Waiting for New York State Board of Regents 7/01/20

Dear Hackley Community,

I had been prepared to provide a substantive update on the policies and procedures we developed to reopen campus this fall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Late yesterday, however, we learned that the New York State Board of Regents will issue guidance for K-12 schools on July 13. Rather than share plans that may not align with state guidance, we will delay communicating these plans until we better understand how the state intends to reopen K-12 schools. My team and I will review this guidance and share our updated plans the week of July 13. 

Based on recommendations we are seeing for other states and higher education, Hackley has been developing plans that will facilitate teaching students on campus for full days, five days per week. We expect that students and employees will wear masks throughout the day while indoors and that physical distancing will be in place wherever practical. Given the size of our campus, we also anticipate classes being taught outside in good weather. We will continue to modify classrooms, spacing out desks and procuring barriers to facilitate normal classroom capacities. Additionally, enhanced cleaning procedures, the daily measuring of temperatures, and required health questionnaires are key features of our plan. We look forward to sharing supporting details with you once we know more from the state.   

During the week of July 13, division directors will also share information regarding the schedule for the week of August 31. As communicated earlier, different configurations of students will return to campus this week as part of an extended re-orientation to campus. The schedule will vary by grades and not every grade will be present on campus each day. We will not be in session on Friday, September 4 or Monday, September 7. Full academic instruction will begin on Tuesday, September 8. No further decisions have been made regarding athletics, as Hackley and our competitor schools await guidance from governing bodies.

I am sorry that we are not able to share the details of our current thinking today. With cases spiking around the country, this situation remains fluid. Hackley school leadership will continue to monitor local and regional conditions and adjust plans accordingly. Although school operations will be different as a result of the pandemic, we believe the actions we are taking will minimize risks to our community and allow us to gather in-person one again.  

Thank you for your patience and partnership.

Michael C. Wirtz P ’29 ’31