Country Connected Distance 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.

Return to School Information

List of 8 items.

  • Travel Policy

    Updated 4.29.21
    Going forward, The Country School will follow Connecticut Travel Recommendations. 
    We trust our families and employees to act in a safe manner and select distance learning if they feel it's appropriate.

    • 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.  
    • We will happily coordinate distance learning for any students who select quarantine, and truly appreciate families' careful consideration to continue to keep our school safe. 

  • 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. If I cannot or choose not to comply with these expectations, I understand that my family can choose or be required to take advantage of distance learning during the time of COVID-19.

    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 or updates to protect myself and The Country School community.
  • COVID Health Policy and Procedures

    Updated 4.1.21

    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. Parent and guardian participation is crucial to the school’s ability to provide in-person classes and to protect all students, employees, and family members. Parents and guardians must agree to check students for fevers every morning and keep them home for any ill symptoms or if they are under consideration for having COVID-19. In addition, parents and guardians must inform the school Health Office 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.
    2. Everyone is required to wear a face mask on campus. Students will not be required to wear a mask when they are having lunch and are properly physically distanced. There will be outdoor “supervised mask breaks.”  We encourage families to find a mask that their child is comfortable wearing. Gators, fleece, bandanas, face shields, and masks with valves are inadequate and unacceptable mask protection. 
    3. Students will be required to wash their hands upon arrival at school, before lunch and snack breaks, and when returning from outdoor play. Please share one or both of these videos on proper handwashing with your child or children and continue practicing at home:  Fight Germs. Wash Your Hands!   Good Health and Hand Washing
    4. The Student Health Office has been partitioned into two distinct treatment areas: one for students exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 (that area has a separate door for student entry and pick-up); and one for students with other, 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. 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. Students 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 student 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 student must follow the procedure for return after a positive test as above.
    8. Asymptomatic siblings 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 sibling. If the symptomatic sibling tests positive for COVID-19, any and all siblings must quarantine.
    9. If a student tests positive, all close contacts are required to quarantine for 14 days (even if a COVID-19 test is negative). Testing close contacts is helpful for contact tracing purposes but will not make a difference in how long close contacts are required to quarantine (14 days). Any positive COVID-19 test will be shared with our families by our notification system.
    10. If a student who has been on campus tests positive for COVID-19, it 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 and determine the necessary amount of time campus should be closed while the school temporarily converts to Country Connected Distance Learning. At this time, for example, CDC recommends at least 2-5 days for campus closure to facilitate contact tracing and cleaning. 
    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. Students with a family member or close contact positive for COVID-19 will need to stay home and follow quarantine procedures. 
    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 November 16, 2020
    COVID-19 Status Indicators and Directives
    November 16, 2020

    • Diagnosis of COVID-19
      • Isolation for a minimum of 10 days
        • Diagnosis based on a positive test, no symptoms at time of testing
          • Isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive test
          • Isolation ends after 10 days plus 24 hours after resolution of fever (absent without the use of medications) and other symptoms improving
          • No test required to end isolation
        • Diagnosis based on a positive test, symptoms present before testing
          • 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 schools, sports/arts activities, and other programs, a medical note of clearance is probably advisable (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
      • The definition of Close Contact is being within 6 feet of someone for over 15 minutes (cumulative over 24 hours) with or without a mask
      • 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 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 have their access to be restricted
          • 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
      • This is rapidly changing arena
      • I recommend that individuals be expected to notify the school, sports/arts activities, or other program of their recent travel
      • Consider expecting a 14-day time at home before continuation of school etc. after such travel

    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 >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 11/18/20

    Country Connected distance learning at The Country School is designed for students who need 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:

    • Permanent or long-term distance learning is a decision made by the family for their child’s education during the pandemic.
    • 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. 

    Classroom teachers and distance learning coordinators will need at least 24 hours notice to prepare materials for new Country Connected distance learners.
  • Mask Policy

    1. Everyone is required to wear a face mask on campus.
    2. Students will not be required to wear a mask when they are having lunch and are properly physically distanced.
    3. There will be outdoor “supervised mask breaks.”
    4. Whether wearing a mask or not, maintaining a six-foot distance is our gold standard.
    5. Masks can be removed when students are more than 6 feet apart and stationary.

