Dear Hebron families,
As our summer gets underway and we begin planning for the upcoming academic year, I want to acknowledge the amazing efforts that have been put forth by the Hebron students, faculty, staff, and families to maintain the health and safety of our community during this challenging year. The strength and resilience of our community was tested on a variety of levels and I am incredibly proud of how our community navigated the myriad of challenges posed by COVID. As we look ahead to next year, we will continue to prioritize our health and safety efforts. That being said, as the COVID-19 vaccination process moves forward and in light of the recent CDC announcement that vaccinated individuals may resume most activities without masks and distancing, we are beginning to see the possibility of a return to normalcy for our community.
We are fortunate to have a dedicated Health Services team who will continue throughout the summer months, in consultation with expert public health clinicians, to closely follow emerging COVID vaccine research and public health guidelines and remain in constant contact with the local and state health authorities. They are currently highly confident in the vaccines’ efficacy, safety, and ability to protect students, faculty, and staff from the worst outcomes of COVID-19. We feel strongly that a vaccinated campus will be a safer campus.
As such, Hebron has made the decision to require all employees and all students 12 years of age and older, except for those for whom a medical provider determines that the vaccine is medically inadvisable, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the start of the fall semester. Currently, the U.S. FDA has authorized the Pfizer vaccine for people aged 12 and older, and the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines for people aged 18 and over. The FDA has exhaustively reviewed the safety and efficacy of the vaccines being used today in this country. The CDC, as well, encourages people to be vaccinated so that the country, and communities like Hebron, can become safer and return to a greater state of normalcy.
Hebron will review requests for exemptions from the vaccine requirement on a case-by-case basis. Absent a valid medical exemption, a digital image of the student’s CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card must be provided to Hebron. Any questions regarding this requirement can be directed to the Director of Health Services, Deb Traub. Students will not be allowed to move onto campus or attend classes in the fall unless they have provided the Academy with proper documentation or received a valid exemption.
Hebron will honor all FDA-authorized and WHO-authorized vaccines. We will work to support international students who cannot obtain an approved vaccination before arriving next fall and will be in touch within the next week or two with detailed information regarding such support.
Additionally, we recognize that there will be a small number of students who may not be eligible to obtain vaccination by the start of the school year due to age constraints. As such, we are working in collaboration with public health experts to establish health and safety guidelines aimed at protecting these individuals. That being said, any individual who is unvaccinated due to either age constraint or medical exemption, including faculty and staff, will be expected to adhere to the health and safety protocols that we are currently working to establish.
Due to the evolving nature of the pandemic and related national, state, and local guidelines, Hebron may find it necessary to amend its COVID-related policy and protocols. We will promptly notify the community of any changes.
We are planning for classes to be in-person, and for life at Hebron to resemble the experience students had prior to the pandemic, assuming the global health situation continues to trend in a positive direction. We look ahead with eager anticipation to the upcoming school year, to resuming many of the activities we had to forgo last year, and to the celebration of the many traditions that make Hebron so special.
Again, I am incredibly proud of all that Hebron has accomplished and that we as a community have overcome this past year and I am deeply grateful to be part of such a supportive, caring, and connected community. That being said, I thank students, parents, and families in advance for continuing to work with us to keep Hebron safe and healthy.
I wish you all a restful, safe, and healthy summer and look forward to welcoming you all to campus this coming fall!
Head of School