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Coronavirus Update

Milton Academy continues to closely monitor developments related to coronavirus (COVID-19) and take proactive measures to protect our community.

Given the continued spread of COVID-19 around the world, we are engaging in a remote-learning program through the end of the academic year. No on-campus classes, activities, or events will take place prior to this date. Please see our community-wide communications to families, located on this webpage, for additional details.

Follow evolving COVID-19 information via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).

Frequently Asked Questions

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

What are Milton’s on-campus plans for spring?
Milton is following a remote-learning plan through the end of the academic year. On-campus classes, activities, and events are canceled during this time. Commencement will be celebrated virtually on June 5; Reunion Weekend is postponed until summer 2021. See specific questions below for additional details.
What steps is the School taking to keep coronavirus (COVID-19) from campus?
Milton has taken a number of steps to protect those who remain on campus, including families who live on campus and essential employees who work on campus for specific functions. 

  • We continue to monitor and follow guidance from federal, state, and local public health officials, including ensuring that appropriate social distancing is taking place across our campus. 
  • We have also continued to work to prevent the spread of germs on campus. This includes making arrangements for enhanced protocols for campus cleaning and sanitizing. A deep clean and sanitizing of all campus classrooms, dorms, offices, and common areas was completed as of March 29.
  • We have explored food-service options to accompany the eventual return to on-campus learning and working.
What are steps that I can take to stay healthy?
Practice social distancing as directed by public health officials. Engage in important practices that promote hygiene and help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put at least six feet of distance between yourself and other people.
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 

It’s also important to exercise self-care. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, go for a run/walk outside, use online exercise resources, try to create a schedule, and find ways to connect with others (text, telephone, video calls, online chat groups, and blogs) while practicing social distancing.

ACADEMIC PROGRAM

How is remote learning taking place?
Remote learning began on April 1 and varies across our Upper, Middle, and Lower Schools. Principals from each division have contacted families directly with plans. Students receive specific course information from their teachers through learning management systems with which they are already familiar, such as Google Classroom and Schoology.
What if a student does not have access to high-speed internet access in their current location?
Students who do not have reliable internet access should reach out to their principal. The School is committed to helping all of our students access remote learning.
How will communication and access to support from advisers be handled?
Advisors communicate with their students at least twice weekly. 
What about courses that are hard to replicate remotely?
Courses that have a significant hands-on or in-person element receive special attention. Teachers provide a variety of assignments related to the subject matter during the period of remote learning.
How will grades be handled during remote learning?
All second-semester courses, which moved to online learning prior to the semester midpoint, will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Transcripts for students in Classes I–III will show two grades for full-year courses: a grade for work done before the transition to online learning and a grade for the work done after the transition to online learning.
Will classes have assigned meeting times?
Each full course meets once each week at an assigned time selected to ensure that all students can attend the meeting, regardless of time zone. Teachers post any new material covered in those sessions to all students in the class.
Are there office hours?
Each class is assigned a block during the week for office hours, and teachers will explain how students can best communicate with them during that time. Students have received the detailed schedule of these blocks. Teachers provide additional time to be available to their students who are unable to connect during the designated office hours. Teachers use a variety of ways to host office hours, including individual Zoom meetings, small group Zoom meetings, and the chat function within Google Docs—or any combination of these methods. Teachers also regularly monitor email and Schoology.
Will attendance be taken?
We expect students to attend the weekly planned class gatherings unless we have heard from them or their advisor about extenuating circumstances. Teachers will contact advisors if they have any concerns.
As a parent or guardian, how can I best support my child right now?
To the extent that it’s possible for your family, please help your child establish structure and routine. Communicate with your child’s advisor or teacher if you have concerns about their progress and engagement. As always, we encourage you to reach out if your child needs more guidance, support, and/or resources.

