Spring Term Information for Phillips Academy Families

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Information for Admitted Students

We realize you are all wondering what exactly our on-campus experience will look like in 2021, given the continued uncertainty around covid-19. So are we! Phillips Academy is committed to offering on-campus residential programs if it remains possible to do so safely and responsibly, and we are continually refining and adjusting our campus policies and procedures to match the changing public health climate. The information below (and the March 3 email to families, available here) represents our best attempt to document the expected risk-mitigation plans for the summer of 2021, though these may change at any point prior to the start of the program. Families will be notified of specifics via email, and all participating students will be required to sign a Non-Sibi Agreement detailing the expectations of students related to campus health and safety procedures. FAQs and a recommended Packing List can be accessed here.

A New Challenge

Living and learning on campus this summer will look very different and will present new challenges and opportunities. However, we will embrace this shared endeavor and lean into our non sibi motto as we all commit to keeping ourselves and others safe and healthy. Now, more than ever, we have the chance to highlight our commitment to each other and appreciate the value of community.

With a focus on safety, health, and equity, Andover will need to re-imagine this Summer Session in order to provide an excellent academic program and a robust student experience. We will need to develop new and creative practices for building community and forging connections.

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. Residential students will begin the summer with a period of quarantine, and after successful completion will be limited to the boundaries of campus - no off-campus trips or activities will be allowed, and students may not host visitors to campus. If students are unable to comply with these standards, they will lose the opportunity to be on campus.

Draft COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Plan: Summer 2021

STUDENT ARRIVAL

The student arrival and registration process will look different than ever before, and will require patience on the part of all involved. Thank you in advance! We ask that only a single adult accompany a student to campus (or, if more family members plan to accompany a student, that only one help with the actual dorm move-in process).

PRIOR TO ARRIVAL

  • All online forms, including health forms and immunization records, must be completed by the stated deadlines, in order to provide our team with adequate time and information to facilitate summer preparation. Families must ensure that all medical and insurance information is up to date and uploaded to the Medicat health portal, including a physical exam report dated within the previous calendar year. THIS PORTAL WILL OPEN TO ACCEPTED SUMMER STUDENTS AND FAMILIES ON APRIL 1, 2021.
  • Students will be asked to select a registration window (an anticipated arrival window of roughly 1 hour) on Tuesday, June 29 to reduce the number of people congregating in a single place at any given time. Students will register for a portal account in Medicat using their Andover-provided email address (sent in mid-June via email) to sign up for a registration/testing appointment time (please do NOT register using your personal email); those arriving via Andover-provided buses from Logan Airport will be assigned a time based on flight information. If you have questions about signing up for an appointment slot or need help registering for the health portal, please email: sykeswellness@andover.edu or call (978) 749-4455. The health portal is also where you will complete the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker daily starting Tuesday, June 29.
  • For students arriving/traveling from outside of the U.S., please be aware of CDC requirements in effect at the time of travel to Andover.
  • Proof of negative PCR COVID-19 test result must be obtained no more than 5 days prior to arrival on campus (no earlier than June 24). Testing paperwork will be submitted to the Sykes wellness team at Registration.

ON ARRIVAL DAY: JUNE 29, 2021

  • Students must complete the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker in Medicat prior to arrival on campus.
  • Registration will take place in tents outdoors, centrally located near parking options.
  • When students arrive for registration, their first stop will be the Sykes Wellness tent to provide their proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken no more than 3 days prior to arrival, followed by the administration of a rapid COVID-19 test by our medical team. Once the student receives a negative result (which should take ~20 minutes), they will be cleared to complete other registration tasks and to proceed to their assigned dorm.
  • All students will receive a BlueCard and lanyard. Campus buildings will only be accessible through card access, so students must always carry their BlueCard.
  • Only the student and 1 adult will be allowed into dorms during the move-in process.
  • Virtual and outdoor activities will be available to students, facilitated by residential faculty, and families can participate in a series of virtual Welcome events held throughout the day.

