Vaccine Survey and …

Results from the Health Team's anonymous COVID-19 vaccination survey show significant progress in the USN community's path toward herd immunity on campus.
Knowing that this is my second message in a week, brevity should be the watchword. Tough for me as you well know, but here goes — starting with results from the well subscribed vaccine survey of USN families. Even allowing for the fact that multiple adults in the same household could submit responses, getting those 1100+ contributions provides cause for optimism as we look ahead. People clearly care about our capacity to make something meaningful happen by working together. And we can.

Jumping to the data, 95% of adult respondents in our sample report receiving at least one shot, with the majority already being fully vaccinated. Fewer than 1% have no plan to be vaccinated at all, a stark contrast to the wider state numbers that sadly place Tennessee 48th in percentage of our population vaccinated so far, with “reluctance” rates in many counties exceeding 40%.

Our High School student numbers continue to climb for those over 16, already nearing majorities for at least one dose in our junior and senior classes. Bodes well for commencement week activities. The vast majority of USN families support vaccinating their High School students, at rates similar to what we saw with adults. A low single-digit percentage group plans to wait in the near term and an even smaller, handful-sized group indicates no plan to vaccinate their older students.

For Middle and Lower School students, trends looked similar, with more uncertainty about when to vaccinate and interest in more information, but broad support for vaccination eventually. We’ll be sure to offer the wise counsel of our Medical Advisory Group when those inoculation opportunities are opened by the Food and Drug Administration. In the meantime, we’re considering what might be helpful to provide as context for those who are in groups already approved for vaccination. Stay tuned on that front.

Next topic — the race to the academic year finish line. After a few weeks of mostly zeros across our tracker, we’re seeing more requests for testing, more symptoms presenting, and yes, a few more cases. Just as we are all ready for this to be over, correct? Well, here comes what I hope will be the last exhortation.

Please, please, please don’t let up. It only takes a few positive tests to disrupt school for dozens of families. And we are so close. My current sense is that I could probably survive if marooned on a desert island for the limited number of days we have left for school — and I’m not even that resourceful. Let’s resolve to finish together, in person.

Resolution in this case means that if you wouldn’t have done it in October, when we were dialed in and wary, you won’t do it now. No sleepovers, no parties, no mask holidays, no corner cutting — even if you’re fully vaccinated, those under 16s in your household are not. It does seem, from speaking with colleagues at other schools, that COVID-19 fatigue is mushrooming alongside a “don’t ask, don’t tell” attitude that carries significant risk to public health. 

We’ve shown such capacity to rise to the occasion, and I’d say the next few weeks qualify as an occasion. Rest assured that we’ll strengthen our efforts at school and do our level best to avoid complacency at 2000 Edgehill. Seriously, we’ve come so far. Imagine the celebration ahead.

Yours in effort, 
Vince Durnan

More USN News

List of 5 news stories.

  • The Health Team dressed in social distancing and caution tape for Halloween 2020.

    Celebrating Halloween at school

    Help USN make Halloween merry, not scary. Students should follow the USN dress code and leave frightening costumes and distracting props at home.
    Read More
  • Artclectic, POVA partner for community project

    In celebration of our 25th year, Artclectic has partnered with Poverty and the Arts on several projects to highlight how this organization uses art to help homeless individuals gain housing and legal income.
    Read More
  • For more details and to view & purchase from the online gallery, visit

    Join us for Artclectic 2021

    As we commemorate our 25th year of Artclectic, there are so many ways you can celebrate. Read on for the full schedule of events for this annual art show which benefits an endowment supporting curricular innovation and classroom excellence. 
    Read More
  • Prospective families can Preview USN on Nov. 20

    Tour University School of Nashville on Saturday, November 20 and speak with students, faculty, and administrators to learn about the K-12 school and its academic, athletic, and arts offerings.
    Read More
  • Fourth graders tie-dye bandanas on their first Forest Day of the year.

    Fourth grade naturalists begin capstone year

    Students in the Class of 2030 embarked on their first Forest Day of the year in September. As Lower School's senior naturalists, they looked ahead at how they can act as beacons of citizenship within the Tiger community. Continue reading for a full recap. 
    Read More

University School of Nashville

2000 Edgehill Avenue   Nashville, TN 37212     615/321-8000     Contact Us