Dear Families,

With each new day our teachers and students get more and more into a groove in their learning and with their cohort. We are so pleased that our in-person learning has been able to continue in a safe environment; it is clearly a benefit to our students.  Therefore, we are looking ahead with an eye towards maintaining this trend as long as possible. In planning for the fall/winter holidays, we wanted to share some information, make recommendations, and gather data.
 
For some, both the Thanksgiving and December breaks include travel and family visits. We are hoping some slight modifications and advance planning will support our community in experiencing the holidays and returning safely to school.
  • For the Thanksgiving holiday, we encourage you to consider not traveling to a county with a risk index 6.0, or having people travel to you who are coming from a county with a risk index over 6.0. 
  • We are asking all families to let us know about their Thanksgiving travel plans; this will allow us to determine if a high percentage of families and faculty will possibly be traveling to counties with a 6.0 risk index or higher.  Based on that information, we will be able to determine if returning to in-person learning between Thanksgiving and the December holidays is reasonable, based on the number of students or faculty required to learn remotely, based on our current travel policies.
  • Due to the greater length of the December break, our plan is to conduct school- wide testing at the end of the break before our return to in-person instruction. There will be more information to follow as the December break nears.
We are hopeful that this approach will help families and faculty prepare and plan accordingly. It is important to note that we continue to monitor both the county level numbers (which change regularly) and the risk index weighted average across our four sending counties. Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of this difficult year is the need to constantly adapt to changing information; I thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we are living in an unusual and uncertain time. 
 
Thank you in advance for responding to this survey about travel by or before October 23rd.

In other news, please be sure to read the information sent out in a separate communication about upcoming school Picture Days for next week. Just this week we were able to finalize a plan with the photographer, and we are excited to be able to safely offer school Picture Days days again this year. Be sure to look for details, specific to your child's picture day.

October 26th will be our annual Pumpkin Day, with younger students decorating their own pumpkins with markers, and older students each carving their own pumpkins. A wonderful tradition we are excited to be able to offer again this year.

On Halloween day, beginner through 3rd grade students will have the opportunity to dress in costume. We will not have any class parties this year, but students in beginner through 3rd grade may come to school in a costume they can wear all day and still be able to study and learn, or a costume over their regular school clothes that can easily be taken off after the parade and put in a bag you send with them that morning. Each class - beginners through 3rd grade - will parade around campus, one class at a time, so the 4th - 8th graders can celebrate the efforts of the younger students with cheers. The entire student body will receive a personal treat (keeping all allergies in mind) and those treats will be distributed to the students in individual packages.

Finally, November 24th is the day of our feast. Chef Val is working on a tasty plate for our faculty, staff, and all of our students, being mindful of allergies and vegetarian needs. Stay tuned for menu updates.
 
Sincerely,

Sue