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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Bryn Mawr is monitoring the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and will be updating this website regularly to share information about the School’s preparations and responses. Please check this page regularly for updates.

Bryn Mawr Updates

Maintaining connection and community is critical during distance learning. Bryn Mawr continues to share resources with students and families both online and through weekly emails.

List of 24 items.

  • May 29 Letter to Families

    Dear Bryn Mawr Families,

     
    On this final day of classes, I want to start by recalling our school-wide theme for the year “Come, Let us Gather.” Oh, the irony! This year, we set out to celebrate our community and strengthen connections through new spaces and programs. And, I’m proud of what we accomplished as a school. 

    We opened our transformative new Student Center, celebrated Bryn Mawr’s first Daisy Day, launched Baltimore’s first all-girls pre-kindergarten program, and started our new homework-free Period Four Experiences (P4X). Together, we marveled in the magic of Cinderella and cheered as the Mawrtians brought home championship titles in basketball, ice hockey and squash. We came together for service days, community rallies, House activities, and special events, big and small. Of course, all of that was before spring break!

    Then, our world changed. As a community, I think we have learned that Bryn Mawr is much more than a physical place. I am immensely proud of how the faculty, staff, families, students and alumnae have come together to address the challenges we are facing—the creativity, innovation and resilience we have seen as a school is inspiring. This academic year is one we will all certainly remember. 
     
    Now, it is time to look ahead. The senior administrative team, along with operations and health advisors, are actively planning for the 2020-21 school year. As stated in previous communications, we are preparing to return to campus in person as soon as it is feasible to do so. I assure you that no matter the situation come August, we will be prepared to deliver the excellence in teaching and learning that are at the heart of a Bryn Mawr education.

    To help guide our thinking and decisions, we have formed a 2020-21 Reopening Team, co-led by Associate Head of School Elaine Swyryn and Assistant Head of School for Finance and Administration Sharon Wolford, to coordinate the school program, campus logistics, and health and safety scenarios for the upcoming year. Together with the Directors Council, our Board of Trustees, and the COVID-19 Task Force, we will focus on six principles: health and safety, student experience, programmatic integrity, community, flexible infrastructure and financial sustainability.

    We recognize that public health guidance will likely prevent us from entering next year in our usual way and know that we must remain flexible in our approach. To that end, we are developing several scenarios and know that it may be necessary to toggle between them throughout the year. In all of these scenarios, maintaining a strong distance learning program for students who cannot make it to campus will be essential. The scenarios we are preparing are fluid and as follows:

    - Continuation of Distance LearningAlthough this is not the option we want, we are prepared to deliver a Bryn Mawr education for every student learning from home if circumstances require this approach. We promise to honor our mission, continue to inspire and challenge our students, and keep our community and connections strong for as long as this model is required from a public health standpoint.

    -Return to Campus with Strict Social Distancing: If health and safety guidelines allow for in-person instruction, we would start with this on-campus model. We are fortunate that Bryn Mawr’s spacious campus is home to more than 20 buildings, several outdoor classrooms and numerous portico areas, all of which are very helpful when envisioning this scenario. This approach will likely require static groups of approximately 10 people (e.g. 8-10 students with 1 or 2 teachers, staying in one space). If we must limit the number of students on campus, we would likely prioritize the return of our youngest learners first. For older students, it is possible that some academic instruction would remain online, with on-campus time spent for social-emotional activities, science labs, and other programs that thrive best in a community or classroom environment. This model will likely require students, faculty and staff to wear facial masks and practice physical distancing measures at all times. 

    - Return to Campus with More Flexible Social Distancing: When we are able to return to regular class sizes, we envision this approach will allow our full student body to be on campus at the same time and resume as much of their daily schedule as possible. This approach will still prohibit large group gatherings/meetings and require traffic-reducing measures in libraries, hallways, and other common areas. In all of the above models, visitors will not yet be allowed on campus.

    - Regular On-Campus Experience: This, we know how to do! When we are ready for this model, we will welcome our full community back to campus and resume our regular calendar and schedule. Of course, until there is a vaccine and/or treatment for COVID-19, we will always work to mitigate any potential health and safety risks to our students and employees. 

    No matter the situation, our goal is always to build on and strengthen our academic and co-curricular offerings, prioritize our community connections and keep the wellbeing of students at the heart of our program. As such, all faculty members will participate in significant professional development this summer to consider their curriculum and pedagogy for each of these possible scenarios

    At this time, we do not have firm plans for changing the days or hours of the school program or calendar. Please know that any decisions would be made collaboratively with our tri-school partners and with input from the parent community and medical advisors. As we gain greater clarity from public health officials and make any major decisions this summer, I assure you, we will communicate! We intend to do so before the end of June, again in late July and early to mid-August with any relevant updates regarding the 2020-21 school year. 
     
    In closing, I am deeply grateful for your partnership and support throughout this spring. We are focused on a positive year ahead with each and every student at the center of our planning and decisions. 

    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler
    Head of School
  • May 15 Letter to the Community

    Dear Bryn Mawr Community,

    With nine days of classes to go in our school year, I continue to be amazed with our faculty, staff and students’ ability to continue living our mission, even at a distance. I’m proud of the innovative and creative approaches to teaching, learning and growing. A few recent highlights:

    - Fifth graders enjoyed a memorable “in-lieu-of-Echo-Hill" week, including nature and science lessons, rehearsing for their fifth grade show, a nightly story hour from the safety of their own beds/home-tents, and plenty of s’mores.

    - Lora Peters took 30 sixth graders on a virtual field trip to see Scientists in Action: End of Dinosaurs, Rise of the Mammals, while Kate Brendler dissected a sheep heart during each of her live classes to help students gain a better understanding of how the heart, valves, and some major blood vessels work. 

    - Music School teachers are teaching over 160 lessons a week via Zoom. Scenes from the Upper School play were shared last week virtually, and the Little School's art show was a knockout! 

    - Upper School Spanish students connected virtually with students in Argentina for a multilingual discussion about COVID-19 and distance learning, and our Edith Hamilton Scholars answered questions from their peers on their year-long independent research projects.  

    - We virtually celebrated four more student athletes who will be continuing their athletic careers in college, joining eight of their Class of 2020 classmates.

    - Upper and Lower School students are connecting for stories, yoga and more through a student-led initiative called Bryn Buddies.

    Of course, these are only a few examples of the hallmark Bryn Mawr moments and experiences where students are challenging themselves, engaging with their classmates and community, and leading for the greater good—from a distance. Our teachers, too, have learned an incredible amount and gained experience in delivering our distance learning program. Every faculty member will participate in online professional development this summer to further build on this work. We will use all of this as we prepare for possible future scenarios.
     
    Looking ahead to fall, Bryn Mawr will be open, we just don’t know what school will look like. We are actively preparing for multiple models—that is, on-campus learning, distance learning, or a hybrid experience—and will share more details in early June. In all of these models, we are quite sure that school will not be business-as-usual. As we learn more from public health experts and government officials over the summer, and consult with our tri-school partners, we’ll be in a better position to make decisions and share details about our schedule, format and procedures. Know that we will keep you fully informed throughout the summer as soon as there is greater clarity from a public health standpoint. For our Little School families, we are preparing for your return as soon as possible. We are waiting to hear more from Superintendent Karen Salmon early next week and will be in touch. We will also communicate early next week regarding Summer at Bryn Mawr camps. 
     
    In closing, I once again want to express my gratitude for the strength of our community. To help support each other, we compiled a directory of local small businesses owned by Bryn Mawr parents and alumnae. Think of it as Mawrtians helping Mawrtians! I hope you’ll consider supporting them.

    As always, feel free to be in touch if you have questions or concerns. 
     
    Sincerely,

    Sue Sadler
    Head of School
  • May 15 Letter to Families

    Dear Bryn Mawr Families,

    Amid recent national news coverage on the issue of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), we are writing to ensure that our community understands why The Bryn Mawr School applied for these federal funds, and knows that our leadership stands firmly united in the decision to accept this financial support. 
     
    As we’ve underscored in recent communications, the financial impact of this global pandemic presents serious challenges for nearly all schools, businesses and non-profit organizations across the country, including Bryn Mawr. This spring, we are experiencing the increased cost of distance learning programs and technology, a greater need for financial aid, and a call to directly support families who need immediate financial assistance. At the same time, we are anticipating declines to our major sources of revenue now and in the future, including a potential enrollment drop, reduction in endowment and philanthropic support, and loss of summer program revenue.

