Winter Term Information for Phillips Academy Families

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FAQ for Students & Families

This collection of frequently asked questions will continue to evolve and grow throughout the 2021-2022 school year. Please check back often for updates. Additional questions may be submitted for review to

Health and Wellness

COVID-19 updates:

Quarantine - (for exposures—if a person is a close contact of a person who tests positive)

  • Unvaccinated: quarantine for 10 days if identified as a close contact. Students may quarantine in their dorm room or at home.
  • Vaccinated: no quarantine unless symptomatic as a close contact. Masking indoors for 14 days.

Isolation - (for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19)

  • Ten days of isolation, regardless of vaccination status, if a community member tests positive. Students will isolate at Sykes or at home.

September 18 - October 12: (if testing results allow)

  • Vaccinated: may leave campus to go downtown or to college visits, family events, auditions, club sports (with permission from cluster dean).
  • Unvaccinated: may not leave campus.
  • Masking indoors most likely.

We will provide more information once we get through our initial rounds of testing.

Will Andover require the COVID-19 vaccination for students?

With vaccinations now widely available and crucial toward achieving herd immunity, beginning this Fall Term 2021, Andover will require vaccinations for all students who are eligible to receive them. This currently includes students 12 years and older. Andover is following the position taken by the American College Health Association, which now recommends requiring vaccinations for all students this school year. In all cases, we will follow policy with respect to those seeking religious or medical exemptions.

Will there be testing for vaccinated students after the 16th?

Right now, we are planning to test regularly unvaccinated and partially vaccinated students after September 16th. As with all of our policies and practices, we will communicate any revisions to these plans.

What happens to a student who tests positive for COVID-19?

A student who tests positive, no matter the vaccination status, will isolate for ten days.

What happens to a student who is a close contact of a student who tests positive?

An unvaccinated or partially vaccinated student will need to quarantine for 10 days and be tested. A fully vaccinated student will need to mask for fourteen days and be tested.


Will there be remote options this fall?

No. The Andover program will be delivered in person this fall. And, unless there is a dramatic shift in the trajectory of the pandemic, we expect the entire school year to be in person. This includes classes, residential activities, and other dimensions of our program. We will remain dedicated to campus health as our top priority—following public health guidance and tracking our own community metrics in our commitment to keeping our community safe in the event we need to change course.

Who is my Advisor?

All students are assigned a point person (the primary adult communication contact for students and families) and an advisor (the person who oversees and supports a student’s progress through our program). Each day student is assigned a Day Student Advisor, who serves as both point person and advisor. For boarding student, their house counselor serves as point person. For some boarding students, the house counselor might also serve as their advisor. Other boarding students will have a second adult assigned in the role of advisor, because not all house counselors advise, and not all advisors live in dormitories. Families should always reach out to the point person with questions and concerns. The point person coordinates communication among the various adults on a student’s team.

When do I receive my class schedule?

New Students will receive their course lists during a meeting with their advisors on the evening of Tuesday, September 7. Returning students and new students will receive their schedules when they are published to PA Net on Thursday, September 9.

How/when do I change my schedule?

New students will have an opportunity to discuss their course selection and make final requests during orientation before classes begin. The first six days of class (Friday, Sep 10 – Friday, Sep 17) provide an add-drop period where students may request certain changes to their schedules. Not all requests can be accommodated, because of limited openings and the need to balance section sizes. Students may not request particular periods or teachers. Advisors will instruct students on the process for requesting changes. Two advising periods have been scheduled in the first week of classes for students to meet with advisors.

How will I get my books?

Students will receive books in class from their instructors. The Academy will bulk orders course materials throughout the year for all courses. To cover the cost of the books/on-line codes that instructors will distribute in class as well as other course materials, the Academy included a Course Materials Charge of $700 on the first student tuition invoice. This $700 was placed in a separate Course Materials Account. The account will also be used to cover art fees, PSATs, and Advanced Placement Exams. At the end of the course add/drop period, each student’s account will be charged for all course materials for their classes. Any balance in a student’s Course Materials Account will be refunded upon the student’s departure from the Academy. If you have any questions, contact Cindy Stewart.

When do I learn about my placement in music, math, and languages?

Students will receive their course lists (including placements in math, science, language, and music) from their advisors during their initial advising meeting when they arrive on campus.

Can I retake a placement test?

We do not allow students to retake a placement test over the summer or at the start of school. Students wishing to change their world language selection in September may be asked to take a placement test in that new language. Students can discuss their language placement with their teacher during the first week of classes. The math department does not offer credit or advancement for any work done over the summer; summer work should be taken for enrichment rather than acceleration. Students should expect to take the math course they are placed in. New students will have an opportunity to ask questions of department chairs during orientation.

How do I find out about private music lessons?

You can submit a request for private music lessons when you meet with your advisor prior to the start of each trimester. New students will have an opportunity to request music lessons and rental instruments during their orientation.

How do I change the sport I originally signed up for?

To change a sport you would see Ms. Buckley in the Athletics Office.

Does each course have a page on the Web?

Yes. Canvas is our learning management platform. Course information will be provided to you and updated regularly on Canvas by your course instructor.

Is there an official school email account for students?

Every student has an Andover email account. Students are expected to check this account several times each day and to communicate with the teachers, staff, administrators, etc., using their Andover email.

When will I meet my College Counselor?

