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Thanks to safety protocols, St. Ed’s fall school play will go on

Isabella Giasi, a sixth grader at St. Edward’s School, singing “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” from Annie on Monday afternoon, October 12. The staging allows for all students to be 12 feet apart so they don’t have to be masked. Photo: Brenda Ahearn

Thanks to observance of safety protocols, the St. Ed’s fall play will go on this weekend.

So far, the social distancing, the masks and other safety protocols have been working at St. Edward’s School, with just one person contracting the coronavirus since the school year started.

That single case at the Lower School in early September resulted in 24 students quarantining, school spokeswoman Monica Jennings said. All have since returned to school.

Otherwise, classes and other activities at the private school many barrier island children attend have continued uninterrupted this fall, including rehearsals for the fall school play, which will be presented via livestream on Friday.

“We really have not had a problem with mask compliance,” Jennings said Thursday.

“We started the year with this hashtag: #worktogether2btogether. Everybody is on board. They want to be here, and they want to be with their friends.

“If that’s what it takes, they’re willing to do it.”

Head of School Stuart Hirstein credited St. Ed’s relative success in holding off the virus to a detailed plan for reopening the 26-acre island campus and a commitment by the students and staff members to follow health and safety rules.

“Masks, I think, are a critical component in all of this just to stop the spread,” Hirstein said Thursday. “We’ve been very fortunate it’s become habit for us and the kids.

“We’ve not had any negative comments of our protocols,” Hirstein said. “People are happy to be back on campus.”

Other safety measures include hiring a second school nurse, screening students for fever daily, installing plexiglass dividers on three sides of desks, and setting up outdoor eating and studying stations, Jennings said.

Local physicians who send their children to St. Ed’s joined state Health Department officials in advising school leaders on health and safety measures for the campus, Hirstein said.

As a result, the school has been able to hold classes without interruption, host its first football game of the season on Oct. 2, and schedule the semester play for this weekend.

St. Edward’s School students are scheduled to present a livestream production of the Broadway play “Annie” while singing on platforms 12 feet apart on the stage at the Waxlax Performing Arts Center.

The livestreaming of this semester’s school play and the onstage social distancing were among the initiatives St. Edward’s School undertook to prevent the spread of the virus on campus in the new school year.

Thanksgiving break will be held as usual, albeit with a warning to remain vigilant against the virus, particularly for students who are traveling, Hirstein said.

“We’re doing it as best we can, trying to remain as normal as possible,” Hirstein said. “So far so good.”


Arts patrons can purchase tickets for “Annie” on the school website ( .

They will then receive a link enabling them to view the school play on a livestream program at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16 and/or Saturday, Oct. 17.

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