2020 - 2021 School Year Reopening Plan


Updated: Nov. 8, 9:19 AM

Student Handbook

Updates


November

Please note: The COVID-19 pandemic presents an ever-changing set of situations that we are constantly evaluating in order to determine the best course of action. Check back for updates...

Health & Safety

Will our children have to quarantine before they are allowed on campus?
All students must abide by the Massachusetts state travel orders which are subject to change. Please refer to the most up-to-date requirements from the State of Massachusetts which can be found by clicking on the attached link (https://www.mass.gov/guidance/guidance-for-travelers-arriving-in-the-commonwealth-of-massachusetts) Currently, anyone who has traveled outside Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, or New Jersey must complete the Massachusetts travel form (see attached link: https://www.mass.gov/forms/massachusetts-travel-form) and quarantine for 14 days in Massachusetts or one of the above-mentioned states, before coming to campus or to a pre-arranged quarantine on campus. Anyone who wishes to test out of quarantine per the state guidelines must obtain a valid COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to arrival on campus and must also contact the LA Health Center when they arrive to review their test results and/or discuss additional testing requirements if appropriate.

Will the school be testing students and faculty for COVID-19 before they start orientation or classes?
We will not be testing students on-campus before they start orientation or classes. We are expecting that all students who have traveled will quarantine within MA or one of the states approved by the state of MA (NH, VT, CT, ME, , NY, NJ) for 14 days prior to their arrival on campus unless they have been pre-approved to quarantine on campus once they arrive (international students traveling from outside the US) or have gotten a valid COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to arrival on campus and then are screened by the Health Center once they arrive on campus. In addition, all students who show symptoms of COVID-19 or have an exposure will be asked to quarantine and be tested throughout the fall term. We are working on having the ability to obtain test samples for individuals on campus by the health center staff which will then be processed by a local lab. Currently all labs in the area have variable test turnaround times and it can take up to 8 days to receive results depending on lab volume and medical indication.

If there is a COVID-19 diagnosis on campus, what are the protocols going to be?
Any individual with potential COVID symptoms or exposure will be required to be tested and to quarantine until a negative test result is obtained. If positive, we will begin contact tracing, inform the local board of health officials, and leverage their guidance as required. We will temporarily quarantine boarding students on campus for up to 48 hours until they can quarantine with their family or their local guardian. For all other students, we will ask them to quarantine at home. In addition, we will deep clean all affected areas and notify all members of the community that may have come in close or prolonged contact with that student so that they can take the appropriate action.

What happens if my child gets COVID-19?
Our on-site physician and health staff will assess and determine the appropriate medical treatment, which will include isolation either on or off-campus or hospitalization depending on the severity of their illness. Any students who need to temporarily quarantine on campus will be medically monitored by health center staff.

Does my child need a local guardian or emergency contact if they get sick?
We are advising every international or domestic boarding family who has a student that lives outside of ME, MA, NH, VT, CT, NY, NJ to identify someone within those states to be a designated local emergency contact if a student gets sick and needs to quarantine off-campus. Ideally, we would like all students who develop COVID symptoms, have an exposure and/or who test positive for COVID-19 to leave campus within 48 hours. The health center will assist with evaluation as needed and a student may return once they are medically cleared and approved by the health center as safe to return. . If a family does not have a local guardian for emergency accommodations, we recommend you contact GOLDSTAR https://goldstaredu.org/ who we are contracting with to provide these services for students on a fee-for-service basis.

If my child is traveling alone to the US, and my student is advised to quarantine, could they do it on campus?
International students arriving from outside the US who do not have a local guardian will be allowed to quarantine on campus starting on either September 1st or September 15th. These students requiring quarantine on campus will be required to get pre-approval from the school, which is already in process. In addition, these students will have to submit a Massachusetts Travel Form (https://www.mass.gov/forms/massachusetts-travel-form) before traveling to campus.

Could my child come early to campus to quarantine before classes start or will they have to take classes remotely in their dorm rooms until they have quarantined for 14 days?
Students who are pre-approved to come to campus before classes start to quarantine must arrive on campus either on September 1st or September 15th. For those students arriving on September 1st, that will be a week before classes start. Students who are in quarantine will take classes remotely until their quarantine is complete. Students arriving on September 15th will have to take classes remotely from their designated quarantine area until the quarantine period is over.

What happens if students can’t return on January 10th (for health reasons or because there is an outbreak?)
If a domestic student can’t return on January 10th for the Winter Term for health reasons, they will be able to continue classes remotely.

If an international student studying outside of the USA remotely cannot return to campus in January for in-person classes, they should consult our Director of Services for International Students to see how the most current guidance from the U.S. government at that time affects their studies and their I-20.

