Faculty Participates in Weeks of Trainings Ahead of Campus Reopening
Faculty, staff, and administrators have been hard at work preparing for the reopening of campus for the 2020–2021 school year, an effort that has taken weeks and in some cases months of training.
Over the summer, classroom teachers participated in the “Designing, Building, and Teaching for Hybrid Learning” class with Chatham Hall partner One Schoolhouse. New faculty and administrators also took an online course on girls’ schools with One Schoolhouse via the National Coalition of Girls Schools (NCGS) and select administrators completed online leadership training as well.
“I am so proud of how our faculty pivoted to online learning last spring,” said Dean of Academics Martha Griswold. “Now, with more training behind us, I look forward to a school year in which we can toggle to online learning whenever needed. For some of our teachers, this will be from the very beginning of classes as some of our students will be participating in an entirely online fall term. I am thrilled our girls will be returning to such thoughtfully prepared and creative lessons this year, regardless of how they are delivered.”
Once back on campus in August, all faculty and staff took part in a “COVID 411” workshop which reviewed appropriate health and safety measures to better protect the well being of the Chatham Hall community. This session included information about hygiene, face coverings, physical distancing, traffic flow in buildings, classroom preparations, best practices when coming and going from campus, and other new policies and procedures.
Three external experts also facilitated sessions for the Chatham Hall faculty. Trina Gary of Brown-Gary Associates conducted the second phase of implicit bias training which built upon the faculty reading and discussions of Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility as well as Brown’s own past “Observation, Inference, Influence” trainings at Chatham Hall. Psychologist Chris Thurber led a boundary training session to help faculty members better understand the impact they have on students, and the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual boundaries that help keep everyone safe. Lisa Damour, psychologist and author of Under Pressure, joined faculty to lead a discussion of her book as it relates to returning to school in the age of COVID-19 and more fully explore the needs of today’s students.
Faculty members Frankie Beyer, Kirsten Blaesing, Jenneil Gross-Kriever, and Marin Miller concluded the full faculty professional development sessions with a presentation on how Karen Gross, author of Trauma Doesn't Stop at the School Door, explores effectively identifying and addressing the signs and symptoms of trauma in students. Specific attention was given to living through trauma during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We asked a lot of our faculty members last spring and this summer, and they came through with exceptional dedication and commitment,” remarked Griswold. “We are no doubt going to have a fantastic 2020–2021 school year.”
An all girls boarding and day school in Southern Virginia, Chatham Hall prepares girls for college and for productive lives. Our innovative academic program offers Advanced Placement courses, global study and travel, as well as project based learning. Our athletic teams regularly compete at the State level and our exceptional riding program is nationally recognized. We foster the intellect and character of each student and, through our Honor Code, live in a community of trust. Grounded in its Episcopal heritage, the school welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.