Dear Woodberry Parents,
We are excited about the coming school year, and I am very hopeful that we can reopen the campus to your sons next month. Our team on campus has invested countless hours to develop a plan that balances the school’s program and the health and safety of our community. Though we’ll be wearing masks and keeping some distance between ourselves when move-in day arrives, it will be a great joy to see you and your son when you all return to campus. We have all missed you and are eager to have your sons back on campus.
This message is consistent with what we shared a month ago and will provide additional information about all aspects of school life, including new health and safety measures and our plans for academics, athletics, the arts, and residential life. Our goal is to have the boys on campus for as much of the coming school year as possible. Keeping Woodberry open and safe will require hard work, conscientiousness, and shared sacrifices from all members of the community. Every year I call on the boys to work hard, build their character, and take care of each other. I will give them the same charge this year, and we are counting on them to embrace the shared responsibilities we have to keep our community safe and healthy.
The first two weeks of the school year will require the most restrictive expectations around safety measures like face coverings and social distancing that we anticipate using during the year. If we can make our way through that period and grow more confident that there are no active cases on the campus, we can loosen restrictions and allow boys to mix more freely with each other. That is not to say, however, that life will return to “normal” after two weeks. As you’ll see below, we have altered our academic schedule and still face great uncertainty around the timing of interscholastic athletics. Because so many people, but especially so many young adults, do not have active symptoms when infected, we must continue to practice social distancing and to wear face coverings in many circumstances until a vaccine is available.
Some health and safety measures will continue all year; others may be like a light on a dimmer switch that we adjust depending on the situation on campus and in the surrounding community. All of us — students, faculty, staff, and parents — will need to be flexible and adaptable. The coming year will be unique in many ways, but I am confident that the Woodberry faculty and your sons will make it successful and an important chapter in every boy’s education.
Byron Hulsey ’86