Opening 2020-21 FAQ’S

OPENING 2020-21 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ACADEMICS

All students may choose between attending classes in-person or through distance learning. We are calling this hybrid format Additional Best Beginning Anywhere (“ABBA”). A student may elect ABBA for medical reasons or for comfort.

Under ABBA, our aim is to present the same academic content to all students. Faculty will prepare a weekly overview “Keep Up Segment” that will feature a brief video introduction describing the week’s goals, accompanied by readings, exercises, and assignments. The student will then livestream into the classroom and hear and see the live instruction. With regrets, at least initially, the student will not participate in the classroom discussions, to preserve the dynamic coherence of the live classroom setting. To the extent feasible, the student will take part in project-based learning with their classmates. The student will have opportunities to receive attention from the instructor before or after class through email and other platforms.

We are confident that, for our students not on campus, ABBA will almost always be a better fit than remote learning from any other source or homeschooling. ABBA is uniquely LTS teaching and learning, even if not as powerful as live instruction. We appreciate that ABBA suits smaller literature classes more than art workshops or science labs. Our department chairs and faculty are exploring how to offer high-quality experiences in these more challenging disciplines.

We are dividing this upcoming school year into 8 segments.  A student may pick ABBA for a full segment at a time.  If one elects ABBA, one can seamlessly transition back into the live classroom following the segment, with enough notice to make the necessary distancing adjustments. A student who is working through ABBA due to illness or symptoms is eligible to return before the end of a segment after fulfilling the returning health protocols.  International students who cannot arrive on campus by September 8 can also start the semester under ABBA. Joining through ABBA will not be deemed an absence for our Attendance Policy. To relieve the stress on the student and teacher, a teacher may in his or her discretion elect to grade a student who takes part under ABBA for a material portion of the quarter with a Pass/Fail grade.  Under the direction of our IT Director Jeremy Crumb, the school is installing advanced technology to bring ABBA to our classrooms.

ABBA is part of our commitment to empower our students and parents to make informed choices.  Requests for ABBA  for any particular segment should be made on the form (see form under Quick Links below) at least one week before the applicable segment.

Segments

  1. Tuesday, September 8 – Friday, September 18
  2. Monday, September 21-Wednesday, October 28 (end of Q1)
  3. Thursday, October 29 – Tuesday, December 22 (start of Holiday break/end of Q2)
  4. Tuesday, January 12 – Friday, February 12 (start of Winter Break)
  5. Monday, February 22 – Friday, March 19 (end of Q3)
  6. Monday, March 22 – Friday, April 9 (Spring Break)
  7. Monday, April 19 – Friday,  June 11 (last day of school)

Starting Tuesday, September 29, we will use the YELLOW DAILY SCHEDULE.

We will provide proportional refunds for busing or other divisible charges which only arise with in-person learning on campus. Whether in person or by distance, however, we are devoting comprehensive resources to intensive teaching and learning and character formation – for college and life beyond. We are confident in this value proposition and will not adjust tuition.

In the event that we have to close campus temporarily and pivot to all-school distance learning, we will follow the full-day RED DAILY SCHEDULE  and with fuller synchronous or “two way” classes.  Our dedicated faculty are committed to delivering to all of our students dynamic teaching and learning and meaningful opportunities for social activism and student life, both live and virtually.  

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Each morning, in the comfort and safety of home, every student and faculty member will take and report their temperature and fill out a few CDC-derived questions in an app we will be licensing which comes with Bluetooth thermometers for individual homes.  If a person does not meet the minimum health requirements, they should stay home, consult a physician, and come back to campus only when our guidelines for returning have been met.

LTS comes into this effort with a low student-to-faculty ratio, so we had a head start.  We expect students and faculty to stay 6 feet from other people, where feasible, and not to gather in groups.  We have substantially modified spaces throughout campus. We have purchased individual desks so students will not share tables anymore.   

The State of Vermont determines the rules for cross-state travel and what is required of you upon your return.  We incorporate and follow those rules.  The State of Vermont will update its  travel map each Tuesday.

As of September 25, 2020, travel within Vermont is unrestricted.

