SKS Reopening Plan

South Kent School is fully commitment to resuming on-campus activities on Monday, August 24th, and we are hard at work making sure that we are meeting all of the State guidelines. South Kent School has many advantages that other schools and programs cannot provide. Our small size enables us to pivot quickly to new health protocols and offer the best programs possible. Our athletic facilities are on campus and open year-round, giving our athletes the greatest possible access to these facilities. Small by design, our community and advising system provide a highly supportive environment for our students, regardless of the circumstances.

Commitment to Community


Important Dates

Dates are subject to change due to state and national regulations

Monday, August 10th

Students start self-quarantine

Wednesday, August 19th or sooner

All Students should get PCR or antigen test and share results before August 24th.

Monday, August 24th

Campus Opens/Student Arrival

Tuesday, September 1st

Classes Start


Required Items

All students are required to bring the following items:

Five cloth reusable face masks

One Window fan per room (Please coordinate with your roommates )

One personal digital thermometer

See here for full list of required and recommended items


Campus Reopening FAQs

Yes. Head of School, Lawrence Smith, appointed a Reopening Task Force and communicated South Kent School’s commitment to reopening the campus to students this fall. The School’s plans to resume in-person operations hinge on the entire community observing public health measures to ensure everyone’s health and safety, including physical distancing, face coverings, frequent hand washing, personal health monitoring, and COVID-19 screening and testing. 
South Kent School has convened a Reopening Task Force made up of key representatives of every aspect of our programs and operations. This group has met frequently to consider possible scenarios for next year. The team is committed to developing and implementing plans that maximize safety while ensuring that the School continues to deliver the exceptional program our students expect. Please see the recently published South Kent School Reopening Plan for additional details.

The Reopening Task Force additionally is making the necessary changes to physical spaces on campus to promote a healthy environment. As long as infection rates remain at lower levels and state and local guidelines permit, classes will be conducted utilizing in-person instruction, allowing for remote participation if necessary.
We strongly recommend that students drive to campus on the 24th, even if that drive is beyond the normal couple of hours. We would like our students to avoid airport and public transportation if at all possible on the day of arrival. Students who need to fly as part of their return plans should choose flights with as few transfers/layovers as possible. We WILL offer airport pickups at Bradley/Hartford, JFK, LaGuardia, and Westchester/White Plains on the 24th. Students who fly to campus from states identified on Connecticut’s quarantine list, or from countries identified by the CDC, will need to fill out the CT travel form before departure and may be required to quarantine in designated facilities on campus for a period of time determined by Health Services. 

Families are encouraged to wait to purchase airline tickets for as long as possible and to remain flexible with their travel plans. We have already seen inconsistent announcements related to travel from the U.S. government; flexibility is thus the best way to manage the uncertainty with travel to School. Getting to Connecticut early and renting a local AirBNB or some other option is probably a good idea. As always, travel insurance is a good idea, if possible.

Students should avoid public transportation as much as possible (subways, trains, taxis, ubers). To that end, our airport pickups will flex as much as possible to the times when our students arrive. In some cases, we will offer multiple airport pickups for students. We will publish pickup airport times once we have 75% of the travel plans in Boardingware. Please get your travel information to the School no later than August 15, 2020. 

Everyone on campus must adhere to public health protocols: use of face coverings, frequent hand washing, physical distancing, and personal health monitoring. Details on each pillar are below.

  • Testing: All students should submit a negative COVID-19 test result to Health Services prior to arrival on campus. The test should be performed 3-7 days prior to arriving on campus if possible. Health Services will accept either a “PCR” or “antigen” test. If you anticipate a delay in your test reporting time or experience any other issues related to testing, please contact Health Services immediately. Upon arrival, all students will receive a real-time COVID-19 test performed by Health Services. Only those with a negative test will be allowed to remain on campus. All members of the School community (faculty, staff, contractors) will be tested on a regular basis throughout the academic year. 
  • Face coverings: Everyone must wear a face covering in buildings, where physical distancing cannot be guaranteed, and in public settings.
  • Frequent hand washing: In addition to encouraging our community members to wash their hands frequently, we will install hand-sanitizer stations throughout campus, along with reminders to avoid touching one’s face after touching surfaces.
  • Physical distancing: Reminders will be posted on floors and walls of campus buildings to ensure that everyone remains at a safe distance from others when on-campus operations resume. Classrooms and other common spaces will have similar distancing requirements. The School has redesigned its Community Life program to ensure that all community members stay safe. 
  • Personal health monitoring: All community members will be monitored or self-report COVID-19 symptoms daily using a tracking app, and, if necessary, seek medical attention through the School’s Health Service or their PCP. 
For the safety and well being of the School, all students should begin social distancing protocols on August 10, 2020. This includes wearing masks, limiting contact with non-family members, and self-quarantining at home for 14 days prior to arriving on campus. The Social Compact document will explain this in further detail. South Kent’s rules for social distancing (the Social Compact) mirror the CDC’s, which can be found HERE
South Kent School students should submit a negative COVID-19 test result to Health Services prior to arriving on campus. Health Services will accept either a “PCR” or “antigen” test. Again, if you anticipate a delay in your test reporting time or experience any other issues related to testing, please contact Health Services immediately. Results of the test need to be emailed to the Health Center ([email protected]) prior to arrival. All students will be administered a COVID-19 rapid screening test upon arrival to campus. The results of that test will determine the next step: 
Those who are negative will be allowed to move to their dorm if all other testing requirements are fulfilled.
Those who are positive will be required to isolate off-campus for 14 days with a parent or guardian.
All students will need to follow the Pre-Arrival and Arrival Testing Protocol regardless of arrival date. Please communicate directly with Health Services if you cannot make it back by August 24, 2020 and include the travel information on your travel form.
In addition to the students, all faculty and staff will be tested prior to the start of school and periodically throughout the year as needed. Third party contractors who work with the School will have to submit screening plans and undergo daily screenings before being allowed to access campus. 
The School has its own testing capability on campus, utilizing two testing modalities (COVID-19 PCR and Antigen testing). The Health Services has created a testing schedule that includes regular testing for the entire community throughout the year. 
  • For those driving to campus August 24, 2020, the School will create appointment slots for your arrival. This is necessary to provide adequate time for on-site testing. More details will be available as we move closer to the arrival date. 
  • The School encourages students who live within driving distance of the campus to sign-up for an “early drop-off” appointment beginning August 17, 2020. This is not the move-in period, but a time for the family to drop off their son’s belongings in the dorm. Advance sign-up will be required for preset time slots, and this option will be helpful in reducing and spacing out the time and traffic involved with move-in later on August 24th, while also supporting necessary social distancing. Please look for a future communication about this option. 
  • For early drop-off or the regular arrival on August 24, 2020, students can be accompanied by one adult to aid with unpacking. Students and the accompanying adult must wear a mask and adhere to strict social distancing protocols while on campus. 
  • Once admitted to campus, drop off intervals will be thirty minutes in duration. Due to the limited time for dropping off, and the necessity to remain nimble, student belongings will be limited to no more than three boxes or three large pieces of luggage. In addition to items that are prohibited as outlined in the handbook, monitors larger than 29”, and extra furniture are NOT allowed for the 2021 school year. All rooms are allowed to have one small dorm size refrigerator with a maximum storing capacity of 3.1 Cu.ft. This will need to be arranged between roommates when announced. 
  • In addition to bringing a personal digital thermometer, you can find a list of required/approved belongings to bring HERE
We will continue to monitor the health of the community, as well as larger regional and national trends regarding the transmission rates of the virus and make any necessary adjustments to our reopening plan as needed. The School is constantly monitoring federal, state and local health officials about the current situation. 
We are modifying our academic program so that we will be able to alternate easily between in-person and online learning as needed. While our goal is to prioritize in-person instruction, this approach will allow us to be flexible and meet the remote participation needs of students or faculty who are unable to return to campus due to travel restrictions or health issues.  
Students will be assigned to their cohort which is determined by their athletic choice for the first half of the year. In addition to the orientation period, the cohort groups will participate in athletics, dorm life, meals, and activities together. We intend to begin in-person instruction on September 1, 2020. However, some instruction may start on-line for a few days, if necessary. Students will be monitored and additional testing will be administered, if required. 
All families will be required to complete and/or update an emergency contact form before arriving on campus. All forms may be found in SKS Magnus portal. If you need assistance with any medical forms families should contact SKS Health Services.

