Head of School Sam Houser shared this information in an email to members of the George School Community on Thursday, December 30, 2021.
We continue to monitor the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Since my last email, we have watched local and regional infection rates rise, learned more about the timing of test results being returned to us after the faculty/staff testing dates in early January, and learned of additional positive cases in the George School community. While evidence indicates that Omicron appears to cause less severe illness in individuals, particularly in people who are vaccinated, infection rates are high and predicted to increase further as January unfolds.
To make the return from break as seamless as possible, and to give us time to make any alternative staffing arrangements that might be necessary with the return of students to campus, we are moving to online learning for the first week of classes starting on January 4. Students will receive directions from their teachers about joining classes remotely through the Canvas learning management system. I expect that the school will start in-person instruction on January 11.
This decision is made to support and sustain the health and flourishing of our students and community. Omicron is causing less severe illness. At the same time, it is very infectious, and in a season filled with family and friend gatherings, infections and illness are causing disruptions at the school, as they are across the country.
Thank you for your patience with what has turned out to be a more fluid situation than we would like. I know this change will be inconvenient for some, and I appreciate your flexibility and understanding. The goal is to get students back in classes in a responsible way as soon as we can.
Additional details for boarding students, testing requirements, and athletics can be found on the January Return page on our website.