About

Fall Reopening

Fall Reopening Plans

Dear Holderness Families-

I hope this letter finds you well and that you are making memories during these early days of summer.  While this is a generally quiet time on campus, Holderness has been a hive of activity, with a variety of planning teams working to ensure a safe in-person reopening this fall. This letter is meant to outline the important steps we are taking to support the safe return of our students to campus. 

The health and safety of our community is our top priority. As such, we’ve established a planning process that includes nine sub-committees focused on adhering to the guidelines and recommendations established by the State of New Hampshire while preserving, as best we can, what makes the Holderness experience so special.  Throughout this process, we are in constant communication with School Physician Dr. Ollie Salmon and experts in public health and epidemiology to make certain that our planning is consistent with best practices. 

While there are still many specifics to consider, I wanted to share some of our preliminary plans and our fall calendar with you as early as possible to help in your family’s planning. 

I want to thank you for your tremendous flexibility, patience, and support throughout this process. This is certainly not the summer that any of us wanted, but, in true Holderness fashion, we will get through it together.  


Be Well -

Phil Peck
Head of School

Contact Information

Academics:
Kelsey Berry, Director of Teaching & Learning, kberry@holderness.org 
Peter Durnan, Academic Dean, pdurnan@holderness.org

Residential: 
John Lin, Dean of Students, jlin@holderness.org
Tyler Cabot, Assistant Dean of Students, tcabot@holderness.org

Mental, Emotional, and Physical Health, Wellness, and Support:
Carol Dopp, Counselor, cdopp@holderness.org 
Ginger Comstock, Sports Counselor, gcomstock@holderness.org
Karen Penny (Assistant Director of Health Services), kpenny@holderness.org

Access:
Jini Rae Sparkman, Director of Office of Equity & Inclusion
 
Technology:
Help Desk, helpdesk@holderness.org
 


Recent Town Halls

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • What is the status of the COVID-19 virus in Holderness?  
     

    Cases of COVID-19 in Holderness and surrounding towns have remained very low.  Holderness School is in contact with State of New Hampshire public health officials to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in the area.
  • Will Holderness begin the school year early and should we expect any other changes to the school year calendar?

    Our first day of classes will be on September 7; however, to preserve the health and safety of our students and community, we require students to self-quarantine and to get tested for COVID-19 prior to their arrival on campus. We will also have a staggered arrival for our students (below).  The Administration is still working out details regarding possible additional changes to the academic calendar. 

    Self-Quarantine: Students will be required to self-quarantine at home two weeks prior to their arrival on campus. Self-quarantine is defined as staying home as much as possible, avoiding crowds, not engaging in any activities with a high-risk of infection, frequent hand washing, wearing masks when out in public, and social-distancing. 

    COVID-19 Testing: We are asking that all students get a COVID test within five-to-seven days of your return to campus. Students who take public transportation back to school will be tested three days after their arrival on campus. All students will be tested again seven days after their arrival on campus.

    Arrival Dates:

    • August 21-25: New international and domestic boarding students with specific travel restrictions and/or an inability to obtain a COVID-19 test can return to campus to allow for the opportunity to self-quarantine and get a COVID test.
    • August 23-27: Returning international and domestic boarding students with specific travel restrictions, an inability to self-quarantine at home, and/or an inability to obtain a COVID-19 test can return to campus.
    • August 31: Staggered arrival for Senior Leaders; orientation for new international students begins (who have tested negative for COVID-19)
    • September 2: Staggered arrival for new domestic students (who have tested negative for COVID-19)
    • September 4-5: Staggered arrival for all returning boarding students (who have tested negative for COVID-19)
    • September 5-6: Returning Day Students Arrive; On-campus orientation and welcome
    • September 7: Holderness begins in-person classes
     
    Tentative holiday schedule to be finalized in early fall.
    November 21: All on-campus classes end, Thanksgiving Break begins (campus will remain open for international students, students with travel and safety considerations, and may remain open for certain athletic groups)

    December 1: Two-week distance learning schedule begins

    December 16: All classes end; Winter Break begins
    January 2021: On-campus classes resume January 8th; return-to-school information and spring schedule will be shared this fall.
     
  • What resources/guidelines will Holderness follow to determine any changes to its reopening status?

