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

Reopening FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Please continue to check this web page for new information and updates. For general questions about the reopening of school, please email reopening@fayschool.org. Specific questions may be sent to administrators on the contact list.

Health and Safety

List of 16 items.

  • What is Fay's COVID-19 testing protocol?

    We currently provide weekly on-campus COVID-19 testing for all members of our community. We are doing pooled PCR testing, where numerous samples are run as part of one test. Fay covers the cost of this testing.
    Fay’s school nurses have been trained to administer the tests. When all samples have been collected, a member of Fay’s staff transports the samples to CIC Health in Cambridge, where the tests are evaluated and then sent to the Broad Institute for processing. Test results are returned to Fay within 24-48 hours.

    Students who are unable to be tested on campus may schedule  their own test, but it must be a PCR test. Two options for local testing facilities are below.
     
    38 Boston Post Road West (Rt 20), Marlborough, MA 01752
    508.658.0764

    945 Worcester Street (Rt 9W), Natick MA 01760
    508.650.6208
  • How does pooled testing work?

    Pooled PCR testing is a method whereby numerous samples can be run as part of one test. The PCR test is administered to each individual; then the tests are pooled in batches of up to 10 samples. A negative test means that all individuals in the pool are presumed to be negative. A positive test for the pool means that each person in that group must isolate and be individually tested by an additional, individual PCR test.
  • Who will be in my child's testing pool?

    The other individuals in your child’s testing pool will be other students in that cohort and possibly one of their teachers, in addition to other members of Fay's faculty and staff.
  • What if my child is part of a positive pooled test?

    We will notify any individuals whose samples are part of a positive pooled test. Subsequent to being notified of a positive result, each individual will come to Fay's Health Office for an additional, individual PCR test to determine if they were infected. Fay will cover the cost of this additional test.
    When we receive news of a positive pool, the entire cohort will quarantine until we complete retesting of that pool, identify the infected individual, and conduct comprehensive contact tracing. In the Early Learning Center, Primary School, and Lower School, the student’s cohort is their homeroom; in Upper School, the student’s cohort is their entire grade. Siblings of students who are in the positive pool may attend school in person until we have identified the positive case. 

    Once retesting and contact training have been completed, close contacts of the infected individual and the siblings of those close contacts will be required to quarantine for the full quarantine period. A close contact is any individual who has been within six feet of the 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. Based on the number of close contacts, a determination will be made about whether the entire cohort needs to quarantine for the full quarantine period. This is a change from our previous protocol, which automatically required an entire grade or homeroom to quarantine.
    The full quarantine period is defined as 14 days from the date of the last known contact (which is considered Day 0). In order to return to school, the student must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test no earlier than Day 13. The negative results, with the test date, must be uploaded to Magnus for review by the school nurse, who will clear the student to return as soon as test results are approved. All students who are required to quarantine may live stream until they are cleared to return to campus.
    If a student is part of a positive pooled test and subsequently tests positive for COVID-19 after an additional, individual PCR test, that student must isolate for a minimum of 10 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 10 days and when they are symptom and fever free for at least 24 hours. Current guidelines do not require these students to provide a negative PCR COVID-19 test before returning to school, but they must meet with and be cleared by the school nurse on the morning of their first day back to school. If the nurse does not clear the student, they will be sent home.  If the subsequent test indicates that your child is positive for COVID-19, please notify Diane Byrne at dbyrne@fayschool.org so we can notify the Southborough Board of Health.

    During the 14 days after identifying a positive case, we will conduct two more tests (in addition to the regular weekly tests) of the students who are in the same cohort but have not been identified as close contacts and are not in quarantine.
  • What additional steps has the School taken to protect students on campus?

    Classrooms have been reconfigured to ensure that community members can maintain distance of at least three to six feet, as recommended by the Massachusetts Department of Education and the CDC. Students are organized into grade-level cohorts to minimize the number of students who interact with each other on a daily basis.

