It has been a true pleasure to witness our Middle and Upper School students learning and building connections with their teachers, coaches, and peers. Like our student-athletes and actors, Prep, as a school, is getting its timing and confidence back.
With local COVID numbers trending positively and the recent mandates and updated protocols for public schools to return at 100% capacity next month, we are studying ways to return to 100% occupancy in-person education at Santa Fe Prep and keep our students, faculty, and staff as safe as possible.
At the time of this writing, the new protocols are still evolving. NMPED documents allow schools to utilize six feet of physical distance between students to the greatest extent possible. At Prep, in a 100% occupancy model, this would be attainable in most of our indoor spaces, but not all. However, current research supports this evolution. “Three-foot distancing is appropriate for the student-to-student interaction,” says Dr. Joseph G. Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and chair of The Lancet’s Covid-19 Commission Task Force on Safe Work, Safe Schools, and Safe Travel.
Because the benefits of going to 100% occupancy are clear—students would be able to be on campus 4 days a week, every week—this is our goal. We remain committed to employing universal masking, enhanced ventilation, symptom screening, sanitization, and surveillance testing protocols that have kept our community healthy and well. In the interest of maintaining consistent planning and schedule structure, facilitating a weekly deep clean, providing office hours, limiting screen time, and student/teacher sustainability, we will retain our Day Pausa and our current daily schedule for the immediate future.
We understand that in the current environment, some families may opt to have their children remain in remote learning due to medical conditions. However, due to increasing vaccination rates of the most medically vulnerable and the difficulty of broadcasting classes to remote students, we ask that all students remaining in the online option have a clear reason to do so. There are additional tech and internet constraints in some of the tents and spaces that we need to use for all students to be back on campus at the same time. Therefore, we cannot promise the same level of internet connectivity and broadcasts to our remote students that we have been able to deliver thus far. An additional survey will be circulated in our second week of Spring Break to confirm your selection of remote or on-campus learning for the remainder of the school year. We will ask for your confirmation on or before Tuesday, March 30.
With all of these many factors in mind, we are not yet able to announce a target date by which any increased onsite capacity model will be implemented on our campus, but we hope to do so relatively soon after spring break.
Thank you for your trust and partnership with Santa Fe Prep—we would not be where we are without you. I wish you and your family a restful and safe spring break.
Aaron Schubach, Head of School
March 13, 2021
Staying connected as a school community during this time is more important than ever. We appreciate the messages of support we have received from parents across the grades through our many transitions from remote to hybrid learning—thank you!
The following messages have been shared with the Santa Fe Prep community: