COVID-19 Response

Shore is taking proactive measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, in our communities. Check this page regularly for FAQs, news, and updates about Shore's response.

ON-CAMPUS OPENING OF SCHOOL SEPTEMBER 8, 2020

Shore will open school on September 8, 2020, with a half-day schedule and staged arrival of students through September 10. During these first days of school, we will assess children, address their social-emotional needs, identify support plans, prepare children for online learning during anticipated state-mandated closures during the fall, and acclimate all students and employees not only to their teachers and classrooms, but also to our new safety protocols.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR RETURNING TO SCHOOL

  • The health, safety, and social-emotional well-being of our children, families, and employees guide all of our decision-making.
  • Our decisions are informed by proven data, scientific knowledge, and guidance from the medical community and local, state, and federal public health organizations, as well as our Administration and COVID-19 Task Force.
  • Our preference is to open in-person but we will only do so if it is the recommendation of the authorities and if we can safely comply with their guidelines.
  • Our plans remain flexible to accommodate the changing pandemic landscape and changing recommendations and guidelines from the authorities. 
  • Our school’s success requires constant vigilance from our families, employees, and students in avoiding behaviors that lead to the spread of the virus.


COVID-19 TASK FORCE

In May, the Shore Board of Trustees created a COVID-19 Task Force to partner with the school's administrative team in designing a plan for re-opening, monitoring safety protocols, and serving as a resource for addressing the non-educational aspects of the back-to-school plan. The members of the COVID-19 Task Force include: Blake Liggio, Dr. Caitlin Fawcett, Elizabeth Skates, Denise Marks, Phil Vaccaro, Rayna Lesser Hannaway, Clair Ward, Franklin Foster, Dr. Khoa Do, Sarah Wolfgang, Patrick Curley, Christopher McIntire, Sue Cronin, Ann-Marie Flynn.

FAQ

Included below are frequently asked questions (FAQs) for students and families as of August 7, 2020. They are subject to change as the CDC, State of Massachusetts, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education release additional guidance.

Beginning the School Year with In-Person Learning

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  • When will the school year begin? Will it be in person?

    Shore will initiate on-campus learning for all students beginning on September 8. We are anticipating starting with a half-day schedule for the first week of school and a staged arrival of students over the first three days of school to properly acclimate all students and employees not only to their teachers and classrooms, but also to our new safety protocols.
  • Is it possible that we will be unable to start with all students on campus or have to start with distance learning?

    Yes. The pandemic landscape overall and the circumstances in our region continue to change. We need to remain flexible in our plans and adaptable to changes so that we can keep our community safe. While we are planning to open in person, should disease rates rise making it unsafe or unwise to pursue our plans as intended today, we are prepared to launch our Distance Learning Plan or a hybrid model.
  • What if my child is unable to start in person due to one or more of our family members having a high-risk medical condition?

    Shore is in the process of building a remote attendance model to accommodate these situations, in addition to students who might have to quarantine. Due to a delay in shipping the technology, we anticipate that this model will be up and running by mid- to late September. In the meantime, teachers can provide asynchronous work and homework via MyShore in much the same way they would if a child were ill.
  • Has the school adjusted its health policies and protocols?

    We have adjusted our policies and protocols in accordance with state guidelines and COVID-19 best practices to keep our community safe. This includes, but is not limited to, policies and protocols as it relates to student and employee attendance, response to high-risk events inside and outside of school, the adoption of safe school behaviors, the reduction of student-to-student and teacher-to-student contacts each day, and enhanced cleaning protocols. We will continue to update our policies and protocols as additional guidance is released and/or if safer alternatives are identified.
  • Will there be ongoing changes to these policies and protocols?

    The science  surrounding COVID-19, the public health guidance related to the virus, and the disease status of our communities continues to change. As such, the COVID-19 Task Force and the School Administration may make changes to these policies at any time. If material changes are made, our community will be notified of such changes as soon as possible. These policies and protocols will continue to be in effect as long as is necessary.
  • Are there any requirements prior to the planned start of school on September 8?

