2020-2021 Reopening Plans

Health Protocols

The Health and Safety Committee has worked tirelessly to create extensive health protocols for Charles River School. Each protocol follows the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). By adopting the most conservative approach to reopening, the goal is to do our best to mitigate the risk of transmission.
Below, you will find an overview of each protocol. As information and guidelines continue to change, these protocols will be updated as needed. Click here to read the full version of the "CRS COVID-19 Health Protocols."

List of 16 frequently asked questions.

  • Introduction provided by the Health and Safety Committee

    In the CRS COVID protocols that follow, the Health and Safety (H&S) Committee aims to present the best evidence and guideline-based practices to optimize the health and safety of the CRS community, both the students and faculty, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The H&S Committee is a committee of dedicated current and former parents, trustees, and faculty, including administration, classroom teachers, specialists, and our school nurse. Many of these protocols advise measures thought to significantly decrease the likelihood of person-to-person transmission of coronavirus at school. While we recognize that no measures can completely eliminate risk, we feel that we can meaningfully reduce and mitigate these risks with the successful implementation of these recommendations.  
    The committee's goals are to promote the individual health of our community members, as well as the health of our community as a whole. Related to this, it is important to note that one of the main responsibilities of the H&S Committee is determining if the overall risk is mitigated to a degree that in-person learning is possible (see Protocol #10: Assessment of Risk of In-person Learning). In addition, H&S can advise on hybrid models - specifically if and how various models may impact the health and safety of our students and teachers in the event that this assessment is relevant.  
    In writing these protocols, we were driven by the major guidelines for schools issued to date (see: REFERENCE LIST). In addition, we used the medical and scientific literature as needed when determining how best to mitigate risk to our community. This committee has been meeting frequently since March. It is the committee’s hope that our in-depth discussions are translated into these protocols in their detail, the focus on the physical health and safety of our students, teachers, and all community members, as well as consideration of the CRS culture.
    It is also important to emphasize that this committee realized early in this planning process that we needed to work collaboratively with CRS’ Programming Committee so that the practical application of protocol components was considered, in addition to our students’ educational experience and our teachers’ work environment. There have also been many instances when programming and teachers have highlighted specific in-school scenarios that need H&S consideration in the context of this pandemic. This has allowed for H&S to proactively advise on measures that will minimize risk in each specific scenario; H&S has incorporated all of this scenario-specific guidance into the relevant protocol.
    We also realize the need to consider our community’s social and emotional health during this pandemic. The bulk of our committee's effort is in considering the physical health of our community members. However, there are often social and emotional considerations explored by the H&S committee. These discussions are guided by a separate Social and Emotional Committee to advise CRS during this pandemic through their specific lens.
    We realize that these protocols lay the foundation for COVID practices at CRS when students and teachers return to in-person learning. The H&S members are committed to continued review and incorporation of any information that will promote the well-being of the CRS community. We also realize communication of these protocols is an important first step. Next, we need to support CRS to continue to implement the guidance outlined in these protocols. We aim to continue to work collaboratively with faculty and advise on programming approaches, facilities changes, and essential communications. Importantly, we hope to advise on how to educate our families, students, and teachers on the CRS COVID H&S practices outlined in these protocols.
    We end with a reiteration of the acknowledgment that we know there aren’t measures we can advise to completely eliminate risk as it relates to coronavirus during in-person learning, however, we are trying to do everything possible to mitigate risk to the greatest extent possible. As you know, this pandemic is an evolving and constantly changing situation.  Our committee will aim to stay up to date with all school guidance and relevant public health data related to COVID-19.  We will listen to feedback based on faculty experience implementing CRS’ COVID practices.  And, we are willing to adapt our protocols as needed to best serve the health and safety of the CRS community.
    Thank you,
    The CRS H&S Committee
  • Protocol 1: Masks

    All students and faculty are expected to wear masks at school. Masks should meet the following criteria:
    • Use a well-fitting mask that covers the nose and mouth. For best fit, the mask should go under the chin and should be held in place behind the ears or tied in the back of the head so that it fits snugly with the sides of the face.
    • A manufactured disposable mask is acceptable if it meets the above criteria and a new mask can be used each day.
    • Fabric masks should be ideally three-ply of at least a medium weight fabric (if using a three-ply mask isn’t possible, at least two-ply is required). Please avoid the use of porous fabrics as they are likely less effective in preventing the transmission of coronavirus.
    Bandanas and neck “buffs” are not allowed at this time. In addition, the CDC advises against the use of surgical masks or respirators/N95 masks in the school setting as they are to be used by frontline workers.

