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Initial Return to Campus Plan for 2020-2021

The emergence of the novel coronavirus pandemic in late 2019 and its global spread throughout 2020 has forced Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall, like other schools around the world, to reevaluate nearly every aspect of its educational practices. Across the School, teachers, staff members, students, parents and guardians have demonstrated extraordinary resilience and flexibility in adapting to new, shifting, and often challenging conditions. As state-wide and local health conditions continue to be closely monitored in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and businesses and schools prepare to reopen this fall, we look forward to once again welcoming students, faculty and staff back to our beautiful campus. We understand that this transition back to school may come with concerns and complexities, and we are committed to reorienting students, families, and educators to the new school year in the safest and most supportive way possible.

In designing a plan that creates a robust educational experience in the safest way possible for our community, we have made the difficult decision to begin the year without a traditional boarding program. This is the hardest decision we have had to make, as our boarding program is an essential part of making CH-CH a home away from home for so many of our students, faculty, and staff. As you will read below, we are rapidly constructing a Host Family Program to be launched with the new school year that may allow non-local boarding students the opportunity to live locally with CH-CH families and attend classes in-person. There is much more information coming on this as we aim to make this plan work for as many of our students as we can.

Adhering to campus reopening guidelines from the Commonwealth and health guidelines from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we aim to begin the year with a de-densified campus and to limit the time students will be physically present on campus grounds. Delaying the opening of our residential life program allows the School to open on time with greater institutional safety, lower personal health risks, and a commitment to regular assessment of the campus environs vis-a-vis a safe, delayed opening to the boarding program later in the academic year. It is our hope that the dormitories could open after one of our major breaks, possibly in January but more probably in March. This is a decision that will be made as we monitor the situation during the year.

It is impossible to eliminate potential health risks associated with COVID-19 entirely, but based on the counsel of leading medical experts locally and nationally, we believe our plan will allow us to bring students on campus for a few hours each day for important face-to-face instruction and social interaction while providing multiple layers of protection to best mitigate risk. Our plan also provides the nimbleness for us to make adjustments if/when conditions related to COVID-19 change.

The most important aspects of our initial plan include:
  1. Students and families choosing:
    • in-person, on-campus learning, or
    • remote, live “synchronous” learning, to begin the academic year.
  2. CH-CH will not open our traditional boarding program to start the school year. Non-local and international boarding students wishing to choose in-person learning may consider participating in an emerging CH-CH Host Family Program, which would match non-local boarding students with local day student families or faculty/staff families selecting to participate. We hope, but cannot guarantee, that we will be able to meet student demand for this developing program.
  3. Classes will be conducted both in-person and through “live” synchronous remote learning for Fall Trimester following a slightly modified daily schedule. All community members will be adjusting to new safety protocols and behavioral norms on campus and online.
  4. Orientation Day is Wednesday, September 9, and the first day of classes will be Thursday, September 10, 2020.
  5. Allen House will be designated as a new, secondary health and quarantine space, as needed and required.
  6. A negative COVID-19 test result will be required of all students, faculty and staff within 72 hours before campus arrival for Fall Trimester.
  7. Community members will adhere to physical distancing, wear protective face coverings, and be required to frequently wash and sanitize hands.
  8. Morning health screenings by all members of the community will be required and recorded with the School through the Magnus Daily Parent Screening/Attestation Mobile App
There are three critical areas of our planning that continue to be developed and will be released in the next iteration of the Plan in late-August:
  1. The shape and scope of our COVID-19 testing regimen beyond the initial commitment to test all campus-visiting community members to start the school year. The School continues to work with our school physician and local health officials to determine the degree and frequency of testing once the school year begins.
  2. The campus closure metrics for when we, as a school, will decide to close campus to in-person learning due to COVID-19 outbreaks in our own school community. Similarly, what criteria determines when we would be able to re-open campus. We acknowledge wholeheartedly that the School would follow any orders coming from the Governor’s office.
  3. The full details of our emerging Host Family Program. Beyond identifying which families wish to participate (either being hosted or in hosting), host family guidelines and a memorandum of understanding need to be crafted, presented and agreed upon by both parties of the agreement. This work is in progress at the moment.

Campus Safety Protocols Updates & Reminders

List of 2 items.

  • UPDATE

    • Concerning out-of-state travel as holidays approach, we expect families to adhere to Governor Baker’s Massachusetts travel guidelines, including either a 14-day quarantine or a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR only, not antigen) prior to rejoining the CH-CH community in person if travel has taken you to a higher risk state.  You should check the Massachusetts site regularly as the list of states changes frequently.
  • REMINDERS

    • Again, all members of the community are asked to renew their commitment to the Charger Pledge and a safe, healthy campus.
    • Specifically, within the Pledge, we ask all students, faculty and staff members working on campus to:
      • Record and report daily symptoms through the Magnus mobile app.
        Stay home or immediately report to the Health Center if not feeling well.
    • If a student, teacher or staff member develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19:
    • Before seeking medical care and/or testing for COVID-19, call Ashley Jones at 781-434-9824 or your doctor before making face-to-face contact with the medical professional.

Health & Wellness Updates & Reminders

List of 2 items.

  • UPDATE

  • REMINDERS

    • Students, faculty and staff members should arrive on campus with fresh water each day. 
    • Ensure you have a back-up face covering in your possession each day.
    • Teachers and students should wear jackets and dress in layers to support the continuation of using outdoor spaces for teaching and learning as long as we can this fall.
    • Every student should have the Magnus Mobile app installed on their iOS devices to verify morning health attestation with their first period teachers.
      • If you are a parent who opted to send in a screenshot with your student, please ensure you are sending in the correct date for that day.
    • If you are a parent and missed the first PGA Coffee & Conversation program on Health & Wellness, you can view the recording by emailing our Chief Advancement Officer, Leslie Jacobson Kaye P'20 at lkaye@chch.org. It featured a clinical director, Hallie Riggs, along with the CH-CH Health team: Kenna Weber, Cory McDinger and Ashley Jones.
      • The next Coffee & Conversation is on October 20, featuring Nikki Turpin, our new Director of DEI, and our Strategic Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan.
      • Additionally, on November 12, we welcome back Dr. Mark Kline P’16 to discuss the impact of social media and technology on teenagers and society.

Academics Updates & Reminders

List of 2 items.

  • UPDATES

    • The long awaited Swivl robots have arrived and are now living in many of our classrooms. The Swivl robot rotates to follow the teacher automatically. Use of the Swivl will enhance the experience for our distance learners to better see and hear life in the classroom and interact with their teacher and classmates. The School has purchased eight of these transmission robots to begin the experiment.
    • Teachers are also starting to use new and different methods, including Bluetooth speakers, to connect the audio from their computers and monitors to Zoom. This is a work in progress as we work to address the audio set-up in a wide variety of learning spaces.
    • The Curriculum Committee has finalized a formal teacher curriculum self assessment for use during the fall and spring trimesters, with a specific look at how often POC and other marginalized groups are discussed in our daily lessons. This includes an examination of what additional resources teachers may need to continue work in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The purpose is to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive curricula.
  • REMINDERS

    • Progress Notes are published for students on Tuesdays for review with advisors, and on Wednesdays for parents and guardians to access. Please reach out to your student’s advisor, class dean or program director if you are unable to access your student’s weekly Progress Notes from their teachers.
      • Parents & Guardians Virtual Fall Conference Day will take place remotely on Tuesday, October 13.
      • Meeting registration will open on Friday, October 1.
        Parents and guardians can schedule meetings with their students' teachers.
      • Parents and guardians received registration information on Monday, September 28.
      • All questions should be directed to Stephanie Daniels at sdaniels@chch.org. 

Student Life/Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Updates & Reminders

List of 2 items.

  • REMINDERS

    • We will be offering a Civics and Voter Education Workshop on October 1.
    • We are currently re-imaging the delivery of an Indigenous Peoples’ Celebration discussing the fight for climate justice, voting rights activist Zitkala-Sa, and the beauty of native cultures.
    • We are designing a “Talking about Race” forum with Gretchen Cook-Anderson.
    • We continue to develop our very own CH-CH Community Fridge project.  More information coming soon about the CH-CH community refrigerators.
  • UPDATES

    • Advisors will be offering alternative Advisory meeting times to their distance learners to accommodate differing time zones and other conflicts.
    • Club times are expanding during the school day and week. Club leaders are also encouraged to hold evening sessions. Similar to advisory, we recognize the critical importance of our student-designed and -led clubs.  
    • Dorm parents are offering evening Zoom Study Halls to all students. This will enable remote students to secure discipline-specific help from Monday through Thursday nights.
    • There are also evening dorm bonding activities being created for student camaraderie and entertainment; for instance, virtual Bingo games and Scattegories. Moreover, the WIN (Worcester Improvement Nights) and HYPE (Harrington: Your Personal Experience) groups from previous years will continue for our contracted boarding students.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is a virus spread from person to person, primarily from respiratory droplets or by transferring virus from surfaces and objects to mouth, nose or eyes. While many aspects of the virus are not yet understood, the most effective measures against transmission are quarantining and contact tracing for those who are infected, as well as social distancing and frequent hand washing for the general public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) also recommend face coverings when people are not able to maintain a distance of more than 6 feet. Additional guidance for minimizing the spread of COVID-19 at home and in-school settings is available from the CDC.

