It’s Wednesday and a new year is dawning…

Hopefully, you will be able to join us tonight for our weekly Town Hall. We’ll have more time for your questions tonight with only brief introductory comments on status. As of this writing, only 6% of our school population is choosing a Hybrid opening with more than 85% of our community confirming their consent and readiness to begin. We expect that the remaining parents who have not yet completed their consent forms will do so along similar lines before we open on Tuesday. Please remember that your child cannot start school next week unless the consent form is completed. I send a special message to the remaining parents as a reminder today and we will make phone calls later in the week.

Teachers started work yesterday on their planning toward our opening, as is the normal practice at this time of year. But, their special charge was to consider how to address the needs of our students in hybrid mode at the start of the school year. You will be receiving messages, age and grade dependent, on how we are starting. I saw some of those messages starting to come out to you today.

As we start to create a community of trust associated with behaviors suggested by science to protect us, I’m asking your cooperation in the coming days to return to a more closed status and avoid any of the areas of risk that you well remember from spring. Keep your children close to you and stay away from crowds where social distancing is not being practiced. The community standard we all set is about protecting the health and well-being of each other – a theme associated with our core values that will be oft repeated in our goal to educate and persuade in the short and long term.

Students who have come to be tested this week have generally had a good experience, giggling with the tickle and understanding the loving approach to checking on our health. For those who had a few tears, we are hopeful of more practice and dialog at home as we build a habit around healthy attitudes toward this extreme situation.

Note that the country list has been updated on our FAQ page and will now be aligned with government publication of travel restrictions, which is likely a more accurate representation of current risk. I have appreciated the stories from parents about how they have protected their families during the summer period. The result is that we have not had a positive case yet amongst our students or staff. With almost a third of our population tested, this is good news and supports our decision to go ahead with opening.

We will have a partial opening for our new families on Monday, where we will provide limited access for small groups to the administrative core. They will not be allowed into the cohort areas this year as we will be in preparation for opening. This will give us one opportunity to share with them the story of the school and connect them with mentors that will guide them through their arrival and acclimation. I look forward to greeting you on Monday at your designated time.

Enjoy your final weekend before school begins. Our school is almost ready with only final touches before us. Thank you for all your continued partnership and involvement throughout the summer as our plans have formed and crystalized. Our collaboration continues in the days and weeks ahead.

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