What Will Poly Look Like in the Fall?

What Will Poly Look Like in the Fall?

With Virtual Poly extended until the end of the school year, many have already begun to wonder whether things will return to normal in the fall. While Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, predicted that schools will reopen in the fall, at Poly, a new normal may have to be adopted. 

Plans to reopen Poly will rely upon several factors, most notably official rules and regulations from the government. 

However, while we might feel pressed to look into the future, Assistant Head of School Michal Hershkovitz said, “Though we all wish we could be certain about what the fall will bring, unfortunately, we have no way of knowing. It seems most prudent to plan for as many plausible contingencies and scenarios as possible. And that is exactly what we have been doing for several weeks now and will continue to do as new information appears. We will hope for the best, plan for the worst, and trust that our wonderfully resilient community will weather it all together.”

Such contingency plans, Head of Upper School Sarah Bates said, “could be a range of enacting social distancing measures, to everyone wearing masks, to adding multiple hand-washing stations around the school. [Or], a full return to school, to a hybrid of online and in-person learning, and, the worst case scenario, a continuation of fully virtual learning. School will start in September but what that looks like has not been determined yet.”

Not knowing what lies ahead is certainly a terrifying thing. 

Upper School Dean Emily Gardiner said, “Looking ahead as a college counselor feels like driving through a thick fog, but all of us are contending with this uncertainty. For me, the most important thing is to be honest and have the humility to really listen and be nimble and sensitive when I’m making an educated guess.”

While we might not know what the plan for fall will look like anytime soon, it’s just as important that we all make the most of this unprecedented situation.

Upper School Dean Jamie Nestor said, “This whole situation has really made me rely on being in the present. I’ve really had to be in the now. You’ll be able to handle anything that comes forward as long as you are open to it, [and] in a place of contentment and peace rather than stress and anxiety.”

Hershkovitz said, “We are all being reminded of the essence of the human condition: we do not control our circumstances, but can only work to understand how and why they occur. We do not control what some people call fortune, but we can make choices about what matters most to us; how we will treat other people, and what sort of meaningful activities we will engage in. If students learn that from this tragic pandemic, they may be better prepared to face the future, and to do so with courage, intelligence, and—of course—character.”

While we are uncertain of the future at a school that prepares for the future, we are all in the same position, and as students, we must look to be present and insightful for when we return. It seems that like Virtual Poly, the entire school will need to be patient and open to adapting to new routines as the administration figures out what the safest and best course of action will be upon our return.