In-Person Classes Begin as Gould Opens for 185th Year

September 22, 2020
New families are here and ready for in-person classes.

With testing complete, students are cleared for in-person classes

Gould Academy opened its 185th school year this week with 221 students from 17 states and six foreign countries, in the midst of a global pandemic. Now, 30 days since the arrival of the first students and with the first full round of campus testing complete, the school is pleased to announce that all tests have been negative for Covid-19 and in-person classes can begin. (Boarding students attended class remotely from their dorm rooms and day students from home for the first week.)

Testing is complete for now!
Thankful for our amazing health center team for administering more than 450 COVID tests!

Gould began testing employees the week of August 12. Students arrived in stages shortly after, over a three-week period, with negative COVID tests in hand. Those who flew or took public transportation quarantined on campus as well. In addition to the more than 200 tests students took prior to returning, Gould has conducted in excess of 450 tests to date on campus —testing all students again before in-person classes began and testing all employees twice.

Although there are fewer international students this year, there are students from Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Montenegro, and Saudi Arabia. In addition to having students from all six New England states, California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia are also represented. Gould also renewed its partnership with A Better Chance program, opening doors for talented students of color. 

Middle school in-person classes for the first time ever at Gould.
Nancy Barstow is coordinating a pilot yearlong Middle School program this year.

“This group of incoming students excels at everything we do as a school,” says Assistant Head of School for Institutional Advancement Chris Sparks. “They are really talented athletes, artists, musicians, and promising scholars. I can’t wait to see what they will do here.”

New Student Orientation expanded from three-day trips to five-day ones. Ninth graders spent the time at Camp Winona in Bridgton, Maine. Other new students went to Outward Bound’s campus in Newry or on a paddling trip with Laurin Parker. The extended trips helped spread out arrivals, to allow for safer move-in days and to keep students together in their cohorts more easily.

In-Person Classes are no substitute for bonding with your whole class.
The Class of 2020 at Camp Winona

They found a few changes on campus as well. In addition to the mask reminders and sanitizing stations, classrooms have fewer desks and the dining hall has fewer tables and chairs. There are tents for outdoor meetings and class and maximum occupancy signs posted everywhere. While the weather permits, teachers have moved classes outside when possible.

You couldn't have blacksmithing without In-Person Classes
Lauren Head’s blacksmithing class moved outside

At least two dozen students are studying remotely for now, but the addition of OWL cameras to the classrooms (automatically follow whoever is speaking) and a summer’s worth of planning by teachers mean that even virtual classrooms are easier to navigate than they were last spring.

In-Person Classes are better with Owl Labs Cameras

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