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Director's Dispatch: New Health and Safety Guidelines

As I wrote last week, I am engaging with the students about their concerns with the decision to hold school the day after Senegal won the Africa Cup of Nations. I met with a group today. The students spoke with emotion about the impact of that decision and how it is connected to longer term concerns regarding the school’s decisions about celebrating Senegalese holidays. I plan on offering another time to meet with students later this week to allow more students to share their thoughts and concerns. I will share their thoughts and respond to their comments in a video message next week.

Covid Updates

Based on the reduction of cases in the country and our school, along with a review of the recommendations from the international health organizations, the ISD Health and Safety Team has made the following recommendations to our health and safety guidelines. I approved these changes and they will go into effect on Tuesday, February 22.

Masks are now optional for all members of the community outside including arrival and dismissal. This includes students, staff, and parents.

In addition, meetings with adults, staff and parents, in groups of ten or less, can meet indoors provided all individuals in the meeting have been vaccinated or had Covid within the past 90 days, and everyone agrees.

The health and safety team are still discussing two other changes.

We want to move to not quarantining cohorts if one student tests positive. In order to comfortably do this, we want to test the entire cohort with rapid tests. Those who test negative and are asymptomatic can stay at school. This is consistent with CDC recommendations. We are working through the different scenarios on how to implement the change.

In order to do this, we need an adequate supply of tests. We currently have 500 tests on hand and expect to receive another 300 soon. We are reaching out to a number of sources to try to obtain a reliable source of tests. If anyone in the community has a reliable sources of rapid tests, please reach out to me at

I will provide an update on this proposed change next week.

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