STUDENT LIFE AND ATHLETICS

May students retrieve their belongings from dorms?
We understand that students may be eager to retrieve their belongings. At this time, we are unable to open the campus to students and families for any kind of retrieval. Campus is closed to all but essential staff, and students are currently not able to get into dorms. We will be in touch in the weeks ahead with more information about packing, storing, shipping, and moving out procedures. If there is something essential a student needs from their room, contact Jose Ruiz, dean of students, at jose_ruiz@milton.edu
May students retrieve their belongings from lockers?
All students are currently unable to access academic buildings. If there is something essential that a student needs from their locker, Upper School students should contact José Ruiz, dean of students, at jose_ruiz@milton.edu, and Middle School students should contact Steven Bertozzi, Middle School principal, at steven_bertozzi@milton.edu.
How is student mail being handled?
If they haven’t already, students should change their shipping address from Milton Academy to their home or alternate address for all mail and orders, particularly items set up to auto-ship.
Will graduation ceremonies occur on June 5 as planned?
There will be a virtual celebration of graduating seniors on June 5. Details are forthcoming. We are also discussing ways to honor the Class of 2020 at a later date when it is safe to do so.
Will a student still be considered a graduate of Milton Academy, with a conferred diploma, even though they have not walked in a traditional graduation?
Absolutely. Milton seniors who fulfill their diploma requirements will graduate on June 5. Diplomas will be mailed to graduating seniors this summer.
What are the School's plans for the 2020 fall semester?
We anticipate resuming on-campus classes and activities this coming fall—if permissible under guidance issued at that time by federal, state, and local government and public health officials. We are also planning for how we might need to evolve our program based on multiple COVID-19-related scenarios and possible decisions/guidelines issued by governmental authorities. We will be in touch in the coming months regarding the fall semester.
How will housing for 2020–21 be assigned for Upper School boarding students?
The associate dean of students, director of student multicultural programming, and house heads will work collectively with members of the Admission Office to place new students in houses. House heads, with the support of their house staff, will determine room assignments for returning students. Please direct any housing related questions to José Ruiz, dean of students, at jose_ruiz@milton.edu.
Will there be Independent School League (ISL) play this season?
For the safety of our students and extended communities, our athletic teams will not compete in interscholastic competition this spring.
Can athletic teams practice on the fields?
All indoor athletic facilities, the turf field, and the tennis courts are closed. Milton’s outdoor track and grass fields may still be used as long as appropriate social distancing is observed. No Milton Academy teams or other organizations are permitted to conduct organized practices or play on any field. 

COLLEGE COUNSELING

The March, May, and June SAT’s and the April ACT were canceled. What can students do about testing?
We recognize how frustrating and disruptive spring testing cancellations are for students who have carefully and responsibly prepared for months to take them. To date, the College Board has not come up with a comprehensive solution to accommodate all students who lost spring testing opportunities. The organization has noted it will expand normal testing in the fall if the COVID-19 public health emergency eases and schools can safely reopen. 

The College Board is exploring make-up dates, and is encouraging students to sign up for future testing opportunities, which could begin in August. The organization has indicated students can register for these administrations starting in May, and plans on contacting students directly when an exact test date is known. 

Please know that colleges are fully aware of the difficulties for the Class of 2021, and many have already announced they will not require testing for next year’s applicants and/or are placing a three-year moratorium on required testing. Students and families are encouraged to check the College Board and ACT websites for updates. 

 

Will students be able to take AP exams in May?
Yes. Students will now be able to take AP exams from home in a new online format. The test will take 45 minutes to complete. Families should look for email announcements from the College Board detailing how to arrange at-home testing.
Has COVID-19 affected the release of college decisions this spring?
College decisions were released on schedule. However, colleges anticipate potential delays in the finalizing of financial aid packaging and in the use of wait lists. 

The virus has had a significant impact on the financial well-being of many families, businesses, foundations, schools, and colleges. As a result, there is real uncertainty about what kind of aid families will ultimately need and what kind of financial support colleges can ultimately provide. This uncertainty means it may take colleges longer to finalize financial aid packages. Further uncertainty over how long the spread of COVID-19 will last will also affect college yields, the length of time colleges keep wait lists open, and the amount of aid available to wait-list students.