    When presented with such challenges, it is imperative as a school that we prioritize Bryn Mawr’s mission and people. That is why Bryn Mawr’s Board of Trustees and administration decided to seek federal funding through the PPP. We are grateful that we qualified for the program and received funds that allow us to maintain our support of Bryn Mawr’s more than 200 faculty and staff during this time of great financial uncertainty. The Board of Trustees and school leadership stand together in the decision to support our employees, as intended by the federal program.

    We share this update with you to be transparent with the Bryn Mawr community as we monitor the pandemic’s financial impact and plan for our future. Despite the great uncertainty in the world, we have already demonstrated how we can come together and overcome challenges we face. We will continue to rely on the strength of our community in the months ahead.

    Sincerely,

    Sue Sadler 
    Head of School
     
    Hadley Hubbard Feiss '82, P'12, '15 
    Chair, Board of Trustees
     
    Geoff Carey P'18
    Treasurer, Board of Trustees
  • May 6 Letter to Families

    Dear Bryn Mawr Families,

    Following this afternoon’s announcement by Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon regarding the closure of Maryland schools, I write to let you know that, regrettably, Bryn Mawr will finish up our academic year online. We know that this is the best decision for the wellbeing of our community and city, and while it comes as no surprise, it is with heavy hearts that we make the announcement.

    Although classes will not return to campus, we very much hope that over the next month, restrictions are lifted so that we can bring small groups of people back to gather their things and for some closure. While we don’t know exactly what this will look like, we do hope to see you once more before the summer officially begins. 
     
    A few notes:
    - Please know that we are working to reopen the Little School as soon as restrictions are eased and we feel we can safely do so.

    - We are still in a wait-and-see mode for our on-campus summer camps and will communicate any news to you as soon as firm decisions are made. We are still hoping to run some of these programs if at all possible. 

    - Summer Session academic classes will proceed as planned, most likely in an online format, and more details will be shared soon with rising Upper School families.

    - We are planning to arrange campus access for students and families to safely collect personal belongings by early summer. 

    Please be on the lookout later this week for a final survey regarding distance learning. Then, we’ll send a more comprehensive parent survey at the end of the month to hear your feedback on your daughter’s full academic year at Bryn Mawr. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences. Your input is incredibly valuable to us.

    Looking ahead, know that we are hard at work planning for next year, recognizing that the school experience will likely look quite different than it did when we left campus back in March. We are paying particular attention to public health measures, classroom configurations, student schedules and spaces in various scenarios and know that our plans will evolve throughout the summer. We are hopeful and fully expect to resume an on-campus program this fall. 

    While it’s hard not to feel sad about how this year is ending, I am continually uplifted by the strength, determination, and kindness of our community, and hope you are too. I miss each and every one of your children, and look forward to connecting in person, sometime soon.

    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler 
    Head of School

    P.S. Tonight: Bryn Mawr parents Gentry Wilkerson P'30,'32 an emergency physician at University of Maryland Medical Center, and anesthesiologist Emily Stein P'30 lead a conversation about being on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic in Maryland. Click here to join at 7 p.m.
  • May 1 Letter to Families

    Dear Bryn Mawr Families,

    May has arrived! Traditionally, this is a time to rejoice in celebrations and milestones for everyone on campus. And yes, this year is different. While we can’t give those special experiences back to you, we are trying to find ways to move forward with some of our traditions in a way that prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of our students and community. You will be hearing from Division Directors and teachers regarding any upcoming grade-level plans; for now, here is an update on some all-school events.

    First up, of course, is Gym Drill! We will carry on the Bryn Mawr tradition of gathering (virtually) tomorrow for a short ceremony, which will include remarks from All-School Captain Gray Purcell ’20 and “Joyous the Love” sung by Mya Gary ’20 before students dance (at home!) together in the traditional opening exercises. We realize an online event is no substitution for seeing our students dance together and march in linked arms down the turf, but it will certainly be a historic commemoration. We encourage your family to be a part of it at brynmawrschool.org/live beginning at 3 p.m.

    As we shared with senior families earlier this week, we will unfortunately not hold our traditional bell ringing at this time, since students expressed their desire to participate together and with underclassmen. However, we are working on plans for a virtual Class Day on June 4, which will notably include a new Class of 2020 Award to honor a group or individual for their resilience in the face of adversity. We’ve also set some contingency dates for Graduation throughout the summer and into fall, in hopes that we can eventually hold some sort of in-person ceremony on campus. While I may not be able to shake their hands, I want to personally hand each graduate their well-earned Bryn Mawr diploma. Here’s hoping!

    From recent feedback, it seems that we have hit our stride with Bryn Mawr’s Distance Learning program. Of course, we will continually make changes and improvements along the way. We will send a final survey next week to hear your thoughts and in the meantime, please send any comments, concerns, or positive notes to your student’s teacher and/or Division Director. Please note the following update to our calendar:Thursday, May 14, will be Professional Development Day for faculty. Students can use the day to catch up on work and/or enjoy some time away from the screen. Also, know that with summer on the horizon, our teachers and administrators are thinking deeply and planning ahead for the fall. Of course, we don’t know what the world will look like at that time, but I assure you, we are planning to be back in the classrooms in some way come August, just as soon as it’s safe. 

    To close, I want to make sure you’ve had a chance to see the special “Dear Seniors” video that we sent to the Class of 2020 this week from all of the Bryn Mawr faculty and staff. As we told them, “We may be apart right now, but our love for you and the Bryn Mawr community will never be socially distant. You have changed us and Bryn Mawr for the better.”

    It is truly difficult to express how deeply we miss your children, but I remain hopeful for the day we will all be together again.

    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler
    Head of School
  • April 23 Letter to Families

    Dear Bryn Mawr Families,

    As we continue to experience unprecedented campus closures and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our world, we are aware that questions about finances are on the minds of many, especially as we look ahead to our next academic year. At this time, we would like to share how The Bryn Mawr School will help families weather the financial burdens they may find ahead.
     
    As we regularly share in annual reports, Bryn Mawr operates on a non-profit basis, generally meaning that our revenue received offsets our expenses. Our tuition revenue covers about 85% of our budgeted operating expenses and we raise the rest of the school's annual revenue through auxiliary income from activities such as summer programs and rentals, annual fundraising, and an annual distribution from the endowment. While the endowment may give an appearance of resources, it is by definition, restricted to provide modest annual income to the school in perpetuity.
      
    Like most schools and organizations around the country, the financial challenges of this global pandemic on Bryn Mawr are real. We are experiencing a loss of auxiliary revenue, a devaluation of the endowment, and a slower response to our fundraising appeals-all understandable results of the pandemic, and we assume that this will continue into the foreseeable future. At the same time, we have already seen increased costs for distance learning programs and technology, a greater demand for financial aid, and a need to directly support families who need immediate assistance. We also remain committed to our faculty and staff, and thus, our expenses for running a distance learning program are much the same as they are for an on campus experience. In order to sustain the quality of the education for which Bryn Mawr is known, we must continue to support our teachers, cover all of our non-teaching expenses, and invest in innovative ways to deliver our curriculum for all students.
     
    We know that many families are experiencing changes in their own finances, perhaps suffering a loss or reduction of income due to current restrictions in Maryland or the larger global impact on the economy. We are committed to helping families through this difficult time, and, thus, our Board of Trustees has approved the establishment of emergency tuition assistance over and above our current financial aid budget. These board-designated funds will substantially increase our capacity to support families with financial need. We will award emergency grants based on individual financial circumstances consistent with available resources.
    • Families who are interested in applying for emergency assistance can learn more here. Applications should be submitted by May 15, 2020, so that we can make award notifications by May 31, 2020. 
    • No matter your family's financial circumstances, we strongly advise you to consider the  Tuition Refund Plan for next year to provide future protection and relief related to uncertain family financial circumstances. If you did not purchase the Tuition Refund Plan with your enrollment contract, you can do so until August 1, 2020, by emailing Elizabeth Hehir in the Business Office.
    We hope this extra assistance helps convey our ongoing commitment to help our families in need. The role of philanthropy to support these efforts will be crucial. We'll soon be reaching out to the entire Bryn Mawr community to invite all who are able to participate in supporting the school. We do not expect current parents and guardians who are experiencing financial stress to contribute to the school, but if you are in a position to do so, we are grateful for your support.
     
