Hamden Hall Country Day School

Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

COVID-19 Policies and Protocols 2021-2022

Hamden Hall is proud to have offered a full year of in-person learning and experiences during the 2019-2020 school year. With that in mind, we are excited to return to our beautiful campuses and continue our commitment to excellence within our classrooms. 

Our plan is to once again remain flexible and respond accordingly as we move through the school year.  That said, as is permitted in following local state and federal guidelines, we do expect to return to a more “normal” school day to better foster the Hamden Hall Experience for all students and faculty members.

We believe our Reopening Task Force and Board of Trustees Health Committee have established protocols and procedures that best mitigate exposure and provide a safe environment for our community members.  That said, we will continue to monitor all facets of our school community as they pertain to Covid-19 to alter our operating model as restraints are imposed or lifted based on any evolving situations.

COVID-19 Task Force

Hamden Hall Board of Trustees
Robert J. Izzo, Head of School
Benny Arpine, Director of Human Resources and Risk Management
Helen Barnstable, Co-Director of the Upper School
Chris Buckley, Front-End Developer
Lorri Carroll, Director of Lower School
Brian Christman, Director of Middle School
David Doyle, COVID Coordinator/ Director of Athletics
Catelin Fee 2004, Early Childhood Director
John Greenawalt
, Upper School Dean of Students
James F. Hunter 1980, Director of Facilities
Janet B. Izzo, Director of Admissions
Keith Kaliszewski 1998, Director of Enrollment Management
Ryan Madden, Director of Technology
Dawn A. Miceli, Director of Advancement
Kimberly Gold Porto 1987, Co-Director of the Upper School
Bruce Rich, Director of Summer Programs
Theresa Valin, School Nurse
Dr. David Riccio 1970, Board of Trustee Health Committee
Dr. Bayo Afolalu, Board of Trustee Health Committee
Dr. Annmarie Golioto, Board of Trustee Health Committee
Mr. Clement Lewin, Ph.D., Board of Trustee Health Committee
Dr. Meena S. Moran, Board of Trustee Health Committee

Health and Safety

List of 8 items.

  • Daily Health Screening

    All employees and students, regardless of vaccination status, are required to complete a daily Ruvna screening certifying that they are symptom free and may safely attend school. Parents should complete the screening for their student. A student or employee should stay home if they have been given medication to reduce a fever or to suppress a cough in the last 24 hours. Please call school nurse Theresa Valin at 203.752.2605 for additional guidance.

    Upon arrival each morning, Middle and Upper School students who are not vaccinated are required to enter through Taylor Gymnasium where a staff person will verify that their Ruvna daily health screening has been completed. The Lower School office will provide additional details regarding school arrival for PreSchool - Grade 6.  

    Symptomatic individuals, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, who have been deemed close contacts of Covid-19 confirmed individuals, will be referred for Covid-19 testing. Individuals should contact the Nurse’s Office.
  • Illness at Home

    If a student/employee or a member of their household is ill, exposed to Covid-19, or tests positive for Covid-19, the student/employee should stay home and inform the Nurse’s Office. The Nurse’s Office will provide return-to-school guidance.
  • Illness at School

    In the case of students or employees presenting to the Nurse’s Office with any of the following symptoms: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, congestion, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell; the student’s parent/guardian will be contacted and asked to promptly pick them up and the employee will be sent home.

    The student will be separated from the rest of the student body in the School’s isolation room until parent/guardian pick-up. Belongings for students will be brought to the isolation room by the divisional administrative assistant or other designated individual. The parent/guardian will pick up the student at the exterior door of the isolation room.

    The nurse will identify the location(s) of the student or employee that day (classrooms used, seating, and transportation used). This information will be maintained to support contact tracing in case the individual tests positive for Covid-19.

    The Nurse’s Office will advise the parent/guardian or employee to obtain a Covid-19 test for the ill individual and may also advise follow-up with a medical provider for evaluation.

    The parent/guardian or employee must inform the Nurse’s Office of any positive Covid-19 diagnosis. The Nurse’s Office will report diagnosed cases of Covid-19 to the Quinnipiack Valley Health Department, as well as to the Covid-19 Coordinator, Division Head, and the Head of School.

