Dear DeLaSalle Families:
On March 13, it will have been exactly two years since our school routines shifted dramatically due to COVID-19 and its impacts. We have continued learning and teaching, and three years of graduating seniors have had multiple college options available to them. We have continued our co-curricular activities – and even added some. Most importantly, we have prayed with and for each other’s health and well-being. You have been kind and resilient as all of us in the DeLaSalle community have adapted to new routines and responded to added stresses.
We remain grateful for your understanding, perspective and partnership, and are humbled by your care for your child, other children, teachers, staff, and fellow families at DeLaSalle. As our 2021-22 prayer theme from 1 Corinthians suggests: “Let all that you do be done with love.”
As you know, our Pandemic Response Task Force has regularly asked for your input as we have made decisions relative to the pandemic, most recently surveying parents, staff, and students as we decide whether we should join other schools, businesses, and governments and change our policies from requiring masks on campus to a “mask-optional but mask-supported” policy. Over 350 parents and more than 400 students responded to the survey and many added valuable insight in their comments, especially related to the social and emotional well-being of students and families. We have also analyzed objective COVID data at DeLaSalle and in the broader community throughout this school year, and we shared that information with all of you in the survey forms.
After reviewing the data and reading the feedback from our stakeholders, the Pandemic Task Force supports the following:
Starting Monday, March 14, masks will become optional in the building for all members of the community. For those who wish, N95 masks will continue to be available in the Main Office on a first-come, first-served basis. We have over 200 masks in stock. To be clear, this policy shift is also “mask-supported” for any student, parent, or staff member who chooses to continue wearing a mask on campus for reasons related to that student’s or family’s circumstance.
● The wearing of facemasks becomes optional Monday, March 14.
● Here are the new mask guidelines. This will be a major emphasis; that if cases climb again we will seek to reestablish mandatory masking. We are currently in the green category.
● Again, we place emphasis that masking or not masking is a personal family or student choice and that we will support and respect EVERY individual’s decision.
● There is a concern voiced by some parents and students about this leading to a sudden rise in cases and our school going remote again. We are confident that we have learned a number of things about mitigation and managing the virus at DeLaSalle over the past two years. We have significantly upgraded the ventilation systems on campus, we have not had a new case in our community for the past three weeks, and most importantly, we know that should we need to, we would be ready to adapt our routines once more, in partnership with all of you in our community.
Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you for your continued faith in our school and in the students and families who join you at DeLaSalle. Let us walk in the light of love and respect and continue to look out for the well-being of all.
James Benson, Ed. S
Head of School