Middle & Upper School Full Return to Campus, Spring Term

Full Message to all Middle and Upper School Students from Nancy Nebeker, Dean of Students on March 15, 2021 regarding the

Launch of Spring Term

Hi to ALL our Middle and Upper School students at home & here on campus. 

Welcome to Spring term.  It is so good to be able to invite everyone to come back to campus full-time - - a few of you for the first time all year.

I loved the video from your student leaders about keeping to our safety protocols.  Thanks Mike and Payson for putting that together with Mr. Douglas.

Now I want to highlight some important things that are on my mind as we begin spring term:


GENERAL REMINDERS:

First: and this may sound crazy but I feel a need to remind you that the school day begins at 8:30 am in your Morning Meeting. A bit of casualness has crept in about the start of the school day.  Morning Meeting is not optional.  

At home or on campus, the school day begins at 8:30 am.  Please plan on being here or on zoom promptly each day.

Second: I also remind you that Waterford still has a Uniform (I say this with a bit of a smile) and all students on campus are expected to be dressed in full uniform every day.  The habit of being in uniform has been slipping and NOW is the time for a reset. 

Please wear Waterford branded hoodies or outerwear and take off your hats when entering a classroom. Deans really are happy to answer any of your questions about the uniform. 


MASKS:

Masking and distancing are more important than ever before as we bring more students back to campus. The science tells us if we all mask we will drastically reduce risk AND the need to quarantine should there be an exposure. 

Take a listen to the most up to date mask guidance from Ms. Stokes and Ms. Kennedy…. [Nurses Video]

Thanks to Ms. Kennedy. “Fit is It”.  As we need to, we will gently follow up with students whose masks aren’t fitting well so we can all stay healthy.


BUSY HALLS:

Busy halls.  With more students on campus - the first few days may feel unusually busy and congested.  We are figuring out the overflow zoom space just as we are figuring out exactly how many students will be coming to school every day.

Teachers may need to help dismiss classes gradually in order to maintain an easy flow in the hallways.

Expect to see busy hallways and plan to exit the building thru the nearest door.  Even when you are going from one end of the 600 building to the other end -  WALK OUTSIDE and enter through the door closest to your next class.

Please don’t gather to chat in the hallways. It won’t be helpful or safe.  


PASSING PERIODS:

Passing periods.  Starting today, passing periods have been reduced to 10 minutes.  This will give teachers a buffer at the beginning of class to sort out students who will need to zoom.  Please pay attention to your schedule and move quickly to the FIRST BLOCK of the day which now starts at 8:55 am.


DINING HALL:

With more students on campus each day, it makes sense to expect a bit more of a line in the Dining Hall.

The line will continue to move quickly with “grab n’ go” items but please spread out and wait patiently.  Help your peers who haven’t been to the Dining Hall this year navigate the Hot and Cold lines.  

The Dining Hall Tent will be warm and waiting for you.

We must continue to follow our NO EATING INSIDE protocol.

On extreme weather days we will allow students to eat in the East Gym and we will notify students when that is the plan for the day.

I am happy to announce that starting Spring Term Grab n’ Go Breakfast Items will be available every morning from 8-8:30 am. 

The Dining Hall tent will be warm at 8am each day.


CLASSROOMS:

While we were enjoying a nice spring break the Waterford facilities crew have been moving furniture to add more seats in each classroom.  Because of their work a few more students will fit into each of our classrooms and we are grateful.

As a result, many classes have been assigned to different rooms in order to better accommodate the enrollment in each of our sections. Your Morning Meeting Mentor has a copy of your schedule to hand out this morning.  Please pay attention to the room assignments.  

In many rooms you will notice bright colored circles on the carpet.

These circles mark where the furniture needs to be placed to give us 6 feet of distance.  Please don’t remove or fiddle with them as they are a vital part of adding seats and keeping our distance and staying safe with more students on campus.

So along with this welcome I issue a plea:  In the coming weeks we will need to literally and figuratively find ways to hold space for one another. 

Please offer GRACE AND GOOD WILL to everyone who crosses your path -- especially those who are returning to campus for the first time.  

My door is always open.  If you have any questions, worries or concerns as we start spring term please feel free to drop by or send me a message. You are the reason I love what I do.