March 12, 2020

Dear Lab Community,

After thoughtful and considered deliberation with our school nurses, our medical consultant and with a close eye on the most recent medical updates, we are taking the step of implementing the distance education plan.  We have no confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 in our community.  However, it is expected that the number of cases will greatly increase and that the pandemic is not likely to subside for some time. Our own team of experts has advised us to move to distance education as soon as possible.

Friday, March 13 – will be a half day for all students (including high school students), faculty and staff.  There will be no high school parent conferences. Students will have the morning to gather their chromebooks and/or other devices, supplies and personal items that they will need to take advantage of the distance education plans at home.   Students will be dismissed at 12:00 noon .  Normal jurisdictional bus and Lab shuttles will run on a half day schedule.

Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17 – will be planning days at Lab for faculty and staff. There will be no school at Lab or distance education for students.  During that period, we will share the distance education plans by email and it will be posted on our webpage:  www.labschool.org/coronavirus .

Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday March 19 – we will begin our distance education efforts remotely with the students. The plans will be sent to you by email and posted on www.labschool.org/coronavirus .

Friday, March 20 – Sunday, March 29 – Spring Break! 

Monday, March 30 – Friday, April 3 – We will reconvene our distance education plans. There will be no students on campus.  We will continue to evaluate plans moving forward and will remain in regular communication with you. Athletic events and practices will be suspended through at least April 3.

We recommend that during spring break and the course of distance education that all students and families adhere to the practice of social distancing. Please discourage your children from gathering for group studies or socializing.

We know how important this environment and the relationships with our faculty and staff is to our students, so it is distressing to be closing the school for an indefinite period of time. We will continually re-evaluate the time frame and keep you informed. We fully recognize that the decision to move to distance education will generate some new challenges for students and families; however, we believe we may in the process discover some new ways to deliver information while keeping our community healthier and safer. We hope to prevent any major spread of coronavirus in our community by taking these steps. We appreciate your understanding of the uncharted situation in which we find ourselves.

I am grateful to the leadership of our Board of Trustees for their support, the Administrative Team for their extraordinary colleagueship and effort, the faculty and staff for their dedication and professionalism, our students for their energy and optimism, and our parents for their trust and engagement. We have an opportunity to use the creative, out of the box thinking that Lab is known for to create a learning environment for our students that will make this uncharted territory as manageable and engaging as possible. I know that is our intention. This effort will require us to demonstrate patience, trust and resilience. Above all, it will require us to act with kindness to one another.

The Administrative Team will continue to review the situation on a daily basis. We will be in touch again soon. There will be division specific details to share, so please monitor your inbox communications from division heads as well as from me. Thank you for your support and understanding. You can find all of my communications on COVID-19 at  www.labschool.org/coronavirus

Sincerely,
Katherine Signature Firstname
Katherine Schantz
Head of School