This plan was finalized in August 2021, 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.
Grades K-5 PE
Children will not change for PE class.
Upper School Athletics
No students will change for PE. Upper School students will participate in interscholastic athletics. Appropriate distancing in locker rooms will be maintained. Bus travel will require all students to wear masks. All competitions for the fall of 2021 will be held outdoors. US students are required to purchase PE uniforms for athletic practices.
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.
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 - Grade 3 will serve as natural cohorts. Students in grades 4-8 will not be cohorted. In the Annex Building, 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 August 2021, all students ages 3 and up, and all adults, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear a mask inside school buildings. Masks are not required outdoors.
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.
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.
Faculty and staff will continue to participate in any state-required professional development concerning any health and safety protocols.
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 will be permitted for vaccinated individuals. Parents and caregivers will not be permitted to enter the building during drop-off and pick-up. Prearranged parent volunteer activities are permitted outdoors. We are eager for the return of grade-level events like concerts and plays. 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.
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 families in the affected building. Changes in protocol or requirements by the state or region will be communicated to all enrolled families.
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.
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
A student can return by following one of the options below:
- A negative COVID test (at home/self-administered tests are not acceptable) and free of all symptoms (must be symptom-free of fever specifically for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication) or
- A doctor's note with a non-COVID diagnosis and clearance to return to school (can be faxed to the school nurse on the Ridgefield Campus or Preschool Director on Westport or Bedford campus) or
- 10 days at home from onset of symptoms and free of all symptoms (must be symptom-free of fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication)
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
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.
Following DPH and CDC guidance regarding quarantine, non-vaccinated students will be required to quarantine. They may return to school on day 11 if no COVID test has been taken, and may return on day 8 if a negative COVID test is administered on day 5 or later. (At home/self-administered tests are not acceptable.) At the K-8 grades, direct contacts will be notified, with non-vaccinated students following quarantine requirements. Preschool will be quarantined by cohort. Vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine if they are asymptomatic, however, a vaccinated individual who tests positive for COVID will be required to quarantine.
Vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine if they are asymptomatic. If your child is vaccinated, please provide proof of vaccination to the school nurse to ensure that they do not get asked to quarantine in the event of exposure to a positive case.
The school has required its faculty and staff to be vaccinated, unless they were granted a medical or religious exemption. Currently, students aged 12 and up are eligible for vaccination. It is probable that ages 5 and up will become eligible at some point in the school year. 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 evolves. Sanitization: Normal daily and routine cleaning practices will be in place. All classrooms will be provided with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
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.