Out of Office: The Process of Going Mask Optional

Going mask-optional

Out of Office is a series from Head of School Kim Samson that highlights/focuses on time spent outside of her office: in the BVR hallways, classrooms, stages, fields, and beyond.

The last week or so I’ve been engaged in the decision to move to a new stage of Covid and how to introduce that to our community in the best way possible. My week is filled with meetings with Beaver’s dedicated Covid Team, our panel of experts, faculty, staff, students, and families. Though I wish the topic matter was different, I am enjoying these points of contact and reframing this process as an opportunity to strengthen Beaver’s sense of community and everyone’s feeling of belonging. The masks have been a necessary part of keeping us healthy, and they also represent a physical and emotional barrier that has left some of us feeling isolated and disconnected. We want to support everyone in wearing masks when it feels right for them or their family while allowing others to remove that barrier when they feel safe doing so. Anything that offers an opportunity for differentiation among young people is challenging, so the way we do this is very important. One thing I’ve known about Beaver since I first visited campus is that we respect the individual agency AND we understand that individuals and their actions have an impact on our community. I hope this goes smoothly as we lift this requirement before the break, and I am confident we will apply our Launch/Test/Refine Mindset after the break when I hope our testing shows we are safe to return to mask optional.

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