Message from Our Head of School, 7/21

Dear Post Oak Community,

Welcome to Post Oak Plans for the 2020–2021 School Year. What you are about to read is the result of our work over the past several months to create a plan for the 2020–2021 school year. Although this webpage will provide some details about the logistics of opening school in a number of possible scenarios, it is not final. We will continue to be flexible and make changes to our plan as we move forward and learn more. As many of us have learned over the past six months, even the most renowned doctors in the world cannot predict this virus. There are no guarantees.

Our strategy reflects the planning and preparation we have done in consultation with many resources—public health organizations, school organizations, and members of our own Post Oak community. We are grateful to our medical advisory task force which includes our school nurse, Cristal Roth, R.N., and physicians and administrators from the following: Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann, MD Anderson, and Baylor College of Medicine.

Our administrative team has consulted the published guidance from the following organizations:

  • World Health Organization
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Harris County Health Department
  • Texas Health and Human Services
  • Texas Education Agency
  • Independent Schools Association of the Southwest

Additionally, I have been engaged in ongoing conversations with Heads of ISAS schools in Houston to share best practices for creating plans given the situation in our metropolitan area.

Creating the safest environment for our students will require changes to our ideal Montessori based learning environments. However, we feel we have designed a strategy with our mission and values at the forefront. Our goal remains to have our students back on campus on the first day of school, but only if it is safe to do so. This document will lay out the three likely scenarios—in-person learning, distance learning, and hybrid learning—and how we will know which plan to engage.

Our staff, both dedicated and brave, rose to the courageous decision we made to open summer school. We have learned a lot in these past weeks about our protocol and procedures. The most important lesson and the one that surprised us the least: our Post Oak students are resilient. They have adapted to physical distancing, mask-wearing, and extra hand washing with grace and ease. Those staff who are not on campus for summer school are working tirelessly to plan curriculum, engage in professional development, and ready themselves for each scenario.

We are so grateful for your partnership and your commitment to Post Oak. We know it is a time of uncertainty. One thing you can count on is our commitment to the community and our steadfast efforts to create an engaging and dynamic learning environment no matter where we are.

Maura