Healthy Concord

Health and Safety

Testing 

(Last updated October 9th)

Pre-Arrival Testing

Day students and boarders coming from the state of Massachusetts or lower risk states (currently listed in the state guidelines as Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont) will need to present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to the Health Center. The test must be dated within 7 days prior to the return to campus. CA families will need to arrange pre-arrival testing independent of CA. If possible, we encourage our more local students to complete their PCR test at Emerson Hospital, which also uses the CIC/Broad protocol, and we prefer the test be completed as close to October 26 as possible. You may find a list of all Massachusetts COVID-19 testing locations here.

Boarding students coming from any location not listed above will need to provide the Health Center with a negative PCR test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their return to school. Parents can email their student’s PCR test results to the Health Center at healthcenter@concordacademy.org.

On-Campus Arrival Testing

We plan to begin on-campus testing for day students on Monday, October 26.

Boarding students will be tested upon their arrival to campus on either Saturday, October 24, or Saturday, October 31, depending on when they are scheduled to return. Once their testing is completed, boarders will be asked to leave campus and isolate with their families off campus. Once we have received a negative test result (within 24-48 hours), the Health Center will notify boarders that they are able to move onto campus. In the event of a positive test, boarders will not be able to return to campus. The Health Center will notify any boarder who tested positive. You will also be contacted by the Department of Public Health, and will need to quarantine. More information will be sent to boarding families, including a list of local accommodations where students and families can isolate.

Regular On-Campus Testing During STAC 2

Weekly on-site testing will be required for students, faculty, staff, and all campus residents the weeks of October 26, November 2, November 9, and November 16. Boarding students will be included in regular weekly on-campus testing starting the week they return to campus. 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.

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 will administer the tests on our campus 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’ hybrid, class, and athletics schedules to schedule testing and will be communicating with students shortly on their weekly timeslot. This might require a short absence from a class, but every effort will be made to schedule testing during students’ free time.

Required Enrollment for All Students: 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 prior to October 16.

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 (healthcenter@concordacademy.org) or Jeff Desjarlais (jeff_desjarlais@concordacademy.org), director of health and student support services, with any testing-related questions.

Daily Symptom Checks (MyMedBot)

(Last updated October 9th)


All students are required to complete a daily symptom self-screening if coming to campus for any period of time. We have moved away from Boardingware for symptom checks, so that students will no longer need to complete self-screening two hours prior to coming to campus. Instead, we will use the app MyMedBot. Detailed information about downloading, activating, and using the app will be provided next week.

Contact Tracing (Boardingware)

(Last updated October 9th)

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.

Mask & Physical Distancing Protocols

(Last updated October 9th)


All community members are required to wear face masks adequately covering their nose, mouth, and chin within all campus buildings. 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 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:

  1. Masks must be worn at all times inside of school buildings.
  2. While outdoors, community members may remove their mask if they are seated and have at least 6 feet of distance from others. If someone approaches, they must put their mask back on.
  3. Community members must be masked while moving around campus.
  4. Boarding students do not need to wear masks when alone in their rooms or when showering or brushing teeth.
  5. Community members should always have a mask with them.
  6. Masks may be removed in the Stu-Fac or other designated dining areas while seated at assigned spots during meal times.
  7. Cloth masks should be washed after each daily use.

Mask Breaks:
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, in 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.

Positive COVID-19 Test on Campus

(Last updated October 9th)


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 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 their impact on our quarantine and isolation capacity on campus.

If a student develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they should go to the COVID-19 Center in the SHAC, where they will be evaluated by nursing staff. They will remain in isolation until a parent, caregiver, or local guardian can get to campus to pick them up.

Boarding students who come into close contact with a COVID-19 positive student will need to isolate in the COVID-19 Symptom Center. They will need to be picked up within 24 hours and quarantine at home or with an emergency contact for 14 days before being allowed to return.

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 (boarding students). We do NOT recommend public transportation in this situation. 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 (boarding students). 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 a positive test occurs in our community — either through our campus-administered process 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.
  • 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 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 predetermined period of time.

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.

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 healthcenter@concordacademy.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.

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. A nurse will meet with any student experiencing these symptoms and triage all medical concerns. If the nurse concludes a student needs to go home, the student will be isolated and their family will be called to get the student 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, you will go to the Health Center.