    All faculty, staff, and students are required to wear masks. 
     
    The School has implemented a strict protocol for the frequent cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, bathrooms, and dormitory spaces.
     
  • How does the School enforce physical distancing in shared spaces?

    Physical adjustments to our classroom configurations, smaller class sizes, and the organization of students into grade-level cohorts minimize the number of different interactions among students and adults during the school day and lowers the density of students in classroom spaces. 

    Other spaces within the school (e.g., dining hall, library, theater) have been repurposed to increase the amount of available space to accommodate 6 feet of physical distancing.

    Faculty explain, model, and continue to reinforce age-appropriate physical distancing requirements. Health and safety protocols, such as frequent handwashing, are consistently reinforced.  

    Dorms are be organized in cohorts to further minimize the number of different interactions with other students. 
     
  • What cleaning protocols are in place?

    Fay has expanded its normal cleaning routines with daily disinfection and sanitization procedures that include wiping down commonly touched surfaces, door handles and light switches, and increasing the frequency of bathroom cleaning. 

  • Are students in all grades required to wear a face mask?

    Yes, all students in Kindergarten through grade nine are required to wear a face mask. Each student should bring two masks to school each day - one to wear, and one replacement. Students in grades 5-9 should bring two additional masks for use during sports. The School has disposable masks on hand should additional masks be required. Early Learning Center children are not required to wear a face mask, but are strongly encouraged to do so.

    Face masks may be of any color; plain or patterned. Images, pictures, or symbols must be appropriate. Face masks with words are not permitted. 

    Given guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the recent research (Duke University Mask Study) indicating that not all masks work effectively depending on material and layers, we ask that parents observe the following additional guidelines:

    • Masks with valves and vents are not permitted.
    • Neck gaiters, bandanas, and single-layer masks are not allowed.
  • Are PPE or standard healthcare supplies (e.g., masks and gloves) be provided by the school? If not, can students bring their own PPE?

    Per Massachusetts state guidelines, students are expected to provide their own masks. Gloves are not required but may be used at the family's discretion. Masks should be in a plain, solid color and should not have any writing. The school will have an ample supply of masks should a student lose, break or forget theirs.

    Please see the FAQ above for more detailed guidelines about masks.
     
  • How long are day students who travel required to self-quarantine prior to returning to school?

    Per the Massachusetts Travel Advisory, any day student who has traveled outside of Massachusetts for more than 24 hours must either self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in Massachusetts OR present a negative COVID-19 test completed no more than 72 hours prior to arriving in Massachusetts OR self-quarantine in Massachusetts until a negative test result is received.
  • What happens if there is a suspected positive case of COVID-19 in the Fay community?

    As soon as we are notified that an individual in our community is being tested for COVID-19, we will work with the Southborough Board of Health to begin Massachusetts contract tracing procedures to identify the close contacts of that individual. 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. We will inform the community and notify close contacts only when there has been a confirmed positive case. In keeping with confidentiality laws, we will not identify the individual by name. 
  • What happens if there is a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in the Fay community?

    If there is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in the Fay community, we will inform the community and notify close contacts. In keeping with confidentiality laws, we will not identify the individual by name. 

    We will close the classroom(s) where the infected person has been and sanitize those spaces. Classes will resume the following day for students and faculty not identified as close contacts.
    Isolation policy

    Positive cases must isolate for a minimum of 10 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 10 days and when they are symptom and fever free for at least 24 hours. Current guidelines do not require these students to provide a negative PCR COVID-19 test before returning to school, but they must meet with and be cleared by the school nurse on the morning of their first day back to school. If the nurse does not clear the student, they will be sent home. Any boarding student with a positive result will be required to leave campus with their parent or Local Emergency Contact within 24 hours of the notification.
     
