Our rigorous testing protocols began in late August with faculty, staff, and families who are living or working on campus. We continued last week by testing our first cohort of boarding students upon their arrival. (Students are tested first, before going to their dorms, and must await a negative result before they are cleared to be on campus. A PCR test is also sent to an off-campus lab.) Of the 357 tests administered to students, one came back as a positive result. Following our established protocols, the student returned home with the student’s parents.
Our evidence-based approach, which includes careful continuous analysis of a range of data at multiple levels including person-specific, school, region, and state, indicates that we are on track with our plans to welcome students in a staged and safe manner. If the evidence changes to indicate that Covid-19 infections are trending in the wrong direction or risks are found to be greater than predicted, we will pause to determine whether we should revise our approach.
We will continue to keep you informed of our progress and next steps.
Meanwhile, this week, I am honored to be a featured guest of the PSPA (Parents of Students of Phillips Academy). Please join me along with a panel of PA faculty and administrators on Thursday, September 17, at 7 p.m. (EDT). Details follow below.
As we begin the academic year, I cannot overstate how deeply grateful I am for the efforts of every faculty and staff member who has gone above and beyond to open school during what I hope are once in a lifetime circumstances. And thank you, parents, for entrusting us with your students. No matter the circumstances, the real business of teaching and learning is the most vital and joyful work that we do.
Raynard Kington, MD, PhD, P’24
Head of School