December 1, 2020
Dear BB&N Community:
Welcome back from Thanksgiving Break, I hope it was a wonderful, relaxing, albeit toned-down holiday for you and your family.
In that spirit of thanks, I want to start by expressing my appreciation for the 1,260 members of our community—students, faculty, and staff—who took the time to come to the Upper School on Sunday/Monday for re-entry COVID testing. Our intent with this testing, as you know, was twofold: to help each individual member of BB&N stay as healthy as possible and in so doing, to safeguard our collective health as a community of learners and teachers as we move into December.
Of those 1,260 tests, 4 positive results were recorded among our community members (.32%): three 12th graders plus one member of our Upper School staff. Of course, we will stay in close contact with these community members in the days ahead, and we wish them all well. At this point, all four members of our community report they are asymptomatic and doing well. These four members of our community will of course only return to campus after following quarantine guidelines and being cleared by the Department of Public Health.
Because it has been a week and a half since seniors were last on campus, and a week since the staff member was on campus, no additional members of our community will be contact traced due to time spent on campus. Any contact tracing that happens as a result of exposure outside of school will be handled by local Departments of Health and, in some cases, in coordination with our school nurse.
Nevertheless, because of the fact that these three student cases are members of the same cohort, and out of an abundance of caution, we are going to have our entire senior class learn remotely this Friday, the one day they would have been on campus this week. This will give ample time for any other cases to emerge, as seniors will not return to on-campus learning until next Thursday, December 10. All other grades will return as scheduled.
I want to remind you of the plea that I made last Monday night. If your family did gather, travel, or do anything over the Break that increased your “normal” risk, please make sure that your child/children wait at least 5 days after the potential exposure before returning to campus. In addition, we would also encourage your child(ren) to test again at that point, in advance of returning on campus. And, of course, for anyone who is experiencing any symptoms outlined in our COVID-19 Community Pledge—please stay home. As a reminder for any student or family who may want to test again, there are a number of options available to our community members. Thank you in advance for your attention to these important measures to keep all of our community members as safe as possible.
The 0.32% positivity rate for our community reflected in this week’s testing—less than one-tenth the rate of Massachusetts at large—is a credit to the care and commitment you have all shown in our pledge to keep each other healthy. Thank you so much for that. It is the biggest single reason our campuses are still able to remain open so that we can teach our students in person. As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Dr. Jennifer Price
Head of School