The school’s Reopening Task Force has been researching best practices; understanding guidelines set forth by the CDC, state and Beverly Board of Health; planning and implementing new policies and procedures for the facility; and ensuring that the faculty are adapting their teaching methods and curriculum to meet the needs of this new environment. This is a significant task with many areas of work to consider and plan for – and we are taking an “all hands on deck” approach with the entire administrative staff and representatives of our faculty and board.
The first question that we all have is when will we reopen?
The state has set forth a four-phase plan to reopen. Massachusetts is now in phase one and, if things go well, we will move into phase two, which will include the opening of camps and programs. We are hopeful that our summer programs will be able to move forward as planned and will be instituting new policies and procedures for these programs.
Perhaps your next question is what will the new policies and protocols be? Right now, there are no hard and fast guidelines from the government on what schools need to reopen. However, we are looking at resources the government has provided, researching best practices, and receiving guidance from credible organizations, such as Association for Waldorf Schools of North America, Association for Independent School of New England, and American Camping Association, among others. That being said, we are anticipating that all schools, including ours, will:
- have a daily check-in procedure for everyone entering the building, which will include taking temperatures with contactless thermometers.
- increase the number of handwashing stations – inside and outside
- evaluate cleaning schedule and supplies to ensure they meet regulations and best practices
- have staggered pick up and drop off schedules to reduce the number of people on campus at one time
- limit the number of people entering the building
- support physical distancing protocols for students, faculty, and staff, which means having smaller groups in classrooms and ensuring desks are kept a certain distance apart.
While we are actively preparing for these changes, all the final protocols and procedures will be driven by state and local officials. We are committing to more regular communications, and at the same time, trying to be sensitive to all the information that is coming at all of us.