QUARANTINE & STUDENT ORIENTATION WEEK

Though far from ideal, a quarantine period is necessary to mitigate the risks of travel and to comply with state and federal regulations. Online dorm and academic programming, coupled with significant outdoor time (including both structured community-building and supervised unstructured time) will help make the quarantine period more bearable for students.

  • In-room quarantine for all students will begin immediately after move-in, and is expected to last for 10 days. Students will be assigned to large dorms in singles and multi-room doubles to ensure all students have a safe, private space to quarantine.
  • Students will need to bring a laptop or other device that can be used to access the internet and participate in remote classes during quarantine.
  • In dorm meetings and through communications from the house counseling team, students will receive explicit instructions and requirements related to meals, restroom use, common room usage, and traffic patterns in, out, and around the dormitory. The arrival quarantine in the dormitory will include three rounds of testing, and will conclude on July 10 unless test results indicate a high positivity rate. After the arrival quarantine, students will be able to engage with the members of the dorm more casually (without face coverings and in closer proximity). Adults will always wear face coverings and maintain physical distance.
  • Students will be allowed outside - wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing - under adult supervision as much as possible during the quarantine, and orientation and academic courses will begin online within 24 hours of arrival.
  • As often as possible, dorm faculty will engage in 1:1 check-ins with students via zoom, doorway conversations, and using other creative approaches to build connections and ensure emotional and physical wellbeing.
  • Meals (including snacks) will be delivered to dorms during this time, and full pantries will be provided.
  • Every student in every dormitory will have individual and collective responsibilities and chores such as keeping one's own room tidy, disinfecting high-touch surfaces in the room, taking out the trash, sweeping stairwells, and keeping common rooms clean. Together students and their dorm mates will take care of their homes on campus.
  • If deemed necessary based on contact tracing, quarantine will resume for individual students or full dorm pods after a verified COVID-19 exposure. See the section titled Testing, Tracing & PPE for more information.

TESTING

Regular screening and testing of all campus community members will be required, in order to prevent community spread and to facilitate effective contact tracing. Masking and physical distancing will also be essential elements of the summer's approach to risk-mitigation. Violations of any of the stated requirements, including absence from scheduled testing, failure to complete daily screening, or noncompliance with masking and distancing, will be cause for dismissal from the program.

  • After arrival, students will be tested twice each week using pooled testing administered in dorms. Faculty and staff will be tested twice each week through the Sykes Medical Center.
  • All members of the campus community will be required to complete a Daily Health Screening available through Medicat (easily downloaded to the home screen of one’s phone as an app), with daily reminders and links sent via email.
  • Students must be masked and maintain physical distancing from others whenever they are out of their dorms, including during class.
  • Students may eat with others of the same dorm, and do not need to be physically distant from them in outdoor spaces.
  • Students must be masked and maintain physical distancing during all encounters with adults within the dorms.
  • Faculty must be masked and maintain physical distancing from other faculty and students at all times, and in all settings, throughout the summer.

CONTACT TRACING, QUARANTINE & ISOLATION

Phillips Academy employs a year-round team (the Andover Contact Tracing - ACT - team) to support ongoing efforts to isolate students testing positive for COVID-19 and to quarantine those who have had direct contact with an individual who has tested positive.

  • 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.
  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, the parent or guardian (or a designated local emergency contact) is expected to come to campus within 24 hours of being notified that their child has tested positive, to either care for the student in isolation at or to safely remove the student from campus (if they live within driving distance).
  • Several dormitories will be designated as "Quarantine Dorms" into which students will move during their quarantine period, unless an entire dormitory must quarantine due to an exposure within the "pod".

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

While students are welcome to bring their own face masks, shields, sanitizer, etc., Phillips Academy is committed to ensuring that school-issued PPE is available to all participants in our summer programs, including day students.

