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COVID-19 Updates and Information

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January 19, 2021

Happy new year from a very quiet Kent School! I was reflecting this morning that for the first time in my career as an educator, Martin Luther King Jr. Day passed and there were no students around to remind us of his legacy and what it means today. In the Kent School community, the celebration of Dr. King's life is just one important moment in our larger commitment to do all that we can to ensure that the "arc of the moral universe" does indeed "[bend] toward justice." I mention this as just one more reason I am looking forward to welcoming students back on February 1.

We are living day three of our shared "quiet life." During an employee town hall meeting last week, I encouraged everyone to control what we can control, which is our own behavior. Arriving on campus healthy and safe is the single most important factor in keeping our community safe for the remainder of the school year, and I thank you for your willingness to quarantine at home in advance of February 1.

As a reminder, members of the Covid Task Force are hosting a webinar for all parents tomorrow, Wednesday, January 20, at 7 pm. All parents are encouraged to attend; a summary of the meeting along with a recording of it will be emailed to all parents by the end of this week.

Sincerely,
Michael G. Hirschfeld

Student Covid Cases

 

With the School’s surveillance testing and emerging athletic-related guidance surrounding Covid, we need to know if your student has had Covid. If your student has had Covid at any point during the pandemic, even if we already know about the infection, please email the Health Center at healthcenter@kent-school.edu with the following information:

  • Date of the positive test
  • Symptoms
  • Did the student receive care from a physician either as an outpatient or in the ER or hospital?
  • Is the student fully recovered with no residual symptoms? If symptoms persist, what are they?

 

Negative Covid PCR Test Result Required to Return to Campus

 

In order to be allowed on campus on February 1, all students must have a negative Covid PCR test. The test must be performed between January 25 and January 31. A pending PCR test, an antigen test, or an antibody test will not be accepted. There will be no exceptions. Test results must be emailed to the Health Center at healthcenter@kent-school.edu or faxed to 860-927-6217. All test reports must include the student’s name and date of birth. Do not put your child on a plane, train, or in a car on February 1 without proof of a negative Covid PCR test.


More information about testing options will be included in next week’s newsletter.

 

Testing for International Travel

 

Starting January 26, all persons arriving to the U.S. on international flights will be required to have proof of a negative Covid PCR test within 72 hours of boarding their flight to the U.S. Families should watch for updated travel restrictions and requirements given the upcoming inauguration of President Biden on Jan 20. If travel restrictions change between now and February 1, we will communicate about how that will impact families. Online PCR testing resources:

  • Everlywell - patient must be 18 years or older
  • Pixel by LabCorp - patient must be 18 years or older 
  • Vault Health - there does not appear to be any age restriction but you will need a parent present if you are under 18 years old
  • Vitagene - there does not appear to be any age restriction but you will need a parent present if you are under 18 years old

Please schedule your testing to meet the U.S. travel requirements. If you enter the U.S. prior to January 26, you will be required to present a Covid PCR test that was obtained on January 25 or later.

Sign Up for Travel Buses by January 25

Email permissions@kent-school.edu to reserve a seat

 

Chaperones will meet students at 1 p.m. EST on Monday, February 1, in the following locations for a 1:30 departure to campus:

  • JFK Airport (JFK: New York) at the Lefferts Boulevard Air Train Station. Approximate travel time is 2.5 hours. The cost is $60.
  • Newark Airport (EWR: New Jersey) at baggage claim in Terminal A. Approximate travel time is 2.5 hours. The cost is $70.
  • Bradley Airport (BDL: Hartford, Connecticut) at baggage claim in Terminal A. Approximate travel time is 1.5 hours. The cost is $50.
  • Stamford Transportation Center (30 South State Street, Stamford, Connecticut). Service includes both Amtrak and Metro North trains. Approximate travel time is 1.5 hours. The cost is $50.

A negative result to a Covid PCR test performed between January 25 and January 31 and emailed to the Health Center at healthcenter@kent-school.edu or faxed to 860-927-6217 is required to board a bus. All test reports must include the student’s name and date of birth. A pending PCR test, an antigen test, or an antibody test will not be accepted. There will be no exceptions.

 

The fee is charged to the student spending account, and includes cancellations within 48 hours of the travel date.
 

Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. All reservations must be emailed to permissions@kent-school.edu by Monday, January 25. Late requests will not be accepted due to the need to verify Covid test results.

The school does not provide adult chaperones to sign unaccompanied minors in or out of airport terminals. If traveling as an unaccompanied minor, we recommend hiring a livery company to provide this service.

Local livery services are also available for families to hire for travel assistance other than travel buses. Payments and reservations must be made directly with the car company. Kent School does not book reservations.

 

Move-In Day Schedule and Logistics

To provide the safest and most efficient return to campus possible on February 1, please be aware of the following:

  • Masks must be worn at all times.
  • Upon arrival to campus, students will check in and head to the Squash Courts to receive a rapid antigen test and a PCR test.
  • With a negative rapid test administered at School, students will receive a wristband and head to their dorm to move in.
  • Parents are not allowed in dorms or other school buildings under any circumstances. Restrooms will be available when family members are accompanied by their checked-in student.

 

Guardian Information

If you have been contacted by the Dean's Office about providing guardian information, be sure to submit this information promptly. Students without approved guardians will not be allowed to return to campus on February 1.  

 

Return to Campus FAQ 

A collection of frequently asked questions and their answers is being compiled here. This document will be continuously updated as more questions arise.

Daily Schedules and Logistics During the Phase-In Period

 

When remote learning resumes on January 25, the remote learning schedule will be in place.

A modified schedule is being created for the first weeks of February as we return to campus. While we are hoping for a 10-day Phase-In Period, it could last 14 days based on test results and state guidance. More details will follow, but for now the basics of the schedule are below.

February 2 to February 4:

  • Strict in-room quarantine as we wait for the results of the Covid-19 PCR test administered on February 1.
  • Remote learning from dorm rooms.
  • No sports or activities beyond strictly cohorted walks.
  • Students travel to the dining hall during assigned times to pick up food and bring it back to their rooms.
February 5 to February 12:
  • Loosened quarantine as we wait for the results of the second Covid PCR test administered on February 7 and 8.
  • Remote learning from dorm rooms.
  • Sports and activities begin in strictly cohorted groups.
  • Students travel to the dining hall during assigned times to pick up food and bring it back to dorms.
February 13 to the End of Spring Term
  • Classroom learning with masks.
  • Sports and activities in adherence with State and School guidelines.
  • Students eat in the dining hall.

 

Winter and Spring Season Schedule

 

As the Winter and Spring seasons take shape, please note that the last day of Winter competition will be Saturday, March 13. Spring sports begin Monday, March 15.

 

The Athletics Office is seeking partner schools with Covid protocols that match Kent’s in rigor to schedule Friday and Saturday games after the Phase-In period is completed on campus. More information will follow as the term progresses.