Important Dates To Know

August 7
Initial CH-CH Return to Campus Plan released

August 11
Evening discussion via Zoom for boarding families concerning the Host Family Program

August 17
Family Responses to the "CH-CH Return to Learning” Form Due

August 17
Third community letter of the summer released

August 18, 9-10AM
Zoom with International Families and the Chinese Parents’ Association

August 19, 8-9AM
Zoom with Domestic Families

August 19, 9-10AM
Zoom with the Student Body

August 20, 9-10AM
Zoom with the Faculty and Staff

August 28

August 31, 7:30-8:30PM 
Evening virtual meet & greet for new students and parents

September 7, 11AM-1:30PM
On-Campus COVID-19 Testing. Sign-Up for Testing on the CH-CH Campus on 9/7 (Please Complete by 9/1)

September 9
Orientation Day


September 10

First day of classes for Fall Trimester

September 15, 9AM-3PM
On-Campus Flu Clinic for all students, faculty, and staff. Please complete Consent Form before arrival. *Copy of your insurance is also needed*

September 29
CH-CH Return to Campus Plan Chapter 3: Updates & Reminders released

October 2, 12:30-1:30PM EST
"Town Hall" Zoom call for CH-CH parents & guardians.

October 8, 9:00-10:00AM EST
"Town Hall" Zoom call for international parents & guardians. 

Return-to-Campus Testing for COVID-19

As stated in our Initial Return to Campus Plan, baseline testing is something we believe to be important to conduct at the start of the school year. CH-CH remains committed to initial COVID-19 testing to begin the school year, but it will be our only mandatory testing for on-campus learners, educators, faculty/staff families and daily vendors scheduled at this time.  This baseline standard exceeds the approach many other independent day schools in the Boston area will be taking; in fact, most of our peer schools will not be testing at all.  At CH-CH, we believe beginning the school year with a full round of testing is very prudent.

As noted in our August 18th letter from the CH-CH Health Office, we have signed a testing contract and created a testing partnership with PhysicianOne Urgent Care.  They will be setting up an on-campus testing operation from 11:00am-1:30pm on Monday, September 7th (Labor Day), to conduct approximately 250 tests (again, all faculty, staff, students, and residential faculty/staff families who want to test in this manner) with a 24-hour turnaround time once the lab receives the samples on Monday afternoon.  PhysicianOne will be using the nasal PCR test in conducting our testing. At this time, Massachusetts requires a PCR test for decisions on whether to stop isolation or return to work/school based on its accuracy.  As such, we are requiring the PCR test at this time.

On-site September 7th tests allow the School to receive results prior to Wednesday’s on-campus Orientation Day, September 9th.  The cost per test and service is $90.  While the School will absorb the expense for this initial testing regimen as applied to faculty, staff, students who receive financial assistance, and on-campus faculty/staff family members, other student family accounts will be billed for this testing.  Due to this being an offsite testing service for those who are asymptomatic, it will not be processed through health insurance.  To note, the School will also provide this on-campus testing regimen to our daily on-campus vendors, both Flik Independent Dining and Uniclean employees, as well as all family members from our host families in the emerging Host Family Program that care to secure testing on September 7th.  All Host Family members and hosted students will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result before move-in takes place.

If you would like to take advantage of this service, please complete this sign-up sheet by September 1st.  Sign-ups are generated in 15 minute time slots to help minimize traffic on campus.  Each 15 minute window is capped at 25 individuals/families.  It is our current plan to have this organized as a drive-thru clinic to expedite a safer testing experience.  More procedural details will be provided in the days ahead by the CH-CH Health Office.

Individuals can secure their own negative COVID-19 test results within 72-hours of our school opening and present these results to our School Nurse, Ashley Jones (ajones@chch.org), as a substitute for engaging in on-campus testing on September 7th.  As of this time, we must require a PCR test result; this will be the only test we will be accepting, as noted earlier.  All students, faculty and staff members engaging in on-campus teaching and learning this fall are required to secure a negative COVID-19 test result before the start of school.  If results are delayed, then individuals will need to remain off-campus until a negative test result can be secured and presented to the CH-CH Health Office.  Remote learning can ensue in the meantime.

If you have any questions, please reach out to School Nurse Ashley Jones at the email address above. Thank you, again, for your support in keeping our community safe.

Our Commitment and Approach

Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall recognizes that the ideal teaching and learning environment is one in which students and teachers are able to interact with each other face-to-face. We also recognize the vital importance of creating a campus environment that addresses the health and safety concerns of our students, parents, guardians, faculty and staff. Our Initial Return to Campus Plan seeks to do both, providing the initial roadmap for our community to follow in the days, weeks and months ahead. This roadmap will indeed change as our direction headings continue to shift due to an evolving landscape.

This plan represents the thoughtful work of our Emergency Management Team members, a task force of staff from across our campus, working in close collaboration with School administration and in consideration of thoughtful input from families, faculty and staff during our summer Zoom meetings and numerous individual and small group conversations. It is a plan that invests heavily in critical areas for a safe return to campus, including a robust set of stringent health and safety measures. It is also a plan that is designed to allow the School to adapt to the changing conditions of the pandemic and still provide for the continuous education of our students. For these reasons, the CH-CH Board of Trustees has been highly engaged in the creation and evolution of the Plan and, it should be noted, is in support of Initial Return to Campus Plan as presented herein.

While it is difficult to predict the ways in which our current health context might change in the future, one thing is constant – our steadfast commitment to the ongoing growth and learning of our students.

At all times, we will calibrate our school operations and teaching to public health conditions.

Across the School, our dedicated faculty and staff are redoubling their efforts to prepare for the new school year. We cannot wait to see our students again, and we look forward to a successful year ahead.

Guiding Principles

Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall has defined four guiding principles that help to inform our decisions as we return to campus. These principles speak to the School’s Mission, Vision and Strategic Objectives. They are also aligned with what we have learned from our experience with distance learning this spring and the feedback from our recent parent/guardian survey (further below) and community Zoom forums.
  • Safety
  • On-Campus Instruction
  • Academic Coherence and Continuity
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
Safety
CH-CH’s highest priority is the health and well-being of its community. We believe that a healthy environment is ultimately a secure environment, one in which students, teachers and staff are able to thrive. We also believe that we have an obligation to support the health of the broader community – from our own school community families to those around our state and region. At all times, we will seek to align our measures with guidance from the CDC and MDPH, including Governor Baker’s office.

On-Campus Instruction
CH-CH recognizes that the desired learning environment for our students is one in which they are learning from their teachers and fellow students in person. We also recognize the value of the unique role our campus plays in the education of our students. To the best of our ability, and in accordance with official health guidelines, we will seek to provide as much on-campus instruction as possible for all participating students every day. For our non-local boarding students, we will ensure that live, synchronous learning will be accessible to all.

Academic Coherence and Continuity
CH-CH believes in the pursuit of our equitable college prep curriculum in any context and that a continuous educational experience is vitally important to achieve this end. While health circumstances and dormitory closures may necessitate certain changes or restrictions to student life and face-to-face learning, our ultimate goal is to support our students’ learning and development as seamlessly as possible. The School will be prepared to pivot to a 100% remote learning environment if the circumstances require this necessity.  This may require a couple of days before re-starting teaching and learning.

Flexibility and Adaptability
CH-CH recognizes that any plan that we design to respond to external health conditions must be flexible and able to adapt to circumstances beyond our control. Our overarching goal is to create a continuous learning structure that is durable enough to
adapt to possible future coronavirus infections while still allowing us to maintain as much on-campus instruction as possible.

Scenario Planning

As we look to follow the current best practices from the CDC, MDPH, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regarding school reopening, we find their guidelines to be divided into three broad back-to-school scenarios that fall upon a learning approach and paradigm continuum:
  1. Full campus reopening with limited precautionary measures in place. This scenario is most like our normal operating procedures, but also, at this point, not a possibility. It would resemble a relatively normal year with on-campus classes only and a vibrant residential life program.
  2. Campus reopening with social distancing measures and hybrid/remote learning accessibility in place. In this scenario, which is most likely how we will begin school in the fall, teaching and learning will be happening both on-campus and online through synchronous remote learning. It will require significant changes to our typical ways of working while trying to maintain some of our campus life and culture. It is a more flexible model, allowing two optional paths to learning.
  3. Virtual reopening with all classes and community events held online. This scenario mirrors our jointly synchronous and asynchronous distance learning approach this past spring, and we would be able to apply many lessons learned from the spring to this scenario. There would be alterations from the spring; for example, we would revisit our grading system, and there might well be more significant delivery or schedule changes, such as later synchronous class times.
As we engage in our planning, we consider five primary areas of the student experience in our decision-making process: Academics, Residential Life, Student Life, Co-Curricular, and Health & Safety programming. Supporting all this work with students in any scenario will be the operational changes necessary to make the targeted learning paradigm happen.

To begin the 2020-21 school year, CH-CH is planning to engage in the hybrid learning model (#2).