    Quarantine policy

    Any student required to quarantine must remain out of school for 14 days from the date of the last known contact (which is considered Day 0). In order to return to school, the student must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test no earlier than Day 13. The negative results must include the test date and be uploaded to Magnus for review by the school nurse, who will clear the student to return as soon as test results are approved. Onsite testing is not permitted in the case of quarantine.
     
    Close contact policy

    Any student considered a close contact to a positive case, inside or outside of school, must quarantine for 14 days after the last known contact. If the student has Fay siblings, those siblings must also quarantine for those same 14 days. For close contacts, the last day of potential exposure is considered Day 0 and quarantine is 14 full days from that date. These students and siblings must follow the quarantine policy.
     
    If a Fay student who tests positive has a sibling at Fay, that sibling is considered a close contact and must remain at home until the positive student is cleared to return to school. 
    o   If the positive child has remained completely isolated in the home, the sibling may return after quarantining for 14 days. The sibling must follow the quarantine policy.
    o   If the positive child has not been completely isolated at home, the sibling must quarantine for an additional 14 days after the positive child returns to school. In this case, the sibling would need to be out of school for a minimum of 24 days from the positive test date or onset of symptoms. 
     
    Additional testing

    During the 14 days after identifying a positive case, we will conduct two more tests (in addition to the regular weekly tests) of the students who are in the same cohort but have not been identified as close contacts and are not in quarantine.

    Student absence of three or more days

    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.
     
    Student absence of five or more days

    Any student who is absent from school due to illness of any kind or for any other reason for five or more days is required to provide a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within three days of returning to school.  Negative test results must include the date of the test and be uploaded to Magnus in order for the student to return.

    Live Streaming and Quarantine
    Students who are quarantining may participate in Fay’s live-streaming program until their return. If a faculty member is required to quarantine, Fay will provide a substitute teacher for in-person learning until the faculty member is cleared to return to campus.
  • My child was identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19. What do we do?

    Any student considered a close contact to a positive case, inside or outside of school, must quarantine for 14 days after the last known contact. If the student has Fay siblings, those siblings must also quarantine for those same 14 days. For close contacts, the last day of potential exposure is considered Day 0 and quarantine is 14 full days from that date. These students and siblings must follow the quarantine policy.
     
    If a Fay student who tests positive has a sibling at Fay, that sibling is considered a close contact and must remain at home until the positive student is cleared to return to school. 
    o   If the positive child has remained completely isolated in the home, the sibling may return after quarantining for 14 days. The sibling must follow the quarantine policy.
    o   If the positive child has not been completely isolated at home, the sibling must quarantine for an additional 14 days after the positive child returns to school. In this case, the sibling would need to be out of school for a minimum of 24 days from the positive test date or onset of symptoms. 

    Students who are quarantining may participate in Fay’s live-streaming program until their return. 

    Identifying close contacts

    A close contact is any individual who has been within six feet of the 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. Based on the number of close contacts, a determination will be made about whether the entire cohort needs to quarantine for the full quarantine period. 
     
    Boarding students:
    In the event that a boarding student tests positive, the close contacts in the dorm will be required to quarantine for the full quarantine period. Based on the number of immediate close contacts, a determination will be made about whether the entire dorm needs to quarantine. Boarding students in quarantine will not be required to leave campus as long as they remain in good health; they may live stream from their dorm rooms. Students may also opt to leave campus and stay with their Local Emergency Contact for the duration of their quarantine. 

    Required quarantines

    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 14 days of quarantine have passed. A subsequent quarantine violation by the student may result in mandatory remote learning for the remainder of the term.   

  • At what point would Fay close the campus due to positive cases of COVID-19 in the community?

    We will evaluate each positive incidence of COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis and make a decision that is best for our community. Since we have reconfigured classrooms to make each division physically separate from the others, we have the option of closing an entire division of the school if we believe that is the best way to prevent the spread of infection. In each situation, we will work closely with the Southborough Board of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to ensure that we are observing guidelines and best practices.
  • Will the School conduct routine screening of students?

