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Important information from Head of School J.P. Culley

Posted on: Feb 26, 2021

August 9, 2021

Click here to view the new Holland Hall 2021-22 Mask Policy.

Dear Holland Hall Families,

The start of school is clouded by renewed concerns regarding the coronavirus’ Delta variant and increased background rates here in Tulsa.  “The start of school” is important to emphasize here.  The infection control practices we are sharing below will be as temporary as they can be and based on our community’s C19 background rates, data from the Holland Hall campus, and increased vaccinations within Holland Hall and in the vicinity.  As we have demonstrated in the past, we will remain open to changing our approach as new information emerges.

As has been our focus, our goal is to stay true to our mission, keep the school environment as safe as reasonably possible, and ensure our school day is as close to normal as possible while keeping students on campus.  Our hope is the Delta variant follows a similar pattern as it did in the UK and India and experiences a sharp decline.  Should it choose to behave otherwise, Holland Hall will be prepared.

By way of reminder, our school days will:

  • Include full dining service with distancing in place.  FLIK dining will return to offering its typical menu, absent a salad bar and parent volunteer servers for now.
  • Run our typical schedules.  We will not return to block scheduling in the middle and upper school.  The upper school’s storied Mod schedule will be in full effect, as well as Morning Meeting.
  • Not include 6-foot distancing.  To run our regular academic schedules, we will have as much distancing in place as is reasonable with our furniture arrangements and spaces.
  • Not have a virtual learning option. Continue to encourage good personal hygiene and staying home when feeling sick.
The core mitigation strategies we will have in place include:
  • A masking policy that accounts for vaccination status and Covid background rates in Tulsa. A chart outlining this policy is below.
  • Excellent ventilation and filtration.  Recall that Holland Hall has invested in both enhanced air filters as well as ionizing technology for our air handler systems that neutralizes the virus, allergens, and other microorganisms.
  • Contact tracing that includes a return to school policy identical to last year’s, which served us extremely well.  Vaccinated individuals will be informed of exposure but not asked to quarantine.
Especially with regard to the masking policy and our C19 background rates, we will remain in touch weekly so you will know what to expect for your child and peers.

Last academic year, Holland Hall worked diligently to create the safest environment possible that remained focused on academic excellence.  We know even more now.  With increasing vaccination rates and our most vulnerable older populations protected, we will lead the way in maintaining a safe environment while managing the new normal of Covid.

Holland Hall Mask Policy


Tulsa County 

Daily Covid Cases

(per day)

Indoors

Outdoors

Vaccinated

Unvaccinated

Vax and Unvax

10 cases or below

Mask Optional

Mask Optional

Mask Optional

11 – 30 cases

Mask Optional

Mask Required

Mask Optional

31+ cases

Mask Required

Mask Required

Mask Optional


Note: The rate of infection can be found at this link. Mask policies will remain in effect for a week at a time, and the following week’s status will be in Dutch Weekly, which is emailed to families on Friday afternoon.


We look forward to seeing you next week.


 

Dear Holland Hall Families,

I hope you are enjoying the “Spring Peek” as much as I am. Transitioning from the vortex’s nobody on campus to seeing more students and teachers taking advantage of the outdoors makes me think of how well we have weathered one of the most challenging winters in school history. I remain profoundly grateful for your patience and understanding, for your diligence and concern to our health and safety measures. We’re doing this the Holland Hall way. There’s much to be thankful for in that sentiment.

Less than three months of school remain!

We remain committed to our one-day-at-a-time approach, but it’s also time for us to look to the future — both near-term and with our new, bold strategic plan. Here’s what to look forward to, and to plan for, in the immediate future:

  • All Holland Hall employees will have access to a first round of vaccines, offered in the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy building, on Friday, March 5, 2021. The second round will happen prior to Good Friday. Please join me in thanking Drs. Travis and Sunni Wolff (Asher ‘33) and Med-World Pharmacy for making this possible!
  • The last days of school have been finalized. With the most challenging part of winter behind us and with our community’s COVID numbers much improved over the past few weeks, we feel more confident with firming up these dates. (Please recall the dates differ due to our staggered start.)
    • The last day of school for grades Early PreK – 5th is Friday, May 14.
    • The last day of school for grades 6th – 12th is Friday, May 21.
    • The first day for summer programs is Tuesday, June 1.
  • Grades 4-12 will be in virtual mode for the days immediately following spring break: Monday, March 22 through Thursday, March 25. Everyone is back on campus Friday, March 26. The purpose of these days is to help reduce the work for our faculty members and to maintain some distance from possible spring break COVID exposures appearing on campus.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I want us to keep close to heart what our students are experiencing. Things have changed radically for them. And it’s been going on for a long time. (Recall the adolescent and preadolescent sense of time does not match ours — it’s not even close.)

Especially over the past two months, every conversation I’ve had with counterparts locally and across the country has illuminated the augmented stress and anxiety our students are feeling — even the ones who are on campus frequently. They feel stressed around fewer social connections; they feel stressed around academic expectations (implicit or explicit); they feel stress around the new normal (if/when it will ever end); and, quite frankly, they are feeling the stress that we are feeling. All this is on top of just the regular stuff they have going on in their lives.

I think we have done well to offer them extracurriculars — however choppy they have felt from time to time. I think we have done well to get them on campus, and we’ll be doing more in the spring to create opportunities for an even greater sense of community. That said, I think we would do well to pull back a bit, for the time being, to give them some space. To reduce some of the stressors, if not for any other reason, than to create more bandwidth to play, to get outside, to explore an interest outside of academics, to have dinner with family, to “veg,” etc.

We’ve tried to create something that students could plan around. With that in mind, you should see significantly reduced, if not completely zero, homework assignments on E and F days for students in grades 4-12. Studying is certainly still possible, and assigned reading to move forward conversations in English is appropriate. The goal here is not to reduce expectations for learning how to use their minds well; it’s to give them some space so they can.

As parent conferences approach, I hope you take advantage of that opportunity to ask questions. Our approach is a holistic one. We care as much about the entirety of your child’s being as we do about the intellect. That’s what makes the Holland Hall experience so meaningful and lasting.

As is always, I hope you will be in touch with questions.

My regards,

J.P. Culley
Head of School