Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the Marvelwood Compact?
Marvelwood has devoted an immense amount of time, effort, and resources to preparing a sustainable and safe reopening of school. It is our expectation that all members of the Marvelwood family will join us in our determination to keep our campus safe and to protect the collective health of our school community by signing The Marvelwood Compact. This Compact represents a promise on the part of all of us – students, parents, employees and their families – to do our best to comply with measures, guidelines and expectations established for our protection, and to support each other in meeting this goal.
Marvelwood will go to great lengths to teach, model, and encourage thoughtful commitment to this Compact in recognition of the important role and responsibility all members of our community share to safeguard both ourselves and each other. Please print the Compact, discuss it together, and return signed copies to the School before registration.
Q. Where can I find the Marvelwood Compact?
The Compact and other reopening information is on the reopening page of the website.
Community Health and Wellness
Q. Where and when will teachers and students be wearing face coverings?
Cloth face covering or higher level of respiratory protection will be required for all community members in all indoor spaces and in any outdoor spaces in which social distancing cannot be achieved.
Q. How many face coverings should I send with my student?
It is recommended that you send your child with 5-10 cloth face coverings. Each student will be given a small supply of Marvelwood face covering at registration. Used school-provided masks can be exchanged for clean ones at the Health Office. Please note that bandanas, gaiters, and single-layer masks cannot be used as face coverings.
Q. What is the guidance for face coverings?
- According to reports from the CDC, cloth face coverings should:
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Completely cover the nose and mouth
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Include multiple layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
- Be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Q. How are the cleaning protocols changing?
Our cleaning service provider, PBM, has created and reviewed with the school a plan for increased frequency of safe, hygienic cleaning and sanitizing operations. Their staff will comply with all health screening requirements set up by the school.
Marvelwood has focused resources on the custodial services budget to ensure excellence and the highest of standards with cleaning and sanitizing on campus. We continue to use disinfecting products that comply with all CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommendations.
Q. What are ‘safer at home’ protocols?
Being “safer at home” involves self-isolating within a reasonable driving distance of campus, taking every precaution for reducing coronavirus exposure for two weeks prior to returning to campus, and then returning to school without using any public transportation. These guidelines are in place for all community members before returning to school at the beginning of the year, and for day students and off-campus faculty, staff and their families throughout the year or until further notice.
Q. Will I need to provide a negative test before returning to campus?
All students and faculty will be required to provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19. Additionally, parents who wish to accompany their students into the registration hall and/or into the dorm to help them unpack must provide proof of a negative test. We require that all students have a molecular PCR test no earlier than August 23, in such a timeframe that parents will have the results prior to arrival on campus. Call your doctor for specific turnaround times on testing, as these will vary. Students must bring documentation of the negative results with them to school. Students who cannot make arrangements for testing prior to their arrival must notify our health center, and they will be tested immediately upon arrival to campus.
Q. How often will faculty and students be tested?
We will implement a system of routine testing for faculty, staff, and students that is in reasonable accordance with the developments of COVID-19 on campus, our local municipalities, Litchfield County, and the State of Connecticut. Testing will be performed in our Health Center or off-campus at DOCS Urgent Care (New Milford, CT) throughout the school year, with results from rapid point-of-care antigen tests available in under fifteen minutes. Results from molecular PCR testing are currently predicted to take longer to obtain.
Q. What happens if a student may have been exposed to the virus (but is feeling well and/or not showing symptoms)?
Those who have come in close contact with any infected or potential-infected student or adult will be quarantined according to the CDC's time-based and/or testing guidelines. We have identified dormitory space -- the lower level of Star Dorm and adjacent faculty apartment -- to be used for asymptomatic quarantine or symptomatic isolation surge space. These are standard dorm rooms that will comfortably accommodate students who are being observed. Wifi will be available for online learning; meals will be delivered, and adult supervision will be provided.
Q. What happens if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19?
In the case of a student testing positive for COVID-19 or who requires isolation, the student will be removed from campus until they recover, and will learn remotely during this time. Marvelwood urges every family to prepare and identify a plan for their child should they need to be isolated from school.
In the case an employee tests positive for COVID-19, they will self-isolate and work from home as possible during their recovery.
Q. Will faculty families be in shared spaces?
Faculty family members will be permitted in shared community spaces if they are in accordance with the testing and health protocols. Faculty families may opt out of the testing if they are in their personal homes only.
Q. Will emotional support be available?
We are fortunate to have on-staff counselors. They are available to students for consultation or support throughout the school year.
Q. What will the Dining Hall look like?
Our food service provider, Sage Dining, has created and reviewed with the School a plan for safe, hygienic kitchen operations. Their staff will comply with all health screening requirements set up by the school. They have established a special website for the Marvelwood community.
The academic schedule is being adjusted to create two separate 30-minute lunch shifts, with a cleaning period in between. Students will be assigned to one shift or the other.
Breakfast and dinner times will be extended to allow for less density in the dining hall during these meal times; these meals may also be “staggered” as attendance dictates.
Self-serve areas (salad bar, panini station, self-serve beverages, soup station, dessert bar, etc.) will not be operating. The serving line will offer hot items as well as basic pre-made sandwiches and salads.
Sage Dining will offer a limited selection of items for “grab and go.”
We will make regular use of the dining hall terrace to increase seating capacity while maintaining appropriate social distancing.
