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School Closed For Children
(Includes Good Friday & Passover)
Dear Washington Market School Community,
We have all been reading and listening to stories concerning the concept of opening schools safely. Our team has been imagining scenarios for a possible reopening since the beginning of April. One thing we have learned with our Online learning platform, our Enrollment and Operations groups, and our burgeoning experiences with technology is that we continue to make decisions that we have never had to make before. As we each continue to say, no decision in a pandemic is an easy one.
That said, we are looking ahead to September when we will reopen our Duane and Hudson Street sites. There are two spheres of interest that we are dealing with. The first is the critical need to keep our community—children, teachers, staff—safe from Covid-19. The second is the critical need to educate our children in the best way possible and that means having them physically be in school with their teachers and friends.
The question that we are facing is whether there is a zone of safety where these two spheres overlap and allow both health protection and physical attendance. According to the best scientific information, this can occur when the Covid-19 infection rate in a population is less than 5%. In NYC the infection rate is less than 2%, so we feel comfortable physically opening and we are supported by the NYC public schools opening and the approval for school openings from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.
But rest assured, we approach the opening with extreme caution and will be following strict guidelines to maintain the health of the community including requiring social distancing for adults and, as much as possible, with young children, temperature taking of children and staff, mask-wearing by the staff and, possibly the children, extensive and intensive handwashing, disinfecting with sophisticated electrostatic sprayers, and much more. You will be receiving a memo shortly outlining all of the safety measures we will be taking but please know that we are on the case.
We remain together while apart,
Dear WMS Community,
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