(updated September 25, 2020)

Questions will be added and updated regularly. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, email Director of Upper School Kader Adjout.

For the latest Upper School information, visit the Upper School Expanded Learning page.

Reopening: Stage 2

When does Stage 2 start, and how long does it last?


Starting October 5, we will run this rotation for three weeks. Three weeks will be the general interval between stages, allowing for time beyond the current quarantine guideline to assess data on the healthiness and readiness of our community.

How often will my child be on campus?


Every student in each division will have two days on campus and three days online. During Stage 2, we will be carefully monitoring how an additional 60 students on campus is impacting traffic flow in the hallways, common space use, and interactions. 

If Stage 2 goes well, what's next?

If after three weeks our health metrics are good, Stage 3 is next!

The goal will be to continue swinging the pendulum in the direction of having more time on campus, while keeping the health and safety of our community as our primary focus.
As you prepare for Stage 2, this is a good time to revisit the resources on our website for Middle School and Upper School as well as the Best Policies, Practices, & Protocols we have put in place (and that we update regularly based on new information). Following these guidelines as a community will give us the best chance of continuing to move towards a safe return to campus.

Orientation

What is the orientation schedule?


Orientation will begin on September 8. You can find the schedule and more details on this page.

Why are you dedicating a week to orientation?


It has been a long time off campus, and in many ways with this situation, everyone is new. We want to make sure we prepare the students the best possible way so they can feel as comfortable as possible to navigate the schedule, the building, and the academic and social environments. We see this orientation as a learning experience that will enhance the academic and social-emotional learning of our students.

The On Campus Experience

What days are students on campus?


This will depend on where we are on the pendulum swing. The most current rotation and schedule information can be found on the Upper School Expanded Learning Experience webpage.

Why are students on campus only one or two days a week in September?


We chose this pendulum approach because we believe it is a flexible approach to adapt to any health situations and requirements. No matter what the situation is, we have a schedule that will remain consistent. We hope to build on more on-campus days as the situation evolves and it is safe to do so.

What do I need to do on the mornings I send my child to school?


When should this be completed?
Please complete the daily attestation form in Magnus each morning.

  • Middle School by 7:30 a.m.
  • Upper School by 8:30 a.m.

This should be done prior to your child’s departure for school, or before their school day begins online (the latter being a way for us to keep a general read on the health of our full community each day). The form includes a symptom checklist and taking your child’s temperature at home. Based on the responses to the symptom check-list, you will receive a message signaling whether or not you should be sending your child to school. Parents can download the Magnus app (Magnus Mobile v2) or log into the Magnus Health system. See sample symptom questions.

What does my child need to bring to school each day they are on campus?


Your child needs to bring two (2) masks. Click here to read about the acceptable types of masks.

Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available throughout the building and in classrooms.

Additional things to consider:

  • Laptop chargers
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Sunscreen and bug spray for when students are outside

What time should US students arrive on campus? What times should they leave campus?


Students should arrive on campus by 8:50 a.m. If your child does not have an afternoon activity (waiver), they need to be picked up at the end of the academic day. Afternoon Activities end at 4:30 p.m. For Athletics, please pick students up by 4:45 p.m. All students should leave campus by 5 p.m.

Where can my child put their stuff on campus?


Students will need to carry their personal belongings with them; they will not be able to leave their belongings in spaces around campus.

How will classrooms be set up?


Classrooms will be set up to ensure at least 6-foot physical distancing between students. There will be a maximum of nine students per classroom. We also are using our outdoor spaces for classes.

How will students do collaborative work?


Students will continue to do collaborative work; this is at the core of what we do. Most of it will be done (as it is usually the case) on Google documents and other collaborative tech tools. Brainstorming and other short classroom group activities will continue too. Students will use markers that will be given to them. Again, collaborative tech tools will also be used for these activities.

When and how can students meet with teachers if they need extra help?


We will dedicate some time during the day for office hours and extra help. During our 100-minute blocks, teachers will also have feedback and question time for students.

How will busing and transportation work?

Beaver will continue to work with the bus companies we have used in the past providing transportation from multiple routes including from the Chestnut Hill Green Line T Stop. All bus companies have employed health and safety protocols that comply with best practices.

