Families and friends, there’s just not much to talk about at PA right now when it comes to COVID! If you look at our COVID Dashboard, you’ll note that the slate is clean. That means that last week, our first back together after Christmas, we had no new confirmed community cases. That is likely to change, of course, so long as the virus is around. But it’s nothing but good news for now!
Before break, we committed to continuing the “in-school hybrid” learning model in Middle and Upper schools our first two weeks back. Today begins that second week, so I’ll share our short-term plan going forward.
Our Middle School students will return to classrooms next week. In-class learning is of course optimal, and we find added pedagogical and learning benefits to it with that age group wherever possible. We’ll keep a watch on how close-contact quarantining may be affected by our return to that model. So our return to it will be subject to review.
We will maintain the in-school hybrid model in the Upper School for the time being. It is working well academically and provides daily social interactions that feel very normal and healthy. A special consideration is the launching of the MSHSL winter sports season this week, as well as other co-curricular activities. Close-contact quarantining from classrooms can adversely affect teams and group activities, and with academics going well, making provisions for this makes sense. While we are not putting a horizon on our continuing with this model, we will monitor the broader COVID situation going forward and consider any adjustments.
Our students, teachers, nurses, staff members, and parent leaders are very much partners in helping us assess many variables as we navigate COVID time. Thanks to you all for help, patience, creativity, and courage! We’re entering our second semester of keeping together, in school five days a week! Everybody: pat yourselves on the back!