At Sheridan, our long-time community rule is simple and clear: we respect ourselves, each other and our environment.

As we launch the 2020-2021 school year, this rule is more important than ever. Together we have the power to give our children a challenging and joyful education, while keeping everyone in our community and in the world beyond as healthy and safe as possible. A collective commitment to our students and to each other will carry us through and allow us to be what we are at our core—Sheridan Strong.

It is our expectation that each member of our community will commit to the principles below and abide by them. Doing so will help create the sacred trust that is so vital to our effort to engage in-person learning, whether for an hour, a day, a week or the year.

We will treat others with empathy and compassion. We will understand that COVID-19 may affect someone differently than it affects us or in ways that we cannot know. We will honor any differences between us and, with empathy and compassion, seek common ground.

We will abide by health and safety protocols established by the school. We commit to following any protocol put in place to keep our school and our local community healthy and safe. This includes, but is not limited to, protocols related to mask wearing, physical distancing, health screenings, and staying home if you are ill. We understand that these protocols may change in response to new circumstances and pledge to honor them no matter their form.

We will not take part in activities outside of Sheridan that could put others in our community at riskReturning to in-person learning is our top priority and we will take the steps that are needed to protect ourselves and our children from unnecessary risks related to COVID-19. This includes only engaging in recreational activities, attending family events, socializing with friends, and participating in gatherings, when full risk mitigation measures (masks, physical distancing, handwashing) are being followed. We also pledge to limit any non-essential travel to COVID-19 hotspots and to follow local and federal requirements and recommendations for self-quarantine when travel to such locations is necessary.

We will report any possible exposure to COVID-19 to the school immediately. We understand that reporting potential exposure is critical to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within and outside of the Sheridan community. If we or a member of our family have been exposed to COVID-19, we will contact Sheridan’s school nurse immediately and follow her instructions.

We will recognize that a successful learning year requires engagement and participation, whether schooling takes place through distance learning or on-campus. As teachers, we commit to working in partnership with families to provide an active, challenging, and joyful learning experience. As parents, we commit to being engaged and flexible and helping our children to be the same.

We will consider the impact of our individual actions on others. We understand that families may rely upon each other for care and social connection. We commit to taking into account the impact that these groupings may have on the larger class community. We will consider who is included and who may feel excluded from groups, how grouping by geographic location, gender, and friendship groups can be inherently exclusive and homogenous, and we will actively work toward inclusivity.

A deep and abiding commitment to these principles is essential to our success this year. Our individual actions and behaviors have a ripple effect and by working together, we can create the conditions that allow for on-campus learning in a manner that feels comfortable and safe for everyone.