An update on Holland Hall’s return to school, days off

Posted on: Sep 23, 2020

Dear Holland Hall Families,

Campus is not so quiet anymore. Thankfully so!

Our teachers have done remarkable work as they have instituted new schedules in the Middle and Upper School, incorporated technology to accommodate at-home students, and reinforced a culture of safety and hygiene. We are solidly focused on safety and being in school, but we continue to remain as flexible as we need to be.

While every week will present its own unique challenges, some of which could be hard to plan for, we now know for certain that we can manage Covid cases as they present on campus. As a result of the safety precautions we’ve had in place since the start of school, we have had only one transmission on campus. Again, in the event of direct exposure, you will hear from Nurse Christensen.

Everyone’s vigilance is needed, and I hope, from time to time, you continue to discuss our commitment to community safety with your family.

With some campus data in hand and with feedback from families and faculty on the overall school-year schedule, we are going to reinstitute two days off for Fall Break and one additional day for Thanksgiving. While we know these days may pose childcare challenges, the rest is much-needed, both for students and teachers.

  • Fall Break: Friday, October 16, and Monday, October 19
  • Thanksgiving Break will begin at the end of the school day on Tuesday, November 24

We’ve begun receiving questions about travel for the holidays. I’ve asked Nurse Christensen to find guidance to offer to our families on safe practices to reduce the possibility of exposure and, of course, safe returns to campus. Look for that guidance in the days to come.

Keep in mind that we track active cases on campus here. You can also find a link to historical cases at the same link.

Since the first day of school:

  • We’ve managed a total of 10 Covid cases across the Early PreK-12 programs. That’s 1006 students and over 200 employees.
  • Of those 10, one case has likely resulted in transmission to one other person on campus.
  • To monitor and mitigate the possibility of transmission, a total of 35 individuals with direct exposure have been asked to quarantine. While some are still in quarantine as of this writing, only the one aforementioned likely case has developed symptoms or tested positive for Covid.

Holland Hall remains well-equipped to maintain on-campus learning for the foreseeable future and to build on the positive start to the school year. But I ask that you keep two things in mind: 1) Our teachers are to be applauded wholeheartedly. The task before them this year is herculean, and our encouragement is essential. 2) However predictable some aspects of the school year may become, the data will continue to drive our decision-making. We should all remain mentally prepared for change as the fall and winter unfold.

In case you haven’t seen it, please enjoy this video from our first weeks back to school.

In community,

J.P. Culley
Head of School