Blair Prepares to Welcome Students Back to Campus in February

Blair’s spring semester opens with virtual learning on February 1, and plans are in place to welcome students back to campus later in the month, when they will once again live and learn together. In preparation for students’ return to Blairstown, Associate Head of School Ryan Pagotto sent the following communication to families on January 27:

Dear Blair parents,

We are excited to welcome students back to campus in late February and continue the experience of living and learning together on our beautiful hilltop. Much like the fall, masks will be ubiquitous, and we will remain attentive to keeping distance and not gathering in close quarters. At the same time, we will enjoy the opportunity for play, for practice, for making art and for making music together. We will debate in person and conduct science labs, and get Gourmet Gallery and Frank’s Pizza with advisors. After weeks of planning virtual events, our student life team is excited to make the in-person weekends this spring even better than the fall. Of course, that will include some events typically held in the winter, including The Game and the real Headmasters’ Societies Games, as well as the prospect of a spring athletic season.

The protocols and protective behaviors that were in place at the beginning of the fall semester will be the standard expectation. The main difference from the fall is that COVID-19 positivity rates are significantly higher than they were at any point between late August and November, and our protective measures such as masks, distance and hand washing are more important now than ever. 

The first few weeks of March may not be easy, but as the vaccine rollout continues, as COVID-19 cases hopefully begin to decrease and as warmer weather begins to come our way, we anticipate that the situation will improve throughout the spring. We need to do our part to protect the most vulnerable in our community and to protect our Blairstown neighbors and all the local first responders and healthcare providers who have worked tirelessly over the course of the last 11 months.

Our faculty and staff members are working hard to create another safe re-entry to campus that will be much like the fall, and we thank you for doing your part to support those efforts. To hopefully simplify what students and parents need to do before arriving in Blairstown and once they are on campus, here is a checklist. You can find more detailed information on our spring-semester protocols website (linked below or you can enter the URL www.blair.edu/spring-semester). 

Before getting to campus:

  • Review our detailed spring-semester protocols on Blair’s website.
  • Refamiliarize yourself with the Buccaneer Pledge every member of our community signed at the beginning of the school year.
  • Self-quarantine for 10 days. 
  • Submit a negative PCR test result to the Health Center at healthcenter@blair.edu within three days of coming to campus.
  • If your child has had COVID-19, complete this form & submit it to the Health Center.
  • Complete this brief but important Google Form that includes information about your child’s arrival.

As I close, I will underscore the vital importance that students keep a strict quarantine for the 10 days in advance of their arrival at Blair. It is non-negotiable, and any indication that a student is not abiding by the expectations will be individually addressed. We can only do this by understanding our collective commitment to each other.

Warm regards,

Ryan Pagotto
Associate Head of School
 

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