Click on the tabs below to see the questions and answers.
- Q: What state directives and guidance is King following to plan for reopening?
- Q. Has King converted spaces that were previously not for academic use into classrooms?
A: King’s reopening plan follows the State of Connecticut guidelines as well as best practices as recommended by credible scientists and Connecticut Association of Independent Schools. The King Reopening Task Force has dedicated resources to staying abreast of the latest information.
- Q: What personal protection protocols will be in place on campus?
- Q: Is King School requiring COVID-19 testing of students or faculty?
- Q: Is there a daily health form that students and staffulty need to submit?
- Q: What happens if a student or teacher has a symptom of COVID-19?
- Q: Is there a Family Community Compact that families will complete?
- Q: Are there quarantine protocols for students returning from a vacation?
- Q: What personal protection protocols will be in place on a school bus?
- Q: How will King monitor that people on campus are following the protection protocols?
- Q: How will King respond if a student or family’s actions do not comply with the Community Compact?
- Q: Can a family choose for their child(ren) to learn all remotely?
- Q: Why did King decide NOT to do daily temperature checks on campus?
- Q: How has King reconfigured its use of physical space for social distancing?
- Q: How has King modified its plan for food management?
- Q: Has King changed its policy of campus access for parents?
- Q: Has King changed its policy of campus access for visitors, vendors, and contractors?
- Q: Will staffulty undergo COVID-19 training?
- Q: Is King taking additional measures to support the mental health of students, families, and staffulty?
- Q: What should someone on campus do if they feel ill?
- Q: How will King respond if a student/family or staffulty member tests positive for Covid-19?
- Q: What set of conditions would have to develop during the Fall to lead the administration to switch fully to KingIsHome?
- Q: If King switches to KingIsHome, will the program be different from what was done last Spring?
- Q: Will students share any materials/supplies?
A: Please click to read about our personal protection protocols, including protocols for face mask and coverings, social distancing, cleanliness, health checks and testing, and travel.
King has partnered with Encon HVAC & Energy Solutions to find the best systems for our needs, and we will continue to adhere to frequent preventative maintenance inspections and filter changes in the HVAC system. We have invested in the recommended air purification systems called Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization. This system produces harmless ions which render pathogens non-viable. This type of system has been installed at Virginia Tech, Harvard University, and Duke University. In addition, portable air purifiers will be used in specific areas. In order for NBI to work effectively, windows should not be left open. When possible, classes will be held outside.
King's Reopening Task Force continues to review new information and options regarding COVID-19 testing for our community, as we take the safety of all members of our community seriously. In addition to the health and safety precautions we have researched and implemented, we have consulted with local medical professionals, the companies who offer testing, and other independent schools. Neither the CDC, the Connecticut Department of Health, the Connecticut Department of Education, the Stamford Department of Health nor the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools currently recommend COVID-19 testing of students and staff in school settings. Based on our findings, King will not be conducting COVID-19 testing at this time.
Currently, the best and scientifically proven methods for preventing the spread of COVID-19 remain mask wearing, social distancing, proper hygiene and thorough cleaning. In following these initiatives and daily symptom screening, we believe our community will successfully reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. King has spent the last several months investing in a host of materials, equipment, technology, training, personnel and procedures in an effort to provide as safe an environment as reasonably possible.
We will continue to revisit our approach to testing and to COVID-19 prevention as warranted by changes in testing technology, public health agency guidance and the overall COVID-19 risk level in the “Fairchester” community.
A: Yes. Our health and safety guidelines require that all students and staffulty who will enter a campus building, including a building on the Italian Center campus, submit a completed daily health questionnaire through Magnus prior to coming on campus. The form indicates that anyone experiencing symptoms of illness should not come to campus. Click here for instructions for downloading the Magnus App.
A: As with all rules at King, we expect students to follow the letter and the spirit of our protection protocols. In addition to modeling this safe behavior, King faculty are setting clear expectations for students, who commit to following the protocols in the Community Compact, and infractions will be addressed as needed.
A: Families who elect to have their children learn fully remote this fall will be able to do so. Using a variety of digital platforms will facilitate remote learning. Read details about the Lower School, Middle School and Upper School fully remote programs. Please contact your Division Head as soon as possible to commit to indicate that you may be interested in this option.