    Per the CDC, on how to wear your mask correctly:
    1. Wash your hands before putting on your mask.
    2. Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
    3. Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
    4. Make sure you can breathe easily.
    Fabric masks must be washed after one day of use before they can be worn again to school. They should be washed according to CDC rules here: CDC - how to wash a mask.
  • Protocol 2: Hand Hygiene 

    The CDC recommends hand washing to reduce infection transmission. Handwashing with soap and water is the recommended method of hand hygiene.
    1. Wet hands with clean running water, then apply soap.
    2. Lather hands by rubbing them together with the soap, making sure to lather the fronts and backs of hands, between fingers, and under fingernails.
    3. Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds (hum the “Happy Birthday" song twice).
    4. Rinse hands well under clean running water.
    5. Dry hands with a paper towel.
    6. Use a paper towel to turn off faucets.
    Alcohol-based hand sanitizers: If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers (with at least 60% alcohol or at least 70% isopropanol) are an effective alternative for cleaning hands and are recommended by CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
    1. Apply the gel, liquid, or foam to the palm of one hand.
    2. Rub hands together.
    3. Rub the gel, liquid, or foam over all the surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.
    4. Student use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers should always be supervised by an adult.
    Considering both the CDC and MA DESE guidelines, the CRS day is planned such that students and faculty perform hand hygiene upon arrival to school, before and after snack, before and after lunch, before and after mask breaks, after recess, after PE (for students) and after using the toilet/bathroom. Additional times may be required.
  • Protocol 3: Cleaning and Disinfecting 

    Using the Health and Safety Committee’s understanding of coronavirus from the scientific literature, our goal for this protocol will be to outline cleaning and disinfecting procedures that are best for CRS. They will promote the health and safety of the community and outline cleaning and disinfecting procedures that reasonably can be practiced at our school. 

    High touch surfaces in common areas and classrooms will be cleaned three times during a full school day (mid-morning, mid-day, and mid-afternoon).
    Special Considerations:
    • Desks can be cleaned and disinfected daily during the school day if only one person is using the desk but they must be cleaned and disinfected if there is a new user. Desks must be disinfected before and after meals in the classroom.
    • Electronics must be cleaned between use if different users are handling the devices.
    • Frequently touched surfaces made of plastic and metal on playground equipment should be listed on the high touch list. Unlike other indoor high touch surfaces, they should be cleaned and disinfected at the start of the school day and disinfected (cleaned if surface dirt noted) after each unique cohort uses the equipment.
    DESE states that library books can be checked out if students clean their hands before and after book selection and only select books from shelves (not from the return area) and that books do not need additional cleaning procedures.  

    The CRS librarian, Karen Pratt, has developed a thoughtful process for students to access physical library books. Because library books cannot be cleaned or disinfected, the protocol describes a 72-hour book quarantine for returned books.  
  • Protocol 4: Physical Distancing

    According to the AAP, “Physical distancing, sometimes referred to as social distancing, is simply the act of keeping people separated with the goal of limiting the spread of contagion between individuals. It is fundamental to lowering the risk of spread of SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus), as the primary mode of transmission is through respiratory droplets by persons in close proximity.”

