Although the Seabury Hall campus closed for classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, the campus remains very active.
I spoke with Maureen Madden, our head of school, and discovered all of the things still happening on campus.
Madden emphasized the noble and relevant project of making masks.
Everyday there are volunteers on campus sewing medical-grade face masks. The goal is to make and donate 10,000 masks to local hospitals and medical professionals.
To ensure maximum health and safety and maintain proper social distancing, 6-7 rooms are occupied by 2-3 people, each sewing masks. Although not directly affiliated with Seabury Hall, parents and students have taken this opportunity to give back by making masks.
Our beloved Cooper House kitchen staff, “Gus and the girls,” has been hard at work every day making lunches for Seabury families.
Although we cannot eat in the dining hall together, Madden said that almost everyday since the shutdown, any family is able to pick up a take-out lunch straight from Gus and the girls.
They also bake cookies once per week for doctors and hospital staff across the island. Although this may seem like a small act, it is a demonstration of thankfulness to our local medical professionals.
Staff in the Cooper House are hard at work preparing for the upcoming school year. Madden shared that many “housekeeping” projects that may have been put off, like sorting and digitizing old files, are being completed during this time.
The demolition of the old dorm building is also underway. That building was originally scheduled for demolition this summer. Since campus is largely empty, this project got an early start. Madden says, the work keeps the campus very active, and noisy!
In addition, the PAS is being cleaned up, organized and prepared to use more efficiently. The dance room has more light and new floors and the costume shop has been re-invented.
Mrs. Madden made clear that for all of these projects, precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On-campus staff is wearing masks. Strict time slots minimize the number of people working on campus together and the staff has staggered schedules.
Although Mrs. Madden dearly misses everyone, she said that our campus is a very busy place. She noted that she gets just as many phone calls and emails as she would with students on campus.
“Learning is an interactive activity” says Mrs. Madden, and she knows that we will eventually be able to see each other on campus once again in the near future.
The Seabury Hall community is working hard to provide resources, assistance, and service to the greater community during this very difficult time. Seabury Hall may be closed, but it’s certainly not quiet.