In line with our theme of the year, RETURN, St. Sebastian’s has developed specific plans for the return of our Arrows to learning this fall. We continue to be guided by the order of the day, “Love God, work hard and take good care of one another,” as we fine-tune our flexible, ever vigilant environment devoted to keeping everyone in our School community as healthy and safe as possible.
We will be relying on the collaboration of our faculty, students, and parents as we continue to work through the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is vitally important that everyone in our community takes steps to reduce transmission.
We will share details on this webpage and update frequently. Because the times are fluid, our planning remains contingent upon revised or even changed guidance in the coming weeks. For now, please note the following information for your planning purposes.
Per the COVID-19 Compact for Families, parents should complete a daily assessment of their son(s) prior to arrival on campus, including determining the absence of fever and other symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Regular screening for COVID-19 symptoms and ongoing self-monitoring throughout the day can help to quickly identify signs of illness and help reduce exposure.
If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, please keep him home
In the past 24 hours, has your son had any of the following symptoms? If YES, please keep him home and call his healthcare provider and Jen Joyce, Director of Health Services.
- Fever (temperature over 100℉) and/or chills
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
- Headache, when in combination with other symptoms
- New loss of taste/smell
- New muscle aches ● Nausea and/or vomiting
- Nasal congestion, when in combination with other symptoms
- Has your child had Tylenol or Ibuprofen in the past 12 hours for any of the above symptoms?
Please answer the following questions. If the answer is YES, please keep your son home and call Jen Joyce, Director of Health Services.
- Have you or anyone in your family received a positive test result for COVID-19 in the past 14 days? If yes, you must notify the school nurse.
- In the past 14 days, has your child been identified as a close contact to an individual diagnosed with COVID-19? If yes, you must notify the school nurse.
- Is your son waiting for a test result for COVID-19? If yes, you must notify the school nurse.
- Has your son been out of state in the past 14 days? If yes, and your son has been to any state other than a lower risk per the Governor’s order, he must quarantine for 14 days.
Thank you for your cooperation. It is extremely important that you complete this wellness check for each of your children, every day before school, in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread in our community.
Symptoms Developed at School:
Students or faculty who develop symptoms during the school day will be instructed to notify the health office immediately. If your son begins to feel unwell during the school day (with flu-like symptoms), the teacher will call down to the Health Office, and the student will meet Jen Joyce, Director of Health Services, across the hall in the designated isolation room. If you receive a phone call that your son is feeling ill, we ask you to come get him as soon as possible.
School Approach to Testing:
The CDC does not currently recommend universal testing to admit students, faculty, or staff into schools. Viral testing only determines infection at the point in time the test occurs, and may miss cases in the early stages of infection. St. Sebastian’s is not currently planning on swabbing our community, but will continue to keep you updated as to any changes in guidelines or protocols.
The following health and hygiene standards and protocols will be in place when school reopens this fall. We will require all members of our community to abide by these important measures.
- Social distancing (also referred to as physical distancing) means keeping space between yourself and other people when outside of your home. Social distancing is critical in decreasing the spread of COVID-19.
- We will be taking measures to reinforce the importance of maintaining a minimum of 3 feet (6 feet whenever possible) by using aids to illustrate appropriate spacing and traffic flow throughout the school buildings, utilizing visual cues, signage, and barriers/arrows to direct traffic flow and demonstrate social distancing.
- Frequent reminders will be provided for students and faculty to remain at least 3 feet apart from one another whenever feasible.
- Weather permitting, classes, lunch, gym, etc. will be held outside or in alternate spaces, and students will be encouraged to spread out.
- All students, faculty/staff, and others present in our school buildings, as well as those riding on school transportation, are required to wear a face covering. Face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the individual does not know he or she is infected.
- Acceptable face coverings include paper or disposable masks, and cloth face masks. PLEASE NOTE: Masks with valves, gaiters, bandanas, scarves, etc. are currently not approved coverings.