    As we continue to lead the school forward and face unpredictable circumstances, we are once again reminded of Bryn Mawr's mission statement, which calls for resilience in the face of ambiguity, complexity and change. Never has this been more important for our students and for our community. Thank you for your strength and your support of Bryn Mawr .
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler 
    Head of School
     
    Hadley Hubbard Feiss '82, P'12, '15 
    Chair, Board of Trustees
     
    Geoff Carey P'18
    Treasurer, Board of Trustees
  • April 17 Letter to Families

    Dear Bryn Mawr Families,

    I’m writing with an important update following Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon’s press conference this afternoon extending the on-site closure of Maryland schools through May 15, 2020. In light of this announcement, the Bryn Mawr campus will remain closed and we will continue with our distance learning program through the same time frame. 

    Yes, we realistically know that there is a possibility of ending the academic year without returning to campus; however, our COVID-19 Task Force is actively working on Bryn Mawr’s “re-entry plan,” whenever that may be possible. For now, we will remain hopeful.

    While there is still so much uncertainty in the way the rest of this year will unfold, one thing I know for sure is that we will all be stronger on the other side of this. I look forward to seeing you there. 
      
    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler
    Head of School

    Dear Bryn Mawr Families,

    It’s now been just over one month since Governor Hogan and State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon announced the closing of Maryland schools’ campuses. As of now, Bryn Mawr campus is closed through next Friday, April 24, but we fully expect to continue distance learning beyond that time. We will wait for guidance from state officials and align ourselves accordingly. In fact, reality is beginning to set that it is a real possibility that we will end our year without getting back to campus. This is, of course, extremely disappointing to contemplate, but I am trying to remain optimistic.

    As the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts continue to unfold, we know some students and families are facing increased hardship. And, we understand that some people have questions about tuition during this time of distance learning. It’s important to remember that while our physical campus and buildings are closed, our school is not— Bryn Mawr faculty, staff and students are fully engaged in a distance learning program at all levels. In order to continue supporting our teachers’ salaries and benefits, we depend on tuition. We are working closely with our Board of Trustees on ways we can provide relief to families who need assistance. We'll keep you updated with any details. In the meantime, please contact Elizabeth Hehir in our Business Office should you have any immediate concerns regarding your payment schedule. We are committed to doing all that we can to help our community through this challenging time.

    Regarding our Distance Learning program, please know that your feedback continues to help us improve. Be on the lookout for another survey this morning. We appreciate your time and value the insights you can provide. 

    Today is Spring Spirit Day and although we will celebrate virtually with an all-school program this afternoon, simply nothing can take the place of being together. Our students are lamenting the loss of many events and celebrations that they’ve happily anticipated, sometimes for years. Traditions like Echo Hill, International Bazaar, Gym Drill and our beautiful culminating ceremony in the Graduation Garden for the Class of 2020 look less and less likely to occur in their usual formats. It’s such a disappointment for everyone, and especially for the Class of 2020, who have looked forward to their final victory lap at Bryn Mawr since they arrived. There is nothing we can say to them except that it’s incredibly unfair, and no amount of virtual celebrations will live up to the way they imagined their senior year ending. We are actively working on plans for how we will celebrate and mark upcoming events and occasions and will share details as soon as possible.

    I'll end with a little Spirit Day video message:

     
    Please know how much I deeply miss seeing your children on campus every day. I am grateful for the strength and support of this incredible community. Until next week, when I write again, take good care and stay well. 
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler
    Head of School
  • April 9 Letter to Families

    Dear Lower, Middle and Upper School Families,

    As we head into our third week of Distance Learning at Bryn Mawr, best practices surrounding virtual education continue to evolve. Each day, we are learning from schools around the world who are ahead of us in this global pandemic, as well as professional organizations and associations that guide and advise our work. 

    Although you’ve received information about Bryn Mawr’s Distance Learning details, expectations and protocols in previous email communications and on our COVID web page, we compiled them into this Continuity of Learning Plan.

    Today, we ask that you review the document above, paying particular attention to how one-to-one meetings between students and Bryn Mawr faculty and staff work in a Distance Learning environment. Students may meet on a one-to-one basis with school employees for academic support and/or social-emotional support, including Upper School office hours, Middle School Teacher Appointment Periods, Lower School reading groups and/or other class break-out sessions at all levels. Please know that all meetings and classes represent a continuation of the school program, and as such, are subject to the rules and responsibilities set forth in the Bryn Mawr Student and Parent Handbooks and the Acceptable Use Policy. 
    • If you agree for your student to continue to participate in individual meetings with faculty and staff for personal, social and/or academic matters, no action is required.
    • If you do NOT want your student participating in individual meetings, you must submit an online form by Wednesday, April 15. By doing so, you understand that your student may be prohibited from attending individual meetings for academic or emotional support such as Upper School office hours, Middle School Teacher Appointment Periods, Lower School reading groups and/or other class break-out sessions during Distance Learning. The opt-out form can be found on the Parent Portal. Log in and click on the yellow bar at the top of your screen. If you have more than one Bryn Mawr student, complete the form for each child. If you need assistance logging in, please contact portals@brynmawrschool.org.
    Thank you for your prompt attention to this new policy. Please be in touch with any questions or concerns. 
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler
    Head of School
  • April 8 Letter to Community

    Dear Bryn Mawr Families,

    I hope this message finds you and your families healthy and well. It’s been wonderful to see so many of you at our virtual coffees this week and hear about how your families are experiencing our new normal. I hope you found some comfort in connecting with each other and sharing experiences and resources.
     
    Speaking of connecting, one of the best things I’ve seen this week is how our students and teachers connected in this wonderful “Come, Let Us Gather” dance video that Ms. Parrott, Ms. Tankersley & Ms. O'Brien put together. If you haven’t seen it, get ready to smile! Next week we'll have another opportunity to come together for Spirit Week. Look for details in upcoming divisional newsletters.
     
    A few important things to note this week:
     
    1. Tomorrow: As we head into our third week of Distance Learning at Bryn Mawr, best practices surrounding virtual education continue to evolve. Tomorrow, you will receive a communication asking you to review Bryn Mawr’s Continuity of Learning Plan with particular attention around one-to-one meetings between students and Bryn Mawr faculty and staff. Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to that information.

    2. Feedback: At the end of last week, we surveyed all families, faculty, and students in grades 4-12 to share their Distance Learning feedback. Thank you to all who participated. It was heartening to see in the data that distance learning is, overall, going very successfully. It’s definitely hardest for the families of our youngest students, who require more help and attention throughout the day. One of the messages that came through loud and clear is that this is a challenge for everyone involved —balancing work/home life, missing friends and colleagues, and adapting to new routines and models. We also heard how wonderful it is to see our students’ independence and resilience shine through Distance Learning. We heard a desire for additional enrichment offerings, as well as increased face-to-face time for students at all levels, which we will work on. You’ll be getting a similar (shorter) survey next week and we ask that you fill it out again so that we can continue to learn and grow, and re-calibrate as we go along.

    3. Community Health: At this time, we are aware of one confirmed case of COVID-19 within our immediate Bryn Mawr community. The person was exposed after we left campus, was treated at home and, we are so happy to say, has since fully recovered. Given the progression of the virus, it is not a surprise to hear of this community case, but we know it heightens anxiety. Now, more than ever, is the time to treat each other with kindness and compassion. If anyone in your household has tested positive or is being treated for COVID symptoms, please inform our Health Center, so that we can continually gauge the health of our community. Going forward, we will not be publicly communicating about individual cases while we are away from campus. Before we return to school, we will send information about our health plans for reentry. 

    4. Gratitude: Bryn Mawr would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the first responders and medical professionals in our community, especially the 137 families in the Bryn Mawr community! To join us in sharing our gratitude, please submit a picture or drawing to say thanks. It can be as simple as taking a selfie holding up a note saying thank you, a picture you made of healthcare workers or first responders, a large thank you card, or even just a picture of a smiley face or heart. The key is to make sure it’s big enough to read from the photo and to show our appreciation. Please email any photos by this Friday to communications@brynmawrschool.org.

    5. Save the Date! The Bryn Mawr Parent Committee for Diversity and Inclusion cordially invites our parent community to a Come, Let Us Gather Virtual Coffeehouse on Thursday, April 23, at 7 p.m. Together, we will feel the love, celebrate friendships, and inspire courage. Mark your calendars and watch your inbox for an invitation. 
    Like all of you, we are monitoring COVID-19 developments closely and trying to sort out what they will mean for the school. As we have more information, we will begin to make decisions about the next two months and convey those decisions to you all as we make them. 