We will offer Covid-19 testing for anyone with symptoms.  We will also offer testing regularly for our faculty.  We have arranged with an independent lab to provide testing via a minimally invasive, self-administered nasal swab, which our nurse will observe.  Testing will be free for our faculty and supplied at cost to our students.  

Anyone with symptoms will be immediately isolated – with care and kindness – and moved from campus.  We will then take part in contact tracing procedures under the direction of the Vermont Health Department.

Everyone will be required to wear a cloth mask inside at all times, even when alone, except when eating or drinking.  This cloth mask must be form-fitting; no bandanas will be allowed. When outdoors, everyone will be expected to wear a cloth mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained.  We will let you know about special rules for sports.  While we will have limited visitors, we will expect them to wear masks at all times. 

MASK RESOURCES

We are lowering the density of our campus life.  LTS comes into this effort with a low student-to-faculty ratio, so we had a head start.  We expect students and faculty to stay six feet from other people, where feasible, and not gather in groups.  We have substantially modified spaces throughout a busy and noisy construction summer.  We have purchased 200 new individual desks so students will not share tables anymore.  

Practice social distancing as directed by public health officials. Engage in important practices that promote hygiene and help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put at least six feet of distance between yourself and other people.
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 

It’s also important to exercise self-care. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, go for a run/walk outside, use online exercise resources, try to create a schedule, and find ways to connect with others (text, telephone, video calls, online chat groups, and blogs) while practicing social distancing

We will not permit a student or adult in the building with the following symptoms:

  • Fever greater than 100.4 or chills
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing (if severe, seek immediate medical attention)
  • Fatigue or muscle and body aches
  • Headache
  • Recent loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

A person with any of these symptoms may not come to campus. 

If symptoms are due to a pre-existing medically diagnosed condition (for example, allergies or asthma), please provide LTS with information from your physician.

CLICK HERE for guidelines from the Vermont Department of Health.

To return to LTS, a student must meet the following criteria:

A.10 days of self-quarantine at home AND

B.  24 hours of no symptoms without the use of medications.

The PCR test is recommended over rapid testing, which has been shown to be less accurate. Tests that rely on detection of antigens (rapid testing) have proven less reliable and those test results will not be accepted. Please note: Criteria A in addition to B must be met.

Refer to the COVID SYMPTOMS ALGORITHM for more detailed information.

If a student comes into close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, they must follow the CDC-recommended 14 day quarantine while monitoring for symptoms or a 7 day quarantine followed by a negative test. The quarantine period begins after your last contact with the infected individual.

Close contact is defined as any of the following:

  • 6 feet or less from someone with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes
  • Care provider to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • Direct physical contact with an infected person
  • Shared eating or drinking utensils with an infected person
  • Recipient of cough, sneeze or respiratory droplets/spray from an infected person

Due to the many similar symptoms with COVID-19, and needing to treat all symptoms as if they result from COVID-19, a case of the flu will require the process of testing as well as quarantining that could result in a long absence from school. To minimize this possibility, we recommend all LTS community members receive the flu vaccine.

CAMPUS OPERATIONS

Yes, we are running the buses and following all health and safety guidelines set forth by the State.

Fall sports will take place.

NFHS safety protocols will be in place.

More information on our Fall Athletics  2020 COVID Policies & Procedures. can be found under Athletics.

With regrets, we cannot provide food service at the start of the year.  We have a plan for students eligible for free or reduced lunch and will reach out to those families.  We will encourage everybody to eat outdoors for as long as the weather allows, then we will move lunch to eating at desks in the classroom.

Campus buildings are currently closed to visitors. Only students and faculty are allowed in the building.

Many outdoor spaces, including our newly resurfaced tennis courts, remain open for personal recreational use. The community is welcome to enjoy them while observing proper social distancing protocols.

Academic classes run 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Students may arrive starting at 7:30 am and depart by 3:30 pm.  If a student is participating in sports, they need to depart within 30 minutes of the end of practice.

FOR OTHER QUESTIONS, CONTACT:

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Long Trail School

Dorset, Vermont

Long Trail School

Dorset, Vermont