Cautious Optimism for In-Person Reopening When Marin Moves to Red
A Message from Head of School Chris Mazzola Regarding Reopening Plans:
September 5, 2020
Dear Branson Families,
After months of bad news I am finally able to write to you with some cautiously optimistic information. Last week, Governor Newsom moved away from the county watchlist system that the state had been using to set guidelines for re-opening. They moved instead to a simplified four-tiered color coded system, which you can see below. Essentially, there are four tiers, each representing increasingly fewer cases and positive tests. Counties move from tier to tier based on both their number of new cases per 100,000 people and the percentage of positive tests. The tiers are set up as follows:
Purple: Widespread Covid (> 7 new cases, >8% positive tests )
Red: Substantial (4-7 new cases per day, 5-8 % positive tests)
Orange: Moderate (1-3.9 new cases, 2-4.9 % positive tests)
Yellow: Minimal (< 1 new case, < 2% positive tests)
Marin has been in Purple for several months now, but today we got word that the county is moving to Red next week. [EDITOR'S NOTE: This was reversed on 9/7/2020]. Once the county remains in the red tier for two weeks, we are allowed to begin opening school with the county's permission! Hooray! All schools were asked to submit a 31 point plan to the Public Health department detailing their procedures and protocols for bringing people back to campus. We submitted ours two weeks ago and have full confidence that it will be accepted. Because we spent the summer readying the campus and creating a thorough safety plan, we will be able to ramp up to full operations fairly quickly.
I will send you more detailed information and dates later this week, but I did want to share the great news that if all goes well, returning to campus looks imminent at this point. We will continue our preparations to welcome employees and students back to campus and will keep our fingers crossed that things don't backslide, which would cause the county to move back to the purple zone.
Let's each do everything within our power to stay in red, so that we will be able to bring your children back to the Branson community to continue our important work together. Please wear a mask, practice social distancing, and make sure your children do the same - if everyone commits to this, we will soon be back here on this beautiful, peaceful campus, doing what we love most: being with our students and helping them grow into principled citizens who will positively impact the world around them.
Christina K. Mazzola
Head of School