    We encourage parents/guardians to find a comfortable mask for their child. Gators, fleece, masks with vents or valves and bandanas will not be considered acceptable mask protection.
  • Student Dress Code for 2020-21

    To facilitate laundering rather than expensive dry cleaning at the end of the day, to minimize or eliminate the need for back to school clothes shopping, and to make it more comfortable to wear masks and engage in learning outdoors more often this year, we met with our Elmore Student Leaders to adjust our regular dress code for this year to allow our students and our teachers to wear clothing that they find presentable and comfortable.
    • 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
    • On special occasions students will be required to wear regular dress or asked to wear regular dress code or even formal dress code clothing.
    Please note: This dress code is subject to revision.
  • Supply Lists - 2020-2021

    All Country School Students PreS - Grade 8 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 the backpack in case something happens to the one that is being worn. We recommend keeping masks in a small baggie for safe keeping. The neck gaiter/buff style masks, while popular in the summer, do not seem to be as highly reviewed or recommended as the three-ply cloth, KN95, and N95 masks. If you can feel your breath through your mask (or blow out a candle) when you exhale, the mask is not appropriate for school.

    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. Any student presenting to the Health Office in need of a throat lozenge will be assessed for a sore throat and potentially COVID-19.

    Camp Chair 2nd - 8th Grade
    In an earlier communication we suggested that students bring in beach chairs. After discussion with faculty, instead we are asking students to use a camp chair, which is lighter to carry and folds up easily. Use this as your guide; be sure the chair your purchase is sturdy enough for your child’s height and weight.

    2nd Grade
    • Please label all supplies with the child’s name on front
    • Hardcover pencil box (that can be disinfected)
    • 2 boxes of pencils, 12 ct. yellow #2, pre-sharpened
    • 1 box colored of pencils
    • 1 box of crayons
    • 1 box of markers
    • 2 marble composition notebooks
    • 3 sturdy 2-pocket folders
    • 1 large glue stick
    • 1 package loose leaf notebook paper - wide ruled
    • Sticky notes 3" x 3", single pad
    • 1 inch 3-ring binder
    • 1 sturdy 2-pocket folder for homework, labeled with name on front
    • Camp chair, see above

    3rd Grade
    • Hardcover pencil box- Please label with child’s name
    • 2 boxes of pencils, 12 ct. yellow #2, pre-sharpened
    • 1 box of colored pencils
    • 1 box of crayons
    • 1 box of markers
    • Sticky notes 3" x 3", single pad
    • 1 marble composition notebook
    • 1 package loose leaf notebook paper - wide ruled
    • 1 inch 3-ring binder (1)
    • 1 sturdy 2-pocket folder for homework labeled, with name on front
    • Camp chair, see above

    4th Grade
    • 1 inch 3-ring binder
    • 2 pencil cases- one hard box type, one soft with holes for binder
    • 2 boxes of pencils, 12 ct. yellow #2, pre-sharpened
    • 1 package of loose leaf notebook paper - wide ruled
    • 2 marble composition books
    • 2 sturdy pocket folders
    • Thin whiteboard markers
    • White high-polymer eraser
    • Protractor
    • 1 pair of elementary scissors kept in your pencil case
    • 1 box of colored pencils
    • 1 small box- thick Crayola washable markers
    • Camp chair, see above

    5th Grade
    • Sticky notes, 3"x5", 100 count
    • Ruler, 12"/30 cm
    • Sticky notes 3" x 3" yellow, single pad
    • Sharpie ultra fine markers - 8 pk
    • Pencil case, nylon - metal grommets for binder
    • Pens - black and blue
    • Magic Rub eraser- white high polymer eraser
    • Subject dividers, 8 slot, colored tabs
    • 2” 3-ring binder
    • Index cards 3" x 5" ruled, 100 ct.
    • Wide ruled paper, 150 ct.
    • Prisma pre-sharpened colored pencils, 24 ct.
    • Pencils, 12 ct. yellow #2, pre-sharpened
    • Composition notebook
    • Composition notebook for French - plus one extra for Global Language
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Masks - we are asking kids to wear one and have two spare in their bags in a small baggie
    • Scissors
    • Camp chair, see above

    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 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
    • Subject dividers, 8 slot, colored tabs
    • 3-ring binders
      • 2" binder for math
      • 2” binder for all other subjects
      • 1” binder for 7th and 8th history that will stay in school
    • Index cards, 3" x 5" ruled, 100 ct.
    • Paper
      • Wide ruled paper, 150 ct, three-hole punched
      • 4x4 ruled, 3-hole punched graph paper
      • Construction paper, assorted colors
    • Composition book (need one for history, one for English 7-8, 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
    • Camp chair, see above
    • 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.
    • Masks - we are asking kids to wear one and have two spare in their bags in a small baggie

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 6 items.

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.