February 25, 2022
Dear Madeira Community,
Your individual and collective dedication, flexibility, and patience have given our Snails the opportunity to learn in person since the Fall of 2020. This is a remarkable accomplishment given the constant ebbs and flows of COVID, and we do not take this for granted.
We have monitored and shifted tactics in an ever-evolving situation, adjusting our protocols in a measured and adaptive fashion. We are paying close attention to current medical advice and information, and we are taking strategic actions to help us follow the science both in and out of this pandemic. Over the past two years we have adjusted many levers to respond to COVID: masking; testing; symptom screening; contact tracing; COVID response when ill; athletics protocols; lunch; density and distancing; programs, activity and event modifications; and people in places (like visitors and parents).
In consultation with medical experts and using research and guidance from local and national health agencies, we will slowly begin to un-layer our COVID mitigation protocols. We will continue to prioritize health and safety and comply with evolving regulations and requirements as we support a sense of well-being and unity in our school community.
Why we are evolving COVID mitigation strategies
Recommendations from medical advisors based on their assessment of the current landscape, including clinical trends, medical research, new therapeutics, omicron being a substantially weaker variant, movement toward the endemic stage, and Madeira’s COVID incidence data.
Madeira’s very high vaccination rates among both students and employees: 100% for students and 99% for employees.
Low number of cases and exposures at Madeira and locally, indicating the ending of the omicron variant surge.
Ability to maintain layered mitigations, including staying home when sick, airflow, sanitizing/cleaning, and handwashing.
Thoughtful un-layering of COVID protocols
As we begin the un-layering of COVID mitigations, we will have community conversations about continuing to support and respect each other's choices. For example, as a community we have chosen to wear masks indoors to date; after Spring Break masks will become optional and we will support the decision for any community member to continue to wear a mask. These discussions are important for reinforcing Madeira’s core values. Below is a summary of our un-layering plan.
We have thoughtfully moved many levers to help Madeira’s community weather the physical and psychological impacts of COVID, and we will thoughtfully move these levers throughout the spring in service to community wellness and togetherness. Your continued partnership is vital and valued.