Dec. 11, 2020
We were pleased to be able to offer in-person learning to all boys who were able and willing to attend school on campus this week and next, and we look forward, as I am sure do all of you, to a different but still joyous holiday and New Year’s celebration during our Winter Break beginning at the end of the day on Dec. 18.
Our faculty made the difficult choice not to travel over Thanksgiving in order to be able to safely resume teaching in-person afterward, and I am grateful to them for that sacrifice. The Montgomery County Health Office made the decision that all teaching in the county would be virtual for the two weeks surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday, and we complied with that instruction.
We are now seeing the rising infection rates that Montgomery County expected in the wake of the Thanksgiving holiday, and predict another surge over the Winter Break with two major holidays in the span of a week. Therefore, 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, The Haverford School will teach virtually only, with no in-person instruction, the first week after the Winter Break, from Jan. 4 to Jan. 10. We plan to begin in-person instruction at the normal time on Monday, Jan. 11.
Further, in compliance with Governor Wolf's new guidance issued yesterday afternoon and our decision to remain virtual for the first week of January, we are pausing all in-person extracurricular activities, including Upper School sports, until at least Jan. 11. We still hope to have an Inter-Ac-only winter sports season in the New Year if conditions improve and the authorities allow.
We know that in-person education is far preferable to Virtual Haverford, particularly for our youngest learners, and that cancelling in-person classes for the first week of January comes at a cost to our families. However, the week of virtual learning will bring important benefits as well, including additional time to comply with the post-travel requirements to identify possible infections that would put the whole school at risk. We implore you to make good choices for the health and safety of all.
This is, in many ways, the most wonderful time of the year. Please comply with all instructions on mask wearing, social distancing, and avoiding family gatherings to the maximum extent possible. The choices we make will collectively determine our path forward as a school and as a community.