Ethan Allen Prep Opening Plan
At this time, EAP is planning to open with on-campus learning. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will be ready to pivot as necessary. It is our intention to work in partnership with our families during this pandemic. Included in your welcome packets is a COVID related partnership agreement that we are asking all families to sign prior to arriving for the first day of school. If at any time you have COVID-related questions, please contact Melanie Guerrera, our COVID Coordinator. All campus buildings have been assessed to determine the maximum capacity when allowing for a minimum of six feet of physical spacing. Extra desks and chairs were removed and redistributed to spaces found suitable to be repurposed for academic instruction. Academic buildings and training facilities will have increased cleaning and sanitizing by our cleaning service. Faculty, coaches and associates will share in wiping down tables, chairs, and other surfaces on a regular basis. Non-instructional spaces suited for physical distancing have been identified and may be used for academic instruction, study spaces, areas for students to have lunch and/or relax during free time. The plan takes into account how to maximize both indoor and outdoor spaces for instruction, gathering, and play.
All students, faculty, coaches and associates are expected to wear masks when indoors and not alone or within safe distance from another person. The only exception to this rule is for students living with one another in the dormitory. When outside, all students, faculty, coaches and associates should wear masks when unable to maintain a safe distance from one another. Everyone should be “mask ready” at all times. EAP and GPC will have extra masks on hand but expect all students and staff to have their own.
EAP recognizes the difficulty in maintaining social distancing in a residential environment but we will do our best to promote safe and responsible living arrangements. Students will not be permitted to have guests in their rooms; socializing must take place adhering to six-feet physical distancing in common rooms or take place outdoors when possible. EAP’s cleaning service will clean hallways, stairwells, common rooms, and bathrooms frequently. Dorm parents will encourage regular cleaning as part of the evening routine.
A few of the tables will be removed from the dining hall. The remaining tables are configured to limit the number of individuals per table. The dining hall has floor markers to identify six-feet spacing. We have eliminated, for at least the start of the school year, all self-service options. Students, faculty, coaches and associates are encouraged to eat lunch outside for as long as weather permits. Wherever possible, single-use items will be used, including condiments, cutlery, and beverages. In lieu of self-service, our model utilizes servers to avoid congregating at beverage and meal stations, and to limit the number of individuals using shared utensils and small appliances. Tables and chairs will be wiped down after each use and cleaning and sanitizing throughout the meal periods. The restrooms will be sanitized throughout the day.
Ethan Allen Prep has deployed hand sanitizing stations around campus, including at the entrance and exit to Vardon Hall. Individuals entering Vardon Hall will be required to sanitize or wash their hands. Other buildings on campus have sanitizing stations available. Classrooms, dormitories, and other school buildings will have access to a supply of disinfectant wipes or cleaning solution and paper towels for wiping down surfaces on a regular schedule throughout the school day and, in the evening. Signage posted throughout campus will remind students and employees to frequently wash their hands. Finally, our cleaning service will increase cleaning in all buildings.
Following recommendations from the CDC and the state of Connecticut, students, faculty, coaches and associates will be advised to avoid unnecessary travel domestically and internationally. We expect anyone who travels to a restricted area to communicate with EAP administration as well as to follow CDC and state guidelines regarding self-quarantine and our testing protocols regarding returning to campus.
We will help to ensure community-wide health and safety by limiting access to campus. Visitors will be limited to students’ immediate family, and deliveries and services by various vendors as scheduled by EAP/GPC administration. As conditions and guidelines change, we will adapt the process and guidelines related to admission candidates and others who wish to visit and learn more about the EAP experience. We look forward to welcoming prospective students and parents to tour the school at various times in the fall.
Monitoring the Health of Students, Faculty, Coaches and Associates
Ethan Allen Prep will institute a daily check-in system to monitor the health of all students, faculty, coaches, and associates. Employees who are not feeling well must stay home. They will communicate with their supervisor to ensure appropriate coverage for responsibilities. Day-students who are experiencing symptoms that are associated with COVID-19 including but not limited to: fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, loss of sense of taste or smell, as well as other physical discomfort, should stay home. Our COVID Coordinator will communicate with employees and with families of day students to assess if the individual is cleared to return to campus. Residential students who are not feeling well will contact a dorm parent or another adult if a dorm parent is not in their immediate presence to offer assistance.
Students who exhibit signs for COVID-19 will be isolated and arrangements will then be made for the student to leave campus as soon as possible upon diagnosis. The student will be required to remain off campus for 14 days. In rare circumstances, on a case-by-case basis, a student may be permitted to isolate on campus for more than one day. If the student’s condition is stable (no fever above 102 and/or no respiratory difficulties), the student may remain in isolation on campus until other arrangements are made with the family. Meals will be delivered to any students in quarantine or isolation. If they are feeling up to it, they may participate in learning remotely. Any student with severe COVID-19 symptoms will be transported to Danbury Hospital.
Testing Prior to Returning to Campus
We plan to require testing of all community members prior to re-entry following school breaks and vacations. If insurance does not cover the individual cost of re-entry testing, students will be responsible for the cost of these tests. EAP must be informed if a student, coach, faculty member, or associate tests positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. While EAP will maintain confidentiality of the name of an individual, it is possible that it may become known who is infected. It is EAP’s legal responsibility to inform those who have been in contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19. Additionally, students, faculty, coaches and associates must immediately inform the COVID-19 Coordinator (or a designated administrator) if they are experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms. Students, faculty, coaches and associates using an external health care provider should request that the provider informs EAP if they test positive.
When a case of infection is detected, the student will be isolated and parents will be contacted. Arrangements will be made for the student to leave campus as soon as possible upon diagnosis. Students must isolate off campus. EAP/GPC administrators will work with the family to ensure the student is safely off campus as quickly as possible. For any infected individual, EAP will inform anyone who may have come into contact with the student and consider quarantining others who may have had close contact with the student.
Students who have come in close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine. This would include roommates, suitemates, and other close contacts. Boarding students should leave campus to quarantine with family or a guardian.
In the event a serious outbreak occurs on campus or in the local community, or if local or state authorities require a shutdown, we will assist our boarding students in getting off campus to stay with family members or a guardian. For students who are unable to secure a place to stay off campus, they will be allowed to remain in the dormitory until such time that alternate off-campus housing is arranged (approved by EAP) or the shutdown order is lifted. As a residential facility, if a shutdown occurs, it is possible that those who live in different states or countries may not be able to secure travel arrangements. As such, we expect all boarding students to have a place to stay with a guardian within the United States. If the state shuts down, EAP will follow the instructions of Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont if he determines that a statewide shutdown is required and/or if we are required or recommended for closure. Plan for continuation of instruction if a shutdown occurs.
If possible and in accordance with state guidelines, EAP may offer the ability for students to remain on campus. If so, we will work with the families to ensure the students felt safe and secure here on campus. If at any time during the shutdown, a student left campus for any reason not controlled by EAP or GPC, that student would need to quarantine at home or with a legal guardian.
This plan is subject to change based upon further guidance, evolving public health recommendations, and/or changes in circumstances that may occur prior to and throughout the school year.