Seating at tables will be reduced and traffic patterns through the dining hall will be adjusted and regulated to achieve safe social distancing. Used dishes will be placed on racks located in the dining room to eliminate traffic in and out of the dish room area.
Traffic flow into and out of the building will be regulated, and entry/exit doors will be clearly marked.
Diners may remove their masks only once they are seated, and must wear masks in the dining area at all other times.
The dining hall will be thoroughly cleaned before and after breakfast, before and after each lunch shift, and before dinner.
Q. Will students be leaving campus for trips and weekend activities?
All current medical recommendations, and the unique safety that our geographic location provides, suggest that keeping students on campus and in the local area will best serve our community. School-related student travel off-campus (field trips, community service, weekend activities, athletics) will be restricted or canceled.
Q. Will students be allowed to go home on the weekends?
It is likely that we will restrict or prohibit boarding students from traveling home for weekends, at least for the fall term.
Q. Will there be inter-dorm visitation?
We will be starting the school year with strict guidelines in place, including restricting movement between dorms. Students will have outside spaces to gather and hang out.
Q. What will weekends look like for the students?
The Residential Life team is working to plan fun, safe, and engaging activities for the student body. Weekends will be themed this year and will run much like a summer camp, capitalizing on our expansive and beautiful 83-acre campus. Students will be able to join in various activities and/or spend time hanging out with their peers. As part of the planning process, all activities will be carefully scrutinized with best practices for health and safety in mind.
Q. What will the class day be like for day students?
Day students must complete the daily health assessment from home and check in at the Health Office upon arrival each morning, before checking in at breakfast or going into any other school building. Day students will not be permitted to enter any classrooms without first being cleared by the Health Office, on a daily basis.
Q. Will day students have access to the dorms?
Day students will still be given a room at Marvelwood; however, it will be in a separate dorm from boarding students, and no inter-dorm visitation will be permitted. For at least the first several weeks of school, day students will not be permitted to spend the night on campus.
Q. How are day students being asked to limit their exposure to COVID-19?
Day students are strongly urged to limit unnecessary travel outside the trip from home to school, and to avoid activities outside home or school that may inadvertently involve potential exposure to COVID-19.
Q. Can day students board at the school for the fall term?
Marvelwood is offering a per-term arrangement for any day student who would like to board on campus for the fall. Full compliance with all rules applying to boarding status would be expected. Interested families should contact Director of Admission Maureen Smith or CFO David Fiorillo for more information.
The Marvelwood Program
Q. How are instructional spaces being reconfigured to accommodate distance protocols?
The academic schedule will be modified to account for classroom density estimates, an extended lunch break, and extra passing time between classes. Classrooms have been measured and desks will be set up to achieve appropriate social distancing. The school has identified several larger spaces to use as classrooms and will be encouraging the use of outdoor space for class time as appropriate.
Q. Will students be able to get extra help from teachers?
Access to and support from teachers outside of class is an important part of the Marvelwood experience. Teachers will be establishing regular office hours for students to seek extra help and guidance in person or via Zoom.
Q. Will some students be learning online while others are in-person?
Students who cannot join their classes in person due to travel restrictions, quarantine, or isolation will be able to access classes and class materials online. Teachers will offer online office hours for extra help.
Q. What will athletics/ afternoon activities look like?
Our athletic league, the Hudson Valley Athletic League (HVAL), has decided to cancel all interscholastic competition for the 2020 fall season. The unanimous decision was made after many discussions prioritizing community health, safety, and well-being.
Despite the lack inter-league competition, Marvelwood will continue to provide a meaningful and comprehensive afternoon activity and athletic schedule. While the effects surrounding Covid-19 will make student life at Marvelwood look different, the Athletics Department is working to provide engaging programming, taking into consideration the latest health and safety guidelines for best practices within each individual sport or activity. We will be utilizing our outdoor spaces as much as possible, and all students will be required to participate.
Travel & Visiting Campus
Q. What is the Connecticut Travel Advisory?
From the State of Connecticut official website: “Anyone traveling into Connecticut from a state that has a new daily positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average are directed to self-quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state.
Failure to self-quarantine or complete the Travel Health Form may result in a civil penalty of $1,000 for each violation. The requirement to self-quarantine and complete the Travel Health Form is applicable to any traveler who has spent twenty-four (24) hours or longer in an affected state within fourteen (14) days prior to arriving in Connecticut but does not include an individual remaining in Connecticut for less than twenty-four (24) hours. These requirements are also applicable to Connecticut residents who are returning from a visit to an Affected State.”
Up-to-date information about Affected States is HERE.
Q. How do I fill out the Travel Health form?
Click HERE to fill out the State of Connecticut Travel Health form, if you are entering Connecticut from an Affected State.
Q. Will parents be allowed to visit students on campus?
Visitation to campus by family, friends, and other outsiders will also be limited, if not prohibited, for a period of time.
Q. Will students be transported in school vehicles?
While we anticipate a significantly reduced amount of off-campus travel, some transportation of students will be necessary. Best practice guidelines will be followed for transporting students to or from campus as established by the State of Connecticut and other regulatory agencies.
Q. Will there be Fall Family Weekend?
The traditional on-campus Fall Family Weekend will be replaced by virtual conferencing.
Q. What if I have more questions?
Please use the Ask a Question form. Thank you!