The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

COVID FAQ 2021-2022

Frequently Asked Questions

Fay School’s health and safety protocols are updated periodically in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).  You can see our full health and safety protocols document here.

Please continue to check this page for new information and updates. Please feel free to contact the administrators on the list below with your questions.

Academic Year 2021-22 - Health & Safety

List of 9 items.

  • Are COVID vaccines required?

    All eligible Fay employees and students are required to be fully vaccinated or to receive a medical or religious exemption approved by Fay.

    As of January 12, 2022, Fay School defines "fully vaccinated" as follows:

    Individuals ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated if:
    • they have received the full course of two vaccines AND
    • they received their second shot less than five months ago

    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
      OR
    • 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.

    Booster shots
    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.

  • Can boarding students get COVID vaccines in their home countries that are different from the vaccines that are currently approved in the United States for ages 12-17?

    Yes. Boarding students may get vaccines in their home countries that are different from the vaccines currently approved in the United States for ages 12-17. Proof of vaccination must be provided in English.
  • If all students 5 and older must be vaccinated, what happens when my child turns 5?

    Currently, 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) 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.
  • If all students 12 and older must receive a booster shot, what happens when my child turns 12?

    All Fay students ages 12 and older will be required to be boosted by Tuesday, February 22 in order to return to campus after Midwinter Break.

    Moving forward, Fay students who become eligible to receive the booster will have 30 days from the date of their eligibility to get a booster shot.
  • How do I request a religious or medical exemption for vaccinations?

    Please contact Diane Byrne, Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations, at dbyrne@fayschool.org regarding any vaccine exemptions.
  • What will the health and safety protocols be in the fall?

  • Are masks required on campus?

    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.

    When we resume classes after Midwinter Weekend on February 22:
    • Masks will be optional for students and employees in classrooms, offices, and dormitories. 
    • Masks will continue to be required in hallways and in common areas, including Harris Theater and the gym. 
    • Masks will continue to be required for all indoor athletic practices and games for the remainder of the Winter Term.
    • Masks will continue to be required for Early Learning Center (ELC) students.

    Starting the week of March 28, if conditions are favorable:
    • Masks will be optional for all Fay School students, faculty, and staff throughout campus.
    • Since ELC students will not be vaccinated, masks will continue to be required in the ELC.
  • Is COVID testing taking place for the 2021-2022 school year?

    We conduct weekly pooled COVID testing of all community members.
  • What are the guidelines for students returning to athletics after a positive COVID diagnosis?

Academic Year 2021-22 - COVID-19 Protocols

List of 4 items.

  • What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19?

    • 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. 
    • 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 or 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.
    • Positive individuals will not need to test again during their 90-day immunity period.
  • What is your policy regarding close contacts?

    • 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 have been fully vaccinated (as defined above) are not required to quarantine. Close contacts 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 no sooner than Day 5 after exposure (date of exposure is Day O). They should monitor for symptoms. If they become symptomatic, they must isolate, get tested, and stay home until results of the test are known.
      When testing on day 5, parents can opt to schedule a test at the office Dr. Michele Goh, or they can opt for an individual, on-campus PCR test; these on-campus tests will cost $100 and will be charged to the student's Smart Tuition account. If a student has not completed their required individual retest prior to the next pooled test, then the school will administer an individual PCR test at a cost of $100.
    • 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. 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 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.
    • Individuals within the 90-day immunity period consequent to a positive COVID test are not required to quarantine.
    • 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 employee or student lives with someone who has tested positive and that person is not able to completely isolate in the home, the student or employee must remain home and quarantine for 5 days regardless of vaccination status in addition to the quarantine rules as described for close contacts above.  
  • What is the academic plan for students who must quarantine?

    - In Primary School, teachers will provide work for the student to be completed asynchronously. Teachers will offer regular check-ins to help the student stay up-to-date on their work.

    - In Lower and Upper School, families may request a live broadcast from their child's classroom(s) so the student can monitor the classes. Please note that the live broadcast is not the same as the livestream program that Fay offered last year. The live broadcast is unidirectional: it is not interactive and simply provides an opportunity for the student to view classroom lessons/activities. Assignments will be posted in Google Classroom, and teachers will check in with the student.
  • What is your policy for student absences?

    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.

Early Learning Center - FAQ

List of 7 items.

  • Are ELC employees required to be vaccinated?

    Yes. All ELC faculty and staff are required to be vaccinated and boosted.
  • Will ELC employees and students be tested for COVID-19?

    Yes. Every member of our community participates in weekly pooled COVID-19 testing.
  • Are masks required in the ELC?

    All ELC students, faculty, and staff are currently required to wear masks indoors. Masks are not required outdoors or when eating or resting.
  • What is the quarantine policy for ELC students who are close contacts?

