Monday, November 16
Beginning Tuesday, November 17, Norwich Free Academy will move to fully remote learning until at least Monday, December 7. I don’t make this decision lightly, and it is made with one focus – the continued health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.
After reporting seven positive COVID-19 cases in our community last week, we were notified of five additional positive tests this morning. I also learned today that an unknown number of Norwich Free Academy students attended a recent off-campus gathering where so far at least one area student has tested positive for COVID-19 and others report as symptomatic.
To date, our mitigation factors have proven effective. However, each positive case puts an additional burden on our faculty and staff and makes it challenging to provide adequate staffing. More importantly, I cannot emphasize enough how the decisions happening outside of our campus are continuing to put everyone on campus at risk.
While the overall numbers in our area have declined since the peak in early October, Norwich is still in ‘red-alert’ status, as are a number of our partner communities.
This move to remote learning is designed to be temporary. It is my hope that our students return to campus this semester, but that cannot happen without your help and cooperation. We have chosen December 7 as our potential return date to provide additional time after the Thanksgiving holiday, when we know, thanks to the results of our recent survey, that a great number of you are traveling, hosting visitors or welcoming home college students during this time. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust plans as necessary.
Students will continue to follow the current hybrid schedule during this time. Any extracurricular activities will also be put on hold.
Grab-and-go meals will continue to be available for our students. Meals can be picked up daily between 12 and 1 pm in the Bradlaw lot, located at the East Gate off of Joseph Perkins Road.
The safety of our students and staff is the focal point of every decision we make. It is my sincere hope that this decision, combined with enhanced community awareness and a focus on mitigation efforts, will provide our students an opportunity to return to the classroom.
With continued appreciation for your cooperation and patience,
Dr. Brian M. Kelly
Head of School