We are moving methodically through the plan to reopen our campus this month. Of course, the primary gating condition is Connecticut’s success in slowing the spread of COVID-19. The State’s positive test rate has consistently been below 1% throughout the summer. Active cases of coronavirus are decreasing. Regular testing of teachers and students, both before arrival on campus and at appropriate intervals after repopulation, is critical in monitoring our community’s health. Next, everyone must follow the safety protocols established by our Reopen Taskforce. Most important will be the consistent use of face coverings, social distancing across campus, and frequent hand washing.

Manageable cohorts of 15 to 24 students, teamed with the same group of seven educators, have long been our organizational structure at Franklin Academy. These cohorts will now live, learn, eat, and socialize together with daily wellness checks to minimize illness. We will also control the access of visitors to campus and restrict student travel off-campus. Single-occupancy dormitory rooms provide a considerable advantage. There will be 20 x 30 team tents for outside instruction, meetings, mask breaks, and meals.

We will limit occupancy in classrooms, the dining hall, bathrooms, and public spaces. One-way traffic into, through, and out of buildings is the rule. There are plexiglass dividers on dining hall tables, staggered meal times, and a grab-and-go breakfast, lunch, and dinner option. An intensified cleaning and sanitizing schedule provides additional protection. Finally, we ask all school family members to embrace the Franklin Academy COVID-19 Pledge based on our school’s Code of Conduct. When the virtual orientation begins next week, we will go into greater detail of how we will strive to keep everyone safe as students return to campus.