If a student has symptoms or exposure, will they be tested at school? Will the school allow certain premises for this student to be isolated or will the student be sent to the emergency contact?
Any member of the community who has symptoms or exposure will be evaluated at the school or at a local health care facility, or by their primary care physician if that option is available. Medically indicated testing for international students is covered by the school health insurance. Any individual awaiting test results or testing positive will be required to quarantine per state guidelines. Day students and local boarders will be asked to quarantine at home. Boarders who live outside of MA, ME, VT, NH, CT,, NY, NJ will be able to temporarily quarantine on campus for up to 48 hours until they can either move home or to a local emergency contact to complete their quarantine period. If a family does not have a local guardian for their student, we recommend families contact GOLDSTAR (https://goldstaredu.org/) who we will be contracting with to provide these services for families that don’t have a local guardian for supervised emergency or temporary accommodations. The services that GOLDSTAR provides will be on a fee-for-service basis.

The letter said that non-school social times would be carefully managed to keep everyone safe. What does this mean in concrete, specific terms?
Social times outside of classes will be more structured than they have been in the past to keep everyone safe. Students will be assigned to an area on campus during non-class times that ensures that proper social distancing can be managed and monitored. In addition, dormitory activities will be more restricted and will not allow for as much informal "hanging out" in common areas and other student’s rooms if social distancing cannot be adhered to.

What will the daily symptom check entail?
We are working on finalizing our plan for a system to conduct a daily health questionnaire to screen for symptoms of COVID-19. An app or survey form will need to be completed by all students each day to certify that they are symptom free and have not been in contact with any infected individuals. Also, we want to remind students that if at any time they develop symptoms of COVID 19or become aware of an exposure, or travel outside MA or other states considered safe by the State of MA, they must quarantine and seek evaluation/testing either off campus with their families or at the health center.

Given the outlined mandatory use of face masks and the practice of social distancing, how will students be allowed to engage with one another inside and outside the classroom and continue to build their sense of community at LA?
We understand that the mandatory use of face masks and proper social distancing will alter the way students engage with each other on campus. However, we will be doing our best to ensure that these restrictions do not significantly diminish the sense of community that we will be able to create on campus

Are there plans to utilize/renovate LA South Campus to allow for additional space for students to socialize, dine, etc?
We are currently evaluating all our spaces on campus to provide additional safe spaces on campus for students to socialize, dine, etc. We will be making use of all of the facilities on campus to provide for safe social distancing. In addition to the rooms at LA South, we will be erecting several tents on campus to provide additional sheltered, outdoor space and making use of the Stone Athletic Center during the academic day.

Are we allowing both face shields and face masks?
We are requiring face coverings for our students. Face shields cannot be used as a replacement for face masks but may be used in addition. If your student feels safer wearing both, that is fine.

Will LA supply masks for students?
We will require that families provide masks for their students, but we will have supplies of disposable masks on hand if students forget their masks or lose them. The disposable masks are not meant to be a long-term substitute for a student's own mask.

Will you follow the 3’ distancing recommended in the state guidelines released on Thursday, June 26?
Our classrooms and common spaces are being laid out with a goal of providing 6’ of distancing between people at all times in excess of the state mandated minimum.

How will you handle a situation where a faculty member becomes infected?
If a faculty member becomes infected, we will isolate those individuals and assist them in getting the proper medical attention as required. In addition, they will be required to quarantine as required pending test results or medical clearance. During the quarantine period, if they are able and willing to continue teaching their classes, they will be able to conduct those classes remotely with students who are both in-class and remote. We will have another faculty proctor within the in-person classes while the primary teacher is recovering.

Will the students sit 6’ apart during classes?
Classrooms are being laid out to accommodate 6’ of spacing between individuals.

What security measures are you going to take daily?
On a daily basis, we will be ensuring compliance with the use of face masks, social distancing, and frequent hand sanitizing. We also will be reducing the occupancy levels in our dormitories to limit the amount of interaction that students have in their dorms. We also will be limiting large group gatherings (more than 25 people) on campus and requiring proper spacing in areas where students will naturally gather in smaller groups. Finally, we will be asking our students to report their symptoms immediately so that they can be properly tested and quarantined if required.

Will there be guidelines on masks, colors, images, etc?
In accordance with our normal dress code, masks that promote alcohol, drugs, tobacco, sex, or violence, or that demean or offend others are not permitted.

Can you give more of an idea of how boarding students and day students will eat meals?
We are currently working through the details of our fall dining plan. For the period between September 8th and October 3rd we will only be serving lunch and it will be spread across multiple scheduled times and will be served in the Gray building and the Athletic Center. We also will offer afternoon snacks for those students on campus before they leave for the day. If we re-open our residential program after October 3rd, we will begin serving breakfast again in the Gray building. This will be available to day students and boarding students. Dinner will be available to boarding students only and will be served in the Gray building. Seating areas will be spaced 6’ apart and will be sanitized after each seating. Food options will be packaged for safety when possible and traditional buffet options will not be available. More information about food service and menus will be available later in August.

Will you be adding additional sinks by the lunch space?
We won’t be adding additional sinks by the lunch space, but we will have ample hand sanitation stations in the areas where lunch will be served. In addition, many of the lunch options will be pre-packaged to limit the contamination of any of the food that our students will be served.

Will students still have the ability during the day to visit local businesses on Main Street?
We are still in the process of developing our thinking around how much unsupervised off-campus activity we will allow during the school day given the need to more strictly enforce good safety practices (e.g. wearing masks always, social distancing, proper and frequent use of hand sanitizer, etc.). However, for the overall health and well-being of the broader Groton community, we will not be allowing students to visit local businesses on Main Street in Groton for the fall term. Exceptions may be made for boarding students who will be able to go downtown over the course of the weekend.

