When the news first broke about the coronavirus in January of 2020, The Dunham School was thoroughly prepared. As a seven-time Apple Distinguished School, Dunham had the creativity, innovation, and proficiency to nimbly transition to distance learning when it became necessary later that spring. Students and staff have since benefited from the school’s unique partnership with Ochsner Medical to allow them not only to attend school in person, but to excel.
For Head of School Steven Eagleton and his leadership team, the goal was always to reopen fully for the current school year. Over the summer, Dunham safely operated day camps and athletic practices and began planning in earnest for the start of school. Due to its traditionally small class sizes, campus layout, and dedicated faculty, along with health and safety protocols developed in partnership with Ochsner, The Dunham School was able to open for face-to-face learning on August 6. Remaining in compliance with the CDC, AAP, LHSAA, and the Louisiana Department of Health, the school has created the best experience possible for each student, complete with activities that keep them plugged in, connected, and supported.
“Knowing my girls could go back to school in August and be in school continuously since has been such a blessing. As a mom, it was proving impossible to be all the things they needed during quarantine: teacher, guidance counselor, chef, PE teacher, art instructor, music teacher and librarian. The administration and teachers deserve all the credit for believing a safe environment was possible and for delivering on it. They decided learning loss wasn’t an option and because of that, my girls have thrived educationally during what’s been an otherwise challenging year for all of their other activities.”
—Jenna Prather Parent, The Dunham School
“There was no instruction manual for operating school during a pandemic,” Eagleton says. “The situation and restrictions seemed to change weekly, if not daily, so our teachers really had to be flexible, pivot, and keep on going. It would have been easier to say ‘no’ to all extracurricular activities and events and keep our campus completely closed off, but wherever we could, we found ways to safely have those events, whether that meant going virtual, modifying in-person events for safety, or a combination of the two.”
”While many schools and businesses are still struggling to recover, The Dunham School is actually growing. In addition to the school’s current enrollment of approximately 760 students in PK3-12th grade, Eagleton recently announced the addition of a two-year-old program that will open August 2021. To learn more about The Dunham School, visit dunhamschool.org.