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

Reopening Plan - Boarding Students

VIII. Considerations for Boarding Students

Travel Restrictions and Visa Requirements

The ability of boarding students to arrive on campus and to travel during school vacation periods is directly impacted by state and federal restrictions regarding domestic and international travel to Massachusetts, including national and state quarantine requirements, equivalent restrictions in home countries, and the ability of some students to obtain visas. We expect that changes to these restrictions will be ongoing during the pandemic, and we will continue to monitor them closely. We will assess the potential impact of any changes on our boarding students, and we will remain in close communication with families about these issues. When booking travel for their children, parents should take U.S. and Massachusetts quarantine requirements into account. 

Boarding students who are unable to get to Fay in time for the start of the fall term should plan to arrive to campus as soon as they can. They will be able to participate in our Distance Learning Program until they arrive on campus.

Parents of boarding students should remain familiar with current travel, quarantine, and visa restrictions and requirements, which are posted on our Reopening Web Page under Frequently Asked Questions

Arrival to Campus

All boarding students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when they arrive on campus. Fay will not be coordinating transportation from local airports at the start of the school year. 

Boarding students who plan to arrive on campus in time for the first day of classes are required to schedule a time between August 24 and September 7 to drop off their belongings. These will be short appointments, and only one parent or guardian may accompany each student. Parents and students are required to wear face masks while on campus. We will send a link to the schedule signup and more information about move-in procedures in August. Boarding students who do not schedule a move-in time prior to September 8 will be required to move in without the help of their parent/guardian because parents and guardians will not be allowed in dormitories after September 7.

Boarders will be assigned a specific arrival time on Tuesday, September 8 to facilitate a smooth check-in and appropriate physical distancing. Proctors should arrive on September 8 with the rest of their classmates. All arriving students will check in first with Health Office staff to present documentation of a negative COVID-19 test and to be screened for symptoms. Please note that all COVID-19 test results must be provided in English. Once students are cleared by the Health Office, they will begin the registration process. Only after registration is complete will students have access to the dorms.

When packing, students should reduce the number of items they bring to their dorm rooms in order to facilitate thorough cleaning of living spaces. When dropping off personal possessions and arriving on September 8, face masks will be required for everyone on campus, and parents/guardians are asked to spend minimal time on campus. Parents/guardians will not be allowed in the dorms on September 8.

All boarding students should bring a two-week supply of washable cloth masks, or they may opt to bring their own disposable masks. Masks may be in solid colors and appropriate patterns, but they must not have any writing. Please note that neck gaiters will not be allowed.

Thanksgiving and Winter Vacation

Fay’s campus will remain open over Thanksgiving Vacation for boarding students who are unable to return home or who choose to remain on campus. A fee of $1,750 will be charged for students who remain on campus during this period. 

Boarders who opt to leave campus for Thanksgiving Vacation must observe the rules of the Massachusetts Travel Order, and if they return to campus from U.S. states that are not identified as “lower-risk states” (currently New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii) they must present a negative COVID-19 test completed no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. 

Alternatively, boarding students may remain off campus through the end of Winter Vacation (January 5). They will be able to participate in distance learning during the period between Thanksgiving Vacation and Winter Vacation. Parents will be asked to notify the School of their Thanksgiving plans by Monday, November 16.

Campus will be closed to all boarding students for Winter Vacation (December 19 - January 4) so that we can complete a thorough cleaning of our campus. Students must depart campus by 12:00 noon on Saturday, December 19. School will resume in person for all students on January 5 unless travel/visa restrictions prevent a timely arrival back on campus.

Local Emergency Contact

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
  • 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

Parents who need assistance in securing a Local Emergency Contact should contact Paul Abeln, Director of Alumni and International Relations, at He has gathered resources to support our students and can assist families as they make their plans.

Residential Life Program

Fay’s residential life program will be modified to ensure compliance with state regulations for travel, and health and safety. The Residential Life Office will develop new evening and weekend programs to provide a rich, enjoyable, and stimulating environment for our boarding students. Plans will be adjusted as the pandemic situation evolves. 

In the dorms, boarding students will be organized in cohorts to minimize the number of different interactions with other students. Dorm rooms will be configured for single and double occupancy only, and masks will be required in common spaces. 

After dropping off students’ personal possessions prior to the start of school, parents and guardians will not be allowed in the dorm for the remainder of the fall term. The first two weekends will be “closed weekends,” meaning that all boarders will be required to remain on campus. Requests to leave campus to travel to destinations in Massachusetts or states designated as “lower risk” per the Massachusetts Travel Order during the week or on weekends must be approved by the Head of Upper School. Before approving a request, the Dean of Residential Life will conduct a risk assessment based on the current level of COVID-19 activity in the area.