Will boarding students be locked into their hallways or rooms?
We will not be locking our students into their hallways or rooms. But we will more closely supervise dormitory activities to ensure that students are properly social distancing.

Can you choose remote learning for the fall if you are more comfortable with it?
Yes – we have several students who have elected to learn remotely this fall. In addition, we have upgraded our in-class technology to support both remote learners and in-class learners simultaneously in a very interactive and engaging way. However, if you are an international student with an active I-20 and F-1 visa, please contact Jenn O’Connor, our Director of International students to discuss your desire to learn remotely to determine what, if any, impact this decision will have on your visa status.

Will the athletes wear masks while performing their sports?
We will be relying on the health and safety guidelines published by the local, state, and federal health officials regarding the most effective way to manage athletics while protecting the health and well-being of the athletes.

Will you have any sessions this summer for students to set expectations for them regarding the protocols they will need to comply with, in the fall?
Yes – we realize that we are going to need to educate our students frequently and effectively on the safety protocols that they will need to follow on and off-campus. We will be publishing guidelines this summer and conducting training during orientation to properly set these expectations.

How are you going to enforce/ensure compliance with health and safety protocols?
We are going to educate all members of the community regarding their responsibilities to keep themselves and each other safe. Frequent violations of these protocols will likely result in having the student engage in remote learning only or possible disciplinary action.

Residential & Community Life

ow would life on campus be this year? (Boarding school, sports, outings, dining room ...)
We seek to provide as much of the LA experience as is allowable according to federal, state and local health guidelines. This includes providing residential life for boarding students, supporting all forms of extracurricular activities as can be done in a safe and compliant way, allowing students to leave campus on the weekends and participate in modified off-campus outings and provide dining services that are both safe and properly distributed across campus.

How will you help your incoming freshman make friends and get to feel part of the LA community?
We will be conducting orientation periods by class, both on-campus and with our remote students included in these orientation sessions as well. We also will be assigning new students to advisory groups this summer and they will have a chance to interact with their advisor before the school year starts.

Are you preparing to accommodate all students that want to return to campus in the fall? Will all boarders be put in single rooms or will doubles still be the norm?
As we have previously communicated, we will be delaying our residential program until October 3rd at the earliest. However, when and if we can resume boarding on campus, we are hoping to accommodate as many students as we feel is safe. To that end, we have been able to de-densify our dormitories as much as possible as a result of some of our international students needing to be remote for the fall term due to travel or visa restrictions and due to some of our local boarding students volunteering to be day students for the fall term. We would love to accommodate all boarders in single rooms, but that will be dependent on available capacity and the number of students that we must accommodate on campus. If boarders are placed in doubles, we will communicate with families in advance.

Will dorm parents be more like parents, creating a family-like experience? Providing activities for students to do when they have free time?
Dorm parents will do the best that they can within the safety guidelines they need to comply with to create a family-like experience for the students in the dorms that they oversee. However, it is our expectation in the fall term that students will have less freedom to gather in common areas and in other student’s rooms due to our need to maintain proper social distancing.

If my child is a boarding student, will they still be able to sign out during the week?
In order to help control traffic during the week, we will not be permitting boarders to sign out during the week (Monday-Thursday.) Permission may be granted through the dean’s office for family emergencies or medical needs.

If my child is a boarding student, will they still be able to go home on weekends?
Yes – we don’t foresee any restrictions on allowing local boarding students to go home on weekends. We do foresee, however, a more controlled process for re-entry to campus upon their return which will likely include some form of health screening as well as contact tracing to ensure that those students have not been knowingly interacting with anyone off-campus that has tested positive for COVID-19.

Will boarders be able to sign out to a day student's house for the weekend?
We don’t foresee any restrictions on allowing boarding students to sign out to a friend’s house for the weekends. We do foresee, however, a more controlled process for re-entry to campus upon their return which will likely include some form of health screening as well as contact tracing to ensure that those students have not been knowingly interacting with anyone off-campus that has tested positive for COVID-19.

Could my child stay on campus during vacation breaks if they can’t get home?
We are creating a remote-learning period for all students in our calendar between the scheduled Thanksgiving and winter vacations to make it easier on students to travel home for an extended period from Thanksgiving until January 10th. Ideally, we would like all students to be off campus during that period. However, if a student is unable to travel home or to their local guardian for the period between Thanksgiving and January 10th, we are in the process of working with the Groton Inn to offer families local accommodations for their students during this long off-campus period. For our one-week spring vacation, we will allow students to stay on campus if they cannot make any other arrangements.

Will boarders be able to sign out on the weekends?
At the current time, we haven’t established any new off-campus sign-out restrictions for the fall term. However, that may change based on changing guidelines that we have to follow from the State of Massachusetts.

