Better Together... In Person
Dear Prairie Families,
I hope you are having a great summer. This is the latest version of our operational plan for the upcoming school year. It is possible, if not likely, that things will change in the weeks and months ahead and we will share updates with you as they are made.
It bears repeating what we have said since vaccines became available almost eight months ago: the best way for our community to return to our ideal learning environment is for everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. More than 335 million vaccine shots have been administered in the United States, and it is abundantly clear that COVID-19 vaccines work.
The seven-day average of confirmed cases in Wisconsin has doubled since June 21st and will likely continue to rise unless our vaccination rates improve. 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 and therefore face masks will be optional for fully vaccinated individuals and otherwise required.
You might be asking, “Why not make masks optional for everyone?” Two reasons: first, following the CDC guidelines are a key reason last year went so successfully. Second, communicable diseases require that we look beyond ourselves and recognize 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 multiple facilities and we have a clear duty to protect our younger students from exposure until they have access to the vaccine.
Please update PowerSchool as soon as possible with your child’s vaccination status and email or drop off a photo or copy of your child’s vaccination card with the appropriate division office or the Health Office.
- All Prairie employees will be vaccinated before the start of classes in August.
- It is neither feasible nor appropriate for faculty members to constantly track the vaccination status of our 300+ students 12 and up. Therefore, we will be relying on families to make sure their children are either vaccinated or wearing masks inside school buildings.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prairie is not currently requiring student vaccinations, but this could change if the FDA status of a vaccine changes.
- There will not be a hybrid virtual attendance option for students who are isolated or quarantined by their local Health Department because our experience last year showed that it is detrimental to everyone involved to have a mixture of on-campus and off-campus students.
- We are looking at ways to make testing for COVID-19 more accessible.
- Like last year, this plan will likely be adjusted as we go through the year.
If you have any questions about the plan please use this form to share them.
I appreciate you taking the time to read the plan and support our school community. I look forward to seeing all of you next month.
Nathaniel W. Coffman Ed.D.
Head of School and President
2021 - 2022 School Year Plan
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