This plan was updated in January 2022, taking into consideration current mandates, recommendations, and requirements. The guidelines outlined below are subject to change in alignment with changes to mandates and the prevailing COVID-19 public health situation.
With no state mandates or executive orders to the contrary, Ridgefield Academy and Landmark Preschools will provide a comprehensive educational program of full-time in-person teaching and learning, clubs, activities, and sports in September 2021.
Parallel Remote Learning
RA/LP will continue to offer Parallel Remote Learning for families that either want or need to explore alternatives to in-person instruction. Details, including a link to a Parallel Remote Learning Request Form, can be found on the Patriot Portal.
Social Emotional Learning
The faculty and administration will continue to partner with the school counselor to support students in their social and emotional well-being.
Music and Art
Music (choral and instrumental) will continue to rehearse and perform with appropriate PPE and distancing. Shared materials in art will be allowed, with periodic cleaning and disinfecting.
Clubs and activities will resume. Each extended care group will form its own cohort. These cohorts will differ from classroom or grade level cohorts.
No students will change for PE. Upper School students will participate in interscholastic athletics and will use locker rooms to change; appropriate distancing will be maintained. Bus travel will require all students to wear masks. Competitions for the winter of 2021-22 will be held indoors and are subject to varying policies and protocols pertaining to vaccination, masking, and fan attendance. Prior to contests hosted on other campuses, the Athletic Department will provide families with school-specific details regarding spectators and players. US students are required to purchase PE uniforms for athletic practices.
ON CAMPUS PROCEDURES
RA will promote proper social distancing in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and CT Department of Public Health (DPH); Due to the inherent difficulty in social distancing with preschoolers, Landmark Preschool will cohort its students.
Age/grade grouping in the Preschool will serve as natural cohorts. Students in grades K-8 will not be cohorted. Classroom, stairwell, hallway use, recess, and - in the Upper School - sports, will return to pre-COVID practices.
RA/LP will adhere to state mandates and executive orders regarding masks for students and adults, vaccinated or unvaccinated. As of December 2021, all students ages 3 and up in CT, 2 and up in NY,, and all adults, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear a mask inside school buildings. Masks are not required outdoors except for individuals returning from their first five days of quarantine or isolation.
Signs have been placed at the entrance to each campus with the following message:
Welcome! By arriving on campus, you are affirming that:
✓You do not have a temperature above 100.4°
✓You feel well and do not have any signs of illness
✓You have not recently traveled to any high risk COVID areas
✓You have not recently been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19
Visitors on Campus
Essential visitors, including consulting paraprofessionals, approved renters, admissions visitors, vendors, and emergency visitors, will continue to have supervised access in buildings. Pre-scheduled 1-on-1 meetings with teachers or administrators are permitted for vaccinated individuals. Parents and caregivers are not permitted to enter the building during drop-off and pick-up. Prearranged parent volunteer activities are permitted outdoors.
We have begun the return of grade-level events like concerts and plays with appropriate health and safety protocols; as we enter 2022, continued event-specific details will be provided to families. As mandates and recommendations evolve, please be assured that we will modify campus visitor protocols as allowable. Regardless of vaccination status, all visitors must wear a mask indoors.
Masks are not required for outdoor activities, including classes, recess, or sports. Teachers will continue to utilize outdoor spaces, as appropriate. Shared use of playground and athletic equipment will be allowed.
Any Preschool meals or snacks will be eaten in classrooms. Lower school students will eat by grade level in the Summit Dining Hall or outside. There will be three lunch services for Middle and Upper School students, two will be held in Perry Commons, and one rotating group will eat in their homerooms or outside each day.
Adults and children will continue to wear masks on all buses, regardless of vaccination status. Where possible, students will follow proper social distancing.
Parents will be notified of positive COVID cases by email. On the Bedford and Westport campuses, all families on the campus will be notified. On the Ridgefield campus, communications will be sent to the Preschool, the Lower School, or Middle & Upper Schools combined, depending on the division impacted. Affected families will receive additional information on a case-specific basis. Changes in protocol or requirements by the state or region will be communicated to all enrolled families.
Ventilation rates or the percentage of outdoor air circulating in ventilation systems will remain at their maximum circulation. Efforts to improve air filtration, reduce recirculation, and disable demand-controlled ventilation remain in place.
Normal daily and routine cleaning practices will be in place. All classrooms will be provided with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
Faculty and staff will continue to participate in any state-required professional development concerning any health and safety protocols.
HEALTH & SAFETY
To maintain a safe learning environment, parents and caregivers should keep students home when ill and follow the Parent-Student Handbook guidelines for a safe return to school. See Addendum for returning to school after experiencing COVID symptoms. Parents should notify school staff if students are out ill.
The school has required its faculty and staff to be vaccinated, unless they were granted a medical or religious exemption. Currently, students aged 5 and up are eligible for vaccination. Vaccination of eligible students is not currently required but is strongly encouraged. The school will continue to review its policy on vaccination requirements as state mandates and public health advice evolve. If your child is vaccinated, please share their vaccine documentation with Laura Clark, RN on the Ridgefield campus, Preschool Director Siobhan Powers on the Westport campus, or Preschool Director Evelyn Tangney on the Bedford campus.
Experiencing COVID Symptoms
RA/LP requests that a student stay home even if they just have one symptom of COVID, including congestion or a runny nose, which follows the state, town, and school guidelines.
Symptoms, as designated by the CDC:
fever or chills • cough • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • fatigue • muscle or body aches • headache • new loss of taste or smell • sore throat • congestion or runny nose • nausea or vomiting • diarrhea
Exposure, Quarantining, and Positive COVID Tests
Regardless of their vaccination status, if a student or faculty/staff member has had close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19, the school nurse or Preschool Director should be notified. For families on the Ridgefield campus, please email Nurse Laura. For preschool families on the Bedford campus, email Landmark - Bedford Director Evelyn Tangney, or Landmark - Westport Director Siobhan Powers, on the Westport campus.