    Physical Distancing at CRS:
    • Students and faculty will aim to be at least six feet apart from one another at all times to the greatest extent possible.
    • Per DESE: Aim for a physical distance of six feet when feasible, and three feet is the minimum distance allowed. Thus, there may be scenarios when three feet of physical distancing is required. In the event that physical distancing between students is decreased to three feet, it is important to note: three feet is the minimum, masks MUST be worn, and teachers are still advised to remain at least six feet from students and other faculty. 
    • Physical distancing is important for student-student and student-faculty but physical distancing between adults (faculty-parent, faculty-faculty interaction) is especially important. 
    • Parents are discouraged from entering any school building. Parents/visitors who must enter school buildings will be required to comply with school protocols including physical distancing.
    • Modifying Layouts: 
    1. In the classroom: seating/desks are spaced at least 6 feet apart. 
    2. Each cohort has its own learning space that will allow 6’ distancing between cohort members
    • Notes on specific spaces:
      • One-way hallways are especially important for small hallways. We have placed physical guides, such as tape, signs, or “footprints”, on floors and sidewalks to indicate one-way routes.
      • Like hallways, some stairwells are also one-directional. 
      • Lockers and Cubbies are assigned by cohort. Students do not share cubbies or lockers.
    • Mask breaks: during structured mask breaks and while eating, 6’ distancing is minimum
    • Recess: students should maintain social distancing at recess. If students are wearing masks and outside, then students practicing 3 to 6 feet physical distancing is reasonable given unstructured play and overall risk.  
    CRS Comfort protocol:
    There are some scenarios that may require interacting with a student at less than 6’ of physical distancing. Examples include a child who is having difficulty or a child who needs assistance in the bathroom. Faculty have received guidance from the Health and Safety Committee about how to proceed in safely comforting a child.
  • Protocol 5: Cohort and Contact Tracing 

    Cohorting is defined by the CDC as "identifying small groups and keeping them together." Cohorting limits the risk from coronavirus at school because an infected community member would be in potential close contact with fewer students and faculty. In addition, in the event a student or faculty member is to be diagnosed with COVID-19, cohorting allows CRS to perform it’s own contact tracing procedures.  
    • Individual CRS cohorts aim to not mix with other cohorts during the school day. However, if cohort mixing would benefit the students’ educational or social and emotional well-being, a maximum of two cohorts may mix on a case-by-case basis. This mixing must occur outdoors and masks and physical distancing must be maintained.
    • An example where mixing of two cohorts may be beneficial is mixing the two grade cohorts outside so that students are able to spend time with their entire class.
    • Bathrooms: 
    1. Cohorts use a cohort-assigned bathroom.  
    2. School bathrooms are assigned to as few cohorts as possible.
    3. Frequent bathroom cleaning and disinfection is a high priority.
    • Contact Tracing Logs are recorded for student cohorts and all individual faculty. In addition, a master cohort log is maintained by the school nurse. 
    • For a variety of reasons, student cohort re-assignment may be necessary. If a student is to be reassigned to another cohort, this change will be made after a weekend or other school break of at least 48 hours.
    • Car Pooling: We strongly advise families that only CRS household members commute together to and from school. However, if an essential worker requires their student to arrive or be picked up by carpool, please let the school know so we can track it on our master contact tracing log.
    Contact Tracing
    A COVID diagnosis in a CRS student or faculty member would initiate CRS contact tracing centered around that individual. This is separate from the contact tracing process that would be performed by the individual's home town public health department at that time. 

    The current definition of close contacts:
    • Being within less than 6 feet of COVID-19 case for at least 10-15 minutes while the case was symptomatic or within the 48 hours before symptom onset (Thus, in school settings, close contacts include other students and staff who were within 6 feet of the individual diagnosed for at least 10-15 minutes in a classroom, in other school spaces, on the bus, or at an extracurricular activity), OR
    • Having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment,
    • In the school setting, all members of a cohort in self-contained indoor classrooms for an extended period are considered “close contacts” if another member of their cohort is to be diagnosed with COVID-19, regardless of compliance with 6’ social distancing among cohort members.
    Returning to school after close contact requiring quarantine:
    • Students and faculty identified as close contacts of a COVID-19+ individual at CRS, must “quarantine” and per DESE can return to school after a negative test or 14-day quarantine, if they do not have symptoms.  
    The Dover DPH may require strict 14-day quarantine (without the option of being able to return to school after a negative test) as this is consistent with MA DPH guidelines. Our school nurse is collaborating with the Dover DPH and we will update this protocol.
  • Protocol 6: Indoor Air Quality & HVAC