    • 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 have been fully vaccinated (as defined below*) are not required to quarantine. They should monitor for symptoms and stay home and get tested if they become symptomatic. 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 below*) 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 7. 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 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.
    • Individuals within the 90-day immunity period consequent to a positive COVID test are not required to quarantine.
    • 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 employee or student lives with someone who has tested positive and that person is not able to completely isolate in the home, the student or employee must remain home and quarantine for 5 days regardless of vaccination status in addition to the quarantine rules as described for close contacts above.
    • 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.
    *Fay School's definition of "fully vaccinated":

    Individuals ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated if:
    • they have received the full course of two vaccines AND
    • they received their second shot less than five months ago
    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
      OR
    • they have received the full course of two vaccines AND they have received a booster shot
  • Do ELC students need to do a daily health check?

    All ELC families are required 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. 
  • What is the ELC's absence policy?

    ELC students who are absent for three or more days must have a doctor’s note in order to return to campus and must be tested for COVID-19 if directed by a doctor.
  • Will ELC students continue to be grouped in cohorts?

    ELC children will no longer be grouped solely by classroom. Students from the three classes will be combined for AM and PM Care and at additional times when necessary. Physical distancing will not be enforced during play times, but teachers will encourage distancing of three feet when masks are off (while eating and during rest time). 

For Prospective Families

List of 5 items.

Academic Year 2021-22 - Program

List of 11 items.

  • Does Fay offer a Distance Learning Program (DLP) or a live-streaming option this year?

    We no longer offer live-streaming and distance learning. Students who must miss school because of illness or quarantine may connect directly with their teachers for missed assignments and extra help when needed.
  • Are students separated by cohorts, without mixing between grades/groups?

    Students are not grouped by cohort (as was the case for the 2020-21 school year), but we 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 unvaccinated students.

    Starting the week of March 28, if conditions are favorable, students in before- and after-school care and after-school clubs will be grouped with students from other grades and divisions.
  • Are interscholastic sports offered this year?

    Interscholastic athletics are offered for grades 5-9, with the following guidelines: 
    • Athletes may be unmasked outdoors. They are required to wear masks in the locker room and when practicing or competing indoors.
    • Visitors may attend athletic events. Masks are not required outdoors, but all visitors must be masked indoors.
    • Masks are required for all students on SAVs when traveling to practices and games.
  • Does Fay offer off-campus sports this fall, such as skiing and snowboarding?

    Yes. We offer off-campus sports, including skiing, snowboarding, and squash.  More information about Fay’s athletic program is available here.
  • Is Fay providing family-style lunches again?

    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.
    • In Lower and Upper School, students gather for lunches in both the Dining Room and the Upjohn Building. Using both spaces for lunch periods enables us to ensure appropriate physical distancing at each table.
    • In Primary School, students alternate between lunches in the Primary Dining Commons and their classrooms.
    • Starting March 28, if conditions are favorable, we will resume traditional, family-style meals for all community members served in the Dining Room and the Primary Dining Commons.
  • Will there be any retreats or overnight trips this year?

    At this time, students will not be going on overnight trips for 2021-2022. 
  • Will there be a spring break travel opportunity for students this year?

    Yes, a spring break trip to Iceland is available to Upper School students this year.
  • How much disruption in the coming year will be created by the construction of the CCD? Which classrooms will be impacted and for how long?

    We have done rigorous planning in order to minimize disruption to the academic program while Fay’s new Center for Creativity & Design is under construction. A limited number of spaces will be impacted by the construction:
    • Several Lower School classrooms will be moved.
    • The Lower School Office will be moved two rooms down from the current space, and the office for the Head of Lower School will be located across the hall.
    • Lower School students will be expected to enter and exit at the Business Office door as the Lower School door will not be accessible.
    • Upper School students will still be able to access the US entry. Upper School students who have siblings in Lower School will be dropped off at Upjohn and walk the pathway between the Picardi and Root Buildings to access the Upper School entrance.

    We anticipate that at various times during the year, we may have to modify drop-off/pick-up routines, and we will be sure to notify families in advance of these changes. You can learn more about the Center for Creativity & Design here.
  • Are parents allowed on campus?

    Yes, parents will be allowed on campus. All visitors to campus are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Starting March 28, if conditions are favorable, masks will no longer be required on campus.
  • Is the School hosting in-person events for the community this year?

    Yes, we have been able to host some in-person events for community members, including back-to-school events and Parents’ Weekend. 

    Starting March 28, if conditions are favorable, we will host in-person events for families, including Grandparents’ Day in May and our traditional end-of-year closing ceremonies for each division.
  • Will Fay host events for the greater Southborough/Metrowest community this year?

