Returning to Campus January 2021
The schedule for returning to school in January 2021 was modified to increase community safety as the coronavirus pandemic permits. All classes begin online on Monday, January 11 and in-person classes begin on Monday, January 25. Spring break is shortened due to the delayed start. Please read these dates and the information carefully, as there are some changes to both the weekly schedule and the academic calendar.
All students, and all employees working directly with students, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken not more than 72 hours prior to arrival on campus for the first time in January. Families are responsible for arranging these tests. Additionally, all students need to complete their self-screenings for two weeks prior to their first day on campus.
Dec 15: Enrollment Choice Form
Dec 28: Arrival Information Form
Important Dates for Families
Saturday, January 9: Boarding students in grades 9 and 12 return to campus to begin a period of quarantine.
Sunday, January 10: Boarding students in grades 10 and 11 return to campus to begin a period of quarantine.
Monday, January 11: All classes begin online. Day students will work remotely until January 25.
Monday, January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Programs (online).
Sunday, January 24: Last day of quarantine on campus for boarding students.
Monday, January 25: Campus reopens to day students and in-person sessions resume.
Friday, March 5: Spring Break begins.
Saturday, March 13: Boarding students return to campus.
Tuesday, March 16: Classes resume.
The dates for graduation and for IB and AP exams remain unchanged.
Information for Boarding Students and Parents
Requirements and Expectations for Boarding Students
Students who choose to return in January will return to a closed campus. Students must complete their online health screening reports every day, starting two weeks before arriving on campus, and continue to do so throughout the school year.
Saturday, December 26: Students in grades 9 and 12 begin daily health screening reports.
Sunday, December 27: Students in grades 10 and 11 begin daily health screening reports.
Saturday, January 9: Students in grades 9 and 12 return to campus with a negative Covid-19 test that has been administered no more than seventy-two hours prior to arrival.
Sunday, January 10: Students in grades 10 and 11 return campus with a negative Covid-19 test that has been administered no more than seventy-two hours prior to arrival.
All boarding students will be placed in one of two residence halls. This will allow us to have the space needed for students who choose to return in March to quarantine adequately and safely.
Arrival Quarantine Requirements
• Students will begin a fourteen-day quarantine. Face masks must be worn, and social distance must be practiced. Dorm rules regarding health and safety must be followed.
• On the first three days of quarantine, students must remain on their assigned dorm floor. Students will order their meals from Culinart and their food will be delivered to their dorm. At the end of three days, the Student Health and Wellness Center will administer another Covoid-19 test. If all tests are negative the strict quarantine will end.
• At the end of this period of strict quarantine, residents will be allowed to go outside or to the FAC for activities, and meals may be enjoyed in the dining room.
• For the fourteen days, there will be no floor to floor contact or contact with other dorms. There will be virtual activities and discussions to help build community and have weekly meetings for worship.
• Once the fourteen-day quarantine period is over, students will be allowed to visit other floors in their dorms and socialize with others from the other dorms. Face masks and social distance will still be enforced.
• In-person classes begin on January 25.
Information for Parents of Boarders
It is vitally important that parents help support the school and their children during this quarantine period.
• Campus visits during January-March will not be allowed, nor will students be allowed off-campus. Please use FaceTime and Zoom to check in with your child.
• Should you have an emergent situation please contact the Dean’s Office at 215 579 6589. Note that any students who leave campus during this time will have to remain home until March.
• Feel free to provide a Giant gift card or an H-Mart gift card so that your child may order groceries. George School will arrange pickups and delivery.
• Should you want your child to be able to have prepared food delivered, the easiest way is to link one of your credit cards to Insta-Cart or Grub-Hub.
• If your child has a birthday in January, February, or early March, you may have cakes delivered by mail as well as birthday gifts and celebratory décor. The dorm head will do everything they can to help make sure that the day is special for your child. All we ask is that you communicate with the dorm head giving them enough time to help make your child’s day special.
Information for Day Students and Parents
Requirements and Expectations for Day Students
• On Monday, January 11, day students must begin to complete their daily online health screening reports and continue to do so throughout the school year.
• At registration, day students must present a negative covid test that has been administered no more than seventy-two hours before arrival to campus.
• Students MUST take their temperature and fill out their Daily Health Screen BEFORE arrival to campus.