    Although there is an agreement that the main mode of transmission of coronavirus is by large droplet transmission through interacting with an infected person at a close distance, small droplet transmission may also play a role in coronavirus transmission. The risk of contracting coronavirus by small droplet transmission likely increases when indoors with an infected individual for an extended period of time.
    Increase Ventilation

    • Outdoor spaces: The most straightforward approach is to utilize outdoor spaces as they are the most well-ventilated spaces. While weather permitted this fall, we designated and integrated outdoor spaces to the greatest extent possible for students and teachers throughout the school day.
    • Open classroom windows and doors: to the greatest extent possible as long as doing so does not pose a safety or health risk
    • We are also working to optimize mechanical ventilation indoors. More information about these efforts is forthcoming (Updated 1/1/2021)
    In addition, we are optimizing air filtration, reducing recirculating air, and investigating HVAC systems inspections and modifications. Again, more details forthcoming (1/1/2021)
  • Protocol 7: Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

    Pre-Arrival Screen for Faculty and Students
    Per DESE: “Checking for symptoms each morning by families and caregivers is critical and will serve as the primary screening mechanism for COVID-19 symptoms.”

    CRS uses the app MyMedBot to screen our students and faculty members prior to arrival at school each day.

    • Faculty and students who pass the screening will have a GREEN “ticket” (dated with the individual's name) appear on their smartphone.  This “ticket” must be shown at drop off by the caregiver or faculty member prior to entry into school.
    Arrival/Drop off Procedures:   
    • For those with their green ticket ready on their smartphone, signage will guide cars to safe curbside drop 0ff. 
    • All students and caregivers should wear masks during drop off
    • Per hand hygiene protocol, students must perform hand hygiene upon arrival at school
    • Students who use the bus for transportation must show their green ticket to enter the bus and wear masks at the bus stop and when entering the bus and for the duration of the ride. 
    Dismissal/Pick up Procedures:
    • We will ensure students are wearing their mask, and have in their bag: any masks that need cleaning, their water bottle, and any other applicable items
    Late Arrivals and Early Dismissals
    For the safety of our community, we strongly discourage families from scheduling any events or appointments that conflict with the school day. In the event that it is absolutely unavoidable, please note the following procedures:

    Late Arrival:
    If a student is being dropped off after morning carpool, please pull into the circle and call Laura Woodring in the Main Office at 508-785-0068. Both you and your child should remain in the car until a faculty or staff member can come out to your car. They will check the MyMedBot app and your child can go to class.

    Healthy Early Dismissal
    If your child is being dismissed early for a necessary appointment, please pull into the circle and call Laura Woodring in the Main Office at 508-785-0068. Please remain in your car; your child will be escorted out to you. Once your child has left school for the day, regardless of the time, they may not return until the following day. If scheduled beforehand, they can attend classes remotely for the remainder of the day.

    Early Dismissal Due to Illness
    If you receive a call from Nurse Carol that your child is sick and needs to be dismissed, please pull into one of the designated parking spots outside the Founder's House (accessible off of Centre Street). Call Nurse Carol at 508-785-8214 to let her know that you've arrived and she'll send or escort your child to the car.

    General information for families 
    • Prior to the start of school students should obtain masks that meet CRS’ mask criteria, a thermometer they are comfortable using, and water bottles labeled clearly with their name.   
    • Each morning before school: students should pack their water bottle (full of water), take their temperature and have their caregiver complete their MyMedBot screen; students who “pass” the screen will have a green “ticket” on their caregiver’s phone
    • Students and caregivers should leave their house with their masks
    • At arrival at school, caregivers and students should wear their masks and caregivers should show the screening app green “ticket” to the faculty member doing check-in 
    • If you get the message “please stay home” please do so and make contact with school nurse regarding next steps
  • Protocol 8: Nursing Protocols 

    School Nurse Carol Ahearn is the school’s COVID-19 Point of Contact. Families can contact Nurse Carol at cahearn@charlesriverschool.org or 508-785-8214.