Campus Closure Metrics

CH-CH may be required to close campus on a short- or long-term basis this school year.  Campus closing metrics are those data points that inform if, and when, we must close campus, as well as when we may be able to reopen campus, due to COVID-19 outbreaks and/or health monitoring/quarantining in our own school community.

There has been much discussion about COVID-19 health and safety metrics that can be helpful guidelines for when schools reopen, stay open, close, and then perhaps re-open again during the upcoming school year.  Such metrics serve not only as a guide to both public and independent schools as to whether schools should open the academic year using full-time in-person, hybrid, or remote models, but also to support future decision-making if the impact of COVID-19 requires schools to switch between learning models throughout the school year.

Each Wednesday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) releases its Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report that contains critical metrics for each municipality in the Commonwealth.  There is also a color-coded indication posted for each municipality calculated on a rolling two-week basis. 

Because the impact of the virus is local, the concept of this particular COVID-19 health/safety designation is focused on the municipal level.  Following the release of these updated metrics, the MDPH and DESE will be providing districts and schools with initial guidance on how to interpret the data for various school settings.  These guidelines were developed in consultation with the DESE infectious disease physicians and other public health experts.

As for general guidance for interpreting these metrics, DESE recommends that while average daily cases per 100,000 over a two-week period is the metric that determines the color-coding for each community, districts and schools should also monitor whether cases are increasing or decreasing as compared to the prior period.  The local test positivity rate also remains an important metric to monitor.  In consultation with the Waltham Health Department, CH-CH will consider whether these additional metrics and underlying data may indicate other concerning trends.

CH-CH will study multiple consecutive weekly COVID-19 reports to assess trends in order to inform any changes to our learning model for the start of the school year or to make any changes during the year.  Since we draw students from over 35 different towns and cities in the Commonwealth, we will look to the MDPH and DESE for additional guidance that points to the appropriate data to view in our context.

Based on these updated weekly COVID-19 metrics from the MDPH, CH-CH will be in a position to best determine the most appropriate learning model to pursue as the school year forges ahead.  We will follow the Commonwealth’s color-coded metrics unless there are extenuating circumstances identified after consultation with the Waltham Health Department.  This includes reviewing additional metrics, such as whether cases are increasing or decreasing, the local test positivity rate, and other contextual factors taking place on campus and in our transient school community.  Updated metrics and related guidance will support our decision-making throughout the year if and when we encounter changing circumstances.

To be certain, we will close campus and switch to 100% remote learning (either long-term or short-term) if Massachusetts’ Governor Baker executes a State of Emergency executive order closing campuses throughout the Commonwealth.  This would be a similar situation as experienced this past spring.  Most notably, if there is an order universally closing public school campuses around the state, CH-CH would follow said order and close our 42-acre independent school campus while pivoting to a 100% remote learning model.

Regardless of what the weekly, local, town-based COVID-19 metrics from the MDPH determine, we may be required to close the CH-CH campus if an impactful percentage of our full-time, on-campus teachers are unable to instruct due to COVID-19 related monitoring/illness.  To note, this is not necessarily due to the actual COVID-19 disease, but rather related monitoring or other illness that prevents our faculty from teaching, even remotely.  We suspect that there will be occasions when teaching faculty will need to be quarantined at home but still be able to remotely instruct their classes.

In regards to our on-campus, in-person student body, if 25% of our on-campus students are out due to COVID-19 related monitoring/illness, we will plan to close campus on a short-term basis.  Again, this is not necessarily the COVID-19 disease but, rather, a monitoring and quarantining situation for observation purposes and/or actual illness.  Similar to our teaching faculty, it would be our hope and expectation that students quarantining at home will still be able to engage in remote learning unless their illness prevented them from such learning.  As such, we do expect students needing to pivot from on campus to remote learning, and back again, during the upcoming school year.  A student’s return to campus will be arranged in concert with health approval from the CH-CH Health Office.

To be clear, there is not an exact predetermined number of positive COVID-19 cases within the CH-CH community that would force a school closure.  There is simply no current guidance concerning this metric because it is highly contextual for each particular school community.  With one case, the School will seriously consider the possibility of closure, but one case alone may not necessitate closure.  Much would depend on what our contract tracing protocols, procedures and outcomes reveal.  CH-CH would be in close communication with the Waltham Health Department to secure additional health guidance and determine the most appropriate course of action for the School to pursue.

Related, the Magnus Mobile v2 app will provide access to the Daily Parent Screening/Attestation feature for families to conduct student health screenings.  It will be critically important to each member of the on-campus learning community each day.  We expect that before community members arrive to campus (or walkabout campus, if they are faculty/staff campus residents), they will engage in a quick COVID-19 symptom self-assessment using this mobile app. Download on Apple iOS or Download on Android

This self-assessment will become a habitual part of our daily regimen before school each day.  It will allow the School to track the general well-being of the campus community.  Earlier this week, the CH-CH Health Office released guidance to community members on securing and using this mobile app.  Click HERE for guidance on how to download and set-up your credentials for the Magnus Mobile v2 app.

Role of Families

These are extraordinary times, and we believe it is critical to provide flexibility to our families for the upcoming school year. Students who are unable to come to campus at the start of Fall Trimester or elect to study remotely from home will be allowed to do so. We stand ready to support any student who must join us remotely for a shorter or longer period of time during the 2020-2021 academic year. Non-local boarding students may also opt-in to our emerging Host Family Program in order to attend classes in-person on campus. Families will need to notify the School of their schooling intent by August 14, 2020 using this “CH-CH Return to Learning” response form.

Within this response form, families will discover the following assumption of risk statement that is meant to highlight the increased risks associated with return to campus schooling in the fall.  We ask families to acknowledge this risk therein.

By returning to campus, students and families accept the risk that despite their best efforts and those of the School they may become infected with the virus known as COVID-19. The School is committed to reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus, but that risk cannot be eliminated entirely. 
 
Some of these health and safety protocols include, but are not limited to, the outlined community expectations and explanations described in the next section of this Plan:
  • Follow Federal, State, and Local Orders
  • Commit to COVID-19 Testing and Notification
  • Stay Home if Showing Symptoms
  • Stay Home if Exposed
  • Adhere to Travel Restrictions
  • Commit to Temperature Checking
  • Participate in Required Face Covering
  • Practice Frequent Personal Hygiene and Hand Sanitizing
  • Limit Personal Items on Campus
  • Complete Medical Forms and Emergency Contacts
While there is no way to guarantee that we can keep anyone safe from the COVID-19 virus or any other harm, compliance with these health and safety measures will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and help us respond more effectively when cases occur. If we all work together to stay healthy, it increases our likelihood that we can remain on campus.

We are asking students, parents, and guardians to acknowledge that they play a vital role in maintaining safety on campus. The number one safety measure is to keep a student home if they have any symptoms related to COVID-19. We want to work with families to support their student’s adherence to safety measures while they are on campus, as well as at home. To this end, we will be asking all students to take The 2020-21 Charger Pledge as outlined further below.  It’s an additional measure of commitment by students to be safe, sound community members while on campus. To be clear, all students must at all times wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and regularly wash and sanitize their hands while on campus. A student’s inability to adhere to these requirements will result in prohibiting on-campus access and, therefore, require the student to engage in distance learning at CH-CH.

To support this effort, prior to the start of school, the CH-CH health office will provide further information regarding the following to help transition students to a COVID-safe campus:
  • Provide an updated quarantine/isolation guideline by student location
  • Provide a list of symptoms to be aware of and monitor
  • Provide detailed directions on how to operate the Magnus Daily Parent Screening/Attestation Mobile App 
  • Provide a list of local testing sites that can be contacted to schedule a COVID-19 test; at this time, the School is still determining the shape and scope of on-campus testing this fall

We understand that there are families with higher risk members in their households. As a community that prioritizes health and safety, we must all do our part to adhere to state health recommendations and regulations to control transmission and potential future outbreaks. Moreover, there may be times when we ask families to comply with broader safety measures, and we greatly appreciate your cooperation in this regard.

Families with questions, feedback, and suggestions should reach out to the School. We are eager to listen to and help each family navigate any concerns they may have. As a reminder and resource, we created the documentWho to go to for what. This highlights the CH-CH student and support services that are here to help answer questions you might have.

Community Expectations

All members of the Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall community have a shared responsibility to prevent the spread of illness when they are aware or suspect that they have contracted a communicable disease.

It is imperative that all members of our school community remain committed to the safety policies and procedures listed in this and future communications to help keep students, staff, and faculty safe. By enrolling your student at CH-CH, you agree to the following requirements:

List of 10 items.

