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Returning to Campus January 2021

Updated February 16, 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 sessions 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.

Weekly Schedule through January 22
Weekly Schedule starting January 25
Academic Calendar

All students and employees are required to present a printed, hard copy of a negative COVID-19 test taken no 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. Additional information about testing is below.

Visit our COVID-19 Dashboard for known positive cases for students and adults in the George School community.

George School will continue to monitor developments related to the pandemic and will update plans if necessary. Questions? Please contact the Deans’ Office by email at deans@georgeschool.org.

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.
Tuesday, March 16: Classes resume.

The dates for graduation remain unchanged at this time.

Information for Boarding Students and Parents

Planning for a Return to Campus

Boarding students who choose to return in January will return to a closed campus. All students must arrive with a negative COVID test administered no more than 72 hours before their return to George School.

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. These reports are required to register and check-in.

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.

Arriving on Campus in January

All boarding students must make an appointment to return to campus. To make a move-in appointment, click on the links below.

January 9th: 9th and 12th grade boarding students. Make your appointment.
January 10th: 10th and 11th grade boarding students. Make your appointment.

On the day of arrival, all vehicles will enter campus via the Farm Drive entrance. You will be directed to the Fitness and Athletics Center parking lot, where temperatures will be taken and we will check your two-week online health screening, your 72-hour COVID test results, and your other registration and health paperwork.

Once all registration obligations have been satisfied, students may proceed to their dorm for move-in. Only one adult will be allowed to help students move into the dorm.

To allow for the arrival of distance learners in March, we are using our dorm spaces differently. There is a strong likelihood that students may not return to the rooms they were assigned to in the first semester. Should we need to reassign rooms, residential staff will make every effort to keep previous dorm cohorts and roommates together.

For questions about arrival or move-in, please contact registration@georgeschool.org.

Requirements and Expectations for Boarding Students

Students will begin a fourteen-day quarantine when they arrive on campus. Face masks must be worn, and social distancing must be practiced. Dorm rules regarding health and safety must be followed. No outside food deliveries will be permitted until further notice. We do hope to allow food deliveries later in the semester if the public health situation permits.

For the fourteen days, there will be no floor to floor contact or contact with other dorms. There will be virtual activities, discussions, and meetings for worship in addition to virtual classes to help build community. Students will be able to be outside for physical activity and exercise. Off-campus medical appointments will be approved by the Student Health and Wellness Center.

Once the fourteen-day quarantine period is over, students may be allowed to visit other floors in their dorms and socialize with students and staff from the other dorms. Face masks and social distancing will still be enforced. Students in violation of masking or distancing policies should expect consequences. In-person afternoon sessions begin on January 25.

Additional COVID Testing. Students will participate in a saliva-based pooled testing program every other week. George School also will perform wastewater sample testing weekly on a campus-wide basis as an indicator of overall campus health.

Daily Health Screenings. Students must complete their daily health screening each day prior to their first arrangement of the day and no later than 12:30 p.m. Any student who receives a red “X” in their health screen should immediately contact the Student Health Center to arrange for medical assessment.

Masking and Physical Distancing.  The strict enforcement of face masks and physical distancing will continue through the remainder of the year. Students in violation of masking or distancing policies should expect consequences.

Additional Information for Parents of Boarding Students

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. It is our hope to introduce a carefully managed parent visiting program later in the semester if the public health situation permits.

Off-campus medical appointments will be approved by the Student Health and Wellness Center. Should you have an emergent situation please contact the Deans’ Office at 215 579 6589. Note that any students who leave campus may not be able to return as a boarding student. A return to campus will be contingent upon quarantine space availability.

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. No outside food deliveries are permitted until further notice. We do hope to allow food deliveries later in the semester if the public health situation permits.

If your child has a birthday during the second semester, 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.

We are continually reevaluating our plans as the public health situation changes and are prepared to make our own changes accordingly.

Information for Day Students and Parents

Planning for a Return to Campus

Day students who choose to return in January will return to a closed campus. All students must arrive with a printed hard copy of a negative COVID test administered no more than 72 hours before their return to George School.

Monday, January 11: All day students must begin to complete their daily online health screening reports and take their temperatures and continue to do so throughout the school year.

Monday, January 25: Campus reopens to day students and in-person sessions resume. Day students may arrive between 7:15 and 8:30 a.m. for synchronous classes or in the afternoon between 1:30 and 2:15 p.m. for in-person sessions. These are the only two times day students may arrive on campus. Once day students are on campus they must stay until the end of their academic day and/or art or athletic obligations.

Day students arriving on campus for the first time this academic year must check in with the Registration Team in the FAC lobby to ensure all registration paperwork is complete. For questions about arrival and the start of classes, please contact registration@georgeschool.org.

Revised Arrival and Departure Times

Day students may arrive between 7:15 and 8:30 a.m. for synchronous classes or in the afternoon between 1:30 and 2:15 p.m. for in-person sessions, theater, physical education, and athletics only. These are the only two times day students may arrive on campus and students must stay on campus for the full day. Students must complete the Day Student Arrival Time survey by Friday, January 8.

These preset arrival times are different from our previous schedule in the fall when we were able to accommodate a more fluid arrival and departure time for students. With more families choosing the on-campus experience over distance learning, we must think about our ability to maintain physical distancing. With colder temperatures and fewer outdoor spaces available for use, our available workspaces and their staffing need to be carefully scheduled. Your arrival times must remain consistent through the remainder of the year.

Should we need to, we are prepared to move to an alternating schedule to reduce campus density and maintain appropriate social distancing. Your responses to the survey are critical to our decision making.

Families may make occasional exceptions but must contact the Assistant Dean and Attendance Supervisor Laurie Moyer by email at lmoyer@georgeschool.org or by phone at 215.579.6593 on the day the change is needed.

