August 25, 2021
It seems like it is time to put out another update on the plans for the upcoming school year, albeit at the risk of those plans being obsolete in a matter hours or days. I know that many of you share the very same frustration that we feel here at the school with the way things have gone the past few weeks. The two main things for us being the mask mandate and the vaccination requirement for school employees.
While it’s easy to focus on the things that frustrate us, I think back to where we were a year ago and I think perhaps the glass can be viewed half full as well. In order for us to open school last year we had to adhere to the following protocols:
• We had our doors locked
• We screened every student every morning for symptoms
• We weren’t allowed to have anyone other than “essential personnel” in our buildings
• Our students were divided into cohorts
• Volleyball was played outdoors and there was no football
• We had capacity and spacing limitations established for all indoor spaces
• We had to platoon groups in small areas to abide by space restrictions
• We cleaned our playground equipment after each recess
Those are just some of the examples of rules we had to follow last year and meanwhile nearly all other schools were in distance learning. Entering this school year, we have students that are excited to be starting fall sports actually in the fall and coming back to school with much fewer restrictions than what we had a year ago. Our focus is going to be on hand washing, spacing when possible and staying home when you’re not well. We are also still required to wear face coverings indoors, but we did that all year last year and I expect us to pick up right where we left off. While we and many other schools have voiced our desire for complete local control, we have not yet been granted it in regard to that particular piece. I believe it will come, but I’m not sure when. In the meantime, we will schedule regular mask breaks for kids and do our best to keep everyone safe and in the classroom. I always try to retain as much common sense as possible.
A lot of people are curious about the vaccination mandate for all school employees. The short response to that is that we simply haven’t been given enough information or direction to determine the scope of this new mandate. There will be more information coming about this very soon, but right now I’m just not sure what it will mean in terms of actual expectations or enforcement.
Like I said, things will probably change. I just thought I would give you all an update and let you know how things look at this moment.
We are excited to welcome students back to our school, despite all the craziness!
Thank you to everyone for all of your support and understanding.