    A nursing area has been set up at CRS that has separate spaces for students with non-COVID nursing needs and a separate medical isolation room/medical waiting room where students with possible COVID-related symptoms can be evaluated. (per the CDC & AAP) Per DESE in this room:

    • Masks are strictly required in this space, even for students in grades PreK, K, and 1/2. If a student is unable to wear a mask, there should be no other students in this room.
    • The individual supervising this space must always maintain 6 feet of physical distance and have proper PPE: remain masked, and wear a face shield or goggles.
    • Handwashing facilities or hand sanitizer needs to be used when entering and leaving the space.
    • There should be no removal of masks in this room and therefore consumption of food/drink is prohibited in this room. If any food or drink must be consumed before the student is picked up, the student should be walked outside to consume it if possible (because the mask will have to be taken off for eating)
    • When possible, this space should have windows that open and exhaust directly into the outdoors (the plan for the CRS medical waiting room is to have the door open for ventilation).
    Nurse Carol will oversee communication related to a COVID diagnosis in the community to relevant families and faculty. including CRS identified close contacts who need quarantine. She will work with the local public health department while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Nurse Carol, along with the Health and Safety Committee, will support students and faculty who require isolation or quarantine and provide advice on when it is safe for them to return to school.

    Asthma treatments: In the event a child with asthma needs to be treated at school, asthma treatments using inhalers with spacers are preferred over nebulizer treatments whenever possible.

    On-site school-based health services: These will be available through the CRS school counselor. In order for there to be a collaboration with school medical services, the school counselors’ office will be located in the Founder’s House near the nursing area.

    Per AAP: Influenza vaccine should be highly encouraged for all students and staff members. Families and faculty should be aware of the MA state guidance that ‘All students in K-12 must receive the seasonal influenza vaccine annually by December 31. New students entering between January 1 and March 31 must have received a dose of vaccine for the current flu season before entry’. Nurse Carol will ensure all students meet existing school immunization requirements as well.

    Responding to COVID-19 scenarios:
    Specific nursing protocols at CRS will be categorized by individual ‘COVID scenarios’. These individual COVID scenario protocols correlate with the individual COVID scenario protocols defined by DESE/MA DPH.

    It is important to note that related to many of the COVID nursing protocols is the requirement that a CRS faculty or student requires a diagnostic PCR test for COVID-19.

    • CRS provides a list of test sites available and/or by using Massachusetts’ interactive testing map. 
    • Additionally, when a student or faculty member has symptoms of COVID-19, Nurse Carol will advise that individual to contact their primary care physician who will likely coordinate and oversee COVID-19 PCR ing for that individual.
    • Nurse Carol will also advise faculty and students identified as ‘close contacts’ through CRS contact tracing procedures to contact their primary care physician to arrange PCR testing.
    • Sites and testing availability are subject to change, however, H&S will continue to identify nearby testing sites for our community members.
    • Any sites that allow individuals to “self-present” without an order will be noted as well as sites that give results on site under an hour 
    • H&S will also explore other testing options that have appropriate EUA authorization by the FDA, particularly at home self-test, mail-in options that Nurse Carol could provide to support faculty who need testing, particularly for “close contacts”.
    • Nurse Carol and H&S may recommend that CRS request the state deploy their mobile response team to CRS for PCR testing of all community members, regardless of symptoms or contact if the following minimal conditions (currently defined by the state) apply:
    Two or more students/staff within the classroom group develop COVID-19 within 14 days, and transmission/exposure occurred in the classroom; More than 3 percent of the cohort/grade (at least 3 individuals) develop COVID-19 within 14 days, and transmission/exposure occurred in the school; More than 3 percent of the school develops COVID-19 within 14 days, and there is evidence of transmission within the school; Three or more staff within the same school develop COVID-19 within 14 days, and there is evidence of transmission among the staff; or two or more students on the bus develop COVID-19 within 14 days (see: Access to Mobile Testing on DESE desktop)

    CRS is partnering with PhysicianOne Urgent Care (P1UC) to help us identify potential asymptomatic carriers through a surveillance testing program. It will allow us to monitor cases and, hopefully, prevent a community outbreak. P1UC will perform PCR tests by doing a lower, anterior swabbing.


