COVID Hub

Country Connected Learning

This hub contains all major communications about COVID–19 that directly affect The Country School community. Content will be updated as new communications are sent.

Basic COVID Information

List of 9 items.

  • Delta Variant

    • The Delta variant spreads more easily and more quickly then previous variants.
    • Preliminary data suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant have higher viral loads than with previous variants. This means fully vaccinated individuals infected with the Delta variant may be infectious and can potentially spread the virus to others. 
    • A growing body of evidence indicates that people fully vaccinated with one of the two mRNA vaccines are less likely than unvaccinated persons to acquire SARS-CoV-2 or to transmit it to others.
  • Travel Policy

    Going forward, The Country School will follow Connecticut Travel Recommendations. 
    • If a family feels its travel involves a higher level of risk (traveling by public transportation, for example) or if anyone in the household is not feeling well, we strongly recommend that students quarantine for 7 days with PCR testing 3-5 days after travel or 10 days without testing. 
    • If a family would like to review the particular circumstances of their situation, please do not hesitate to contact John Fixx, Beth Coyne, or the Health Office.  
  • COVID-19 Acknowledgement, Awareness, and Agreement

    The highest priority of The Country School is the safety of its students, employees and visitors. I know that by attending classes and engaging in School activities on and off campus I may be exposed to COVID-19 and other infections. I also understand that despite all reasonable efforts by The Country School, my child/children and I can still contract COVID-19 and other infections. In order to reduce my risk, I agree to be an active participant in maintaining my own health, wellbeing and safety, as well as the safety of others, by following all of the guidelines and expectations outlined by The Country School. 

    I understand that COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus and it is possible to be exposed to the virus even if I follow all of the safety precautions recommended by The Country School and by the CDC, local and State health officials, and others. I understand there is no known way to make me completely safe from COVID-19 or other infections.

    I have read, understand, and agree to comply with all of the School’s, CDC’s and health officials’ expectations. 

    As more information is gathered and known, I understand The Country School may modify these guidelines and expectations. It is my responsibility to make every effort to keep myself informed of changes and updates to protect myself and The Country School community.
  • COVID Health Policy and Procedures

    Updated 8.4.21
    As there is currently no cure for the Covid-19 virus, it is critical to minimize transmission. The following procedures, in accordance with evolving medical recommendations, will be followed at The Country School and are subject to revision based on additional scientific knowledge and research:
     