    As per our guiding principles of keeping the community safe and healthy using data proven techniques, we are advising all employees and families to be extra vigilant about social distancing starting 14 days before the start of school and thereafter. This includes: 

    • Keeping 6 feet apart in public places
    • Wearing a mask in public at all times
    • Frequent hand washing
    • Avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people
    • Abiding by Massachusetts travel restrictions
  • Will testing be required for screening purposes prior to the start of school?

    Shore will not require COVID-19 testing for screening purposes for students, faculty, or staff prior to the beginning of the school year. The Head of School may request that any and all members of the school community provide a negative molecular viral test for COVID-19 OR a 14-day quarantine as a precondition of entering campus if there is the possibility of an infection based on our safety protocol.
  • Will Shore provide information for families about best practices for safety and new school practices and protocols?

    At the opening of school, employees, students, and families will agree to pledges that specifically address all of the ways to keep our community safe. Shore also has an extensive back-to-school guide. In addition to outlining safety measures on campus, the document provides information about how families should be safe outside of school. The more cautious families are outside of school, the longer we will be able to sustain in-person learning.

Health and Safety Protocols for In-Person Learning

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  • What are the guiding organizations that Shore is following in developing and monitoring Shore’s in-person learning plan?

    Shore Country Day School Administrators and the COVID-19 Task force are using the guidance of the organizations listed here in developing Shore’s Back-To-School Plan. In addition, Shore will continue to work closely with Dr. Thomas Seman, our consulting physician from North Shore Pediatrics.

    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
    • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
    • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
    • Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)
    • Beverly Health Department
    • Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE)
  • Will students and adults be required to wear masks?

    Yes, all students will wear masks when arriving and departing campus, as well as when they are moving in and out of classrooms. Students will wear masks in the classroom but can remove masks when eating or drinking if they are in an approved location and can maintain at least 6 feet of distance from each other. Massachusetts state guidelines do not require younger children to wear masks in the classroom, however we will wait until closer to the beginning of school before determining whether or not that meets our safety standard. Shore adults will wear masks at all times. Teachers are required to monitor and enforce mask wearing. Signage throughout the building will remind students and adults about safe behaviors including the importance of wearing masks.
  • What kind of mask should my child wear?

    Medical-grade or double-layer masks are required for individuals wearing masks. Families will need to experiment with a mask that fits well and is comfortable for their child. This includes making sure the straps do not irritate the child’s ears and that the mask does not ride up while the child is talking. In the weeks prior to school, we recommend that you have your child practice wearing and not touching the mask. Masks required to be worn must fully cover the nose and mouth. Students should bring two masks to school each day. Should students forget their masks or if masks become wet or damaged, the school will make masks available as needed. Consistent with CDC guidance, face shields are not suitable protection in lieu of a mask.
  • If students or adults have symptoms of illness, can they come to school?

    Please do not send your student to school if they are not feeling well and exhibit any of these symptoms:

    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
  • When should I start monitoring my child for symptoms?

    We are asking families and employees to start closely monitoring for symptoms beginning the week of August 24. If symptoms develop in your household, please notify your family physician to determine whether or not you need to be tested prior to the start of school. Anyone with an exposure or positive test prior to the start of school will need to adhere to the guidelines for Close Contacts or Positive Case to determine the number of days of isolation/quarantine required before coming to school.
  • Will there be daily symptom screening and/or health attestations?

    Families will be required to make daily health attestations for their children using the MyMedBot App. You will receive a notification to download the app prior to the start of school. This app will send notifications to your phone each morning before the start of school asking pertinent questions related to the health of your children and family and whether or not it is safe to come to school that day. Please understand that your child cannot attend school for the day or board the bus in the morning until this attestation is complete. All Shore employees will also make daily health attestations.
  • How will my child know how to practice appropriate hygiene and distancing?

    During the first week of school we will focus on educating, practicing, and reinforcing safe behaviors in school to help students understand what compliance looks like and make students comfortable with the new environment. Here is a short video your student can watch about handwashing. 
  • Who will provide oversight and supervision of the required safety-related behaviors on campus?