    Holderness School is adhering to the guidelines and recommendations established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State of New Hampshire while preserving, as best we can, what makes the Holderness experience so special.  Throughout this process, we are in constant communication with School Physician Dr. Ollie Salmon and experts in public health and epidemiology to make certain that our planning is consistent with best practices. 
     
     
  • What if I am restricted to travel to Holderness from where I live? 
     

    For students unable to travel to campus, Holderness School has upgraded technology infrastructure to ensure the efficient delivery of a synchronous hybrid learning environment. Holderness School will work closely with families to support the safe return to campus as soon as feasible.
  • Will all students be required to be tested for COVID-19? 
     

    Yes. If testing is available at your local medical facility, students will need to present a negative result on a COVID-19 test that was taken within 5-7 days before returning to campus. More information about test requirements will be available soon. 

    Students taking public transportation back to campus will be tested 3-4 days after their arrival. All students will be tested again 7-10 days after they return to campus.
     
  • What kind of social distancing guidelines and expectations can students expect as they return to campus?

    All members of the Holderness School community will be expected to wear cloth face coverings and practice social distancing protocols while on campus. The daily schedule will be adjusted to reduce density in public spaces, with particular emphasis on how the community moves through the dining hall. All students and employees will be expected to wear cloth face coverings in school buildings and outside when social distancing is not possible. 

    Students will be placed in pods -- contained dormitory groups that allow for relaxed social distancing protocols once all students have tested negative within their pod.  If outside their pod, students are expected to wear cloth masks and practice social distancing protocols.

    Visitors to campus, including parents, are asked to complete a wellness assessment prior to arrival. Visitors will not be allowed in dormitories at any time. 
     

Academic Program

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • What will the daily expectation look like for students?
     

    The Academic Committee has developed a new schedule that allows for staggered start and end times of classes. This supports decreased density in hallways and staggered meal hours in Weld Hall.  Holderness is also planning alternative Saturday programming to provide time and space for health and wellness initiatives, equity and inclusion programming, service-learning opportunities, and the college process.
  • What will determine if Holderness moves forward with a hybrid or online learning program? 
     

    For students unable to travel to campus, Holderness School has upgraded technology infrastructure to ensure the efficient delivery of a synchronous hybrid learning environment. In the case of a community outbreak, Holderness will be prepared to close campus and continue programming online. We will revise our academic schedule and school calendar accordingly.
  • Will instructional support still be available to students?
     

    Yes, students who are enrolled with Knower Academics will continue to receive instruction with their tutors.

Residential Life

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • Will students have a roommate?
     

    Yes, most students will have roommates. Students will be placed in cohorts we’re calling “pods” -- contained dormitory groups that allow for relaxed social distancing protocols once all students have tested negative within their pod. Hygiene and room cleanliness will be regularly enforced. Dorm pods will also gather for advisory meetings, Assemblies, and Chapel service.
  • Will a student be allowed to take weekends? 
     

    Campus will be closed to all visitors until September 25. Weekends will not be allowed unless there are extenuating circumstances approved on a case-by-case basic by school leadership. If a student must leave campus, they will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before resuming on-campus activities.
  • Will parents be able to visit campus?

    Campus will be closed to all visitors until September 25. Parents and family members will be allowed to visit campus after September 25, but will not be allowed to enter residence halls or take their children off campus. We will ask parents to complete a wellness assessment before arriving on campus and to wear a cloth face covering at all times on campus. We also encourage parents to practice social distancing and mask wearing when in public and interacting with folks outside of their household.
  • If Holderness moves to an extended winter break, what does this mean for international students?

    We recognize that international travel may encounter challenges. Holderness School will support all international students who need to remain on campus throughout any breaks/vacations this year.
  • Will there be social distancing protocols for other campus facilities?
     

    Yes, there will be social distancing protocols for all spaces on campus. These will be communicated through signage and other means.
  • Will students be allowed to go into downtown Plymouth?

    Students must remain on campus at the start of the school year.  We will make adjustments to this policy in consultation with our School Physician and Health Center Director.
  • Will interscholastic athletics happen?

    Although fall athletic schedules have not yet been set, Holderness is in contact with peer schools to explore the possibility of a safe and competitive interscholastic athletic schedule.  In the event that some fall teams are unable to compete, we will continue to deliver a robust and substantive athletic program focused on strength and conditioning, sports psychology, nutrition, coaching development, and character and leadership development.  Students will have the opportunity to remain active, healthy, and take advantage of the outdoors surrounding campus. 
     