  • Follow Federal, State, and Local Orders

    All families are expected to adhere to the directives of applicable federal, state, and local government health departments, including the CDC and MDPH, regarding social distancing in public and other measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 Testing and Notification

    If your student or someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, you must notify the CH-CH Health Center nurse, Ashley Jones (ajones@chch.org or 781-314-0826), as soon as possible. At this time, the School is still determining the shape and scope of on-campus testing this fall.
  • Stay Home if Showing Symptoms

    If your student is showing symptoms, you are expected to keep them home from school. To promote this behavior, we will take a more flexible approach to our attendance policies for classes and co-curricular activities during the pandemic.  Necessary policy changes, such as attendance, will be released with an updated Community Handbook at the start of the School year.
  • Stay Home if Exposed

    If anyone in your household has been notified by the MDPH that they were in contact with an individual infected with COVID-19, you are asked to notify the Health Center. Based on the circumstance, you may be asked to keep your child home from school for 14 days. During this time, your student will be able to continue classes via distance learning.
  • Travel

    Please avoid unnecessary travel. Following Governor Baker’s travel restrictions as of August 1st, if your student has traveled outside of the United States or New England (RI excluded), New York, New Jersey and/or Hawaii within two weeks of the start of the school year, you are required to notify the School and keep your child home inside these designated states for 14 days prior to campus arrival or take and provide a negative COVID-19 test result during a 72-hour waiting period. If anyone in your student’s household has traveled outside this region and has tested positive for COVID-19, you must also keep your student at home for 14 days. Your student will be able to engage in classes via distance learning.
  • Temperature Checking

    The School will check temperatures of students as necessary and needed. If your student presents with a temperature that is higher than 100.0’F, your child will need to be sent home.  All students should have their temperatures checked at home; these shall be recorded by students in the Magnus app each morning.
  • Face Coverings

    Students are required to wear face coverings that cover the mouth and nose at all times on campus. Teach your student how to properly use and remove a face covering or mask. If using fabric masks, ensure that your student’s mask is cleaned regularly. Face coverings will be available in the School Store for purchase, should a student need one. There will also be free, disposable masks available through the Machen Health Center.
  • Hygiene

    Practice and reinforce good hygiene practices at home. In particular, the importance of frequent hand washing and hand sanitization cannot be overemphasized. The School will be placing additional hand sanitizing stations in buildings on campus.
  • Students’ Personal Items

    Limit the items your student brings onto campus each day. Students should avoid sharing food, supplies, and other items with other students.
  • Medical Forms; Emergency Contacts

    Parents and guardians must complete and submit all required student medical forms via Magnus prior to the first day of school. Parents and guardians must be prepared to pick-up ill students from CH-CH soon after receiving a call from the School if the student presents with a higher than 100°F temperature or becomes ill during the school day. Families will be expected to pick-up by academic day’s end.

Key Health & Safety Requirements and Updates for Massachusetts Schools

The MDPH and DESE issued a joint memo on August 18, 2020 providing refinements and updates to previously released guidance, with a particular focus on protocols for responding to COVID-19 scenarios in school, on the bus, or in community settings.  These refinements and updates were the result of questions concerning the practical implementation of both DESE and MDPH guidance, as well as from evolving medical and scientific findings related to COVID-19.   Please note that DESE and MDPH intend to collaborate throughout the school year to conduct periodic reviews of guidance for schools and issue additional updates as necessary.  CH-CH will review updated guidance and share with our school community when appropriate and/or necessary.

List of 9 items.

  • Definition of a close contact

    If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, their close contacts will be defined as only those who have been within six (6) feet of distance of the individual for at least 15 minutes, while the person was infectious.  The infectious period begins two (2) days prior to symptom onset.  If someone is asymptomatic, the infectious period is considered to begin two (2) days prior to the collection of their positive test.
  • Policy of when a close contact may return to school

    All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result.  After further consultation with the medical community, MDPH and DESE updated this guidance as the virus can cause illness from 2-14 days after exposure and even asymptomatic individuals can transmit the virus.  Going forward, even if an individual identified as a close contact receives a negative test result, they must continue to self-quarantine for the full 14 days as the virus may take up to 14 days to cause illness.
  • Policy of when a student/staff person may return to school after COVID-19 symptoms

    If a student or staff member has COVID-19-like symptoms, they may return to school after they have tested negative for COVID-19, have improvement in symptoms, and have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.  If a provider makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may return to school based on the recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g., influenza or strep pharyngitis).

    If a student or staff member presents COVID-19-like symptoms and chooses not to be tested, they may return to school 10 days from start of symptoms, as long as their symptoms have improved and they have been without fever for at least 24 hours prior to their return to school without the use of fever reducing medication.
  • Definition of COVID-19 related fever

    Over the summer, the threshold for a COVID-19 related fever by the CDC has been updated from greater than 100.4 ̊F to greater than 100.0 ̊F.  As a result, going forward, a fever as a COVID-19 symptom will be defined as 100.0 ̊F or higher.
  • Students wearing masks

    Masks or face coverings are among the most critical components to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.  Students are required to wear a mask/face covering that covers their nose and mouth at all times, with the exception of meals and mask breaks.  Even if students are spaced six (6) feet apart in classrooms, the use of masks is still required unless students are eating lunch or taking a mask break.
  • Physical distancing guidelines

    Physical distancing is a critical tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The CDC and MDPH recommend six (6) feet of distance between individuals.  The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend a minimum of three (3) feet of distance.  DESE recommends that districts aim for six (6) feet of distance where feasible.  When six (6) feet is not feasible, three (3) feet is an acceptable minimum as long as staff and students wear masks covering the nose and mouth at all times.  Please note that decisions to apply a three (3) feet minimum will likely increase the number of close contacts associated with the occurrence of a case.
  • Immunizations required in all models of learning

    Previously released guidance emphasized the importance of maintaining school immunization requirements and obtaining the flu vaccine as students return to in-person school.  This is equally important for students who are enrolled in remote or hybrid schooling models, like CH-CH.  Immunization requirements must be met in all models of learning.  CH-CH will be following the recent executive order from the Governor and MDPH requiring all students to receive a flu vaccine before the end of the calendar year.  CH-CH will be conducting a school-wide flu clinic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, and all faculty, staff and students will be expected to participate.  More information will be coming out from the CH-CH Health Office on this.
  • Medical waiting room

    As noted in previous DESE guidance, schools must establish a separate room for students exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or who may have learned about a positive test result while at school, while waiting to be picked up by a family member.  At CH-CH, this space will be Allen House (near Peebles and the Barn), and this space must and will be supervised when students are in the space and relatively isolated.  If more than one student needs to share the same space at a time, each student will be at least six (6) feet apart and wearing a surgical mask (non-N95 and non-cloth) while in Allen House.

    If a student does not already have a surgical mask, the School will provide one.  CH-CH will be equipping our health staff with proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when involved with supervision of the waiting room.
  • Supporting the safe application of hand sanitizer

    Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the best practice.  However, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol should be substituted when handwashing is not available.  Hand sanitizer stations will be set up where school staff are typically present, such as common areas, hallways, and classrooms.

The Charger Pledge

Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall’s mission as a college preparatory, day and boarding school is to embrace differences in learning style and culture in a richly diverse and supportive community. We challenge our students to realize their individual potential, experience academic success, and develop moral strength and personal integrity.

At the heart of a CH-CH experience lies the development of engaging passions, demonstrating personal pride, securing respect, and establishing profound responsibility for one another.

As we prepare to confront the challenges associated with navigating our school year during this global health pandemic, we are reminded that we always do our best, we look out for each other, and we take pride in the success of ourselves and our school.

Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. Take care of your place in the world.

To this end, we ask all CH-CH community members to commit to a new pledge entering the 2020-21 school year.

The 2020-21 Charger Pledge - “I will…”

  • complete the required health protocol training sessions at the beginning of the school year.
  • quarantine for two weeks before starting the school year if traveling outside the United States or New England (RI excluded), New York, New Jersey and/or Hawaii.
  • record and report daily symptoms through the Magnus mobile app.
  • stay home or immediately report to the Health Center if I’m not feeling well.
  • isolate and self-quarantine (per CDC and MDPH guidelines).
  • maintain appropriate physical distancing.
  • wear an appropriate face covering at all times on campus except for teacher-directed outdoor mask break times or while dining.
  • wash my hands frequently.
  • participate in COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, as required by the School.
  • be receptive and agreeable to safety reminders and suggestions.
  • be attentive and helpful to anyone in need of support or assistance while maintaining proper social distance.

Health Protocols and Planning

During our time together on campus, we will follow health and safety protocols that for many have already become a way of life, a social norm. We will practice physical distancing throughout campus, and face coverings will be an important foundational protocol utilized by all community members. Frequent hand-washing will be important, and hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout campus. We are hoping to provide a COVID-19 testing protocol that will have students, faculty, and staff tested upon their arrival to campus if they do not possess documentation of a negative test result within a 72-hour time frame before campus arrival. The shape, scope and frequency of ongoing campus testing is yet to be determined for the fall. More to come on this as our research of options and planning continues.

Daily symptom checks will be standard practice for all members of the community, and rigorous disinfection and cleaning protocols will be applied throughout campus. To support these new initiatives, we are identifying medical professionals and dedicating a facility (Allen House) to screen and, if necessary, support students who may need to be isolated or quarantined until they can be picked up from campus.

To be clear, the health and safety of our community is our highest priority. The following is a list of additional safety measures that we are planning to put in place beyond our previous notations:

Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting
Additional custodial services will be available to clean high-traffic areas and bathrooms, as well as high touch surfaces, multiple times during the day. In addition, all classrooms will be supplied with CDC-recommended virucidal cleaner that is environmentally safe to use throughout the day to wipe shared surfaces (e.g. table tops, seating) and dining areas. This disinfectant will also be used to wipe down surfaces for shared equipment.

