It was great to see you and your children this weekend. It has been so long since we have had parents and children in the front circle of school. It felt wonderful. Thank you!
A special thanks to parents, Jodi Szczepaniak-Locke, October Cellana, Eimear Schlech, and friends of the school, Todd Salvesold and Laurie Bank, as well as our internal team of Christy St. John, Nicole Goswami, Chris Naughton, Ellen Sutherland, and Manuel Noguera. What a team it was - despite rain and a few technology glitches, it went very smoothly.
You likely are going to get an email in the next few days from labpass.com with regard to the weekend testing and results. You can ignore that email, as the results are all coming to the school, and I will be in touch with you once I have all the results.
This week, I am going to be checking in with every family by phone. I hope very much to connect with one parent/guardian in every household. Even if in the evening, assuming I am not interrupting dinner or special family time, please grab the phone, as I am trying to reach the whole community by Friday afternoon.
I want to answer any questions you have, check in to see if you know where and what time to drop off and pick up your child, get an update on forms you may still have at home (reminder - your child cannot start on the 8th without their HEAT form being in), and walk you through the Daily Checklist for COVID symptoms that you will need to fill out every morning before bringing your child to school. Most important of all, when I call, please know I also am here to listen to anything that is on your mind as the school year nears.
One of the questions on the Daily Checklist asks about travel. As you know, we are doing everything we can to keep our students and faculty/staff safe on day one and throughout the year. We follow the recommendations of our advising physician, together with the guidance of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
We hope that you will consider the entire Pine Cobble community when making plans to leave the local area. We will, of course, uphold the state travel laws, but in an effort to prioritize in person learning would prefer that any travel to an area of higher prevalence than our local region be avoided unless essential (for work, to care for family, etc.). All travel plans can be reviewed with me on a case by case basis to allow for thoughtful and reasonable planning.
The question in the Daily Checklist asks "Has your child or anyone living in your household traveled?", and has four possible answers.
The first indicates you have not traveled outside the counties where our student population lives. The second indicates that you and I have already discussed (whether this week in our call or at a later time) regular essential travel within the safe states identified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The third possible response concerns non-essential or exceptional travel within those safe states. In this case, the answer will prompt you to call me before bringing your child to school, so we can confirm you did not travel to a hot spot within an otherwise safe state. If possible, a call the day before your child comes to school would work best, since morning student arrivals may make it difficult for me to take a call at drop-off time.
The fourth choice concerns travel by anyone in your household to non-safe states. In this case, your child will need to stay home and do remote access to our on-campus learning, either for two weeks, or until their pediatrician can determine and confirm that they are not at risk for COVID-19.
We can talk about this and anything else on your mind on my call to you this week, but I did want to give you a heads up about the Daily Checklist. We will do a dry run of the form late this week so we can see if there are any technology glitches, and then Tuesday morning, September 8th, you will see the form in your inbox called Daily Checklist.
The first few days of arrival to school will likely be slow going, as we all get used to the Daily Checklist forms. So, please do all you can to help the process by arriving during the window of time for your child (see Family FAQ doc on the website) and filling out the form early each morning as your child gets up and you assess their health. You will receive a return email when you submit, and that is what you show when you pull up each day. We will need to see the green and the date on the screen as you pull in the driveway.
Looking forward to connecting by phone in the days ahead. And, we are so excited to have your children back on campus soon.
All the best,