Parents, guardians and caregivers will also be required to fill out an “Emergency Contact Designation Form” for each student which can be found in the SKS Magnus portal. The “Emergency Contact Designation Form” will require that students who test positive for the COVID-19 virus be picked up from school within five (5) hours of notification and brought home to isolate for 14 days prior to returning to campus. A third-party concierge service option is available for students if needed. Please contact Student Health Advocates for more information. Please call the Health Services for assistance if needed. 
Once students arrive on campus, they will be instructed on all of the new protocols related to COVID-19 prevention and the importance of appropriate behaviors on the overall health of the community. Instruction will be given by faculty and members of SKS Health Services.

The School continues to follow safety guidelines presented by the CDC and local and state health officials to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All community members are expected to follow three basic practices: wear a mask, social distance and wash and sanitize hands frequently. The School is also limiting off-campus travel and visits to campus during this time. 
It is important that the School establish strict adherence to all prevention protocols in the first couple of weeks as we reopen and continue them throughout the year. If SKS Health Services determines that restrictions may be eased and that decision is supported by state and local health officials, we will consider doing so at a later date. 
The School has worked diligently over the summer to make sure Health Services is stocked with necessary clinical PPE for on-campus medical staff. We also have received a CLIA certification waiver that allows the School on-campus testing capabilities. 
Face masks are required at all times outside of the dorm room. We recommend that all students bring five (5) cloth reusable masks with them to campus. Students will be able to launder masks through the School’s professional cleaning service. Masks will also be available through the School store. 
Because of the highly infectious nature of COVID-19, the usual risk of influenza outbreaks in congregate living settings such as dormitories, and the significant overlap between symptoms of influenza and COVID-19, South Kent School will require an influenza vaccine this school year for all students who do not have a medical or religious/moral objection supported by their primary care providers. It is imperative that our community take every step available to ensure the health of our community. 
If a student suspects he may have the symptoms of COVID-19, the Health Center will screen and test the student (through our telehealth service) and have him immediately move to a separate dormitory for isolation and observation. Once the student is confirmed to not have COVID-19, the student will be allowed to return to his normal daily routine. 
Students will have access to telehealth and in-person services through the SKS Health Center. Students will be contacted directly if it is deemed necessary to quarantine. As has been the case with all illnesses on campus, the Health Services will notify parents, guardians, or caregivers immediately if quarantining is necessary. 
Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be isolated on-campus until they can depart campus to go home (which is required within five hours) with their guardian/host family as designated on the Emergency Contact Designation Form. If a student tests positive for COVID-19 and has severe symptoms, he will be transported to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment. The School has arranged for a limited number of on-campus isolation spaces in the event that a student cannot go home or to his guardian/host family due to extenuating circumstances. 
If it is determined by the Health Service staff that a student needs to be hospitalized, he will be transported to a local hospital for further evaluation and parents will be notified immediately. A representative of the School will stay with the student as long as possible or until an arrangement can be made for a parent, guardian or caregiver to arrive. Again, parents and guardians should fill out the “Emergency Contact Designation Form” found in the Magnus Portal.
NEPSAC has not yet provided an all encompassing policy relating to fall athletics. As of now, NEPSAC has told each school to make their own decision on holding interscholastic contests. It is clear that a normal fall schedule is not likely. South Kent is currently examining a modified schedule for fall athletics with neighboring schools. Winter sports schedules are being created in full and will be adjusted if necessary. There has been no determination from USA Hockey, BEAST series, NE Pack but we have been in close contact with league representatives and are awaiting determinations. Regardless of association determinations we will still be able to provide great daily training and competition. We are finalizing a schedule that, if necessary, will give our student-athletes internal games that will allow for their continued development and exposure. 
Student libraries and lounges outside of dormitories will be closed until the six feet (6’) social-distancing rule is relaxed by the State. Extracurricular activities, including sports will be limited to the cohorts. For example, when we watch a movie in the theater, it will be limited to the students in a cohort. To be clear, six feet (6’) of social distancing will be achieved in these locations due to the small size of the cohorts. When we congregate in the chapel, we will be limited in numbers to allow for six feet (6’) of social distancing and again by cohort, though we can fit at least two cohorts into the chapel. The School will utilize outdoor space as much as possible for group activities.
Based on the State of Connecticut residential facilities use recommendations, dormitories are considered familial units which allows for multiple occupancy per room. Dormitories will be populated by residential cohort units. 
Dormitories will be configured into smaller “cohort units” by floor, wing, or suite. Students who reside in a dorm room together will be permitted to have close contact (less than six feet, without a mask) with one another while in their dorm room. Students are required to wear masks outside of their dorm room, except during athletics. Students in a cohort unit will also share a bathroom with appropriate distancing. This small group approach to residential life will limit contacts between students while continuing to develop community relationships. 