Is the May 1 reply date still in force?
Most colleges are maintaining a May 1 reply date; however, a few have extended their reply date until June 1. Students should read college acceptance materials carefully to confirm the correct reply date for each school. 

As a reminder, students can only deposit at one college on May 1. Milton will only send a final transcript to the college that students designate as their final choice and to colleges where students are still wait-listed candidates. Students who accept wait-list offers must inform their first- choice college of the change in plans.

Will the College Counseling Office be available to help students sort through all options and make a decision?
Absolutely. College counselors have already reached out to counselees. Seniors looking for assistance should feel free to email their college counselors at any time during the remainder of the spring term. 

Please know the College Counseling Office will communicate regularly with students and families during the spring; these communications will contain important, updated information on the latest news from colleges. We ask that students read these communications thoroughly.

Will Milton’s move to online learning this spring hurt a student's college chances?
No. Most colleges and Milton peer institutions have also moved to a remote-learning program for part of or all of the remainder of the 2020 academic year. Across the country, colleges and universities have clearly indicated they will accept whatever decisions schools ultimately make about grading and transcripts.
What do you suggest for juniors or seniors who hoped to make college campus visits this spring to inform their college selection decisions?
Unfortunately, almost all colleges have closed until further notice, so campus visits seem very unlikely until this summer at the earliest. However, many college websites offer prospective students expanded information and resources online to help in selection decisions. Students should also consider reaching out to their college counselor to be connected with recent Milton graduates who can offer insights on attending colleges of interest.

Finally, please check Schoology regularly for postings about virtual college fairs and other resources for the college search.

 

Will students be able to meet with college counselors virtually over the spring?
Yes. The College Counseling Office has been conducting one-on-one Zoom meetings for the past two weeks with juniors to build college lists and will continue to do so through April; later in the spring, they will begin work on preparing a college essay. College counselors have reached out to juniors to outline how the Zoom meetings will work in terms of sign-up, timing, and content. While most College Counseling Office time and resources will understandably be focused on juniors and seniors during this time, Class III and Class IV students with college-related questions can email Rod Skinner (rod_skinner@milton.edu) or Sandi Dunnington (sandi_dunnington@milton.edu). 

COMMUNITY SUPPORT 

How can I best help Milton Academy during this time?
As Milton Academy upholds its mission during these unprecedented times, we continue to pay employees and maintain other financial commitments that enable delivery of our academic program and services. Contributions to Milton Academy through the Milton Fund are incredibly valuable, providing a meaningful portion of our annual operating budget. Milton Fund donations in April, May, and June will help us meet the changing needs of teaching and learning in this environment. 
How has Milton Academy supported the surrounding community?
Milton Academy has maintained its strong working relationship with the town. To date, the School has made multiple donations in support of the surrounding community, including:

  • Personal protective equipment (goggles/gloves/lab coats/face masks) and hand sanitizer to hospitals and the Milton Department of Health
  • Food to the Milton Food Bank and other local organizations
  • Supplies to the Milton Police Department

In addition, Milton Academy has been in close contact with the town to offer assistance to the emergency management committee in multiple ways. Our outdoor fields and track continue to be recreation areas for the town.

I have access to masks and other items. Should I send those to Milton Academy?
Thank you for your offer. Milton Academy has adequate masks and other supplies for its Health and Counseling Center, mailroom, and Campus Safety officers. Please consider donating directly to Massachusetts hospitals via the COVID-19 Donation Program.
Will Reunion Weekend take place on June 12–13 as planned?
Reunion Weekend 2020 has been postponed to summer 2021. Those graduates in their reunion year will receive more information by email, and information can be found on our Reunion Weekend webpage. Please contact Lindsay Villone at lindsay_villone@milton.edu if you have additional questions.