    • Test technicians from P1UC will set up on campus, taking every safety precaution to ensure they are meeting our protocols.
    • They will send test samples to the Broad Institute Lab and results will be available after 24-36 hours, although it’s important to note that P1UC has informed us results typically come back within 24 hours.
    • If someone in the community tests positive, a clinician from P1UC will contact that individual (or that individual’s parents) directly. The school will also be notified and we will enact our contact tracing protocols to notify anyone who has come in close contact with that individual. Community members will not receive a notification if their test results are negative so assume no news is good news!
    When a CRS student has a sibling or another household member with symptoms that require a COVID test:
    Current guidelines do not require that a student stay home if another household member (including siblings) have symptoms that require testing for COVID-19.  However, in the event that a household member’s symptoms are highly suggestive of COVID-19, H&S may advise a student to stay home until the symptomatic household member has a negative PCR test result. The more common scenario is that a CRS student will continue to attend in-person learning when they have a sibling who requires COVID testing. In the event their sibling is to test positive for COVID-19, that student would then need to stay home and quarantine (protocol D).

    The following is the list of the specific CRS COVID nursing protocols:
    • CRS Nursing Protocol A- Staff or Student Symptomatic at home
    • CRS Nursing Protocol B- Staff or Student Symptomatic at School
    • CRS Nursing Protocol C- Staff or Student Tests Positive for COVID-19
    • CRS Nursing Protocol D- Staff or Student Identified as Close Contact
    See the full Health Protocol page for details about each protocol.
  • Protocol 9: Bus protocol

    The safe transportation of students to and from school is a critical part of a safe return to school. CRS contracts with Local Motion bus service. Students who don’t take the bus to school are driven by a parent or guardian. 
    Safety practices on the bus:
    • Masks are required by all students and staff on the bus at all times.
    • Physical distancing - Per CRS standard, six feet between individuals should be maintained to the greatest extent possible. Physical distancing starts while waiting at the bus stop and students should be seated one student per bench, alternating sides for each row. Children from the same household may sit together.
    • Hand sanitizing dispensers will be placed at the entrance of the school bus and in view of the bus driver to ensure appropriate use. Students will use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the bus.
    • Ventilation will help mitigate the airborne transmission of the COVID 19 virus. Windows will be kept open at all times while the bus is in operation unless there is extreme weather. Even in cold or rainy weather bus windows should be kept open at least several inches, if possible.
    • Pre-screening will be done by parents prior to students getting on the bus. Parents will complete the MyMedBot app prior to the student entering the bus and the bus driver will look at the screen.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting is the responsibility of the bus company. The bus will arrive fully clean and will be disinfected using EPA-approved disinfectants and abiding by the bus company’s protocols (which were reviewed and determined to meet adequacy standards by the CRS Health and Safety Committee).
    • If a student is symptomatic on the bus, the student will keep his/her mask on and maintain physical distance from others and the bus driver will contact CRS.
  • Protocol 10: Assessment of Risk of In-Person Learning 

    Massachusetts’ schools currently have the option to choose between providing education through one of three models: in-person learning, remote only, or various hybrid options that combine both in-person and remote learning. Given these various educational models, the H&S Committee must advise the administration if our assessment is that the risk of virus exposure and transmission at school during in-person learning is mitigated to a degree that allows for in-person learning to occur.  
    H&S understands that regardless of meeting the criteria described below, given coronavirus is a highly contagious respiratory virus, there is inherently more risk of infection for in-person learning than remote learning. This is simply because increased social contact with larger numbers of individuals provides more opportunities for possible exposure. Given that risk cannot be eliminated, the question H&S was tasked with addressing is whether those risks could be mitigated to a level that would permit in-person learning to take place.