A: In consultation with experts, including architects, King has purchased directional signage to help the community move throughout the buildings while maintaining proper social distancing. Bathrooms and common spaces also have signage specific to the parameters and use of the space to ensure the safety of our community. Additionally, we have added hand washing stations throughout campus.
Flik Dining Services will, as always, continue following all proper health, safety, and cleaning protocols. Lunches will be delivered to students in classrooms. Students will place their daily orders two weeks prior. Students will eat a minimum of 6 feet apart and desks/tables will be cleaned after each lunch.
All students are automatically enrolled in the King Food Service Program. The month of September provides the opportunity to try the program. Should the student decide NOT to participate in the King Food Service Program, please complete this form no later than November 16. In order to maintain quality and effective staffing, we are unable to offer withdrawals from the program after November 16.
Sample selection #1:
a. Ham, Salami, Swiss Cheese on a Kaiser, and Bag of Chips
b. Entree Roasted Vegetable & Penne Salad, and Bag of Chips
c. Sun butter and Jelly on Whole Wheat, and Bag of Chips
Sample selection #2:
a. Hamburger, Sweet Potato Fries
b. Veggie Burger, Sweet Potato Fries
c. Entree Caesar Salad with Dressing
(All options come with bottled water, and Chef's Choice of Fruit)
A: Parents will be required to follow our health and safety guidelines, and visits to campus buildings by anyone other than students or colleagues will be kept to a minimum. We strongly encourage frequent and thorough communication with teachers, advisors, and administrators via phone calls, email, and video conferencing.
A: King is restricting all non-essential visitors/vendors/contractors from entering buildings at this time. Only essential visitors/vendors/contractors may come into the building. Please note, for delivery personnel, King has confirmed that the following delivery services are following either CDC, and/or WHO recommendations to keep their employees and packages safe from infection: UPS, USPS, FedEx, and WB Mason.
The following protocols must be met:
- All visitors/vendors/contractors must answer health screening questions.
- All visitors/vendors/contractors are required to wear face coverings.
- Hand sanitizer must be used at all points of entry to buildings for visitors and vendors to use upon entering a building or any room within a building.
- Contractors must report to the Simon House.
- Site deliveries should include only minimal contact, and cleaning protocols should be followed. Delivery personnel should practice social distancing measures and wear a mask, and they should stay in their vehicle if this is not possible.
A: Yes. All King colleagues have completed COVID-19 training to ensure the health and safety of all members of the community. We also have posted flyers throughout the campus reminding students and colleagues of the importance of adhering to proper hygiene and social distancing rules, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and appropriate use of face coverings.
A. Should the virus numbers in Connecticut or Fairfield County increase to a higher risk number, or there is a King specific COVID-19 outbreak situation, we will follow state and local department of health guidance to determine if a campus closure is required to maintain an acceptable exposure COVID-19 risk for our community. Should campus closure be required, King will notify all members of its community by email and social media postings, and we will be ready to move quickly to our KingIsHome program. Our priority is always to keep all members of our community safe, while also providing a complete and engaging education throughout the school year.
A: We are proud of what we were able to provide and accomplish during KingIsHome this past spring. We also recognize that that program could best be described as emergency learning. Over the summer, each division created contingency plans for just this situation that would allow us to remain connected, value balance and wellbeing, and continue teaching and learning. Specifically, we implemented more structure and accountability for students.
- Q: What best practices and priorities are guiding King’s academic program?
- Q: What should students do if they are unable to attend King on campus due to illness, quarantine, or other family considerations?
- Q: What will faculty do if they are unable to attend King on campus due to illness, quarantine, or other family considerations?
- Q: How has King modified its plan for off campus school trips and activities?
- Q: Is there a change to the school’s fees?
- Q: Is there a change to the dress code?
- Q: Will King provide additional training to students, staffulty, and parents on digital tools for online learning?
- Q: Who do I contact with questions on the reopening plan?
- Q: Is the school store open?
A: To try to offset wearing masks daily, we will not have Formal Dress days this year. Students in Grades 4 through 8 who have athletics on a given day may attend school in their sports-related attire due to COVID related limitations to our use of locker rooms and changing spaces. You can learn about the dress code here.
A: Faculty and Staff were trained this summer on all of our digital tools for online learning. Students also were trained in the early days of classes. We are planning on offering parent training once the staffulty and students are all set. Our new Director of Technology Integration and Innovation has been pivotal in training our faculty and introducing new technology to enhance the student experience.
