Return to Campus
All St. Mark’s students are asked to limit their contacts for 14 days before coming to School to prevent exposure to others with infectious disease. Students from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and New Jersey can do so at home, as long as they take private transportation to school. Students who do not reside in these states are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days in one of these states before arriving at St. Mark's. Please note that Massachusetts rules regarding arrival from Rhode Island have changed. Travelers arriving to Massachusetts from Rhode Island must now quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in Massachusetts.
All persons are instructed not to travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Once a student and his/her family (if they are accompanying them) have quarantined and can get to campus via private transportation (continuing to adhere to quarantine guidelines) there is no further quarantine required once they arrive on campus.
Students should be tested for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, 3-7 days prior to coming to campus and bring documentation of a negative PCR test result upon arrival at school. It is best to start by requesting an order from your child’s primary care physician. Be sure that the provider knows that you are planning to have your child attend school with other students who live in a congregate residential setting. This test is a requirement of the school before your child can come to campus. There are urgent care centers in our area which also offer tests: https://www.afcurgentcaremarlborough.com https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing
This test locator map sponsored by our state may be helpful in finding convenient option: https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13
Due to the concerns around COVID-19 and other potential safety issues, ALL students must have a viable local guardian/emergency contact that is able to arrange for the student to be able to leave campus within 24 hours via private transportation in the event of student illness or temporary campus closure. This guardian/emergency contact expectation includes both international and domestic students who are farther than six hours driving distance from campus.
A viable local guardian/contact should not include siblings or family friends who reside in college/university residential housing. We have secured the services of Gold Star, a student contact support emergency service, which may be helpful to families.
Face coverings (masks)
Face coverings (masks) Masks are to be worn at all times, barring specific exceptions that will be communicated to students upon arrival at School. Students should bring a seven-day supply of washable masks. The School will also have masks available for students.
School Operations Evaluation Criteria
As of August 31, 2020
The purpose of this document is to describe criteria St. Mark’s will use to determine if the School’s operations need to be adjusted.
Since it is not possible to know the progression of the COVID-19 virus going forward, we will remain attentive to the number of positive tests in our community, the local area, and beyond. The rate of change in numbers of positive tests, the turnaround time for getting test results, the availability of sufficient quarantine and isolation capacity on our campus, the status of local health care systems, and student adherence to expectations will be used in assessing our continued operation.
Setting a threshold to adjust our operations based on an absolute number of cases on campus does not take into account important factors such as identifiable risks, the severity of cases, or whether cases were part of a containable cluster; we will therefore use a 1 percent positivity rate in our testing cohort as an indicator of an immediate review of our operations.
If we were to have a positive case on campus, we would immediately engage with the Southborough Department of Public Health. We would partner with them on contact tracing and work closely with them in considering potential adjustments to our operations including, but not limited to, deep cleaning of impacted spaces. As a boarding school and congregate setting we will leverage this partnership to determine the best course of action.
Please note: All plans are current as of August 31, 2020, and are subject to change.
Facilities Updates and Related Changes
for COVID-19 Risk Mitigation
Face coverings/masks guidelines
Social distancing in all areas including furniture/setup changes to all classrooms and common areas
Hand sanitizing stations throughout campus & restroom updates to touchless fixtures
Frequent cleaning of all spaces throughout campus
Changes to the Dining Halls and Servery
HEPA air cleaners in spaces on campus
Tents and other spaces
Health Center Annex
The baseline for safety includes adherence to guidelines on masks and social distancing for our entire community so we are able to ensure we are not only taking care of ourselves but of each other as well. Reminders are posted in various areas throughout campus, including our main foyer as shown here:
St Mark’s dress expectations have always asked students to dress differently for the academic day in order to give respect to people and the work being accomplished.
During the pandemic, however, the safety of our community members is the highest priority. The most effective way to mitigate risk is to wear cloth masks. Thus, the most essential piece of St. Mark’s dress expectations is your mask. Students should follow the St. Mark’s mask guidelines and wear masks that follow the R.U.S.H.(Respect Understanding Safety Honesty) expectations particularly concerning respect for yourself and for others and safety for all.
Due to the hybrid environment, St. Mark’s is altering our normal and customary dress expectations to a more casual framework. St. Mark’s has adjusted its clothing policy for health, comfort, and practicality; the School presumes that students and faculty will comply with the overall framework.
Whether students are remote or on campus, student dress is expected to be “neat and clean” and be appropriate for the work and respectful of the community. Dress, whether in person or on a computer screen, should not be distracting.
There are some restrictions. In an academic setting, sleepwear (i.e. pajamas, bathrobes, and slippers) is not allowed. Underwear is not outerwear. Hats inside buildings are not permitted. Clothing with graphics should avoid inappropriate messages including, but not limited to, alcohol/drug/tobacco promotion, sexual innuendo, and offensive language.
Chapel Dress (SM more formal dress expectations) has been suspended temporarily.
On Wednesday, Saturdays, and Sundays, students may dress casually in relaxed weekend attire.
Should I bring a blazer or dresses to school in the fall?
No. Chapel Dress (SM more formal dress expectations) has been temporarily suspended. Do not bring clothes that need to be dry cleaned.
Can I wear clothes other than SM sweatshirts or collared shirts/blouses?
Yes. While it is almost always appropriate to show off your SM pride, non-SM sweatshirts are allowed.
Why no pajamas or sleepwear?
When preparing for an academic setting, students should transition to clothing that represents the work.
Will we be going outside?
Weather permitting, some of our classes may be held outside, so be prepared. In addition, our mask-free zones are outside, and taking a break from one’s House room by taking advantage of the outdoors may necessitate warmer clothes. It’s New England, where fall is a beautiful season but where temperatures can vary greatly. Layers are a good idea.