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Better Than EVER Pomfret School 2021-2022 | Opening Plan

Contents

Scroll through this document to read the plan sequentially, or use the hyperlinks below to jump to a specific section.

Please Note: This plan reflects the best guidance available to us right now. If we need to add, modify, or remove a policy, we will be sure to let you know. We recommend bookmarking this microsite, which will be updated as needed.

1. Arrival

This year, we will repopulate campus over three days. Please plan to arrive between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on your appointed arrival day. These are the dates:

  • Monday, September 6 – Student Leaders, Aspiring Varsity Athletes, Hurricane Island Students
  • Tuesday, September 7 – New Students and International Students
  • Wednesday, September 8 – Returning Students

Arrival Days are not just for boarders. This onboarding schedule applies to day families as well.

SEE THE FULL POMFRET CALENDAR »

Initial Negative Covid Test All students, regardless of vaccination status, are required to submit documentation of a negative Covid-19 test before coming to campus. We prefer Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing, but we will accept rapid tests as well. The test must be administered three to seven days before your campus arrival date. Procurement of this initial test is your responsibility. Please send test results to covidtestresults@pomfret.org.

Arrival Testing When you first get to campus, our nursing staff will screen your student for Covid-19 using a rapid antigen test, which returns a result in about 15 minutes. Once a negative result is returned, your student will receive a wristband, which indicates they are cleared to continue with the onboarding process.

Visitors Each student can bring up to 3 visitors (parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.) to campus. Each visitor will be required to demonstrate proof of Covid vaccination or show a recent negative Covid test. Please be sure to have this documentation ready when you arrive on campus.

2. Health + Safety

Vaccination Pomfret School requires Covid-19 vaccination as a condition of enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic year. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the final dose of a two-dose vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson. To submit proof of vaccination, please log in to your Sundial account, navigate to Magnus Health in Resources, and add your student's vaccine documentation to the Immunization Record within Magnus.

The following US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)- and World Health Organization (WHO)-approved vaccines meet Pomfret's Covid-19 requirements:

  • Pfizer – FDA
  • Moderna – FDA
  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen – FDA
  • AstraZeneca – WHO
  • Covishield – WHO
  • Sinovac – WHO
  • Sinopharm/BIBP – WHO

Clinics: As previously communicated, Pomfret will host a vaccine clinic in partnership with Northeast District Department of Health (NDDH) for students who are unable to attain a vaccine prior to arriving on campus. The first dose will be administered on September 8. The second dose will be administered on September 30.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that anyone who has received a WHO-approved, single-dose vaccine receive a second dose to boost immunity. As a result, Pomfret will help impacted students get a second shot of the Pfizer vaccine based on their specific timeline.

Masking Besides vaccination, masks are our greatest defense against the spread of Covid-19. In late July, the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance for masks. The CDC now recommends that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas with significant community spread. The CDC also recommends that all students, teachers, and staff in K-12 schools wear masks regardless of vaccination status. This guidance has been adopted by the State of Connecticut.

As a result, and until further notice, classes held indoors will be masked. In addition, members of the community will wear masks as they travel within school buildings. The School defines Olmsted Student Union, Corzine Athletic Center, Clark Memorial Chapel, Health and Wellness Center, Robinson House, and Main House as additional indoor spaces integral to our operation, frequented by students, and requiring consistent masking. Additionally, the State directive regarding student transport means that all persons will wear masks whenever transported by the School for athletics, activities, and events. Please Note: Dormitories are excluded from this guidance. A student is NOT required to wear a mask inside the dorm. UPDATE 8/19/2021

Surveillance Testing Pomfret will conduct a follow-up round of rapid antigen testing one week after the initial Arrival + Onboarding testing regimen. After this date, Pomfret will test unvaccinated and partially vaccinated students on a weekly basis. In addition, the School will test any community member who reports symptoms consistent with Covid-19. The School will also test close contacts of individuals who test positive for Covid-19. Lastly, we will test any student returning from an extended campus leave, regardless of vaccination status.