- Q: What is the new LS schedule and how will it benefit students?
- Q: Will the new schedule allow students to learn the material included in King’s pre-COVID-19 curriculum?
- Q: Will homework be managed differently with the new LS schedule?
- Q: What is the role of Assistant Teachers?
A: Our LS students will continue to be assigned homework to reinforce the academic skills learned in class. Students will have access to their workbooks, journals, and appropriate tech Apps to support the lesson that was taught. Our teachers will carefully plan and assign homework assignments to ensure that we continue to balance social and emotional health and wellbeing with our academic expectations.
A: The Assistant Teachers will work closely with the lead teacher to implement and maintain the integrity of our instructional program. The Assistant Teachers will also collaborate with the lead teacher on curriculum and teaching strategies, helping to cover the class should the lead teacher be absent, thereby providing consistency in the teaching and learning of our students.
- Q: How will the Performing Arts program be structured?
- Q: How will the Physical Education program be structured?
- How will the after school enrichment program be structured?
A: Students will continue to build foundational musicianship skills through movement, games, chants, and music literacy exercises. Woodwind and brass instrumental units in Grades 2-5 will be replaced with age-appropriate Orff instrument projects (think dulcimers, xylophone, and unpitched percussion instruments such as drums and rhythm sticks) and singing will be kept to a minimum to ensure safety. Each student will be provided with a music class “kit” to minimize sharing of materials.
A: Students will have PE four days a week and will maintain a 6 feet social distance. For this year only, because our Grade 4 and 5 students will not have access to the locker room to change for PE classes, they may wear their school uniform or King athletic clothing to school. For additional information, you can read about the LS Physical Education program and the LS dress code.
A: Similar to our classroom setup, students participating in after school activities will work in small groups and maintain a 6 feet social distance. Please refer to the After School Enrichment program information.
- Q: Will all students be required to wear a mask?
- Q: Has the LS changed its drop off and pick up routine?
- Q: How will recess and playground use be managed?
- Q: Why is the Lower School not having Remote Wednesdays like the Middle and Upper Schools?
- Q: How will the After Care program be managed?
A: Grades PreK-K, will enter and dismiss using the Simon House driveway entrance. Grades 1-3 will enter and dismiss using the main entrance. The Grade 4 and Grade 5 students will enter and dismiss from school using the Grade 5 entrance. During dismissal, students will remain in their classrooms and wait to be dismissed as their car arrives.
A: We understand the need for children to move their bodies and stay physically active. Getting outside for a mask break, fresh air, and movement is important to support physical and mental health on a daily basis. Our staffulty will work to ensure children wash hands after touching play structures and maintain 6 feet of space from other children as much as possible. The LS will also engage in the following health and safety practices to reduce exposures:
- Offer outdoor play in staggered shifts
- Establish daily routines for cleaning playground equipment
- If multiple groups are outside at the same time, they will have a minimum of 6 feet of open space between outdoor play areas
- Always wash hands immediately before and after outdoor playtime
- Maintain the same groups from day to day
A: The Lower School is holding on campus learning 5 days a week to provide consistency for our youngest learners. We know from research as well as our experience this past spring that elementary school aged children (and their parents) have a harder time with remote learning. Lastly, we are confident in our ability to offer Lower School students times during the day to get outside and remove masks safely in order to mitigate mask fatigue.
- Q: What is the new MS schedule and how will it benefit students?
- Q: Will the new schedule allow students to learn the material included in King’s pre-COVID-19 curriculum?
- Q: Why does the schedule not include honors classes for science and world languages?
- Q: Will homework be managed differently with the new MS schedule?
- Q: What is the role of Associate Teachers?
A: Teachers and staff worked throughout the summer to ensure the fidelity to our pre-COVID-19 curriculum. Our modified schedule approximates the amount of instructional time while allowing for deeper learning and opportunities for independent exploration. That said, it is important to recognize the unique nature of this school year, where it will be essential to continue to balance the social and emotional wellbeing of our young adolescents with their academic growth.
A: Homework will be managed slightly differently this coming year. The main difference, however, lies in the timing. Our purpose and expectation for assigning homework remains:
- To preview and review material covered in class
- To reinforce academic skills learned in class
- To assess independent thinking and practice of skills
- To reinforce and build students’ executive functioning skills, such as time management, planning and prioritization, materials management, flexible thinking, and self-advocacy
These purposes will remain constant, but grade level teams will carefully monitor the time required to complete assignments to ensure that we continue to balance social and emotional health and wellbeing with our academic expectations.
