This is a quick note about the Proctor community coming together. Attached to this note are some of the critical steps and practices you must be aware of, take, and maintain if we are to keep our community safe. They are sensible, straightforward, and non-negotiable. I don’t say this to be heavy handed but to keep everyone healthy.
We have all been watching the news about colleges and reopenings - UNC, Notre Dame, Michigan. There have been struggles. Colleges that started in person have had to shift to remote learning. Communities that thought they could reopen safely are finding they can’t. What I see in these stories is the common thread of exceptionalism, the sense that the guidelines, while sensible for the immediate community, do not apply once one steps away from the immediate. That’s been a huge mistake, and that can’t happen at Proctor.
Faculty and staff went through PCR testing Monday. All of us. This is the start of our pulling inward to create a healthy landscape for everyone. A bubble. We are not going to be traveling out of state from this date forward. We will not be going to Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, or any other state no matter how healthy their numbers. We are staying local and we are being careful about who we connect with and the size of a gathering. In light of this I ask that all students and families start to move in tighter circles as well as they prepare to return to campus.
When you show up on campus, bring your PCR test results with you. You must have these results, and they must be negative. (If you are having difficulty securing a test, reach out to Sue Norris, Proctor’s Director of Health Services.) Once you arrive on campus you will be tested again by our testing partner, OnSIte, and then we will collectively go into an extended lock-down for 72 hours. This Phase 1 of our on-campus orientation will see dorms operating in pods - eating meals together, taking day hikes, connecting, and forming new bonds. Our Day Students will remain home until test results are back. Once we enter Phase 2 of our on-campus orientation period, Day Students will be allowed on campus and will be integrated into pods alongside our boarding students. Our first day of classes is scheduled for September 14.
I remain incredibly optimistic we will manage these next months in good health and with a sense of community functioning together. It won’t always be easy. You are going to want to rip those masks off. You are going to want to hug, to high-five, to crowd around a dinner table with a gaggle of friends. We are all going to want that. But for now, at least, that won't be a part of the daily routine. Not yet. We will sacrifice today so that we can be together in all the ways that we want to tomorrow.
Thanks for your understanding and your work to keep us all healthy.
Mike Henriques P'11, P'15
Proctor Academy Head of School