CAMPUS OPERATIONS

Can Milton Academy still receive mail?
Yes. While our mailroom continues to receive and process mail and deliveries, we are doing so on a very limited schedule; activity is limited to protect staff health and safety.  Social distancing is enforced. To protect the safety of our staff, we will continue to evaluate hours of operation given local conditions as well as state and local government guidance. 

Please note that items sent by mail may take at least a week to be received given the above circumstance. This includes correspondence to the Admission, Business, and Development offices.

What is open and what is closed on campus?
As all students are currently off campus, all non-essential operations are closed. All major buildings are locked, including academic buildings, dining halls, and the Athletic and Convocation Center and fitness facilities. The turf field and the tennis courts are also closed and no organized activities on fields is permitted. Dorms and on-campus housing are open only to faculty and staff who live on campus. Facilities staff are working on a rotating basis and addressing emergencies and required maintenance activities only. Campus Safety is continuing to patrol campus and, as always, is available by phone at 617-898-2911.
How has Milton Academy changed its operations in response to COVID-19?
Behind the scenes, we have been addressing the needs of hundreds of faculty and staff to ensure that they can continue to focus on delivering our program. All work schedules and protocols for employees and contractors have been adjusted. We continue to modify these as new circumstances or directives emerge. Most employees have transitioned to a work-from-home model and social distancing is in place. Despite these challenges, we continue to maintain the School’s operations.

FINANCIAL

Will Milton Academy make any refunds for the current year (2019–20) given that the School has transitioned to remote learning?
Students participating in the remote-learning program, which began on April 1 following a one-day extension of spring break, will continue to advance through, and receive credit for, Milton Academy’s academic program. Faculty and staff continue to work, and the School continues to pay their salaries and maintain other financial commitments that enable delivery of our academic program and services. 

Although extraordinary circumstances require us to teach and learn remotely during this time, we are committed to delivering the best program possible. Any significant change requires a period of transition, and while remote learning cannot replace the classroom experience, we are confident that our plan provides continuity and support to Milton’s excellent academic programs.

More details about 2019–20 as well as information about refunds can be found on the student billing website.

How will Milton Academy operate next year (2020–21)?
We anticipate resuming on-campus classes and activities this coming fall—if permissible under guidance issued at that time by federal, state, and local government and public health officials. We are also planning for how we might need to evolve our program based on multiple COVID-19-related scenarios and possible decisions/guidelines issued by governmental authorities.

The health and safety of our students (and by extension, families), faculty, and staff is paramount. Like all schools and businesses, we still have significant work to do to explore and prepare for future COVID-19 scenarios beyond this spring. Our goal is to educate every enrolled student next year, allowing them to progress through, and earn credit for, the Milton Academy academic program. If any remote learning is required, our approach will evolve from this year to next year.

 

More details about 2020–21 can be found on the student billing website.

Who should families contact with further questions?
After reviewing the detailed FAQs on the student billing website, please reach out to the following individuals if you have any further questions:

  • Enrollment decision questions for 2020–21:
    Dean of Enrollment Paul Rebuck, paul_rebuck@milton.edu or 617-898-2232
  • Financial aid questions for 2019–20 or 2020–21:
    Director of Financial Aid Chris Kane, chris_kane@milton.edu or 617-898-2239
  • Student billing statements / process of enrolling / tuition insurance:
    Business Office Representative Giselle Sharpe, giselle_sharpe@milton.edu or 617-898-2281
  • Student health insurance:
    Health and Counseling Center Representative Dawn Cruickshank, dawn_cruickshank@milton.edu or 617-898-2450

Milton Health & Counseling Center

617-898-2450

COVID-19 Community-Wide Communications

Read messages communicated to the Milton Academy community regarding COVID-19.

January 31, 2020

March 2, 2020

March 9, 2020

March 12, 2020

March 12, 2020 Classes Canceled

March 24, 2020

April 16, 2020

May 15, 2020

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