    Criteria to Assess Safety of In-Person Learning: 
    1. That all public health guidelines for schools can be incorporated and implemented at CRS to decrease the risk of spread at school, in the event that a community member unknowingly comes to school with the virus  

    2. That the degree of transmission outside of school, in our Massachusetts communities, is low enough, such that the risk of a faculty or student contracting the virus in their community is below a safety threshold 
    We will aim to use objective numbers to calculate our risk of community transmission. The current best public health advice available to assess this risk is to look at the following two public health metrics:
    The percent positive test rate in Massachusetts (list of specific metrics that H& S will follow): 
    • Daily percent positive test rate in Massachusetts
    • 7-day average percent positive test rate in Massachusetts
    • Total number of cases diagnosed each day in Massachusetts
    • Total number of tests performed each day in Massachusetts
    • Percent positive test rate in and around Dover. This is advised in recent DESE guidelines, however, is less relevant for CRS because our faculty and students reside in many towns and cities (over 40 currently)                                         
    1. COVID-19 diagnosis in faculty or students during in-person learning 
    Although this is not relevant for whether or not to advise in-person learning to start the school year, after in-person learning starts at CRS a COVID-19 diagnosis at school will trigger H&S to consider the risk of continuing in-person learning.  
    1. Advise of Dover DPH or Massachusetts mandate: 
    It also must be noted that CRS may be advised that we cannot have in-person learning by the Dover DPH regardless of our school protocols, or H&S assessment. In addition, if the state of Massachusetts orders an all-school closure, CRS would need to switch to the remote learning model.
  • Protocol 11: Food Services

    During snack and lunch, students and faculty will have their masks removed, making meals a natural mask break. Given masks will be removed, students must be able to maintain six feet of physical distancing while eating. 
    • Food (snack and lunch) will be prepared and individually packaged for each student. All items will be delivered to the classroom in a way that promotes physical distancing. 
    • Students will eat in their cohorts, and maintain six feet of physical distancing while eating. Ideally, students will eat outside, however, in the event that students cannot be outside, indoor spaces will be used with physical distancing and separated cohorts.
    • If inside: the table or desk where the student is eating will be disinfected with a food-safe disinfectant prior to placing meal on the surface. After disinfecting inside or when outside, a paper towel will be placed on the eating surface for the students’ masks.
    • Students must perform hand hygiene before eating (Wash hands or use hand sanitizer).  Students can then pick up their snack or lunch from the designated area and bring it to their desk
    • Students should not share food or drink at any time.
    • The supervising teacher will wear a mask while students are eating and maintain six feet of physical distance to the greatest extent possible.
    • After eating, students should put on their masks, dispose of their trash, and perform hand hygiene (wash or disinfect). The desktop will be disinfected once again. 
    Water (at snack and lunch and water breaks)
    • Students will receive bottled water with snacks and lunch.
    • Students should bring in their own reusable water bottle each day; it should be full of water and clearly labeled with their name.
    • Students will keep the water bottle in their locker/cubby or other designated water table as instructed by their classroom teacher.
    • If students need to drink water outside of snack and lunch they can be dismissed to their locker or cubby or the designated water station, where they can remove their mask and take a drink of water.  
    • A water break is a mask break so six feet physical distancing must be maintained
    • Students will  be reminded to bring their water bottle home at the end of each day
  • Protocol 12: Social-Emotional Well-Being

    Per CDC
    Support Coping and Resilience 
    • We encourage employees and students to take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories about COVID-19, including social media if they are feeling overwhelmed or distressed.
    • We promote faculty and students eating healthy, exercising, getting sleep, and finding time to unwind.
    • Faculty and students should talk with people they trust about their concerns and how they are feeling.
    • National distress hotline: 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUsto 66746 
    The following are summarized from AAP:
    CRS should prepare for and anticipate to prepare to the greatest extent possible, a wide range of mental health needs of children and staff when schools reopen.
    1. Students may have difficulty with the social and emotional aspects of transitioning back into the school setting, especially given the unfamiliarity with the changing school environment and experience. We are taking this into account including staggered and half days to start the school year.
    It should be recognized that the culture of the CRS community will also have a significant impact on the successful implementation of necessary protocols as well as on the social and emotional resilience of all staff, students, and parents. We will foster a positive community culture, including: 
    1. Education for and collaboration with staff on the practical implementation of protocols 
    2. Leadership (administration, PA board, faculty committee chairs, classroom parents, etc.) will work together to exemplify and promote transparent communication, accessibility for a response to questions, appropriate use of all protocols, support amongst community members
    3. We emphasize the availability of the school psychologist to families
    A separate CRS COVID Social and Emotional (S&E) Committee:
    • H&S will work collaboratively as needed with the S&E committee with the goal of optimizing the physical and mental health of members of the CRS community
    • The school psychologist will play a key role in this committee
  • Protocol 13: Visitors

    A visitor is any person who is not a CRS faculty member or CRS student. This includes parents/guardians/caregivers of students. 

