September 18, 2020
Dear Menaul School Families,
We are now more than four weeks into the 2020-21 school year and our students are thriving in school and enjoying learning, whether face-to-face (about 85% and rising) or virtually.
As science studies the pandemic we understand more about how this virus is transmitted. We are adapting our safety precautions to lower the risk of COVID spread based on the newest data. Scientists now believe that most of the spread is through aerosol or droplets and transmission is far less likely from surface contact. At Menaul School, we are reducing the risk of COVID spread by following all the best practices: masks, social distancing and extreme hygiene. However, the experts are indicating that ventilation is key in reducing COVID spread. So, we have taken the following steps:
- Teachers are required to open classroom windows and we have placed large fans at building entrances to ensure airflow throughout the building.
- We continue to check the whole community’s temperature each day and monitor every student’s illnesses carefully!
- We continue to limit visits from non-community members.
- Because surfaces are less involved in spreading the virus, we are allowing most ball sports before and after school and at lunch including volleyball, football, four square and tetherball. Because basketball tends to be more contact oriented, we are not allowing it yet. It is a joy to see the students spread out and having fun together.
We are thankful to be one of the few schools (grades 6 to 12) in New Mexico to be fully open, face-to-face and also teaching virtually in a robust and engaging manner. I might add that today a friend and I just coined a new phrase, Mask to Mask Learning (MTML)instead of FTF. We should laugh every chance we get so we don’t cry right! Things can change and we will be ready to pivot at a moment’s notice to do what is best for our students. We all appreciate being in New Mexico where our COVID case rates are trending lower thanks to the science-based policies promoted by our government. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-new-mexico-controlled-the-spread-of-covid-19/ Their guidance and our willingness as a community to adhere to it makes it safe for Menaul School to bring your students the most effective and supportive education we can offer.
Thank you for your continued trust and support,
Lindsey R. Gilbert, Jr Head of School