| 6260-61 (2020-21) School Year

Ile Omode will begin the school year with remote instruction. Classes will begin Tuesday, September 8, 6260 (2020). We will support all of our new and returning students, and have taken time during the summer to formulate a working plan to ensure our community moves forward and remains whole and safe. Select the buttons below to view the full Work Plan or to learn about our distance learning program.

Distance Learning   Full Work Plan   F.A.Q.   Calif Blueprint

| Message from the Director

| Guiding Principles

| Instruction & Laptops

| Mental & Emotional

| Distance Learning

| Resuming In-Person

| Message from the Director

We’re living in unprecedented times. In March, when the state’s governor announced a required quarantine to halt the spread of COVID-19, many of us, myself included, presumed that the steps would be sufficient to return our students to their classrooms. Months later, after witnessing some of the most incompetent governance in this country’s history, we are all left to navgiate a return to some modicum of normalcy for ourselves.

With the death toll from COVID-19 slowly approaching 170K in five months, people are still arguing about the merits of something as simple as wearing a mask. We will not engage in such foolishness, and will take all intelligent steps towards ensuring the safety of every member of our community.

Each of us is far too valuable, and the continued advancement of our people requires that we remain not just healthy, but rise each day to embrace our own power.

At the same time, we will not allow our students to lose a single day of instruction. Black communities are even further marginalized by this country’s response to the coronavirus, but we will marshall any and all resources to ensure we remain mission driven, and “give birth to the genius resident in every child”.

| Guiding Principals

The role that Ile Omode plays in the education of our children is vital, and we’re taking every step possible to ensure a continuous and uninterrupted educational experience for our young people. Our Work Plan was developed with several objectives in mind, including:

  • Adhering to governmental guidelines
  • Exercising common sense
  • Ensuring the safety of staff members and students
  • Providing a level and quality of instruction that matches the traditional in-person experience as much as possible
  • Remaining in communication with our families and exercising full transparency at all times

This document covers the plans for re-establishing instruction in the coming school year. It does not address the specific details for instructional delivery nor does it cover the second phase of re-opening when the school returns to in-person instruction. For information about remote instruction, individuals are referred to the school’s “Distance Learning Handbook” available from the school’s website.

Consistent with the state’s mandate, the school will begin the 6260-61 (2020-21) school year with distance learning. As soon as the state allows for students to participate in in-person instruction we will slowly implement a return to school. There are various models governing how we might return and these will be shared in future releases. However, we don’t anticipate that any easing of restrictions by the state will result in a school-wide immediate return to the school in a pre-pandemic model.

No community can guarantee an environment free of COVID-19, and the measures described in this plan recognize that reality. While much has gone into this effort to protect the Ile Omode community, we trust that all its members — staff, parents, students and visitors alike — will ultimately take responsibility for their own health and safety and act in a manner that demonstrates respect and consideration for those around them.

The COVID-19 Re-Opening Work Plan is a dynamic document, and updates will be provided as conditions require.

| Instruction and Laptops

Per the directive from the state, all schools in Alameda County (one of the designated “watch” counties given the incidence of COVID-19 spread) are required to begin the school year with remote instruction. This directive therefore confines our plans, and is fairly consistent with the views of the majority of parents. In our parent survey regarding distance learning and our re-opening plans, greater than half of the parents did not have a willingness for their children to return to in-person instruction. It will become important therefore to improve our technical capacity.

We are currently working with potential partners who are helping to upgrade the school’s technical infrastructure. The effort is expected to result in greater bandwidth for streaming content, provide loaner equipment for families, develop a technical hub, and provide more laptops and tablet devices for our students.

The school will continue to make every effort to provide loaner laptops and tablets for student use for any Ile Omode family. Families should contact the school (see specific contact information in this document) to arrange a loaner. Parents are responsible for any devices used by their children, and any damages and/or replacement will be charged to the family’s account.

All classes will be taken online in a synchronous mode (i.e. live instruction) via Zoom. In some instances, the live instruction will be videotaped, and this will be made available for later viewing within a restricted time period (perhaps one week, owing to limitations on online video storage). Some instructions, especially with younger students will be supplemented with asynchronous instruction (i.e. offline).

Pending a return to the campus, families may elect to withhold their students from an immediate return. Where possible, efforts will be made to broadcast instruction. Unfortunately, we can not guarantee this offering will be available, as cost and instructional challenges (i.e. serving both an in-person and online audience) may be challenges we can not overcome.

Office hours will continue to be conducted virtually, and every instructor will staff office hours, Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 4:30 pm. For a detailed instructional schedule, consult the school’s distance learning website.

| Mental and Emotional Well-Being

As distance learning is extended into the new school year it is vitally important that all members in our community consider both their mental and emotional well being, and take time to ensure that regular and consistent efforts are in place to ensure both.