    To those of you who are observing Passover tonight or preparing to celebrate Easter and Ramadan in coming days, we wish you peace, love and the closeness of family, no matter the distance created by the current situation. Until next week, when I write again, take good care and stay well. And, if there is something on your mind I can help with, please email me!
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler
    Head of School
  • April 1 Letter to Community

    Dear Bryn Mawr Families,

    We’ve officially made it through one week of distance learning. I know it has been a learning experience for all of us—students, teachers and parents alike. I hope you are all doing OK, creating and adjusting to new routines, and maybe even having some fun together.

    I’m writing update you on a few items:

    • Family Feedback: We value your feedback on our first week of distance learning. You should have received a survey by email earlier today. We ask that you complete it by noon on Saturday so that we can learn about your experiences and refine our program as we move forward. The survey should only take about 5 minutes. Please let me know if you didn’t receive it.
    • Distance Learning Policy: Please make sure you’ve reviewed our distance learning policies. While much of this information has been shared by divisions, we have consolidated our policies here: Policy for Student Participation in Distance Learning. This, along with other helpful resources, are always available on our COVID-19 web page.
    • Summer Programs: As of now, Summer at Bryn Mawr camps and Summer Session 2020 academic programs are a go! Please continue to register for these programs knowing that they are fully refundable in the event that we have to cancel due to COVID-19.  For students and families in grades 8-11, we’ll hold a webinar on Summer Session next Thursday, April 7, at 5:30 p.m. Click here to register. More details will be coming from your division this week.
    • Service Opportunities: A number of you have contacted us directly with interest in staying engaged and connected to our local and global communities during this time. Dr. Eric Elton, Director of Community Engagement, compiled a guide to opportunities. Please be in touch with him regarding any additional suggestions or questions.
    I am so appreciative of our community efforts to work and learn together. From what I hear from my colleagues out west, we’ll be working the kinks out for another week or so, and even then our program will continue to evolve. As we go, we will continue to survey regularly and count on you for your feedback! 

    Take care of yourself, and each other.

    Warmly,
     
    Sue Sadler
    Head of School
  • March 25 Letter to Community

    Dear Bryn Mawr Community,

    First and foremost, I hope that this message finds you well and that your family’s first day of distance learning went smoothly. I’ve already heard wonderful stories about how happy our students were to see and connect with classmates, friends and teachers on their computer screens today (along with frequent pets and siblings). 

    I’m writing to inform you of some disappointing, though not unexpected, news. In alignment with Governor Hogan’s press conference today extending closures of Maryland public schools, Bryn Mawr will remain in distance learning at least through Friday, April 24 and campus will remain closed to the public. We will continue to monitor developments and take guidance from the CDC, Department of Health and our own team of medical advisors to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of our school community. We will communicate you regarding any additional changes and continue to update our COVID web page with the latest communications and resources. 

    This process will certainly be a learning experience for all of us and I look forward to seeing our students and faculty rise to this unprecedented challenge with strength, creativity and resilience. We will check in with parents, students, faculty and staff in the coming days to get feedback on the initial days of distance learning so we can respond and improve the experience as we go.

    Thank you for your ongoing support as we face this new reality together. 
      
    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler
    Head of School
  • March 24 Letter to Lower School Families

    Dear Lower School Parents, 

    We hope that you and your families are well and have found ways to enjoy the most unusual spring break! I have been reading, walking my dogs, and playing an intense game of Scrabble with my family. Anne Broadus has completed two of many puzzles and made homemade jam with Meredith. (It’s also been a joy to hear her son playing the piano when we meet by phone or video.)

    We are writing to let you know more details regarding the next two weeks of distance learning for your daughter — or as we call it, Distance Learning Phase 1. As we experience this “new normal,” we will learn and grow, and re-calibrate as we go along. 

    When we left Bryn Mawr for spring break, we anticipated a short-term distance learning curriculum for Lower School; however, as we look to the future of Distance Learning, we believe some of our curriculum and programs will require your daughter to be on a device more often. We realize some of you already have devices for your child to use, but we are encouraging all Lower School families to come to school next week to pick up a school-issued device (iPad for students in K-3 and Chromebook for students in 4 and 5) for Phase 2 of our Distance Learning. We are in the process of preparing devices for home use and planning a scheduled device pick-up by the end of next week, exact day and time to be determined.

    The first day of classes will be tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25. Here’s what you can expect:

    • All posts from teachers will come through your family SeeSaw account. Daily assignments will be posted by 4:00 PM the day before they are to be used. 
    • Your daughter’s homeroom teacher will post every day on SeeSaw with a language arts assignment and a math assignment.
    • Your daughter’s special area teachers will post at least once a week on SeeSaw with assignments in their areas.
    • If there is a link to an assignment and/or enrichment activity (such as a 1st grade teacher reading aloud or a 4th grade link to a News article), that will come through your family SeeSaw account.
    • The goal is to have your daughter actively engaged in learning for four hours each day.
    • Your daughter’s homeroom teacher will reach out to you this week by phone to check in.
    • We will continue to put out the Lower School Thursday Letter each week.
    • As a reminder, please continue to send attendance if your daughter will not be able to complete work due to illness. Send an email to attendance_ls@brynmawrschool.org

    This is a new way of teaching for our faculty. We have been busy reading, learning, and  collaborating on how to make this a valuable experience for your daughter. We have had lots of questions as to how this is going to work, and you are inevitably going to have questions about the process as well. Although we are at home, we are all “at work” and available for you and your daughter. Please feel free to email any of your daughter’s teachers at their Bryn Mawr School email address. You will get a response within 24 hours, if not before. Expect a call in the next few days from your daughter’s homeroom teacher to check in. 

    Your daughter’s Student Learning Report will be available to view online on Friday, March 27. In place of the April 1 Student-Parent-Teacher Conference, you, your daughter, and her homeroom teacher will be touching base “virtually” during the week of March 30-April 3. Your daughter’s homeroom teacher will email you to schedule your new conference time.

    Lower School Counselor Debbie Waranch is also available, as are we. Please feel free to email any of the three of us with questions and/or concerns. Also, please click here to see the Student Support Services tips for Distance Learning.

    We want to reiterate that this is our start-up plan for Distance Learning in the Lower School. We are all new at this, and as we live it, we will adjust as we go. We expect that there will be kinks along the way, so your constructive feedback is welcome. During Phase 1, we are working on plans to increase live student interactions, online responses, and online interactive assignments. We will be back in touch with more details as our plans develop. 

    One of the challenges you may be facing is talking to your children about all that is going on in the world. There are plenty of articles available online with suggestions on how to go about this such as the one found here: What Do We Tell the Kids? It suggests that children need age-appropriate facts about COVID-19 and to understand why many of us are staying home from work and school. They need to know that yes, their lives will be impacted, but that there is, as the article calls it, a “new normal” and that we, the adults in their lives, will help them every step of the way. One of the aspects of this new normal is distance learning.

    In closing, we encourage you to stay home, keep washing your hands, and reach out in safe ways to connect with your family and friends — including all of us at Bryn Mawr. 

    Sincerely, 

    Laurie Vennes and Anne Broadus
  • March 24 Letter to Middle School Families

    Dear Middle School Families,

     
    Welcome back to school! Our faculty is ready to engage with your daughters again starting tomorrow as we begin the fourth quarter, and we look forward to continuing to provide a meaningful learning experience. We’ll just have to be a bit more creative and flexible about how we teach and learn together. And please know, we will be understanding and compassionate as we recognize the challenges that each family will face through these unique circumstances. 

    Most importantly: You do NOT need to become your daughter’s teachers. We’ve got this! And we’ve got YOU!  

    As you know, distance learning begins tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25. Here are some more details about how things will go:
     
    • School hours will continue to be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Students should strive to do their assignments, assessments, and connect with teachers during those hours. 
    • Students should open their planners and plan to use them as a guide for what work to focus on each day. If they have math scheduled that day, then they should go to their math teacher’s Canvas page to see their assigned work for the day. 
    • We are striving to have students spend approximately four hours per day on learning. If your daughter is spending much more or less than this, please let her advisor or me know.
    • Appropriate dress down attire while on videoconferences, respectful behavior online, and a distraction-free learning area with student attention to deadlines will all be expected. This is where student resourcefulness and self-advocacy will really serve your daughters well!
    • All of our faculty will be making themselves available daily via email to students and regularly via videoconferencing (Google Hangout or Canvas Conference).  Their availability will be posted at the top of each of their Canvas Homepages.
    • Our Counselor, Lisa Warner, and Learning Specialist, Stacey Rubin, will each have regular availability for students, and you may email them at any time as well for advice.
    • Our Advisors will be reaching out via videoconference at least once this week to see your daughter and find out how she is doing with the transition to distance learning.
    • Remember to email attendance_MS@brynmawrschool.org if your daughter is unable to participate in learning on a certain day.  She will be expected to meet assignment and assessment deadlines, unless we hear from you.
    • Remember to email studenthelp@brynmawrschool.org should you experience any issues with technology.
    • Please be aware that when and if we move to synchronous classes (live classes in which students and teacher attend at the same time), these classes may be recorded so that students who are unable to attend may access the classes and/or instruction. We may also begin to use Zoom as a videoconferencing app.
    • And if you’re looking for tips and advice for supporting your child, check out our brief tip sheet.
    I am available anytime via email, and will have virtual office hours for students each week as well. Even if they just want to say “hi” or ask a question, it will be a pleasure to hear from them or you!

