Community Briefing: August 14, 2020

Thanks to all parents who joined our grade level chats held throughout the week. It was very reassuring to see so many familiar faces; it’s NOT going to be this way forever—it just feels like it is.

Even though we’re starting the year with remote instruction, we plan to develop a series of on campus experiences—i beginning with very small groups of students—to help us understand how we can be most successful in our effort to brings students to bring students back.  We expect to make some changes as we observe students on campus and as we enhance our skills with the hybrid format.

In the same way that we begin most projects with an idea and then make adjustments until we have exactly what we want, we will build the EPS hybrid model by trying a variety of things until we’re satisfied that we have the best program we can design.  It’s important for everyone to understand that no students will be required to attend classes on campus.  Students will be assigned to one of two cohorts each of which will have a detailed schedule of days on and days off.  When a student’s cohort is scheduled to be on campus, that student may decide whether to  attend in person or via Teams.  We will continue with this arrangement until there has been adequate time for a vaccine to be widely distributed.

As we approach the fall, it’s important—for our collective sanity—that we not project the spring of 2021 as a mirror of the spring of 2020.  While I cannot read the future, based on what we’re seeing now, we have reason to be hopeful that 2020-2021 may well be the last year during which the planet will be paralyzed by COVID-19.  Imagining a hopeful future will support us through what can sometimes feel like a hopeless situation.

There’s one other thing we can do now to make the fall trimester roll out as smoothly as possible.  Please check to be sure you have submitted all the documents you are responsible for and get them in as soon as possible.  We still have 200 families with incomplete documentation.  Everyone needs a physical every year.  This year we have to be extremely vigilant about this, so your cooperation is very important.

Finallya word about returning to campus:
We are—in terms of campus readiness and access to equipment—ready to open right now.  We’ve constructed a huge dome on the Annex property so we have the capacity to have classes outside for 5th and 6th graders, and the temperature check-in stations are ready to go.  We’re just about finished with the app we will make available to EPS families to make the start and end of each school day work as smoothly and efficiently as possible.  There are 2 factors driving the decision to begin remotely:

  1. Up until the time we made the call to open with remote instruction—and I believe this is still true—no school in the U.S. has been successful with a full on, in-person experience.  I don’t think anyone has made it beyond the first day or two.  Transmission levels are not coming down consistently and they’re not flattening.  This is clearly the primary driver.
  2. The second driver is our commitment to make our return to campus successful. This has to be done strategically.  We have to phase the return to classes as we are staffed to return, and as we see that we are able to bring students on site without causing more transmission of the virus.  We’re prepared to detect temperature and other symptoms before allowing anyone in to the buildings, thereby reducing the likelihood of having to close before we get through even a single day on site.

We hope we will be able to phase in our on-site instruction over the seven weeks of October and November.  We’d like to have been able to get everyone on site with some regularity up to the start of Thanksgiving break.  Then we’re totally remote until January 5.  The remote decision here is related to the amount of travel that occurs during the holiday season.  If we have been successful up through November, the campus has been completely disinfected during our 4 weeks of remote instruction, and transmission rates are low, we will begin the ramp up again.  We’ll build the population on site slowly and strategically—aiming for at least two full cohorts on campus in the spring.

I am perhaps MORE eager to get back to campus than even the most frustrated of parents and students, but I don’t want to get it wrong.  We’ll continue the transparent communication, and work together to get the students back on site.  It would be a major accomplishment if we could bring this part of our world back to some kind of order over the course of the next several months.

Thanks for your continued support and understanding.

Terry Macaluso, PhD
Head of School

Family Directory Updated and Available

New directories for the current academic year are now available and can be accessed through our Current Families page (password: EPS1920). We created separate directories for families and for faculty/staff. The direct links to the files are as follows:

If you notice any information in the directory that needs to be updated, please email us at

EPS Online Bookstore (MBS Direct)

The online store opened on Friday, August 10.
(Landing Page) EPS Bookstore

Instructions for Purchase and Delivery of Textbooks & Class Materials (to your home)
(Overview) EPS Course Codes and MBS Procedures

Free Shipping Offer
Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 19 (expires 11:59 PM CDT)
MBS Direct offers Free Shipping on orders over $99 for two weeks after the opening of the bookstore. Standard shipping rates apply outside this window.

For questions, please contact

Health Forms Reminder

Although it may not seem intuitive that health forms need to be submitted at this time since we plan to begin the fall trimester remotely, having up-to-date health information for all our students is critically important. We are currently considering small in-person activities for students and completed health forms will be required for attendance in those activities. Getting physicals and other appointments handled now, while doctor’s appointments are available, will help speed the process of your child’s return to campus when we are able to move to hybrid and fully in-person learning.  Please keep in mind that forms also take time to process, so a last-minute submission will not necessarily allow your child to return to campus quickly.

SchoolDoc can be accessed here.

Please contact School Nurse Stephanie Hinson with questions.

