NYA campus from above

Welcome Back to School After Winter Break!

January 5, 2022

Dear Families,

First, I would like to thank everyone in our community for your patience, support, and flexibility as we establish the plan for a safe return to school. We are ready for classes to resume for all grades on Thursday, January 6 and look forward to seeing everyone back on campus for the start of the second semester. Upper and Middle School activities will also resume tomorrow.

Those who tested positive over break more than five days ago and are symptom free must check in at the Health Services Office prior to going to any classes.

We now have the results from our pooled testing. Out of 36 NYA pools, 12 came back with a positive result. Students, faculty, and staff that are part of a positive pool will be tested prior to returning to class and activities. Students in a positive pool will be notified by NYA, and a time will be scheduled to administer the tests to each of these students, faculty, and staff members. Students in a negative pool will not receive any additional notification.

The delay to the start of the second semester was in reaction to the recent surge of cases nationally, locally, and directly in our school community. Our goal was to provide a buffer from Winter Break, identify any positive cases, and mitigate the risk of further spread in the community. We believe this delay will better position the school to minimize longer term interruptions and keep most of our students in school and engaged in activities. In addition to keeping our community members safe and students in school, we must keep our faculty and staff healthy and in school to ensure we have sufficient personnel to continue to maintain school operations.

The following includes additional information and reminders on how we can keep our community safe and minimize the risk of spread:

  • Our COVID FAQ’s contain updated information on NYA policies and guidelines as it relates to COVID. The NYA Health and Safety Committee continues to meet at least weekly to review policies and make updates as appropriate. A significant change to our policies is the limiting of isolation times and quarantine times in certain cases. Please make note of these new policies.
  • We will continue to administer our regular pooled testing on Thursdays, resuming tomorrow.
  • Please continue to contact Ashley Moody when one of your children receives a positive test. Our community has been very proactive and done an exceptional job in this area thus far. Thank you!
  • The school strongly recommends vaccinations and boosters. This link contains information on the availability of vaccines and boosters when eligible.
  • Updated research has revealed that surgical or medical masks provide significantly more protection against the spread of the latest COVID variant than cotton masks. Although we don’t have sufficient supplies to provide these to the students, we strongly recommend the use of medical or surgical masks when available. However, cloth masks will still be an acceptable face covering in school.
  • Continue to err on the side of caution and remain home when experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. While at home tests are not a substitute for school required tests, these can be an effective home tool in early identification of COVID-19.
  • NYA will continue to offer remote learning options for those students that are in isolation or quarantine as a result of COVID-19. These students may reach out to Ms. Markonish or Mr. Austin with questions.

Again, thank you to everyone for all of your efforts during these continued challenging times. I am grateful for the combined efforts of our students, families, faculty, and staff members as we have navigated this pandemic. I am very much looking forward to seeing everyone back on campus tomorrow.


Ben Jackson
Head of School