- Each student will be required to arrive at school with his mask on correctly; this will be demonstrated at orientation in September. Masks should cover the nose and mouth completely, should not be overly tight or restrictive, and should feel comfortable to wear.
- A face mask is not meant as a substitute for social distancing but is especially important in situations when maintaining a 3-foot distance is not possible.
- Students should keep extra masks in their backpacks in case their face covering gets lost or dirty. There will also be plenty of extras in the health office a supply in the main office as well.
- There will be hand sanitizing stations located throughout the campus. Signage will be installed that instructs all members of the community toward best practices regarding hygiene and COVID-19. Students and faculty with sensitivity or skin reactions to hand sanitizer will be permitted to use soap and water.
- Handwashing will be reinforced during key times in the day including (but not limited to) arrival and dismissal; before, during, and after preparing or eating food; after using the bathroom; after blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing; and after touching objects with bare hands that have been handled by other people
- Doors will be propped and windows will be open in order to provide maximum ventilation.
- Employees from our cleaning service will be on site daily performing regular disinfecting and cleaning of common and high traffic areas.
- Effective August 1, Governor Baker issued a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving in Massachusetts. This binding guidance must be followed by all travelers entering the state. The order applies to residents of Massachusetts returning from out-of-state travel, and the requirement to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
- If you travel outside of Massachusetts to a states other than those currently considered lower risk by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and return less than 2 weeks prior to the first day of school, your son will not be allowed to begin the year on campus.
Each day, every student must be sure to address each of the following to be fully prepared for school:
- Conduct daily health screening in the morning before coming to school
- Bring in multiple approved masks
- Bring in notebook paper and pens/pencils (students will be prohibited from sharing classroom supplies)
- Bring in a water bottle
- Make sure laptops are charged
- Check your school email and Teams groups frequently
Call the absence line (781 –247-0200) by 7:30 am to report if your son will not be on campus. Please be sure to designate if the student will be ABSENT or will DISTANCE LEARN. An important part of our COVID-19 policy is that all students and faculty should stay home if they are not feeling well. If a student placed on the DISTANCE LEARN list, his teachers will be ready to videoconference their classes. If a student is very sick, he should not feel the need to distance learn, he will be recorded ABSENT from his classes for the day. A student may also have other obligations which will place him on the ABSENT list. If a student is absent for medical reasons, please contact Jen Joyce in the Health Office.
RETURN TO SPORTS
Due to the nature of the virus, and the potential for lasting health effects effecting the cardiopulmonary systems, any student with a prior confirmed diagnosis (positive test) for COVID-19 is required to undergo an in-person assessment with their pediatrician prior to participating in sports. Any ongoing symptoms related to COVID-19 should be further explored, including the presence of chest pain or shortness of breath with exertion, heart palpitations, excessive fatigue, or decreased exercise tolerance. Written medical clearance is recommended prior to participation in sports. This clearance is separate from the physical exam submitted to the health office annually and is required only of athletes who have had a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
In order to be cleared to play, please submit the following to the Athletic Director/Trainer or to the Health Office:
- Written clearance by a physician and documentation that an in-person screening has occurred with a detailed history and normal exam, including a set of normal orthostatic vital signs.
- Any other pertinent information and documentation that applies.
DRESS CODE CHANGES
Due to modifications in the academic schedule and spaces, the following alterations to the dress code will be in effect until further notice.
- In order to minimize visits to lockers and belongings in school, sport coats/blazers will not be required at any time and should not be brought to campus.
- Due to more classes and meetings being held outside, students will be allowed to wear sneakers throughout the school day.
The rest of the dress code remains in effect: Students must wear a button-down shirt, a tie, khakis or other dress pants, a belt, and socks. Students will NOT be allowed to wear anything over their button-down shirts, including sweatshirts, jackets, quarter-zips, or sweaters until further notice.
Gathering Spaces: Any students remaining on campus after the school day must report to their designated class gathering space. Anyone not wearing a mask or not following social distancing protocols will not be allowed to stay on campus after school. If staying on campus after 5:30, students will then report to the library. The library will close at 9:00 p.m. each night.