  • Upon arrival, all Andover Summer students will be provided with a PPE kit to include sufficient masks for the summer, along with hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies.
  • Dormitory rooms will be outfitted with fans and mini-refrigerators, and students will be provided with reusable grocery bags and cutlery to assist with meal pickup and consumption throughout the summer.
  • Biweekly laundry service can be contracted by families through E&R Campus Laundry, but is not required.

CAMPUS BOUNDARIES & PHYSICAL SPACES

In order to maintain student health and safety, we have learned that creating a "residential bubble" is essential; thus, day students and boarding students will participate in separate cohorts, and boarding students will be bound by a set of campus restrictions that will prevent the potential for community spread.

  • Students living in dorms will be assigned to single rooms, or doubles that are set up to have entirely separate living spaces for each student (i.e. 2-room doubles, 3-room triples).
  • Residential students will not be allowed off-campus at any point during the summer, except on supervised and approved field trips to outdoor spaces. Any other departure from campus bounds (including a walk down the hill to the stores) will result in immediate dismissal from the program. On a 500-acre campus, there is plenty of space for students to be outside together (while maintaining physical distance), to exercise, and to engage with one another.
  • No day or overnight excuses will be granted for any reason for the duration of the program.
  • No visitors will be allowed on campus for the duration of the summer.
  • Typical student activities (trips to Boston, shopping, college trips, etc.) will be replaced with on-campus, physically distant activities under close adult supervision.
  • Only contactless food deliveries to campus will be allowed.
  • Access to campus buildings will be significantly constrained, with students having access only to their dorms, their identified study spaces, and their academic buildings. Blue cards will be required for all spaces.
  • Meals will be picked up from the main dining hall, to be eaten in the available dining tents set up around campus or in a student's own dorm.
  • Each student will receive a mini-fridge, fan, and power strip in their dormitory room.

POST-QUARANTINE LEARNING

  • Students will attend classes in-person (masked) unless in quarantine or isolation. If unable to attend in person, students will be able to access courses virtually using Andover's "HyFlex" model.
  • All classrooms have been reviewed for safety, desks have been arranged to accommodate physical distancing, and in some cases improved with plexiglass barriers, ventilation systems, and technology to support alternative student engagement efforts.
  • An intensive classroom cleaning schedule has been put in place, which include full disinfecting between class periods by a member of the custodial team.
  • Students will be able access a variety of spaces across campus for the purpose of studying or simply finding a quiet, air-conditioned location to relax, though they will be required to first sign up via a reservation system to support any necessary contact tracing efforts.
  • Evening study hours will be structured to allow students to study on their own or with dorm-mates, either in the dorm or in assigned dorm study spaces. Students can also sign up for a designated library seat or spot in one of our study centers, either virtually or in-person.

POST-QUARANTINE LIVING

  • Afternoon Activities (athletics) will take place outdoors in closely-supervised groups, with coaches working to ensure that physical distancing doesn't stop students from engaging in physical activity.
  • Weekly Clubs will be available to students for participation either in-person (masked and practicing physical distancing, with sign-ups required) or virtual via drop-in.
  • Because students will be able to unmask and be physically close to others in their dorms (which will act as a family unit, or pod), many activities will be offered on a dorm-only basis. House counselors, deans, and student activities staff members will work hard to bring the fun to dorms, providing whatever supplies might be needed for activities like cookie-decorating competitions, trivia nights, ping-pong tournaments, paint nights, and more.
  • Without field trips, weekend activities will be brought to campus, and Andover will make every effort to ensure there are engaging, appealing options for all students. From petting zoos and outdoor movie nights to food trucks and tent-based video game tournaments, we are already planning for ways to fill Saturdays and Sundays will opportunities for students to have fun and connect.
  • The Independent School and College Fairs will still take place, though virtually, and students who have signed up for the College Counseling program will benefit from virtual workshops discussions, and 1:1 counseling sessions.