Student Welcome Meetings with Division Head

All students were emailed Teams invitations to join either Dr. John Stegeman (US Head) or Sam Uzwack (Associate Head of School for MS & Student Support Services) to talk about the start of the school year. Students will have time to say hi to one another and learn about how we are going to begin the year. Participation for students is strongly encouraged.

Middle School Upper School
5th Grade Student Welcome Meeting
10:00am – 11:00am on Tuesday, August 18
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 203 834 921#6th Grade Student Welcome Meeting
10:00am – 11:00am on Wednesday, August 19
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 950 996 442#7th Grade Student Welcome Meeting
10:00am – 11:00am on Thursday, August 20
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 877 329 743#8th Grade Student Welcome Meeting
10:00am – 11:00am on Friday, August 21
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 757 688 198#
9th Grade Student Welcome Meeting
10:00 – 11:00am on Tuesday, August 18
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 296 828 539#10th Grade Student Welcome Meeting
10:00 – 11:00am on Wednesday, August 19
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 210 400 247#11th Grade Student Welcome Meeting
10:00 – 11:00 am on Thursday, August 20
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 486 000 17#12th Grade Student Welcome Meeting
10:00 – 11:00am on Friday, August 21
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 877 037 935#

Student Program Meetings

In addition to the grade level student meetings we are offering six optional program meetings for students. These meetings will provide an opportunity for students to learn more about specific parts of the EPS program and to ask questions of program leads. While these are meetings are optional, we encourage students to join as many as they are interested in.

Week of August 17 Week of August 24
Academics Program Meeting
Join Mr. Delaney, Director of Academic Design and Integration, and other school leaders as they discuss academics, class expectations, and making the most of your academic experience.
Tuesday, August 18, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 683 946 013#Athletics Program Meeting
Join Athletic Director, Ms. Eng, and EPS coaches to learn more about the athletics program, PE classes, and sports.
Wednesday, August 19, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 721 834 394#Performing Arts Program Meeting
Join Director of Fine and Performing Arts, Ms. Ellingson, along with our theatre and music teachers, and play directors to hear about performing arts including expectations for theatre and music classes, what to expect for the EPS theatrical productions and music performances.
Thursday, August 20, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 269 006 856#

Visual Arts Program Meeting
Join Ms. Ellingson, Director of Fine and Performing Arts, along with arts faculty as they discuss art offerings and share thoughts on being creative and creating art remotely.
Friday, August 21, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 854 079 857#

The Junior/Senior Experience//Collegiate & College Counseling Meeting
(Juniors & Seniors only)

Mr. Gummere, Mr. Delaney, and Dr. Stegeman will discuss opportunities for Juniors and Seniors and will explain the newly revised advisory structure and speakers series as well as college counseling and the independent curriculum.
Monday, August 24, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 306 325 71#Well-Being, Student Life and EICL Programs Meeting
Join the Director of Student Well-Being, Mr. Hagen, along with members of the Well-Being Team as they share what is being done to support students’ physical, emotional, and social well-being. Meet our new Activities and Clubs Coordinator, Mr. Baldwin, and hear what social activities are planned for the upcoming year. And hear from Dr. Castro, Interim EICL Coordinator, about the work being done to ensure that EPS is an inclusive, equitable, and welcoming community for all.
Tuesday, August 25, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
+1 206-785-9976   United States, Seattle (Toll)
Conference ID: 636 978 020#

Student Photo Request Final Deadline: Monday, August 17

Last call for photos!  As our educators continue to prepare for remote teaching in the fall, it would be helpful for them to have up-to-date photos of each student to reference—especially for new faculty and advisors.  We are asking for a two photos of every student—one portrait, and one of them engaged in a hobby they enjoy.  We’ll post these photos on our internal student information site for faculty to view, and use the portrait images to create ID cards for all students this year.

Please complete the form located here by August 17 to submit the photo(s). Note: to keep the uploads secure, have your student sign in using their EPS username and password and complete this form. Please email if you have any issue logging in. Hint for new students/parents: you’ll use the same universal password (EPS-dash-Date of Birth, e.g. EPS-6/3/2006) that you used to log in to your new EPS laptop. If you are using a non-EPS laptop, first use the EPS student login information to access Microsoft Office at and then click this form link once logged into Microsoft Office.

Thanks for helping our team of educators as they continue getting to know our students. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Cheryl Miller, Director of Enrollment Management or Vickie Baldwin, Director of Institutional Advancement.

Summer Enrichment Classes 2

The virtual summer enrichment program has been a huge success. So much so that we have scheduled a second, condensed session for the week of August 24. All courses will be led by EPS faculty members and will run Monday through Thursday (August 24-27) from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. These enrichment courses provide a great way for students to pursue an area of interest or to try something new, and to connect with other EPS students. The program is open and free to all EPS students, but space is limited. Our team is currently putting the last details together for each of the courses being offered, and final descriptions along with the registration form will be sent to student email addresses on Monday afternoon.

Questions? Contact Paul Hagen, Director of Student Well-Being.