Signage
One change students will notice at the start of school is the new signage around campus. From reminders about safe hygiene practices to floor markers for proper physical distancing, the signage being implemented will help to create a healthier campus community for all.

Physical distancing
Classrooms will be set up to optimize physical distancing, adhering to and more often exceeding DESE guidelines of three feet separations, with the additional precaution of face coverings and routine hand hygiene and sanitation practices.  We will also aim to stagger class transitions.

Ventilation
Working with HVAC consultants, our Buildings and Grounds team is upgrading the air filtration systems across campus and increasing the outdoor air flow intake of our modern campus buildings that contain full HVAC systems. We will ensure that our HVAC systems are properly cleaned and will aim to minimize air recirculation. We are also installing some HEPA air scrubbers, as well. Furthermore, we will require classroom windows and doors to be open whenever possible, particularly in our older buildings without air conditioning systems.

Bathrooms
We are currently aiming to temporarily retrofit our impacted bathrooms with disposable towel dispensers, as hand dryers increase the flow of air particles in the bathroom. We are also aiming at installing touchless technology, where we can, for hand soap and paper towel dispensers.

Class sizes
Class schedules, as well as building and room assignments, have been modified to reduce the number of other students each individual will come into closer contact with during a day. Additional supervision and coordination of student movement will help reduce both transmission risk and the need to quarantine exposed students in the event of an infected person being on campus. With the addition of Atwood and the Barn as full academic use buildings, CH-CH has been able to successfully reassign classes to appropriate-sized classrooms based on class roster sizes.

Supervision and coordinated movement on campus
Reducing the number of sick people on campus through a well enforced sick policy, as well as reducing the number of other individuals each student will encounter in a given week or day, greatly reduces the likelihood of exposure or transmission of COVID-19 to students on campus. This entails more supervision throughout the school day to reduce the mixing of students and necessitates stricter timeframes and rules for when and where students can gather on campus. In addition to orienting students and families to these new rules for movement on campus, staff will serve as safety monitors posted in different areas of campus, and floor decals will be installed in particular higher-traffic areas of campus, such as the Charger Cafe, that will need circulation pattern guidance.


The School is also acquiring reopening guidance from Environmental Health & Engineering (EH&E). In conjunction with eighteen other area schools, we have commissioned a re-opening report from EH&E that will help us develop a comprehensive risk management plan for re-opening. That work is nearly complete and we expect the final report to be released on August 10th. Our mid-August letter will certainly highlight further protocols we will embrace as a result of this guidance, such as the frequency of on-campus testing this fall.

Furthermore, beyond this Initial Return to Campus Plan, we have launched a dedicated resource page on the CH-CH website. It reveals the working plan that provides context to our approach in reopening campus. Some specific, additional measures that the School is taking to better support emerging health protocols:
  • Opening a second health center (Allen House) for quarantine needs. With the re-opening of the Barn and our visual and performing arts center this past spring, we will be repurposing the vacant Allen House (formerly used as our temporary Barn construction office) to a quarantine center, as necessary and needed, in 2020-21.
  • Acquiring additional PPE and cleaning supplies. In accordance with many of the relevant Massachusetts DESE guidelines issued on June 25th, July 22nd, and again on July 24th, we have begun to acquire the recommended supplies of masks, gloves, and other types of PPE, as well as the needed amount of cleaning equipment and solutions, including hand sanitizing stations. To note, all students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear face coverings and follow hand-cleansing protocols while on campus during the 2020-21 school year. Additionally, we have also acquired three electro-static cleaning machines for use throughout campus.
  • Beyond our students, faculty, and staff, limiting visitors to campus. When we re-open this fall, we will be limiting unnecessary visitors and asking approved visitors to undergo the same health screening process as our community members prior to entering campus.

Environmental Health & Engineering (EH&E) Report Guidance

On Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc. (EH&E) released a report: Independent Day Schools of Greater Boston COVID-19 Reentry Guidance.  It represents a collaborative enterprise involving 18 Boston-area independent schools and a team from EH&E over the past two months.  The report offers guidance regarding current school practice considerations addressing COVID-19.  Both strategies and concepts are shared regarding best practices for independent school operations.  These were generated from information from publicly available resources, including public and private entities, nongovernmental organizations, professional associations, as well as based on the knowledge and combined expertise of the participating independent schools.

The guide provides educational materials for school administrators to reduce potential exposures to and spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19 when resuming on-campus operations and instruction.  The report has been developed considering health and safety recommendations and ongoing monitoring efforts stated by DESE, MDPH, and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  CH-CH will use this guidance as another key resource in preparing to open our campus to students, faculty, and staff on Wednesday, September 9th.

Additionally, the School is carefully considering and implementing a variety of EH&E guidance beyond noted protocols in the Initial Return to Campus Plan concerning communications, health and wellness, cleaning and disinfection, ventilation and plumbing, dining services, academics and classrooms, performing arts and music, athletics and co-curricular activities, and external operations and advance procurement. It is our intent to provide the safest teaching and learning environment that we can, following very specific guidance designed for independent day schools here in Massachusetts.  You can see some of these protocol and guidance documents in subsequent sections of this document.

Academic Program Planning

We are confident that our collective spring experience and steady summer planning will help us in the fall, regardless of the situation. Moreover, our commitment to positive relationships and fostering empathy is, without a doubt, a key element of success as we prepare to take on a fall trimester unlike any we have ever experienced. Preparing for teaching and learning this fall continues to be a tremendous challenge, but one that our faculty and staff are taking on with competence and confidence.

  • Increasing teaching and learning space. With the re-opening of our Visual and Performing Arts Center this past spring, we will be reassigning Atwood (formerly used as our temporary visual arts space) to create additional classrooms in 2020-21. We will also be moving into non-traditional classroom spaces (Learning Commons, Barn Theater) for larger sections and utilizing outdoor classroom spaces when the weather allows.
  • Re-imaging classes. Program Directors Kelly Walsh and Ben Riggs have been diligently working on scheduling classes, balancing class sizes, adding classrooms, and assigning rooms that will allow us to meet, and typically exceed, the guidelines issued by DESE regarding physical distancing in classrooms.
  • Adding technology. As we continue to plan for our hybrid learning model, we have ordered many Swivl C3 units (www.swivl.com) that will allow teachers to more easily capture lectures and classroom activities for students engaged in off-campus learning.
  • Developing a hybrid teaching and learning model. Understanding that CH-CH will need to be flexible and nimble to best support the learning needs of our students, the School prepares for on-campus, in-person teaching and learning while, at the same time, supporting a “live” synchronous distance learning option for those students who cannot participate in on-campus learning. These students may be non-local domestic and/or international boarding students not participating in our emerging Host Family Program, students with compromised health situations in their households, students who are quarantining at home for a period of time, and/or students and families who are uncomfortable with in-person learning.

Residential Life, Student Life & Co-Curricular Programming

A big part of the CH-CH experience is the joy that comes from being able to pursue one’s passions and to discover new interests by participating in a variety of campus-based activities. We will need to adjust how we make that possible for students, but we are already exploring new and innovative ways to deliver on that promise. Some clubs will meet online, others may meet in person and virtually with proper physical distancing. Our faculty in the arts are imagining new ways to engage our musicians, thespians, dancers and visual artists to allow for ongoing training, as well as alternative performances and shows. Affinity groups will be active. The newly released Strategic Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan will blossom and both nurture and evolve our programming. Community service, student-led clubs, and so many other activities will discover new ways of meeting. We stand ready to support these efforts while following our health and safety protocols.

On the athletic front, our Director of Athletics, Lori White, continues to engage in conversations with our peer schools, athletic league officials and, of course, medical professionals to recently arrive at our apologetic determination that interscholastic competition cannot take place this fall. We will, however, aim to provide our fall athletes with a fully integrated program of skill development and conditioning if they wish to pursue advancement in a designated sport. Our athletic facilities will be available for modified use and will follow health and safety protocols.

We also want to be clear that while we are easing back into life on campus, we fully expect and encourage students to be active and mobile throughout campus. We are a community that thrives on connections. Students will be able to move around campus freely but will be expected to follow physical distancing and face-covering requirements. Yes, life may feel different at first, but once we all adjust to the new behavioral norms, so much of our daily lives will feel familiar.

  • Delaying the opening of our residential life program. Designing a safe and secure residential life program has been one of our toughest challenges with students arriving from all over the world and then living 24/7 in such close proximity with numerous residential faculty and staff members and their own families. As such, we do not plan on opening our dormitories to house boarding students at the start of the academic year. It is imperative for CH-CH to de-densify campus as best we can to begin the year. We are committed to ongoing assessment of the residential life situation and possibilities. We are hopeful that we may be able to open the dormitories to student-living later in the school year. While this may be in January, after Winter Break, it is more probable to occur after Spring Break in late-March. There is still much to be determined in how and when we will be rolling out our boarding program. We ask for patience as we continue to collect appropriately authoritative residential life program guidance in the weeks ahead.
  • Building community. We are currently planning ways to continue our commitment to socio-emotional learning and community-building. Much of this work will take place in our advisory groups, as we think smaller group meetings make more sense right now.
  • Re-imagining co-curricular programming. Our fall co-curricular program will be significantly modified. Many of our sports cannot run with the current guidelines and, indeed, the Massachusetts Bay Independent League (MBIL) and Independent Girls’ Conference (IGC) have both canceled fall interscholastic athletic competition. We will continue to have after-school co-curricular activities five days per week, and these will be optional pursuits for our students. Students opting out of co-curricular programming will be asked to depart campus by 3:30pm. We will carefully follow health and safety guidelines to create these programs. Lori White will be reaching out to families next week with directions and a link to a sign-up form to select fall co-curricular interests.

