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Spring-Term Plan

The health and safety of our students and community are our highest priorities. We will share all updates directly with families. Please send any questions to parents@nmhschool.org


February 15, 2021

Dear NMH families,

Greetings from Northfield Mount Hermon. Campus life is rolling along as we return to learning together in person, engaging in meaningful conversations across campus, and enjoying the fullness of the NMH experience. Our success is a testament to our community’s shared commitment to our health and wellness. Thank you!

I write today to confirm our plans for the spring term. As a reminder, three principal criteria drive our decision making: local and regional COVID-19 positivity rates, local hospital capacity, and our ability to manage positive cases on campus. I am cheered to share that local and regional COVID-19 rates continue to fall (with the local county positivity rate now under 1.2 percent) and that local healthcare has responded well to the challenges of the virus’s peak. On campus, we have been able to support students who have tested positive, as well as their close contacts, while avoiding further transmission.

With the knowledge that COVID-19 requires flexibility at every step, I want to share several details to assist in your planning for the spring term. We will hold to the plan we announced before the winter break regarding the spring term schedule and the return of all boarding students to campus. These updates will help you determine the plan that works best for your family. 

  • Spring return schedule: NMH Lab students and all boarding students who elected to remain home for the winter term will return in several phases. Given our quarantine capacity, we are allowing students to return for one of three 10-day (or longer as necessary) quarantine periods (beginning Feb. 20 and 21, March 6 and 7, and, for seniors only, April 11). Synchronous students will be asked to share their return preferences in a forthcoming survey, and we will do our best to accommodate student preferences. (Lab students have already confirmed their return plans). Students will continue with their assigned Lab or synchronous classes until they are able to return to in-person learning on campus. 
     
  • Day students: Our day students and their families did an outstanding job carefully adhering to NMH safety protocols throughout the fall, on and off campus. We will continue to rely on this care, as well as increased weekly testing of our day students, throughout the spring term (we will rely on lower cost, pooled testing when possible). If local and regional COVID-19 rates return to high levels, we will be prepared to shift back to remote learning for day students for a period of time. Evening and weekend campus access will continue to be limited as in the fall term.
     
  • Transition to synchronous learning: Because of the unique challenges presented by COVID-19, NMH will allow students to continue in or transition to synchronous learning for the spring term with the academic dean’s approval. Any student now on campus who wants to shift to synchronous learning must plan to depart either on March 5 (end of winter term) or April 16 (spring mid-term). Students will not be allowed to transition to synchronous learning after the spring mid-term.
     
  • College visits: Some seniors and PGs will wish to visit colleges after their admission, and we want to be responsive to this priority. We remind these students that not all colleges will offer campus visits, and that they will have the chance to visit colleges after NMH’s academic year ends on May 16 if they do not wish to interrupt their spring term on campus. For those who wish to visit colleges earlier, we will open two specific windows that allow for one week off campus followed by a required 10-day (or longer as necessary), on-campus quarantine with testing. (Senior/PG quarantine #1 begins March 28; senior/PG quarantine #2 begins April 11). Students must apply for permission from the dean of students by March 1 in order to ensure availability of an on-campus quarantine space; return dates must be March 28 or April 11, with no exceptions.
     
  • Commencement: We are planning for an on-campus graduation on May 16. We are mapping out the details now. While we hope to allow a limited number of visitors, we will adhere to all state guidelines regarding public gatherings. We will share our plans by April 1 with seniors, PGs, and their families. Seniors and PGs who wish to participate in any on-campus ceremonies must reside on campus (or be attending as day students) from April 11 to May 16.

I ask for your continued patience and support as we strive to hold our community safe and deliver an exceptional program to NMH students each and every day. Thank you again for your commitment to our school and for sharing your child with us.

With gratitude,

Brian H. Hargrove
Head of School