Dear Bancroft Community,
Mild winter weather this week meant more and more students and teachers using our outdoor space to bring classrooms to life. Between Lower School students learning the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees and Middle and Upper School students tapping maple trees, it was quite a week for outdoor science. I look forward to looking out my window this spring to see more examples of active learning and fun on campus.
While this week has been busy with activity, we are also incredibly excited for tomorrow as the Robodogs will be hosting our very first VEX Robotics competition here on campus! We're hoping the home-court advantage will help bring the Robodogs some good fortune and wish all 36 teams good luck. Thank you to the many faculty, students, and alumni that have volunteered to make the event happen.
Our faculty and staff had a great professional development day on Monday sharing ideas and having time and space for some collegiality and recharging. I am so inspired by their flexibility, ingenuity, and perseverance over the past two years. This has been a tremendously challenging time to be an educator and we are truly lucky to have so many outstanding teachers and staff here at Bancroft. I am looking forward to even more innovative teaching in the coming months.
I have a few exciting items to update you on as we near our mid-winter break.
As you may have read recently, there has been discussion about ending mask mandates in the near future for schools. We are monitoring the trends closely and working with the Department of Public Health and our health and safety advisors as we consider our options for mask protocols. We look forward to moving away from the mask mandate and toward a more flexible approach to mask use in the next month. For now, it is important we continue to utilize the tools that have helped to keep us healthy, safe, and limit the spread of the virus. We especially encourage all eligible individuals to get vaccinated and boosted as it has proven to be a highly effective tool. We expect to have more detailed information on changes to our mask usage soon and will communicate these changes to our policies in the next few weeks.
COVID-19 Testing Reminder
We are asking all faculty, staff, and students (or parents/guardians if a student is under 18) to complete the following opt-in form to be eligible for our nasal swab at-home antigen testing. Only those who opt-in will receive tests. If you have yet to fill out the form, please do so as soon as possible.
Test kits were handed out on Friday, February 4th, and contained 2 tests per box. Please only use one test per week on Monday mornings whether we have school or not. The next round of tests will be handed out on Thursday, February 17. As with all of our other COVID-19 testing, if an individual has tested positive for the virus within the past 90 days, they are not eligible and should not participate. Only positive test results need to be reported to the school nurse and your primary care physician.
At-home Rapid Antigen Test Schedule
Friday, Feb 4. - First round of tests distributed
Monday, Feb. 7. - Test #1 completed
Monday, Feb. 14. - Test #2 to be completed
Thursday, Feb. 17. - Second round of tests distributed
Monday, Feb. 21. - Test #3 to be completed
Monday, Feb. 28. - Test #4 to be completed
Details of this new protocol and instructions on how to take the rapid test can be found here. Any questions or concerns about testing can be directed to our school nurse Liza Marzilli.
As you may have read in my previous letters, we have been in the process of vetting dining service vendors for next year. We are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with Brock & Company, Inc to be our official dining service provider. Brock is a leader in culinary services and specializes in corporate dining and independent schools, and we are looking forward to having them be a part of our community. As things progress with the planning and implementation stages of our partnership, we will provide additional information and resources to get to know their company and staff.
Spring Sports Announcement
With COVID-19 numbers trending in the right direction and our community continuing to follow our health and safety protocols, we have made the decision to allow select Middle School students to compete on varsity athletic teams for the spring sports season. This only pertains to students who have an interest in playing on a varsity team with the agreement between coaches and parents / guardians that it is in the best interest of the student-athlete. If you have any questions related to spring sports, please contact our Athletic Director, Garth Adams.
Our great slate of summer activities are now open for registration! Spots are already filling fast so don't miss out on great opportunities around academic, specialty, and day camp options. We also have some excellent athletic camp opportunities including the Boston Celtics Summer Basketball camp for kids 9-14! Check out all the information on Bancroft Summer here.
Have a great weekend and GO ROBODOGS!