The blur of a COVID-19 induced summer quarantine is upon us during these seemingly endless days of summer. We each have settled into our own summer routine: exercise, work, reading, house projects, family time, swimming, sleep, repeat. And while we can hardly complain about the luxury of living in lake-laden rural New Hampshire during one of the hottest and sunniest July’s on record, our annual anticipation of returning to a school-year routine is starting to creep into our existence.
I write today to share the details of Proctor’s return to school plan in a document that follows this letter. Making the decision to reopen in September for face-to-face learning has been and must continue to be a deliberative, not reactive process. We have done our work internally, gotten advice for experts externally. We have partnered with other ISANNE schools to develop what we think of as shared, responsible practices. Reopening for in person learning is a decision that takes into consideration our unique geography, the data within the state, the health and wellbeing of our faculty and staff, and our belief that we can collectively do the work of establishing and maintaining a healthy community.
Traffic continues to flow down Route 11 to local lakes and mountain getaways, and daily admissions tours on campus provide a sense of normalcy. Our intense focus since June has been on developing a return to school plan that will allow us to safely and responsibly repopulate campus in September, a most abnormal way to spend our summer and one that has challenged us to think critically about every aspect of who we are and what we do as a school.
The 4th of July in the town of Andover, New Hampshire looked a little different this year. Not just because COVID-19 canceled festivities on the Town Green, the parade through campus filled with local fire departments and scout troops, or fireworks over Carr Field, but because of a much needed reframing of our understanding of Independence Day in America.
July has arrived, and while campus remains quiet, planning for our return to school in September is in full swing. We know questions abound as the academic year approaches. In order to provide an open forum for these questions, we invite you to join the following faculty and administrators during our Summer Office Hours Series (all times listed are Eastern Standard Time). Each of these office hours sessions will be held via WebEx (parents and students should check email for additional links to each event), and will serve as true “office hours” where families can jump on for a few minutes or the entire time.