Student Handbook Updates

The following are significant changes to the Student Handbook. This does not change the importance of reading, understanding, and discussing the content with your son.

The COVID-19 student expectations will also require that students:

  • Complete a daily “symptom check” using the SchoolSuite App
  • Self-report to the Health Center if he has symptom(s) consistent with COVID-19
  • Wear a face-covering inside all buildings and while attending class
  • Wear a face covering in the dormitory at all times, except when in their rooms
  • Students are not expected to wear face coverings when they are seated for meals
  • Students are not expected to wear face coverings when they are outside (unless they are within six feet of other people)
  • Adhere to physical distancing requirements of six feet whenever possible. Follow the hygiene rules outlined by the school: refrain from physical contact with others including shaking hands, hugging, etc.
  • Students wishing to socialize and study together should do so outside or in one of the many common areas on campus (ex: library, Student Center, Learning Center, classrooms, etc.) that have been set up for proper physical distancing and should remember to adhere to the school’s policies regarding face coverings and physical distancing

Day Passes

Prior to April 12, all students will be expected to remain on campus. Depending on the prevalence of COVID-19 in our immediate area, the School, in consultation with health experts, may extend the restriction on day passes beyond this date.

After April 12, if external factors are favorable and it is deemed safe for students to attend designated and approved local establishments, the School will provide transportation to local restaurants, malls, etc. on the days and times listed below. Similar to our on-campus expectations, students must adhere to all physical distancing rules, wear a face covering, and avoid large gatherings.

Campus Leaves

During the COVID-19 pandemic, leaves may increase the risk of infection on our campus. For this reason, boarding underclass students will be expected to stay on campus through May 26, with graduation anticipated for May 30 for the seniors. 

The need to create the “bubble” on campus is a priority, so we are requiring all residential students to remain on campus, without exception, through April 12. After this date, we will consider leaves for emergent situations only. We do not anticipate opening the campus to weekend or overnight leaves through the end of the academic year, consistent with our policy to this point.

All decisions concerning granting permission for leaves are at the discretion of the School based on the overall safety and impact to the community. If a student is permitted a leave, he may be subject to repopulation quarantine and/or testing requirements based on the potential risk based on the following factors:

Low Risk Activity

Low risk activities are any activity/interaction that the School determines have very limited or no impact to the health and the safety of our community.

Examples of low risk activities would include:

  • Limited in-person interactions with others outside of the student’s immediate family 
  • Small group outdoor activities where COVID-19 precautions are followed by all group members
  • Personal vehicle used for transportation
  • Medical appointments

A student who is granted a leave that is considered low risk and is less than 24 hours in duration will not be required to quarantine or test outside of the scheduled school testing. 

A student who is granted a leave longer than 24 hours in duration and who limits activities to “low risk” will be required to follow testing/repopulation guidelines consistent with CDC and Connecticut Guidelines:

  • PCR test 3-5 days after completion of low risk activity and remain in quarantine at home until those test results are back.
  • Upon arrival back to campus, a Jackson Lab test ($75 charged to the student’s account) will be administered.  The student will remain in one of our quarantine locations on campus until those test results are back.
  • Same rules apply for those fully vaccinated

The approval for leave and return to campus will be at the discretion of the Dean of Students Office.

High Risk Activity

High risk activities are any activity/interaction that the School determines may jeopardize the health and the safety of our community due to an increased risk of exposure. If a student requests a leave that is determined to be high risk by the School, there will be additional quarantine and testing requirements. Examples of high risk activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Interaction with persons outside of immediate family
  • Attending large gatherings
  • Attending smaller gatherings where COVID-19 precautions are not followed
  • Traveling to an area which the School deems to be high risk (based on local, state, and federal recommendations)
  • Off campus athletic practices/competitions 

There will not be any reduction in tuition (reference the Parental Implied Consent and Social Contract) if a student decides to participate in a high risk activity and, as a result, needs to learn remotely. 

A student who engages in any high risk activity, whether for less than 24 hours or greater than 24 hours, that student will be required to follow the following testing/repopulation guidelines:

  • 2 weeks of self-quarantine after the last “high risk” activity
  • PCR test on or after day 10 of quarantine (within 3-5 days of returning to campus)
  • Student will be tested upon arrival to campus through Jackson Lab 
  • Resume weekly testing upon return to campus
  • Same rules apply for those fully vaccinated

The approval for the leave and return to campus will be at the discretion of the Dean of Students Office.

College Visits

The School understands the importance for seniors to visit colleges as they are making their decision. College visits will be allowed, but there are important factors, information, and steps that need to be understood. 

The student must notify the college counseling office and get initial approval. The student must provide the school, the specifics of the college programming/tour, who is accompanying them, method of transportation, and a timeline for return. After approval from the college office, the student must get final approval from the Dean of Students Office and check out/in as required.

The School will determine the risk factors based on the student’s itinerary and the college’s/university’s programming.  The student’s testing and quarantine guidelines for their return to campus will be based on the risk factors outlined above.

Face Coverings/Masks

For purposes of these policies, a face-covering is defined as a cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth of a person with the intent of reducing the spread of COVID-19 or any other respiratory virus/disease. The School will provide each student with two face coverings. Face coverings (mask type; no gaiters) must be made of cloth (at minimum two-ply), effectively cover the student’s nose and mouth, fit snug against the face, and be of a solid color. Any writing, design, or symbol other than related to Avon Old Farms School will be prohibited. 

Dress Code

This spring, we will return to our usual dress code:

Classroom Dress: For classes and most sit-down lunches, students are expected to dress neatly in sport coats, dress pants, ties, dress shirts, belts, socks, and closed-toe and closed-heel leather shoes. Shirts must be tucked in and socks, pants, and shorts must be worn at the waist or upper hip and must not reveal any underclothing. Sandals, sneakers, and jeans do not meet our dress code for classes or meals, except for casual dress meals. 

Vespers: Blue blazer (with official school patch), white shirt, school tie, dark gray trousers, socks, and shined shoes. 

Smart Casual: Classroom dress minus the sport jacket and tie. 

Prohibited Clothing: Hooded sweatshirts may not be worn under sport coats and the wearing of hats is not permitted inside any buildings. Shoes with “canvas uppers” are not allowed for classes, morning meeting, Vespers, or meals. Earrings or body-piercing jewelry may not be worn at School.