    Per state health guidelines, our goal is to reduce outside visitors or volunteers. To do this we will minimize parent/family visits and require them to occur only in a designated visitor space and/or outside spaces.

    • We will utilize virtual communication options with families (e.g., for parent-teacher conferences)
    • We have designated a single entry and exit point for all visitors. The Main Office is now located where the Admissions was previously located. All visitors must report to the Main Office. There will be signs directing visitors on how to proceed.
    • All visitors must be wearing a well-fitting mask consistent with the school’s existing mask quality requirements 
    Healthy Student Dismissals:  When students must be dismissed for a reason not related to illness/symptoms (therefore they will not be dismissed from the Nursing area at the Founder’s House):

    • Parents/caregivers will contact the school upon arrival, ideally for curbside or outdoor pick up in order to avoid entering the building. This process prioritizes masking and physical distancing practices and ensures the safety of the student being dismissed.
    Caregiver pickup of a student with symptoms (pick up from Founder’s House nursing area):

    • In the event that a student has symptoms on the bus or at school that may be consistent with COVID-19 and nursing protocols indicate the student must be picked up, or for any other illness that requires pick up from the nursing area, the school nurse will arrange a pick-up location with the caregiver prior to arrival.  
    • If the student is well enough, they may be accompanied by staff after their caregiver arrives and be picked up outdoors/curbside at a designated location.  
    • If the student is to remain in the medical waiting room, the caregiver should present to the nursing area (Founder’s House). Signage will indicate where caregivers should go, such as “Student Pick Up from School Nurse here.” Caregivers must wear a mask/face covering when picking up their student. 
  • CRS Travel Policy - Updated March 31, 2021

    Massachusetts has lifted its travel order and issued a travel advisory in its place. After discussions with our Health and Safety Committee, we have decided to amend our own travel policy to align with the state guidelines. While no longer required, we still encourage students to quarantine and/or get a PCR test four days after returning home from out-of-state travel. During this time, students can attend school remotely while they await test results. To read more about the current MA Travel Advisory, including exemptions to the quarantine/testing advisory, click here.

    Our highest priorities remain the health and safety of our community and in-person learning. We have been so successful to date due to the incredible diligence of our faculty, staff, students, and families. We will continue to follow health and safety protocols on campus, and remind all families to remain committed to the Community Agreement. This includes completing the MyMedBot survey each day and keeping your children home if they display any COVID symptoms or have had a possible exposure. 
  • Links to Major Guidelines Used in Protocols

    Below is a list of links and resources that the Health and Safety Committee used to develop the CRS Health Protocols. 

    The letters in the left column correspond to references in the full health protocols, which you can find under Resources Boards on the password-protected section of our website.

    Date of Guidance
    CDC considerations for schools (on CDC website)
    Website - updated as needed
    American Academy of Pediatrics- COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Reentry
    last updated:
    MA DESE- Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance
    MA DESE- Protocols for responding to COVID-19 scenarios in school, on the bus, or in community settings
    MA DESE- Fall Reopening Facilities and Operations Guidance
    MA DoE- Guidelines for Courses Requiring Additional Safety Considerations for Fall 2020
    link on DOE website:MA DoE - COVID
    Mass.gov COVID prevention and treatment
    Website - Updated as needed
    MA DESE- Fall Reopening Transportation Guidance
Charles River School is a PreKindergarten through Grade 8 independent school that honors the pursuit of academic excellence and the joy of childhood. We nurture each child by igniting curiosity, encouraging creativity, and cultivating intellectual engagement. Our graduates know themselves, understand others, and shape the future of our diverse world with confidence and compassion.

Charles River School admits students of any race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational or admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.