All Divisions of Horace Mann School will be closed from Wednesday, May 20, 2009 through Monday, May 25, 2009. The School will reopen on Tuesday, May 26, 2009.
While no confirmed cases of H1N1 have been reported and no one has been hospitalized, the decision to close the School over this time period was made after a great deal of thought and prudent concern, and in consultation with the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, as a preventive measure to minimize the spread of illness among our students. It was prompted by an increased incidence of student absences due to illness experienced in each Division of Horace Mann. Many of these illnesses were attributed to flu like symptoms and known cases of Influenza A.
Most significantly, the experts who helped guide our decision to close School, advise that the very best way to contain the spread of illness is to minimize the amount of contact within a given community.
The nature of the illness HM students have experienced is that while it is contagious, the symptoms are fast moving and resolved quickly — within approximately 48 hours. In fact, cases of illness have occurred despite our increased vigilance concerning hygiene and safety throughout all of our Divisions, as well as our reiterated communication and instruction to our students concerning best hygiene practices. As reported previously in recent emails to the HM community in response to the incidence of the H1N1 virus in the New York City area, efforts by our maintenance staff to assure the safest environment for
education have also been intensified.
All of us – administrators, faculty, students, and staff – recognize what a critical time this is in the life of our School, as students prepare for or complete exams, present special projects, or celebrate such milestones as the end of the athletic or performing arts seasons. We will do our best to reschedule cancelled activities where practical and when possible.
Thomas M. Kelly, Ph.D.
Head of School