    1. The entire Country School community’s participation is crucial to the school’s ability to provide in-person classes and to protect all students, employees, and family members. Faculty, staff and students must check every morning for any symptoms of Covid and remain home for any ill symptoms or if they are under consideration for having COVID-19. In addition, the Health Office must be notified of any symptoms or possible COVID-19 exposures. When notifying the school about an absence, please report symptoms (if applicable) and whether or not students will participate in Country Connected Distance Learning for the day. The Country School Health Office-Parent Agreement form linked here must be signed and on file for all students. Possible symptoms of COVID-19 are listed on this document. Like last year, we ask parents to continue to monitor their child daily for symptoms at home, but unlike last year, there is no need to submit a daily screening through SchoolDoc.
    2. Although the safety policy may change throughout the year based on circumstances, to begin the year, everyone is required to wear a face mask on campus when indoors. Faculty, staff, and students will not be required to wear a mask when they are having lunch, which will occur with physical distancing and outdoors unless weather precludes. To begin the year, masks will not be needed outdoors except in designated close contact situations. We encourage families to find a mask that their child is comfortable wearing. 
    3. Students will be required to wash their hands upon arrival at school, before lunch and snack breaks, and when returning from outdoor play.
    4. The Health Office has been partitioned into two distinct treatment areas: one for those exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 (that area has a separate door for student entry and pick-up); and one for those with routine health concerns and injuries.  
    5. Illnesses and injuries will be assessed within the Health Office. Based on presentation, medical history and clinical judgement, recommendations regarding the plan of care will be made on a case-by case basis.
    6. For those symptomatic:
      1. Faculty and staff must leave campus immediately and are asked to contact their physician regarding a plan of care for any symptoms of COVID-19 (which may include a phone call, telemedicine, an office visit and/or testing).
      2. Parents/guardians must come to campus within 45 minutes to take their symptomatic child home to pursue medical advice with their health care provider. Parents must wear masks when picking up children. Parents are asked to contact their pediatrician regarding a plan of care for any symptoms of COVID-19 (which may include a phone call, telemedicine, an office visit and/or testing).
    7. Regardless of vaccination status, anyone with possible COVID-19 symptoms (identified before school or during school hours) may return to campus by fulfilling at least one of the following:
      1. A note from a physician clearing the individual for return to campus, once symptoms improve. The note must attest to and document a medical condition unrelated to COVID-19. Health care provider contact information must be included.
      2. A negative COVID-19 test result shared with the Health Office and improvement of symptoms. Please do not return to campus if any COVID-19 test results are pending.
      3. Satisfying the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for return after a positive test: No fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medicines (acetaminophen or ibuprofen), improvement of symptoms, and at least 10 days from symptom onset.
      4. If no testing is done (or a doctor’s clearance note is not obtained), the school will assume COVID-19 is present. The individual must follow the procedure for return after a positive test as above.
    8. Asymptomatic household members may attend school and/or stay in school (depending on when the symptoms of a symptomatic sibling are identified) until there is medical clarity about the symptomatic individual. If the symptomatic individual tests positive for COVID-19, any and all household members must quarantine.
    9. The Country School will follow the Addendum 5: Interim Guidelines for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios in Connecticut School Districts as outlined by The Connecticut State Department of Education and The Connecticut Department of Public Health. Please review the various scenarios and corresponding guidelines, especially those pertaining to close contacts and isolation/quarantine procedures. (To read the detailed Addendum 5, look under Information Links on this Hub.)
    10. If a community member who has been on campus tests positive for COVID-19, that case will be reported to the Madison Town Health Office as required by law, and the school will work with town authorities and our consulting pediatrician to address risk assessment. Any positive COVID-19 test will be shared with our families by our notification system.
    11. If there is a probable case of COVID-19, it will be discussed with The Madison Town Health Office and our consulting pediatrician. Decisions regarding quarantine and/or campus closure will be made on a case-by-case basis. 
    12. We will be guided by local authorities and the DPH to determine whether individuals  with a family member or close contact positive for COVID-19 will need to stay home and follow quarantine procedures. This will depend on vaccination status and updated policies.
    13. We strive to protect confidentiality of students and families and ask that, apart from assisting the public health departments with contact tracing, all families and employees do the same.
  • COVID-19 Status Indicators and Directives

    Updated 8.6.21
    • Diagnosis of COVID-19
    • Isolation for a minimum of 10 days
      • Diagnosis based on a positive test, no symptoms
        • Isolate for 10 days from the positive test
        • No test required to end isolation
      • Diagnosis based on a positive test, symptoms present 
      • Isolate for 10 days from the date of the onset of symptoms
        • Isolation ends after 10 days plus 24 hours after resolution of fever (absent without the use of medications) and other symptoms improving (not including loss of taste and smell which may persist for weeks)
        • No test required to end isolation
    • For sports and physical education and similar programs requiring exertion, a medical note of clearance is required at The Country School (see American Academy of Pediatrics statement, partially quoted below)
    • Close Contact i.e. formal notification or definite diagnosis of Close Contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
    • Students seated 3 feet apart in a classroom setting do not need to quarantine if exposed to a positive case if other mitigation strategies are in place (masks). This only applies to students.
    • The definition of Close Contact has evolved and could continue to change. To begin the fall, students seated three feet apart in a classroom setting do not need to quarantine if exposed to a positive case if masks were being worn inside and the customary campus mitigation tactics were in place. This applies only to students, not adults.
    • A person who is designated as a Close Contact is required to Quarantine for a minimum of 14 days
      • The purpose of quarantine is to protect the exposed person from unwittingly transmitting the infection to others during a pre-symptomatic phase of infection or asymptomatic infection
      • There is no option at this time to test out of this type of quarantine 
    • Quarantine ends 14 days after last close contact with the index case
      • For a household member of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 that is not able to adequately separate, the 14-day “quarantine clock” does not start until the person diagnosed with COVID-19 ends their time of isolation
    • For schools, sports/arts activities, and other programs, a medical note of clearance to return may help to reduce uncertainty about readiness for return

