Health and Safety
(Last updated December 15th)
All students, CA adults, and campus residents who indicate that they would be coming to campus for any reason during the end of STAC 3 and/or STAC 4 will be assigned a weekly COVID-19 testing time that aligns with their hybrid learning schedule or their in-person athletics schedule. Testing times will be shared during the week of January 4. Students must test weekly to be eligible to participate in any on-campus activities.
In order to purchase and schedule reentry and weekly testing for the end of STAC 3 and 4, we need to have an idea of who is coming to campus between January 11 and March 5. Please inform us of your plans no later than December 16, so that we can submit our testing order. If your student plans to be on campus for any activity during this entire period (January 11 – March 5), that student must be included in our weekly testing protocol.
Students who indicate on this form that they will come to campus during this period will receive a SignUpGenius invitation to choose a slot for reentry testing.
Required Enrollment for All Students Who Were Not on Campus for the Pilot
To enroll students in the testing program — which is required for them to be on campus for any activities — all families must electronically sign a consent form, which can be found in Magnus Health, accessed through the CA parent portal. You may find a copy of the consent form here. A separate consent form is required for each student and will only need to be completed once. Parents/guardians are required to sign this consent form by 5 p.m. December 18.
Reentry Protocol for Day Students and Commuting Boarding Students
The national COVID-19 infection rate and our state levels tell us that it is up to each person and family group to do their part in stopping the spread of this virus. Acknowledging our desire to return to in-person school and community in January, we encourage families to avoid travel and spend the winter break quietly at home. If you do travel, we expect that day and commuting boarding families will have returned to their homes by January 1 to begin leading quiet lives in accordance with the Concord Pact. We also expect all to follow Massachusetts guidelines regarding visiting any state on the “red” list.
Reentry testing for day and commuting boarding students will take place on campus from Wednesday, January 6, through Saturday, January 9. This period has been timed specifically to identify individuals who may have been infected from any exposures prior to the January 1 quarantine start date. Of course, our concern is not only for the CA community when we return together, but also for each individual’s health and the support of the local community and local health providers.
On December 16, all students who indicated they will be on campus at some point between January 11 and March 5 will receive an email from SignUpGenius in order to select a reentry testing time during the period of January 6-9.
During the week of January 4, we will communicate students’ assigned COVID-19 testing slots to families. Weekly testing will begin the week of January 11.
Pre-Arrival Testing Requirements for Boarders, STAC Break, and Boarder Arrival
When considering the best timing for boarding students to return to campus, we determined that it was best not to ask boarders to transition to campus while classes are in session. In addition, the timing we have chosen will allow international boarders to quarantine prior to arriving on campus.
All boarding students returning to campus will need proof of a negative PCR test that has been administered up to 72 hours before your arrival to school. We recognize that getting tested can be difficult at times, therefore we will offer testing on campus on January 20 and 21 to those students who are able to get here for testing prior to moving in on January 23. A list of dates and a sign-up form for on-campus testing will be sent separately.
For any PCR test not administered at Concord Academy, parents are required to email their student’s results to the Health Center at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to their child’s arrival on campus.
Boarding students who are remote during STAC 3 but plan to join us on campus for any in-person activities for STAC 4 will take part in boarding reentry testing and then regular testing when they return to campus.
Boarders will move into their houses on Saturday, January 23. They will be tested upon arrival on that day. We will communicate details of the on-campus arrival quarantine process in early January.
Regular On-Campus Testing During STACs 3 and 4
Weekly on-site testing will be required for students, faculty, staff, and all campus residents starting the week of January 11. Testing will continue uninterrupted through January, including during STAC 3 assessments and the break between STACs 3 and 4. Boarding students will be included in weekly on-campus testing starting the week they return to campus.
If you would like to receive your child’s test results, please email email@example.com by December 20 and provide your student’s legal name, date of birth, and an email address to receive test results. Otherwise, the Health Center will notify parents of test results only if their child has tested positive for COVID-19. Concord Academy will cover the costs for all tests administered on campus under our protocol.
Tests will be conducted in the Performing Arts Center (P.A.C.). Signage will direct students to the P.A.C. testing site. The procedure is an anterior nasal swab of both nostrils — a simple lower nasal swab — rather than the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab. The test should take only about 10-15 seconds. Testing will be conducted multiple days per week in prescheduled 15-minute windows. We are working with students’ schedules to arrange testing and will be communicating with students about their weekly time slot in early January. This might require a short absence from a class, but every effort will be made to schedule testing during students’ free time.
