Information Regarding Hackley Reopening 7/16/20

Dear Hackley Families,

Thank you for your patience as we processed the release of several documents from New York State regarding the reopening of schools. I am writing today to share the approach Hackley would take, should Governor Cuomo decide to reopen schools and Hackley returns to in-person instruction. The state is requiring all schools to submit reopening plans by July 31. Between August 1 and 7, Governor Cuomo will announce his decision regarding reopening schools. Even as we share these plans, we understand that this remains a dynamic situation and that our policies, plans, and procedures are subject to change based on the latest information.

Hackley’s plans were developed in consultation with medical professionals (including infectious disease experts) and by studying guidance from public health officials. We also sought input from Hackley employees and benefited from conversation with HPA leadership. The video message below provides some framing thoughts for our approach, all of which are intended to bring students, faculty, and staff safely together on campus.

You can access the Hackley Policies and Procedures for Reopening 2020-2021 document

As you will see, our current plan encompasses many aspects of school life, yet there are still many questions for us to resolve in the coming weeks. You will see these “works in progress” noted at the end of the document. In many ways, we acknowledge that the entire document is a “work in progress” as the dynamic nature of this outbreak requires that we remain agile in our approach.

Please share any questions or comments you have in response to the document using this brief survey tool. We are eager to hear from families and to learn about the issues and questions that these approaches raise for you. Your input will continue to help us shape our return to campus. We will share responses to these questions as an FAQ in a subsequent communication in early August, likely after Governor Cuomo makes his decision.

Tomorrow, division directors will share additional, division-specific information, including a schedule for the week of August 31. We will use this additional time as an extended orientation to support student re-entry to campus. Please note that Hackley will not be in session on Friday, September 4 or Monday, September 7.  As we approach the start of school, we will share information about Zoom-based parent coffees to review our approach and address any questions. More information on these sessions will be forthcoming as we schedule them.

Just as we were ready to share this update, the New York Public High School Athletic Association announced that it was delaying the start of the fall season and canceling fall championships. As we know more, Jason Edwards and his staff will share further information regarding fall sports, including whether athletics will begin on August 31.

Finally, I want to note that Hackley offices will be closed the week of July 20. This concurrent extra week of vacation for employees was created to acknowledge the pace and magnitude of the work completed since March. Faculty, staff, and administrators are strongly encouraged (read: required) to disengage from email and to use time away from Hackley to recharge. I appreciate your understanding and patience for emails and phone calls that go unreturned next week. We look forward to reconnecting with you during the week of July 27.

While school operations will be different as a result of the pandemic, the changes we are making are intended to keep our students and employees healthy and safe, while also providing a high quality in-person learning environment. We will continue to monitor this situation and make adjustments to our plans as the situation changes or as we learn more from state officials.

Thank you for your patience and partnership.

Michael C. Wirtz P ’29 ’31