Athletics Update as of August 14

Upper School Sports for Fall 2020

Together with our fellow Emerald Sound Conference member schools and following EPS’s decision to start the school year remotely, we have made the decision to offer athletics beginning in WIAA Season 2 and continuing in Season 3 and 4. There will be no athletics offered in Season 1. Instead, Season 1 sports have been moved into season 3 per the current WIAA guidance.

Modified EPS Upper School Sports Seasons as of August 14

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4
December 28 to
February 28
March 1 to
May 2
April 26 to
June 27
Boys Basketball
Girls Basketball
Boys Golf
Boys Ultimate
Boys Tennis
Cross Country
Girls Soccer
Boys Soccer
Girls Tennis
Girls Ultimate
Track and Field

We know that exercising and participating in activities and sports are important for our students’ mental health and well-being. In addition, sports are a great way for students to connect with their friends, coaches and classmates. Our current plan is to offer out-of-season athletic opportunities between September 28 to November 30 if conditions are safe enough to do so. This decision will largely depend on the input and guidance we receive from our local department of health as well as the infection rates and phasing provided by our Governor. Please stay tuned for more information on that in an upcoming Community Briefing.

Middle School Sports

The 5th/6th soccer, volleyball, and basketball will remain during the school day with remote practices until we are back on campus. All other sports and all competitions will be postponed until after the New Year. We will have an updated EPS Middle School Sports Season calendar by the end of September.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Athletics Director Kim Eng.

Guidelines for EPSRemote

We created a one-page document that outlines the general expectations for online learning at EPS. See the link below for more information.

EPSRemote Guidelines

2020-21 Academic Calendar: September to December Events

Major events and activities for September to December 2020 have been identified. Please note that some Program Development Days (PDD) were adjusted. A link to the one-page fall major events calendar is provided below. Changes to the calendar are made from time to time as conflicts arise. The most up-to-date calendar is always available on our website.

September to December 2020 Event Calendar

Middle School Head Search Update

To the Eastside Prep community,

I announced last spring that we would proceed with a search to identify a new Head of Middle School to begin on July 1, 2021. As our reality has changed—and continues to do so—I have reached the conclusion that we should postpone this search for one year.  Fortunately, we’re able to do that because Mr. Uzwack will continue to serve in his role as Associate Head of School for Middle School and Student Support Services, making it uncomplicated to make this decision.

For those interested in the reasons:

  1. COVID-19 broke in the middle of our hiring season last spring.  We were forced to continue our search for new employees remotely.  We made it work, and candidates were remarkably flexible, but I’ve done enough interviewing online, now, to know that the remote process is unsatisfactory for a process in search of a senior leadership role.
  2. The climate in the country is having effects on people that we may not know or observe; right now is not a good time to look for a new career opportunity in education—as has been made obvious by the news reports we’ve been getting since March.
  3. Candidates need to be able to see the real EPS, and we need to be able to see the real candidates in order to make an informed choice about fit.  Even under ideal circumstances, identifying the right candidate to transition into a new community in a leadership role is fraught.

Again, this will have no impact on anything we do or on how the school runs—because we’re fortunate to have Mr. Uzwack willing to retain his position for two more years.  I’ll be in touch when it’s time to launch the search next spring.

Terry Macaluso, PhD
Head of School

Parent Welcome Meetings

Thank you to all the parents who were able to join the recently concluded Grade-Level Welcome Meetings hosted by our division heads. For those who missed any of the meetings, sessions were recorded and are now available for viewing. Please check the links below.

Middle School Upper School
5th Grade:

6th Grade:

7th Grade:

8th Grade:

9th Grade:

10th Grade

11th Grade:

12th Grade:

Staffing Update

A few new faculty and staff members have joined the EPS community in the last few months.  Below is brief information on each of those new employees.  More detailed information on all our employees can be found on our website at (

Jon Litten will be joining the English discipline and will be teaching English in the Upper School.  His experience includes teaching for the last five years at Southwestern Academy in San Marino, California and teaching English as a second language in Quito, Ecuador.

Minako Sugimoto joins EPS as the new Administrative Assistant to the Director of Academic Design and Integration, replacing Genny Millar who returned to her hometown in Bellingham. Minako has years of experience in corporate administration including accounting and human relations.

Katharine (Katie) Yost brings her experience in communications and project management to the alumni relations and college counseling teams.  Katie has planned major events for organizations as an independent event manager and is an avid soccer coach.  Katie replaces Elizabeth Andersen who has transferred to teaching and college counseling full time.

Windows Licensing for Returning Students

Our EPS laptops renew their Windows license every 130 days or so. In normal years, there is never a time where students are off campus for that long a time period. This is not a normal year. Renewing your windows license requires connecting to the EPS network. This can either be done by connecting to EPS wifi from the parking lot for 10 minutes (if that is easy for you) or setting up a temporary VPN connection to the EPS network. If you are seeing licensing or activation notices and would like to fix that remotely, contact with the Subject: Relicense and we will send you instructions. After doing this, you will be licensed for the next 180 days.

Seen and Heard

Summer Enrichment Classes: Week 2















Information/Activity Resources