As we approach Thanksgiving, I find myself more grateful than ever before to the Marianapolis community for its spirit, resilience, and passion. Over the past few months, our mandate has been clear. Using guiding principles for health and safety, we have sought to facilitate mission-driven education for all matriculated students, both on-campus and learning remotely. We have maintained social distancing and implemented contact tracing protocols informed by CDC best practices. We have preserved in-person instruction, with enhanced blended learning resources for optimal online and face-to-face teaching. And all of these protocols have remained inclusive, ensuring that neither health nor travel restrictions impacted the superlative education provided at Marianapolis. While we have stayed incremental in our calendar planning to date, we empathize with each student, parent, and teacher who wishes to plan arrangements for the remainder of the 2020-21 year. With that in mind, we have used the same guiding principles to inform our school’s strategy through graduation next spring.
Marianapolis will continue to offer in-person (as well as virtual) instruction moving forward, in the weeks between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. In 2021, houses and halls will open at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, January 4, for boarding students quarantining on campus. A letter will follow from Mr. DiCicco to boarding families with further details. Classes will begin Tuesday, January 5, for all students. Extracurriculars will resume Monday, January 11. NEPSAC has announced they will not host postseason championship tournaments this winter. Marianapolis, alongside peer schools, will evaluate competitive athletics in the second half of the season and look to update athletes and families at the end of January.
Now more than ever, community members are asked to adhere to Marianapolis' travel policy. You may know already that your student will need to quarantine at home following Thanksgiving or Christmas breaks, based on your family's travel or guests visiting. If so, please inform the Deans' Office. We support each family making this choice in the future as well.
We have also revised the winter and spring class calendar. Spring break, as well as LEAP Week, will no longer occur in March. Of the time off originally designated for spring, some days will migrate from March to late May, along with LEAP Week, pushing graduation to occur earlier: May 23 weekend. The rest will integrate into additional long weekends (approximately one every three weeks), in order to support the health and wellbeing of our community. The revised Master Calendar of dates will be posted to Marianapolis’ website by the close of this trimester, November 24. Additionally, the Daily Schedule Calendar, showing all class meeting days and times, will be updated in support of these developments.
The “why” of these changes, though more complex than the “what,” is embedded in the still-uncertain global landscape. This model, frankly, leaves us open to hope. Our best chance of being outdoors and truly exploring for LEAP Week comes in the warmest weather. We have not yet made any determinations on community traditions such as prom or Sports Day. Our most realistic opportunity to host these milestones is as late as the spring trimester will allow, so we continue to plan, prep, and pray for that very chance. And in the interim, we are called to make the very best of each moment in 2021. We are called to take a robust curricular and extra-curricular approach to reimagining possibilities for community time together. We call upon student leaders to help with any and all innovative ideas as well as rallying support for sustainable traditions. We are calling upon our students, faculty, and staff alike to help us stay attuned to individual or group needs among the population we serve, as we are eager to do just that.
If 2020 has taught us one thing, it is that none of us knows precisely what to expect next. We hope this long-term strategy for a thriving community, juxtaposed with our commitment to incremental planning whenever it allows us to hope for a better tomorrow, meets the needs of the Marianapolis family. Additional inquiries about academic concerns should be directed to Mrs. Tata; community life questions should go to Mr. DiCicco. I am wishing each and every one of you a happy, healthy, safe Thanksgiving holiday.
Head of School