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.


What questions do you have?

Send them to Communications@gouldacademy.org

  • You can find additional contacts here.

Can I visit my student on campus?

We understand that this has been a unique and challenging fall 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, especially those who may not return home for Thanksgiving. If you consider a visit with your Gould student essential at this time here is the plan we have developed:

 

  • Essential family visits will occur on Saturdays and Sundays between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm.
  • 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.

 

To schedule an Essential Family Visit 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.

If students leave campus at Thanksgiving, can they participate in On-Snow training?

Yes.  If students choose to go home for Thanksgiving, they will need to finish their fall term classes remotely. Those in the competitive On-Snow program can still join their team for training at Sunday River. They are not to return to the Gould campus for any athletic training, activities, meals, or academics until the return to campus intake period in January.

What are the current COVID rules on campus?

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. We can remove our masks outdoors unless we are less than 6 feet away from one another. 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)

Are students and employees still being tested for COVID-19?

Yes. Each student came to campus with a negative test, and on September 13, 2020, we completed the first full round of campus testing. At that time there were no positive results. To keep everyone as healthy as possible, we are now doing surveillance testing, checking roughly 10 to 15 percent of the student and employee population twice each week. We will increase the number of people tested if we start to see an upward trend. 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. As of today, there have been no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID on the Gould campus.  

Can I drop items off for my student?

Yes, family members may make arrangements to deliver items to campus that cannot otherwise be mailed to boarding students. These items may be dropped off during designated times to the lower level of Ordway. To make arrangements, contact Dean of Community Life Rob Manning; please allow for at least 24 hours for those arrangements. The items will then be sanitized or quarantined. 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.)

Is the schedule different this year?

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.

Can my student come home for Thanksgiving?

Yes, boarding students are welcome to travel home for Thanksgiving, but the student will need to switch to remote learning 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.

What is the current status of athletics and what are the COVID rules for athletics?

Afternoon athletics and co-curriculars are meeting, and limited interscholastic competition is now scheduled for non-contact sports (cross-country running, mountain biking, and golf). Matches are asynchronous, and teams are not at the venue at the same time. There is no contact with opposing teams.

Masks may be removed during periods of High Aerobic Activity but must be worn until the activity begins and put back on when it is done. When recreating, students and coaches maintain a minimum of 14 feet between one another at all times (Frisbee, cycling, lacrosse, etc.) unless in an organized practice and following ALL Maine CDC guidelines with coach supervision. Students also have supervised access to the field house where all proper COVID protocols must be followed.

Students are not allowed to participate in any club sport activity outside of Gould-sanctioned athletics. Any student wishing to participate in a club-based activity will be asked to learn remotely for the remainder of the term. 

Are boarding students allowed off campus?

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.

Can students access food for local restaurants?

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.  

Are students taking field trips?

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.

What rules apply to day students?

There are a few specific rules that we ask students to abide by when they are on campus. Please remember that no day students are allowed in the dormitories at this time. 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. 

Will Gould refund tuition if campus closes?

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.

Will remote learning affect an international student’s visa status?

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.

Can day students have other guests in their home?

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.

*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.