Better Together... In Person
August 18th, 2021
Dear Prairie Families,
Despite a strong sense of whiplash and significant disappointment from the pandemic’s evolution this summer, I am looking forward to seeing all of you next week. Here is an updated version of our operational plan for the upcoming school year. Circumstances will continue to change in the weeks and months ahead and we will continue to share revisions with you as they are made.
There is still much to be learned about the Delta variant, but we do know that it is more contagious than previous strains and it is leading to more children being hospitalized with COVID-19. The seven-day average of confirmed cases in Wisconsin continues to rise and this trend will likely continue. It is our sincere hope that your whole family will get vaccinated.
Looking ahead to the start of school, we will continue to follow CDC guidance. Therefore, face masks will be required inside all of our buildings and optional outside.
CDC guidance and our local Health Department rules have also changed how quarantine works, with different, less stringent rules for vaccinated people.
It is our hope that everyone of all ages will soon be eligible for vaccination. Once that happens, and assuming increasing rates of vaccination and no new variants or other curveballs, our goal is to move to a mask-optional situation as soon after that date as reasonably possible.
In the meantime, it is important for us all to remember that our individual choices have the very real possibility of seriously impacting children under the age of 12 who do not have the same vaccination options as teens and adults. All of our students share facilities and HVAC systems, and until they have equal access to the vaccine we have a clear duty to protect our younger students from the increased risk of hospitalization as a result of contracting COVID-19.
For those of you with vaccine-eligible children, please email or drop off a photo or copy of your child’s vaccination card with the appropriate division office or the Health Office. The Health Office also has access to the Wisconsin Immunization Registry. Additionally, please note that:
- We recognize that there is a lack of clarity on how the school year will play out and we are prepared to respond to a range of scenarios.
- There will not be a hybrid virtual attendance option for students who are isolated or quarantined by their local Health Department. Our experience last year showed that it is detrimental to everyone involved to have a mixture of on-campus and off-campus learners.
- Please note that the CDC’s definition of close contact in a school changed this month, and that is reflected on page 6. Proper masking is now an important factor in determining a close contact.
- It appears that we are going to be able to offer optional, free COVID-19 testing on campus three days per week. We will share more information about this as it becomes available.
- Prairie will not be requiring students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 this school year. Based on information received, our current vaccination rates (8/17/21) are:
- One of our school’s core values is respect. Many viewpoints, religions, and beliefs have successfully worked together to create a strong Prairie community and we are confident that our history of successful collaboration across differences will continue.
If you have any questions about the plan please use this form to share them.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this document and support our school community. I look forward to seeing all of you next week.
Nathaniel W. Coffman Ed.D.
Head of School and President
2021 - 2022 School Year Plan
- 2021-2022 School Year Plan (Updated 10/19/2021)
2020 - 2021 Plan
2020 - 2021 Updates
- Health Update: Grade 7 (1/18/21)
- Health Update: Upper School Student & Coach (12/13/20)
- End-of-Semester Information from Dr. Coffman (11/20/20)
- Health Update: Early School (11/11/20)
- Health Update: Grades 9 & 10 (11/10/20)
- Health Update: Quarantine Working (11/5/20)
- Health Update: Primary School (11/3/20)
- Health Update: All-School (10/31/20)
- Health Update: Grade 9 (10/28/20)
- Health Update: Early School (10/27/20)
- Health Update: Early School (10/25/20)
- Health Update: Kindergarten (10/5/20)
- Health Update: Grade 8 (10/3/20)
- Important COVID-19 Reminders from the Health Office (9/1/20)
- COVID Procedure Update (8/27/20)
- 2020-21 Welcome Back Video
- 2020-21 #BetterTogether Pledge (Updated 8/7/20)
- Primary School Back-to-School Message (8/7/20)
- Middle School Back-to-School Message (8/7/20)
- Upper School Back-to-School Message (8/7/20)
- Reopening Message from Dr. Coffman (7/27/20)
- Back to School Message from Dr. Coffman and Getting Ready for 2020-21(7/2/20)
2019 - 2020 Updates
- 2019-20 Wrap-Up, Preliminary Information for the Fall from Dr. Coffman (5/27/20)
- Spring Update from Dr. Coffman (4/23/20)
- 2020 End of Year Calendar (4/23/20)
- Financial Questions (Updated 5/7/20)
- Pro Tips for Families & Students (4/23/20)
- A Brief Update on School Closures (4/16/20)
- 2020 Extended School Closure Plan (Updated 4/15/20)
- Distance Learning Plan Updates (4/1/20)
- A Video Message from Dr. Coffman (3/18/20)
- Upper School Distance Learning Plan (3/18/20)
- Middle School Distance Learning Plan (3/18/20)
- All School Distance Learning Update (3/17/20)
- Campus Closed Beginning Monday, 3/16 (3/13/20)
- Prairie’s Plans Regarding COVID-19 (3/12/20)
- An Important Note Regarding Student Health | The Prairie School Weekly (2/28/20)
- 8 Facts About the Coronavirus to Combat Common Misinformation (Washington Post, 1/17/21)
- A Guide to Getting the Right COVID Test at the Right Time
- Playtime, Downtime, Family Time: “PDF” Tips During COVID-19
- Audible – Free Stories
- Peloton – Free Workouts
- How to Talk to Children about Difficult News
- Explaining the News to Our Kids