    Beginning the week of August 24, employees will move into training and practice for all new safety protocols. This will ensure that the teachers are ready to welcome the students back in three waves beginning September 8.  Students will be taught and cued for proper hygiene including hand washing and sanitizing, proper mask habits, bathroom protocols, and outdoor classroom and play behaviors that are safe. Since safety is our first guiding principle, there is no margin for error. Students who have trouble following the expectations might be restricted from campus until we can partner successfully with parents. Likewise, employees will receive immediate feedback from a supervisor if they do not follow employee policy or reinforce expectations for children.
  • How is Shore addressing the mental health of families, students and employees during these challenging times?

    In late August, teachers will meet to discuss ways to assess student mental health as the children arrive back to campus. Shore’s Student Support Services Department is partnering with Division Heads to support students who have individual needs. Our administrators are working closely with the Parents Association to offer outside speakers on the topics of anxiety and other relevant parenting challenges during the pandemic. Shore’s Human Resources Office supports employees as they navigate the mental health options that are available through our benefits package.

Classrooms and Social Distancing at School

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  • What is the school doing to reduce student-to-student and teacher-to-student contact?

    Students will spend the majority of their day with classmates and teachers in their classroom (“cohort”) with minimal physical contact with others outside of their classroom. Students will not share learning supplies. Specialist teachers will work with students in the homeroom classroom to minimize movement throughout campus. Cohorts will not co-mingle with other cohorts.
  • How will classrooms be organized?

    Classroom seating arrangements will be consistent with state guidelines for safe distancing. Students will have assigned seating that is oriented facing front when possible. If the classroom has a Harkness or other table instead of desks, students will sit in approved and clearly marked locations at the table. In addition, some classes will still be delivered virtually to create even more distance.
  • What are the class/cohort sizes?

    Class and cohort sizes range from 10-16 students, with a goal of achieving 6 feet of social distance between student work stations. As such, larger classrooms can accommodate larger cohorts.
  • Will students and adults be social-distancing?

    Classrooms have been adjusted to support work spaces that are a minimum of 6 feet apart. Teachers have removed unnecessary furniture and items that would be difficult to clean or sanitize. Depending on the age, children will see visual cues that help them remember where to safely work or play. The academic schedule has been adjusted to limit the amount of movement a cohort has, and to limit the number of places in the building a cohort touches.

    There are four social distances that apply to specific school activities:
    • A minimum of 3 feet of distance between students and adults within the same cohort with masks on
    • A minimum of 6 feet of distance when students are eating or drinking within their cohort; specialists not part of the cohort will maintain 6 feet of distance during instruction of the cohort; all employees will maintain 6 feet of social distance from each other.
    • A minimum of 10 feet of distance (outdoors only) for masked students to be singing
    • A minimum of 14 feet of distance between entire cohorts outdoors
  • Will supplies and equipment be shared?

    Teachers have ordered enough supplies to be sure that students have to share as few materials as possible. In classrooms where materials need to be shared, teachers have built protocols that allow for materials to sit for 5-7 days before being used by someone else in the cohort. Given that children will have regular hand washing and sanitizing, we are confident that these additional measures will make the classroom materials safe to use.
  • How will bathroom use be different? How will we keep it safe?

    We are lucky to have dedicated, single-use bathrooms for our Lower School classrooms. Multi-person bathrooms will be used by only one person at a time. Restrooms will be cleaned nightly and will be disinfected periodically during the day.
     
  • What is the protocol for hand hygiene?

    Teachers will develop routines to ensure students wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival to campus, after using the restroom, after playing outside and returning to the classroom, before and after eating, and after coughing or sneezing. Hand sanitizer stations will be available in classrooms and by frequently touched surfaces.
  • Will there be recess and physical education?

    Yes. Our goal is to get students outdoors as much as possible. We will apply stringent health and safety measures to all aspects of our physical education program as defined by state guidelines. During recess, children will not co-mingle with other cohorts.
     
  • Will classes and other activities be held outside whenever possible?

    Yes. In addition to outdoor classrooms, Shore is adding a number of tents to the campus in order to increase the number of covered outdoor spaces. Families can help support increased time outdoors by sending children to school with rain coats, additional layers, and flexible footwear. In order to better support the indoor/outdoor transitions, Shore is allowing all students to be in approved Dress Down clothing for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Will support services be available?