Leaving Campus: Students who leave campus will not be allowed to return that day. For this reason, no students will be allowed to go to Dunkin’ Donuts or any other restaurants/stores and then return to campus. If students want food after the end of the school day, they may use food delivery services.
Parking Lots: School parking lots will not be areas to congregate. Students should only go to their cars when they are leaving campus for the day.
Students will only be allowed to visit their lockers once before school, once after finishing their lunch, and once after school. Students will not be able to access their lockers at any time between classes.
- ARRIVAL & DISMISSAL
- DAILY SCHEDULE
- TEACHING & LEARNING MODELS
- FALL ATHLETICS
- KEY DATES: FALL TERM 2020
Arrival and dismissal times are modified slightly and staggered to reduce traffic density on campus and entry and exit to buildings. We ask that anyone who opens doors or windows at pick up or drop off to please wear a face covering.
IN THE MORNING
- Students in grades 7-9 will preferably be dropped off between 7:40-7:50 and report to homeroom classrooms
- Students in grades 10-12 will preferably report after 7:50 but before their first commitment of the day
- Students arriving early will report to their class gathering space
IN THE AFTERNOON
- Students in grades 7-9 will be dismissed at 2:25
- Students in grades 10-12 will be dismissed after their last commitment of the day
- Students staying late will report to their class gathering space
- More information on athletics and other extracurricular activities to follow
We will continue to offer bus transportation and are partnering with our transportation provider, Local Motion, to design a bus system that incorporates COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations. Individual protocols, including but not limited to assigned seating and the use of face masks, will be articulated for each bus route depending on ridership
CLASS GATHERING SPACES
Grade 7,8, and 9 will change classes at different times than grades 10, 11, and 12. These staggered schedules will help minimize traffic in the hallways and stairwells.
7, 8, 9
10, 11, 12
*Students in Grade 10, 11, and 12 are not required to meet for homeroom (J Period)
**Students do not need to report to H-Block study hall
7, 8, 9
10, 11, 12
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our dining service company, SAGE, has been planning for reopening to craft the best possible dining experience for our school community. Lunch service will be based on guidelines from the Needham Board of Health and every element of the program will reflect healthcare and food service best practices.
DESIGNATED LUNCH SPACES
In order to distance students at lunch time and have them gathering in cohorts by class, we will be making use of facilities throughout campus. Students will be assigned to one of five designated lunch spaces where SAGE will set up food stations, and seating will also be assigned. Modifications will be made to allow for six-foot physical distancing, for example, replacing the tables in Ward Hall with desks. Large tents will be set up to allow for outdoor dining.
|7||Art Center Courtyard
|8||Class of 2017 Courtyard (Wrestling Room)|
|11||Class of 2013 Courtyard|
Ward Hall Courtyard
View more details about safety and modified service in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as allergen management, nutritional guidance, and of course menus!
We have worked extensively this summer to reconfigure and enhance our facilities to allow for optimal social distancing and to provide flexible, open-air spaces for instruction, before/after school, lunchtime, larger gatherings and other uses.
Examples of modifications:
- Signage throughout the school to encourage hygiene and safety protocols, including clearly marked stairwells and hallways that will be one way.
- Students will only be able to visit their locker once per day.
- Classrooms with Harkness tables have been replaced with tablet desks
- Large tents have been set up for class space and outdoor dining
Plans for Use of Facilities:
- Gather for Chapel (by grade) in Ward Hall and use some of the larger spaces in the West Campus Center for Class Meetings, etc.
- Hold Corporate Chapel, School Masses and Assemblies (which we will need to keep to a minimum) outside, weather permitting. We do not anticipate using St. Bartholomew's Church both because of distancing requirements, as well as our concern over cross-contamination in a facility frequented by a vulnerable population.
- Encourage students and faculty to make use of our ample outdoor spaces for lunch, meetings, and classes whenever possible, weather permitting.
