Dear Families, Students, Colleagues, and Community Members,
As we close in on the end of our second month of school, I just want to take a minute to say thank you and share my sincere hope that we can continue to work and learn together at school as we navigate this unusual year.
While we recognize that challenges that exist, I do think it’s fair to say that we are successfully implementing our reopening plan. We have demonstrated, as a community, our commitment to health, safety and learning. This is the result of the work of everyone who is reading this message and more.
This includes the 400-plus members of our Reopening Task Force who crafted our plan; a faculty and staff that demonstrates their extraordinary commitment to the education and well-being of our students day-in and day-out; and our families who have been flexible, supportive, patient and understanding. And to our students, everyone is saying it: You are amazing!
I also must remind everyone that we have to continue to be cautious in school and outside of it. It’s understandable that we are fatigued by the virus. Yet, a rush to return to normal could end up having the opposite effect and require our state and community to return to even more restrictions.
So, I’m also asking for your help so that we can all continue to work and learn together in this current format (until we are on the other side of this). Please keep the following in mind, especially as the holiday season approaches:
- When not at school, please practice the same precautions that we have in place at school, including masks and social distancing.
- In terms of travel, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has noted that the safest way to prevent the spread of the virus is to stay home.
- Public health agencies continue to advise against large gatherings.
- It is critical that anyone who is ill stays home and does not go to school or work.
You can expect that we will continue to monitor the latest information, input and guidance and refine our plans throughout this year. In fact, in the coming days you will see our daily health screening reflect new information about COVID-19 testing for travelers. We’ve also recently been advised by our public health partners that rapid tests are not sufficient for a return to school following symptoms and that instead PCR tests, which can take longer, are required.
Additionally, I want to let you know that next week we will launch Thoughtexchanges to get more input about how this year is going for all of you and see if there are ways we can improve or support you.
I know that what’s being asked of everyone is difficult. Circumstances are not ideal. Still, our current approach to school beats the events of last spring by a mile and then some. I have heard from many who agree. Most importantly, our students, whether their learning is in-person, hybrid, or all-remote, are benefiting immensely. Let’s keep it going together.
I am proud to be part of this team and thank you for your time and partnership.