Since the summer, the State of Connecticut has consistently approached residential settings differently than classrooms when it comes to guidance for schools. This reflects the unique student environment and experience residential life provides. We applaud the efforts of our boarding students to adhere to mask compliance, and other mitigation measures, while also recognizing there are more opportunities in congregate settings for close contact and possible transmission. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have all seen this happen in a variety of settings including, this year, other boarding schools. With this concern in mind, policies may continue to be different for students who live in houses/halls on campus this year.
We understand our policy has been challenging, at times, for students and families. While none of us want to compromise physical health and safety, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to support the mental health and quality of life of our boarding students too. With that in mind, and effective today, the policy is changing specifically for a boarding student traveling to their home or residence of their legal guardian in the United States. This reflects anticipated changes in Connecticut's policies regarding a number of areas.
Upon returning to campus from their home or the residence of their legal guardian, a boarding student will take a PCR test through the Marianapolis Health Office. Testing here ensures there is no exposure between the test being taken and returning to a communal residential setting. Testing is conducted during the week, typically in the morning, by the Health Office Team. If a student returns before a test window, they will quarantine until they test. The cost of testing, as of this letter, is $100.
Students will quarantine after the test until a negative result comes back from the lab, usually within 48 hours. At that point, assuming they are asymptomatic, the student will exit quarantine and attend classes and activities in person on campus.
While the School reserves the right to have students quarantine in designated spaces outside of their house/hall such as Villa St. Joseph or White House, students should expect to quarantine in their room under this policy.
This policy does not apply to students arriving from locations outside of the United States. Nor does this policy apply to students who have traveled on an airplane within the United States prior to reaching campus or whose travel while off campus would be subject to the Marianapolis Travel Policy at the time. In those cases, and at the discretion of the School, the 14-day quarantine with required testing remains in effect. At this time, this policy does not provide for off campus visits with day students or their families. It is limited to family members and legal guardians of boarding students.
Students and families are asked to coordinate any travel directly with me. We see this change, along with continued mask compliance and completing required daily health office check ins, as maintaining health and safety in our houses/halls while taking an important step toward the more open residential community we all want for our boarding students. I am hopeful we continue to move further in this direction this spring.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions.