Ever since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020, Franklin Academy has regularly convened an ad hoc COVID-19 Safety Committee to review current conditions and make recommendations for mitigating contagion, including revisions to our program. Advice from the school’s Medical Director and directives from the local Health Department, the State of Connecticut, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shape decision-making. Our own recent experience is influential as well.

Franklin Academy’s layers of safety start with vaccines for everyone, unless otherwise exempted because of religious or medical reasons. Within five to seven days of repopulating campus in September, all teachers and students will undergo COVID-19 testing. We will be wearing masks inside school buildings. We will be practicing physical distancing, as well as frequent hand washing and sanitizing.

Given the favorable COVID numbers in Connecticut and Middlesex County and the ability to control more variables on the Franklin Academy campus, we are allowing students and teachers to remove masks when outside. We will not be organizing students and teachers into small, segregated cohorts; however, we will continue with our successful team model. Cross-team, in-person electives will be possible, as will after-school activities and clubs. However, our daily community meeting will be a zoom event unless everyone can meet outside. Finally, we will consider small off-campus excursions to safe, outside destinations after the first quint.

While we cannot yet return to normal campus life, the opportunity for more enjoyable social interactions is at hand. As the school year progresses, we hope to add back other features of Franklin Academy that we enjoy so much.