Our 2021-22 academic year began on campus on Wednesday, August 25. This year will include Covid-19 testing and safety protocols outlined here. As with 2020-21, we will continue to follow the guidance of health experts, as well as our medical task forces that have been providing recommendations since the pandemic began. We believe that all of our initiatives constitute the most painstaking and methodical approaches to safety that we could develop, ones that we hope will bring an added measure of confidence and underscore our determination to use every resource and asset available to us to safeguard our children, faculty, staff, and community.
- Masking: As of February 14, 2022, Norfolk Academy will have a mask optional policy for students. As of February 28, 2022, faculty and staff will also be mask optional. All visitors on campus will wear masks when indoors. Masks must fit well around the mouth and nose, and they should be cleaned or replaced regularly. Cloth neck gaiters may not be worn as masks.
- Testing: We will begin 2022 with weekly Covid testing for all students, faculty, and staff. We plan to continue testing throughout this school year, though the frequency may be reduced based on good results and the recommendations of our medical task forces.
- Large indoor gatherings: We plan to return to modified group activities such as lunch in the refectory and chapel in Johnson Theater and Price Auditorium as we are able and following safety protocols.
- Home monitoring and Covid Decision Tree: All adults and students should be evaluated each day before coming to campus. We have updated the Covid Decision Tree and will use that as a guide for positive cases.
- Classrooms: As was the case last year, we will keep windows open in classrooms to maintain airflow, and each classroom is equipped with a HEPA air purifier. MERV-13 filters, which capture more particles than standard filters, were installed on all rooftop HVAC units at the beginning of last year, and those are changed on the schedule recommended by the manufacturer. Finally, similar to last year, most instructional spaces will allow for distancing of four to six feet with no spacing less than three feet between students in a classroom in accordance with CDC recommendations.
- Buses: Tranquest will again provide our regular bus service as well as the six late routes for Middle and Upper School students participating in after-school activities. As of February 28, 2022, all riders will be mask optional on the buses. We will continue to have several windows open on each bus to increase airflow. We will no longer require siblings to sit together. Our experience last year – confirmed by our contact-tracing data – showed that masking and ventilation on the bus prevented any transmission of the virus among riders.
- Vaccinations: According to the CDC and leading medical authorities, vaccinations are the best defense against the spread of Covid and also minimize the risk of hospitalization. We strongly encourage anyone eligible to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
- After-school activities: After-school athletics and fine arts offerings will again be available for Middle and Upper School students. Before and Aftercare will still be available for Lower School students, and we will reintroduce Enrichment Programs as well. Covid protocols of distancing and masking will be observed during all indoor activities.
- Athletics protocols: We encourage and welcome all Bulldog fans to campus to cheer on your favorite Norfolk Academy teams. For indoor events, all spectators are required to wear a two-ply mask, covering both the nose and the mouth. Please maintain a social distance of 6 feet from non-household members. For outdoor events, we are mask-optional; all spectators have the option to wear a mask, but masking is not required. Please maintain a social distance of 6 feet from non-household members.