    Parents of day students are required to complete a daily COVID-19 screening assessment of their children each morning before school. Students will not be allowed in the building if the daily screening is not complete, and this rule is strictly enforced.
     
    We are using the Magnus Mobile app provided by Magnus Health, which allows parents to complete the screening attestation from a smartphone in just a few clicks. This screening process will help us to create the safest possible environment for students, faculty, and staff by avoiding screenings at the school entry points, where person-to-person transmissions could take place. Magnus Mobile is a web-based app that will provide continuous access to the child’s health record as well as the ability to make updates to the health history as needed.
     
    Click here for an instruction sheet that explains how to access and set up the app on a smartphone. Parents should begin completing the Magnus Health COVID-19 Daily Screening for their children by tapping the button on the Magnus Mobile app titled “COVID-19.”
     
    All Fay parents must submit the screening each morning no later than 7:15 am. All ELC parents must submit the screening 30 minutes before arriving to campus. Please reserve one to two minutes per child to complete this process each morning.
     
    The screening includes the following symptoms:
    • Temperature higher than 100°F
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Cough not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Muscle aches
    • Chills
    • Sore throat
    • Chest pain
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Fatigue when in combination with other symptoms
    • Congestion or runny nose not due to other known causes, such as allergies when in combination with other symptoms
    • Headache when in combination with other symptoms
    For any technical issues with the mobile app such as login problems, or problems completing the screening please contact customer support at Magnus Health SMR by phone at 877.461.6831 or by email at service@magnushealthportal.com.
  • What is the procedure for care if and when a symptomatic student is isolated?

    Boarding students who are presumed positive or who test positive must be picked up within 24 hours by a parent, guardian, or local emergency contact. While awaiting pickup, students will remain in an isolation room with 24-hour supervision. Students who are well enough to do schoolwork may do so, but they may not attend class in person.

Boarding Life

List of 5 items.

  • Does the health insurance for boarding students cover COVID-19 testing and treatment?

    Boarding student health insurance provided by United HealthCare includes symptomatic testing and treatment for COVID-19. Please click here to read a detailed overview of coverage.
  • Do dorms still have multiple occupancy rooms?

    Students have been assigned to single or double rooms only. There will be no triple occupancy dorm rooms. Dorms are grouped by grade level and organized in cohorts.
     
  • What if my child tests positive for COVID-19 after returning to Fay?

    All students will be screened on a daily basis. Day students who display possible symptoms of COVID-19 infection will be isolated on campus and sent home to consult with their family physician. Boarding students will be tested by Fay School’s physician. If they test positive for COVID-19, they will enter isolation on Fay's campus and will be monitored by adult chaperones until the Local Emergency Contact can pick up the boarding student.

    Parents of boarding students will be informed immediately if their child needs to enter isolation or quarantine. The School's nurses work closely under the supervision of a local doctor who will determine if and when a student who is ill from the COVID-19 virus needs to be hospitalized. Fay School's location gives us easy access to excellent hospitals in the greater Metrowest area.
     
  • Are boarding students required to have a local emergency contact?

    Beginning this fall, all boarding parents will be required to name a Local Emergency Contact for their child. A Local Emergency Contact should be someone within the continental United States who can arrive to campus within 24 hours of notification. 

    The Local Emergency Contact must be able to come to campus to pick up the student 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
    • A quarantine as a result of exposure to someone with COVID-19
    • Travel restrictions that prevent the student from returning home during school breaks or campus closures.
    • Additional reasons as identified by the School.
    If they have not done so already, parents should click here to complete the Local Emergency Contact Form.
     
  • If I am unable to find a local emergency contact or quarantine service, are there any resources Fay can provide?

    If you have difficulty with any steps in this process, please contact Paul Abeln, Director of Alumni and International Relations (pabeln@fayschool.org).  Paul will provide you with some resources Fay has located which we hope will help you secure the services you need.