    The Nurse’s Office will guide the parent/guardian or employee as to a return-to-school date.
  • Mask Policy

    Hamden Hall will follow State of Connecticut and Town of Hamden guidelines regarding mask wearing. The current Executive Order from the Governor’s office requires all individuals, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to wear a mask while in school buildings.

    The Town of Hamden currently requires all individuals, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to wear a mask while indoors. Masks are generally not required outdoors. Students and employees may remove their masks while actively eating or drinking indoors for a limited amount of time. Six feet of social distancing is required for unvaccinated individuals. Bandanas, neck gaiters, and masks with vents or holes are not acceptable face coverings and will not be permitted. Students and employees, regardless of vaccination status, may choose to mask outdoors. The school reserves the right to require masks for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals for a scheduled outdoor event that may be crowded and for which social distancing is not possible.
  • Quarantine/Isolation

    Any individual, regardless of vaccination status with any of the following symptoms must immediately isolate and report their symptoms to the Nurse’s Office: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, congestion, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell. The individual must be cleared by the Nurse’s Office to return to school.

    Isolation guidelines for individuals who test positive for Covid-19:
    If a positive Covid-19 (PCR or antigen test) result is received, the individual, regardless of vaccination status, must notify the Nurse’s Office immediately and isolate for 10 days after the positive result. The individual must be cleared by the Nurse’s Office prior to returning to school.

    Quarantine guidelines after exposure to Covid-19:
    Unvaccinated Individuals - Any unvaccinated individual deemed to be exposed to Covid-19 must quarantine for 10 days from the last date of exposure.

    If an unvaccinated student or employee is exposed to a positive household contact, they must quarantine for 10 full days from the last time of exposure. If they are not adequately able to separate in the household, the 10 days of quarantine begins when the household member has been cleared from isolation (which is 10 days from symptom onset or 10 days from the positive test).

    Vaccinated Individuals - Vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine but they must report the exposure to the Nurse’s Office and monitor for and report any symptoms to the Nurse’s Office and obtain a Covid-19 PCR test 3-5 days post exposure and submit the results to the Nurse’s Office.
  • Travel Policy

    DOMESTIC TRAVEL POLICY
    At this time, Hamden Hall does not have any requirements for domestic travel. The following guidelines are recommended:
     
    For vaccinated students and employees, Hamden Hall recommends self-monitoring for Covid-19 symptoms. Please isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms. For unvaccinated students, Hamden Hall recommends that families follow CDC guidelines for domestic travel.

    INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL POLICY
    Students and employees are not required to quarantine after international travel. However, Hamden Hall requires a negative Covid-19 PCR test performed 3-5 days after arrival from international travel. Test results must be submitted to the Nurse's Office. Hamden Hall also recommends that families follow CDC guidelines for international travel.

    Note: Hamden Hall will monitor current conditions around school vacations and may consider a remote week after the breaks.
  • Vaccination Policy

    All Hamden Hall employees are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, unless granted a medical or religious exemption by the School. Hamden Hall strongly recommends that families vaccinate all eligible students against Covid-19 prior to the start of school. 

    The school does not currently plan to require eligible students to be vaccinated as a condition of attendance to the regular academic school day. However, students 12 years and older are required to be vaccinated to participate in Middle and Upper School athletics; or a theater, chorus or instrumental program. Middle and Upper School athletics will be optional for the fall season. 

    The school will evaluate medical and religious exemption requests on an individual basis. In order for a student to be considered for a religious exemption, Hamden Hall requires proof that he or she was previously granted a vaccine exemption on religious grounds and that this exemption is on file with Hamden Hall or a previous institution on or before April 27, 2021, which is when the State of Connecticut put in place new guidelines regarding religious exemptions.

    If an unvaccinated student is deemed a close contact, that student will be required to quarantine for a period of 10 days with additional monitoring.

    The nurse's office will keep a record of students’ Covid-19 vaccination information on file. Parents will be required to upload a copy of their child’s vaccination card to our Magnus Health Portal. A student will be considered unvaccinated until the school receives verification.

