Dear Members of The Benjamin School Community,
With just a few days until the opening day of the school year, our campus is a flurry of activity. There is much excitement as we welcome 28 new faculty and staff and over 200 new students to our campuses. In addition to our typical preparations, the current state of the pandemic has our COVID-19 Task Force meeting daily to consider, adjust, and update protocols.
We have heard the passionate pleas from parents on all sides of this issue, and we recognize the divisiveness of the current national climate on masking. Each decision made in this policy has one goal in mind: to safely open our campuses and allow them to remain open in order to offer the most outstanding in-person education possible.
The policies outlined below are effective immediately and will be reviewed every week until further notice. Updates and amendments to this plan will be communicated regularly throughout the year. For families who want a different option we will be offering a temporary Remote Learning Program.
Families who opt into this program must complete the forms linked above by Friday, August 13 for Middle and Upper School students and Monday, August 16 for Lower School students and remain in the program until at least September 3. At that point, should the masking policies be amended, remote learning students are required to return to campus.
This past year has shown us that even the very best virtual program is no substitute for in-person learning, and on-campus instruction is of paramount importance. With so many students and teachers coming to campus after an extended break, we believe the policies set forth below set us up for a successful school year.
Effective Thursday, August 12, 2021:
Face Coverings: All students (grades PK3-12), faculty, staff, visitors, and guests are required to wear face coverings while indoors. When outdoors, face coverings are not required. Cloth or surgical face masks without a valve or vent are the recommended facial coverings. If a face shield is worn, it must be worn in conjunction with a face mask and may not be worn alone. Neck gaiters and masks with valves or vents are not approved. Images or graphics on face coverings must be school appropriate and should not include political statements.
Physical Distancing: To the greatest extent possible, students and workspaces will be kept at least 3 feet apart. Students will be encouraged to maintain physical distancing throughout the day.
Sanitizing/Cleaning: Hand sanitizing stations will remain on our campuses, and healthy hand washing protocols will be encouraged. Our professional team will continue to clean and disinfect our campuses each day.
Visitors and Guests: Our campuses are open to visitors; masks are required while indoors.
All students and faculty/staff must adhere to the management policy for suspected cases of COVID-19, known exposure to COVID-19, and confirmed cases of COVID-19.
We are committed to regularly reviewing these policies with the ultimate goal of removing any mask and physical distancing mandates. You can expect an update from the School by mid-September with regard to any changes.
David C. Faus Darren Lowe
Head of School Chairman, Board of Trustees