  • For more information about transportation click here.
  • If you would like to purchase a monthly T-pass, complete this form.

All questions about transportation can be directed to Kellie Sullivan at ksullivan@bcdschool.org.

How will carpooling work?


All students riding public transportation and carpooling with other families should practice social distancing, wear masks, and comply with hand hygiene practices as recommended by state guidance and as required by Beaver’s policies.

Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks

Can students eat breakfast on campus?


Yes, there will be breakfast, but it will look a little different and no eating will be allowed in the dining room. All breakfast will be grab-n-go and include things like individual yogurt cups, oatmeal packets, individual cereal bowls, individual milk cartons, and fruit cups. Everything will be disposable.

Can students have food delivered to campus?


No, food deliveries are not allowed.

Will the usual snacks be provided?


Snacks will be provided to each advisory in a snack tote (3 snacks per day per student).

How will the dining hall and lunch be set-up?


Here is the dining hall setup and here are all the health and safety protocols Sage Dining has implemented and is following. We are working on an instructional video with more details.

Click here to check out the menu.

What if my child has dietary restrictions?


As in previous years, our Director of Dining Service will speak directly with families about students’ dietary needs and you are encouraged to reach out directly sage@bcdschool.org.

The Online Experience

What days are students online?


Throughout September, students will all be online from Monday through Wednesday. Groups 1 and 2 will rotate on campus on Thursdays and Fridays. The schedule and rotation for specific dates and weeks can be found on the Upper School Expanded Learning Experience.

How will the online experience work?


When online, students will log into Google Meet (accessed through Canvas) to join their classes and other programming throughout the day. They will follow their regular schedule.

How will students connect with their teachers?


When online, students can access their teachers via email or Canvas and ask to meet via Google Meet.

How will students do collaborative work?


Online students will follow the same program as hybrid ones. All collaborative work will be done through Google documents and other collaborative tech tools.

Can a student participate in classes online if they need to stay home the day(s) their Group is on campus?

Absolutely. For whatever reason, if a student can not be on campus the day their group is scheduled to be on campus, the online option is the way to go.

Do I need to inform the school if my student plans to learn fully online for the first term?

Yes, a form has been sent to families to ask for their choice. The due date is Monday 8/31.

If I choose to be online, can I switch to on campus?


If starting online, a student will have to stay online for the remainder of the term. When the winter term starts, the student may choose to do hybrid and attend our programming on campus.

What will the school year look like for my student if we choose to attend online while other students attend class in person?


The school year will look the same as if the student was on campus. They will attend all their classes and programming simultaneously with on-campus students. Teachers will also be mindful of screen time and will allow students to alternate synchronous and asynchronous work.

Schedule

Can you give an example of how collaboration works when some of the class is in person and some of it is remote?

We are working on designing best practices for the classroom. We will continue to improve on what we did in the spring and use our Beaver approach to teaching in the classroom in general. We will continue doing project-based learning and collaborative work. We will approach every class as a single entity. A mix of synchronous and asynchronous work during long blocks, using break-out rooms, and keeping students not on their screen for the whole time. A long block will allow teachers to use their time as an X-block and to dedicate time to specific students. Students will continue to collaborate with each other, whether online or on campus. This is what they always do at Beaver and being online will not change that.

Why are students only having two classes per day

We used this opportunity to be more Beaver-like by doing long blocks to delve deeper into the material. Two long blocks will allow time to delve deeper into the material, do more group work, and avoid too many transitions throughout the day. It will also limit the amount of homework every day to two classes instead of four. This was overwhelmingly mentioned in the spring feedback as something that would really be helpful to students.

Yes, absolutely. We built this schedule to make sure we could have enough time to go through engaging curricula. The long blocks will allow for more time on specific topics or activities. It will also allow kids to have check-ins on the material with their teachers. Students will receive feedback and grades. We are continuing to think about how we assess and grade with equity in mind. Our feedback will continue to be timely, user-friendly, action-oriented, and transparent. Our grades will continue to be transparent and reflect work that is done by the students, showing tangible evidence of what students have done and how they can improve.

What will students do during the G-block/lunch period?