    Per CDC guidelines, if deemed a close contact, vaccinated students will not be required to quarantine unless they are symptomatic.
  • Visitor Policy

    Parents are allowed on campus but not in classroom buildings unless it is for a pre-arranged meeting with a teacher or administrator. All other individuals who are not students or employees, as well as groups who rent space from Hamden Hall, will be required to adhere to the following visitor policy for the safety of the entire community:

    Only visitors attending pre-scheduled events and meetings will be allowed on school grounds. Upon arrival, visitors will be required to check-in at the appropriate office and complete a health screening, which may include proof of vaccination or the negative result of PCR Covid-19 test administered 72 hours prior to arrival. Any visitor who answers “yes” to any of the screening questions will be denied entry. Approved essential visitors, such as contractors and vendors, will be scheduled outside of school hours as much as possible. Face masks covering the mouth and nose will be worn by all visitors indoors, and visitors will be required to maintain a safe physical distance. 

Facilities

List of 3 items.

  • Campus Building Systems and HVAC

    All building HVAC systems were serviced this summer. Like last year, HVAC systems contain MERV-13 filters in the air handlers on all campuses.
  • Health Facilities / Nurse Staffing

    The Lower School Art Cottage will once again serve as the school's health center. Claudia Murtagh, RN, joins Theresa Valin, RN, in our nurse’s office. 

    Students experiencing symptoms of illness will be assessed by the school nurse. If determined that a student is experiencing Covid-19-related symptoms, the individual will be placed in isolation and sent home. Return-to-school guidelines and clearance by a primary care physician must be met before an individual may return to campus.
  • Personal Hygiene and Facility Cleaning

    In general, we will continue with all of the personal hygiene mitigation strategies put in place last year. The school’s cleaning service will again clean classrooms and common spaces to the level they were cleaned last year. Faculty should notify Jim Hunter if they feel that an area is not being cleaned adequately.

The School Day

List of 9 items.

  • After-School Programs

    In-person Extended Day and other after-school programs will resume. All Covid-19 protocols apply.
  • Athletic Center and Spectators

    All students, staff, and coaches must wear a mask while in the Beckerman Athletic Center, including locker rooms and workout rooms. Locker room use will be staggered and have a limited capacity to reduce density.

    Spectators will be allowed to attend fall athletic events.  Masks are recommended while spectating outdoor sports. Masks are mandatory for all indoor sports, regardless of vaccination status. Social distancing should be adhered to whether indoors or outdoors. 
  • Athletics

    Hamden Hall Middle and Upper School athletics will be optional for the fall season.

    Students 12 years and older are required to be vaccinated to participate in Middle and Upper School athletics. Unvaccinated students may not participate in regularly scheduled athletics.

    The school will evaluate medical and religious exemption requests on an individual basis. In order for a student to be considered for a religious exemption, Hamden Hall requires proof that he or she was previously granted a vaccine exemption on religious grounds and that this exemption is on file with Hamden Hall or a previous institution on or before April 27, 2021, which is when the State of Connecticut put in place new guidelines regarding religious exemptions. Hamden Hall will make every effort to reasonably accommodate a student-athlete with an approved medical exemption or a previously approved religious exemption. 

    Upper School Athletics
    We are planning for a full fall sports season with Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) and NEPSAC championships. The full competition schedule for each team will be available on the athletics website.

    Due to various Upper School league and competition regulations, participation in interscholastic athletics will only be allowed for vaccinated Upper School students. This means unvaccinated student-athletes will not be eligible to play unless they have a religious or medical exemption on file with the school.

    Middle School Athletics
    The Middle School will return to interscholastic play this fall in Grades 7 and 8. Middle School practice times will run from 2-3 p.m., Monday-Thursday. All Middle School students who wish to participate must be vaccinated. Athletics will continue to be optional at the Middle School level and available to all students who wish to participate.
  • Food Service

    Subject to state and health department guidelines for food service in schools, we will move to a more normal lunch service, including offering both cold and hot lunch options. Middle and Upper School students and employees will be able to be served from the hot food line and be able to choose from several prepared salad options. There will also be a grab-and-go area each day in the Theater Lobby. FLIK employees will continue to follow Covid-19 safety protocols. Self-service salad bars will not be available in the fall, but they are a possibility in the spring. 

