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Back-to-School & Update on Safety Protocols

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Back-to-School & Update on Safety Protocols
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Dear Bullis Community,

Christian Sullivan Head of School

As we approach the holiday weekend and the start of school on Tuesday, I wanted to reach out to share some news and some thoughts. First, though, I want to acknowledge and thank the entire Bullis faculty and staff for their incredible work in getting ready for the opening of school. While we have the will to open school in person and remotely, this would have been impossible without the determination of so many people to make it come to pass. Teachers have trained and prepared to teach via a dual modality and staff have thrown themselves in to get the campus ready and countless practical considerations resolved. Being new to the community, I have been so impressed by the hard work and professionalism of our faculty and staff. I know you join me in thanking them all profusely.

Regular COVID-19 Testing:

We have arranged COVID-19 testing every other week at school for all students and employees who will be on campus. We will supervise the tests at school. In making this decision, I canvassed feedback from health professionals, the Parents Association Board, and our employees. The overwhelming response was that we should move ahead with testing in order to help keep our community safe. The first testing for students on campus will take place next Friday (September 11) for Gold students and the following Monday (September 14) for Blue students. We will ask parents to complete a permission form through the Magnus App, and I will report the aggregated results after each round of testing. If you have any questions about this, please reach out to one of our nurses, Monica Dayhoff or Bonnie Wasula.

This Holiday Weekend:

Through our community pledge and through numerous requests, I have urged everyone to keep themselves and our entire community healthy by practicing excellent COVID safety, wearing masks, physically distancing, and avoiding unnecessary travel. Here is a link to our Reopening Plan and more specifically, a link to our Health and Safety Protocols. Please review them thoroughly. This coming weekend will undoubtedly present a challenge. We begin school immediately after this celebratory holiday, and I beseech you (I know, a strong word!) to keep your family safe and in so doing, keep our community safe too. We are in this together. Please wear masks and physically distance.

The one piece of homework that we have this weekend is to download and become acquainted with the Magnus Health App so that we are all ready for school on Tuesday. An email about the app has just gone out – thank you for taking care of this. If you have difficulty with the app, please contact help_desk@bullis.org for assistance. 

Here is the newly revised Bullis Hybrid/Remote Academic Guide that was shared with families earlier in the summer. It details our K-12 educational philosophy during a year of continuous learning, answers frequently asked questions, and provides divisional schedules and contact information. Please note that PowerSchool/Haiku teacher webpages will be ready by Sunday evening, September 6. We will update the document, posted on our website, as the year progresses.

This will be my 34th year in education, and I have been both excited and nervous at the outset of each one. There has not been a year, however, when I have been more enthusiastic to start. That may sound counterintuitive - it is certainly the most difficult and unique start - but I sense that once we get going, the fear of the unknown will dissipate. Yes, things will look different, there will be bumps along the road and it will not be the "normal" Bullis experience, at least at first, but we cannot wait to welcome our Bullis students - all 820 of them, both remotely (173) and in person (647). As I have said numerous times recently, it will be more important than ever for this tremendous community to demonstrate its civility, generosity of spirit, and respect. Displaying grace and a positive spirit will be so important. Undoubtedly, it won’t always be easy, but these wonderful characteristics will help define the coming year. Let’s ensure together that it is remembered not just as the year of COVID, but for lots of wonderful reasons too. Here we go!

Warmly,

Christian G. Sullivan

Head of School