Campus under Covid FAQ
The Return to Campus Guide outlined our timeline and procedures for the start of 2020, as well as an overview of what changes students can expect in Academics, Athletics, Dorm Life, and Food Service. Throughout this process, we have based our decisions on the latest information from state and federal guidelines. We have also consulted health professionals, peer school leaders, and others to prepare for everyone to return to school so that you can continue to learn, grow, prosper, and prepare yourselves for this dynamic world.
We are following a similar intake plan in January, asking all students to return with a negative Covid test in hand and testing everyone a second time before in-person classes resume. Here are the details for the January Intake period:
What questions do you have?
Send them to Communications@gouldacademy.org
- You can find additional contacts here.
Per CDC website: Close contact is someone who was within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Someone in a confined space for an extended period of time—a classroom, dorm room, or unmasked at a dining hall table—would also likely be named as a close contact. Anyone identified as a close contact will be asked to quarantine or stay home. We cannot eliminate all risks associated with in-person learning, so it is very important that students try to limit the number of close contacts in order to keep the number of people who might need to quarantine to a minimum.
Day student families should notify the Health Center as soon as the student has any Covid symptoms or if they have been exposed to someone with Covid. Because your child is automatically a close contact, please notify the Gould Health Center if anyone in your household has ANY Covid-like symptoms or tests positive for the virus. DO NOT WAIT FOR TEST RESULTS. If they have been exposed, they should stay home.
If a boarding student tests positive for Covid they will be isolated on campus. They should return home as soon as possible if they can do so safely.
Students may ski during the intake quarantine period, provided they have already met the Maine CDC guidelines for travel quarantine. Someone in quarantine because they have a known exposure to the virus (identified as a close contact) should not be in public at all until the 10-day quarantine period is complete, even if they test negative.
We understand that this has been a unique and challenging year for many students and families because there has not been an opportunity to visit with one another. The Gould Community has done an exceptional job of protecting the pack so far, and we want to continue maintaining our COVID-19 protocols, because they are working!
We do understand that some boarding students would benefit from visiting with their families. If you consider a visit with your Gould student essential, please email Joy Doughty. She will respond by sending you a form to complete the details of your visit. Once we have received that information, Joy will respond with a confirmation for your visit, the name of the AOD you will be meeting with and the location to meet them prior to visiting with your Gould student.
- Requests must be submitted between Monday and Wednesday of each week to be considered for that coming weekend. At this time we are unable to book visits in advance.
- Gould reserves the right to cancel visits at any time due to unforeseen circumstances.
- If your family has an emergency or extenuating circumstances, and a more urgent visit is required, please contact your child’s advisor or the administrator on duty (AOD).
- All visits will be 30 minutes, they must take place outside and everyone must remain masked during the visit.
- No visitors will have access to any Gould buildings during their visit.
- All visitors will be required to sign a COVID-19 symptom questionnaire prior to the visit.
The Gould Community is reminded of the COVID rules on a regular basis. Each day, all students and employees must complete a COVID symptoms self-assessment and must abide by the Gould Pledge. Everyone must practice social distancing, wear a mask, and wash their hands often. Currently, we all wear a mask in all indoor spaces, except dorm rooms, when we are eating a meal, or alone in a private office. Students who willfully disregard or intentionally break Gould’s COVID rules will be asked to finish the term remotely. This includes behavior posted online as well as day student behavior off-campus.
(See the Gould Pledge)
Each student came to campus with a negative test, and we completed another full round of negative campus testing one week later.
To keep everyone as healthy as possible, we are now doing surveillance testing, checking at least 15 percent of the student and employee population twice each week. We have increased the number of people tested when there was an upward trend in our area. Because of the complexity and increased risk of exposure bringing students back from all over the world and because we are a largely residential community, Gould will adhere to stricter guidelines than that of the Maine CDC.
Weekly surveillance testing for Covid is paid for by the school. We are voluntarily testing at least 15 percent of the population each week, more if it seems prudent.
The cost of testing students who are experiencing symptoms, or who request it for other reasons, is billed to the student’s account. Families may seek reimbursement from their insurance carrier where possible. Some insurance carriers are only reimbursing for those who are experiencing symptoms.
First, Boarding students are never allowed to ride in a car with a day student driving.
Day students may drive themselves and a sibling(s) to Sunday River for practice/competitions/races and then drive to campus. (or vice versa). A brief stop at home is okay, but not at local businesses. Under Covid restrictions, day students are not allowed to have other day students in the same vehicle.
The day-student driving permission sheet must be completed if a day student will be driving to and from Sunday River.
Once day students have arrived on campus, they should park their car in the areas designated by the Community Guide and should not leave campus until the end of their commitments for the day. If they want to stay for study hall, they must stay through dinner. (If there are extenuating circumstances, a day student may be given permission to leave and return during the day by their advisor or by Mr. Penley/Mrs. Manning.