    • Contact of a Contact
    • Defined here as a person that is a close contact of someone who has had known exposure to a third person known to be infected with COVID-19
      • The person known to be infected with COVID-19 is known as the “index case”
      • The person that has known exposure to the index case is a “Close Contact”
    • In certain circumstances, self-quarantine may be prudent
      • High probability that the Close Contact is infected or will become infected
        • The Close Contact has symptoms
        • The Close Contact has a high level of exposure to the index case
        • The Close Contact is awaiting test results that are expected to be positive
      • High probability that the Contact of a Contact will share the status of the Close Contact 
        • Very close contact e.g. household member, carpool member, other extended close contact
    • In most cases, a Contact of a Contact does not need to quarantine.
      • In the current climate, we are all on the verge of being identified as contacts of a contact
      • Unfortunately, this means that wider, broader activity restrictions are likely on the near horizon
    From American Academy of Pediatrics “COVID-19 Interim Guidance: Return to Sports”

    “Because of the growing literature about the relationship between COVID-19 and myocarditis, all children and adolescents with exposure to SARS-CoV-2, regardless of symptoms, require a minimum 14-day resting period and must be asymptomatic for more than 14 days before returning to exercise and/or competition. Because of the limited information on COVID-19 and exercise, the AAP strongly encourages that all patients with COVID-19 be cleared for participation by their primary care physician. The focus of their return to participation screening should be for cardiac symptoms, including but not limited to chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitations, or syncope. 

    All individuals with a history of a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2 should have a gradual return to physical activity. If primary care physicians have any questions regarding their patients’ readiness to return to competition, they should not hesitate to consult with and refer individuals to the appropriate pediatric medical subspecialist.”
  • Distance Learning Protocols and Agreements

    Updated 8.3.21

     
    Country Connected distance learning at The Country School is designed for students who require to be out of school due to reasons related to COVID-19. Managing distance learners while also managing learners in the classroom is demanding on our teachers. Therefore, we will be able to provide the distance learning opportunity for the following reasons only:

    • The student is required to quarantine because a member of their family or cohort has tested positive for COVID-19. 
    • The student has COVID-19 symptoms and is awaiting test results and clearance from their pediatrician.
    • The student is living out of the state or the country.
    • The student has to quarantine after having visited a "hot state." 
    • Please note: 
      • Country Connected distance learning is not an option for students who leave early for any non-COVID-19 circumstance. 
      • Country Connected is not for students who choose not to wear a mask.
    • Classroom teachers typically need 24 hours to prepare materials for new Country Connected distance learners.
  • Mask Policy

    • Everyone is required to wear a face mask on campus when inside, regardless of vaccination status.
    • Students will not be required to wear a mask when they are having lunch, which will be distanced and outdoors (weather permitting).
    • There will be designated occasions when students might be required to wear masks outside when safe distance for prolonged periods cannot be assured. 
    • Whether wearing a mask or not, maintaining a three-foot distance is our gold standard.
    • Masks can be removed for snack and lunch only when students are more than three feet apart and stationary.
     