Isolation, Quarantine, and Contact Tracing Any student testing positive for Covid-19 will be housed in the Health and Wellness Center (H&WC), separate from the general boarding population, until the student can be picked up. The family (or appointed regional guardian) has 24 hours to retrieve a child who tests positive for Covid. When a student tests positive, the School will initiate contact tracing to identify other impacted persons. If a student is identified as a close contact, we will ask that person to adopt the following mitigation measures during a quarantine period of 7 to 10 days:

  • Complete a daily health screen and connect with H&WC nursing staff as required
  • Wear a mask outside of the dorm room
  • Participate in Covid testing protocol (samples taken on Day 3 and Day 7)

During the quarantine, close contacts WILL be allowed to continue to occupy their assigned dormitory space. They will also be allowed to participate in classes, athletics, meals, and activities, as conditions permit.

Regional Guardian All families who reside outside of a three-hour driving radius of Pomfret School are required to identify a family representative or agency who can transport a student from campus within 24 hours of being notified, either because of a positive Covid test or a campus-wide shutdown. Pomfret will be unable to transport the student should any of these scenarios occur. For a fee, Student Health Advocates (SHA), a private company that provides comprehensive support services to boarding students and their families, will be available to serve students who are unable to immediately return home.

3. Academics

In-Person Classes All classes will be held in person at full capacity this year. This year's schedule is based on a 7-block rotation. Each class is 70-minutes long and meets 5 times over a two-week cycle. See the Daily Schedule »

Access to Remote Education: Though we will not offer a formal distance learning program this year, we will support students who become ill or experience prolonged periods of quarantine. The primary delivery mechanism in these instances will be asynchronous learning. In addition, teachers and advisors will be available to engage with students one-on-one over Zoom as needed. In the event of a dangerous spike in positive cases in our community or region, we may elect to transition back to distance learning for a period of time.

4. Athletics

Fall Season We anticipate a "normal" fall season, including the resumption of regular practices and interscholastic competition. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated student-athletes will be tested for Covid before the first game of each week.

Opponents Pomfret will only compete with schools that have similar vaccination and testing policies and protocols. If an opponent has an unvaccinated student on the roster, we will ask the opponent to provide proof of a negative test in advance of the competition. In this same spirit, we will comply with any reasonable request that an opponent makes of us.

Spectators Spectators for home and visiting teams are welcome on the Pomfret sidelines this fall, though visitors should limit contact time with students as much as possible. Rules and regulations for away games will be determined by the host school and communicated on a venue-by-venue basis via the Pomfret Athletic Department.

Club Sports Students will be allowed to participate in clubs sports and split season arrangements with permission from the Pomfret athletic director. Some restrictions may apply. For more information, contact Athletic Director Jon Sheehan by email at jsheehan@pomfret.org or by phone at (860) 963-6126.

5. Campus Life

Visitors This fall the Pomfret campus will be open to visitors, including current families, prospective families, alumni, and guests. Some exceptions and restrictions may apply.

Student Leave Students will be allowed to leave campus this fall for appointments, home visits, and trips, excepting Closed Weekends. All leaves must be requested and approved through Orah (formerly Boardingware). Depending on the nature and duration of the leave, students may be required to adopt certain re-entry protocols such as testing before rejoining the campus community.

Long Weekends and Vacation Breaks During "long weekends," campus will remain open and residential students will be allowed to stay in their dorms. During "breaks," campus will be closed and students will be required to leave. View the 2021–2022 calendarUPDATE 8/19/2021

Shutdown and the 24-Hour Rule In the unlikely event that Pomfret can no longer safely operate, Pomfret will initiate a rapid shutdown procedure. In the most basic terms, this means all students will be required to leave campus within 24 hours of the announcement. Students who do not reside within a three-hour driving radius of Pomfret must designate a Regional Guardian (see Health + Wellness) to assist with this process.

International Student Concerns If you are having trouble obtaining or renewing your Visa, please contact Assistant Head of School Don Gibbs to discuss your options by email at dgibbs@pomfret.org or by phone at (860) 963-5289.

Join us for a town hall-style webinar designed to help you better understand what the fall will look like.

Monday, August 23 | 7:00 PM EST

Members of the senior leadership team will be on hand to hear your feedback and answer your questions. This webinar is sponsored by the Pomfret Parent Executive Council and powered by Zoom. To submit a question in advance, please email Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications Garry Dow at gdow@pomfret.org.

Voices carry. Be heard.