    The Macombers are making the best of things by implementing a daily schedule that includes school time, outside time, chores, and a family “Tournament of Champions” in which we will be playing one of our 44 board or card games and recording who wins.  Currently I am in the lead with 37 more games to go! 

    Please stay well, and don’t hesitate to reach out whenever you need us. We will be reaching out to you and your daughters through many forms in the coming weeks and keeping the Bryn Mawr spirit strong.

    Warmly,
     
    Amanda Macomber
    Middle School Director
  • March 24 Letter to Upper School Families

    Dear Upper School Families,

    Welcome back to school! After what was almost certainly the most unusual spring break in memory, we are prepared for our return in an altered format - one that will present opportunities for new ways of learning as well as new challenges. I hope that all of you have been able to read Sue Sadler’s message sent yesterday. It has a great deal of valuable information about what you can expect from Bryn Mawr in the coming weeks as we implement our distance learning program. I’m writing to you today to share information specific to the Upper School in this new - albeit unexpected - adventure. 
     
    • Distance learning for students begins tomorrow, March 25, and students should plan to spend approximately four hours per day on school work - though the work may initially be spread out over a longer stretch of the day than that. For each class, students can anticipate approximately 80 minutes of work every other day. 
    • School hours are 8:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Friday, so all online postings and communication from teachers should happen between those hours. Students may certainly email teachers at other times of day, but will likely receive responses to off-hours communications the next school day. 
    • The third quarter has been extended by a week to April 3 in order to give students and faculty time to adjust to distance learning and to provide time to complete any third quarter assessments in the new format. Grades for the third quarter will be posted by mid-April. 
    • Classes may meet either asynchronously (meaning that students can log in to access school work at any time) or synchronously (meaning that students will be asked to log in at a specific time in order to interact with classmates/instructors in real time). 
    • Between March 25 and April 3, any classes that meet synchronously will happen at the day/time that they would have met according to the on-campus schedule. This is in order to avoid conflicts between classes. Please be aware that synchronous classes may be recorded so that students who are unable to attend may access the classes and/or instruction.
    • With respect to attendance, please continue to report illness or other absences to attendance_US@brynmawrschool.org. It is important that we continue to account for student attendance, even in this online environment. 
    • Your daughter’s advisor(s) will remain in close contact with her throughout the distance learning program. The advisor will also contact you via phone or video conference by the end of this week to check in about the student experience with the transition. 
    • Divisional administrators remain available for families and students in facilitating online classes and continuing the business of Upper School, in such matters as transcript requests, student activities and support, scheduling, etc. Those administrators are: 
                 Nicole Hood, Upper School Director
                 Jason George, Academic Dean
                 Emily Fetting, Dean of Students
                 Jeanette Budzik, 9th Grade Dean
                 Farah Evans, Upper School Counselor 
                 Katy Beck, Upper School Learning Specialist 
                 Courtney Watkins, Interim Director of College Counseling 
                 Barbara Scott, School Nurse 
     
    • You can anticipate more frequent communication and updates from me for the duration of our distance learning program. This message describes our plan for operations through April 3. The Upper School administrative team, in partnership with the school’s leadership, will evaluate these practices and will make changes as needed for any extension of distance learning. 
    On a personal note, I think that most of you know that in addition to my role as Upper School Director, I am also an Upper School parent with both a freshman daughter and a senior daughter. I will be walking this path with you as we navigate our children’s academic progress and social-emotional well-being throughout this experience. There is so much that we don’t know right now about the future. One thing that I do know, however, is that the Bryn Mawr community is strong. And I also know that there is nowhere else that I’d rather be to face both the opportunity and uncertainty of the days ahead. I’m grateful for this work and for this community for my children. 
     
    Best,
    Nicole
  • March 23 Letter to Community

    Dear Bryn Mawr Families,

    I hope you are well, and that you’ve been able to at least enjoy a change of pace during this spring break. I know many of you had last minute changes of plans as travel became more restricted. While I am sure this has been disappointing, I hope you have made the most of the family time. At least Baltimore’s weather has cooperated!
     
    I also hope you’ve been taking the recommendations to “social distance” seriously. I recognize that this is hard, especially with teenagers, but I do believe it’s our best chance at lowering the risk of exposure and spread of illness. It’s been a joy to walk through our neighborhood and see children playing in their yards, riding bicycles and making their own fun, all from the appropriate distance, of course!
     
    I am sure that like me, you’ve also spent a good deal of time wondering what these next weeks will look like. We are certainly in for an adventure as we launch our plans for distance learning. I have been closely following schools who are well ahead of us in this shift, and while I can’t promise many things, I can tell you we are going to learn a lot and will probably modify our plans as we go. I suspect this will be a longer haul than two weeks, and while I truly hope I am wrong, I think we will find that to keep our community as safe as possible, staying physically apart is going to be the right thing to do.
     
    However, we will endeavor to deliver the Bryn Mawr mission in as steady a way as possible. I ask everyone’s patience and partnership as we shift to a very different model of delivering our curriculum, as there will undoubtedly be some kinks along the way, but rest assured that we will continue to provide meaningful learning, even at a distance. Our Bryn Mawr community is more than just a physical place.
     
    Just prior to break, we sent out two weeks’ worth of plans and we will use these as the basis for our distance learning until April 3. What will be added is more contact with teachers and advisors via technology or phone. Faculty have been working to prepare ways to connect with our students and families. Each division will do this a little differently, and you’ll be hearing more from your Division Director tomorrow (Friday for Little School). We are all planning ahead for the next phase of learning, so expect things to be modified as we learn more about what is or isn’t working.
     
    As we embark on this new version of school, for whatever period of time it lasts, we will be in frequent communication and always value your feedback. Here are some things you can expect from us, and what we’ll be hoping for from you! 

    From the School: 

    Frequent communication
    • Weekly message from the Head of School 
    • Weekly divisional newsletters
    • Frequent contact from your student’s homeroom teacher or advisor 
    Continuity of Learning
    • Tuesday, March 24: Professional Day
    • Wednesday, March 25: Commence distance learning
    • At least four hours of online content or independent work per day. This meets the Maryland state requirements for a school day.
    • School “hours” will be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. No new content for the next day will be published after 4 p.m. Students will know in advance if they are expected to be online synchronously. While teachers and administrators will not be “on demand,” they will regularly check email during these hours. 
    • Teachers and students will interact online, via email, and via videoconference, with specifics determined by age appropriateness, available technology and instructional needs.
    • While this first phase will really be about getting our academics up and running, we will also try some activities to help keep students engaged and occupied. Some of these may be just for fun.
    • We will not try to replicate the entire school day. 
    Support! We are here to help. Here’s who to email for assistance:
    • Divisional Offices: Emailing the Division Director, Assistant Director, or Administrative Assistant in the Little, Lower, Middle, or Upper Schools is always a good place to start if you don’t know who to contact.
    • Advisors/Homeroom Teachers: Good resources if you have concerns about your child’s experience.
    • Classroom teacher: Direct questions about instructions or expectations
    • Information Technology: Contact studenthelp@brynmawrschool.org for any technology issues.
    • School counselors: We are here to help students and families work through any issues they encounter.
    • Learning Specialists: For students on plans or who are temporarily in need of organizational support.
    • Our website directory has specific information and numbers. Remember we also have a specific page for Coronavirus information, including the school’s distance learning plans here.
    • Head of School: Any time!

