On June 26, Head of School David G. Perfield announced in a letter to families that all students would be welcomed back to campus on August 22. Since early spring, the School has been leveraging external expertise and evolving guidance from local and national authorities to develop health and safety protocols designed to protect the overall well-being of both residential and non-residential students and employees. This remains the highest priority.
Below are excerpts from the Head of School's letter:
Dear Oldfields Families,
I am grateful for the resilience our community has demonstrated through our shared experience of the last few months and for the overwhelming support we have received. We are living in a period of heightened uncertainty related to nearly all aspects of our professional and social lives. This uncertainty extends into our schools, who face unprecedented challenges associated with maintaining the educational programs and experiences so many of us have come to take for granted.
Despite this uncertainty, Oldfields is prepared to return to an on-campus education program designed to meet the needs of our girls--in mind, body, and spirit--for the 2020-2021 school year. We will welcome students back to campus for registration and orientation weekend beginning Saturday, August 22. Please note that students may be required to complete a two-week self-quarantine period and complete COVID-19 testing before returning to campus.
Since early spring, we have been hard at work leveraging external expertise and evolving guidance from local and national authorities to develop health and safety protocols designed to protect the overall well-being of our students and employees. This remains our highest priority. Now more than ever, this will require a significant level of commitment from all members of our community. Residential and non-residential students, employees, and families will be asked to follow research-based hygiene practices and adhere to health and safety protocols. Physically distanced classrooms and meeting spaces, daily health screenings for students and employees, new campus visitor management processes, required PPE, and contingency protocols for addressing diverse health and safety challenges will be some of the changes every community member will experience. You will receive additional information about our health and safety protocols for the 2020-2021 school year in the coming weeks.
Revised 2020-2021 Calendar
In support of these health and safety protocols, we have made revisions to the 2020-2021 school calendar. Reducing the risk of an outbreak on campus is key to being able to offer Oldfields' on-campus education program. Whereas our normal calendar was designed in part to facilitate ease of travel during breaks, residential students and faculty should plan on staying on campus once they arrive in August until our Winter Break that begins Wednesday, December 9. Based on the necessary changes to the calendar, we will move to a semester system for the 2020-2021 school year. First semester exams will take place during the three days preceding Winter Break, allowing a natural stopping point.
Oldfields has overcome many challenges in our 153-year history. I am confident we will emerge even stronger from the challenges we face today as well. We will continue to update you through the summer and will offer information webinars for students and families beginning in July. Together, we will continue to provide your daughter(s) an exceptional educational experience in a supportive environment while prioritizing the health and safety of our community.
I look forward to welcoming our girls back to campus on August 22. Lisa joins me in sending best wishes for a safe and healthy summer.
David G. Perfield
Head of School