Day students may come to the field house or attend other training activities that are supervised by their coach. They may not attend meals or otherwise socialize on campus until their January intake is complete.
Please refer to the Return to Campus Checklist (p.2). Please note that we are again requiring students to arrive with a negative Covid test. It is very important that families reserve testing dates with the Health Center in advance if they want to take advantage of one of the testing dates offered here.
Yes, family members may make arrangements to deliver items to campus that cannot otherwise be mailed to boarding students. Please contact Registrar Joy Doughty in advance to arrange a specific time. Please note that last-minute requests and those who arrive unannounced may be turned away. The weekend duty crew’s primary responsibility is to care for the students, and these appointments keep them from that.
Adults dropping off items are expected to follow Maine CDC travel rules and are asked to stay only as long as needed to drop off items. (They will not be required to sign in as a visitor; it is not a visit. Students are NOT permitted to meet them.)
The schedule has changed this year, from 7 DOTs to 6 DOTs (which stands for duration of time). Longer applied learning blocks have been added to allow for more project-based learning. Students will attend class in person some days and remotely from other spaces on other days, depending on how many people the classroom can accommodate with physical distancing measures in place.
Yes, it is a wonderful gesture to invite a student who cannot return home to spend time with your family. Please understand that once a student leaves campus, they cannot return until the next intake in January. Except for extenuating circumstances, ie. delayed or disrupted travel plans, family emergencies, or health emergencies, any student who leaves campus will be asked to study remotely until the next intake period.
Winter athletics and co-curriculars have begun, but the schedule for interscholastic competition is unclear.
Coaches are expected to follow or exceed ALL Maine CDC guidelines and Gould COVID protocols while traveling with student-athletes.
Students who wish to participate in a club sport or activity outside of Gould-sanctioned athletics will be asked to learn remotely for the remainder of the term.
No. Boarding students are not allowed to leave campus apart from Gould-sanctioned activities. Trips into town or to local businesses are still off-limits. We ask day students to abide by the same restrictions; ideally they only leave campus to return to their own homes.
Yes. We have initiated a new program on Friday and Saturday nights called “Gould to Go.” This allows students to order from a wide variety of local restaurants. Their food is safely picked up by a Gould employee and delivered to them on campus. On weekend evenings, there is also a new snack bar in Ordway Dining Hall offering fun comfort foods. The school store has also enhanced its offerings to include more items that students might have purchased off-campus in the past.
Yes. Supervised trips to outdoor venues are happening (i.e.trails for biking, running, swimming, climbing, canoeing, academic research, etc., so long as COVID guidelines are met and there is no public interaction. Masks are required unless the activity is highly aerobic, in which case all Gould regulations and Maine CDC requirements must be followed at all times. If riding in a shared-space vehicle, masks are required and windows should be open. Students must be spaced as much as possible; multiple vehicles may be used if available.
Day students within walking distance of campus may go home during free time in the academic day with permission from their parents, however, they are not allowed to go to area businesses, only home and back to campus. No other students are allowed to go home with them. Day students are not allowed to leave campus and go to area businesses and purchase items for boarding students, either on school days or on the weekends. We ask that if day students come to campus for weekend activities, that they come and stay, and not go back and forth from home. When day students are off campus on their own time, we remind them that they must abide by the three pillars of COVID wellness —wear your mask, keep your distance, and wash your hands often. Students who willfully disregard or intentionally break Gould’s COVID rules will be asked to finish the term remotely. This includes behavior posted online as well as day student behavior off-campus.
Day students are now allowed to visit dorm lounges, assuming the maximum occupancy of the room is not exceeded and masks and other protocols are observed.
Gould is committed to providing a robust educational experience for all of our students, whether remotely or on campus. Although there might be savings in some areas if students are learning at home for some portion of the year, the school’s largest costs are in wages and healthcare, which are not reduced. That said, the relationship between Gould and a Gould family is a partnership that needs to feel right.
In the event that Gould can not resume and execute per plan due to Covid-19, the school will calculate prorated savings on variable costs and refund those amounts net of financial aid.
As a reminder, tuition refund insurance is available for all tuition-paying families. The cost and description of the coverage and exclusions are included in your enrollment agreement. Purchasing this insurance is an option for those families who are concerned about this school year fully meeting their expectations.
We received the following from the Department of Homeland Security:
“SEVP is committed to remaining flexible in allowing schools to make temporary procedural adaptations so nonimmigrant students can continue to make normal forward progress in their program of study. They can temporarily engage in distance-learning, either from within the U.S. or outside the country, in light of COVID-19. SEVP will provide updated guidance as additional information concerning the scope and length of this situation becomes more clear.”
Families might also find this page helpful moving forward.
In order to reduce the risk to the entire Gould Community, it is important that day students minimize their interaction with anyone who does not live in their household. Anyone who has close contact* with people or persons not part of the Gould Community or their regular household will be asked to learn or work remotely.