COVID and School Reopening

Brimmer and May Provides Back to School Safety During COVID

Brimmer and May is excited to have students, faculty, and staff safely on campus. Our COVID Response Team (CRT) meets weekly to ensure we keep everyone safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. Please see below for additional COVID safety considerations.

Our efforts have truly shown the strength and resilience of the Brimmer community, and while our campus looks different right now, our dedication to our students and their learning remains unchanged. We hope you’ll take a moment to watch how we’ve reimagined the Brimmer education.
COVID Metrics & Considerations

When making decisions about the continuation of in-person learning, the COVID Response Team (CRT) considers a wide range of available data and resources. We are not relying upon a single factor; rather, we are considering various components that impact the decision to remain on campus or move to remote learning, including:

  • Campus experience for all faculty, staff, and students; and ability of all to comply with risk mitigation efforts
  • PCR test results of faculty and staff tested weekly
  • External metrics, including number of cases per 100,000 people in the Greater Boston area, the 7-day and 14-day average positivity rate in MA, and 3-day average of COVID patients in MA hospitals, aggregated to generate our own Brimmer community’s metric representing over 20 towns
  • Input from our weekly consultation with health experts
  • We rely on data from a variety of sources such as, Covid ActNow, and the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania PolicyLab

While we are thrilled to be on campus for in-person learning, there is no guarantee that cases will not arise. We will continue to monitor our community closely using the above specified data, and we will make decisions based on the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. As always, if mandated to do so by the Commonwealth, we are prepared to shift to a remote learning model and are committed to meeting our goals for all academic programs.
On the one year anniversary of the World Health Organization's declaration that COVID-19 had become a global pandemic, the Brimmer community had an incredible opportunity to learn more about the "race to vaccinate" from Moderna Co-Founder and Brimmer Parent and Trustee Dr. Derrick Rossi, P '26, '28. Dr. Rossi shared invaluable insight with our Middle and Upper Schoolers about the development of Moderna's mRNA vaccine, how mRNA vaccines work, and why it is important for people to get vaccinated when they are eligible.

Recent CRT Communications

List of 4 items.

  • April 2021

    The CRT wants to thank you for you continued vigilance as we returned from the March break. As we slowly move towards a gradual reopening in the State, please remember that we are still upholding the Keep Brimmer Healthy pledge. With students not vaccinated and several adults still waiting even for their first shot, we must all stay committed to our mitigation strategies at all times when on campus. Air flow, hand hygiene, masking, and physical distancing continue to be effective. We have learned a lot about the correlation between movement, length of time, and proximity to others in the transmission of the virus. A year later, we are better equipped to make good decisions, but we have also seen pandemic fatigue. Let’s all stay positive and diligent in these final months. The CRT will continue using all the necessary guidelines for end-of-year events and gatherings.
    - The COVID Response Team
  • February 2021

    We, the COVID Response Team, want to pause this week to reflect upon a year unlike any other. The Administrative Team made the decision to go remote on Thursday, March 12, 2020, almost a full year ago. Our common thinking then was: ok, the next three or four months will be rough, but after that, all will return to normal. Tiger King was THE show on Netflix, and there were lots of social media posts about toilet paper and being locked in with the whole family. It was a scary time as we faced the unknown, and predictions were dire.
    As we emerge almost a full year later, we want to congratulate you. Though it has been brutal—as we have each faced personal, professional, social, and emotional challenges—we are here, and we are wiser.
    As a community, Brimmer is steadfast, united, and committed. We have shown that we can be together, in person, safely and substantively, to tackle the issues that confront us and to learn.
    You have been a critical component to the effort. Thank you for trusting us and for prioritizing your child’s education and the experience of all members of the Brimmer community. We recognize that many of you have foregone visits and vacations in order to comply with travel regulations and return-to-school policies.
    As we weather February’s chilly temperatures and look forward to March Break, we are asking you to recommit keeping our school and your children healthy and in person. More people are receiving vaccinations, the weather is improving, the metrics look better each week, and we will welcome the return of the tents for use after break. We know our mitigation efforts are working. In the rare event of a positive COVID case on campus, those efforts have stifled spread. The daily screening questionnaire functions as a gatekeeper. Please fill it out before leaving the house in the morning. Be truthful. Not every yes will preclude a day at school. We will continue to communicate with you. You are always welcome to reach out to us. As we hope you have found, we cast wide nets in determining who we ask to quarantine if and when someone on campus receives a positive COVID diagnosis. We contact everyone under that net by phone and then again by email. If you have not heard from us, we have determined (in connection with Newton Public Health) that your child does not need to change their daily routine.
    We still have work to do and a long way to go before this pandemic is in the past. The worst, however, is behind us, and we will beat this. Be kind to each other. Be gentle with yourself. We are all doing our best. Every night Lester Holt ends the Nightly News saying, “Please take care of yourself and each other.” We think he has the right idea.
    - The COVID Response Team
  • January 2021

    We are in our second week of student testing, and it is going very well. Each division has a system and protocol in place, and we appreciate the support of the families in this endeavor. 
    We kindly request that all parents wear masks at drop off in the morning, especially when you roll down your car window to show staff the health screening app or if you need to get out of the car to help your student.
    We are hopeful that teachers will be able to begin the vaccination process within the next month. We are currently working on a plan for how this will unfold, despite having little control over how or when teachers will be vaccinated. We will keep families informed of any updates as they arise.
    - The COVID Response Team
  • December 2020

    The December break is nearly upon us. As 2020 winds down, and we look toward reopening campus in January, we want to share our plans for a safe and healthy return to in-person learning.
    As you know, the COVID Response Team meets weekly and discusses, amongst other topics, the metrics of the virus in the towns that are represented at Brimmer. We are aware of the increasing numbers as well as the concerns around post-holiday surges as families travel and gather. To address those concerns, we tested our entire community upon return from Thanksgiving break and continue to practice the mask wearing, physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and hygiene protocols that we know work to curb transmission.
    Beginning in January, we will add regular, weekly testing of our students to those efforts. This additional mitigation strategy will be part of our plan to navigate in-person learning during the winter months, when public health officials anticipate higher numbers of cases. We may opt to scale back on student testing if and when metrics reflect a decline in cases, or an effective vaccine becomes available.
    During the week of January 4, students will learn remotely. As we did in November after Thanksgiving break, we will test all students, faculty, and staff on Wednesday, January 6, from 8:00 - 11:00 am. Please note that classes will not take place on this day to allow faculty, staff, and students to come to campus to get tested. A negative PCR test is required to return to in-person learning on Monday, January 11. We are asking all families to complete a short form in the Parent Portal to declare their testing plan and schedule preference. 
    Following the anticipated return to in-person, on campus learning on Monday, January 11, students will be tested weekly, just as our faculty and staff are currently tested, on a four-day rotation while in school. We will continue to use the same PCR test (shallow nasal swab) that was used in November in partnership with CIC Health.
    Finally, we are looking into additional risk mitigation efforts specific to each of our academic divisions, including efforts to de-densify the campus. You will receive a division specific letter in the coming weeks about these efforts and what changes, if any, we will be making.
    - The COVID Response Team
    • See how Brimmer looks today!

COVID Response Team

List of 11 members.

  • Photo of Judith Guild

    Judith Guild 

    Head of School
  • Photo of Julian Hickman

    Julian Hickman 

  • Photo of Sue Cuyler

    Sue Cuyler 

    Director of Marketing & Communications
  • Photo of Cassandra Abodeely

    Cassandra Abodeely 

    Director of Summer & Auxiliary Programs
  • Photo of Elizabeth Smith

    Elizabeth Smith 

    Director of Development
  • Photo of Joshua Neudel

    Joshua Neudel 

    Head of Upper School
  • Photo of Carl Vallely

    Carl Vallely 

    Head of Middle School, Co-Director of Faculty Recruitment and Mentoring
  • Photo of Emily Miller

    Emily Miller 

    Head of Lower School
  • Photo of Ina Patel

    Ina Patel 

    Lower School Director of Teaching & Learning
  • Photo of Beth Escobar

    Beth Escobar 

    Director of Health Services
  • Photo of Amanda Crater

    Amanda Crater 

    Database Coordinator
As an inclusive community, Brimmer welcomes students who will increase the diversity of our school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, or any other characteristic protected from discrimination under state or federal law, in the administration of our educational policies, admissions practices, financial aid decisions, and athletic and other school-administered programs.