We will reopen all eight of our dormitories for a phased return of boarding students beginning on January 7. In order to best protect the students and adults on campus, we will maintain a de-densified campus and limit almost all of our dorm rooms to one student. We are therefore unable to accommodate all boarding students for the entire period between winter break and Graduation. However, all boarding students will have the opportunity to live in the dormitories for at least a portion of the time between winter break and Graduation. Boarding students will return as follows:
- Class I and Class IV boarders will return to campus for the entire period between winter break and Graduation (except for spring break, when we currently anticipate asking boarders to leave campus).
- Class III boarders will return to campus between winter break and spring break.
- Class II boarders will return to campus between spring break and Graduation.
We will also continue to offer a fully remote learning program for any students who wish to remain off campus. Boarding students wishing to attend on-campus classes as temporary day students may do so.
If a significant number of boarders elect to stay remote or remain as temporary day students, we may have the ability to revisit some elements of this plan, including allowing some students to return to the dorms for longer periods of time.
Boarders will return to campus in groups beginning on January 7 following a required 14-day quarantine at home. Boarders must also obtain a COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their arrival on campus.
Upon returning to campus, boarders will spend an additional period of time quarantining in their room (five days) and then their dorm (four days), for an on-campus quarantine period of nine days total, during which they will learn remotely from their rooms. After three negative COVID-19 tests on campus, boarders will attend class in person beginning on Tuesday, January 19. Following the quarantine period, COVID-19 testing will be required at least twice per week for dorm community members (students, dorm staff, and their families).
ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE AFTER COMPLETED ONBOARDING
Students who need to quarantine will be asked to do so at home, if possible. Students who need to isolate will do so in the health center or at home, depending upon the circumstance. The newly renovated Faulkner Health Center is equipped with 11 rooms with private bathrooms and ventilation systems that can be used for isolation and quarantine purposes. Nurses will be in the health center 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A physician from Boston Children’s Hospital will be on campus two days per week and also available daily for telehealth appointments and regular program consultation.
STUDENT CONTINGENCY PLAN
If a transition to remote learning is expected to be for two weeks or less, students will learn remotely from their dorm rooms unless there is a specific concern about transmission of the virus within a dorm. If a transition to remote learning is expected to exceed two weeks, students will leave the dorm and return home or to their local place of residence for the remote learning period. All boarding students, international and domestic, who return to campus are required to have on file with the Deans’ Office an approved emergency plan to be used if there is a need to shift to fully remote learning for all students for an extended period of time. This pre-approved emergency plan must include the contact information of a caregiver in the U.S. with whom the student could stay. The plan must include the full name of the caregiver, their address, mobile phone number, and email address, as well as their relationship to the student, such as family member, family friend, etc. The School will not release students to adults under the age of 25 or to housing in which no adults are present.
At this time, we do not plan to change the dates of spring break, March 12–29. We currently anticipate asking all boarders to leave campus for spring break. We are currently considering options to support boarding students who are unable to travel home. Class I, II, and IV boarders will return to campus after spring break with the same onboarding protocols used in January.
STUDENT TRAVEL OFF CAMPUS AND FAMILY PRESENCE ON CAMPUS
In general, boarding students will not be able to leave campus or invite visitors to campus. The blue card system of permissions for off-campus movement will be replaced with a series of tight restrictions on boarder movement. Boarders may go off campus only for activities supervised by Milton Academy personnel. They may not participate in other off-campus activities, including club sports, nor may they go home on weekends or to other students’ homes at any time. No visitors, including parents, will be permitted in the dorms and students may not leave with family members. Initially, families will not be permitted to visit students outside the dorms. We may relax this limitation if conditions permit.
BOARDING STUDENT MOVEMENT ON CAMPUS
The students residing in a given dorm are the only students who may enter that dorm. Day students and students from other dorms may not enter. Boarders may not visit faculty residences. Boarders may mix with other residents of their own dorms in dorm common spaces (with masks, at six feet distance). Boarders across dorms can come together for supervised activities outside the dorms on weeknights and weekends (with masks, at six feet distance). No visitors, including parents, will be permitted in the dorms.
ALTERATIONS TO DORM SPACES
To improve air flow and filtering, HEPA filters have been placed in each dorm room, in hallways, and common spaces (where indicated by an independent consultant) for improved air flow and filtering. Common rooms will be de-densified. Bathrooms will be assigned by floor, and their maximum occupancy will be based on the number of fixtures and ability to distance while using them. Cleaning will continue daily as usual, with added attention to high-touch areas and bathrooms.
Athletic and arts options will be offered in the afternoons. The pattern for a typical weekend is being determined, but we are working to ensure a range of safe activities for students, including opportunities for recreation.
BOARDING AND DAY STUDENT INTERACTION
Day and boarding students will mix on campus while supervised during the week (classes, athletics, School-sponsored activities) until 6 p.m. Day students may not be on campus for evening or weekend activities, with the exception of athletic practices and contests. Day students may not enter dorms. Boarders may not leave campus with day students.
BOARDERS WHO REMAIN REMOTE OR ATTEND AS DAY STUDENTS
Boarding students who wish to maintain their temporary day status or remain remote should use the Spring 2021 Boarding Survey to indicate that preference no later than Friday, December 4. Any families who wish to change their enrollment status after Friday, December 4 should contact Dean of Enrollment Paul Rebuck at firstname.lastname@example.org. As in the fall, all boarding students will remain a part of the boarding program, whether they join us on campus, attend as temporary day students, or are learning remotely. House heads and student leaders will regularly coordinate dorm gatherings that include remote boarders and activities. Each dorm has a CampusGroups space that house heads and leaders will use to keep the community connected. Additionally, Tuesday community time will be regularly used by the dorms to allow the entire dorm to gather and connect.