Antilles School Opens Doors for Its 71st “First Day”

Head of School Shannon Harris popped into the Pre-K classrooms Monday for some one-on-one time with students. (Submitted photo)

Antilles School celebrated its 71st back-to-school day Monday with students across divisions – from toddlers to high school seniors – welcomed back by faculty and staff, the school announced in a news release.

“It was wonderful to have children back on our campus,” Head of School Shannon Harris said. “They are why we work at a school. We spent months preparing for this day to ensure the safety of our faculty, staff, students and their families while being physically present. We are looking forward to another productive year and are committed to keeping our school community together.”

Along with mandatory mask-wearing and physical distancing, Antilles’ faculty and staff developed a first-day-of-school protocol that includes temperature checks, staggered drop-offs and COVID-19 testing for those unvaccinated. Antilles School is not required to test, but the news release said the school wanted to take advantage of the Department of Health’s offer to do so, particularly as the Delta variant continues to surge across the island and around the world.

Ariana Gumbs and Milana Sayan catch up after their first day of first grade. (Submitted photo)

Based on the results, more than 99 percent of students tested negative Monday, the school said. Any individuals testing positive immediately left campus and made contact with the Department of Health.

“With only vaccinated or COVID-tested students and staff on campus, and our commitment to maintaining universal precautions such as masking, distancing, and hand-washing, we are confident that we will be able to continue learning on campus, as we did last year,” Harris said.

Antilles’ news release said the facilities team has transformed the campus to allow students to fully utilize all indoor and outdoor spaces to ensure safe social distancing, maintain hand-sanitizing and hand-washing stations, and other protocols.

Students in Nicole Notermann’s eighth-grade advisory catch up on the first day. (Submitted photo)