If dorms are cohort-based, does this mean that boarding students will be restricted in which students they can be friends with/interact with in person?
Because of the need for more social distancing and better control and coordination of where students can be on campus during their non-class time, they may have less freedom than they have had in the past in terms of the types of interactions that they will be able to have with their friends on campus, particularly if they are not living in the same dormitory.

What about community service hours?
Students will still be expected to complete their community service hours, but we will work to identify opportunities for students to complete these hours in a way that is safe and complies with all state safety guidelines.

Will students still have the ability during the day to visit local businesses on Main Street?
We are still in the process of developing our protocols for how much unsupervised off-campus activity we will allow during the school day given the need to more strictly enforce good safety practices (e.g. wearing masks always, social distancing, proper and frequent use of hand sanitizer, etc.). However, for the overall health and safety of the broader Groton community, we will be restricting students from visiting local businesses on Main Street in Groton during the week. Exceptions may be made for boarding students who will be able to go downtown over the course of the weekend

Will boarders be locked into their hallways or rooms?
We will not be locking our students into their hallways or rooms. But we will more closely supervise dormitory activities to ensure that students are properly social distancing.

Will you have any sessions this summer for students to set expectations for them regarding the protocols they will need to comply with, in the fall?
Yes – we realize that we are going to need to educate our students frequently and effectively on the safety protocols that they will need to follow on and off-campus. We will be publishing guidelines this summer and conducting training during orientation to properly set these expectations.

How are you going to enforce/ensure compliance with health and safety protocols?
We are asking all community members to sign a Community Agreement, which will be shared mid-August. We are going to educate all members of the community regarding their responsibilities to keep themselves and each other safe. Frequent violations of these protocols will likely result in having the student engage in remote learning only or possible disciplinary action.

Enrollment Status Changes

What will the tuition be to switch from boarding student to day student or remote through January? What will the impact on my tuition be for the period from September 8th to October 3rd if I enrolled as a boarder, but will either be commuting to school or learning remotely

  • Families that volunteer to have their students switch from boarding student to day student for the fall term will be charged the day student tuition for the duration of time that their child is a day student.
  • Based on the proposed calendar, students who will be transitioning from boarding student to day student for the fall term (returning as a boarding student in January) will be eligible for a $5,005 discount off their boarding tuition. Here is how the math works (List Boarding Price = $65,925; List Day Price = $52,540; Differential = $13,475; period of time we are expecting a student would be a Day Student = 13/35ths of the year; 13/35ths of $13,475 = $5,005.
  • Families whose students switch from boarding student to day student for the fall will be billed their boarding installment on July 1st and then will be billed the balance of their modified annual tuition cost in their final payment which is October 1st for families on the two-payment plan and January 1st for families on the ten-payment plan.
  • Boarding families that either need to commute to school for the period between September 8th and October 3rd because of the delay in our residential program will receive a discount commensurate with the model above depending on the number of weeks they are in a remote or day student status.

What will the implication be on my financial aid award?
We will pro-rate your child’s financial aid award based upon the new tuition price that we have shared.

If my child commits to being a day student for the fall, until when would they be committing?
We are hoping that local boarding students that decide to convert to day students for the fall will be able to return to campus in January as boarders. However, this will depend on the current conditions and whether we need to continue to limit the occupancy of our dormitories for an extended period.

Is there a possibility that this could last for the entire year?
Our intention is to maintain and/or return to regular models and structures as soon as it is safe. We will be closely monitoring state health and safety guidelines to determine if that will be possible by the start of the winter term. If safety dictates the status quo, we will likely require that students maintain their fall status throughout the year.

If there is an outbreak and students shall leave the campus and complete their courses on-line, will there be a refund?
If there is an outbreak that requires students to leave campus and complete their courses remotely, we will evaluate whether it is possible to provide any sort of refund. As occurred last spring, if we can reduce our operating costs, we will do our best to share those savings with families. Since this is an eventuality we cannot predict at this time, we cannot provide an exact amount of the refund that could be expected. In addition, the school has made significant investments over the summer to be able to provide a mixed access learning experience for both in-person and remote students and many of these investments will require us to operate at a significant deficit for the upcoming school year, so that will also be factored into any refund calculation that we determine.

Please explain the tuition model in more detail and rationale as to why there is no tuition adjustment?
We have adjusted the tuition model for those students that a) have switched from boarding student to day student for the fall term, b) chosen to learn remotely for the fall term, or c) have been forced to commute or go remote for the period from September 8th to October 3rd because of the delay in our residential program. We have chosen to charge the day student rate for all students during these time periods, with any tuition amounts pro-rated based on any financial assistance that a student may have been awarded. Beyond these changes, we have not made any further adjustments to the tuition at this point largely because most of our costs are fixed and because we are making significant investments in technology and other areas of the school to support our mixed access learning model. We also have had to invest in modifying certain spaces on campus to allow us to de-densify and support proper social distancing on campus. Unlike last spring, when we had some cost savings that we were able to pass on to families in the form of refunds, we anticipate operating at a significant deficit this year.

