The full letter from Regis President Rev. Daniel K. Lahart, SJ, to students and parents can be read below:
November 16, 2020
Dear Students and Parents,
In my letter of October 1, I indicated that it was our plan and our hope to begin our hybrid model at the start of the second trimester. That is still our plan.
Of course, as we all know, COVID-19 cases and infection rates have increased recently in New York City and the surrounding areas. The rates are not currently at a level that would cause us to change direction, but please know that we will continue to closely monitor the public health situation and consult with the relevant authorities. The health and safety of our community remains our biggest priority.
Our hybrid model involves freshmen and juniors (Claver Cohort) coming into the building for a full week while sophomores and seniors (Ricci Cohort) remain remote, and then those groups flipping for the following week.
Freshmen and juniors will begin in the building on Tuesday, December 1. We will also invite freshmen into the building for tours and orientation on the afternoon before, Monday, November 30.
Our schedules and patterns in the building will be different during hybrid in our efforts to keep both students and faculty safe. More extensive details on the hybrid plan can be found here; be assured that every effort is being made to mitigate risk, including the use of classroom air purifiers and plans for random testing.
While we are in hybrid mode, we will also offer students an all-remote option. Everyone will need to indicate whether they are planning to select hybrid or remote. By this coming Thursday, November 19 all parents must fill out a form for their son(s) to make their choice. (The form can be accessed by logging into MyRegis and following this path: Veracross Parent Portal > Update Family Profile > School Policies tab > Hybrid Mode) Shortly after we begin classes after the Christmas break we will ask parents of remote students if they would like to return to in-person instruction on January 19.
All students will be remote on Monday, December 21, and only seniors will come in on Tuesday, December 22 for our Christmas liturgy at St. Ignatius (others will watch via live stream), and seniors will conclude that day with the traditional, but socially distanced, advisement parties.
These continue to be times with previously unknown challenges and hardships. I also know that there have been moments of extraordinary grace as well. I thank you – our students and parents – for your patience, your prayers, and your support during these past eight months. We still have difficult times ahead of us, and we will all need additional grace to get through these months. I am confident that we will be able to do so. In particular, I want to thank our faculty and staff who have done a remarkable job in providing our students with an excellent education in spite of these challenges.
We had our first in-person faculty meeting this morning since March; it was wonderful to have almost all of the faculty in the building today. Understandably, there is some trepidation about moving to hybrid, and for it to be successful, we need the full cooperation of students. Safety must be a priority for everyone.
Our plan will only work if we all do what we can to stay safe, and keep each other safe, especially during the Thanksgiving holiday. Please do not put yourself or your loved ones at risk, and be mindful of NY State quarantine restrictions — if you sign up for hybrid, but need to quarantine, you cannot come in until you are cleared.
We all know that our plans could change in a moment, but barring directives from a government agency to the contrary, an outbreak in our own community, or infection rates rising to an unacceptable level, we are optimistic that we will be able to take these steps towards normalcy as we start our second trimester. Please know that any decisions about New York City public schools will not directly impact our plans. As we continue to closely monitor the public health situation in and around New York City, we will update you immediately if our intentions change.
Let us continue to pray for one another.
Daniel K. Lahart, SJ