Food Service

We will provide new and innovative ways for community members to enjoy a full range of meal choices at lunch while also following new safety protocols. There will be no dinner service while the boarding program is closed. Adjustments to how we gather for lunchtime meals include reconfiguring existing spaces (both the Charger Cafe and Clements Room) and allowing community members to eat their meals elsewhere on campus, such as offices, conference rooms, common rooms and outside (weather dependent). We will be adding a third lunch period to the daily schedule to aid in this objective. Students will pick up their food and have the choice to eat in the socially distanced seating areas of the Charger Cafe, Clements Room, or other self-selected safe space. As always, the Flik Independent Dining professionals will fully accommodate all specific dietary needs.
  • Flik and CH-CH have partnered to ensure a safe return to the Charger Cafe this fall. Following the MDPH guidelines, the Charger Cafe protocols for dining have been altered to ensure a safe eating environment.
  • All food will be served or pre-packaged to limit contact; there will be no self-service until further notice. Menus will be limited to items that can be easily served and pre-packaged. We will continue to provide daily accommodations to students with allergies.
  • Breakfast service will be limited, and dinner service will be eliminated, to begin the school year. Moreover, there will be no weekend meal service.
  • Prior to Charger Cafe entry, all will be required to sanitize their hands and will follow an outlined circulation pattern to work their way through the grab-n-go meal system.
  • Seating will be limited in the Charger Cafe in order to allow for social distancing of 6’ or more while eating. Other campus areas will be set to provide students additional places to enjoy their meals with safe distancing.
  • All Flik associates will be required to wear PPE, complete daily health screenings and follow social distancing rules when possible.

Communication

CH-CH will continue to have multiple points of contact throughout the end of summer, outlining our planning efforts and directions concerning the 2020-21 school year. Full community communications will be sent on:
These will be followed by constituent-based follow-up opportunities for those seeking further information from the School's leadership team about our planning work. Zoom follow-up meeting invitations for the listed times will be sent out separately to the various constituent groups:

August 11, 8-9pm - Zoom with Boarding Families regarding the Host Family Program

August 18, 9-10am
- Zoom with International Families and the Chinese Parents’ Association

August 19, 8-9am
- Zoom with Domestic Families

August 19, 9-10am
- Zoom with the Student Body

August 20, 9-10am
- Zoom with the Faculty and Staff

September 7, 11AM-1:30PM - On-Campus COVID-19 Testing. Sign-Up for Testing on the CH-CH Campus on 9/7 (Please Complete by 9/1)
Consent for School Related COVID-19 Testing of Minor
CH-CH COVID-19 Release of Information

Mid-September
- Follow-up, constituent-based open forums on Zoom

Mid-October
- Follow-up, constituent-based open forums on Zoom

We will also be updating our re-opening webpage (www.chch.org/reopen) with relevant news and resources for the community.

Before the beginning of the school year, we will release a series of videos that will give families a look at the reopening plans, and will continue to update the community throughout the school-year with our weekly e-newsletter.

What’s Next & Who to Contact

Nothing brings more energy and positivity to this campus than the presence of our remarkable students. All of us — students and adults alike — will have a shared responsibility to adhere to our new safety protocols and do our part to protect our community as much as possible. I am confident that our students and faculty will rise to the occasion as we aim to fulfill the daunting task of teaching the way students learn, and that these adjustments shall not diminish the power that comes from being together. We hope to enjoy the very best of our foundational CORE at CH-CH:
  • engaging in our Curriculum with curiosity and creativity
  • nurturing Opportunities for students and educators to pursue their passions
  • developing Relationships in learning and living
  • practicing Empathy toward fellow community members and the broader world
So, what's next? 

Please frequent our re-opening webpage (www.chch.org/reopen) with relevant news and resources for the community.  This resource page will be updated regularly.

And while you are there, you can explore some of the most commonly asked questions about our opening-of-school plan and our responses to those questions.  These are identified as
FAQs (frequently asked questions).

All families are asked to acknowledge the heightened levels of risk involved with on-campus schooling during the 2020-21 academic year. This assumption of risk acknowledgement is included with the response form that we are asking families to complete in regard to their decision to engage in on-campus or distance learning to begin the school year, as well as interest in the Host Family Program.  Again, we wish to secure family responses by August 14, 2020.
 
Over the next two weeks, we will be sending out further follow-up communications, including additional details about at-home COVID-19 testing, orientation activities for new students, and updates about campus arrivals, as well as other important opening-of-school details. We thank you for your careful attention to these communications.

Finally, as a reminder and resource, we again share the document “Who to go to for what”. This highlights the CH-CH faculty and staff that are here to help answer questions you might have. Please reach out to us as needed. We are here to serve and support you.

CH-CH Student and Support Services

Grade Level Program Directors
9th & 10th: Kelly Walsh kwalsh@chch.org or 781-314-0844 
11th & 12th: Ben Riggs briggs@chch.org or 781-314-0892

Class Deans
9th: Kasey American Horse kamericanhorse@chch.org
10th: Jacquie MacDonald jmacdonald@chch.org
11th: Cassandra Dinkel cdinkel@chch.org
12th: Sarah Orban sorban@chch.org

Director of Residential Life
Lori White lwhite@chch.org or 781-314-0850 

Director of Health Services
Kenna Weber kweber@chch.org or 781-314-0825

School Nurse/Machen Health Center
Ashley Jones ajones@chch.org or 781-314-0826 

School Counselor
Cory McDinger cmcdinger@chch.org or 781-314-0824

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Nikki Turpin nturpin@chch.org

Director of Technology
Jon Andruchow jandruchow@chch.org

Executive Assistant for School Leadership
Stephanie Daniels sdaniels@chch.org or 781-314-0800

Attendance Line
(Notify CH-CH of student tardiness/absence): 781-314-0900 

*Please note that phone numbers are on-campus office numbers. Individuals are able to remotely collect messages.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following Frequently Asked Questions are grouped into the five primary areas of student experience in our decision-making process:

FAQs on Academics

List of 13 items.

  • How will remote learning work in the hybrid model?

    When we have campus open, with in-person classes, our remote learning will be synchronous and students will be following the same daily academic schedule. Some teachers will be available in the evening to assist remote learners as they move through the work.
  • When will virtual classes be held within the hybrid model?

    The hybrid system will allow for “live” synchronous classes for our remote learners. Distance learning students will be attending live classes following the same academic day schedule as on-campus learners. We will have some evening tutorial sessions available for remote learners to connect with educators.
  • How long will it take to move to virtual learning if the School is required to close campus?

    It should not take long (a matter of a couple days, perhaps) to pivot to school-wide distance learning should the need dictate this paradigm change. With 100% faculty/staff retention, and having delivered remote learning this past spring, it will be a fast change for our teachers and they understand that they must be ready to shift when/if the time calls for it.
  • How will the Skills and Academic Support (SAS) program run?

    We are fortunate to have a variety of rooms and spaces to keep the SAS program running. We will keep the distancing guidelines while still having in-person SAS classes. It will look different; it will be physically distanced.
  • Would you consider making evening tutoring sessions required?

    Yes, we would ask some remote learners to attend these, but we would be flexible on individual circumstances. All 9th and 10th grade students will have required office hours during the academic day. It can be seen as flex time for students that need to connect with content area teachers.
  • Are you considering the possibility of holding some classes outside during early fall?

    We have internally promoted the concept of "Campus as Classroom" for years, and have continued to encourage teachers to bring the classroom outside, including the creation of several outdoor teaching spaces. Now is a great time to get more use from these already existing spaces. We are lucky to have a lot of room on the 42 acres of campus to spread out our teaching-learning environs.
  • Will there be any changes to the school calendar?

    We have been closely monitoring what some of our peer schools are doing in this area. We have decided that pushing the school year forward will be problematic. Our plan is to stay with our current academic calendar at this time.
  • Is there a plan to end fall on-campus learning early, at Thanksgiving Break, and wait until after Winter Break in January to return the community to on-campus learning?

    We are considering this as a possibility. We will inform our community as soon as possible about this. We want to wait and see the development of the fall. This is a potential step. As we hit cold/flu season, along with the contact tracing that we will be doing, it may be difficult to manage with other illnesses afoot. As such, it may necessitate this calendar adjustment.
  • Can there still be on-campus summer sessions for College Boot Camp?