• Day students will continue to use the Farm Drive entrance and must show their Day student card for easy entrance at the gate. If you need a replacement card please let us know at registration and we can provide a replacement for you.
• All day students must check in with Laurie at the FAC before going to their classroom destination.
• If the numbers allow, ninth and tenth grades will work in the FAC and eleventh and twelfth grades will work in MDA.
• Day students may arrive in time for their 8:30 a.m. class or in the afternoon for their 2:00 p.m. class. These are the only two times day students may arrive on campus.
• Day students will check in with the Assistant Dean and Attendance Supervisor Laurie Moyer in the Fitness and Athletics Center when they arrive.
• Once day students are on campus they must stay until the end of their academic day and/or art or athletic obligations.
• Day students may bring food and snacks to campus but they are not allowed to have food deliveries to campus.
• When day students leave campus they must go to the Fitness and Athletics Center and use the QR code to check out or see Laurie Moyer.
All students, and all employees working directly with students, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken not more than 72 hours prior to arrival on campus for the first time in January. Families are responsible for arranging these tests. Additionally, all students will need to complete their self-screenings for two weeks prior to their first day on campus.
With the return of students in January, George School expects to introduce a pooled testing program. Pooled testing allows us to test multiple individuals using only one test. For any pool that indicates a positive result, the samples that contributed to that pool can be tested individually to identify the positive people.
Testing is not prevention, but early detection will further enhance our ability to limit the virus’s spread by modifying schedules and operations temporarily and/or arranging for individual diagnostic tests. As infection rates and test positivity rates increase in our region, adding pooled testing to our toolkit is prudent. Our ability to carry out this new regimen successfully requires the cooperation of our students and families, and the continuing ability of our testing partners at GeoSyntec to return timely and reliable test results.
In addition, students and employees who travel after the start of school in January will be asked to submit a negative COVID-19 test taken not more than 72 hours prior to returning to campus for the first time after their travel is complete. Depending on where a student or employee traveled and the public health situation at the time, there may be additional requirements. All students and employees should limit their travel after returning to the community in January, and students should let the Deans’ Office know in advance of travel plans so that they can get accurate and timely advice and guidance.
George School’s faculty and staff have learned a great deal this fall about how students learn and how our community flourishes, even in such unusual times like these. Among the most important feedback, is a set of requests for students to have more in-person time with faculty and as a close second the request for boarding and day students to interact more frequently. Thus, the school is working on a modification of our model and academic updates will follow later this month and in December.
Changes to Student Status
Parents have the option for the 2020-2021 academic year to choose between three options for their children — in-person classes for day or boarding students or all remote learning. Families may select options to start in January 2021 or in March 2021. Families must complete the Enrollment Choice Form by Sunday, December 15, 2020, to let us know if and when we should expect their children on campus.
As we have this fall, George School will attempt to honor changes in students’ status, between remote learning, and day and boarding programs with in-person classes. Students who registered this fall as day or boarding students and went all-online will be able to return with their day or boarding status in January.
After the end of the quarantine period for boarding students on January 24, we will have limited capacity to welcome newly registered boarders to campus. This is because we expect more boarding students physically present on campus starting in January and will have only a few spaces where students arriving after the quarantine period can stay separate from those who have already cleared the quarantine. We will do our best to accommodate new changes to boarding from day or online-only status, so please bring those requests to us, but know our flexibility will be more limited than it has been this fall.
Winter Sports Season
George School, as of this writing, plans to offer interscholastic winter sports and continues to plan for the winter with our fellow Friends Schools League members. Our hope is that carefully developed and agreed upon guidelines with our fellow schools will allow us to offer a winter interscholastic sports season. It is not clear at this time whether there would be spectators in person at events. The work with our fellow schools is ongoing, and you will receive updates about athletics in December.
Spring Break is more than three months away, and it is too early to promise how we will manage it in detail. At this early point and for the sake of planning, we suggest that boarding families anticipate an on-campus “staycation” for boarding students. All of us at the school understand that this would mean a very long time on campus, from January to June, for boarding students—even with the most exciting staycation we can manage. We would like something different and will make our decisions about the break based on the public health situation in our area and conditions on campus closer to the break itself. We will provide you with more information about Spring Break this winter.