COVID-19 and 2020 School Year Updates

NEWS and UPDATES
SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

Rector Kathy Giles wrote to students, families, and colleagues with changes to the Winter Term calendar. Read her letter here.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2020

With masks on and while six feet apart, classes began with enthusiasm earlier this month. Read more about the beginning of Fall Term.

SEPTEMBER 4, 2020


Rector Giles wrote to parents with the results of the COVID-19 testing for students who returned to campus and spoke about the current red zone restrictions and campus access.

AUGUST 20, 2020

As Opening Days approach beginning August 31, the School has been immersed in preparation. Read the full story.

AUGUST 7, 2020


Medical Director Dr. John Bassi updated the St. Paul's School community on reopening guidelines and provided a list of national and local COVID-19 testing sites.
Read full message.

JULY 27, 2020

The SPS calendar for the 2020-21 academic year providing dates for students returning to campus along with major school holidays has been published and available on the SPS.edu website. Please note, this calendar is subject to change. All updates will be posted on this page as they become available.

In a letter to students, Athletics Director Dick Muther outlines the Four-Two Model for the fall 2020 athletic offerings.

JULY 17, 2020

Rector Kathy Giles provided an update regarding policies and procedures for the School's reopening plan, as well as information about athletics and off-campus activities.

JUNE 30, 2020

Rector Kathy Giles announced the School’s reopening plan for fall 2020 in a letter to parents and students. Updates will be posted on this page as they are published.

JUNE 3, 2020

Rector Kathy Giles outlines the planning process currently underway for fall 2020 in a letter to students and families.

MAY 29, 2020

Message from Director of College Advising Erin Ainor to Fifth Form parents with information regarding standardized testing.

MAY 2, 2020
 
Sixth Form Officers sent a letter to the Form of 2020 with details about graduation.
 
Rector Kathy Giles provided the schedule of events celebrating the Form of 2020 and Baccalaureate and Graduation information in a letter to Sixth Form students and their families. In a separate letter, Giles addressed current Third, Fourth, and Fifth Formers on the schedule for the remainder of the school year.


APRIL 20, 2020


Rector Kathy Giles shared information concerning 2019-20 school year funds in a letter to parents.


APRIL 10, 2020


Rector Kathy Giles announced amendments to SPS Connected, the School’s remote learning program, in a letter to parents. Among the changes to be implemented on Monday, April 13, are schedule variations to better accommodate the needs of students and faculty.


APRIL 4, 2020

The Sixth Form Officers shared a letter with their peers this morning regarding the School’s decision to continue remote learning for the remainder of the Spring Term.

Rector Kathy Giles also addressed the announcement with Sixth Form students and their parents, as well as Third, Fourth, and Fifth Form students and their families in additional letters.


MARCH 31, 2020
 
Medical Director Dr. John Bassi and Director of Counseling Services Lisa Eberhart provided a list of health-related resources in a letter to SPS students and families.
 

MARCH 30, 2020
 
Rector Kathy Giles shared expectations for SPS Connected, the School’s remote learning program, in a letter to parents and students.


MARCH 27, 2020
  • SPS Connected is underway with the Pelicans Read Together challenge. Read more here.
  • The School donates surplus medical equipment to Concord Hospital, Concord Fire and Police Departments. Read more here

MARCH 25, 2020

Dean of College Advising Tim Pratt has updated Fifth Form students and their families about the challenges and opportunities posed by the coronavirus and our new distance learning module and time away from the School.

READ: Important Information for Fifth Formers from the College Office


MARCH 24, 2020
 
Spring Term has begun! Students and faculty convened online today for SPS Connected, the School’s distance learning program. For more information and details, click here.

WATCH: Spring Convocation 2020
 
MARCH 17, 2020
 
FAQs from the Dean of Students Office
 
Over the past two weeks, we have received many good and thoughtful questions from parents and want to share answers with all of our families. While this information is as up-to-date as possible, please note that the fluidity of the COVID-19 response in the U.S. makes definitive answers nearly impossible. 
 
Spring Term and Online Learning:
 
When will Spring Term start?
  • Online learning will begin on Tuesday, March 24. Students will receive instructions directly from their teachers. 
  • We are currently planning to welcome all students back on Monday, April 27, with in-person classes to begin on Tuesday, April 28.
 
Academics:
 
When will we receive details about schedules and required materials?
  • Each academic department is busy making plans to temporarily move to online instruction in time for the scheduled start of Spring Term on March 24th.
 What if my child did not bring home their computer/textbooks/calculator?
  • As we expect that very few students brought home their books, faculty will be creating online resources for each class.
  • Students who left their laptops at school, and do not have access to another computer, should send an email to Associate Dean of Students Thomas Gregston, tgregston@sps.edu, as soon as possible.
 Can my child switch courses?
  • Please reach out to Dean of Studies Lori Bohan, lbohan@sps.edu, for questions about course changes.
 What if my child does not have access to high-speed internet during the online instruction period?
  • SPS is committed to helping students access our remote learning resources. If you are concerned about your ability to connect, please send an email to Associate Dean of Students Thomas Gregston, tgregston@sps.edu, as soon as possible.
How will my child’s academic accommodations be supported?
  • Teachers will be making adjustments as needed. For questions about academic support, please email Director of Academic Support Kate Daniels, kdaniels@sps.edu
Do we need to create a Zoom account or download other programs in advance?
  • Most required resources will be integrated into Canvas; course specific instruction will come directly from individual teachers/departments.
How will my child complete courses that might be hard to replicate in an online environment, including lab sciences and studio arts?
  • Teachers will be making adjustments to these courses to create an enriching learning experience during this period of remote study.  
My child is scheduled to take standardized testing this spring, what are our options?
My child is scheduled to take standardized testing this spring, what are our options?
  • We have been in contact with The College Board and are awaiting an update. We will provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.
 