For families that are changing their status for the fall term and require an amendment to their enrollment contract, should they wait to make a payment until they receive the addendum?
Families should not wait to make their payments until they receive a contract addendum. For those international students that will be changing their status from boarding to remote for the fall and are scheduled to pay in full in July, their refund for this change of status will be issued by October 1st. For those international and domestic boarding students that will be changing their status for the fall term from boarding to day student or remote and are on the two-payment plan, their final bill will reflect the tuition discount for the fall term. For those domestic boarding students that will be changing their status for the fall term to day student, and are on the ten-payment plan, their discount for the fall term will be reflected in their final payment due on January 1st.

For those switching from boarding to day student for the fall term – will their registration forms be reset?
Yes. We will be modifying the registration forms for all students who officially switched from boarding to day student or boarding to remote student for the entire fall term. Enrollment contract amendments have been forwarded to families when this change in status for the fall term was confirmed. For those enrolled boarding students that will temporarily be commuting to campus or going remote from September 8th until October 3rd, we will not be issuing enrollment contract amendments to those families or changing their registration forms.

Can you choose remote learning for the fall if you are more comfortable with it?
Yes – we have several students that have elected to learn remotely this fall. In addition, we will be upgrading our in-class technology to support both the remote learners and the in-class learners simultaneously in a very interactive and engaging way. However, if you are an international student with an active I-20 and F-1 visa, please contact Jenn O’Connor, our Director of International Students to discuss your desire to learn remotely to determine what, if any, impact this decision will have on your visa status.

If my child studies remotely/on-line for the full year, what is my tuition cost?
If a student chooses to learn remotely for the entire year, the tuition cost will be $52,540.

Day Students

Will day students be able to return to campus on the weekend for activities?
Yes.

If day students can’t stay for dinner, will they be asked to leave campus after afternoon activities?
Day students will be able to stay on campus for as long as they need to in order to complete their responsibilities on any given day.  We will ask day students to leave campus after their last commitment on campus each day.

Will there by places on campus for my child to spend time or study before and after school and between classes?
Yes, we will be creating spaces on campus where students can be properly socially distanced during breaks during the day prior to classes or after classes.

Will all day students be on campus every day in the fall?
Based upon the current proposed fall schedule, day students will be required to be on campus for classes every day of the week except Monday. However, with the delay in our residential program until October 3rd, those students enrolled as boarders but commuting to campus during the period from September 8th until October 3rd that may have more difficulty coming to campus each day will have the flexibility to be remote on days that it is too difficult to get to campus. Additionally, for those that are enrolled as day students for the fall, they also may engage in their classes remotely on days that they are experiencing any illness or symptoms. We will ask that students inform the school if they are going to be remote on any given day.

Will my child be able to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at LA if they are a day student?
We are in the process of designing our dining approach and capacity. However, we are likely going to be limiting dinner to boarding students only. Breakfast will be available to day students with limited continental offerings beginning on October 3rd at the earliest if we are able to resume our residential program. Until such time, the only meals available to students on campus will be lunch. In addition, we will be making snacks available whenever possible for those day students that need some food before leaving school for the day.

Will day students be able to participate in the same activities as on-campus boarding students? (Libby)
Once the residential program resumes, weekend activities may only be offered to boarding students who are on campus for the weekend. We will adjust as we can based on capacity and safety guidelines.

Will day students still be allowed to have a locker in the student lounge?

To begin the year, we will not offer lockers in the student lounge to day students and we will not offer athletic lockers to boarding and day students. We ask that students bring their backpacks with them to classes but there will be locations to leave their afternoon sports belongings.

With the increase in day students, will there be more parking available? If yes, where?
We will have ample parking available on campus to support local boarding students that convert to day students for the fall term and for enrolled boarding students that choose to and are able to commute to campus prior to the resumption of the residential program. We are in the process of determining where those spots will be on campus.

Will day students be able to do both remote learning and in-person attendance depending on the day or the week?
We will not be allowing enrolled day students to pick and choose the days that they choose to be in class or remote. We are asking those students to select a primary medium for learning for the term. However, for those students that are enrolled as boarders but need to and are able to commute to campus for the period from September 8th until October 3rd, they will have more flexibility to participate in their classes remotely on those days when it is too difficult to get to campus for the day. We will ask that families inform the school ahead of time what their student’s on-campus status will be on any given day.

Dining

Can you give more of an idea of how boarding students and day students will eat meals?
We are currently working through the details of our fall dining plan. For the period between September 8th and October 3rd, we will only be serving lunch and it will be spread across multiple scheduled times and will be served in the Gray building and the Athletic Center. We also will offer afternoon snacks for those students on campus before they leave for the day. If we can re-open our residential program after October 3rd, we will begin serving breakfast again in the Gray building. This will be available to day students and boarding students. Dinner will be available to boarding students only and will be served in the Gray building. Seating areas will be spaced 6’ apart and will be sanitized after each seating. Food options will be packaged for safety when possible and traditional buffet options will not be available. More information about food service and menus will be available later in August.

Will you be adding additional sinks by the lunch space?
We will not be adding additional sinks by the lunch space, but we will have ample hand sanitation stations in the areas where lunch will be served. In addition, many of the lunch options will be pre-packaged to limit the contamination of any of the food that our students will be served.