    We encourage parents/guardians to find a comfortable mask for their child. Gaiters, fleece, masks with vents or valves and bandanas will not be considered acceptable mask protection.
  • Student Dress Code for 2021-22

    2021-22 MODIFIED DRESS CODE DURING COVID
    Please note: This dress code is subject to revision.
    • Students are encouraged to wear 
      • TCS spiritwear
      • Clothing without rips or frays
      • Only solid color T-shirts or simple patterns without tie dye
      • Only clothing without advertisements
      • Clothing with appropriate coverage (no spaghetti straps, no midriffs showing and appropriate length)
      • Denim will be allowed if students find that comfortable and it is not ripped or frayed
      • Items from our regular dress code are still allowed, of course
    • Periodically throughout the 2021-22 school year, students will be required to wear regular dress or formal dress code attire. (see below)
    • Wearable technology is not allowed at school.
    USUAL DRESS CODE DURING NON-COVID TIMES
    Boys and Girls
    • Pants, including non athletic style leggings, shorts, dress, skirt (shorts, dresses and skirts should cover 6-7 inches on the upper thigh). 
    • Collared shirt with collar visible, or blouses long enough to provide appropriate coverage of torso and covers area from one armpit across to the other armpit. If the blouse could be considered more of a t-shirt style please use this guide: the crew neck style must be a solid color (no images or writing), non athletic style. 
    • Shoes or sneakers
    PreSchool and PreKindergarten
    • School dress should be comfortable and practical. 
    • Avoid complicated fastenings. 
    • Tops with drawstrings can be dangerous and not acceptable. 
    • Sneakers and closed-toed shoes are best.

    Dress Up Attire
    • Dress shirt and tie, dress pants, dress shoes (no sneakers).
    • Blouse with pants/skirt, or dress (appropriate length). No strapless, no spaghetti straps (wear cardigan if needed), dress shoes.
    Unacceptable Attire 
    • Wearable technology.
    • Athletic wear, including sweatpants, yoga pants, workout leggings, sweatshirts, warm-ups, and athletic pants. Country School sweatshirts are allowed.
    • Cargo pants
    • T-shirts - even Country School t-shirts
    • Spaghetti straps or tank tops
    • Denim or camouflage clothing 
    • Hats and jackets indoors 
    • Any clothing that is torn or in disrepair 
    • Flip-flop style shoes or shoes without a back 
    • Clothing with writing or large logos
    • Clothing with offensive images or language
    • Clothing advocating violence or the use of alcohol or drugs

    Spiritwear 
    Students must wear something that says TCS or The Country School on Spiritwear Days.

    Purchasing
    To make life and purchasing a little easier, clothing items that follow our dress code are available at Tommy Hilfiger and Lands’ End and are linked to our school store The Roost
  • Supply Lists - 2021-22

    PreSchool - 8th Grade
    • All students will need to come to school wearing a mask. 
      • Families should have a few at home so that the masks can be washed frequently. 
      • Students should have two extra masks in a small baggie for safe keeping in the backpack. 
    • Many students make trips to the Health Office for items like lip balm, hand cream, an extra hair tie, or a nail file. Please consider your child’s needs and send them in with any items they might need so that we can reduce traffic to the Health Office.  
    2nd-8th Grade
    • Camp Chair
    5th Grade
      • Sticky notes
        • 3"x5", 100 ct
        • 3" x 3" yellow, single pad. 
    • Sharpie ultra fine markers - 8 pk.
    • Pencil case, nylon - metal grommets for binder
    • Pens - black and blue
    • Highlighters (3 different colors)
    • Subject dividers, 8 slot, colored tabs 
    • 2” 3-ring zipper binder  (no accordion style in the binder; 
    • Index cards 3" x 5" ruled, 100 ct. 
    • Notebook paper for binder, 150 ct. 
    • Prisma pre-sharpened colored pencils, 24 ct. (recommended brand due to vibrancy of color; pricey so another brand may be substituted) 
    • Pencils, 12 ct. yellow #2, sharpened 
    • Hand sanitizer
    6th - 8th Grade

