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Campus Re-Opening for St. Margaret’s 100th Year

Dear St. Margaret’s Families,

World events have guaranteed that the centennial year at St. Margaret’s will be a memorable one. And as we look to the weeks ahead, please know the SMS team is eagerly awaiting the gathering of our community once again for the 2020 - 2021 academic year.

The SMS team this coming year is rich in talent, eagerness, and innovation. Each member of the team has individual passions, opinions, and new ideas. The uniting factor on this historic campus is simple: we value each of our students. We care about the physical, mental, intellectual, social, spiritual, and emotional health of each girl. We want each Scottie to belong here amongst peers, to believe in her innate talents, and to become her best self.

As you read these plans, please remember that above all else, we labor tirelessly alongside all of you for the growth of our Scotties. The power of an all girls education in a supportive community cannot be weakened by any virus. This sisterhood will thrive as we continue to come together, unite in the best interest of our students, and mentor each young woman into a promising future.

Please take time to review the abundance of information included here on the safe re-opening of campus next month. You will find this information comprehensive and detailed. It is purposefully designed to give all of our families the much needed information on how our operations are shaped by current community trends and world events.

Please save the dates for 2 events next week to discuss these plans:

  • Students, please join Coach Walker and Ms. MacPherson on Tuesday, July 28 at 7:00 pm for a students-only Question & Answer Sisterhood Forum.
  • Families, please plan to join the SMS Administrative Team on Thursday, July 30 at 7:00 pm for an SMS Family Forum.

Access information for these sessions will be disseminated via email a few days before the event.

The Hybrid Options

The rural nature of Essex County and residential setting of St. Margaret’s School afford an opportunity to remain isolated from the more densely populated areas of Virginia that have experienced heavier concentrations of COVID-19. However, as many areas of the nation experience an uptick in cases and hospitalizations, St. Margaret’s must prioritize safety as a critical component of our mission.

Thus, we have determined that the safest path forward for our school is to hybridize our fall offerings.

Please review these options carefully. For planning purposes, we ask each family to elect an option no later than August 3, 2020. A St. Margaret’s faculty member will reach out via phone and/or email during the week of July 27 to each family for an individual discussion of these options, to answer questions, and to provide a conduit to the Admission Office (as needed) for financial information.

COVID-19 Mitigation Strategy

The foundational concept of SMS's mitigation plan is layering. We implement scientifically-proven strategies to mitigate risk to COVID-19 exposure. While we cannot eliminate risk, we can layer approaches to lessen it. Research from Children's Hospital of Colorado describes many of these strategies as part of a tiered mitigation effort.

The layering approach requires all of the following from community members: