COVID-19 Updates

 

On Jan. 12, Principal Rawson shared with families a letter about the plan for students' return to campus. Please see the updated FAQs below for more details and helpful information. 

As conditions related to COVID-19 continue to evolve, so too will our planning. We will keep families updated. 

Due to the pandemic, all campus buildings and grounds are closed to visitors until further notice. If you would like to learn more about Exeter and our campus, we encourage you take a virtual tour of campus and view Exeter Today.

Virtual Town Hall

If you missed the Virtual Town Hall with deans and other campus leaders on January 15, you can still watch it at the Parent Portal.  

COVID-19 Dashboard

Consult our COVID-19 dashboard for aggregate data pertaining to COVID-19 testing of students and PEA employees.  

Communications

Academic year calendar, updated Jan. 12, 2021

Principal Rawson’s letter announcing plans for winter and spring terms, Nov. 14. 2020.

The Student Guidebook, a description of health and safety protocols | Available on Exeter Connect for students and employees; on the Parent Portal for parents.

Frequently Asked Questions

We invite you to explore some of the commonly asked questions below for more details about winter and spring term. All answers were updated on Jan. 12, 2021, unless otherwise noted. 

Calendar
What does the calendar look like for winter and spring terms?

Winter term

No Saturday classes

Dec. 7-18: remote classes in session

Dec. 19-Jan. 3: vacation

Jan. 4-31: remote classes in session

Feb. 1-10: vacation; home quarantine; pre-travel test

Feb. 11-13: students return (except winter remote students); no classes; arrival testing for all returning students

Feb. 14-20: on-campus quarantine protocols in place

Feb. 21: post-quarantine ground rules take effect for students on campus including in-person classes

Mar 13: first wave of spring returners arrive and begin 7-day quarantine before returning to their assigned dormitories (Mar 20)

Mar. 17: winter term ends after classes

Mar 20: second wave of spring returners arrive and begin a 7-day quarantine before returning to their assigned dormitories (Mar 27)

Mar. 18-22: long weekend on campus; no academic classes

Spring term

No Saturday classes

Mar. 23 – classes begin

June 3 – last day of school, on-campus students depart (except seniors)

June 6 – graduation

See the full calendar.

Health and Safety
How often will students be tested for COVID-19?

Before students return to campus, they will complete a PCR test, submitted by mail. When students return to campus, we will implement enhanced COVID testing, starting with a rapid PCR test for every student as they arrive. This is a newly available option in our area. Once on campus, we will conduct at least twice weekly testing for all students and adults. We will rely on this testing to confirm the effectiveness of our COVID safety protocols, and to give us early detection of any cases that do arise. Our public COVID dashboard reflects the effectiveness of our protocols thus far. Increased frequency of testing will allow us to lift restrictions on students more quickly than we were able to in the fall, allowing for more in-person interactions across campus.

How often are employees tested for COVID-19?

Employees will be tested at least twice weekly.

What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19 on campus?

Any student diagnosed with COVID-19 will be cared for by our medical staff at the Lamont Health and Wellness Center. If emergency evaluation is necessary, they will be transported to the local hospital for treatment. Anyone who is able to travel by private transportation will be encouraged to recover at home.

Following any COVID-19 diagnosis, the health team will immediately start the process of contact tracing to identify and quarantine all known close contacts of a person who tests positive. Positive cases will be reported to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and the on-campus medical team will work in conjunction with DHHS to follow state guidelines for isolation and quarantine.

If a student needs to quarantine, where will that happen?

Students who are identified as close contacts of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 must spend a 14-day quarantine period either at home, with a family member off campus, or under the supervision of the medical staff in a designated quarantine site on campus.

Does the school have a contact-tracing protocol?

Yes. We have trained multiple members of our health staff to perform contact tracing. In addition, we have developed an application that uses digital technology from cell phones to help us complete a thorough contact-tracing analysis when possible. We will partner closely with our state public health officials as well. 

Academics
What will the instructional method be for the winter and spring terms?

Students will all be studying remotely for the first six weeks of the winter term. Upon return to campus in February, we will offer both online and in-person classes and plan to offer more in-person instruction as the term progresses. We intend to make in-person instruction the backbone of our classroom experience for students on-campus in the spring while also supporting remote learners. 

What will the daily schedule look like in the spring term?

While not finalized yet, the spring term schedule will differ from the current winter term schedule. It will allow for even more focus on in-person classes here on campus, as well as allow for a day without academic classes every other week. Scheduling of classes will be based on the premise that most students will be on campus. The spring schedule will not, for instance, include evening classes for students in U.S. time zones, and may be less accommodating for students in some time zones than it was in the fall and winter when many students were studying remotely.

Will classes in the winter and spring be graded or pass/fail?

As was the case during the fall term, all academic courses will be graded. 

What does the calendar look like for winter and spring terms?

Winter term

No Saturday classes

Dec. 7-18: remote classes in session

Dec. 19-Jan. 3: vacation

Jan. 4-31: remote classes in session

Feb. 1-10: vacation; home quarantine; pre-travel test

Feb. 11-13: students return (except winter remote students); no classes; arrival testing for all returning students

Feb. 14-20: on-campus quarantine protocols in place

Feb. 21: post-quarantine ground rules take effect for students on campus including in-person classes

Mar 13: first wave of spring returners arrive and begin 7-day quarantine before returning to their assigned dormitories (Mar 20)

Mar. 17: winter term ends after classes

Mar 20: second wave of spring returners arrive and begin a 7-day quarantine before returning to their assigned dormitories (Mar 27)

Mar. 18-22: long weekend on campus; no academic classes

Spring term

No Saturday classes

Mar. 23 – classes begin

June 3 – last day of school, on-campus students depart (except seniors)

June 6 – graduation

See the full calendar.

Campus Life
What opportunities will exist for students to connect with others?

We will continue to do all we can to maintain a deep and strong sense of the Exeter community. This fall we opened more indoor spaces for eating, studying and meeting with friends and we will also expand outdoor activities this winter. Clubs and other activities such as affinity and religious organizations will offer a combination of in-person and virtual experiences so that membership and participation is available to all students, whether they are on campus or at home. Assembly and meditation will continue uninterrupted.

What about down time?

We’ve carefully crafted a schedule that makes time for community events and leaves time for students to pursue other activities including rest and relaxation. 

Will students be allowed to go into downtown Exeter?

Based on current trends in our local area, we do not anticipate allowing students to leave campus during the winter or spring terms. Should pandemic conditions improve, we will reevaluate this. 

Will students still need to wear masks and practice physical distancing in their dorm?

Yes. A student’s room will be the boundary indicating where masks are needed or not needed. Students will still be able to interact within the dorm following physical-distancing and mask-wearing protocols. Students will be required to wear masks in the dormitory, including in their rooms, whenever an adult is present. Dormitories will also have access to large spaces for full dorm activities and meetings. Once conditions permit, we expect to be able to make adjustments that will allow students more freedom within the dorm.  

What will the day student experience be like once students return to campus in February?

Day students will continue to find a home in the Academy library where they can meet with their classes via Zoom, study alone or with friends and connect with other students on the ground floor. We are happy to report that the library renovations will be completed in January so the noise concerns will be alleviated. We will continue to offer noise cancelling headphones for students needing them to concentrate in that setting. They are welcome to enjoy their meals, meet with clubs or with peers in any of the open spaces on campus. 

Athletics
Will there be interscholastic sports?

The winter season will most likely consist of intra-squad competitions between those on our teams. We expect some of these competitions to be conducted with game officials and game-like conditions, modified as necessary for COVID protocols.  There will most likely not be any interscholastic competition. We continue to plan to have interscholastic competition in the spring, if conditions permit.

Will students be able to participate in off-campus sports?

Students will not be allowed to participate in off-campus sports if they plan on spending the remainder of the winter and spring seasons on campus. 

Family Choice, Enrollment and Tuition
What does Family Choice mean?

We understand that some students might not be able to come to campus or might choose to learn remotely. In those cases students will be allowed to study remotely for the entirety of either term. 

What is the deadline for making a decision as to whether our child will study on-campus or remotely?

Families must indicate a preliminary decision by December 15, 2020, so that we can prepare for housing needs. Boarding students who choose to study remotely for a term will receive a tuition credit for the boarding portion of their tuition for that term (adjusted for the amount of financial aid awarded). In order to be eligible for a prorated refund for winter and spring terms, families must confirm their decision by January 24, 2021. All families will receive a final confirmation form via email. Any decisions made after January 24 to study remotely for all or a portion of the winter or for the spring term will not be eligible for a refund. We expect to apply tuition credits for winter term in February. Until then, families should continue to make their regularly scheduled payments. Payment plans will adjust the future payments accordingly once the credit is applied.

If my student elects family choice in the winter but wants to return for the spring term, will that be allowed?

Yes. They could also extend their family choice into spring term. The deadline for that decision is also January 24. Students returning at the start of the spring term will need to complete a 7-day quarantine period in addition to testing protocols upon return. During this period, students will be housed separately from students who returned in February.

Are we allowing students to return outside of the announced opening dates?

To maintain the safest of environments students may only start on the announced return dates for the winter (Feb 11-13) or spring terms (Mar 13 of Mar 20). 

Will there be a tuition adjustment if my child elects to study remotely for one or both terms? What about the six weeks when all students are studying remotely?

The Academy will issue prorated refunds for the difference between the boarding and day rate for those students who choose family choice for the winter and/or spring terms, and during the six weeks all students are remote. Credits or refunds will be issued and applied to accounts in February for winter term and April for spring term. Families should continue to make their regularly scheduled payments. Credits will be issued and payment plans will adjust the future payments accordingly once the credit is applied.

Additional Questions?

We understand you may have questions that we haven’t answered here. Please email us at askExeter@exeter.edu, and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.