    And here is what we are hoping for from you:

     
    Communication
    • We expect parents to continue to report absences via the usual divisional attendence email addresses. If a student is unable to participate in distance learning that day due to illness or due to family commitment, please let us know.
    • We expect parents or students to connect with their advisors and homeroom teachers for support or questions.
    • Immediately let us know if you are experiencing any issues. We will do whatever we can to resolve these.
    Technology
    • A device for students to use and WiFi will be essential. Please be in touch if you have concerns or need assistance.
    • Headphones or earphones are highly recommended. 
    • School will provide a device for Lower School students who need one. Plans to distribute will come from the Lower School office in their communication tomorrow morning.
    Support
    • This is new for all of us and we really need your constructive feedback as well as your patience. It’s going to take some time to get into a rhythm. 
    • Students will need adult structure at home, based on their ages and stages of development. I expect this to lessen over time as everyone gets used to a new routine.
    • Creating a dedicated space and time for learning in your family routine will be essential.
    And last but not least, compassion, humor, and flexibility are always helpful words to remember. It’s likely that someone related to our community will become ill, and we want to be sure that our good wishes for their full recovery are our first sentiment. We’ll definitely need a little humor to ease some of the less graceful moments (such as when one of my recent video conference participants' youngest child ran naked through the video- she quipped, “At least it wasn't my husband!”). We will need to work together to accomplish this new remote learning in the best possible way, so flexibility and communication will really be essential.
     
    Some good will come out of this situation, even if it’s only that our children get to enjoy more unstructured time to use their imaginations. I really believe that creative play is a key feature in developing self-management skills for children. Even teens benefit from time to daydream and connect with their inner selves! AND those of us of a certain age are certainly going to get better with technology! We are all going to be able to practice our resilience in the coming weeks.
     
    I have always been an optimist, so I believe that if we stick together, we will come through this as intact as possible. Bryn Mawr is a tight knit community, and we are here to help. As soon as we get this week underway, I will invite you to join me in groups for virtual parent coffees so we can come together for support and fellowship. Thank you for all you will do to help great learning happen at home. We will try to make this as easy and family friendly as possible.
     
    Most importantly, stay healthy and hopeful. We are in this together, and I look forward to seeing how the Bryn Mawr community will rise to this new challenge.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler
    Head of School
  • March 17 Letter to Alumnae: Bazaar and Alumnae Weekend

    Dear Bryn Mawr Community,

    First, I want to thank you for being part of this strong and steadfast community during the most challenging of times, and for your ongoing commitment to Bryn Mawr. We are writing to update you about the school’s actions taken in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

    Campus Closure
    Bryn Mawr is currently closed for spring break through Monday, March 23. Students and faculty will move to distance learning beginning Wednesday, March 25, running at least through Friday, April 3. We made this proactive decision last Thursday after hearing from Governor Larry Hogan, as well as consulting with our medical advisors and talking with more than 100 school heads from across the state. Closing the campus for students is a difficult decision, as we know this significantly disrupts and inconveniences the lives of our families. However, we also know it is our responsibility to do everything possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community and families safe.

    Our faculty and staff are prepared to continue teaching and learning and do all that we can to maintain a sense of community. You can read more about Bryn Mawr’s response, as well as more details about distance learning plans for each division, on our COVID-19 webpage.

    Alumnae Weekend 2020
    In keeping with the CDC’s recent recommendations to limit large gatherings for the next eight weeks, we must postpone Alumnae Weekend, scheduled for May 1-2, 2020. Please see Head of School Sue Sadler’s video message to the community regarding this decision.


    While we are so sorry not to celebrate these reunion classes and welcome all alumnae back to campus this spring, we know this is the best decision to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community.

    We realize this is especially disappointing for the 0s and 5s classes, whose reunion was also postponed five years ago. We are working on some plans for the fall to celebrate you and connect you with classmates.

    Looking ahead, we will celebrate the reunions of the 0s and 5s, along with the 1s and 6s, during Alumnae Weekend next year. Mark your calendars now for April 30 through May 1, 2021.

    We truly hope to reschedule Gym Drill for later this spring and will share more details as they become available. If you have any questions regarding Alumnae Weekend, please contact Director of Alumnae Engagement Deanna Boyd ’05.

    Here to Help
    If any of you are self-isolating and need help, the Bryn Mawr community is here for you! If you need groceries or supplies, something shipped or mailed, or just a friendly phone call, please reach out to Director of Alumnae Engagement Deanna Boyd ’05 and she will connect you with a Bryn Mawr volunteer.

    Office of Development
    Following spring break, our Development team will operate remotely. As always, our contact information can be found on this page. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to process and acknowledge gifts, plan future events, and stay connected with all of you.

    These unsettling times certainly underscore an important element of Bryn Mawr’s mission statement: resilience in the face of ambiguity, complexity and change. Never has this been more critical. I thank all of you for being part of this community and look forward to the day we can all greet each other in person.

    Sincerely,

    Sue Sadler
    Head of School

    Deanna Boyd ’05
    Director of Alumnae Engagement

  • March 12 Letter to Families: School Closure

    Dear Bryn Mawr Community,

    After hearing from Governor Larry Hogan this afternoon regarding Maryland’s first community transmission of COVID-19, as well as consulting with our medical advisors and talking with more than 100 school heads from across the state today, it has become clear that we must take more immediate actions to prioritize the health of our school and community. I want to make it clear that there are no suspected cases of COVID-19 within our school community at this time; however, medical modeling predicts that we will not be immune from the spread. With that in mind, we have made the following proactive decisions:  

    • Bryn Mawr will now be closed for students tomorrow, Friday, March 13.
    • We will shift to distance learning beginning Wednesday, March 25. 
    • At a minimum, distance learning will be in effect through Friday, April 3, at the earliest. 
    • Little School will also be closed starting tomorrow through Friday, April 3, at the earliest. 
    Closing for students is a difficult decision, as I know this significantly disrupts and inconveniences the lives of our families. However, we also know it is our responsibility to do what we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community and families safe. 

    Please review the following items carefully:

    Distance Learning
     
    This week, students have been encouraged to bring home all materials needed to continue their learning remotely. If your student has left anything at school, personnel will be on campus tomorrow morning. Buildings will be open until noon tomorrow.

    You can expect to hear more regarding distance learning on Tuesday, March 24. We recognize that this new format and pace may be challenging for some students. Know that we will work with students — during and after a closure — to make sure that all feel confident in their learning. Please contact your student’s advisor or homeroom teacher for support, guidance, and advice. We are here to help. 

    Travel

    We strongly encourage families to follow CDC and Department of Health guidelines when making decisions to travel. As the situation evolves, we will be communicating policies and protocols for returning to campus following any travel or potential exposure to COVID-19. 

    Athletics and Program Cancelations

    We are suspending all athletics and student events through the distance learning period. We’ve also suspended all international programs and exchanges through the spring, as exchange students and their hosts may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, challenges returning home, or accessing healthcare while abroad. We will continue to evaluate all international programs to determine how best to proceed and will share any rescheduling updates as soon as they are decided. 

    At this time, other cancellations are:
     
    • Varsity lacrosse team training trip to Orlando, Florida
    • Invest in Girls trip to New York City later this month, due to visiting restrictions at the offices and business locations
    We will evaluate our plans for campus events, large group gatherings, school-sponsored travel, and field trips and announce any changes before we return from the closure. 

    Going Forward

    As we make decisions and face unpredictable circumstances, we are doing our best to model for students an important element of Bryn Mawr’s mission statement: resilience in the face of ambiguity, complexity and change. This is challenging work and we will continue to lean on each other as we prioritize the health, safety and wellbeing of our community. I am grateful for the dedication and focus of our faculty and administration in planning for a smooth transition, as well as supporting students through this unsettling time. 
     
    We will continue to communicate frequently regarding any changes or updates. Remember, our COVID-19 webpage remains the most up-to-date resource for this information.

    In closing, I want to send my gratitude to you and your family for your understanding and patience. We will get through this together. As always, feel free to be in touch if you have questions or concerns. Wishing you and your family a healthy and restful spring break.
     
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler
    Head of School
  • March 11 Letter to Little School Families

    Dear Little School Families,


    With spring break on the horizon, I want to make sure you are aware of our plan to stay connected in case of an extended closure due to COVID-19. While we have every expectation that all students will return to campus as planned on March 24, we are also preparing to provide learning activities and materials if necessary. As of now, Little School is open for Full-Year families over Spring Break.

    In the event of an extended closure, families will be notified through e2campus. You can always go to Bryn Mawr’s COVID-19 web page for up-to-date information and resources. Continued communication will be provided via email by Head of School Sue Sadler, Little School Administrators, and your child’s classroom teachers.

    On the first day of closure, teachers will prepare and email you age-appropriate activities that can be used to keep your child engaged and learning. The lesson plans may contain a theme for the week, songs or poems, suggested books that can be found online, questions for literacy-building, and gross- and fine- motor activities. This Friday, students in Afternoon Rooms 2, 3 and 4, will also bring home a packet of curricular materials to be kept at home and used during the closure. If we are closed, you can expect to hear from your child’s small group teacher mid-week, and Gwen and I will continue to send Friday Updates.

