The weekend is here. And, while these are supposed to be the dog days of summer, we have enjoyed cooler temperatures (and rain) for which I am grateful. As we get closer to starting school, I want to continue to provide the context to our thinking to help you understand why we might make one decision over another.
There are three major themes we are using to make these decisions:
- Preparation Under Uncertainty: We are, and will be, prepared for alternative conditions.
- Perspective: We plan to serve you for a year, not for a day.
- Planning for Change: We are, and will be, ready to change from one plan to another as needed.
So maybe its helpful to share how these three together influence what we may decide to do regarding the wearing of masks, for example.
We have studied the transmission rates, conditions, and progress across all ages and in many different conditions. We have purchased months worth of supplies including disinfectants, masks, and plastic face shields. We’ve overhauled air conditioners to enhance the quality of the air in classrooms. We’ve purchased thermometers and other equipment to check faculty, staff, and students as necessary. We have gamed out procedures and protocols for a variety of scenarios where things get worse, or better. All of this is to create a classroom environment where learning, rather than the virus, is on the mind of each student.
We are not planning just for the first day of school, but for the entire year. This requires an institutional resiliency made up of the commitment of all our people, processes, and facilities/equipment. We have a leadership process to be responsive, adaptive, creative, and determined. All of this allows us to not only start school in August, but finish school in May — healthy and successful in accomplishing our mission.
3. Planning for Change
One thing we all know is that things will change. Our plans and preparation are built to withstand the changes that we will face to constantly improve our health, wellness, and effective teaching. And to make that happen, we need every part of our school community to help.
With that framework in mind, we will be sharing more details every day next week. Many of this will be, in light of everything shared above, provisional. No one knows the exact conditions we will face in two weeks, two months, or six months. But we are prepared and will be even better prepared as we move forward.
Thanks for your continued support and prayer in all these things! Much more to follow …