School Life:
 
Can we come to campus to pick up my child’s belongings?
  • We strongly discourage any return to campus. A national emergency has been declared in the United States and public health experts recommend physical distancing and avoiding all non-essential travel. However, if there is a critical need, please reach out to the Dean on Duty: 603-848-0630 or SPS Safety: 603-229-4646, and we will do our best to accommodate your request for access.
Will my child’s personal belongings be moved from their room?
  • At this time our plan is to leave student belongings in place. One of the deans will reach out if this plan needs to be modified.
How will my child participate in athletics, extra-curricular activities, and other scheduled events?
  • SPS is committed to resuming all activities as soon as the School reopens on the grounds. Coaches will be sending out plans for at-home conditioning and practice. The deans will be working with the Sixth Form officers and the heads of our many clubs and societies to facilitate online meetings and other events.
 
International Students:
 
Given the uncertainty, should I consider bringing my international student home now? 
  • Parents should bring their children home. SPS is committed to supporting remote learning for international students who return home. Please remember that if your child returns to the U.S. from a country with a CDC level of 2 or Level 3 COVID-19 advisory, your child will have to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to School grounds.
Will class time be adjusted for different time zones?
  • We understand that students will be in many different time zones. Teachers will make accommodations when possible, however there will be certain sessions in which all students will be expected to participate, regardless of time zone.
How does remote learning or traveling home affect the status of an F-1 visa holder?
  • USCIS and SEVP have issued guidance stating that students are allowed to temporarily count online classes towards their full course of study. USCIS and SEVP are also waiving the requirement that students cannot be outside of the USA for more than five months and remain active students in SEVIS. As of today, all F-1 visa holders will continue to be in active status as long as they complete the online courses offered by St. Paul’s School. If you have specific questions, please reach out to Director of Off-campus Programs Sarah Keefe, skeefe@sps.edu
For answers to other questions, please contact Dean of Students Suzanne Ellinwood, sellinwood@sps.edu or 603-848-0630.


MARCH 16, 2020
  •  Due to the public health crisis and on the advice of public health experts, the School has moved the return-to-campus date to Monday, April 27.
  • Students and families will receive information via email regarding academic schedules, how to access materials, the logistics of online work, and how the School plans to proceed with grades and credits on March 19.


MARCH 12, 2020

With the guidance of numerous official state and federal agencies and in consultation with our fellow boarding schools, St. Paul’s School officials have been meeting throughout this month to plan for the continuation of Spring Term, keeping in mind the health, safety, and well-being of our community as our highest priority.
 
As of today, here are the actions the School is taking regarding upcoming classes, activities, and community events.
 
Spring vacation is NOT extended, but students will “virtually return” to campus on March 24 via online instruction only. Students will not return to the grounds until April 6.

  • March 24 Online instruction begins for all students. Students will remain home and will be notified by teachers as to the specific plans, materials, and schedules for each class. Faculty will be on the grounds and teaching students remotely.
  • April 6 – 7 In the absence of further public health advisories to the contrary, healthy and asymptomatic students will return to the School on April 6 to begin classes on the grounds on April 7.

Parents and students with questions can contact:
Dean of Students Suzanne Ellinwood (sellinwood@sps.edu) for questions about return to school and student life

Event and travel changes through April 30:
April 4, 2020 ACT tests are rescheduled to later this spring
  • Remaining spring trips and pre-season trainings are canceled
  • Athletics activities suspended through April 4
  • There will be no international exchange programs for Spring Term
  • Admission Spring Visits are canceled (“Say YES to SPS” goes virtual!)
  • Nonessential school-related travel for faculty and staff is canceled
  • Public events, concerts, and performances on the grounds are postponed through April 30
  • Spring College Fair for Fifth Formers is canceled
  • School-sponsored off-grounds alumni/parent events scheduled for late March will be rescheduled

Ongoing:
Admissions “Say YES to SPS” is in full swing! Admitted students’ replies are due by April 10, 2020
  • College advising: regular updates will be sent from Dean of Advising Tim Pratt, and students will Skype with College Counselors
  • The Health and Safety Task Force is in constant communication, with a campus “deep clean” in process
  • The Instructional and Distance Learning Task Force is at work to coordinate and support online learning

Helpful Links:

Questions?
Please e-mail covid19@sps.edu. Director of Environmental Health and School Safety Tim McGinley will make sure your question gets to the right person for follow-up.

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