    Yes, we hosted the Fay Farmers Market this fall. We have not yet determined if we will offer Saturdays at Fay and Innovation Saturdays during the winter and spring.

Academic Year 2021-22 - Boarding Life

List of 2 items.

  • Do boarding students need to have Local Emergency Contacts for potential quarantine and off-campus residence in emergency situations?

    Yes. All boarding students must have a Local Emergency Contact that is provided by the student’s parents. A Local Emergency Contact should be someone within the continental United States who can arrive to campus within 24 hours of notification. The School will contact the Local Emergency Contact in the event of:
    • The student’s positive COVID-19 test or a presumed positive case of COVID-19 based on symptoms assessed by the School’s physician
    • A campus closure as a result of the pandemic
    • Travel restrictions that prevent the student from returning home during school breaks or campus closure
    • Additional reasons as identified by the School
    Boarding parents must supply Fay with the name and contact information of the Local Emergency Contact no later than August 1.
  • Do boarders go off campus for weekend activities?

    Yes, we are able to schedule off-campus excursions for boarding students on the weekends, while always being mindful of our students' health and safety. You can read more about weekends at Fay here.

FaySummer

List of 9 items.

  • Will FaySummer staff members be vaccinated?

    Yes. All FaySummer staff members and on-campus vendors (including Specialty Camp instructors) will be required to be vaccinated.
  • Will campers be required to be vaccinated?

    Vaccinations for day campers will not be required but strongly encouraged for eligible campers. 
  • Are FaySummer staff or campers required to be tested for COVID?

    COVID testing is not required for FaySummer staff or day campers.
  • Will masks be required for campers and staff?

    At this time, vaccinated camp staff will not be required to wear masks inside or outside. Campers will not be required to wear masks outside, but they will be required to wear masks inside campus buildings. All campers should bring two masks to camp each day - one to wear, and a replacement. FaySummer will have disposable masks on hand should additional masks be required.
  • Will campers be required to do a health check before coming to campus?

    Parents should screen their children and keep them home if they observe symptoms. At this time, parents will not be required to complete form health attestations each morning.
  • Will campers be grouped in cohorts?

    Campers will stay in small cohorts with their counselors for the duration of each camp session.
  • What happens if there is a positive case of COVID-19 at FaySummer?

    As soon as we are notified that an individual in our community is positive for COVID-19, we will work with the Southborough Board of Health to confirm isolation of the infected individual and begin contract tracing procedures to identify the close contacts of that individual.

    Positive cases must isolate for a minimum of 5 days from the date of onset of symptoms or positive test date (both of which are considered Day 0). They may return after a minimum of 5 days and when they are symptom and fever free for at least 24 hours. They are required to wear a mask for days 6-10 after their positive test date. Current guidelines do not require these campers to provide a negative PCR COVID-19 test before returning to camp but they must meet with and be cleared by the school nurse on the morning of their first day back to camp. If the nurse does not clear the student, they will be sent home. 


  • What is your quarantine policy for campers who are identified as close contacts of a positive COVID case?

    Per guidelines from the CDC and guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Early and Secondary Education, “close contact” is defined as anyone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. In the event of a positive case, we will inform the community and notify close contacts. 

    Consistent with CDC guidelines, our quarantine protocols for close contacts are as follows:
    • Close contacts who are fully vaccinated (as defined below) are not required to quarantine. 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 must quarantine for 5 days. They may return after presenting a negative PCR test taken no earlier than day 5 of the quarantine. 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 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.
    • Individuals within the 90-day immunity period consequent to a positive COVID test are not required to quarantine.
    Fay School's definition of "fully vaccinated":

    Individuals ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated if:
    • they have received the full course of two vaccines AND
    • they received their second shot less than five months ago
    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
      OR
    • they have received the full course of two vaccines AND they have received a booster shot
  • What is your camper absence policy?

    Any camper who is absent due to illness of any kind for three or more days is required to provide the FaySummer nurse with a doctor's note in order to return. Upon reviewing the specifics of the absence, the nurse may also require a negative PCR COVID-19 test.

Contacts

For questions about:

Enrollment
Beth Whitney, Associate Head of School and Director of Enrollment Management
bwhitney@fayschool.org

Student health, testing, and screening
Diane Byrne, Assistant Head of School for Finance & Operations
dbyrne@fayschool.org

Academic Program
Julie Porrazzo, Director of the Educational Program
jporrazzo@fayschool.org

International student visas
Sarah Remsberg, Head of Upper School
sremsberg@fayschool.org
48 MAIN STREET
SOUTHBOROUGH, MA 01772
main number 508-490-8250
admission 508-490-8201