 

 

Requirements and Expectations for Day Students

Day students will continue to use the Farm Drive entrance and must show their Day student card for entrance at the gate. If a replacement card is needed, please let the Registration Team in the Fitness and Athletics Center know so they can provide a replacement.

Day students must check in with Assistant Dean and Attendance Supervisor Laurie Moyer at the Fitness and Athletics Center before going to their classroom destination every day. Once day students are on campus they must stay until the end of their academic day and/or art or athletic obligations. When day students leave campus they must go to the Fitness and Athletics Center daily and use the QR code to check out or see Laurie Moyer.

Additional COVID Testing. Students will participate in a saliva-based pooled testing program every other week. George School also will perform wastewater sample testing weekly on a campus-wide basis as an indicator of overall campus health.

Daily Health Screenings. Students must complete their daily health screening each day prior to arriving on campus. Upon arrival, George School will confirm that the daily health screen has been completed. No student who receives a red “X” in their health screen should come to campus that day without clearance from the Student Health and Wellness Center. If a student arrives on campus without a complete health screen and subsequently receives an X, a parent/guardian will be notified and the student must be brought home.

Masking and Physical Distancing.  The strict enforcement of face masks and physical distancing will continue through the remainder of the year. Students in violation of masking or distancing policies should expect consequences and a third infraction will result in the student being sent home until March.

Day students may bring food and snacks to campus but they are not allowed to have food deliveries to campus.

We are continually reevaluating our plans as the public health situation changes and are prepared to make our own changes accordingly.

 

Information for Distance Learning Students and Parents

Can a distance learning student participate in athletics or other in-person sessions?

Distance learning students are not allowed on campus at any time. They do not participate in daily health screenings and are not included in the planning for space and staffing allocations.

Can a Distance Learning Student Change to a Day Student?

It may be possible to change a distance learning student’s enrollment status to be a day student, but George School must first ensure there is sufficient study space. Should space be available, students who were distance learning must complete two full weeks of health monitoring before coming to campus. New distance learning students also will be added to a pooled testing pod for weekly COVID testing.

Can a Distance Learning Student Change to a Boarding Student?

Students choosing to be distance learners for the second semester have not been included in the housing plan for January or March arrivals and there may not be space for additional boarding students. The availability of a residence hall room and on-campus quarantine space will determine the possibility of a distance learning student becoming a boarding student.

Is there a distance learning tuition credit in Semester 2? When will it be applied?

Families who were eligible for a tuition credit will continue to receive that credit. Credits will be applied in late February and may be applied to the 2021-22 tuition. If your child is a graduating senior, a refund will be provided via check or wire transfer after commencement.

How do I request a change in enrollment status?

If you would like to change your status from distance learning student to boarding or day student, please send your request to enrollment@georgeschool.org. We will consider your request and gauge the availability of space.

Additional Information

Testing Protocols

All students and employees will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken no 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.

Additional information about testing is available on the George School COVID Testing FAQs webpage.

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 and Fusion Healthcare 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.

Additional Testing Methods

Pool Testing. George School contracted with Geosyntec and Fusion Healthcare to develop a pooled testing program for the community. The program uses a saliva-based PCR methodology.  This will help with the early detection of COVID in the community and give us the opportunity to limit spread. When possible, this testing may allow George School to mix boarding and day students for in-person sessions and/or athletic competitions. All students will be placed in a testing pool and will be required to participate in the testing program every other week while they are on campus. Should the pooled sample test results come back as positive for COVID, all participants in the pool will be individually tested and must quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

Pool testing will begin for boarding students on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. It will begin for day students on Monday, February 1, 2021.

Wastewater testing. Geosyntec Labs has also partnered with us to implement a wastewater monitoring program. Wastewater samples from the entire campus will be tested on a weekly basis providing us an early opportunity to detect the Covid virus in the community. Wastewater is a useful addition to our testing program because it can detect an infection days before respiratory symptoms show up, and even if they never show up at all in the case of asymptomatic individuals.

Additional information about testing is available on the George School COVID Testing FAQs webpage.

 

Local Testing Locations

American Family Care in Levittown.
American Family Care in Warrington.

Locations at Bucks Community College include:

  • BCCC Newtown Campus, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown (Gymnasium) 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • BCCC Lower Bucks Campus, 1304 Veterans Hwy., Bristol: Sun.-Thurs., 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 2:00 – 8:00 p.m., Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • BCCC Upper Bucks Campus, 1 Hillendale Rd., Perkasie: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Testing Information for New Jersey.

Educational Model

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. We are hopeful that our testing regimen will allow us to make changes to our teaching model over the course of the semester.

The school has modified our model and weekly schedule for the distance learning period that ends on Friday, January 22, and our weekly schedule that begins on Monday, January 25.

We are continually reevaluating our plans as the public health situation changes and are prepared to make our own changes accordingly.

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 boarding and day students to campus. This is because we expect more 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 enrollment choices, so please bring those requests to us, but know our flexibility will be more limited than it has been this fall.

Weekly Schedule
Academic Calendar

Winter Athletics

George School plans to offer interscholastic winter sports and continues to plan for the winter with Friends Schools League (FSL) members. The most recent plan is available on our Winter Athletics 2021 webpage.

We are continually reevaluating our plans as the public health situation changes and are prepared to make our own changes accordingly.

Spring Break

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.

Commencement and Senior Activities

While we are optimistic and hope that we will be able to enjoy our traditional senior activities and commencement celebrations this year, it is too soon for us to know if that is possible. We are eager to celebrate the Class of 2021 and to create a special experience just for them, but specific plans will depend on the public health situation as spring unfolds. We will share more as these plans take shape.