    Our College Boot Camp is part of our college counseling program for rising seniors. We have a large senior class this year, and the two scheduled groups are both big. Director of College Counseling Brooke Fincke and Assistant Head Josh Bubar have decided that it is best and safest to run Boot Camp virtually this year since we do not wish for students to be gathering on campus until after our initial regimen of school-wide COVID-19 testing on September 7th.
  • How do we make sure a student that is quiet in class will be able to speak up while wearing a face covering?

    One of the things we are looking at is how to re-imagine small group work. We are currently working on the ways we will continue building the benefits to any model we move forward with, including how to increase class participation both for in-person and remote learning.
  • How are you looking after the work/life balance of our teachers?

    We aim to make the work environment as safe as possible for our educators. We strive to be mindful of their work/life balance and to remove burdens from their workload, when we can, as we add required new elements. Our CH-CH educators are consummate professionals and will strive to provide the best possible educational experience possible given the realities at hand.
  • Why are DESE and the medical community recommending in-person learning, rather than move to 100% remote learning?

    There is clear consensus from DESE’s Return-to-School Working Group, infectious disease physicians, pediatricians, and other public health experts that with the low transmission rates of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, in-person learning is the preferred model. While we were satisfied with many aspects of CH-CH’s remote learning model last spring, there is no substitute for in-person instruction when it comes to the quality of students’ academic learning. In-person school plays an equally important role in supporting students’ social-emotional needs, including their mental and physical health, and mitigating the impacts of trauma.
  • What are the campus closure metrics for when the school will decide to close campus to in-person learning due to COVID-19 outbreaks in the CH-CH school community?

    CH-CH will switch to 100% remote learning (either long-term or short-term) when:
    • Massachusetts public schools close per order of Governor Baker
    • An impactful percentage of our full-time, on-campus teachers are unable to instruct due to COVID-19 related monitoring/illness
    • 25% of the on-campus student body are out due to COVID-19 related monitoring/illness

FAQs on Residential Life

List of 2 items.

  • Will there be boarding?

    In reviewing guidelines from the Governor’s office and DESE in Massachusetts, at this point we do not believe we can safely operate our boarding program to begin the academic year. We will continue to assess the campus environs vis-a-vis ongoing guidance from the Commonwealth concerning residential safety measures. If we can safely open our dormitories to students later in the academic year, we will.
  • What will the emerging Host Family Program look like?

    At this time, a task force continues to work on the development and details of the Host Family Program.  This task force includes Assistant Head of School Josh Bubar (jbubar@chch.org), Director of Residential Life Lori White (lwhite@chch.org), Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Nikki Turpin (nturpin@chch.org), Director of International Programs Steven Christenson (schristenson@chch.org), Director of Enrollment Management Lisa Pelrine (lpelrine@chch.org), Assistant Director of Admissions and International Student Coordinator Christina Leonelli (cleonelli@chch.org), and Chief Financial Officer Gwen Pojasek (gpojasek@chch.org).

    The purpose of the 2020-21 Charger Host Family Program is to match non-local boarding students with a local CH-CH day family who volunteers to temporarily care for them and provide that student an opportunity to attend classes in-person on campus.  It is our hope that we will have as many host families necessary to fulfill the needs of our hosted students.  We cannot guarantee that this will be the case, and for that reason we are encouraging families to seriously consider the gift of becoming a host family to our non-local boarding students in need.  It can be a true difference-maker in a student’s life, and we believe it can be an enriching experience for all involved.

    Hosted Students
     
    How to Participate
    Students who wish to live with a host family (“hosted students”) should have indicated their interest in the program on the “CH-CH Return to Learning Form” that was part of the Initial Return to Campus Plan published on August 7th.  Students wishing to be part of this program should carefully review the expectations of the program below and agree to abide by the expectations of the program and their host families for the duration of their stay.  To directly discuss participation in the program, prospective hosted students and their parents/guardians may directly contact Assistant Head Josh Bubar (jbubar@chch.org).
     
    Expectations
    Hosted students occupy a special place as cherished guests in their host family’s home.  We believe this experience will be enriching for both students and host families, and we expect that hosted students will:
    • Follow the rules and expectations as outlined in the Student Handbook
    • Follow the rules and expectations set by the Host Family
    • Wake up, get ready, and depart for school on time
    • Complete homework assignments
    • Maintain proper hygiene and follow all health and safety guidance
    • Additionally, we expect that hosted student families will:
    • Be responsible for providing alternative lodging as well as transportation if, for any reason, the hosting arrangement ends
    • Be responsible for picking up their student directly (or arranging other transportation) within 24 hours should that student test positive or become symptomatic for COVID-19
    • Be responsible for maintaining health insurance for their student
    • Understand that host families do not become legal guardians for the hosted student 
    Host Families
     
    How to Become a Host Family
    Families wishing to participate in this program should indicate their willingness on the “CH-CH Return to Learning Form” survey that was part of the Initial Return to Campus Plan published on August 7th.  Alternatively, potential host families, including CH-CH faculty and staff members, may directly contact Assistant Head Josh Bubar (jbubar@chch.org) to further discuss or declare interest.  Host families will need to participate in a school vetting process that includes:
    • Interviewing with a school representative
    • Providing a description of the household and accommodations for host student
    • Testing for COVID-19, a requirement for each member of the host family and the host student prior to commencing the stay
    Expectations
    It is an incredibly generous act for a family to open their home to another student, and the School appreciates the offer and opportunity.  It is the School’s expectation that a host family will provide the same care and support to a hosted student as they would a member of their own family.  The School will provide the host family with a $500 per hosted student stipend.  All other costs related to hosting a student should be shared between the host family and the hosted student family.  We encourage the two families to have a conversation regarding living expenses prior to the placement.  If a family is not in a position to share costs, please contact Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Financial Aid Susie Horan (shoran@chch.org) regarding additional support for living expenses.
     
    In addition, we expect that host families will:
    • Provide transportation to and from school at appropriate times
    • Provide healthy food and clean accommodations for the student(s) in your home
    • Provide appropriate study space and supervision, as needed
    • Communicate with the hosted student’s family, as necessary and/or required
    • Maintain confidentiality regarding hosted student information, where appropriate
    • Ensure that the host student completes the daily health screening
    • Care for the student for up to 24 hours in case of illness, and notify emergency responders, as necessary
    • Notify the School promptly if circumstances change regarding the hosted student
    • Maintain appropriate homeowner’s or renter’s insurance
    The Matching Process
     
    Hosted students and host families will state their intent to participate in the program.  Some may match on their own, which is encouraged.  For those that do not match on their own, the School will provide the list of host families to potentially hosted student families.
     
    Important Disclaimer
     
    Except as expressly stated, CH-CH makes no representations or warranties about the hosted student, the host family or their home.  Hosting arrangements are strictly voluntary.  They do not create a guardianship between the hosting family and the hosted student.  Hosting arrangements do not create a contract between CH-CH and either the hosted student or the host family, nor between the hosted student and the host family.  Hosting arrangements do not create any contractual or other legal obligations for CH-CH, and CH-CH expressly disclaims any such obligations.  Both the hosted student’s family and the host family agree that CH-CH shall not be held liable for any harm arising from a hosting arrangement, and both the hosted student’s family and the host family unconditionally waive and release any such claims against CH-CH to the fullest extent permitted by law.

FAQs on Student Life

List of 6 items.

  • How are you orienting new students?

    There are several ways we are orienting new students, in addition to grade-level orientation events for all students on Wednesday, September 9th. First, all new students are invited to visit campus with a parent or guardian during one of the scheduled "Meet and Greet" sessions. Please email 9th/10th Grade Program Director Kelly Walsh (kwalsh@chch.org) if you are interested in attending the August 11 or August 17 campus Meet and Greet. Second, all new students are invited to join smaller Zoom Meet & Greet sessions with their new classmates, some teachers, and current students. These are occurring between August 10th and 21st. These are being coordinated by the class deans:9th Grade Dean Kasey American Horse (kamericanhorse@chch.org); 10th Grade Dean Jacquie Macdonald (jmacdonald@chch.org); and 11th Grade Dean Cassandra Dinkel (cdinkel@chch.org).Third, we will hold an evening Zoom Meet and Greet for our new families (parents/guardians and students) on August 31st; invitations to come. And, finally, while most new families have connected with the Academic Office, new students are welcome to reach out to Program Directors Kelly Walsh (9/10th) and Ben Riggs (11/12th) to arrange time for a Zoom or phone call if they have questions about their schedules.
  • Can we host a Zoom session with students?

    Yes, we will be hosting a Zoom discussion with students on August 19th at 9:00am. This will come directly after our CH-CH Return to Campus Plan and mid-August community letter have been released.
  • How will food service look?

    Charger Cafe occupancy will be at about 30% capacity. Food will be pre-packaged “grab-n-go” meals. We are also adding a third lunch block. Students will have socially distanced spaces to eat in the Charger Cafe, Clements Room, and other self-selected safe spaces to eat, such as common rooms, conference rooms and outdoors (weather dependent).  There will be limited breakfast service, but no dinner service, to begin the school year.
  • What changes are you making in the Charger Cafe?

