Dear Members of The Benjamin School Community,
I hope you and your loved ones are in good health and spirits through what has been the most unique start to a school year in my many years as an independent school leader. I was heartened to see the energy, excitement, and TBS spirit of our youngest Buccaneers on opening day.
With guidance from our medical directors and the latest COVID-19 numbers from The Department Of Health, we feel confident in our ability to safely open our Middle School and Upper School campuses to on-campus learners beginning August 31. Those students enrolled in the Remote Learning option will have the opportunity to continue learning virtually.
Of the metrics considered in this opening are the daily positivity rate and the first-time cases percentage. While we are still guided by extreme caution, we feel that these newest metrics, coupled with our enhanced mitigation measures and small class sizes, suggest that we can reopen safely.
The success of our opening is communal. As our students would say, this is a group project, and we are dependent on everyone in our community to adhere to physical distancing and mitigation measures, both at school and at home, to maintain a healthy campus.
Despite our best efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there will potentially be periods of school closure after our campuses open. We will continue to share updates as we are constantly refining our guidelines based on the latest research.
As a reminder from my previous correspondence:
The School will work with the Department Of Health and Medical Directors to undertake an assessment through contact tracing to determine any potential exposure that would warrant a grade-level or campus-wide closure. There may be other scenarios in which the administration believes that a pivot to remote learning is essential for the health and safety of our community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to refine their guidelines which will impact our response to known and potential exposure within our campus community.
I want to express my enduring gratitude to you and your family for your commitment to Benjamin. I am looking forward to seeing many of your children on August 31. For those choosing to remain Remote Learners, I am only a Zoom call away.
David C. Faus