The Lower School plans to provide in-person academic and co-curricular programming for the 2021–2022 school year.
- All students will have in-person learning each weekday
- Faculty will continue to teach in person in the classroom
- Specials will be reintroduced; teachers will move from classroom to classroom
- We will not have co-teachers
- Students can mix pods outdoors (recess, etc.)
- The After School Program will be available for all students
- Lunches will be provided
For more information, please review the Lower School section of our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Current health and safety measures are subject to change pending local prevalence of COVID-19 cases and guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please refer back to this section for regular updates.
All students need to comply with travel guidance provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the CDC. Quarantine is currently required for unvaccinated individuals traveling internationally and recommended for unvaccinated individuals traveling domestically.
Milton Academy requires that all students and adults who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are vaccinated unless the individual is approved in advance for a medical or religious exemption. Unvaccinated students and adults eligible for the vaccine who do not have an exemption will not participate in Milton’s program. Unvaccinated students and adults with an approved exemption will participate in Milton’s program but will need to wear masks indoors and comply with surveillance testing weekly through Milton’s pool testing program.
Each division has implemented age-appropriate modifications in accordance with state and federal guidance, including the following:
- Masks are required for students in grades K–12.
- Physical distancing is required in grades K–6. Students will maintain at least three feet between one another in classroom settings and during indoor group activities.
- Students in grades K–6 are grouped to provide a dynamic learning environment while limiting potential exposure.
- Classroom layouts, furniture, and technology facilitate physical separation in grades K–6.
- Students in grades K–8 will be masked in large assemblies.
- Dining halls will be appropriately modified. Students in grades K–6 will eat outdoors, in pre-assigned locations, and/or in classrooms with supervision.
- Buses have protocols, including pre assigned seating and mandatory masking for all bus riders regardless of vaccination status.
Students receive frequent reminders to wash and sanitize their hands. Additional hand-sanitizing stations have been placed throughout campus, and students have additional time to properly wash their hands during the school day.
Students will not attend classes and adults will not come to work (or engage with students in person) if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. They also must not attend classes or come to work if they have been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. COVID signs and symptoms are:
- Fever, chills, or shaking chills
- Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Headache when in combination with other symptoms
- Muscle aches or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
- Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms
Milton will assist local boards of health with contact tracing when any exposure occurs.
Milton Academy will onboard test students and employees in grades K–6 and students and employees exempted from Milton’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement before the start of the school year. Regardless of vaccination status, all students, faculty, and staff who are on campus are required to follow the school’s COVID-19 testing protocol, which may include regular surveillance testing as recommended by public health, government, and medical experts. Milton has partnered with the Broad Institute to administer RT-PCR pool tests using a nasal swab.
Students in grades K–6 and students and employees exempted from Milton’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement are tested weekly. We will monitor the data from Massachusetts and alter our testing protocol in response to the prevalence of the illness in the Commonwealth and in conjunction with recommendations from public health, government, and medical experts.
POSITIVE CASE PROTOCOL
If a student, faculty or staff member has a positive test for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, strict adherence to the protocols recommended by the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be required. If symptomatic, students will need to isolate for at least 10 days and have no fever with clear improvement in symptoms for at least three days before being able to return to campus. If asymptomatic, students should isolate for 10 days, as currently recommended by the CDC. Medical clearance by a healthcare provider will be required prior to returning to campus.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 or exhibit any symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 as defined by the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, regardless of vaccination status, will be isolated immediately—in a location designated by the School for this purpose, separate from students with routine health care needs—until they can be safely transported home or to a caregiver off campus. Students will have a Milton adult with them while they are waiting for the caregiver. Caregivers are expected to pick the student(s) up immediately after they are contacted by Milton. Symptomatic students will be required to be evaluated by their primary care physician as soon as possible. Contact tracing will be performed when any potential exposures occur.
QUARANTINE AFTER EXPOSURE
Students will need to quarantine consistent with CDC guidelines if they are exposed to COVID-19. Fully vaccinated and asymptomatic students will not need to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19 but should be tested three to five days after exposure. Fully vaccinated and symptomatic students will need to quarantine for seven days with the ability to test out of quarantine after the fifth day. Unvaccinated and asymptomatic students will quarantine for seven days, with the ability to test out of quarantine after the fifth day. Please note that the CDC definition of close contact excludes students who are within three to six feet of an infected student where both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks, and other K–12 school prevention strategies (such as masking, distancing, and increased ventilation) were in place in the K–12 school setting.
COMMUNITY EXPECTATIONS AND HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Parents and students will be asked to sign that they understand and agree to comply with Milton’s policies before students return to campus. Those who do not agree to comply or who do not comply will not be permitted to participate in Milton’s program.