Important School Announcement - Please Read

Dear Briarcrest Parents,
We hope you are having a great Spring Break.  The health of our students and employees is of great importance to us.  We know that there are many concerns about the COVID-19 virus.  Fortunately, we still have a small number of cases in the Memphis area, and none in the Briarcrest community.

For several days we have been struggling with the decision whether to close school after Spring Break.  We knew that some schools felt the need to do so for purposes of social distancing.  Even though the State Department of Health and the Shelby County Health Department have not recommended closing schools for that purpose, some infectious disease experts have.  As you may know, Shelby County Schools started the ball rolling Thursday morning by deciding to close until March 30.  Later in the day, many private schools followed suit.
Some are closing for one week and some are closing for two.  Our understanding of the position of the State Department of Health is that, if you plan to close after Spring Break for purposes of social distancing, you need to close for two weeks to cover the entire incubation period.  One week will not accomplish the objective.  We are hopeful that no extensions beyond the two weeks will be necessary.

This two-week period is not an extended Spring Break, and it is certainly not a time for more travel.  If your student does travel out of the area during this two-week period, you will need to report that travel to the school before returning.  Your student may be subject to an additional two weeks out of school, depending on the facts and circumstances of his or her trip.  If your student shows any COVID-19 symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath) between now and March 30, he or she will need to be tested before returning to school.

There is an attachment to this letter that describes our online learning plan for the time we are away from school.  Our teachers are talented and well prepared to use online tools to continue your student’s education during this time.  We are confident that their creativity will shine.  Please read the attachment carefully and feel free to send any questions to your student’s teacher, principal or our Headmaster.  We will begin online learning on Monday, March 16.

No students should be on campus during this two-week period.  All extracurricular events, including practices, will be cancelled.  We will update you about later events and any rescheduling when we have more information.  The theater trip to New York and the high school choir and band trip to Orlando are being cancelled.  We are working on rescheduling Elementary Grandparents Day and the ACT for Juniors.

We know that these decisions will please some and disappoint others.  Please know that we make these kinds of decisions prayerfully and with the best interests of our community at heart.

Click here for Online Learning Plan.

Yours in Christ,
Mark Merrill