A “Better New Normal” for the 2021-22 School Year

Students can expect a full return to campus

As promised to the Parker community, Principal Dan Frank issued the first of three “Summer Communication Plan” emails on Friday, July 16. According to Frank, Parker is “planning to open on time for a full school day for all students, faculty and staff.” This full reopening includes not only a return to in-person learning, and only in-person learning, for all students regardless of vaccination status, but also many of the extra curricular and traditional activities that were not possible during the 2020-21 school year. 

 

Students can expect the return of Fall sports, Big Brothers and Sisters, class trips, and County Fair. Frank’s email also stated that Admissions tours, an activity allowing interested parents to visit campus and see a Parker education in action, would resume. 

 

While the email recognized the “grounded optimism” of the current plan, it also made clear that certain of the health and safety guidelines of the 2020-21 school year would remain in place for the 2021-22 school year.

 

Parker will continue to emphasize hand washing, increased ventilation, regular symptom screening, and requiring members of the community to stay home when not feeling well. Unlike the 2020-21 school year, there is no plan to require daily temperature screening or regular saliva testing. 

 

The most significant change is the mask policy. While mask wearing will be required in all public spaces within Parker, mask wearing in classrooms and meeting spaces will vary based upon vaccination status. Frank’s email stated that “all vaccinated school members may remove their masks in classes or meetings where others are also fully vaccinated.” Those who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear masks throughout the school building. With the majority of Middle School students and all Upper School students vaccine eligible, numerous classrooms at Parker may not require mask use during the 2021-22 school year. 

 

Frank closed the email by reminding the Parker community, once again, that the pandemic is not over and that the plans set out remain subject to change based upon pandemic guidelines. Although Parker plans to begin the school year with a “better new normal,” ever changing pandemic metrics and recommendations from federal, state, and local government continue to determine the Parker experience for the 2021-22 school year.