Starting off with building relationships
It is going to be crucial to begin the school year with relationship building - between teachers and students and students to students and families to teachers. Setting up individual appointments for teachers to get to know their students and families prior to the beginning of the school year face-to-face so that teachers can explain expectations, understand the situations occurring in the home around distance learnings and getting to know students on a personal level.
After all appointments are held, teachers can then work virtually in small groups to build a sense of community before moving onto to combining small groups into larger groups and ultimately the large classroom.
I do understand the challenge that teachers might have in the secondary level and starting with home rooms or period 1 would be a small step in getting to know one another.
Build relationships and connections before academics may allow students to ease into the school year.
Without these relationships, student engagement will be significantly limited and teachers will spend the entire semester trying to encourage students to engage. If the home situation is not understood, the expectations of the teachers may not be fully realized.