Francis Parker School is backing off a new policy that would require faculty to come to campus in-person at the start of the next trimester.
The decision came after two teachers handed in their resignations last week.
"Nobody can replace Mr. Harrington or Mr. Mezzocchi," said senior Samuel Carrillo.
Harrington, the head of the English department, told students in an email last week that he had chosen to resign because his wife is immune-compromised and he didn't want to put her or his mother at risk of COVID-19.
Carrillo said Mezzocchi also cited personal reasons related to the new policy, when he told his class he, too, would be leaving the school.
“It was a sad class," Carrillo said. “We’re hurting as a community because we’re losing great faculty."
Carrillo, along with other students, alumni and community members rallied behind their teachers by expressing their concerns to the administration and creating a petition on Change.org.
“It’s an entire community rallying around the people who make Parker so excellent – our faculty,” Carrillo said.
Then, late Monday afternoon, Head of School Kevin Yaley sent an email to students, letting them know that the trimester one guidelines will now be applied to trimester two.
"As such, any faculty member who feels that they or an immediate member of their family is compromised as a result of working on campus, they can request an exemption for trimester two and teach remotely," Yaley said.
The school said no member of the Francis Parker faculty or staff was ever forced to resign, and that they worked with each affected faculty member on their eligibility for job-protected leave and to make reasonable accommodations.
NBC 7 has not yet received word on whether the teachers now plan to withdraw their resignations.