    As we move to a “grab-n-go” model, we are aiming to de-densify the dining space whenever and however possible. We have had a significant increase in costs, specifically in food service. We are balancing the need to make sure our students are fed and ready to learn, but also de-densifying the dining hall which is a higher risk area.
  • When students are in the Charger Cafe or in other spaces to eat, what is the space requirement?

    During meals, because masks are not worn, 6 feet of physical distancing is required. To provide adequate distancing, there will be additional dining spaces and an added lunch period to de-densify the dining hall.
  • What will the food delivery policy be on campus?

    No student-originated food orders with campus deliveries will be allowed during the day.

FAQs on Co-Curriculars

List of 2 items.

  • How will sports and co-curriculars run in the fall?

    We have decided to cancel our interscholastic athletics this fall. We will continue to have optional, after-school, co-curricular activities five days per week. We will follow health and safety guidelines to create and maintain these programs, and these could include distanced workouts, added options in the arts, and possibly some hybrid options.
  • Any chance cross-country and/or fitness & nutrition will be possible?

    Despite no interscholastic athletic competition, we will be running a number of physical co-curricular programs, including a probable running club and some forms of fitness and nutrition. Co-curricular activities will be optional in the fall for those families wishing to limit their day students time on campus.

FAQs on Health & Safety

List of 16 items.

  • How are you ensuring students that are traveling are taking proper precautions?

    For any students traveling outside of New England (RI excluded), New York, New Jersey or Hawaii within a two-week window before Labor Day, we are requiring a two-week quarantine as stated by Governor Baker’s office. This cannot be completed on-campus. If students are traveling internationally, they too will need to adhere to two-week quarantine requirements before returning to campus.

    We need to all work together to stay safe and be honest brokers concerning travel and necessary quarantines. It is impossible for us to know everything that is going on, and we need to have trust in our community.
  • What protocols will be in place to support students who need to quarantine due to exposure but are asymptomatic/healthy enough to participate in school?

    Students will be able to shift from on-campus learners to remote learners, as needed. This will allow students to continue “live” instruction in our synchronous hybrid learning model from home.
  • When, if ever, should students and staff get tested for COVID-19? Is there routine testing?

    Current MDPH guidance states that anyone who shows any COVID-19 symptoms, even if mild, should get tested. Medical experts recommend close contacts of those who test positive also get tested four to five days after their last exposure to that person. If an individual chooses not to get tested (whether they are exhibiting symptoms or are a close contact of someone who tested positive), the student or staff member will be required to remain home in self-quarantine for 14 consecutive days and until asymptomatic.
  • In what circumstances does someone need to self-quarantine (when they have been exposed but are not sick) or isolate (when they are sick)?

    Individuals are required to self-quarantine if they have been exposed to a COVID-19-positive individual and choose not to get tested. An individual who chooses not to get tested must remain in self-quarantine for 14 days from last exposure. An individual who chooses to get tested four to five days after last exposure and receives a negative test may return to school if masked. Individuals are required to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19. In these scenarios, the self-isolation period is a minimum of 10 days with at least 3 days having passed with no fever and with improvement in other symptoms.
  • The guidance states that individuals who are exposed to COVID-19-positive individuals should stay home and get tested four or five days after their last exposure. If the exposure is ongoing, what is considered the "last exposure"?

    If a student’s or staff member’s exposure to an infected individual is ongoing, then the student or staff member should stay home in self-quarantine until the infected individual is no longer considered infectious per MDPH guidance. Once the infectious period is over, the student or staff member should be tested four or five days later.
  • If/when a student goes into quarantine with COVID-19, what happens to those that they were in contact with?

    Those that were within six feet, indoors, for more than 15 minutes, are defined as “close contact”. We are required to report that out to the Waltham Board of Health. Through contact tracing, we will be reaching out to these “close contact” students and their families, noting that they have been in contact with someone that tested positive. We need families to be open and honest with us about their students demonstrating symptoms. 

    All classes will have a static seating plan, so we know where each student is, and who they are in contact with. We will ask students to quarantine for 48 hours if in “close contact” with an ill or quarantined student. If that student comes back positive, then we will look for any close contact students to have a negative test before returning to school. We are creating a flow chart, so parents will know the steps if their child is showing symptoms.
  • How will you keep high traffic areas such as bathrooms safe?

    Our campus professional cleaning company will be cleaning bathrooms multiple times a day. We are adding cleaning staff to focus on highly trafficked areas, including bathrooms. Windows will be open as often as possible, and there will be additional signage and posted sanitation guidelines. Faculty and students will be asked to sanitize when leaving and entering classrooms, as well.
  • How are you examining air handling systems for each building? Especially newer HVAC systems, like those in the new arts building?

    Our building and grounds team is currently working on this. We are following the suggestions of the HVAC associations, as well as the DESE report, Fall Reopening Facilities and Operations Guidance (July 22, 2020). Filtration and increased ventilation are the main goals. We are installing some HEPA air scrubbers, as well. Furthermore, we will require windows to be open whenever possible.
  • What kind of face coverings are we going to require?

    We are not going to require a specific type of face covering or mask. We will have some logo masks in the School Store, for purchase. We will also have some emergency masks available for students in need.  Families and students are asked to regularly clean their face coverings and masks.
  • Will the School engage in pooled testing?

    CH-CH is committing to initial COVID-19 testing to start the school year, but it will be our only mandatory testing for on-campus learners, educators, faculty/staff families and daily vendors scheduled at this time.  This baseline standard exceeds the approach many other independent day schools in the Boston area will be taking; in fact, most of our peer schools will not be testing at all.  At CH-CH, we believe beginning the school year with a full round of testing is very prudent.

    We have signed a testing contract with PhysicianOne.  They will be setting up an on-campus testing operation for Monday, September 7th (Labor Day), to conduct approximately 250 tests (again, all faculty, staff, students, and residential faculty/staff families who want to test in this manner) with a 24-hour turnaround time guarantee.  Monday’s tests allow the School to receive results prior to Wednesday’s Orientation Day, September 9th.  The estimated price is $100 per test.  While the School will absorb the expense for this initial testing regimen as applied to faculty, staff, students who receive financial assistance, and on-campus faculty/staff family members, other student family accounts will be billed for this testing.  The School will also provide this on-campus testing regimen to our daily on-campus vendors, both Flik Independent Dining and Uniclean employees, as well as all family members from our host families in the emerging Host Family Program that care to secure testing on September 7th.

    Individuals can secure their own negative COVID-19 test results within 72-hours of our school opening and present these results to our School Nurse, Ashley Jones (ajones@chch.org), as a substitute for engaging in on-campus testing on September 7th.  As of now, the state requires a PCR test, so this will be the only test we will be accepting.  All students, faculty and staff members engaging in on-campus teaching and learning this fall are required to secure a negative COVID-19 test result before the start of school.  If results are delayed, then individuals will need to remain off-campus until a negative test result can be secured and presented to our health office.
  • Will face shields be required?

    Not at this point. Teaching faculty and students are welcome to wear one, but it is not a requirement. We have joined a company in Newton to commission a report with independent schools in the Boston area. This will give us recommendations on how we can move forward with additional PPE guidance and procurement.
  • How will daily self-screening take place?

    We will require all faculty, staff, and students to use the Magnus app to conduct and report daily health screening each morning. This will be a daily symptom check and sign-off that verifies individuals as asymptomatic.
  • What is the proper handwashing technique?

    When handwashing, individuals should use soap and water to wash all surfaces of their hands for at least 20 seconds, wait for visible lather, rinse thoroughly, and dry with an individual disposable towel.
  • What is the proper hand sanitizing technique?

    Hand sanitizer should be applied to all surfaces of the hands and in sufficient quantity that it takes 20 seconds of rubbing hands together for the sanitizer to dry. Hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent ethanol or at least 70 percent isopropanol content can be used.
  • Is hand sanitizing an acceptable replacement for handwashing? Is handwashing (not hand sanitizing) necessary?

    While handwashing with soap and water is the best option, alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60 percent ethanol or at least 70 percent isopropanol) may be utilized when handwashing is not available. As has always been the case, hands should be washed whenever hands are visibly soiled and after using the bathroom.
  • What mental health supports are in place?

    For students, our Director of Health Services Kenna Weber (kweber@chch.org), and School Counselor, Cory McDinger (cmcdinger@chch.org), are both available as licensed clinical social workers. They can also assist with referrals for outside mental health resources. Specifically, for students of color (SOC), our recent Students of Color Wellness Fund was created and funded to support SOCs seeking specific mental health supports that cannot be secured at CH-CH.  Kenna Weber can assist in accessing this support.  Finally, for our faculty and staff, an Employee Assistance Program exists to provide private, off-campus, confidential counseling services.

FAQs on the Host Family Program

List of 6 items.

Additional Resources & Useful Links

The following resources provide important information about school reopening guidelines, COVID-19, health and safety alerts and updates, symptoms and testing, and guidelines for staying healthy:

Prior Communication to Families

Located 10 miles from Boston, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall is a coeducational college preparatory school that teaches the way students learn. The School welcomes students with diverse learning styles and helps them to develop self-confidence and achieve academic success through personalized, integrated learning. Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall offers 180 boarding and day students a richly diverse cultural and academic environment and opportunities to engage in the arts, athletics and community service.