Reopening SKS — Plans & FAQs

Classes begin September  14, 2020. We are excited to bring our returning students back and welcome new students to Storm King this Fall. This page has been created to share our preparations for the upcoming semester, and to share updates and new information.  

PLANS FOR FALL 2020 REOPENING

The Reopening Plan was prepared under the joint efforts of the School’s Coronavirus Reopening Task Force, which is made up of administrators, staff members, and faculty representing each section of the School. Also taken into consideration has been input from other constituents including students, parents, alumni, and trustees through emails, phone calls, individual conversations, online surveys, Zoom Meetings, and faculty feedback.

Questions regarding the plan may be directed to the Head of School Mr. Jonathan Lamb, and the School’s Reopening Task Force Co-Chairs Mr. Alan Lewis and Mr. Ray Hecht.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

These responses to Frequently Asked Questions reflect our current plans and may be updated due to evolving guidance from federal, state, and local authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

REOPENING & CALENDAR CHANGES

Yes, there are significant changes to the previously published calendar. The school year will begin on August 25, 2020 and end with our 153rd Commencement Exercises on June 5, 2021 as previously scheduled.  However, there are a number of changes to note during the school year:

  • The first day of fall classes has been pushed back to September 14; classes will now run from September 14 through December 11, with only a very brief break for Thanksgiving
  • There will be an extended winter break from December 11 through February 1. While we will encourage our boarding students to leave campus during the extended break to go home or to stay with guardians, we expect to keep the campus open throughout this time for those students that simply cannot return home
  • The first day of the Spring Semester will be Monday, February 8, 2021 and continue until graduation with no long breaks

*Please note that we are providing the above dates for informational purposes at this time. The School Calendar is subject to change based on prevalent conditions and will be continuously updated. Please do not make plans for travel to and from campus that cannot be changed at this time.

  • New international students should plan to arrive on August 25
  • Returning international students should plan to arrive on September 1
  • New and returning domestic boarding students should plan to arrive on September 8
  • Day students will most likely be asked to return to campus on the first day of classes

*Please note that we are providing the above dates for informational purposes at this time. The School Calendar is subject to change based on prevalent conditions and will be continuously updated. Please do not make plans for travel to and from campus that cannot be changed at this time.

Faculty and staff will gradually return to campus in mid-August; some staff members—mainly those who work in the School’s physical plant—have already started coming back to work as part of New York State’s phased reopening.

*Please note that we are providing the above dates for informational purposes at this time. The School Calendar is subject to change based on prevalent conditions and will be continuously updated. Please do not make plans for travel to and from campus that cannot be changed at this time.

REPOPULATION OF CAMPUS

The School will follow a phased approach to repopulate our campus to accommodate new health and screening protocols and a staggered arrival of faculty/staff and students.

  • Some of our maintenance and other staff members are already working on campus this summer. In early to mid-August the rest of our staff members and faculty will return to their offices and workspaces with appropriate personal protective equipment, social distancing, and cleaning protocols in place
  • Beginning August 25, our new international students should plan to arrive
  • Returning international students should plan to arrive on September 1
  • New and returning domestic boarding students should plan to arrive on September 8

The School is currently working on a transportation plan. At this time, students requesting a ride when returning to campus should contact the Admissions Office.

Yes, the campus will remain open over the long breaks for international and domestic boarding students who cannot travel home.

COMMUNITY HEALTH

Yes, all students, along with all faculty and staff working on campus, will be required to be tested for COVID-19. Specific guidance on testing is still being finalized, but will likely include an expectation for testing at home prior to returning to campus, along with screening and testing upon arrival on campus. Additional testing will be required when students leave campus and return after breaks. We are working with our medical staff and local authorities to finalize a testing plan.

Safety necessitates that we have a dedicated isolation space on campus for students that are symptomatic or who have tested positive for COVID-19.  Stone Hall will serve this function until it can safely be returned to a dormitory.  We are also required to have space on campus for students to quarantine upon arrival.  Most students will be able to quarantine in their rooms, but we will also use Spyrock House as a separate quarantine space until all of our students have arrived this fall.

More detailed protocols for isolation and quarantining are being developed according to national, state and local guidelines by our administrative and medical staff. Detailed protocols will be published at a later date.

Thankfully, new cases of COVID-19 in Orange County, where Storm King is located, have remained very low. The School monitors state and county statistics continuously, and testing is widely available throughout our region.

Yes, all persons on campus will be required to wear a mask at all times. Masks must be worn while moving throughout campus, and each building and space on campus will post clear signage regarding masking expectations within it.

Boarding students are asked to bring at least a 7-day supply of washable cloth masks when they arrive on campus. Day students should come to school with a clean mask daily. SKS will provide masks for all community members on an as needed basis. All masks must meet CDC criteria.

Social distancing will be a priority everywhere on campus. All dormitories, classrooms and common areas will utilize spacing and signage to achieve this goal.  Staggered class times and meals, as well as clear indicators regarding entrances, exits, and flow will be in place.

The School is busy researching and purchasing cleaning products and equipment that will be used to disinfect campus. Each building will have protocols in place, and students will be informed of their responsibilities as part of the Orientation process. Details will be forthcoming.

Disinfection stations will be located at entries and exits, near all dorm refrigerators, and in all dorm halls. They will also be placed inside all campus buildings and in all classrooms.

Once students arrive and go through the designated protocols, we expect to limit boarding students’ travel off campus and the number of visitors to our campus. Family members can visit by appointment only.

As a school with day students and faculty who do not live on campus, we are not able to close the campus completely. However, we will institute a regular process of health screening and testing for all of our students, faculty, and staff. There will be a separate protocol for outside vendors who must enter the campus and admissions visits will be conducted according to set guidelines.

As we repopulate campus, we will need to begin with stricter health protocols to minimize the presence of the virus on campus and possible transmission. We will monitor conditions both at Storm King and in the local area closely and will relax the initial restrictions if and when circumstances deem it safe to do so.

ACADEMICS