Contacts

For questions about:

Enrollment
Contact Beth Whitney, Director of Admission
bwhitney@fayschool.org

Financial Aid
Contact Susan Mantilla-Goin, Director of Financial Aid
smantillagoin@fayschool.org

Student health, testing, and screening
Contact Diane Byrne, Director of Finance and Operations
dbyrne@fayschool.org

The Distance Learning program
Contact Julie Porrazzo, Director of the Educational Program
jporrazzo@fayschool.org

International student visas
Contact Sarah Remsberg, Head of Upper School
sremsberg@fayschool.org

Massachusetts Travel Advisory

The Massachusetts Travel Advisory advises all visitors and returning residents to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival.
Travelers in the following categories are exempt from this quarantine advisory:
  • Travelers who have received a negative COVID-19 result on a test administered not more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. Travelers may also test out of the quarantine advisory after arrival in Massachusetts, as long as they quarantine until receiving a negative test result.
  • Anyone who is entering Massachusetts for fewer than 24 hours
  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after being out of the state for fewer than 24 hours
  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms.
All travelers are encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel.


Daily Life at Fay

List of 6 items.

PROGRAM

List of 12 items.

  • When is the last day to sign up for tuition insurance, and does Fay’s tuition insurance program cover me if I am attending through Fay’s Distance Learning Program?

    Families who are seeking flexibility with their fall plans are encouraged to enroll in TuitionNet, our tuition insurance plan. Under TuitionNet’s terms, parents may request a refund of tuition once the student has fulfilled the attendance requirement of two weeks of in-person or distance learning. Please click here to learn more about TuitionNet. If you did not sign up for tuition insurance when you originally enrolled in Fay School but would now like to do so, please contact Jennifer Alves at jalves@fayschool.org. The deadline to enroll was July 31.
  • Is distance learning an option for all students?

    When the campus is open for in-person teaching and learning, day students who cannot attend class in person are able to join remotely via live-stream video feeds of their classes.

    When campus is closed, day students and boarding students in the appropriate time zone transition to Fay@Home, Fay's remote learning program that is structured to mirror a full, in-person school day, with synchronous classes running 8:00 am - 3:00 pm.

    Boarding students who are unable to attend class in person may participate in Fay's Distance Learning Program until they are able to come to Fay. Our Distance Learning Program includes a mix of synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (self-paced) lessons and activities to ensure that students can learn effectively in their own time zones.

    CLICK HERE to read more about Fay's Distance Learning Program.

    CLICK HERE to read more about Fay@Home.
  • What is the difference between distance learning and live-streaming?

    Distance Learning for Upper School Boarding Students
     
    For 2020-21, boarding students may participate in Fay’s distance learning program until they are able to come to campus. Fay’s distance learning program is composed of asynchronous (self-paced) and daily synchronous (live) interactions and is designed to accommodate students in multiple time zones. The expectation is that students will have full access to the Internet and to a computer and that they will be able to work independently on self-paced assignments. When boarding students return to campus, they will be reassigned to in-person classes, and faculty members will work with each student to ensure a smooth transition. Our distance learning program is described in detail at fayschool.org/distancelearning.
     
    Since the successful launch of Fay’s distance learning program in April, faculty have been revising the program in response to feedback from families. This year, we will be providing additional professional development for our teachers and making further enhancements.
     
    Please note that the distance learning program will be provided to all students should campus be required to close.
     
