Fay's health and safety protocols are based on guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
Since August 2020, we have modified our plan periodically to reflect updated guidelines. Our updated protocols reflect both the protection provided by the vaccine and an understanding that not every member of our community is fully vaccinated yet, and they also acknowledge that breakthrough infections are possible. As always, our goal is to limit the spread of infection while preserving the spirit and structure of the Fay experience.
All eligible Fay employees and students are required to be fully vaccinated or to receive a medical or religious exemption approved by Fay.
Definition of "fully vaccinated"
Individuals ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated if:
Individuals ages 12 and older are fully vaccinated if:
they have received the full course of two vaccines AND they received their second shot less than five months ago
they have received the full course of two vaccines AND they have received a booster shot
Vaccine eligibility and timelines
Primary course of two vaccines
According to current guidelines, all adults and children ages 5 and older are now eligible to receive the vaccine. All Fay and ELC students ages 5-11 will be required to be vaccinated according to the following timeline:
Students must receive their first dose of the vaccine by January 4, 2022, when classes resume following Winter Vacation.
Students must receive their second dose no later than February 1, 2022.
This timeline ensures that all eligible Fay and ELC students, faculty, and staff (apart from those with a medical or religious exemption approved by Fay) will be fully vaccinated when we return from Mid-Winter Weekend on February 22, which may allow us to phase out our remaining COVID-19 safety protocols for vaccinated students this spring.
Moving forward, Fay and ELC students who become eligible to receive the vaccine will have 30 days from their birthday to begin the vaccine process and 90 days to become fully vaccinated.
According to currently guidelines all individuals ages 12 and older are now eligible (and are therefore required) to receive a booster shot. All eligible individuals must receive their booster shot by February 22, 2022 in order to return to campus after Midwinter Break.
Moving forward, student who become eligible to receive the booster shot will have 30 days from the date of their eligibility to get boosted.
As of January 3, 2022:
All students in Kindergarten through grade 6 are required to wear masks indoors.
Masks will be required for all students on any form of transportation, including buses and student activity vehicles (SAVs).
- Masks will not be required outdoors or when eating.
- All students, including Upper School, will be required to wear masks at all times while indoors except while eating. We will reevaluate this policy for fully vaccinated students after January 17.
- Upper School helpers are allowed to visit Primary and Lower School classrooms and must remain masked.
COHORTS AND PHYSICAL DISTANCING
- Students will not be grouped by cohort, but we will continue to keep divisions separate when possible. Primary and Lower School students will continue to observe some grouping by grade level until they are fully vaccinated.
- Teachers will encourage physical distancing of three feet between students in classrooms.
We conduct weekly pooled PCR COVID testing of all community members.
Individuals who test positive for COVID will be required to isolate for five days regardless of vaccination status.
Boarders who test positive must leave campus with their Local Emergency Contact within 24 hours. They may return to campus after five days if they are symptom-free, or as soon as they are fully asymptomatic.
Individuals who have tested positive via an individual, non-rapid, PCR test must provide the school with a clearance letter from the local Board of Health. If the local Board of Health is unable to provide a clearance letter, the individual may provide a copy of the positive test result so that we can confirm the end date of the required isolation period.
Individuals who have tested positive via an at-home rapid test must provide the school with a clearance letter from the individual's physician.
In all cases, individuals must also be cleared by the school nurse in order to return to campus. Individuals will only be cleared to return after five days of isolation if they are asymptomatic. They will be required to wear a mask on campus at all times for five more days. If symptoms remain after five days, then the individual must isolate for 10 days.
Positive individuals will not need to test again during their 90-day immunity period.
CLOSE CONTACTS AND QUARANTINES
A close contact is defined as an individual who has been within three feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period during the two days prior to the onset of illness or a positive test.
If we identify a positive case as a result of our pooled testing, we will notify the positive case(s) and all close contacts.
Close contacts who are fully vaccinated (as defined above) are not required to quarantine.
They should monitor for symptoms, and if they become symptomatic they should stay home and get tested. They are required to wear a mask on campus for 10 days after exposure, and they are also required to present a negative PCR test taken on day 5 after exposure.
Close contacts who are not fully vaccinated (as defined above) must quarantine for 5 days.
They may return after presenting a negative PCR test taken no earlier than day 5 of the quarantine to return on day 6.
Any close contacts (vaccinated or unvaccinated) who become symptomatic should isolate and present a negative PCR test to return after 5 more days. Close contacts must also be cleared by the school nurse to return to school, and they are required to wear a mask on campus for days 6-10 after exposure.
Siblings of close contacts are not required to quarantine.
Any student deemed a close contact outside of school will be required to provide a return-to-school authorization from their department of public health.
Individuals who live with someone who has tested positive may return to campus only if the positive case can completely isolate. If the positive case can isolate, vaccinated individuals may return after providing a negative PCR test and observing the rules for close contacts as described above.
If an individual lives with someone who has tested positive and that person is not able to completely isolate in the home, the individual must remain home and quarantine for 5 days regardless of vaccination status in addition to the quarantine rules as described for close contacts above, considering the positive individual's last day of isolation as the date of last contact.
Keeping students and families safe and preventing the spread of COVID are community responsibilities, and all families are expected to follow quarantine protocols. Should the school become aware of a violation of quarantine protocols, we will restart the quarantine period for the student who is involved, and they will not be permitted to return to campus until the additional 5 days of quarantine have passed. A subsequent quarantine violation by the student may prevent the student from attending classes.
Families of day students will no longer complete daily attestations through the Magnus Health App. Instead, we will require all day families to sign an agreement before the start of the school year, in which they commit to checking their children for signs of illness each morning before drop-off. Day families will receive a link to this form via their MyFay login in the coming weeks.
Any student who is absent from school due to illness of any kind for three or more days is required to provide the school nurse with a doctor's note in order to return. Upon reviewing the specifics of the absence, the school nurse may also require a negative PCR COVID-19 test.
Family-style dining is an important Fay tradition and reinforces our commitment to building community and cultivating manners and civility. This fall we are pleased to return to a modified group-dining format in our dining rooms.
UPPER SCHOOL ATHLETICS
Interscholastic athletics are offered for grades 5-9, with the following guidelines:
All visitors to campus must be masked indoors regardless of vaccination status.
MONITORING AND RESPONDING
The School will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation locally, nationally, and globally in order to assess the implication of new restrictions and guidelines on student and employee safety, and our boarding students’ ability to leave and return to campus. Plans will be adjusted if and as needed, and the School will continue to update the parent community.