Dear Williston Community,
I write with an important update as Williston recongregates following the holiday recess. We knew that the odds of a smooth return were not in our favor, given the nature of the highly contagious Omicron variant, and unfortunately, we are seeing that come to pass.
Due to the number of faculty and students reporting positive test results—as well as those unable to return due to travel complications—classes at Williston will be remote, starting tomorrow and running through Saturday. Boarding students will take classes from their dorm rooms (or from home if in quarantine), and day students from their homes. On Thursday, we will be PCR testing the entire community (including day students, who will receive further instruction on when to come to campus for testing), and once we have those results, we can reassess the positivity rate and update our plans accordingly.
We are not surprised by the results we are seeing, though we had hoped to begin the year just as we began in September. We are also hopeful that what seems to be the fast-burning nature of this particular variant will run its course in the next handful of weeks rather than months. The information we share in this email, and the further details that we will providing students about the day-to-day operations of the school reflect the exigencies for which we had been planning. Students: please be sure to check your email tonight and tomorrow morning for important updates on class schedules, dining, athletic practices, and more.
I know this is very disappointing news to students—and all of us—who have been eagerly looking forward to coming back together in the new year. I am immensely grateful to families and students for so attentively reporting antigen testing and for your patience as we navigate these stormy currents.
Robert W. Hill III
Head of School