Part of lunch will be sent in advisory with a specific agenda but also time to relax. Students will also have some time to go outside and take a well-deserved break and socialize. Throughout the day, students are asked to respect and adhere to our safety measures. They will be able to socialize while respecting safe physical distancing.

It sounds like a lot will be different about being in school this year. How will students adjust?

We are planning an expanded orientation for the first few weeks, but really, the whole year will be orientation and adjustment. The scenario may change, but our supportive approach, our community-building times, and our teaching will be adapted to best respond to that and to support students academically, socially, and emotionally. Our BVRConnects partners have also reached out to new students and will continue to do so to help them transition to the Upper School no matter what group or which mode (hybrid or online) they are in.

What's the plan for clubs?

Clubs have a designated meeting time and are currently set to meet twice per week. Club leaders will work with their faculty advisor to plan for activities that work for in-person and virtual meetings. At the beginning of the term, club leaders will present their clubs to students who will then be invited to sign up for their club of their choosing. All students are required to participate in a club. Read more about US clubs here.

What is happening with NuVu this year?


There are no Beaver students at NuVu this fall. In the winter, NuVu plans to start remote for the first three weeks (until the December break) and then shift to on-site for the rest of the year.

Will seniors have as much access to their college counselors in the fall as they are working to complete their college application?

Yes, a big part of our programming for seniors will be dedicated to the college application process. College counselors will have specific times during the days to work with seniors. We are also planning to have some days when seniors will be attending college-specific programming. More information on that soon. Meetings will happen via Google Meet. Students are encouraged to reach out to their college counselors for questions.

Groups

How are the groups divided?

Our goal of providing students with their chosen courses for this term has been the primary driver of the groupings. Each group is a mix of grades, 9-12.

What if my child’s friend isn’t in their group?

If this is the case, students will also have the opportunity to connect with each other in their advisory groups, classes, and clubs regardless of their respective groups.

Are siblings in the same group?


As much as possible, we are trying to group siblings so they are in the same group, but this is not something we can ensure because of the schedules, course requests, and class sizes.

Will groups change throughout the year?


Groups will change in the winter and spring term.

What is the plan to build and maintain class unity given the groupings?

Students will have opportunities to interact across groups during class (they will work with each other) and also interact in clubs.

We are designing community-building and grade-specific activities to maintain a culture within each grade. Our orientation plan and programming scheduling include times with advisory, grades, and led by adults with the goal to build community and support students’ emotional wellbeing. Our philosophy is that all classes and activities are approached as one; meaning that students online and students on campus will connect with each other because they are part of a single class, club, or programming activity. In class, students will be asked to collaborate and present their work across groups so that they can connect with each other (and socialize); hear the diverse voices in the class; and also view their class or club as one entity.

Afternoon Activities

What Afternoon Activities will be offered?

  • Fall & Winter Plays (acting, tech, costumes)
  • Spring Musical (acting, tech, costumes)
  • Fall Band
  • Dance (Winter)
  • Visual Art Workshop
  • Athletics

How will Afternoon Activities be structured on days students are online?

For Performing Arts and Visual Arts, when online, students will participate via Google Meet through a series of synchronous and asynchronous activities similar to their courses.

For Athletics, students will have the opportunity to participate in fitness activities posted on the Beaver Vimeo channel, which you can find here. Additionally, Fall teams will have Google Meets once or twice a week as directed by their coach.

What time will Afternoon Activities end?


Afternoon activities will start at 3:30 and will end at 4:30 pm.

Will there be team sports?

Due to the nature of the virus and its potential lasting health effects on the cardiopulmonary system, any student with a prior confirmed diagnosis (positive test) for COVID-19 is required to undergo an assessment with their physician prior to returning to participation in sports or fitness activities. Any ongoing symptoms related to COVID-19 should be further examined, including the presence of chest pain or shortness of breath with exertion, heart palpitations, excessive fatigue, or decreased exercise tolerance.

Written medical clearance is required prior to participation in sports. This clearance is separate from the physical exam submitted to the health office annually, and is required only of students who have had a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and want to continue to participate in fitness activities and sports at school.

To date, we have not had any reported positive cases in our student community. In consideration of keeping our information current, please complete this Athletics and Fitness Attestation form.

