May has arrived with warmer weather and beautiful flowers. This weekend, many of us enjoyed watching the premiere of “Identity Play,” written by professional playwrights, as well as a number of our Upper School students. More than thirty students performed while many others helped with the writing, editing, filming, and production. The vignettes, set in a variety of locations, were poignant and at times funny. Congratulations to everyone involved! I am amazed by the enormous collaboration and creativity that have been generated throughout the year to produce so many wonderful performances.
We are excited not only that Spring is here, but also that the majority of faculty and students are on campus. A level of activity and joy that we have sorely missed has returned to 3000 Cathedral Avenue.
Outside of the classroom, many of Maret’s spring sports teams are back in action. Students and faculty find time to reconnect in clubs and P.E. classes, and during lunch and break times. Beautiful weather has meant more opportunities to gather outside, whether under tents or in Adirondack chairs on the front lawn. Meanwhile, we await the arrival of the cicadas with curiosity and great anticipation. And I am delighted to report that all of last week’s pool testing for COVID-19 came back negative!
With great pleasure, we have begun to plan for many end-of-year events to occur with at least some students and family members on campus, especially members of our graduating class. Chanelle Blackwell, our Director of Constituent Relations, is working with the Admission team to bring parents and guardians of students who started at Maret this past September onto campus for individual tours and informal gatherings while also welcoming new families joining this fall through both virtual and on-campus events. Maret will continue to follow all updated guidance and regulations from the Mayor’s office as we enjoy these gatherings and celebrations.
In terms of next fall, we are proceeding with the following plans:
- Preseason for Upper School athletes will take place during the two weeks prior to Labor Day.
- The first day of school for all students will be Thursday, September 9, 2021.
- The School will resume its non-COVID, non-hybrid bricks-and-mortar schedule. No virtual-learning alternative will be provided (unless a return to quarantine for some period of time is required).
- Maret routinely requires families to provide proof of students’ immunization against diseases such as tetanus and measles. We will also require students and faculty who are vaccine-eligible to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 when they return to campus in September. Our hope is that eligibility will extend by then to include students ages 12 and older. Appropriate health and safety protocols will remain in place to reflect guidance for the fall. Families who have concerns about vaccination for medical reasons should contact our nurses.
While we are heartened by the wide availability of vaccines in the United States, we also want to be mindful of the terrible and ongoing toll of COVID in many other countries. In particular, our hearts go out to those who have families in India, South America, and any region where this pandemic continues to cause widespread suffering and loss.
The resilience and patience that our entire community has shown during this trying year-plus truly have allowed us to Stand Together. As always, thank you for your partnership.