Director's Dispatch: Covid Update


I wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the current guidelines and share our thoughts on the next steps.

  • At this point, masks are optional outdoors for all members of the community at all times.

  • Staff can meet indoors without masks provided everyone is comfortable with it and everyone is vaccinated or tested positive in the last 90 days.

  • We will not be quarantining cohorts if a student tests positive. We will notify the families and the teachers, then test the other students in the cohort. If the students test negative, they can remain at school.

  • Parents and families are free to fully access campus.

  • The theater capacity has increased to 100%.

Some members have asked the school administration to eliminate the mask mandate entirely citing concerns that masks interfere with learning as well as student socialization. With the move to optional mask use outdoors, the students are welcome to socialize mask free.

Masks do impact non-verbal communication and there are definite instructional advantages to have teachers and students remove their masks for certain activities. Beginning next week, we are considering a change in the guidelines for use of masks in the classroom. Under the new guidelines, faculty or students could remove their masks for a limited time for specific instructional purposes, for example, a teacher wanting the students to watch their mouth when they are demonstrating how a letter sounds or a student is giving a presentation to the class. This change would be voluntary for now.

Looking ahead, I have asked the Health and Safety Team to consider under what conditions would we move to masks being optional inside the classrooms. In making this decision, we will gather more updated information on the vaccination status of our students, parents, and staff and will keep you updated as we continue to discuss future changes.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions (alank@faculty.isd.sn).