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Return to Normalcy

New guidance issued by the State of MA indicated a November 1 extension of the indoor mask mandate with the opportunity for school communities with vaccination rates greater than 80% to move away from indoor masking as of October 15. Due to our excellent vaccination rate of 100% of our adult community and 99% of our student population vaccinated, we will be implementing the following phased in approach to normalcy.

PHASE I

  • The first phase will be to allow masking to become optional for vaccinated students indoors in most areas of campus as of Monday, October 18.
  • Un-vaccinated students will remain masked indoors for the foreseeable future. 
  • Anyone on campus, students and adults, will be supported in masking if that is their choice. Additionally, we will have a number of faculty members who will require masking in their individual classes based on their unique circumstances during this first phase. 
  • The boys should continue to bring a mask to School every day
  • We will remain universally masked when we gather as a school in the Hamilton Chapel during phase one. 
  • Masks will continue to be required on all buses and masking will be required indoors for visitors to campus. 
  • It is also essential that all students continue to report any symptoms/illness to the Health Office before coming to school and that they make our Health Office aware of any COVID-19 cases or direct exposure risk in their families.

PHASE II

Over the last three weeks, as part of our phased return to normalcy outlined by Mr. Schneider on October 12, we have been able to remove our masks during class time. Our extraordinary vaccination rate of 100% of the faculty and staff and 99% of the students has allowed our community to enjoy a more typical fall.
 
Additionally, our weekly Covid testing of the entire community has revealed no positive cases. This critical indicator reinforces our commitment to move forward. As always, we must balance safety measures against the needs of the boys to connect and socialize.
 
Students have already been eating lunch in indoor spaces due to colder and inclement weather but we are now ready to move to phase two on November 15 with a return to the Dining Hall! Family-style hot lunches will be appreciated by the boys as we head into colder weather. The social time at lunch will provide a welcome return to our pre-pandemic daily rhythm, and we are so grateful for the ability to share the midday meal again. Our few unvaccinated students will have lunch together in a different space.  
 
We will also be able to gather as a school in the Chapel and other larger rooms without our masks as we move into phase two.
 
When we return from the Thanksgiving and Winter breaks, we will wear masks on campus while we wait for the results of the covid testing. The results are usually back within a day or two. 

Protocol Updates

Message from the Head of School - Oct 12Message from the head of school - August 23Message from the Head of School - Aug. 16 

To access all school communications, please visit the Veracross Parent Portal. 

 

ATHLETICS

  • Masks will be optional inside the Jordan Atheletic Center – including in the locker rooms except for visitors to campus who will be asked to remain masked indoors.

  • Some schools in the ISL do NOT allow unvaccinated players to participate in interscholastic competitions. All ISL schools likely require testing within 48 hours of competition for unvaccinated students. Testing will need to be managed by individual families.

Testing/Reporting

As we navigate through Belmont Hill’s return to normalcy on campus, we will be COVID-19 testing our entire community, weekly, through Winter Break in an effort to mitigate any risk of transmission on campus. Testing is mandatory to continue our indoor mask-optional policy.

Test Dates:
Monday, October 25
Tuesday, November 2
Monday, November 8
Monday, November 15
Monday, November 29 (after Thanksgiving Break)
Monday, December 6
Monday, December 13
Monday, January 3 (after Winter Break)
 
  • We have also ordered a large number of rapid antigen tests to be deployed on campus for symptomatic students as needed. 
  • We will continue to track and enforce strict close contact protocols for all students and employ masking and testing in those cases as is recommended by the CDC and the Board of Health. 

Please contact Donna David, Director of Health Services, with any questions.

Massachusetts Testing Sites

GRAB & GO LUNCH

Grab & Go Lunch will continue during phase one of our return to normalcy. While we know that our boys are eager to return to hot lunches in the Dining Hall, we have decided to prioritize the learning experience by allowing the boys to see faces and engage more completely in class discussions.
 
Assuming all goes well with phase one, our goal would be to target a return to our Dining Hall during a second phase. We hope to get to phase two before the holidays if possible, but we are not adhering to a rigid timetable in this regard.

REMOTE LEARNING POLICY

Remote learning will be an option for students in the following, approved situations:
 
  • An accommodation related to COVID-19 quarantine/isolation protocols
  • An absence due to a planned medical procedure or essential family matter
  • An absence due to illness that will extend beyond two class days
     

In each case, parents should speak with their son’s Division Director for guidance as well as the Health Office in the case of extended sickness. Our ability to provide remote learning in the post pandemic norm is limited and lead time is required for set up. As such, please communicate as proactively as possible and note that we cannot accommodate boys missing school for athletic reasons.

Campus-Wide COVID-19 Health Protocols

Members of the Belmont Hill community should practice safety protocols both within and outside School to mitigate risk. Students, faculty, and staff should stay home if ill or if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and notify the Health Office.
 

Belmont Hill's Phased Return to Normalcy