Transportation

Will there be transportation to and from campus for my child? Will LA add additional bus routes, especially for boarding students converting to day students in the fall or boarding students required to commute to campus before the residential program is available?
We are evaluating what we will be able to provide for transportation given the state guidelines and the additional requirements families are likely to have. We anticipate that there will be additional demand for transportation from local boarding families whose students will convert to day students for the fall term and for boarding families whose students will seek to commute to campus before our residential program is available. We are actively working to determine what additional options we should try to make available where the demand exists. We will be surveying the community to gather any new requirements the week of August 17th.

If sports and afternoon activities are limited, will you revise the bus schedule to correspond to those activities?
We will have sports and afternoon activities regardless of whether we are competing with other schools, but these will not begin until the week of September 18th at the earliest. Prior to that, there may be some adjustments in the bus schedules to allow students to return home earlier in the day.

Orientation

Do you plan to run new student orientation? Will new students still bring their computers to be set up?
We will be running a new student orientation on campus this fall rather than at Windsor Mountain. Students should bring their computers to be set up at orientation.

Athletics

Will there be sports in the fall?
At this time, the Heads of School within the ISL have agreed to suspend the traditional competitive sports calendar for the fall term. However, the Massachusetts Independent Athletic Association is still formulating plans and guidelines for all public schools within Massachusetts for the fall and will be providing additional guidance to all schools in the state by September 14th. Based on those guidelines, there may be a limited number of competitive games scheduled, likely on Saturdays only, in the months of October and early November between consenting ISL schools. Regardless, all our fall teams will be training a minimum of three days per week with their teams on campus, but likely not until September 18th at the earliest.

Do you anticipate starting normal daily practices for sports upon opening and if so, when/how does a new student select a sport? When will the school know about fall/winter sports? If no sports, will there be intramural sports?
Our plans for competitive athletics for the fall are still under development as we await guidelines from the MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association) as well as additional guidance from other ISL schools. However, we will not be having the typical pre-season for our fall sports this year, so the selection of a sport for most new students will occur during the registration process. In addition, even if we are unable to provide interscholastic competition for the fall term, we will be allowing our fall sports teams to train with their teams a minimum of three days per week on campus. However, all athletic practices will not begin until at least September 18th at the earliest.

Will students be able to practice with their winter and/or spring sports teams?

NEPSAC has altered its regulations around out of season sports practices for this fall. We will be scheduling an optional training session for athletes interested in training with their winter or spring sport. These practices will most likely occur one day a week in the afternoon. Sessions will be run by the varsity head coach and will be offered to students interested in playing at the varsity level for these sports. The sessions will not begin until the week of September 18th at the earliest.

Will the weight room be available to students?

We are currently determining how we will support effective and safe athletic training for our students. We will rely on the guidelines from the local and state health officials to develop the appropriate protocols to keep our students safe and healthy.

If sports are organized in the fall, what is being discussed about streaming indoor athletic events if spectators are not allowed on campus?
We are evaluating the feasibility of live-streaming athletic events if spectators are not allowed on campus. However, given that the ISL has decided to suspend the normal calendar of games for the fall season, it is unlikely that we will be streaming any games that are scheduled post September 15th.

Will the athletes wear masks while performing their sports?
We will be relying on the health and safety guidelines published by the local, state, and federal health officials regarding the most effective way to manage athletics while protecting the health and well-being of the athletes.

International Students

Will our children have to quarantine before they are allowed on campus? All students must abide by the Massachusetts state travel orders which are subject to change. Please refer to the most up-to-date requirements from the State of Massachusetts which can be found by clicking on the attached link (https://www.mass.gov/guidance/guidance-for-travelers-arriving-in-the-commonwealth-of-massachusetts) Currently, anyone who has traveled outside Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, or New Jersey must complete the Massachusetts travel form (see attached link: https://www.mass.gov/forms/massachusetts-travel-form) and quarantine for 14 days in Massachusetts or one of the above-mentioned states before coming to campus or to a pre-arranged quarantine on campus. Anyone who wishes to test out of quarantine per the state guidelines must obtain a valid COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to arrival on campus and must also contact the LA Health Center when they arrive to review their test results and/or discuss additional testing requirements if appropriate. International students should also notify Jenn O’Connor (Director of International Students) and Andrew Healy (Dean of Students) of their flight schedules and exact arrival date on campus. You can update your plans with our Travel Plans Update Form.

International students that need to quarantine on campus must do so for 14 days in a designated dormitory. Currently, students may test out of quarantine with a negative test per the state travel order mentioned above. Test results and a decision to move out of quarantine must be reviewed and approved by the health center.

What will the tuition be if our students must be remote for the fall term?
For international students who will be remote for the fall term, their tuition will be discounted by $5005. This discount will either be reflected in your final annual payment or will be credited to your student’s account if they have paid in full.

Does my child need a local guardian if they can’t stay on campus during breaks or if they get sick?
We are advising every international family to identify someone in the US living within driving distance of the school to be a designated guardian if their student gets sick and needs to quarantine off-campus or needs housing during the period between Thanksgiving break and the beginning of the winter term on January 10th. For those families who have not already identified a local guardian, we are working with a local firm to provide these services for your student if necessary. For more information, please contact Goldstar for more information (https://goldstaredu.org/). We will require that any student that tests positive for COVID-19 leave campus within 48 hours of their diagnosis. Finally, because of the shorter spring break in March, we will be leaving our dormitories open for those students that choose to remain on campus.  