Student Life

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • What kind of afternoon activities will be available?
     

    The Student Life Committee is working to ensure that Holderness students have a variety of afternoon activities to choose from, including athletics, the outdoors, community service, and the arts.
  • What will weekend activities look like?

    Students will be able to participate in weekend activities. Activities will include safe and fun on-campus options as well as outdoor activities (hikes, fishing, etc) in the White Mountains and Lakes Region.
  • Will the student experience be different for day students and how?
     

    Day students will be expected to fully engage in the academic day, athletics or art in the afternoon, and Saturday programming. The expectation is that day students “will be boarders who sleep at home.” Day students will have full access to meals on campus, and we encourage them to participate fully in the life of the school, including weekend activities. Similar to our residential students, day students will need to adhere to specific expectations and behaviors to help keep our school community healthy and safe. More information will be communicated with day students and families in early August.

Health and Medical Planning

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • What level of testing will we require upon return and how frequent?  
     

    All students and employees will be required to be tested for COVID-19 before the start of school. Information about the specific type of required COVID-19 test will be shared with families in August. Students who take public transportation to campus will be tested again through Speare Memorial hospital three-to-four days after their arrival on campus. All students will be tested seven days after their arrival to campus. During the school year, testing will be required for any symptomatic students or employees prior to returning to on-campus work or activities. 
     
  • What type of regular screening will be implemented?  
     

    Each morning, all Holderness community members -- students and adults -- will complete a health assessment that will include a daily temperature check. If signs of illness are present, that community member will be asked to visit the Health Center or contact their primary care provider, refrain from interaction with others, and begin work virtually.
  • What types of new policies and protocols will be implemented to help prevent transmission?  
     

    Masks and face coverings will be required at all times in buildings and public spaces.  All-School gatherings will be conducted either virtually or outdoors to ensure adequate space for social distancing. Daily health assessments will be required for all community members, including any visitors to campus.  Our schedule is designed in such a way to limit student density in hallways and public areas, and our classrooms will be arranged to limit student density. Hand sanitizing stations will also be available throughout campus. Holderness School will adhere to public health best practices and recommendations and carefully monitor any developments relative to the spread of COVID-19. 
     
  • Is the school in consultation with health professionals on the protocols for student support?
     

    Holderness School is in regular communication with public health professionals.  The school’s physician, Dr. Ollie Salmon, serves on several planning committees and is in direct communication with Speare Memorial Hospital. Further, Holderness School consistently seeks counsel from members of experts within our parent and alumni community as well as local and state public health officials.

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • How will classrooms be arranged to be responsive to physical distancing requirements?
     

    The Academic Committee will audit all academic spaces to ensure that classroom assignments are consistent with public health best practices relative to classroom density and social distancing protocols.
  • Will there be social distancing protocols for other campus facilities?
     

    Yes, there will be social distancing protocols for all public spaces on campus. These will be communicated through signage and other means.
  • How will Holderness manage the dining plan? 
     

    Meal times will be staggered to decrease density in Weld Dining Hall.  The servery will be modified in such a way that self-service is no longer an option; however, meals to go will be available.  Seating in the dining hall will implement social distancing protocols, and community members can also choose to eat outdoors.
  • Will there be All-School gatherings?
     

    All-School gatherings will take place either virtually or outdoors. For virtual all-school events, students will gather in their PODs to view and participate in assembly, chapel, etc. Outdoor events may allow the whole school to assemble in various locations from the quad, to the turf field and the outdoor chapel.
  • Will students be required to wear masks at all times? Faculty/staff/visitors?
     

    Yes, all community members and visitors will be required to wear masks at all times while in public spaces.  Students may remove face coverings when in their dorms, when in their dorms, practicing outside with their teams, and outside when social distancing is possible. 
     
  • What is Holderness’s cleaning plan?
     

    In accordance with public health guidelines and best practices, Holderness School will implement stringent cleaning protocols to ensure that public spaces are disinfected. Students will be expected to disinfect their work area after each class; cleaning supplies will be available in each room to support this.

Travel and Campus Visitors

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness, NH 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257