Dear St. Andrew’s,
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the St. Andrew’s community has come together to ensure academic excellence and to care for our collective well-being. The words “safe educational community” are in the first line of our school’s mission, and our Fall 2020 Reopening Plan is rooted in that core value. This plan is our roadmap to balancing a safe school environment with the educational needs of our students and the importance of being together as a community. It is a collective effort that will be accomplished through a layered approach to safety that combines consistent masking, social distancing, diligent sanitizing, and maintaining stable groups when possible.
The main focus of this plan has been preparation for safe in-person learning for all students beginning in September. However, it also includes contingent preparations in case that is not possible, as well as distance learning accommodations for those who are unable to join our community immediately due to illness or travel restrictions. This plan is a living document that may evolve and shift as information and data about COVID-19 evolves — and as we learn more about the health and safety needs of our community during this time. I expect that in some cases, this may mean the loosening of certain restrictions; in others it may mean strengthening them. I ask that every member of our community approach this plan with flexibility and an open mind.
The small size of St. Andrew’s has long been one of our learning community’s strengths. With a teacher-student ratio of 5:1 and an average class size of ten, we are able to offer every student at our school a learning experience where their unique needs are supported and their individual strengths are celebrated. We are incredibly fortunate that now our small size will also enable us to weather the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring that every student, faculty member, and staff member at St. Andrew’s is seen, considered, and kept safe.
We know that resuming school in person means making sacrifices. It is not going to look or feel like what we remember. We each have to give a little to gain a lot — and take care of ourselves and each other. The rules and processes outlined in this plan will be challenging, and they will take some time to get used to. I am asking everyone in our community to listen to each other and approach each other with kindness as we work through it.
I am incredibly grateful to the team who helped to build this plan, to the professionals at our school who will implement it, and to the students and their families who will support it and follow its guidance. When this crisis began I asked our entire community to be kind, present, and flexible and those tenets remain true today. Together we are stronger, and I am very much looking forward to a safe, successful 2020-21 school year.
Head of School