Required Health Questionnaire for All Students
Students will be required to submit a health questionnaire (view sample pre-screening questions here) on each day they are tested. There is a certain amount of required reporting information to collect for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CA will provide printouts of this form for students to complete as they enter the testing area.
Please contact the Health Center (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jeff Desjarlais (email@example.com), director of health and student support services, with any testing-related questions.
Mask & Physical Distancing Protocols
(Last updated December 15th)
All community members are required to wear face masks adequately covering their nose, mouth, and chin within all campus buildings and outdoors on campus. The most effective face masks are ones that have a metal piece along the bridge of the nose to ensure proper fit. Everyone should provide their own face masks. The school will have a small supply on hand for emergency situations, but we will rely on each person to supply their own. Please note: Bandanas, gaiter masks, and masks with valves are not acceptable.
We expect community members to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Masks must be worn at all times while on campus, both indoors and outdoors.
- Boarding students do not need to wear masks when alone in their rooms, alone in their rooms with their roommate, or when showering or brushing their teeth.
- Masks may be removed while seated at assigned spots during meal times.
- It is highly recommended that cloth masks be washed daily after use.
Students have the ability to take a mask break when they feel they need it. There will be built-in times in the schedule when students can do this: during their free blocks, between classes, during break, and/or during lunch time. Any mask break must be taken seated outside and at least 6 feet away from any other person. When taking a mask break, please follow CDC guidelines on how to properly remove and store your mask to ensure your mask does not contaminate surfaces and stays clean.
Daily Symptom Checks (MyMedBot)
(Last updated December 15th)
All students are required to complete a daily symptom self-screening if coming to campus for any period of time that day using MyMedBot. Boarding students with symptoms should remain in their rooms and call the nurses in the Health Center for further guidance. Day and commuting boarding students should also notify the Health Center at 978-402-2333.
Contact Tracing (Boardingware)
(Last updated December 15th)
CA will use Boardingware for contract tracing on our Main Campus and at the Moriarty Athletic Campus. All community members are asked to “chip in” to their location through the Boardingware app when entering any location on campus, including: a classroom, an office grouping, the Stu-Fac, a conference room, or an outdoor location (sports field), if they plan to be there for more than 15 minutes. “Chipping in” refers to using your mobile device to update your location on campus. In order to chip in, a student will:
- Download the Boardingware app on their mobile device and log in using their CA email address.
- Look for the chips around campus (shown below) to chip in or out of a location.
In the event we have a COVID-19 positive case, this tracking will enable the local Board of Health Department and Concord Academy to inform those who were in direct contact with this person. Students will be assigned desks in classrooms and seats in the dining hall. This will allow the contact tracing to identify those who were in close contact.
Please note: The Boardingware app is secure and private. Only select administrators have access to location data.
(Last updated December 15th)
CA has contracted with CIC Health and the Broad Institute to participate in the COVID-19 testing regimen that the Broad is operating with educational institutions across Massachusetts and other states. A research partnership between Harvard and MIT, the Broad Institute has been providing testing successfully for independent schools, colleges, and universities throughout the state. They have proven to be one of the premier testing sites in the country, adept at working with educational institutions and offering a quick testing turnaround of 24-48 hours. Cataldo Ambulance administers COVID-19 testing on our campus.
Concord Academy has partnered with the Massachusetts Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC) to help support our contact tracing needs. The CTC works quickly and carefully to identify close contacts following a positive COVID-19 test result. Please be aware that a call showing up as “MA Covid Team” or (857) 305-2728 is likely a liaison from the CTC calling regarding your child’s possible contact with a COVID-19 positive individual. Please take this important call, if possible, or call them back as soon as you are able. Please reach out to the Health Center if you have any questions.
Concord Academy follows all guidelines from state and local officials, including the Concord Department of Public Health and our school physician Dr. Patricia Birgineau, with whom our Health Center staff is in regular contact. In addition, Concord Academy is being advised by Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc., a consulting firm that has developed COVID-19 response guidelines for independent schools in the Boston area.
COVID-19 Cases on Campus
(Last updated December 15th)
Adherence to the expectations outlined in the Concord Pact is our primary defense against the risk and potential spread of infection at CA. That said, we must anticipate the likelihood that cases could continue to appear within the CA community and plan accordingly.