A: Associate Teachers are early career professionals with experience in the classroom. They will collaborate with lead teachers to support and enact lesson plans for course sections that are broken into two groups. These associate teachers will allow for us to effectively maintain social distancing protocols in our classrooms while enacting scripting lesson plans in what we are calling satellite classrooms.
Click here to view a video explaining the way that this will work.
- Q: How will the MS drama preseason and Fall Play program be structured?
- Q: How will the Athletics program be structured?
- Q: How will the clubs program be structured?
- Q: Has the MS changed its drop off and pick up routine?
- Q: How will King decide which students are grouped together in the A and B cohorts?
- Q: Why is King having Remote Wednesdays in the Middle School?
A: The Middle School is holding Remote Wednesdays to address the following needs:
- A break from full day mask wearing
- Community safety and building sanitization
- Community events and programming
- More opportunities for one-on-one extension, enrichment, and extra help
For more information on remote Wednesdays in the Middle School, please click here.
- Q: What is the US schedule and how will it benefit students?
- Q: Will all US students return to learning in-person together in Quarter 2?
- Q: Why has the Upper School asked students who requested more than five academic major courses to reduce their schedule of in-classroom courses?
- Q: Will homework be managed differently with the new US schedule?
- Q: How will Advanced Placement (AP) courses be managed?
A: Yes. Beginning at the start of Quarter 2, on October 27, all US students will learn in their classrooms for 4 full days per week of in-person learning with their teachers. Due to the relatively low levels of COVID-19 prevalence in Fairfield County and the King community, we can have all of our US students back on campus, together, in a safe fashion.
To accomplish this, we will reconfigure some of our classroom spaces such that distancing between desks will range from 4 to 6 feet (depending on the classroom). Many of our classrooms will remain set up with 6 feet between desks. Based on guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization and our outside medical consultant (Dr. Asha Shah, Associate Director of Infectious Diseases at Stamford Hospital), we are comfortable that this change, coupled with our existing health and safety protocols (including mask wearing, hand washing, daily symptom checking, improved ventilation systems and building cleaning) will continue to provide a safe learning and working environment for our students and staffulty.
A: Our commitment to safe physical distancing has necessitated limiting enrollments in elective courses. All affected students and their families were notified in July. We arrived at this solution in consultation with the College Counseling Department, who are already communicating it to colleges and universities, and who are confident, given the individual responses we have received as well as collective statements like this one from more than 300 college admission deans, that the decision protects what will be most important in our students’ application processes.
A: Students should expect about the same amount of homework daily across their courses as they would have had in King’s pre-COVID schedule. Because students will have fewer active courses at once under the modular block schedule, each course will be allowed a slightly longer homework assignment each day that it is active.
A: King is offering a select few AP courses fully online through a new partnership with One Schoolhouse, an online consortium of independent schools. All affected students and families have already been notified, and One Schoolhouse led a webinar specifically for King families with details about their approach and our partnership. We moved those few AP courses to One Schoolhouse in order to staff additional in-classroom sections necessitated by social distancing in other courses.
The remainder of our AP courses will be offered following the same hybrid block schedule as our other courses. We are planning the modular intervals to conclude by early May 2021 so that every AP course will have completed all of its rotations by the start of AP exams, and we are working on plans to sustain learning in our most content-cumulative courses even across intervals when they will not meet.
A: Clubs are active both via Zoom (and other platforms) as well as in small, in-person groups. We are using time on Remote Connect Wednesdays for this purpose, and we expect our students to actively engage with their clubs according to their meeting schedules. Service clubs continue to engage with their broader, off-campus community work, though in a modified manner.
- Q: Has the US changed its drop off and pick up routine?
- Q: Why is King having Remote Connect Wednesday in the Upper School?
- Q: How will the college counseling program be managed?
A: As was the case in the spring and summer, the College Counseling Office will continue to be fully available to meet with families through Zoom. All College Counseling programming, such as Grade Level College Nights, will also take place via Zoom. Links to schedule Zoom appointments will be made available to all families at the start of the school year. Our personalized, developmental approach to College Counseling will not change.