New students meet with their advisor during the orientation prior to the beginning of classes in September to review, adjust, and approve the course requests the student has made during the spring or summer. Subsequently, the student meets at least every other week with their advisor to establish a relationship and to ensure that issues that arise concerning the student’s educational program are addressed promptly.

Since each student also will work with a college counselor, the advisor is not asked to be an expert on the entrance requirements of individual colleges and universities, programs within these schools, or the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The College Counseling Office can consult on such matters at any point in a student’s career.

Students are assigned college counselors in January of their Upper year. For a non-traditional timeline, the student must contact the CCO in the spring of Lower year.

What kind of laptop do I need for courses?

All students are required to have a portable electronic device—either a laptop or a tablet—for class activities and assignments. Recognizing that students have varied preferences, PA leaves the choice of device to the students and their families. Some students have Windows laptops and some have Macs. Each student is provided with a subscription of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Outlook is used for email. If you have additional questions, please contact the Technology Help Desk at or 978-749-4357.

Is there a reading list?

No there is no reading list, but we encourage you to read for pleasure over the summer.

Does Andover have classes on Saturday?

There are no classes on the weekends.

Where can I purchase school supplies?

The Elson Art Store on campus offers a wide range of class supplies, fine art materials, creative materials for all projects at their cost which is 30-70% off retail. It is located off Chapel Avenue in the Elson Art Center and is open Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

There is a large CVS in downtown Andover that stocks a larger than the typical selection of school supplies. There is also a Whole Foods (1.3-mile walk) and Stop & Shop (1.5-mile walk).

Residential Life

When will my child receive their cluster assignment (day students) and cluster and housing assignment (boarding students)?

An email with cluster and housing assignments will be sent to students and parents in late August.

What should my student bring to campus?

Please review our list of what to bring to campus.

When I can I begin shipping items to campus?

You can ship items for your student starting on Monday, August 23. Details regarding mailing address and items that will not be accepted on the mailroom can be found in our Mailroom – Guide for Shipping, Mail, and Central Services Policies document.

What will clusters and dorms be like in the year ahead?

We are thrilled to be going back to a cluster system: Abbot, Flagstaff, Pine Knoll, West Quad North and West Quad South are back! We will have students in all grades in each cluster. With a goal of creating safe, responsive, inclusive, and supportive living environments, we will have 9/10 and 11/12 dorms. The 9/10 dorms will be mostly large and medium-sized dorms and 11/12 dorms will be a combination of large, medium, and small dorms. We will also house students in the Andover Inn this year.

May day students drive to school?

Licensed day students may drive to school with parental permission. Parents can give this permission on the Travel Permission form (available on the HIVE). Day students with permission MUST register all vehicles that will be driven to campus with Phillips Academy Campus Safety and display the blue student registration sticker on the vehicle(s) on the driver’s side, back seat window. Students who do not register their vehicle(s) or park in non-student areas, will be issued a parking ticket and a $10 fine. If parked in certain restricted areas, such as a fire lane, handicapped space without a placard, or blocking a driveway, the vehicle will be towed.

Students may park only in these student designated parking areas:

  • Row of parking spaces that faces Highland Rd. in the Stuart House lot.
  • Row of parking spaces that borders Graves Field in the Graves Hall parking lot.
  • Head-in parking spaces at the Pine Knoll Cluster circle.

How do Andover students do their laundry?

Andover students may use the card-operated washing machines and dryers located in most dorms to launder their own clothes, or they may sign up for the E&R laundry service, which returns cleaned, ironed, and folded clothes to students once a week. Students who choose to do their own laundry, can purchase laundry cards ($5) and add funds to the card from card dispensers located in the basement of George Washington Hall and Paresky Commons.

When is Family Weekend?

Mark your calendars for Family Weekend, October 22–24. More information will be forthcoming.

What is the vacation schedule for Andover?

Please review our 2021-2022 vacation calendar.

Do students need to obtain permission to walk downtown?

After September 17, if fully vaccinated, we anticipate allowing student to go downtown while masked.

Are boarders required to wear masks in their dorm?

Yes, until we have gone through the opening two weeks of testing, boarding students will mask in ALL buildings, including dormitories. They will not need to mask in their own room. We anticipate that this will change after September 17 once we get through the opening rounds of testing.

Are day students not allowed in dorms? 

Day students are not allowed in dormitories during the modified campus quarantine. After September 17, we anticipate allowing fully vaccinated day students in dormitories in compliance with masking and dorm visiting expectations.

Are the library and other buildings open to all students?

Yes! We will be masked in all buildings until further notice.

Will Susie's be open?

Susie’s will not be open during the modified campus quarantine. We hope that we will be able to open Susie’s after September 17.

Will the Harrison rink be converted again with food available?

Harrison rink will be an ice rink this year! (It will not be a student space with tables and chairs.)

Will boarders be able to visit day students' homes?

We hope and anticipate that after the 17th of September boarders will be able to visit day students’ homes.

Can boarding students receive overnight permissions during before September 17?

No, boarding students cannot receive overnight permissions before September 17.

Can a student go on a college trip in September?

After September 17th, we anticipate that we will allow college visit for fully vaccinated students. Most likely, we will ask students to mask while indoors during their trip.

Are we comfortable playing schools that have not required vaccination?

Yes, we recognize and acknowledge that we will compete against schools that do not require vaccination.

Will the expectation be that outside fans (parents, etc.) to our indoor sports (Volleyball and Water Polo) must be vaccinated?

Yes, we will allow fans at our competitions and performances. Outdoors, fans may attend unmasked. Indoors, all fans must mask.