    For the Lower School, lunch will continue to be delivered to PreSchool - Grade 3 classrooms. For Grades 4-6, students will pick up their lunch in a designated area in Whitson Hall. All Lower School students will continue to make their selections so that FLIK will be prepared to provide all students with their selections.  

    With the School’s cafeteria renovations not expected to be completed until late October, Taylor Gymnasium and the Courtyard Tent will once again serve as seating areas for Middle and Upper School students and faculty. Seating in Taylor Gym during lunch will be subject to state and local guidelines, and we will continue to use outdoor spaces to the extent possible.
  • Learning Spaces

    We will use the main campus and the Davis Street campus for the academic day. The Skiff Street Athletic Complex will be used primarily for Middle and Upper School athletics. The portable classroom building used during the 2020-2021 academic year on the Skiff Street campus has been relocated to the main campus and will be used by the Middle and Upper Schools. 

    Classroom seating for students in Kindergarten - Grade 12 will be at least three feet apart. Tents will be added to the main campus so that students and faculty may spend as much time as possible outdoors throughout the school day. 

    The Lower School will return to its regular structure, with all students continuing to learn on campus. Other than our Early Childhood program, Lower School classes will not be divided into smaller cohorts. However, the School is prepared to return to the cohort structure should there be a need to do so for safety reasons.

    Middle and Upper School students will also return to their regular classroom spaces. However, we will continue to use the larger classrooms on the Davis Street campus for juniors and seniors and will use the two large portable classrooms for larger classes.  Additional details about the daily academic schedule will be shared by the division heads. 
  • Performing Arts

    Most school music and theater productions are scheduled to occur in 2021-2022, following the most current Connecticut and CDC safety protocols. To run the Performing Arts program while also satisfying health and safety guidelines, the school will continue to use innovative approaches to allow for participation. That said, unvaccinated students may not participate in regularly scheduled theater, choral, and instrumental group classes or rehearsals. The school will make every attempt to include unvaccinated students in the performing arts programming with the understanding that the health of the student body as a whole is our top priority.
  • Pick-up/Drop-off

    Additional details about daily pick-up and drop-off of students will be shared by the division heads.
  • Remote Learning

    While our plan is 100 percent in-person learning, we will have our remote learning capability ready. Remote learning and teaching will only be available to those who need to isolate or quarantine due to illness or exposure to Covid-19, upon approval by the School. Although our school technology allows students and faculty to remain connected to their classrooms during specific, short-term situations related to isolation or quarantine, in some cases it may not be the ideal long-term learning environment for students. If a student has an extended absence due to a Covid-19 related quarantine illness or exposure, a parent may request for their child to move to a remote learning plan. Parent requests must be made in writing and be approved by the division director. If approved, the school will put the remote plan in place within three business days. The quarantine period is determined by the school.
  • School Trips

    We expect day field trips to resume during the 2021-2022 school year; however, the planning of these trips is contingent on current conditions.

    Participating students must follow Hamden Hall safety policies, as well as the policies of partner organizations. At this point in time, all fall Hamden Hall overnight trips have been postponed.

Communication

List of 1 items.

  • Overview

    Hamden Hall is committed to regular and transparent communication. If you have any questions about the upcoming year, please do not hesitate to contact the appropriate administrator. 

    When cases arise at school, the Head of School or Covid-19 Coordinator will email the school community alerting them about the case and confirming that contact tracing and health protocols were followed. All communications will maintain strict confidentiality to preserve the privacy of our community members, in accordance with privacy regulations.

    Division Heads will communicate regularly with families and students to provide divisional information and resources.

    While our preference is to hold most meetings and events in person, depending on current conditions, the School will consider the use of Zoom for some meetings.

    The School will continually assess our operations and protocols and will modify or change procedures as needed.

Hamden Hall Country Day School

About Us

Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.