Head of School O.J. Morgan sent an email to all Bright School families on January 1, 2021. He stated:
Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and relaxing break.
Cases of COVID-19 in our area are continuing to rise due to holiday gatherings and other activities. In order to begin school as safely as possible, we have decided to delay the start of classes. Instead of beginning on January 5, classes will resume on Thursday, January 7.
During these extra days we need your help and cooperation. These extra days are intended to be days to monitor for illness and to be extremely cautious interacting with anyone outside your household. Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and we want to provide as much protection as possible in order to resume classes. We ask families to please help in this effort by following the guidelines below:
Ascend Online Survey Begins January 3
To begin monitoring symptoms, we ask all parents to complete Ascend every day starting on Sunday, January 3 and continuing through the week as you would normally do during a regular school day. It is extremely important for you to complete the survey each day next week, as we will use this data to inform our decisions. Please be honest about the symptoms and temperature taking. Keep your child at home whenever he or she is not feeling well. The symptoms of COVID-19 vary in type and severity.
Talk to Your Child about Changes at School
Our teachers and staff will be enforcing tighter distancing protocols within the classroom and inside the school through the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, January 18. (There is no school that day.)
- There will be no visitors beyond the front desk and main office area.
- Bright Afternoons will be available as planned, starting January 7.
- Individual Cadek music lessons will continue as planned.
- After school classes will not begin until February.
- Fourth and fifth grade cohorts will be their homerooms, and blocks will be altered during these first two weeks.
- There will be no fourth and fifth grade hand bells until February.
- Athletics (fifth grade) are suspended until further notice.
Talk to your child and prepare him or her for changes in the classroom that may limit close interaction with classmates. Practice your elbow bumps and air hugs at home to be ready to greet teachers and classmates on January 7! We will evaluate protocols after January 18 and determine if any changes need to be made.
Check Face Coverings for Two Layers
Please make sure your child's face covering has two layers and fits properly over the nose and mouth. If the mask is made of cloth, make sure it has two layers of fabric. Disposable masks have two layers of material. Gaiters are still allowed, but they must be folded in two layers and fit properly. Bandanas are no longer allowed. Face coverings must be cleaned every day or a different one worn each day. Please review these guidelines from the CDC. Your child should bring a second face covering to school each day and will be asked to change coverings if it gets wet or dirty during the day.
New Quarantine Guidelines
Bright School has adopted the new 10-day quarantine guidelines that allow close contacts to reduce the number of days to seven if they are symptom free and test negative on days 5-7. Please review this information on our website under the heading "Testing Positive for COVID-19." Ascend will integrate this new protocol in the online health survey. If your child is quarantined, you must complete Ascend each day, even on weekends.
Limit Activities Outside School
We cannot control how families spend time away from school. We do encourage you to limit interactions to within households and avoid crowds as much as possible to reduce risk of contracting and spreading the virus to students, faculty and staff at school. With colder temperatures and less time outdoors, we want to do everything we can to remain in school and be safe.
We are so grateful to our entire school community for the way you have come together to make this school year the best it can be despite the obvious challenges. Every day we are together in school is an accomplishment. Should we need to move to online learning or if your child is in a class that is quarantined, we are confident our plans and preparation will provide a meaningful experience for your child.
We understand this change in plans may place an extra burden on families, but we hope these two extra days will enable us to start off 2021 safely.
Thank you for your cooperation.