CLASS GATHERING LOCATIONS
Students who arrive early to school or stay after classes are over will have designated locations to gather in. Students will always be at least 6 feet apart in gathering spaces. Weather permitting, certain classes will also have access to designated courtyards (listed in parentheses) after school.
(Class of 2017 Courtyard)
(Class of 2013 Courtyard)
Since the spring, St. Sebastian’s has been planning for various teaching and learning models for the 2020-21 academic year, ranging from in-person learning to distance learning — and many iterations in between. Regardless of where the teaching and learning is taking place, St. Sebastian’s is committed to providing the best, most meaningful learning experiences possible.
(based on local and state COVID – 19 data and trends)
In-person learning with safety modifications in place (I.e. social distancing, masks, sanitizing protocols, health screenings), with some students videoconferencing in to the in-person classes
At this point, our goal is to have everyone who wants to be here on campus every day, with the understanding that some families may not feel comfortable having their son return to campus. In addition, we are asking all faculty and students to be extra vigilant and stay at home if they are not feeling well. Our teachers are prepared for synchronous learning for any student who is not on campus. For these reasons, we will begin the year under this Hybrid model
Students alternate between a week of being in school and a week of distance learning. Cohort I includes grades 7,8, and 9, while Cohort II includes grades 10, 11, and 12. This model allows for greater distancing among students, as only our largest classrooms and learning spaces will be utilized
A continuation of the model implemented in the spring, with all classes taking place online and the physical campus closed due to high health risk.
DISTANCE LEARNING AT SCHOOL
All classes are taught online, but some students could utilize workspaces on campus. This model is still in development
FALL PRACTICE/EXERCISE Schedule
Beginning the week of September 14, we will practice/exercise on the following days. Students may participate in cross country, modified (7 v 7 or flag) football, soccer, or an exercise program.
Monday and Thursday during gym class
Wednesday after school from 2:00-3:30 pm (starting the week of September 21)
Tuesday and Thursday during gym class
Wednesday after school from 2:00-3:30 pm (starting the week of September 21)
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 2:00-3:30 pm
Varsity and JV Teams:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 3:00-4:45 pm
If we get clearance for competition, Saturday will be the likely game day for JV and Varsity teams. Schedule TBD.
Pre-Season Schedule for Varsity Teams
We will use the following dates as “workout” days for athletes in grades 9-12 interested in trying out for varsity teams. Varsity candidates must sign up with the head coach of each program:
Team Meetings and Workout
9:30am Cross Country
8:00-9:30am Cross Country
3:00-4:30pm Cross Country
2:30-4:00pm Cross Country
We will be rolling out more details about extracurricular activities as we approach the start of the school year.
Grade 11 Orientation (1:00-3:00 pm)
Grade 12 Orientation (9:00 am-12:00 pm)
Orientations will be held on West Campus Center fields
Grade 9 Orientation (9:00-11:30 am)
Grade 10 Orientation (1:00-3:00 pm)
Orientations will be held on West Campus Center fields
Fall Team Meetings (Grades 10-12)
Varsity Pre-season Practices begin
(see Fall Athletics tab for more details)
Grade 7 Orientation
Grade 8 Orientation
First Day of Classes / Advisor Meetings
Fall Sports Practices/Exercise Program begin
(see Fall Athletics tab for more details)
Distance Learning Orientation Day
(Classes will be virtual starting at 9:30 am; students should work from home)
Virtual Back to School Night
(6:30 pm - Zoom with Headmaster Bill Burke / 7:00 pm - Follow your son's classes on Teams)
For more details, please see our ONLINE CALENDAR.
Michael Nerbonne, Assistant Headmaster
Brendan Sullivan, Dean of Students
Jen Joyce, Director of Health Services
Dale Dillavou, Consulting Psychologist
Michael Deschenes, Director of Library & Information Services
Ed Donovan, Director of Technology
COVID-19 Compact and Responsibility Statement