I am so proud of our community. This week’s surge in COVID-19 cases within the school community and our resulting decision to transition middle school to distance learning has shown once again that James River is flexible, resilient, and above all caring. I thank you all for adapting to the changes necessitated this week with such grace. I applaud our faculty, staff, and our students for their perseverance and dedication.
With this latest wave of cases expected to peak in the next two to three weeks, I have spent much of the past week in consultation with local health professionals. I continue to also monitor the latest guidelines from the CDC and VDH, working to ensure our policies and procedures are keeping our students as safe as possible while also keeping them in-person.
I have decided to update our current COVID-19 protocol as follows to more effectively respond to the current variant.
In coordination with our adjusted COVID-19 protocol, I have also decided to make the following changes to our daily operations:
- 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade classes will eat lunch separately. K and 1st will remain in the lunchroom (a much larger airspace for very few children).
- Lower school classes will remain separate during recess, taking turns assigned to each area of our outdoor spaces.
- We will close the PE locker rooms and temporarily allow middle school students to wear neat and respectful athletic clothing to school.
- Basketball practices and games have been cancelled through January 21. We will reassess at that time, on a week by week basis.
- Parent-Teacher Conferences, scheduled for January 26, will be held via Zoom. Conference times and links will be shared next week.
As with all things throughout this pandemic, our policies and procedures must be flexible to be truly effective. We will all be monitoring and reassessing as we move through the coming weeks and will make thoughtful adjustments as needed. Our goal is to keep your students learning in person while also keeping them as healthy and safe as possible. I am looking forward to the return of the middle school students next Wednesday.
I continue to be so grateful for the support and understanding of the James River Day School community.
With my best regards,
Head of School