In recent weeks we have shared a flood of information with you about the opening of school next month. It has taken significant engagement from you through Zoom meetings, emails, information forms, and phone calls. Thank you! As a parent of two school-age children myself (grades 3 and 9), I am keenly aware of the effort it takes to keep up with plans for reopening. We appreciate your support as we, like so many other schools across the country, navigate this unprecedented school year.
In order to maintain our commitment to health and safety, I have decided to delay the start of Semester 65 and Chewonki Elementary Middle School. I reached this decision in collaboration with Chewonki’s leadership team and in consultation with our Trustees.
- Semester 65 will now begin on Wednesday, September 16th and conclude on December 12th
- Chewonki Elementary and Middle School will now begin on Thursday, September 17th
I did not come to this decision lightly and I am sorry for the impact it will have on you and your family.
The Reason for our Delay
In May and June we identified thousands of small and large changes that needed to be made across our campus to meet the Maine CDC’s Covid-19 safety requirements. Despite our best efforts, it has proven difficult to complete all of these changes on the timeline we set earlier this summer.
In particular, there are several key health center initiatives that must be completed before students can be welcomed back to campus. These include:
- The renovation of our health center and addition of a new isolation ward;
- Additions to our health center team, including extra nursing staff and a director of health services;
- A full review of our health policies and protocols by Elevate Health, our health services consulting firm, including newly added Covid-19 guidelines and tools
While each of these projects is nearing completion, the short delay will ensure we are ready to open with these essential pieces in place. We will continue to post all updates to our health and safety update webpage.
Over the next several days, you will receive more detailed information from Susan Feibelman, Kat Cassidy, and Sheryl Stearns, which will include an updated calendar, quarantine and testing requirements, and the orientation timeline. We remain committed to providing the high-quality education that you have come to expect from Chewonki.
Since I joined the Chewonki community sixteen years ago, my faith in our approach to education has only become stronger. While the short term disappointment of this delay is very real, I am confident in our collective ability to adapt and engage during these challenging times. I look forward to welcoming you to the immersive learning community that awaits you on the coast of Maine.
Thank you for your continued partnership.
With warmest regards,