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As we continue to monitor all the information available to us around COVID-19 and School Reopenings, we want to be as transparent and clear as possible. We understand how challenging this is for everyone – school leadership, teachers, parents, and kids alike. Answers to your questions, and any “decisions” that we make could be changed overnight if the virus diminishes or surges or if the various authorities shift their approach and introduce new mandates.

The NY Governor’s Reopening Schools Task Force met on Monday, July 13th, and has shared interim guidance, with additional guidance coming by the end of this week. All schools will then have to submit reopening plans to the state by July 31st, and the Governor’s team will make a decision by August 7th regarding whether schools can move ahead with reopening plans. The governor also provided the metrics the state would be using to decide when and if schools can open their campuses for in-person education, and what circumstances could force schools to close.

Over the past month, our administrative team had been referring to school reopening guidance from California, Connecticut, Massachusetts to form our preliminary plans. We are heartened to see that the guidance now provided by the NY DOH is very closely aligned with the work we’ve already done, and plan to do, to ready our campus and protocols for returning to in-person learning. Our admin team and staff are now carefully assessing our preliminary plans – and updating them where necessary – with this more specific information in mind.

One important detail to note: Based on the NY DOH guidance, a mask or acceptable face-covering is strongly recommended to be worn by all individuals at all times but is required to be worn any time or place that individuals cannot maintain appropriate social distancing. Students will be allowed to remove their face covering during meals, and while outdoors as long as they maintain appropriate social distance. All adults will be wearing masks.

To ease our transition back to in-person learning, please begin the process of helping your child(ren) become accustomed to wearing a mask. If all of our students are familiar with the feeling of wearing a face covering at home, the stress on the kids (and the work of the teachers) will be greatly reduced.

The truth is that no one – from the 5-year-old missing his best friend to those with the authority to make decisions impacting all of us – know what is going to happen between now and September. The best we can all do is remain hopeful and vigilant, making plans on top of plans, with multiple layers that can be shifted as needed. Aside from that, we can and will continue to show compassion and patience and listen to one another. We continue to train our staff on state-of-the- art technology platforms, renovate our buildings, hire additional staff, and develop a variety of schedules, to prepare for several scenarios. Our intention is to ensure that regardless of how we re-open in the Fall, we will be ready with the best possible education for your children.

With Gratitude,
Dr. Susan Paynter, Head of School