To our families with children under 12

Let me start with a word of thanks for all you’ve done and are doing to keep our school community and your household safe. I asked my Division Head colleagues for the chance to send you this message as we continue working together to keep your children healthy. You carry a particular weight, in the absence of a vaccination option at this point, and this is an appeal to stay the course as activities resume and patience might be growing a little thin.
 
The fact is that, thanks I’m sure in large measure to our sky-high vaccination rate for eligible folks on campus and our other mitigation measures — principally our mask commitment — we’ve seen almost no COVID-19 case activity in these first six weeks of school. Three cheers for that.
 
Now there appears to be a very real prospect of an approved vaccine for children age 5-11 as early as the end of next month. We’re watching those reports daily, as I’m guessing you are, too. And when that option opens, you can count on our Medical Advisory Board to host as many information sessions as you’d find helpful.
 
In the meantime, as the seasons start to change, here are a couple reflections born of experience as you navigate things at home. Remember first that when we’ve seen positive tests for our youngest students, chances are that the transmission was from parent or guardian to child. You’re out and about in way that the little ones generally just aren’t.
 
Past that, consider a three-way test for whether you sign on to a given activity or event, specifically: will it bring students from many different schools together; will it occur indoors; and will the hosts, organizers, or vendors leave mask wearing as optional? If one of those things is true, stop to consider the advisability of being there. If two are true, understand that you’re getting out on a limb. If all three are true, you are rolling the dice in a way that very well may affect things for others in your circle, including all of us at USN.
 
We’ll keep doing everything we can on this end to be of service, but the reality is that the number of pediatric cases in our city, state, and region is not trivial, and we are not immune by virtue of what we’re doing here at school. There does seem to be genuine reason to think things will be better before long, but we need to get there first, and I’m hoping we can commit to looking out for one another the way we’ve done to get us to this point. And as always, if I can help in any way, just send up a flare. Thanks for reading.
      
Stay well,
 
Vince Durnan                                                                      
Director                                                                                
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    • Director Vince Durnan welcomes students getting off the bus.

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