The pandemic and required shut-in, along with employment uncertainty or demands, can impose enormous stress on care providers, so it is important that parents tend to their own well-being; meditations, periodic walks, and gardening are just a few of many recommended activities. Mental and emotional health experts suggest that individuals should endeavor to disconnect from electronic devices more often during this time. Families may want to have a daily “black out” at home, where all devices are turned off. Many families organize weekly “game nights”, and this is something that families should consider.

Many of our spiritual communities provide online religious service and other supporting options during the pandemic. Wo’se Community offers Sunday service at 10:30 am and book studies and classes throughout the week. Likewise, Imani Baptist Church also provides an online spiritual service each week.

The school sponsors Baba Abubakar Omari, a staff member, who conducts martial arts aerobics classes throughout the week. These classes are available to all members of the Ile Omode community, and will be required for our students. Students are required to participate in a class at least once each week. We are also considering offering a yoga class as well for students and adults.

The Ile Omode Babas group has taken responsibility for planning periodic outdoor activities. As long as all safety protocols are practiced, we believe it is imperative that our children have an opportunity to stay physically active, and engage in some degree of social interaction. These outings will be limited to small groups, and can take a number of forms, such as bike riding, archery or other activities.

| Resuming In-Person

The state of California has mandated that all schools (both public and private) in counties on its watch list must begin school remotely. The list comprises approximately 20 counties, including Alameda County, and nearly every country in the San Francisco Bay Area. Thus the school will begin with remote instruction on Tuesday, September 8; continuing the distance learning program we created and executed in March of the prior school year.

The watch list is based on new infections per capita, the test positivity rate and the hospitalization rate. To be removed from the watch list, a county must be off the state’s watch list for 14 days before in-person instruction can begin. Once off the watch list, the decision would be left to local officials, and presumably private schools would be able to make their own determination.

When in-person instruction is allowed, we would anticipate a gradual return to school by our students, although there is a consideration to remain in distance learning until winter break (returning to school in January, 2021). It is not believed that schools will return to “normal” in the short term, but rather COVID-19 will require continued management, and alterations to the typical school day for some time to come.

The Re-Opening Task Force will continue meeting to determine the particulars of face-to-face instruction. Although nothing is finalized, we do anticipate some new protocols when the time comes, including:

  • A required health self-assessment check each morning. The school’s online management system, TeacherEase, provides a tool for parents to update each morning prior to coming to school.
  • Students will be required to undergo a non-contact temperature check before entering the gates, and we’ll limit how many items they may bring to school.
  • Parents and guardians may not be allowed onto the school grounds.
  • Parents will be provided a minimum requirement for PPE for each child, and children above a minimum grade (to be determined) will be required to wear masks. No child would be allowed entry without a mask.
  • Students displaying any symptoms must be picked up from school, and would be required to self-quarantine for 14 days or upon receiving a physician’s clearance to return.
  • Teachers will be required to receive a COVID-19 test every 2 weeks, and a negative test is required to continue teaching on campus.

There is more to resolve, but we hope this provides some idea for the guidelines we’re considering.

| Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

Does tuition remain the same for distance learning?

We are offering a reduction in tuition across all grades. Tuition for students in preschool and kindergarten is discounted by 25%, and all other grades (1st through 8th) are discounted by 5%. We know some families are facing financial hardships, and we're doing everything we can to assist our families. It is important to note that the school's tuition is already substantially below comparable tuition by over 50%. For example, the average annual tuition in the area among private middle schools is $26K annually, and $17K among the 3 schools with the lowest tuition in the area; whereas Ile Omode's middle school tuition is just over $8K. Also bare in mind that our distance learning offers a nearly full instruction experience.

Can I defer admissions until in-person instruction resumes?

We understand that some of our families may have limitations which make the present learning conditions untenable. Given the constraints on instruction and other family concerns, current parents may elect to opt out of enrollment until a return to pre-pandemic instruction. Families certainly have that right. However, enrollment opportunities will remain open for new families, and while current families will be given first priority to return, no spots are held in anticipation of a family’s return.

Can I enroll for just remote instruction?

We appreciate the attention our distance learning program has received. We're quite proud of the work our staff has done to create an incredible learning experience for our children, and continue Ile Omode's instructional quality online. While it may be advantageous for prospective families to take advantage of the remote instruction until their primary schools resume, we can not accomodate families seeking temporary enrollment. We are pleased with our distance learning program, but this remains a temporary instruction model until in-person instruction resumes. Families should therefore only consider applying for enrollment if it is their intent to continue schooling beyond remote instruction.