Fall 2020 Opening of School Information for Phillips Academy Families

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Community Health & Wellness

To prepare for a phased reopening of campus, Andover has made a number of health-related investments and established strict protocols that will enable us to reopen school safely and responsibly.

Collective community responsibilities, such as social (physical) distancing and wearing face coverings while in shared spaces, will make the campus experience much different. Yet, taking appropriate steps to protect ourselves and one another will give us every opportunity to repopulate the campus slowly and safely. This is a non sibi moment for Andover – one that requires that personal habits are aligned for the good of the community.

Given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the latest public health data and will be prepared to modify plans at any time to protect the health of our campus community.

Student Health & Wellness

The team at the Rebecca M. Sykes Wellness Center (“Sykes”) has been working since the spring to evaluate how best to provide services to students, both in-person and remotely, and to manage the evolving COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to our campus community. As we head into the next academic year at Andover, our campus health professionals at Sykes will be working together to ensure that our community develops and implements best practices for safety and health. Medical care and psychological services will continue to be provided on campus, and new safety protocols will be implemented. In addition to in-person visits, the Sykes team will be using phone and video for some appointments for students who are on campus. For students who are learning remotely off-campus, we will continue to collaborate with families and health professionals to support our students off-campus.

Safety Precautions and Practices

We will abide by guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health experts to use the most effective methods to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, prior to the development of a vaccine.

To care for ourselves and each other, every member of our community will need to comply with specific health and safety practices including the use of face coverings, social (physical) distancing, hand washing, self-monitoring, mandatory testing, and participation in contact tracing. Students who are unable to comply with these standards will lose the opportunity to be on campus and will be asked to switch to all-remote learning.

Testing

A robust testing protocol is at the center of our monitoring and containment strategies. Every member of the staff, faculty, and student community who will spend time on campus will be required to undergo a COVID-19 screening test prior to return. All students will be required to provide evidence of a negative molecular/PCR test result obtained within 7 days prior to arriving on campus. Students will be tested at least twice in the first 2 weeks on campus. Throughout the term, on-campus testing will be administered at regular intervals. The Academy has procured an adequate supply of a rapid test to cover testing needs for students and employees in the first weeks on campus. We are conferring with outside professionals to evaluate testing alternatives as they become available.

Monitoring and Contact Tracing

Every member of our community who is learning or working on campus will be required to complete daily screening questions via an app, to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, as well as assess for additional risk factors. Students will not attend classes and adults will not come to work (or engage with students in person), if they are experiencing symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Contact tracing will be performed when any potential exposures occur.

Quarantine and Isolation

All boarding students will complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival to campus, with specific expectations for face coverings, physical distancing, and limited contacts.

If a student who lives on campus tests positive for COVID-19:

  • We will care for the student in isolation on campus, in the Sykes Wellness Center or another facility staffed by the Sykes medical team, until the student’s parent/guardian (or other designated adult caretaker) is able to care for the student off-campus. All students must have a plan in place for a parent/guardian (or other designated adult caretaker) to come to take their child off-campus within 24 hours of diagnosis. In the event that this is not feasible for a particular family, we will work with that family to create a solution.
  • Any student or campus adult who is considered to have been in close contact with a campus community member who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine to monitor for the development of COVID-19 symptoms for up to 14 days. Quarantine may occur in a student's dorm room, off-campus, or at home, as appropriate.
  • In the event that a group of students needs to be quarantined in their dorm, Sykes Wellness Center staff and campus adults (practicing physical distancing and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment) will regularly monitor the students for symptoms, provide food, and assist with academic responsibilities.