Update from Campus
After a 17-day winter break, students, faculty, and administrators arrived back on campus in early January, excited for a productive spring semester of teaching and learning. Before returning, everyone was required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. To minimize the inconvenience that testing can pose to families and employees, the school set up a “pop up” rapid antigen testing facility in Olshan Lobby for all to use.
During the first week back in January, approximately 60 students remained at home and attended school remotely because of quarantining protocols or contact tracing requirements, but the vast majority of students and employees who tested positive were either asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic. While the school community remained prepared to switch to virtual learning on a moment’s notice, it was not necessary to do so. The decision to mandate vaccinations and boosters for all eligible students and employees was yet another step toward keeping students, employees, and their families.
With the surge on the decline toward the end of January, HM was able to roll back some of the heightened restrictions that had been implemented in the late fall. On January 20th, HM announced that parents, guardians, siblings, and students would once again be permitted to attend home athletic events as spectators. In the beginning of February, masks were no longer required when outside on campus and plastic barriers were removed from the cafeterias, classrooms, and lobby areas. This change marked the first time in almost two years that the children at the Lower Division were permitted to run and play during recess mask-free. Dorr day and overnight programs began operating in person again on February 7th. In addition, the Bronx campus’s three divisions began to phase in division-specific and grade-level events, such as assemblies and the return of guest speakers (as long as these individuals were fully vaccinated and passed the HM Daily Symptom Check).
Although it is impossible to predict what will happen this spring, the steps the school has taken to protect students and employees – including weekly testing and mask-wearing indoors – will continue to ensure the school community’s safety.