NLS Health & Safety Update July 17, 2020

NLS Health & Safety Update July 17, 2020

Dear Nantucket Lighthouse Families and Friends,


I hope that you are enjoying the warmth of the sun on your faces and the familiarity of outdoor summer adventures. My boys have been enjoying fishing at our neighborhood pond and bike riding.


I wanted to give you an update on the work that our Health and Safety Committee is doing behind the scenes to ensure a safe and healthy return to school in September.


Our Health and Safety Committee, comprised of administrators, teachers, parents, and Trustees is working on a comprehensive plan that focuses on a safe reopening in September. The committee is using the Massachusetts Department of Education Guidelines and the Harvard School of Health Guidelines and going one step beyond in many cases.


As a school, we recognize that reopening requires a layered defense strategy where the combination of many small interventions and strategies has a big, positive, overall impact.


We are very thankful for the many facility advantages we have at NLS: Small class sizes, sinks in every classroom, and outdoor

access from every classroom. These are all very important and will be helpful in maintaining a healthy learning experience.


Our thorough safety measures for in-person learning include:

  • General safety within the classrooms, including furniture modifications
  • Increased spaces for outdoor learning
  • Social and emotional health
  • Masks for students & mask breaks (mask guidelines for children will be forthcoming)
  • Masks for all NLS adults
  • Personal use of student materials
  • Regular cleaning and sanitization of facilities and surfaces
  • Drop-off and pick-up routines
  • Specials schedules and cohort plans
  • HVAC system improvements and addition of medical-grade filtration for all classroom air
  • Screening routines
  • Planning for multiple scenarios

Local health officials will be approving our safety plan and our Health and Safety Committee will continue to meet throughout the year to modify and respond to issues as they arise.


We are grateful to have island therapists and psychologists on the social-emotional health of our students, teachers, and families as we plan for reopening. We know that this pandemic has introduced some students and adults to new mental health challenges. Our focus is on our school continuing to be a safe and nurturing place that focuses on community, collaboration, confidence and curiosity.


This spring, we saw the power of our island community working together to keep our case numbers low. As a school community, our clear communication and trust will, in conjunction with our safety plans, be essential to our success.


As we prepare our plans, we would love feedback from enrolled and prospective families, so please fill out the parent survey below.