masks indoors, observe social distancing, follow traffic directions, and use only designated entry and exit points to the buildings, and disinfect often.
“Every student I spoke with expressed their gratefulness, and indeed great happiness, at being back at ACS. In addition, they demonstrated their understanding and willingness to comply with our expectations regarding health and safety measures, including wearing masks when indoors, that are so important and necessary for us to continue to hold school on campus in the weeks and months ahead,” Dr. Richard T. Ewing, President of the College commented at the conclusion of the First School Day.