I hope you all had a restful, relaxing and healthy Thanksgiving holiday. As I said in my holiday video, at this point of the year I am always reminded of how thankful I am for our community’s strength and compassion, and this has never been the case more than it is this year.As of now our plan is to return to school in person on Monday, December 7th. As we have said all along, we want to be in person as much as we feel we safely can for all of the members of our multi-age community, and we feel that having spent numerous weeks either learning remotely or on a break we can return. We believe in our plan that has been so thoughtfully conceived and adapted.
Please don’t stop reading, though, as each of us needs to note some very important things:
- Since we last saw each other on Friday, November 13th, we know some members of our community have traveled, have knowingly or unknowingly been exposed to the virus through various gatherings, or have even potentially contracted the virus. Everyone should make sure to use the app each day and remain off campus if you need to answer any question “yes.” In short, I urge each of us to please act with the appropriate caution and not come to campus until we know that we are out of the 14-day window that puts us in danger of potentially spreading COVID-19, even if we are asymptomatic. (We are aware that the CDC is in the process of revising down the recommended quarantine period following potential exposure to seven days with a negative test or ten days without a test, but we will, as we have done all along, wait for guidance from the state and county authorities before we make any changes to our procedures). This is an obligation we all have to our community, both here at school and at large. Please communicate anything we need to know to the appropriate division office so that we continue to have the best information we can to make decisions.
- In keeping with that philosophy, no student is required to return to learning in person next week. A number of you have been learning remotely all year, and a small number indicated that you would commence doing so around the holidays to fit with your plans. If you would like, or need, to learn remotely at this point, we ask that you let the appropriate division office know, if you have not already done so, so we can plan.
- For all of these same reasons, some of our teachers will be teaching remotely. We have also given faculty members the choice to teach from home during this period as they prepare for their holidays. This is an important part of our ongoing commitment to this environment being as safe as possible for all community members. In these cases, we will ensure that students are supervised appropriately even as the teacher is engaging with the students remotely.
- At this point we have no knowledge of any governmental guidance that we should not return in person on Monday, December 7th. If this changes because community conditions are deemed too dangerous for schools to be in session in Kane County, we can and will reverse course.
- We continue to review whether we will be able to return to in person learning on Monday, January 4th. We are hopeful that the model we are implementing now will work well and we will be in person, similarly asking people to avoid campus if travel, potential exposure, or actually contracting the virus leaves them in any danger of exposing others by coming to campus to study or teach. Again, this may change, as local conditions can quickly heighten in this perilous time when so many people are traveling and gathering.
Thank you, as always, for your commitment to EA and for helping us be in person as much as we safely can. It is comforting to be in a community where everyone will play their rightful part, valuing our ability to be together and sharing the full EA experience.
Head of School