    Please note: At this time, it is very important for you to notify us if your child is sick so we can continue to track the health of our community. We ask that families email us brownme@brynmawrschool.org and nkwanyuog@brynamwrschool.org to report any illness or travel plans while school is open or if we have a closure.
    We are glad that you are part of our Little School family. We all enjoy spending our days with your children and being a part of their growth and development. Little school faculty and staff are always available if you have any questions or concerns.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Brown
    Little School Director
    brownme@brynmawrschool.org
    (410)323-8826
  • March 11 Letter to Lower School Families

    Dear Lower School Parents, 


    We realize that many area schools are closed this Friday, March 13, but Bryn Mawr will be open for a regular day of school. Our faculty and staff have spent considerable time preparing for distance learning and feel ready to go in the event of a closure. Note: Friday will be a dress down day for everyone.

    With spring break on the horizon, I want to make sure you are aware of Bryn Mawr’s plans to continue teaching and learning in the event of an extended closure due to COVID-19.  While we have every expectation that students will return to campus as planned on March 24, we are also preparing for distance learning if necessary. 

    Distance learning is designed to provide continuity and to continue progress towards learning objectives for each grade level. Of course, instruction will take many forms that may look and feel very different than a student’s typical in-class experience. 

    Please review the following information for Lower School families: 
    • In the event of a closure, students should not expect to have class or coursework on the first day. Teachers will use the first day or days of a closure to finalize content for distance learning and will reach out to students and families about distance learning plans. 
    • In the Lower School, distance learning will be administered via the SeeSaw Family app.  All K-5 teachers will be using SeeSaw as means of communication with students via parents for distance learning work. Students are not signing into their personal SeeSaw Class app, as this is for at school use only. This will allow parents to help track assigned and completed work. 
    • You can expect homeroom teachers to post reading, writing and math assignments daily. Special area teachers, such as science, art, physical education and world language, will post assignments to each grade weekly. Fourth and fifth grade assignments may include links to resources such as NewsELA, Google Classrooms, and Kahn Academy, as well work that does not require a computer. Before we leave on spring break, all K-5 students will be bringing home Math in Focus (Book B), writing journals, and other grade-appropriate novels and books. 
    • Teachers will include tips on how you can best support your child in their learning at home. 
    • Should you or your daughter have any questions about assigned work, please contact the teacher directly via Bryn Mawr Gmail. 
    • Continue to check Bryn Mawr’s COVID-19 web page for up to date information and resources. 

    Please note: We ask that families continue to use attendance_ls@brynmawrschool.org to inform the school if your daughter is sick and not completing work that day. This is very important for us to best continue tracking the health of our community. 

    We also ask that you update your contact information on the Bryn Mawr Parent Portal so we can easily get in touch with you via phone and email during distance learning.

    As we navigate through this ever-changing situation, it’s a good time to remind our children (and each other) of our Lower School values: cooperation, integrity, respect, responsibility, mindfulness, compassion, and resilience. Please be in touch with me or your daughter’s classroom teacher with any further questions or concerns. 
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Laurie Vennes
    Lower School Director
  • March 11 Letter to Middle School Families

    Dear Middle School Families,


    With spring break on the horizon, I want to make sure you are aware of Bryn Mawr’s plans to continue teaching and learning in the event of an extended closure due to COVID-19.  While we have every expectation that students will return to campus as planned on March 24, we are also preparing for distance learning if necessary. 

    Distance learning is designed to provide continuity and to make progress towards learning objectives for each grade level. Of course, instruction will take many forms that may look and feel very different than a student’s typical in-class experience. 

    Please review the following information for Middle School families: 
    • In the event of a closure, students should not expect to have class or coursework on the first day. Teachers will use the first day of a closure to finalize content for distance learning and update their Canvas pages accordingly. 
    • In the Middle School, distance learning will be administered via the Canvas Learning Management System that students have been using all year.  All 6th through 8th grade teachers will be using Canvas as the means of communication with students for distance learning work. 
    • Students should expect that academic teachers will post approximately 30-45 minutes of work per class per day. Special area teachers, such as art, physical education and dance, will post approximately 30-60 minutes of total work weekly.  In rare cases we will suspend work in certain classes until school resumes.
    • You should expect your student to be working on school work for approximately 4 hours per day and, unless they are sick, to be meeting deadlines posted for assignments.  Teachers will be assessing student progress through a variety of means in order to ensure content and skill mastery and for students to continue earning grades for the fourth quarter.
    • Teachers will be making themselves available daily for questions via email and via videoconferencing through Canvas.  They will post their availability and means of contact on the homepage of their Canvas courses.
    • Continue to check Bryn Mawr’s COVID-19 web page for up to date information and resources. 

    I met with all students on Tuesday morning to update them on coronavirus, the steps they can take to stay well, and the steps we are taking to keep them well and provide distance learning in the event of a closure. I guided them to start bringing home ALL of their academic materials each day to be prepared for a possible closure.

    Please note: We ask that families continue to use attendance_ms@brynmawrschool.org to inform the school if your daughter is sick and not completing work that day. This is very important for us to best continue tracking the health of our community. 

    We also ask that you update your contact information on the Bryn Mawr Parent Portal so we can easily get in touch with you via phone and email during distance learning.

    As we navigate through this ever-changing situation, we will remind our students about our mission statement: resilience in the face of ambiguity, complexity and change.  I truly believe that this is Bryn Mawr’s chance to shine as we come together to support one another and keep progressing forward in our pursuit of learning! Please be in touch with me if you have any questions or concerns. 
     
    Warmly,
     
     
    Amanda Macomber
    Middle School Director
  • March 11 Letter to Upper School Families

    Dear Upper School Families,

     
    As you likely have heard from your daughter this week, we have been planning and preparing for the possibility of an extended school closure in an effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Throughout the week, I’ve been speaking with faculty and students about those plans, about what distance learning might entail, and about upcoming travel plans for spring break - both domestically and abroad. 

    We realize that many area schools are closed this Friday, March 13, but Bryn Mawr will be open for a regular day of school. Our faculty and staff have spent considerable time preparing for distance learning and feel ready to go in the event of a closure. Note: Friday will be a dress down/out of uniform day for everyone.

    Should we move to a distance learning (DL) experience in the weeks after spring break, you and your daughter can expect her classes to continue with a high level of instruction and with the goal of ensuring that her learning progresses, on or off of Bryn Mawr’s campus. You can also anticipate that your daughter’s advisor will be in regular contact with her to check in about her management of the online learning processes and her overall adjustment to working in a distance learning format. 

    Things to consider now: 
    • Please feel free to let your daughter’s advisor know if you have irregular access to the internet during the day. Distance learning practices rely heavily on internet-accessible content and we want to take any challenges in access into consideration for all families. 
    • Please remind your daughter to bring all materials necessary for ongoing schoolwork home before the break (e.g. textbooks, calculators, art supplies). If the school is closed, students will not be permitted on campus just to “get something” left behind. 
    • Encourage any student who is ill to stay at home until she recovers. Many senior students, in particular, are worried about being subject to senior exams due to excessive absences. We are reevaluating those attendance requirements and very much hope that students and families will prioritize their own health and the health of others in making decisions about school attendance. 

    In the event that we move to a distance learning experience:  
    • The first day would likely operate as a “snow day” with few expectations for class meetings or school work. 
    • After the first day, students should expect to spend about four hours a day, Monday through Friday, in-class instruction or doing school work.
    • Teachers may offer course content in either synchronous (students report to class all at the same time) or asynchronous (students work online at their own pace and at a time of their choosing) forms. Should a class meet in a synchronous format, say for a virtual group discussion, the class meeting will happen at the same time that the class would meet during a regular school day at Bryn Mawr. 
    • Teachers will continue to make assignments and post-course information on class Canvas pages and may leverage other technological tools, especially Google Suite applications, in delivering course content. 
    • We are asking that families continue to report school attendance to attendance_US@brynmawrschool.org as usual with any pertinent information about illnesses, appointments, or other valid reasons for school absences. 
    • Families and students can think of and feel free contacting advisors as the point person for questions related to the DL experience. 
    • Divisional administrators remain available for families and students in facilitating online classes and continuing the business of Upper School, in such matters as transcript requests, student activities, and support, scheduling, etc. Those administrators include: 



    Finally, if the school experiences closure in the days or weeks after spring break, you can expect regular emailed communication from both Sue Sadler, Head of School and me as the Upper School Director. I ask that you work with us to stay up to date on your daughter’s school experience and as we make every effort to return to normal on-campus operations. 

