Dear Andover families –
We are grateful to share this brief time together between Thanksgiving and winter break. Seeing our students make the most of Andover’s residential model of teaching and learning brings us all great joy. I especially look forward to tomorrow’s All-School Meeting featuring student performances and music of the season. This annual tradition was my family’s first introduction to the student community in December 2019. It was musically and vocally magical—and it amplified every story we had previously heard about the power of Big Blue spirit!
That spirit of community and caring remains essential as we navigate winter term. As Dr. Amy Patel noted in her campus health update, our risk zone moved to “yellow” this week. This good news speaks to our community’s vigilance, which is so vitally important as global variants of the COVID-19 virus emerge. Despite the pandemic’s latest challenges, we have continued to sustain the highest standards of health and wellness across campus. Testing is key, and it is essential that students fulfill their responsibilities to test. Please reinforce our messaging. We are concerned by the number of students who forget to submit their tests and need additional reminders.
As you prepare to welcome your student home or ensure that they have a local family with whom to spend their time away from campus, I offer a few important reminders.
Please note that students must depart campus by 12 p.m. on Thursday, December 16, and they must communicate their travel plans with their campus team.
We understand that many international families are coming to the U.S. to be with their children over break. Enjoy your time together! We also know that some students will rely on host families to open their own homes over break. Thank you to those who served as Thanksgiving hosts. This hospitality is especially helpful to families who are facing travel restrictions. If you would like to host a student over winter break, please contact José Peralta, international student coordinator, as soon as possible.
A few notes about returning to campus in January 2022:
- When we reopen campus on January 3, we will be in modified quarantine for (hopefully) a short period of time. Please do not plan on visiting or taking your child off campus during the first two weekends (January 8, 9 and 15, 16).
- Remain attuned to evolving travel restrictions, and please do not allow your student to return to campus with symptoms of illness. If your student is fully vaccinated, these symptoms can be mild, so please be especially vigilant.
- All students must clear a negative test before they arrive to campus. Students will fill out a tracker through Medicat to confirm their negative COVID status and to prepare for their return.
Thank you for your continued partnership and for entrusting us with your students. Our collective commitment to one another and to sound public health practices remains crucial in creating safe learning and residential environments across campus.
I wish you peace and good health in the new year.
Raynard Kington, MD, PhD, P’24
Head of School