Hopkins School is dedicated to providing a quality educational experience while keeping our community healthy. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, so does our understanding of the virus, its variants, and the implications for operating a school. In response to this evolving situation, our safety protocols are informed by guidance from elected leaders, medical experts, and independent school peers locally and nationally.
For the 2022-23 school year, we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 landscape and the impact of its variants, and will adjust our plans as needed. We will make decisions throughout the year as appropriate based on several factors, including public health conditions nationally, locally, and within our own community.
The following information provides a brief overview of our operating philosophy and safety protocols for the 2022-23 school year.
Our current strategy, consistent with nation-wide efforts to manage rather than eradicate the coronavirus, is to operate the School as normally as possible while remaining vigilant about overall community health and the possibility of future outbreaks. The Hopkins community of employees and students is 99% vaccinated, putting the School in a position to continue weathering this health crisis safely and effectively.
One of the unanticipated outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unambiguous affirmation of the value of in-person learning for the vast majority of students. Academic engagement and emotional wellbeing are significantly enhanced when students and teachers are able to work together, in person, each and every day. For that reason, Hopkins’ model of education requires daily, physical attendance on campus. For the 2022-23 school year, we anticipate that all school activities (classes, assemblies, lunch, athletics, performing arts etc.) will take place as they did prior to the pandemic.
With experience honed during the pandemic, the School remains ready to shift to other delivery methods – e.g, remote or hybrid; synchronous or asynchronous – if public health conditions warrant. The School reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to decide if and when to change its delivery model based on the advice of health officials and what the School believes to be best for its students and employees.
Students who cannot attend school in person due to isolation for COVID-19 will be provided the opportunity and means to stay connected with their studies. This will likely look slightly different depending on the class. For example, in some cases, students might be able to listen to and observe a live lesson by means of Zoom, although the teacher will focus their attention primarily on those students in the classroom. In other classes, e.g., those involving a lot of group work or hands-on activities, remote observation and participation might not be practicable, and in such cases, the teacher might provide an asynchronous activity that provides the student an analogous experience at home. Regardless of the exact circumstances, teachers will collaborate with students on a case-by-case basis to formulate a plan for ongoing engagement.
Vaccinations are an important line of defense in preventing respiratory diseases like COVID-19 from disrupting the continuous operation of schools. For this reason, Hopkins requires that all students, faculty, and staff – both returning and new -- be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless an exemption has been granted by the School.
Many people, including school-aged children, are also eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose. Following the guidance of the CT DPH and our medical consultants, Hopkins recommends (but does not require) that all eligible students, faculty, and staff receive a booster before the start of the new school year.
The School may mandate a booster as respiratory virus season approaches in late fall, as new vaccines against specific coronavirus variants become available, or as guidance from the medical community evolves.
Entering Your Vaccination Status into the Magnus System
Following the steps below, please upload a photo or scan of your student's proof of vaccination to the immunization form section within Magnus, even if your immunization form says “Complete.” If your student is in the middle of the vaccine series, please upload proof of the current dose and send the estimated completion date for the series. Returning students need to update/uploadinformation only if a new vaccine has been received since last school year.
- Log in to your student’s Magnus account through the Parent Portal onHopkins.edu, and go to their to do list/forms page
- Click “Edit” next to the immunization form
- For the prompt, “Would you like to add an additional page?”, click “Yes, Continue”
- Next, for the prompt “Have you already obtained the completed form?”, click “Yes, Submit”
- Next, for the prompt “Would you like to upload a completed form”, click “Upload”
Students who have not entered their proof of vaccination, or provided formal documentation of a medical or religious exemption, will not be allowed to participate in school activities.
For the start of the 2022-23 school year, Hopkins will not be providing or requiring surveillance testing for those who are asymptomatic. We may reconsider this policy if there is a significant outbreak during the year. The School does have a supply of rapid tests that can be administered on site or at home for those who become symptomatic, or have been exposed to a known infected person, and the Departments of Public Health and Education are prepared to replenish schools’ supply of test kits as needed.
Hopkins is a mask-optional campus. All those – students, faculty, staff, and guests - who wish to wear a mask for their own protection are welcome to do so and will be supported. Masks will also be optional for those riding buses. Again, as respiratory virus season approaches, this policy will be reconsidered if there is a surge in infections.
Following CDC guidelines, anyone testing positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for at least five days and may return to school on Day Six or later when fever-free for at least 24 hours and other symptoms are significantly improved. Those returning will then need to be vigilant about wearing a high-quality mask (surgical, KN-95, N-95) at all times when around others for an additional five days (i.e., through Day 10). If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please notify the school immediately by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Following CDC guidance, anyone who is a close contact of a positive case, regardless of vaccination status, should monitor for symptoms, wear a high-quality mask for 10 days, and get tested at least 5 days after last exposure.
Mild Illness and Attendance
For 2022-23, Hopkins will follow the CT Department of Public Health recommendation regarding school attendance. Anyone exhibiting mild symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g., infrequent cough, congestion, runny nose, sore throat) may continue to attend school in-person provided they have no fever themselves or no COVID-19 case in their household in the past 2 weeks, they test negative prior to coming to school each day, and wear a high-quality mask (surgical, KN-95, N-95) while symptoms persist. Anyone with a fever (≥100°F) or who feels feverish should not come to school in-person until their fever has resolved for at least 24 hours without the use of medication and should test for COVID-19. COVID-19 self-test kits are available from the School.
Hopkins will continue to operate high quality air filters in classrooms and offices during the 2022-23 school year.
Visitors to Campus
Given the high vaccination rate of our school community and the general public health policy shift toward managing rather than eradicating coronavirus, Hopkins is once again welcoming visitors to attend events on campus, provided they are asymptomatic and have not tested positive within the past 10 days.
For the start of the 2022-2023 school year, Hopkins will follow the eligibility requirements of the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) which state that to be eligible to participate in FAA inter-scholastic programs, all high school athletes must either be vaccinated OR receive a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours prior to each contest. These protocols could change as the season progresses and information will be updated and communicated accordingly.