    Live-Streaming for Day Students in Kindergarten - Grade 9
     
    Fay’s live-streaming program will be for day students in Kindergarten through grade 9 who are not able to attend classes in person. Features of the live-stream program include the following:
    • Full-room cameras are being installed in classrooms so remote learners can participate for the full school day in real time and view all classroom activity. 
    • Students who are live-streaming will participate remotely via Zoom, which will make it possible for them to watch teacher lessons and lectures; raise their hands and offer questions and ideas; share written work for feedback; and clarify understanding.
    • Since small-group work in a traditional format will be limited due to physical distancing requirements, both in-person and live-streaming students will often participate in small-group work via Zoom. 
    • During class time, teachers will check in with remote learners to ensure that their one-on-one time with teachers is comparable to that of in-person learners. 
    • Students participating remotely will submit assignments electronically via Google Classroom or Seesaw, depending on their grade level. 
    • Fay will loan Chromebooks to students who participate in live-streaming and are in need of a device.
    • Remote learners will receive textbooks, workbooks, and hands-on learning tools (such as math manipulatives) as needed.



  • Are after-school programs offered this fall?

    Fay After School will continue to run for all students in Kindergarten through grade four. Morning and Afternoon Extended Care is available to all families until 6:00 pm free of charge. We will continue to offer additional enrichment clubs for a fee. Students in grades five through nine may also participate in Extended Care from 7:00 to 7:40 am and from 4:30 to 6:00 pm free of charge. Registration is required for all Fay After School programs, though there will be a limited number of walk-in spots for Morning and Afternoon Care.

    More information about Fay After School is available here.
  • Will distance learning classes be graded and appear on report cards and transcripts?

    Upper School boarding students who take distance learning classes will receive effort grades and course grades in the same way as students who attend classes in person.
  • Are Music, Drama, and Dance programs offered this year?

    Our performing arts teachers are offering safe and meaningful options so students can continue to participate in music, drama, and dance.
     
  • Are there any changes to the daily schedule of classes?

    Fay's school day begins and ends at regular times. As we developed our fall term academic schedules, we made modifications to ensure small class sizes and the maintenance of our cohort policies. Additional outdoor periods have been scheduled during the school day to allow students some mask-free time.
  • If students are grouped in cohorts, how are students placed in math classes and world language classes?

    Whenever possible, students remain with their cohorts throughout the day. In some limited cases, students in grades 7-9 are assigned to a math course or language course that requires them to leave their cohort.
  • Is Athletics offered to students in grades 5 through 9 this fall?

    Interscholastic athletics will not be offered during the spring term. This decision is consistent with the guidelines provided by the Massachusetts Department of Education. We do, however, continue to provide intramural athletics for grades 5-9 each afternoon until 4:30 pm, where students have the opportunity to build sport-specific skills, get exercise, and enjoy time with their peers outside the classroom.
  • Will there be a refund because there are no interscholastic athletics?

    Fay will not provide a refund or discount for athletics, as all students in grades 5-9 will be participating in intramural athletics from 3:00 to 4:30 each day.
  • Are students allowed to play on outside/AAU sports teams?

    Assuming teams observe appropriate safety guidelines and restrictions, students may play on outside teams.

    While our careful adherence to health and safety protocols on campus this fall led to excellent results within our community, our concern about the recent increase in cases has prompted us to adopt additional safety measures. For the winter term, students who are participating in sports outside of school must notify Fay, and they will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. This means that in addition to Fay's regular bi-weekly testing, these students must also be tested on the alternate weeks. Families are required to pay for these additional tests, which will be PCR tests with individual results. We will arrange for on-campus testing at a cost of $100 per student, per test; families may also make alternative arrangements for a PCR test outside of school. If your child will be participating in sports outside of school, please notify Diane Byrne at dbyrne@fayschool.org.

    As of 3-1-21, Fay has decided that individual testing will not be required during the spring athletics spring. If cases counts worsen, however, the administration may once again require that any student participating in outside sports be individually tested in lieu of pooled testing.
  • Will there be off-campus field trips?

    Field trips and Upper School service learning trips will not take place at least during the fall or winter terms. The School will assess the feasibility of spring term trips later in the year. While cultural arts events that involve visitors to campus will not take place during the fall term, each division will incorporate online options when appropriate.
     

Traveling to Campus

List of 3 items.

Students who need to quarantine

List of 8 items.