What a great week it’s been a Brewster: After welcoming the second group of students back to campus for Registration and concluding COVID testing (for Group Two) and retesting (for Group One), all tests came back negative! This meant that in-person classes could start Wednesday, and our community began settling into the new school year of friendship and learning.
While all safety protocols are still being firmly enforced so we can maintain this great and healthy start, boarding students are now allowed to go into the town of Wolfeboro (with masks, eating only at outdoor tables, and keeping that “safe six” distance from others). With fall colors just starting to pop in the Lakes Region, everyone is glad students will be able to enjoy one of New Hampshire’s most beautiful seasons out and about on campus and enjoying their favorite stores, cafes, and coffee shops downtown.
A small group of students is learning remotely this trimester, and faculty are deftly using the skills they gained in the trenches of last spring’s quick pivot to Brewster Online to make that experience even better. New software is in place for smoother scheduling, and everyone is more comfortable with Zoom calls and interacting with their peers online.
Because day students are not allowed into dorms this year, Brewster has reserved the Pinckney Boathouse as “Day Student Central,” giving them a place to gather, study, and relax between activities.
There are still some areas of Brewster life that are not completely in full swing as we consider COVID protocols: Athletics and afternoon programs have begun with a variety of new safety measures, including outdoor practices only. If we are able to proceed with some limited interscholastic competitions, games will not start until at least October, we will play a reduced schedule limited to Saturdays only, and we will compete against a smaller group of schools who are following the same COVID protocols that Brewster is. (Spectators will not be allowed, but livestream links will be provided.) A final decision on that will happen later this month.
And although campus is closed to unscheduled visitors, parent visits can be scheduled after September 15, and the new forms necessary to welcome them safely are being created. As always, check the Parent and Student Portals to access new forms like this one, as well as all notifications and information about what is happening at Brewster.
During his All-School video address to students, faculty, and staff September 1, Head of School Craig Gemmell mentioned how grateful he was for the school’s faculty and staff, who dug into the months of intense planning necessary to prepare Brewster to safely welcome back students—noting how gratifying it is to see this unprecedented work pay off. Parents agreed, with responses to Director of External Affairs Lynne Palmer’s recent email update. One parent shared, “Thanks for all you and the Brewster team have been doing to prepare. I’m sure it makes you and the team feel a sigh of relief considering all the effort, energy, and huge logistics you’ve been doing to prepare for the opening.”
A certain phrase has been popping up as students, faculty, staff, and parents communicate about their excitement about the new school year while acknowledging its unusual requirements: “We got this, Brewster!”
Yes, we do.
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