Jan. 6, 2021
Dear Parents,
Happy New Year! We hope that the holiday period offered you and your loved ones a chance to rest and recharge after a challenging year.  Even if, like me, you were not able to see everyone in person, there is much good news; the days are growing longer and brighter, and our scientists have done great work in creating vaccines that offer the prospect of a gradual return to normalcy over the course of this year. There is light at the end of the tunnel!
We made the difficult decision to teach virtually only this first week of the New Year to allow post-holiday quarantines to happen in accordance with the Commonwealth’s updated instructions on safely returning from trips out of state and to allow symptoms/close contacts to be identified following the holidays. That decision will pay off if, and only if, every family makes the right decisions as we return to in-person school next week at the normal time on Monday, Jan. 11.
As you know, athletics are an important part of our program and we are pleased to announce that we are planning a limited Inter-Ac only Upper School winter sports program, with competitions in February. Upper School athletes will begin practices this Monday, Jan 11. Athletes and coaches will follow all safety protocols set forth by the School, as recommended by the Commonwealth, CHOP PolicyLab, and other authorities. Policies regarding extremely limited spectator opportunities are being discussed and will be communicated shortly.  Directors of each program will provide specific details for each sport to athletes and their families. The Middle School program will continue in the same cohort fashion that it did in the fall. 
The success of in-person education and sports will depend on our adherence to established health and safety protocols. As a reminder, the Commonwealth’s guidance states:
Anyone who visits Pennsylvania from another state, including Pennsylvanians returning to the Commonwealth, must get tested within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth. If an individual is unable to get a test prior to entering the Commonwealth, is waiting for test results, or chooses not to get a test, they must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in our state or secure a negative test, whichever is first.
In short, if you travelled outside Pennsylvania over the break, you are required to quarantine for ten days or secure a negative COVID-19 test before returning your son to school in person. We request that you follow the same guidelines if you had a gathering with friends or family outside your “bubble” during the break. Before the break, we had to shut down Upper School in-person learning because of confirmed positive cases potentially associated with gatherings of friends and families and we would prefer not to put our faculty, staff, and students, as well as in-person learning, at risk again.
Please follow the Commonwealth’s guidance and quarantine for ten days or get tested if you travelled out of state or participated in gatherings. The Magnus app will direct you to make these choices for the health and safety of all, and it is essential that you fill it out completely and correctly every day. If you have any questions, please contact our Health Office at ext. 1423.
We look forward to seeing most of your sons on Monday, Jan. 11, but will be happy to teach virtually those who have not completed quarantine or secured a negative COVID-19 test if your family travelled outside the Commonwealth over break. Please comply with all instructions on mask wearing, social distancing, and avoiding gatherings outside your immediate family. The collective sacrifices we make will help our boys learn, thrive, and grow—in person!
Go Fords!
John A. Nagl, D.Phil.
Ninth Head of School
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