ONGOING VIGILANCE
December 16, 2021

Dear Harbor Families,

Two steps forward, one step back.

As we enter the winter break, we are unfortunately once again in the world of rising COVID-19 cases, with larger gatherings being canceled and local schools moving to distance learning due to outbreaks. As you know, our first positive case of the school year was identified last week in our weekly surveillance testing. Fortunately, yesterday’s tests were all returned as negative, but we must anticipate and plan for the possibility that high community spread in early 2022 will affect our community.  As a small school with strong risk mitigation measures and a high rate of vaccinations, we are optimistic that we can manage this next surge by maintaining our vigilance.

Due to the increasing spread in our larger community, we are asking for everyone in the community to be tested before returning to school on the 3rd as an additional risk mitigation measure (similar to what we did at the beginning of the school year). We have scheduled a COVID-19 testing clinic through Capital Diagnostics for Sunday, January 2nd from 9 AM to 10 AM at the school. Since the students are already registered for their weekly test, all you need to do is come to have your child swabbed that morning. If you are not able to come, please obtain a test within 72 hours of our return to school and email it to administration@theharborschool.org.

In our November 17th communication from the Health and Safety Committee, we outlined a number of potential changes to our protocols and identified a date of January 18th for possible implementation. Since then, we have held two vaccine clinics and have learned that our vaccination rates are very high in our JK through grade 3 classes. (Note that our after school programs will begin the first day we return from break, and please remember to send us your child’s vaccination card if you haven’t already!) As the landscape of the virus’ impact shifts, the Health and Safety Committee will continue to monitor and assess protocols. We will be meeting again early in the new year and will communicate again after the winter break.

In the meantime, given the ever changing environment, it is important that we all remain vigilant for the health of the wider community. As we move into the break and return to school after travel, please continue to practice masking and distancing in public spaces, avoid large crowds, and get your booster shot if you haven’t already. Note that we will keep our travel policy (below) in place through the winter break given the high degree of transmission and breakthrough cases in the larger community, regardless of vaccination status.

After traveling to areas with high COVID-19 transmission, families must wait 72 hours and then have the child tested after returning. A negative result must be received prior to returning to school. Should there be special circumstances such as door to door travel and minimal interaction, please contact the school for an exception.

Although the message in this letter is different from what we had hoped earlier in the school year, we are at least in a much better place than we were as we entered the winter break in the 2020-21 school year! I wish you and yours a wonderful winter break and encourage you to enjoy lots of “close contact” with your terrific kids!

Warm regards,

Leah Musico

Head of School

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Harbor School