Community Update – April 10, 2021
It is with great pride and gratitude that I reach out to all of you with our April Community Update. We are in the home stretch! Before I share some changes to our protocols for the remainder of the year, let me first share some end of year dates for your calendars. The last official day of school for underclassmen will be June 15th. Exams will be in person on June 9, 10, 11 and 14 and the 15th will be a makeup day for any student who was unable to take the exam on the appointed date. A specific exam calendar with dates and times will be posted by Mr. Ling in mid-May. Our 2021-2022 calendar has been approved and the first full day of classes in the fall will be Monday, August 30th. Students participating in sports or assisting with new student orientation programs will be on campus ahead of that date.
Enrollment contracts will be mailed at the end of the week and are due back by May 5th. The financial aid committee will begin to review verified applications next week. If you have not finished your application for financial assistance, please do so as soon as possible. Families who have received support from the Children’s Scholarship Fund must also renew their applications.
As of today, all but nine of our employees have been vaccinated and quite a few of our eligible students are registered as well. Even some of our international students began the vaccination process this weekend. I don’t want to jinx anything, but we are still without a single school transmission of COVID 19. Yes, some students and staff have had the virus, but there has been no trace to a school transmission – not a single one.
Given the ever-changing local, state and CDC guidelines I wanted to take a few minutes to review some aspects of our School Reopening document. Some things will change, but we are committed to the consistency of “staying the course” for others.
The biggest change is with regard to travel. As of April 15th, Bishop Brady community members who travel within the United States, but outside of New England will no longer be required to quarantine when they return as long as they are symptom free. That said, we do expect everyone to continue to follow our safety protocols of wearing a mask, avoiding large public gatherings, and maintaining social distance. In the event you travel to an area that no longer has a mask requirement, we are asking that you still wear your mask. If you choose not to wear your mask, we are asking people to voluntarily quarantine for the 10 days in order to assure the safety of others. The quarantine for travel outside of the US remains in effect unless the person is 14 days post FULL vaccination or has had a positive COVID case within the last 90 days. Everyone should continue to monitor for COVID symptoms and quarantine if they have any symptoms.
A second change in the protocols is regarding quarantining when exposed to a positive case of COVID. Anyone who is exposed to a positive COVID case but has had COVID within the past 90 days, or is 14 days past FULL vaccination, need not quarantine if they are symptom free. If symptomatic, the 10 day quarantine is expected.
What is not changing? Bishop Brady will continue to require masks in the building at all times with the exception of while actively eating or when outdoors at a distance of greater than 8 feet. All classrooms will continue to have desks/tables distanced at SIX feet. We will maintain the current capacity limits in the cafeteria and library. We may add some additional seating in the gymnasium as we reintroduce some in person events for which observers are relatively stationary (Monday morning meetings, NHS induction, awards, etc). All students participating in athletics WILL WEAR MASKS during participation even though events are now outdoors. This is in line with the recommendations of the NHIAA Sports Medicine Committee AND the Athletic Directors Association. All tournament participation will require masks as well. The policy for fans at athletic events is the jurisdiction of the home team. Please check with your coaches before traveling to any away venues. For Brady home events, fans are required to wear masks and remain socially distanced.
The administration is working with senior class advisors and student leaders to plan year end activities. Seniors and senior parents will receive a separate letter in the next day or two outlining these activities. Specific details will not be released until after April vacation as we await further revision of local and state guidelines that may allow additional modifications to be made.
This is hard work. Wearing a mask when it is hot is pretty new to us since we weren’t in the building at this time last year. We are making concessions allowing students outdoor mask breaks. We are encouraging classes to move to outdoor spaces as the weather improves. But this is NOT the time to let our guard down.
Thank you all for your patience and support as we have navigated this school year. Our Task Force continues to meet and will continue to monitor data and make recommendations. Those of you that are monitoring the data as we are know that our numbers within the state are not great at this time. While we are hopeful that this will improve with more and more people getting the vaccine, we are concerned with the large increase particularly among the younger populations. I thank you for acting responsibly up to this point and I am pleading with all of you to continue to do so. The end of the year is in sight. The end of COVID will come.
I continue to be so proud of our students, parents and staff. This is hard work for EVERYONE. It is a challenge to not become complacent and to continually adjust. Our goal is June 15th (June 11th for seniors)!
Stay safe, stay strong. We’ve got this. #BradybeingBrady.
Andrea Isaak Elliot