    Yes. The school is working to determine a safe way to both deliver services and control the exposure of children with specialists. The division heads or your child’s teacher will be able to help you better anticipate what to expect.
  • What are the new procedures for safety drills and emergencies?

    The administration is working closely with the Beverly fire department to plan for drill procedures that will allow us to safely exit using our social-distancing standards. Because movement throughout the buildings will be different, we will use the early days of school to reorient students about using the closest exit and how to distance the cohort out on the field.

Employees

List of 6 items.

Procedures for a confirmed COVID-19 case or outbreak on campus

List of 12 items.

  • Which guidelines is Shore following to determine our COVID-19 protocols?

    The COVID-19 Task Force is adhering to the most conservative recommendations from various organizations, including the Department of Elementary and Secondary Schools, the MA Department of Public Health, and the CDC. These guidelines are summarized in this document:
  • What if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 for a Shore student or employee?

    If there is a confirmed case for a student or employee who has been on campus two days prior to symptom onset or two days prior to a positive test, that student or employee will be required to stay home. The number of days the student or employee needs to remain out of school depends on whether or not they have symptoms. If a student or employee has symptoms and tests positive, they will remain off campus for 10 days from symptom onset AND three days without fever AND improvement in symptoms AND cleared by their town’s Department of Public Health to return. If a student or employee is asymptomatic and tests positive, they will need to remain off campus for 14 days if they remain asymptomatic. If they develop symptoms during the 14 days they will follow the guidelines for a symptomatic student or employee with a positive test.
  • What happens if a student or employee within my cohort tests positive?

    All students and staff who had exposure to the confirmed case 48 hours prior to symptom onset or 48 hours prior to a positive test will leave campus and quarantine for 14 days. Clair Ward will coordinate communication to all of the families of students considered a Close Contact. Close Contact is defined as anyone within six feet of the confirmed case for greater than 10 minutes. It is recommended by the DPH that all Close Contacts be tested. All Close Contacts have to quarantine for 14 days regardless of testing results.
  • Under what conditions would the school stop in-person learning and transition to the Distance Learning Plan?

    If Shore experiences a cluster of cases, the administration will work with the Department of Public Health to determine the recommended length of closure, always making the most conservative decision. The Distance Learning Plan will be launched if the School is closed for more than 3-5 days. Shore will also follow the MA Governor’s guidance if there is a state-wide decision to close schools.
  • What happens if a student develops symptoms during the day?

    If a student develops symptoms during the day, the school nurse will come to get the student and assess the symptoms in the isolation room. If it is determined that the symptoms could be of COVID-19, the caregiver will be contacted and the student will be picked up as soon as possible.
  • What should I do if my child develops symptoms at home?

    If your child has symptoms at home, please keep your child home from school and notify the school that your child is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. It is recommended that your child be tested with a molecular (PCR) test. If you prefer not to have a test, your child will need to quarantine for 14 days and until asymptomatic. If the molecular test is negative, your child can return to school after 72 hours without fever and with improvement of symptoms. If the molecular test is positive, your child can return to school 10 days after symptoms first appeared, three days without fever, and with overall improvement of symptoms.
  • What should I do if my child is exposed to a confirmed positive case outside of school?

    If your child is exposed to a confirmed positive case and at home, please keep your child and siblings (if also exposed) at home. Please contact the school to let them know of the potential exposure. If your child is at school, they will be brought to the isolation room for immediate pick-up. Your child will need to quarantine at home for 14 days. While it is recommended by the DPH that all Close Contacts be tested using molecular (PCR) testing, a negative test does not negate a 14 day quarantine. If symptoms develop during the 14 day quarantine, your child should be tested (even if they have been tested previously during the quarantine). If the Close Contact is a household member, asymptomatic household contacts need to remain at home for 14 days AFTER the household member completes the 10 day isolation. This will likely mean 24 days of quarantine.
  • Where can I find a testing site?

    Shore will not be able to test students or staff on campus. Testing sites in MA can be found at https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-testing
  • Is there a designated isolation room on campus?

