News for March 12, 2020

March 12, 2020

Dear Oak Hill Families,

I write to let you know that our Board of Trustees and I have made the decision to close school, effective tomorrow, Friday, March 13. We will remain closed through Thursday, March 19, and will be in contact with you during Spring Break to update you on our plans for reopening school. We have also made the decision to postpone the auction that was scheduled for March 14. My colleagues will meet tomorrow to finalize plans for continuing the education process with students during the closure. They will be in touch with you and your children soon to begin that process.

I apologize for the short notice, but we feel this is the appropriate course of action. I want to emphasize that we make this difficult decision to close Oak Hill with attention to a multitude of factors and with a high level of awareness of the challenges and complexities it presents to our families and the impact it has on you. We are confident that we are making a decision that places the highest priority on the safety and well-being of the children, families, our colleagues, and others in our immediate and wider communities.

Why are we deciding to close school now?

Since my communication on March 5, the factors informing the decision about holding school have shifted, with the number of COVID-19 cases rising in recent days. We currently have no cases of COVID-19 within faculty and staff, and yet we have colleagues who are in at-risk categories. We are more comfortable with a position of caution and vigilance in such a rapidly evolving and deteriorating public health crisis. This decision allows us to support the safety efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus in our community at large.

How do I handle this situation with my child?

In the next few days, I urge you to talk with your children about this decision and to help them understand that you – and the school – are taking care of them. Children are resilient, and we owe them thoughtful and honest explanations of what a situation like this means to us. They can handle complexity, uncertainty, and frustration in ways that often surprise us.

I am grateful for the support, patience, and understanding of our community during this unprecedented and stressful period. I welcome questions any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

John/Mr. O

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