Continuing to Abide by Community Commitment

Dear Families,

I enjoyed talking with many parents this morning during our newly established Carline Coffeetime. Chatting about your day-to-day experiences at home as we continue to move through this crisis provides important firsthand perspective. Life has changed so much at home and in schooling, and yet I am grateful for the ways in which you and the faculty of the school are forging a strong and stable foundation together for our students.

Your patience, care, and flexibility as we launched the year has supported our successful movement forward. Continuing to connect with you informs us in important ways. Currently, Nicole and Jenny are reaching out to our families with students engaging in bridged distance learning to check-in. Faculty will spend time during their planning days preparing for conferences with you in November. On Thursday, our PSO will host a meeting for all parents to discuss ways we can engage together as a community in these changed times. Remember, simply by being a parent at Duke School, you’re a member of our PSO, and I hope you’ll join this Zoom meeting as noted in this issue of Spark eNews. Next week, we will launch surveys for our families, faculty, and staff to gather more feedback that will help us both to reflect on the opening of school and inform us as we plan for the weeks ahead.

Again, my thanks to parents of distance learners for taking time to share feedback with Nicole and Jenny, as well as for your special connection with classroom teachers to support the remote learning experience. I am appreciative to all for abiding by Duke School’s Community Commitment. In signing this agreement, parents of students learning on campus, faculty, and staff have acknowledged and agreed to assuming personal responsibility and care to create an environment that will help keep us safe and maintain a low risk environment on campus. As we settle into our new routines, it is important to maintain vigilance, taking steps during this time for the greater good. Our Community Commitment asks us to comply by answering in the affirmative to these questions:

  • Every member of my household three years of age and older wears masks when out in public.

  • My family maintains a distance of 6 feet from others.

  • My family restricts our social circle to avoid creating a larger network of close contacts.

  • My family continues to stay safer-at-home as much as possible.

  • My family refrains from traveling to high risk areas across the country.

  • Every member of my family washes hands frequently.

  • My family will do its best to refrain from engaging in high-risk exposure activities (see Return to School Policies Appendix on page 17).

  • My family endeavors to maintain the mindset that everyone in our school community will do their best and that even our best may include missteps or create risk.

I invite you to review the Community Commitment in its entirety, as adherence to the Commitment is consequential to supporting the health and wellbeing of all our community members and a continuous learning experience for our students this year. Finally, the CDC reminds us that getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself and the people around you from flu and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wishing you a wonderful week,


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