News & Updates 2/12/21

I feel like my recent updates have read a bit like the New England Journal of Medicine, but in these different times, sadly, that has been important. Please know that the medical jargon that you read in these Friday updates has not taken away our focus on nurturing these children and helping them to grow as students and people. Although sometimes it sounds like 15 Nobadeer Farm Road has become more of a testing center and less of a school, it could not be further from the truth.  As I read about schools struggling around the country, and I listen to initiatives about getting children back to class in the first 100 days, I can only reflect on how incredible the staff of the New School has been to safely, diligently, and sensitively provide incredible educational experiences for the students.
 
I also remain so thankful for our parent community. In good years we ask you for a lot, and in these challenge times we ask for so much more. From following travel guidance to supporting testing protocols to schedule changes, we have felt your support for the school and for the kids, and that has never been more important. We thank you all in advance for your continued support as winter turns to spring, and we continue to maintain our diligence for the safety of the entire community.
 
Quotes of the Week
A Pre-K student stood in a short line in order to make a very important announcement at Morning Meeting on Wednesday. There were about 200 students and guests watching the Zoom stream. “I just want everyone to know that my grandmother makes great hair design styles.” Great!! Tell your grandmother, I am on the way.
 
Today at Morning Meeting a very confident student made a QCA about a situation at breakfast. “This morning while I was having breakfast, my dad broke my Harry Potter wand. It was my favorite toy.” Ouch. Dad, I just checked, these are available on Amazon.
 
Car Safety
The recent stretch of winter weather has caused us to reflect on car safety as our students come and go from school. We have an obligation to make sure children are safe whether they are under our care or not. Please make sure you are cautious entering and exiting campus; there will always be students in the area. Equally as important, please make sure that you are following car seat and capacity laws for the state of Massachusetts. If you need to review these requirements, please use this link: Car Seat Mass.gov
 
Long Weekend
I am not sure I love the timing of this long weekend as we start a major break a week from today, but at the same time, I am looking forward to an additional morning to sleep in a bit. Please keep in mind that any travel outside of Massachusetts requires a three day wait before testing and then an additional wait while the test results are made available. Thus, if you traveled to Denver for the long weekend, you would need to stay home from school until testing on Thursday at the VFW, and you probably would get results back on Friday. I received a few emails and phone calls about traveling for the Presidents Day Weekend. If you are looking for a family ski trip, there are some good mountains in the Berkshires, and hopefully the upcoming two week vacation will allow everyone to safely take any trip they might have been putting off and still meet all the required guidance. Massachusetts Ski Areas
 
Testing After a Positive COVID Result
We are always reviewing new guidance carefully, and we have been very lucky to have had very few positive cases inside of the community. The guidance has not been completely clear how to continue testing after an individual was positive for COVID 19.  A person who had the virus will test positive for up to 3-6 months although not infectious to others during that period. According to the CDC, retesting after having tested positive for “COVID-19 is typically not warranted within 3 months of the initial diagnosis.  If someone becomes ill during these 3 months, alternative diagnoses must be considered.  Cases of re-infection of COVID are rare.” As we review the testing rosters, we will now be leaving any previously positive community members out of the pooled testing.
 
FA deadline is Monday
Any family applying for financial assistance should complete the application by Monday February 15. The link for the application is here: FA Application
 
Wow
Today at 2:20 the Kindergarten class celebrated the Chinese New Year with a quick dragon dance. Classes safely spread out along the railings upstairs and around the Great Room. We all watched the kindergarten students spin and loop through the room and return to their class, and when the music stopped 100 plus New School students applauded their friends for the first time all year, and I will admit that I was not the only faculty moved to tears by the celebration. It was the first time all year a performance was celebrated in person by more than one grade, and it gave us all a much needed picture of how connected the New School was before and how it will be again very soon.
 
Have a great long weekend.
 
 
 
 
 
Todd Eveleth, Head of School
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