What will the daily class schedule look like and will it be more accommodating to remote international students?
Yes, we are working on a modified daily class schedule to ensure that our international students can take their classes synchronously during normal waking hours. We also are improving the technology to support mixed access learning in our classrooms.

If my child is traveling alone to the US, and my student is advised to quarantine, could they do it on campus?
For international students that need to quarantine on campus following travel, LA will provide on-campus quarantine facilities, but not until at least October 3rd at the earliest. Any international student requiring on-campus quarantine when they arrive in the US will be required to do the following three things:

1)     Complete a Massachusetts Travel Form (see link here https://www.mass.gov/forms/massachusetts-travel-form) prior to traveling to the US.

2)    Notify Andrew Healy, our Dean of Students and our Health Center to get prior approval to quarantine on campus

3)     Quarantine in a designated dormitory on campus for 14 days.

Could my child come early to campus to quarantine before classes start or will they have to take classes remotely in their dorm rooms until they have quarantined for 14 days?

With the delay in our residential program until October 3rd, we are not expecting any international students to arrive on campus until then at the earliest unless they have a local guardian and can begin classes on campus as commuters until October 3rd. Regardless, if an international student requires us to quarantine them on campus once they arrive, particularly if they have not gotten a valid COVID-19 negative test 72 hours before their arrival on campus, they will need prior approval from the Dean of Students, Andrew Healy.

Could my child stay on campus during vacation breaks if they can’t get home? Will dormitories remain open during the long break between Thanksgiving and the start of the winter term?
We are creating a remote-learning period for all students in our calendar between the scheduled Thanksgiving and winter vacations to make it easier for students to travel home. We would like all students to be off-campus during that period. The dormitories will be closed. If families do not have a local guardian, we recommend that they contact GOLD STAR (https://goldstaredu.org/) to plan for a local guardian and emergency accommodations for the year. For our one-week spring vacation, we will allow students to stay on campus if they cannot make any other arrangements.

When are U.S. embassies going to open?
We don’t know as this depends on the circumstances in each country. Contact your local consulate if you have questions.

If I am a new student and I can’t get a visa due to embassy closures, can I still enroll?
Yes. If you are living outside the United States and encountering visa delays, you can enroll and take classes remotely until such time that you are able to come to campus.

If students study remotely for the fall, what will happen to their I-20?

  • For new students that do not have an existing I-20 that they are transferring, their new I-20 is not considered active until it is used to enter the USA. If a student is not able to attend in person during the fall, their I-20 will need to be revised with a new start date that corresponds with the date they will be able to enter the US. If a new student studies for the entire year remotely, their existing I-20 may be canceled, and we will create a new I-20 prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Returning students with valid visas and I-20’s – we are making plans that we believe will allow us to help returning students keep their I-20’s “active” until the student can return to campus in January. Current guidance from the U.S. government does allow returning students to study remotely as they did in the spring of 2020 for the fall term. Note for all students - if you enter the USA on a tourist visa, we will not be able to allow you to complete registration and/or take classes at our institution. This is for your own protection so that you do not violate your visa status.

If the United States closes its borders, what will happen to the student?
It has not been our experience that the US would prevent an international student from returning to their country of origin. If, however, the US places a travel ban on travel from a student’s country of origin to the US, we will allow that student to continue to take classes remotely until they have a chance to travel again to the US.

Academic Program & Calendar

When will my child be able to come home during the school year vacations?
Based on our preliminary school calendar, your child will be able to come home between Thanksgiving and the start of the winter term on January 10th. Also, there will be a one-week vacation break in March. We strongly recommend that each international student have a local family or guardian with whom he or she can stay during the November to January period if they are unable to return home If families do not have a local guardian, we recommend that they contact GOLD STAR (https://goldstaredu.org/) to plan for a local guardian and emergency accommodations for the year. Since March break will only be one week, we will be leaving dormitories open for international students that need to stay on campus.

What will the daily class schedule look like and will it be more accommodating to remote international students?
Yes, we have developed a modified daily class schedule to ensure that our international students can take their classes synchronously during normal waking hours. We also are improving the technology to support mixed access learning in our classrooms.

How will my Class of 2021 senior be able to complete the college process?
The College Counseling office will be reaching out to students and families regarding how they are going to support them through the college process this fall, even if they are going to be remote.

If local students choose to do remote learning, would they be permitted to optionally come to class in person? Can a student choose (on a regular or irregular basis) live education some days and remote other days?
In order to ensure continuity of experience, effective space and capacity management, and controlled symptom testing and contact tracing, we will not allow students who choose to do remote learning to optionally come to class in person, particularly for the fall term.