The School intends to provide three full meals to all students, with the exception of Sunday where we intend to have an extended brunch from 9am to Noon along with dinner from 5:30-6:30pm. 

  • Breakfast will be served from 7:30-8:30am Monday through Saturday.
  • Lunch will be served from 11:30-1:00pm Monday through Saturday. 
  • Dinner will be served from 5:30-7:00pm Monday through Saturday.

Lunch and dinner will be in scheduled shifts to allow for social distancing in the dining hall. Temporary barriers will be in place on tables and throughout the dining hall to aid in social distancing as well. Students can elect to eat outside if they so desire.

For in-person classes, SKS will create 10 learning communities of students and teachers who will attend a block of classes together each morning and each afternoon. Those learning communities will have their own classroom that allows for six feet (6’) of social distance within the classrooms. Mid-morning classes will necessitate a mix of students for elective classes but the six feet (6’) of social distancing will be maintained. Classrooms will be cleaned regularly each day. 

Online classes will be conducted via the Google Suite, Zoom, and Loom. Students who must be taught online will learn through a combination of asynchronous postings of material, discussion boards, and remote office hours with their teachers. Block scheduling will allow for a streamlined approach to remote learning, allowing the student and their families to focus on fewer classes at one time.

In all buildings, hallways will be one-way. Students will enter buildings through one door and exit through another. For the Science Building, students will enter and exit through the exterior doors in each classroom.

Students and teachers will be masked while indoors together until restrictions are relaxed by the State.
As part of orientation and continuing throughout the year, faculty and staff will reinforce the message of the importance of social distancing and wearing masks. That each community member, student and faculty has a responsibility to adhere to all proper COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all community members. It is expected that all faculty and staff will set an example for students by modeling appropriate behaviors and redirect student behavior if necessary. 
SKS has a contract with PBM, a third party cleaning service who is experienced in proper cleaning protocols. Extra cleaning staff will be available to clean all common areas thoroughly in residential and athletic venues on campus. Classrooms will also be cleaned after use, including door handles and light switches. Students and faculty will also share in this effort, wiping down commonly used surfaces between uses of classrooms with the extra cleaning supplies provided by the school. Bathrooms will be wiped down after every use. Additional cleaning staff will be retained to help clean athletic venues between uses.
South Kent School will continue to work with our contract laundry service (Santoro’s). Santoro’s is addressing the COVID-19 issue with safe and responsible laundering services. All athletic gear will continue to be laundered in on-campus with professional grade machines capable of high temperature disinfection.
For at least the first two weeks following the start of school, we will restrict off campus activities. We will assess the situation at that time and offer further guidance on this issue in early September. Trips determined to be medically necessary by the Health Center will be permitted. 