At a minimum, in order to be cleared to play after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, please submit the following to the Athletic Trainer:

  • Written clearance by a physician and documentation that a screening has occurred with a detailed history and normal exam, including a normal ECG screening.
  • Any other pertinent information and documentation that applies.
Additional articles to reference

When can my child return to play if they've been diagnosed with COVID-19?


Yes. Team sports will practice on the days their academic groups are on campus. These practices will consist of social distant and safe skill-building sessions. Additionally, teams will meet online when kids are not on campus. Any progression to contact and competitions will be directed by the state and local authorities, and school leadership.

What will the Performing Arts season look like?

Theater faculty has chosen the 20-21 Season and is moving forward with designing and planning for virtual performances this fall. As the year progresses, we will decide whether performances should be continued in a virtual environment or, if state guidelines allow, to switch to a different mode such as a live-streamed or outdoor performance depending on the needs of the production. Similarly, the music concerts will be virtual in the fall and may shift as new guidelines become available.

Will there be Performing Arts rehearsals?

Yes, rehearsals (including actors, tech, and costume designers) will take place daily during the afternoon activity time from 3:30-4:30 p.m., five days a week. Much like their classes, rehearsals will take place in person and remotely depending on which students are on campus on any given day.

Rehearsals will adhere to the safety protocols outlined in all other classes at Beaver including class sizes, masks, limited sharing of equipment, and social distancing.

Precautions and Protocols

What are the face-covering requirements?


Each student should bring two masks to school each day. Mask wearing will be required. We will build in mask breaks but everyone will know they HAVE to wear a mask when at school. If they forget their mask, we will have surgical masks available as a back-up. Students will also receive a Beaver branded mask at orientation they can choose to wear.

Click here to read about the acceptable types of masks.

How are students being socially distanced?


All students and faculty are expected to commit to the social distance practice of 6 feet of space from each other at all times. The furniture in rooms will be configured so that seated workspace allows for the appropriate distance and signage around the building will cue appropriate spacing while entering the dining room, moving around the building, and accessing restrooms.

What are the cleaning protocols for classrooms, shared spaces, and bathrooms?


Beaver will be cleaning and disinfecting classrooms and communal spaces multiple times daily.

In classrooms that are shared throughout the day, cleaning and disinfecting of desks and chairs will occur between classes and before and after eating, if food is eaten in the classroom.

High touch surfaces, including toilets and sinks, will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day and after periods of heavy use. We will provide sufficient supplies—soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and tissues—and replace them as necessary.

Here are the detailed cleaning and disinfecting guidance for specific spaces.

How will spaces be ventilated?

  1. All classrooms/offices will have a portable HEPA air purifier (sized to the room) in addition to the filter in the HVAC system.
  2. Masks are the most important.
  3. Experts say windows should be open, even a crack.
  4. Doors should remain open.
  5. We have de-densified each space (less furniture and half the bodies in each room). This helps greatly with air quality.
    More information is available in our Healthy Policies, Practices, and Protocols document.

What is the plan for testing?

On August 20, the Governor announced a mobile response team effort that will be deployed to any school (public or private) if the following minimal conditions apply:

  • Two or more students/staff within the classroom group develop COVID-19 within 14 days, and transmission/exposure occurred in the classroom;
  • More than 3 percent of the cohort/grade (at least 3 individuals) develop COVID-19 within 14 days, and transmission/exposure occurred in the school;
  • More than 3 percent of the school develops COVID-19 within 14 days, and there is evidence of transmission within the school;
  • Three or more staff within the same school develop COVID-19 within 14 days, and there is evidence of transmission among the staff; or
  • Two or more students on the same bus develop COVID-19 within 14 days.

With regards to testing ahead of the school year kicking off, we did consider an initial test very seriously, below are a few of the reasons we are holding off testing the entire community at the start of the year.

We have produced a plan in which we have confidence because it involves a slow and staggered start along with an expanded orientation program to:

    • Reinforce excellent hygiene habits
    • Address less healthy patterns of behavior and reorient to better ones
    • Prioritize adjustments to hybrid learning and early in-person contact with teachers
    • Go SLOWLY at the beginning, measuring along the way

Comprehensive testing might reinforce a feeling of safety and false sense of security among students. This could then run counter to our efforts toward community commitment to relatedness and health as well as the importance of ongoing healthy habits using the protocols that have been shown to keep people healthy.

