A Word From Head of School, Nancy Spencer
By: Daniel Chadda
Recently, Head of School Nancy Spencer released an email that addressed the possibility of a complete re-evaluation of the mask policy for Shorecrest. As the vaccine is now able to reach more people, mask policies are beginning to relax. Nancy Spencer told the community that, if current trends continue, the masking mandates will likely be revised in January. It is mentioned that the Shorecrest Health and Safety Task Force has been and will continue to conduct routine reviews of the current policies and evaluate whether changes should be made.
The letter can be found at this link:
In an email interview conducted last week, Ms. Spencer released the following statement:
“As you may be aware, there is a Shorecrest Health & Safety Task Force (HSTF) which was established in March of 2020 to create policy recommendations for approval by the Shorecrest administration to protect the on-campus school community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Former Headmaster Mike Murphy had the foresight to form a group which included medical experts and community members to guide school operations through the unprecedented experience of educating Shorecrest students during a global pandemic. The goal of the Health & Safety Task Force is to establish policy recommendations for the Head of School and her administration which provide the medically safest in-person educational environment feasible, within the restrictions of the school's mission, budget, logistical constraints, and applicable Florida state laws. Chaired by School Nurse Donna Conroy, the Task Force includes four medical experts, three of whom are Shorecrest parents; the fourth is the Chairman of the Division of Infectious Disease at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Shorecrest has greatly benefitted from the time, wisdom and commitment these doctors have devoted to helping Shorecrest prepare and implement plans, procedures and protocols to educate our students in the midst of a global pandemic. The complete list of the HSTF is available on our website. The overall philosophy of the HSTF has been to take a step-by-step approach and reevaluate situations as circumstances evolve. With the declining case numbers in Pinellas County, the roll-out of the vaccine for children ages 5-11 and the potential impact of the holiday travel season, the HSTF hopes to make the recommendation to relax the indoor mask mandate in January, ideally when we return from the winter vacation. Students, faculty and staff members can help make this change possible by continuing to practice healthy hygiene in terms of hand-washing, following Shorecrest's sick policy to stay home if they are exhibiting any signs of illness and getting vaccinated. Our goal is to minimize infection spread on campus and limit disruption, so that all students can participate in on-campus, in-person schooling.”