In considering the factors that could affect our continued operation on campus, the most important is the number and nature of positive tests in our school community, and the subsequent impact on our quarantine and isolation capacity on campus.
Health and Safety Protocols
What will CA do if someone tests positive for COVID-19?
- If a CA community member has symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to isolate for 10 days after the onset of their symptoms. Unfortunately, CA will not be able to care for students on campus who require isolation. We will promptly notify a parent/guardian, who will need to make arrangements for their child(ren) to be safely picked up from CA within 24 hours via private (not public) transportation. The student will not be allowed to return to school until they have been cleared by their personal physician and the CA Health Center.
- If someone is asymptomatic and tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to isolate for 14 days. Unfortunately, CA will not be able to care for students on campus requiring isolation. We will promptly notify a parent/guardian, who will need to make arrangements for their child(ren) to be safely picked up from CA within 24 hours. We do not recommend public transportation in this situation. The individual will not be allowed to return to school until they have been cleared by their personal physician and the CA Health Center.
- If there is a positive student COVID-19 case within a boarding house, all boarding students within that house will be considered close contacts and be required to quarantine. Those students may either leave campus with their parent/guardian, or quarantine on campus in their room for a 14-day period. Students will have no interaction with anyone from outside the house; food will be delivered to the house for each meal, and students will be given restricted and monitored access to the outdoors at specific periods of time during the day.
- Boarding students who are identified as close contacts with a COVID-19 positive student who is not from their own house will need to report to the COVID-19 Symptom Center. They will need to be picked up within 24 hours and begin quarantine at home or with an emergency contact/local guardian for 14 days before being allowed to return.
What should my child do if they feel sick while at CA?
- We have created a COVID-19 Symptom Center in addition to our Health Center for all students who are experiencing symptoms while on campus. If a student who is on campus develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they should go to the COVID-19 Symptom Center in the SHAC, where they will be evaluated by nursing staff. A nurse will meet with any student experiencing these symptoms and triage all medical concerns. If the nurse concludes that a student needs to go home, the student will be isolated and their family will be contacted. The student will remain in isolation until a parent, caregiver, or local guardian can pick them up. Students in isolation must be picked up within 24 hours.
- The Health Center has been relocated to the basement of the SHAC in what was the Wrestling Room and the downstairs classroom. Students with non-COVID-19 related symptoms will go to the Health Center downstairs. Boarding students who need daily medication will meet nurses there for medications. If any other non-COVID-19 related issues such as rashes, scrapes, cramps, or other issues present during the day, students should go to the Health Center.
What should we do, as parents/guardians, if our student or someone else in our household tests positive for COVID-19?
If your CA student or someone else in your household tests positive for COVID-19, or has been notified by the County Department of Health or any other health organization that they were in contact with an individual infected with COVID-19, you must notify the CA school nurses (Karina Early or Eve Fraser-Corp) immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or (978) 402-2333. The school nurse, in consultation with the school’s pediatrician and the Department of Health, will provide the family with directions about the student’s return to school.
COVID-19 Related Communication
Communicating with Families
- The presence of the COVID-19 virus in or among our community will be communicated, but the identity of those involved will not be shared.
- Close contacts will be notified by the Concord Department of Public Health (CDPH) or the Massachusetts Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC), who will provide further instructions.
- Given our masking and distancing policies, students who sit in class together generally are not considered close contacts. However, to allow each individual to determine their preferred course of action, we will notify families if someone in one of their student’s classrooms, boarding houses, or athletics activities has tested positive.
Contacting Health Authorities
If a positive test occurs in our community — either through our campus-administered testing or an independently reported test — we will take the following steps immediately:
- Contact our consulting physician, Dr. Patricia Birgineau.
- Contact the Concord Department of Public Health (CDPH) to share information about the case, including contact tracing details.
- Contact the Massachusetts Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC).
- Clean and disinfect our buildings and facilities in accordance with CDC guidelines found here and here.
We will partner with Dr. Birgineau and the CDPH and/or the CTC to assess the positive case, number of close contacts, and local community spread, if any, and determine necessary adjustments to our operations, including a potential shutdown of campus for a period of time.
While we expect to have positive cases, it is important that we pay careful attention to whether our protocols and practices are preventing community spread. This is the biggest factor that would lead CA to return to remote learning for a portion of time. In making such decisions, we will be guided by state and local regulations and our partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the CDPH.