    Please feel free to be in touch with me at any time. I’m hoping for good health for you and your families and for a pleasant and restful break for all of us. We are prepared to face any challenge beyond that. 

    Best,
    Nicole Hood
  • March 6 Letter to Community

    Dear Bryn Mawr Community,

    Our administrative team has spent many hours this week monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation and want to make sure you’re aware of some new developments as they relate to Bryn Mawr. Please carefully review the following: 
     

    Travel

    As spring break approaches, we strongly encourage families to follow the CDC’s travel guidelines. We are asking our employees, students and families who have traveled to a location designated by the CDC as a Level 2 or 3 risk to not come to Bryn Mawr’s campus or attend any school-sponsored events within 14 days of travel. The same policy will apply if you travel to an area that is elevated to a Level 2 or 3 risk within 14 days of returning. Please contact nurse@brynmawrschool.org to report travel, or if you have any questions or concerns. 

    We are actively evaluating Bryn Mawr’s global trips and exchanges, field trips, campus events, athletics and summer programs. As of now, there are no changes to current plans and we will be in touch as the situation evolves. Going forward, we plan to make decisions regarding trips and events by considering CDC and WHO advisories; ease of logistical response in case of an emergency; presence of COVID-19 at a destination; and the overall risk to our community. 


    Campus Health *New Policy*

    On campus, we have increased our cleaning measures and are disinfecting every space, every day. Beginning Monday, we’ll modify food service in the Dining Hall to limit unpackaged, self-serve items like salad bar and pizza slices (don’t worry, pre-packaged salads and served pizza will still be available). We’ve also increased signage and communication to remind the community of healthy hygiene habits and CDC-recommended precautions

    On Monday, March 9, we will begin implementing a new check-in policy for students and employees who have been out of school for two or more days due to illness. Before returning to classrooms or work, we ask that they check in at the Health Center (located in the Howell Building). The Health Center opens at 7:45 every morning. Little School staff will be checking students as they are dropped off in the morning. Students who become ill at school will need to be picked up within one hour. We are able to separate students with symptoms, but can no longer accommodate them for longer periods of time.

    I cannot emphasize enough—please keep sick children at home. As always, students are to remain home from school if they have a temperature of 100.0 or greater and should not return until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the help of fever-reducing medication.

    Planning for Disruption

    Faculty and staff at all levels are actively preparing to continue teaching and learning in case of a school closure. While we hope this will be unnecessary, please know that we will be ready to continue curricular instruction at all levels. Distance learning would take different forms depending on grade level and subject areas and would likely involve online instruction in the Middle and Upper School divisions. If you have any concerns about your family’s technology resources (e.g. computing devices or internet access) at home, please reach out now to Thanasi Letras, Director of Technology, for assistance. 
     

    New Webpage

    We established a webpage to share up-to-date information about Bryn Mawr’s steps to support the health and wellbeing of our campus community, and we will post to this site any status updates, including any major effects on programs and operations, should they occur. We ask all families to rely on this website as an ongoing resource. New updates will be posted regularly to the website moving forward.

    Contact Information

    Finally, we ask that you take a moment to update your contact information and consider adding a secondary emergency contact on the Parent Portal. Please log into the Parent Portal and click on your name in the top right corner, then go to Profile. 

    We will keep you updated as the situation unfolds, and as we work to ensure the health and safety of our campus and community. Keep washing those hands and sneezing into sleeves and tissues! Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me or our school nurse Barbara Scott.


    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler
    Head of School
  • February 26 Letter to Community

    Dear Bryn Mawr Community,

    We are writing to update you on Bryn Mawr’s work and response related to the novel coronavirus that was first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, now referred to as COVID-19. It has now been detected in 37 locations internationally, including cases in the United States. 
     
    As you may know, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued warnings this week about COVID-19 and indicated that they believe the virus is likely to spread in communities in the United States. They urged individuals, schools and communities to begin preparing for potential closings, quarantines and other significant disruptions.

    While we believe the COVID-19 risk is still very low to the Bryn Mawr community right now, we are reviewing and updating our pandemic crisis plan to be sure we are prepared for any disruptions. Additionally, with spring break on the horizon and an increase in travel, we want to make sure you’re aware that we may require families who have traveled to China and other higher risk areas to either undergo a medical exam upon return or to self-quarantine for up to two weeks before returning to Bryn Mawr. If you have concerns or questions, please be in touch with School Nurse Barbara Scott

    As always, we also remind you and your families to continue actions to promote good health such as frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, getting flu shots, and not sharing utensils, straws or drinks. We encourage you to visit the CDC website for the most updated and thorough information on both COVID-19 and seasonal flu, which poses a far greater risk at this time.

    The health and safety of our community remain our highest priority. As always, we will continue to support our students and families as we monitor the COVID-19 developments and update the community as necessary. 

    Sincerely,
     
    Sue Sadler
    Head of School
     
    Barbara Scott RN
    School Nurse
  • January 28 Letter to Community

    Dear Bryn Mawr Community,

    Some of you have expressed concern about the 2019-nCoV (coronavirus) that first emerged in Wuhan, China and has now spread to other locations, including the United States. We are writing to provide an update as it relates to the Bryn Mawr community. 

    As of now, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Maryland. Our school nurse practitioner is consulting with doctors and epidemiologists at the Maryland State and Baltimore City Departments of Health, in addition to following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), to ensure we are following best practices to keep our community healthy and safe. 

    While we believe the coronavirus risk is very low to the Bryn Mawr community, we are asking anyone who has traveled to China in the last two weeks not to return to school until they have been cleared by a physician. We are also reminding students and adults to continue actions to promote good health such as frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, getting flu shots, and not sharing utensils, straws or drinks.

    We are in close contact with our tri-school partners regarding coronavirusAs you may know, a group of Gilman students and faculty participated in a Model UN competition at Yale University this past weekend, where a student from the Chinese delegation tested positive for influenza. Because of the heightened awareness around coronavirus and the origin of his travel, the CDC requested that the student also be tested for 2019-nCoV. In an abundance of caution, the Gilman delegation remained away from school yesterday, but all were medically cleared to return to school today. 

    The health and safety of our community remain our highest priority. As always, we will continue to support our students and families as we monitor the coronavirus developments. We will update the community as necessary. If you have concerns or questions, please be in touch with School Nurse Barbara Scott. 
     

    Sincerely,

    Sue Sadler
    Head of School

    Barbara Scott RN
    School Nurse
Last updated 5/29/2020

Event Changes and Cancellations

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If you have any questions or concerns related to Bryn Mawr’s response to COVID-19, please contact nurse@brynmawrschool.org.

Preventing Illness

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. We strongly encourage families to reference the CDC Travel Information for advisories and recommendations. As a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Unsure about whether you should come to campus? Please use this chart to guide your decision! Contact nurse@brynmawrschool.org with any questions.

New Health Center Policies

  • On Monday, March 9, we will also begin implementing a new check-in policy for students and employees who have been out of school for two or more days due to illness. Before returning to classrooms or work, we ask that they check in at the Health Center (located in the Howell Building). The Health Center opens at 7:45 every morning. Little School staff will be checking students as they are dropped off in the morning.
  • Students who become ill at school will need to be picked up within one hour. We are able to separate students with symptoms, but can no longer accommodate them for longer periods of time.
  • Unsure about whether you should come to campus? Please use this chart to guide your decision! Contact nurse@brynmawrschool.org with any questions.

Distance Learning

The following information outlines The Bryn Mawr School’s plans for its continued operation when campus is closed for an extended period of time. Click here to read more about Distance Learning at Bryn Mawr. Read our expectations outlined in Bryn Mawr's Continuity of Learning Plan and review Bryn Mawr’s Policy for Student Participation in Distance Learning.

IT Support

In the event of a school closure where the distance learning model is in place, technology support is available weekdays from 8am to 4:30pm. Students may email studenthelp@brynmawrschool.org, and a member of the technology department will respond as soon as possible. Parents experiencing issues relating to the Parent Portal may contact portals@brynmawrschool.org.

Student Support Services

The Student Support Services team will continue to provide services and systems that support students’ success and overall wellbeing within a distance learning environment. Our counselors, learning specialists and health personnel will be available for consultation, personalized virtual support and referral services throughout the school day. The team will maintain regular communication with students currently receiving support via Google hangouts and email. Phone consultation will also be utilized on an as needed basis. Here are some distance learning tips from Bryn Mawr's Student Support Services.

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