Headwaters COVID-19 Update, August 2021

Ted Graf, Head of School
Dear Headwaters School Families, 

I hope you and your family have had a rejuvenating summer. We are looking forward to seeing you all later this month. I’m sure you know that the City of Austin is currently in Stage 4 of the Risk-Based Guidelines. The city has also met some qualifications for Stage 5, but have not made that shift just yet. 

Rising Austin cases will not affect the start of our in-person school year for our students. We are looking forward to welcoming back your students as planned, in-person. We will require all students (Primary and up) and all adults to wear masks while on campus (with opportunities and areas for mask breaks as needed). 

Key Take-Aways
As we learn about the Delta variant, it’s important to remind ourselves of our successes and lessons from last year:
  • By focusing on the wellbeing of students and guides, we had no transmission on any of our campuses (including during camps this summer). 
  • Our programs work best for our students when we’re in person.
  • By following the science and the recommendations of the Health Advisory Group (even when the messages from APH, state government, and CDC conflict), we were able to be in person with most students. 
  • Our community has accepted the many mitigation measures, like masks, without division or rancor, and we’re grateful for that. We will continue to mitigate risks with masking, physical distancing, air circulation, outdoor learning whenever possible, and cleaning protocols.
  • On the River Campus, we have altered the daily schedule and created smaller class sizes to enhance our mitigation efforts and improve the learning environment.
  • We met with our Health Advisory Group earlier today to review our thinking around COVID-19 protocols. The school is finalizing these details and will add to a new and updated COVID-19 Addendum that will be shared next week.

Getting Vaccinated & Magnus COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker 

People ages 12 and up are eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and Headwaters School strongly recommends the vaccine to all eligible community members. For more information on where to get your free vaccine visit this site or call 311. Still have questions about vaccination? Check out this APH fact sheet and ask your doctor if you have more questions. As a reminder, newly vaccinated people will not be protected fully until two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, so consider getting your child the first dose as soon as possible.

Knowing the vaccination status of the community helps us make the best decisions possible. We have added an immunization tracker in Magnus for the COVID-19 vaccine if your child is eligible and received the vaccine. Simply upload your child’s vaccination record card to complete this step through Magnus at any time. You can update records by logging into the Nest, going to Resources, and clicking on the Magnus Health image.

More To Come

We know you have questions about the start of the school year. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving, we are trying to wait as long as possible before finalizing some guidelines. Some of those topics include:
  • Back-to-School Nights and other August events being in-person, virtual, or postponed
  • Athletics plans and protocols for middle and high school students
  • Daily Symptom Screening procedures for students and staff
  • Proper mask-wearing procedures
  • Illness procedures (especially related to COVID-19) 
  • COVID-19 Weekly Testing
As soon as we make our decisions on these topics, we will communicate them in our upcoming Weekly Updates. We will remain flexible throughout the school year, adjusting our guidelines and protocols to fit our current conditions. 

In Closing

Our team has done remarkable work this summer to be ready for the 2021-2022 school year. You’ll see improvements to buildings on each campus; we have recruited and hired inspiring new staff members; we offered successful camps across all campuses; all benefits have been restored for all employees; enrollment across the programs is up; and many of us got much needed rest. Let’s continue to be adaptable and resilient in the face of these recent developments.

As we begin our 20th year and in the spirit of our founding, let’s continue to be part of the solution to the challenges facing our world -- the public health crisis, ongoing issues of racial inequity, and the profound disruption caused by climate change.

This Friday, you will be receiving more division-specific information from your Director in a Weekly Update. Stay tuned for that email in your inbox. 

Take care,

Ted Graf
Head of School

Springs Campus

18 months to Pre-K
6305 Menchaca Rd.
Austin, TX 78745
Phone: 512-443-8843

Creek Campus

Elementary School
9607 Brodie Ln.
Austin, TX 78748
Phone: 512-804-2708
Fax: 512-628-4810

River Campus

Middle & High School
807 Rio Grande St.
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-480-8142
Fax: 512-480-0278