If a family chooses to take a student off campus, they will need to secure permissions from the Associate Head of School and meet the Pre-Arrival and Arrival-Testing Protocol to return to campus. If the Campus Arrival Protocol cannot be met and the student returns to campus, he will be moved to a designated quarantine facility on campus for a period of time determined by Health Services. 
For at least the first two weeks, we will restrict campus visitation. We will assess the situation at that time and offer further guidance on this issue in the beginning of September. Ideally we will be able to open up the campus to visitation because we understand how important it is for our boys to see their families and loved ones.
The first block of classes begins at 8:30am and ends at 10:00am each morning, Monday through Friday. Electives occur from at 10:30am to Noon, Monday through Friday. The final block of classes begins at 1:00pm and ends at 2:30pm. There are times for chapel, meals, and off period as well. The first and final block of a student’s academic day is either his Humanities or STEM course and is always with his learning community. 
Yes. A schedule for remote learning will be published should that move become necessary. It will include one synchronous and one asynchronous course each day along with opportunities for office hours.
Our aim is to provide in-person instruction for all Humanities and STEM courses. Electives will be blended (a mix of online and in-person) or entirely online depending on the student’s choice of elective. 
The School has committed to 32 weeks of on-campus instruction between September 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Our goal is to finish well before June 30, 2021. Further details can be found in the Commitment to Community Letter on the School’s website. 
The tuition commitment date is specified on your son's enrollment commitment. Please know that if you decide not to attend South Kent School after the specified date, you are responsible for the full year’s tuition.
Families with altered financial circumstances because of COVID-19 may contact the Financial Aid Committee and apply for tuition assistance by submitting an appeal and supporting documentation to [email protected] 
Enrolled students will not be permitted to defer for a year or take a gap year. Students who choose not to enroll for the 2020-2021 school year will need to reapply during the next admission cycle. 
In the event that a student is prevented from attending school in-person for an extended period of time due to travel or health restrictions resulting from COVID-19, we may provide a modest refund or credit based on actual savings experienced by the School.
We will offer the SAT test and subject tests Oct. 3 and Dec. 5. 
No. Students will not leave campus during this time period.
Yes. We will offer transportation to SAT testing on September 26, 2020 at New Milford High School, November 7, 2020 at Kent School, in addition to TOEFL tests in Norwalk on September 19 and October 24, 2020, and May 15, 2021.
The fifth formers (11th graders) will take the PSAT Oct. 14 on the SKS campus. Fourth formers will take the PSAT 10 in the spring at a date to be determined later.
Fifth formers who have already taken the PSAT may take the SAT and ACT tests.
The Health Services will be open seven days a week to support all student needs. The Health Services will still have medication dispensary, doctor appointments and nursing aid as usual. For further questions about the Health Services, please email [email protected].
For at least the first two weeks of the school year, day students will be required to board on campus along with their cohort. Therefore, on August 24, 2020 day students should plan to arrive on campus.
Yes, all students will need a temperature reading every day and students will be required to regularly complete a daily health form distributed through the Boardingware application and managed by Health Services. 
Day students will live with their athletic team. In general, dorm access will be restricted for the first few weeks of school to the dorm that they live in.
Day student on-campus activities at night will be limited to their athletic team, just like boarding students. 
The schedule is fairly packed so free time is limited. However, day students are welcome in the dorm where their athletic team resides during down time.
Yes, day students can attend on-campus or weekend activities with their athletic team.
We will publish more about student off-campus activities in early September.
Students who are continuing to study amidst the COVID-19 emergency, and are remaining in Active status in SEVIS, will be permitted to return even if the time outside the US exceeds five months.
Campus will not be open prior to August 24, 2020. If you need to arrive earlier, then you will need to find appropriate accommodations off campus.
Students can find the most up to date information on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website (www.ice.gov/coronavirus). SEVP continues to receive COVID-19-related stakeholder questions about SEVP-certified schools and nonimmigrant students. Download this PDF to read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19. This list is regularly updated – please note the timestamp of the most recent document update.
Should you become ill, on-campus residency and care will be provided by the School for an additional cost. If you require greater medical care, you will be transported to a local hospital to receive the care you require. If the School is required to close, on-campus residency may be provided at an additional cost, should the State of Connecticut approve it. 
Yes, you may remain on campus during this time for an additional fee. The fee is difficult to project because it depends on the number of students who decide to stay.
December 19, 2020 is the best return date we can offer you at this time. Of course, the date is subject to change due to variables beyond our control.
Students who are unable to return to campus for the beginning of the academic year will be welcome to start classes as remote learners and make plans to return to campus whenever they are able. Families should not make any travel plans that cannot be changed or canceled; please consider purchasing travel insurance.
We do not anticipate a reduction in the 2020-21 published tuition rates due to COVID-19. While we acknowledge that the requisite changes and program modifications will impact the student experience, the School’s expenses also have increased considerably. In the event that a student is prevented from attending school in-person for an extended period of time due to travel or health restrictions, we may provide a modest refund or credit based on actual savings experienced by the School.
Boarding students who wish to remain online for the whole year may petition the Associate Head of School to learn remotely from home. While we acknowledge that the requisite changes and program modifications will impact the student experience, the School’s expenses also have increased considerably. In the event that a student elects to attend online for an extended period of time, we may provide a modest refund or credit based on actual savings experienced by the School.

 

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