COVID-19 Testing Results & Critical Updates: January 9, 2021

Dear Pike families,

Every time my family considered leaving our home this break we were guided by this question, "Is this choice necessary or extremely important?" Chad and I made the challenging decision not to host or see our family for the holidays. The positive test rates in Andover and surrounding areas are alarming. As you know, schools in the area are closing campus on a daily basis. We must tighten up the gaps that leave us open to risk. Due to the uptick in cases, every week, we will be examining our ability to keep campus open. Having an open campus is not a guarantee; an open campus is a result of our collective buy-in. Please make responsible, community-minded decisions to support all of our children. 

WEEKLY COVID-19 TEST RESULTS
All results have been received by The Pike School. Your student has a negative test unless you have been contacted by the DRMT.

Dashboard testing outcomes have been published to reflect this week's results. As you will notice, a few tests had indeterminate outcomes. On rare occasions, PCR tests are inconclusive for unknown reasons. An indeterminate result means that the test did not detect a clear positive or negative result. In these cases, often there is a problem with the sample collected, such as the individual's nose was too dry, or the individual's sample contained too much mucus or the sample did not provide enough DNA on the swab. It is also possible that a COVID-19 infection is present but the test was done too early to detect the virus. When we receive an indeterminate outcome, impacted community members are notified and must produce a negative result before returning to school. 

COMMUNITY METRICS & FAMILY ACTIVITIES
As I mentioned, the positive test rates in Andover and surrounding areas are high. Every week, we will be examining our ability to remain open. Please interrogate your behaviors and keep these questions at the forefront of your decision making:

  • Is the gathering outdoors?
  • Will all individuals be masked?
  • Is it possible to be socially distant (maintain more than six feet distance from one another)?
  • Are you joining a very small group? 
  • Is this gathering necessary or extremely important?

If you cannot confidently respond "Yes!" to all of these questions, you are making a decision that does not support an open campus. 
 
Carpools with mixed households, shared meals (other than with household members), indoor playdates, indoor sports such as hockey, basketball and activities that do not strictly comply with safety protocols are risky choices. Please re-visit the imaginative ideas generated by our Family School Partnership for low-risk activities. 

COVID-19 TASK FORCE POLICY UPDATE
As a result of our local metrics, starting this week, we will be testing all Campus-Based community members twice a week. Weekly testing will be held on Tuesday and Thursday and is mandatory for all community members coming to campus. By doubling the frequency of student testing, we will increase the likelihood of remaining open and healthy.

TOWN HALL: SAVE THE DATE
Finally, please save the date for a community Virtual Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, January 27 at 7:00 p.m. 

I invite you to consider my frequent musing, what is possible now? I believe in our community. I believe in our ability to make choices to support our mutual goals. And, I believe our collective wellbeing is worthy of our individual sacrifices. Please join me. We can and we will get through this together. Thank you for making Pike possible. 

Sincerely,
Ashley Marshall
Head of School
The Pike School