Our communication around symptom development, positive test results, and then subsequent contact tracing and testing will give us a good window into our volume of asymptomatic cases. That will tell us whether we should deploy a more comprehensive testing plan before moving the pendulum further toward on campus time.

Where can I find resources for testing?
Click here for a map of COVID-19 testing sites in Boston and sites across the state. Massachusetts residents can visit Stop the Spread sites

What if a student in my child’s group tests positive for COVID?


When a student is sent home from school for possible COVID-19 symptoms, a letter notifying any close contacts will be sent. Once testing is complete, we will send out another communication regarding the results and advising close contacts on next steps. When we learn that a student tests positive: All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result. After further consultation with the medical community, we are updating this guidance as the virus can cause illness from 2-14 days after exposure and even asymptomatic individuals can transmit the virus. Going forward, even if an individual identified as a close contact receives a negative test result, they must continue to self-quarantine for the full 14 days as the virus may take up to 14 days to cause illness.

How will BVR differentiate between cold symptoms, allergies, and COVID symptoms?


At this time, unless we can confirm a symptom is directly related to other causes—allergies, migraines, etc.—we can not rule out COVID-19 on symptoms alone.

If a student or staff member has COVID-19-like symptoms, they must stay home.

A student may not return to campus if experiencing symptoms. Any student that presents with symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus will be directed to consult with their PCP and it will be requested that they get tested.

If a student is asked to stay home because of mild symptoms, but feels better in a day or two, can they return to school?


As of August 31, if a student or staff member has COVID-19-like symptoms, they may return to school after they have tested negative for COVID-19, have an improvement in symptoms, and have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. If a provider makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may return to school based on the recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g., influenza or strep pharyngitis).

If a student or staff member presents COVID-19-like symptoms and chooses not to be tested, they may return to school 10 days from start of symptoms, as long as their symptoms have improved and they have been without fever for at least 24 hours prior to their return to school without the use of fever-reducing medication.

How will the school ensure all families adhere to the safety protocols?


We’re trusting our community to consider the impact of their activities and how it may affect everyone in the community.

What should I do if my family has traveled out of state?


We are expecting members of the community to follow all local and state travel guidelines. Here is the current Massachusetts Travel Order.

What is the school's policy about non-BVR activities (ex.travel athletic teams)?


Beaver is not requiring any restriction of student or family activity outside of our program. We are asking that every member of our community considers the impact that their activity may have on the health and safety of members of the Beaver community. With that, we expect that all families will follow the recommended prevention practices.

What are the flu shot requirements?


The flu vaccine is required for all Massachusetts School Students enrolled in K-12. Students must get their flu shot by 12.31.20. Read the full guideline here.

Metrics

Under what circumstances or criteria would BVR choose to open fully in person or close completely to all students and faculty?


The Core Leadership Team will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments closely through the CDC, state, and local authorities, as well as consulting with our internal panel of experts, and shift the pendulum accordingly.

When will parents know the plan for October?


We’ll share this information as soon as we can.

Throughout this next month, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments closely through the CDC, state, and local authorities, as well as consulting with our internal panel of experts. It is important for our full community to keep in mind that this is a rapidly developing and shifting situation.

Ongoing Institutional Priorities

How do you plan to support students' mental and emotional health at BVR?


We are keeping well-being at the center of all that we do to support our students. We will continue to work with the understanding that there needs to be tiers to our prevention and intervention work. We will continue to offer various types of health and wellness information and programming to our students, we will intervene as early as possible when any member of our community needs additional support and we will conduct outreach and provide many engagement opportunities to those members of our community with known emotional risk factors.

Paced and varied resources will be shared with students (as well as faculty and parents) throughout the year. The counseling staff will be accessible to students both on campus as well as virtually for individual sessions and group sessions as is appropriate and we will be very clear with students about the multiple ways they can access any of the counselors. Additionally, we will continue to provide referrals for providers in the greater community as needed.

As always, we invite you to be in communication with your student’s advisor or the counseling staff directly at any time throughout the year.