Can you talk about Winterim and do you know the dates of March vacation week for planning purposes? Will you be doing something separate/special with Seniors during this time?
We will not be holding the traditional two-week Winterim this year. Instead, we will be holding a one week, project-based, experiential learning experience on campus called WINTerm for one week in March. Following the one-week WINTerm, we will have a one-week spring break, rather than the traditional two-week spring break. The shorter spring break is because we will be providing a longer break period between Thanksgiving and the beginning of the winter term on January 10th. We have not determined yet if we can offer something separate from WINTerm for seniors, but that has been discussed and we will continue to share details as they develop.

Will the remote learning between Thanksgiving and Winter Break look pretty much the same as the remote learning of Spring 2020? If not, how will it be different?
The remote learning during Thanksgiving and Winter Break will follow the normal class schedule that has been created for the calendar 2020 - 2021 school year. There also will be an exam period during this portion of the school calendar.

During the period of the fall term that is on-line, will the classes meet virtually at the same time/schedule they were meeting in person? How will exams be given during that time?
Yes – classes during the portion of the fall term that are on-line will meet on the same schedule as the rest of the term, except for the exam period. Exams will be administered on-line.

What will the schedule look like? Will it be a regular 5 day/week schedule, or will it be changed?

Please see the weekly fall schedule here: (INSERT LINK TO FALL WEEKLY CLASS SCHEDULE). The current plan is to have a regular 5 day per week schedule. Mondays will be remote for all students, while Tuesday through Friday will be normal class days with students taking classes both on-campus and remotely.

It appears there will be more downtime/away from school time between November and January. Are there any plans to offer unique on-line courses/certifications during that period?
The plan for the remote learning period has some additional vacation time built in during that period, but we have also reduced the amount of vacation time in the spring, so the number of actual school days and weeks has remained constant. Outside of the WINTerm and different club activities, there is no current plan to offer additional on-line courses and certifications during that time.

Are you continuing with Red/Blue weeks?
Please see the weekly schedule here (INSERT LINK FOR FALL WEEKLY CLASS SCHEDULE.) We have re-created as much of last year’s schedule as possible. However, we have modified the daily schedule to better accommodate our remote learners and eliminate some of the larger free blocks that we had in the 2019-2020 school year.

Why are we having a remote Monday?

We are offering remote classes for all on Monday so that teachers and students can engage in their classes without masks on to start the week. Monday’s schedule is a shorter day, which mirror a typical Wednesday. Once we can engage in classes and athletics more freely, we will be able to use Monday’s schedule as our Wednesday schedule. We anticipate having in person classes on Wednesday when this happens. Remote Mondays allow local boarders to remain home for an additional day if they choose. It also allows for time and space for additional cleaning services.

Can you explain why spring break is only one week instead of two weeks?
Spring break has been revised from two weeks to one for two reasons. First, we will be providing a longer break between Thanksgiving and the return to school on January 10th to allow our international students to travel home and back and deal with any quarantine requirements they may have on either/both end during their travel. Second, because of the long break between Thanksgiving and January, we needed an additional week of school added to the spring term to compensate for that. Finally, we are assuming that our international students will likely not return home for spring break, so reducing the amount of time that they have to either stay on campus or be with a local guardian in the US to one week made the most sense.

If the infection metrics in Massachusetts look good, would there be consideration of in-person learning in December rather than virtual?
At this time, we are committed to a period of remote learning between the Thanksgiving holiday and the December holidays but will continue to reassess throughout the fall.

As many of your rising seniors couldn’t visit colleges in the spring, how will you support this part of the college process in the fall?
We will be hosting virtual information sessions with colleges and universities that have typically visited campus in the fall. In addition, we will be encouraging our students to leverage the virtual tour and interview protocols being established by all the colleges and universities.

Will you still have teachers in the library for help during study hours?
We will have several proctored locations on campus where students will be assigned during non-class periods to do their homework and get extra support from their teachers. In addition, we will still be offering office hours and other informal periods of time during the day where students can reach out for extra help both in-person or digitally.

In a worst-case scenario, would you offer online classes all year long? How would the classes be?
If we had to, the school is equipped to offer remote on-line classes for the entire year. We have designed our daily schedule to accommodate our international students that are learning remotely into the daily class routine.

Arts

Will the fall theater performance be done over Zoom? If so, what would be needed to try something in person instead? If sports are done in person, could theater to some level be done in person, even outside for parts of it? Could several smaller groups do One-Acts and meet in person instead of Zoom?
All our extra-curricular theater plans for the fall are under development. Where possible, we will try to conduct performances in person while taking the proper health and safety precautions. The location of the performances will likely be in places on campus that allow us to ensure the health and safety of the performers.

For those who are active in the performing arts, will vocal and instrumental, dance, and theater ensembles continue to meet in person?
It is our hope to allow those that are active in the performing arts to continue those activities in person, allowing for proper social distancing as required by the state health and safety guidelines. Weather permitting, we hope to offer these classes outdoors so students can engage without their masks on and safely distanced.

For students taking a music class, how will classes be conducted during the fall and then during the remote session?
The Music Department is currently in the process of determining how they will conduct classes both in-person and remotely. More details on that will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

Will there be LA singers and singing classes in the fall?
It is our intent to provide the normal singing programs in the fall modified to ensure compliance with health and safety guidelines.

Further Questions?

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