Although we understand life on campus will be different with physical plant modifications, traffic patterns, required masks, and physical distancing, we remain committed to the safe return of our students so that they may once again fully engage in the incredible Tabor experience we offer here on campus. It will certainly require each of us to adhere to a new set of norms, but if we commit to the greater good and control what we can control, we will hopefully find ourselves once again celebrating together on the waterfront in June 2021!
While there remains uncertainty around how the summer will unfold with COVID-19 cases in our area, I am incredibly grateful to be working with a talented and dedicated faculty and staff committed to providing a safe and healthy on-campus experience for all our students. I thank you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to work through the many nuances of the reopening of school and I look forward to answering your questions in the upcoming weeks.
August 29: We begin to welcome students back to campus.
November 20: Thanksgiving break begins after a student’s final commitment. Thanksgiving break will take place November 21-30. We will then begin Online Distance Learning on December 1 and continue in that modality through December 18.
January 5: Students begin to arrive back to campus. The Task Force is considering a staggered return to campus after the holiday break. We will be finalizing this decision in the upcoming two weeks and will communicate the details in our next letter to families.
Per the state of Massachusetts all people traveling to or returning home to MA must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.This order went into effect Friday, June 30, but the guidance does not apply to travelers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York or New Jersey -- states that have seen a significant decline in COVID-19 cases.Tabor will require all students who reside outside of these states to quarantine for 14 days in Massachusetts before the designated arrival dates (above).We are currently discussing possible quarantine locations for students traveling to MA alone.
We will be screening all students upon their arrival on August 29, 30 or 31 and expect full transparency regarding illness, exposure and recent travel. Any student that is sick or has had an exposure to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days should not return to campus at this time. Students can expect to undergo screening on a regular basis to identify exposure as well as to enact contact tracing when necessary. We have not yet decided if we will require COVID-19 testing prior to or on the day of your return to campus, since there are many questions that still exist around the reliability of testing, what testing will be available to us, and what the state will require.
At this time, we are expecting everyone will be wearing masks throughout the day. We ask families to send their children to school with five masks, and recommend they are 3-layers thick (the current WHO guideline for best protection).
Students will also be required to wear masks and physical distance in the presence of others including in the dormitory common rooms.
We have procured in-house testing capabilities for COVID-19 in symptomatic students during the school year. We will have quarantine and isolation sites on campus for COVID-19 positive cases in addition to our typical Health Center. We have also ordered the required PPE for our Health Center staff and community.
We are very fortunate that our residential program is more familial with smaller dorms than at most other schools. These smaller dorms fit nicely within the current guidelines for bathroom facility use, numbers permitted per gathering in common spaces, and physical distancing. To that end, although there will be restrictions in place within our dormitories, at this time, we are planning to house current and incoming boarding students in their assigned singles and doubles upon arrival to campus.
Dormitory bathrooms, hallways and common rooms will be disinfected daily. Hand sanitizer stations will be installed at doorways as well. Common area and kitchenette use will be limited in each dorm. Although the school will take the primary responsibility for cleaning dorms, we will rely upon the cooperation of our residents to wash hands regularly, follow occupancy limits to restrooms, use hand sanitizer, and follow all guidelines we put in place in each house.
We are working closely with our Director of Dining Services, Mike Sirianni, as well as Flik (our dining hall service) in establishing protocols around meal times, offerings, and accommodations.More to come as decisions are finalized.
The changes we are making to our classrooms are designed to help us limit student exposure, better allow for hybrid learning for those students who cannot join us in person and facilitate a more seamless transition online should we need to move in that direction.
In more typical years, our standard student course load consists of 5 or 6 courses running simultaneously. For AY20-21, we will split our trimesters in half such that students will take three of their courses for the first “module” of the trimester and the other three in the second “module.” Doing so will allow us to offer smaller sections and limit students’ exposure to a smaller group of peers and teachers at any given time.
Our day students play an important role in our school community, and we are examining all ways in which they can fully participate in the life of our campus this fall. We are reviewing a number of spaces on campus large enough to designate as places for day students and their friends to gather in a safe way throughout the day, as well as accommodate drop off and pick up.
We do not yet fully know what restrictions we will be placing on the comings and goings to and from campus by our students and families.We are awaiting further information on how COVID-19 progresses in our state and in our area and will make decisions keeping the health and safety of our community in mind.
Our Fall 2020 Reopening Task Force is comprised of faculty and school leadership and includes representation of the academic, athletic, and student-life areas of school, as well as the Director of our Health Center. We will continue to monitor and follow all CDC guidelines as well as adhere to Governor Baker’s plan for Reopening the State of Massachusetts. Julie Przybyszewski, Director of Health Services, also remains in contact with our local and state Boards of Health.