    Most Middle School students bring their own tech device to school. If your student needs to borrow a Chromebook from the school, please email joseph.lamacchia@thecountryschool.org. Devices must be fully charged each evening. Chargers may be brought to school but experience shows that they sometimes get left behind so be sure to label them. Making sure it’s charged each evening is key.
    • Sticky notes
      • 3"x5", 100 ct
      • 3" x 3" yellow, single pad. 
    • Ruler, 12"/30 cm 
    • Protractor, 6" clear
    • Scientific calculator - write your name on the back 
    • Sharpie 
      • ultra fine (black and colored) 
      • fine markers (colored) 
    • Pencil case, Nylon - metal grommets for binder
    • Writing Utensils
      • Pens - black and blue
      • Pencils
        • 24 ct. yellow #2, pre-sharpened
        • Colored pre-sharpened pencils, 24 ct.
        • Eraser or eraser caps
      • Highlighters   
    • A 2" 3-ring binder for all subjects
    • Subject dividers, 8 slot, colored tabs 
    • Index cards, 3" x 5" ruled, 100 ct. 
    • Paper
      • Wide ruled paper, 150 ct, three-hole punched
      • 4x4 ruled, 3-hole punched graph paper
    • Composition book  (need one for history, one for English, and one for French or Spanish, but Senora and Madame will give you the one you had last year so only get one if you are new to French or Spanish or new to the school)
    • Daily Homework Planner
    • Safety goggles with splash guard (can purchase at Walmart, Home Depot, etc) 
    • Hand sanitizer - personal one that is easily accessible in a lunch box perhaps. School will have some, as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 6 items.

  • Are parents allowed indoors or on campus this year?

    Unless positivity rates locally and within Connecticut take a substantial turn for the worst, we look forward to welcoming parents onto the campus (any time outside but, for now, not inside buildings) and giving families a chance to be together, safely distanced, to celebrate the achievements and growth of their children. 
  • How do we make our decisions?

    The health and well-being of our community is our highest priority. In an effort to protect our students and adults and to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the burden on medical facilities, we will follow the guidelines set by local and national authorities. This is an evolving situation that we will constantly revisit to make the best informed choices for our community.
  • What are the expectations of students if we return to distance learning?

    Students are required to be fully engaged in their coursework by:
    • Participating in distance-learning classes for 5th Grade and Middle School students online courses during their regularly scheduled class times or asynchronously as directed by the teacher,
    • Completing assigned work packets for 4th Grade and younger students,
    • Completing all assignments and projects just as they normally would,
    • Responding to emails,
    • Committing to being flexible to this temporary learning experience.
     
  • What do students need if distance learning is required?

    All students will need time and space to focus on their daily learning experiences. Older students will need a computer with audio and video capability as well as a secure and reliable Internet connection. If your family is unable to accommodate a remote learning environment for your child, please contact John Fixx, Head of School, who will work with Bill Leidt, Director of Technology, to ensure your child is appropriately equipped.
  • How can I access books when libraries and bookstores are closed?

    • Free audible books for children-teens, including classics.
    • LION/Overdrive/Libby:
    • Love Your Local (online):
    • Remember what might already be in your home:
      • You might have books sitting on shelves that you’ve always meant to read but passed over. Your parents might have books that they’d recommend that you’re now old enough to really appreciate. Or, you might have a few favorite books that you’d like to re-read and get to know even better.
  • Can my child have playdates or do schoolwork with friends?

    Be mindful that children are vectors (they spread the disease) and are not usually victims. It is, therefore, important that your child maintain social distancing while out of school. Schools are closed so the children are not in close proximity to each other.

    Please avoid social situations.

Distance Learning

List of 2 items.

Parents to Children

List of 4 items.

Wellness Resources

List of 1 items.

341 Opening Hill Road, Madison, CT 06443
P. 203-421-3113  |  F. 203-421-4390  |  Health Office F. 860-469-2550
Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child.