    Yes, there is an isolation room in each division. The school nurse will care for the student in the isolation room until picked up by a caregiver.
  • Who is the COVID-19 point person at the school?

    The School Nurse will be the COVID-19 point person.
  • Are any protocols in place for contact tracing?

    Shore will work with the Beverly and MA Departments of Public Health to conduct contact tracing for positive cases on campus.
  • If I report my child’s positive case, will it be confidential?

    Yes, Shore will adhere to all HIPAA guidelines.

Transportation

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  • Will there be buses to and from school this year?

    Bus transportation to and from campus will be available beginning at dismissal on September 8. Buses to school will not be available that morning, but will be available beginning on September 9.

    Shore will continue to partner with Healey Bus Company to offer safe transportation to families. Healey Bus has ensured that the buses will be electrostatically cleaned after each run and that bus drivers will remain masked at all times. Students may not board a bus in the morning until the MyMedbot clearance process is complete.  Students will sit in assigned seats with only one household per row.  Students will wear a mask at all times and maintain 6 feet of social distance. Shore will continue to monitor student compliance and be prepared to deploy bus monitors or terminate students’ access to the bus if one or more children cannot follow the safety rules.
  • What changes will be made to the student pick-up and drop-off this year?

    Specific guidelines for pick-up and drop-off will be sent to all families prior to the start of school. All students will be expected to arrive wearing a mask. Students will go directly to classrooms. At this point in time, families are asked not to enter any buildings on campus until scheduled by an administrator or requested by the school nurse. Teachers are developing ways for families of young students to do drop-off outside of the classrooms in order to allow children a more comfortable separation process.

Meals and Snacks

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  • Will lunch be provided?

    The Shore Dining Hall and Servery will be closed at least through Thanksgiving break. Shore will provide a snack that will be eaten in the classroom or outdoors only. Families will provide a nut-free daily lunch that will be eaten in the classroom or outdoors. Lunches will not be shared between students. Shore has engaged with an outside vendor, Schoolhouse Fare, from whom families may arrange lunches to be delivered to the school. Purchasing lunches will be at the family’s discretion and expense.

Athletics and After-School Programs

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  • Will there be athletics this fall?

    Shore will provide athletics opportunities when it is safe to do so. We are awaiting final Massachusetts guidelines to determine what sport-specific and athletic options are safe to offer. Upper School locker rooms are not available for changing at this point in time.
  • Will there be after-school care (SEA Shore) and Enrichment programs?

    For safety reasons, we will begin the year without SEA Shore and Enrichment programming. We understand how crucial these programs are, and we are committed to adding them as soon as it is safe to do so.

Off-Campus Activities

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Parent-Attended School Events and Meetings

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Visitors to Campus

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  • What is the campus visitor policy?

    Until further notice, our campus is closed to all visitors. The only people allowed into the buildings are Shore employees, students, and contracted workers who agree to follow our safety protocols.

Cleaning Practices

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  • How often will the school be cleaned?

    The school will be cleaned on a daily schedule. Frequently-touched surfaces will be disinfected multiple times throughout the day.
  • What cleaning products will be used?

    The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed with the right products. The EPA has compiled a list of disinfectant products that can be used against COVID-19, including ready-to-use sprays, concentrates, and wipes. Each product has been shown to be effective against viruses that are harder to kill than viruses like the one that causes COVID-19. Shore will use cleaning products approved by the EPA and on List N. Shore is also using electrostatic disinfectant equipment as a supplement to standard cleaning regimens and solutions.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Circulation

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Recommendations for Families

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  • What can Shore families do to help?

    • It is advised that all Shore families and employees quarantine for 14 days before the start of school.
    • Help your child find comfortable face coverings before the start of school.
    • Send your child to school with clothing that makes outdoor learning possible even on rainy days.
    • Start explaining to your child(ren) how school may look and feel different after you review these materials.
    • Establish good health and safety habits: put social distancing and mask-wearing into practice before the start of school.
    • Encourage good hand hygiene at home.
    • Please consider flu shots for your family this year.
    • Follow guidance from the CDC and Massachusetts to keep our community safe.