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          Looking Forward

          Welcome to Emma!

          For more than 200 years, Emma Willard School has served as a beacon for girls to find their voices, create their own pathways, and to serve and shape our world. The school has faced world wars, civil unrest, and a previous global pandemic. Once again, we face unprecedented challenges that call upon all of us to be extraordinary in these extraordinary times.

          Looking Forward to 2020-21

          School begins August 30, 2020. We’ve created this page to serve as a guide, to share our preparations for the opening of school, and to share updates and new information.
           
          We have listened to the advice of public health experts, medical professionals, educational advisors, local and New York State officials, and the Centers for Disease Control to form the bedrock of our planning for the 2020-21 school year. Our utmost priority is the safety and wellbeing of the Emma community. New information from the study of COVID-19 will continue to require us to be vigilant and responsive to our safety protocols. Our planning is predicated on compliance with public health guidelines and other governmental restrictions.
           
          Emma Willard School’s history of excellence will continue to shape and define the academic experience we offer our students. The best learning occurs in relationship, so we have paid particular attention to building community and nurturing those relationships. We see these connections as vital to the joy and depth of learning in addition to our carefully engineered environment of safety. This year will surely be unlike any other, but our core values and commitment to providing an exceptional learning experience are unwavering.

          Webinar Archives

          Parents and students may view the archives of Question & Answer Webinars on the Looking Forward & COVID-19 group in the MyEmma portal (log-in required.)

          School Protocols

          For ease of reference, we’ve categorized the information below into sections. Highlights include our approach to minimizing campus density, phased arrivals, testing and screening strategies, a new academic schedule supporting deep learning and flexibility if we need to pivot to online learning, and an altered 2020-21 calendar to reduce travel but still provide respite time. Our priority is to be on campus as much as possible. We are also planning for potential interruptions over which we may have no control and will adjust our calendar and protocols accordingly.

          Visit the New York State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control websites for more information about the latest COVID-19 considerations.

          Protocols for Opening Week

          To protect the health and safety of our students and employees, we will institute a number of public health best practices. A key element will be limiting the density of gatherings. For this reason, we will be having a phased arrival plan for our students. Many of our new campus routines reflect the habits we’ve grown accustomed to during this pandemic and will require additional time and consideration. More detailed information will be provided later in the summer.

          List of 6 items.

          • Arrival, Testing and COVID-19 Honor Pledge

            All students, employees, and accompanying family members will be required to wear masks in public spaces at all times during the first two weeks on campus. All employees and students will be tested and checked for symptoms as part of the arrival process.

            All community members, day and boarding, student and employee, must have previously submitted the COVID-19 Honor Pledge (available via Magnus Health Portal on July 15). This practice of adhering to community standards to facilitate mutual understanding and safety will be extended to visitors, cleaning practices, food sharing, and honest communication when concerns arise.
            Read More
          • Arrival Schedule for Employees

            More details for employees will be available soon.
            • August 17—New employees arrival 
            • August 19—Employee meetings
          • Arrival Schedule for Students

            We will be staggering arrival times so please be attentive to your assigned appointment to avoid extended waiting. We will only be able to allow one family member to enter the dormitory with their student. We will be testing that individual as well as the student.
            Read More
          • Alternate Arrival Plans

            Students who are unable to return to campus during Opening Week will be welcomed to campus on designated dates throughout the fall.
            Read More
          • Opening Events and Orientation

            Orientation for new students will begin on their arrival date and will be a combination of in-person and virtual orientation. Orientation for returning students will be virtual and will begin with the All-School Welcome on August 31.
            Read More
          • Frequently Asked Questions

            If you have questions about arrival procedures, please contact Assistant Head of School and Academic Dean Meredith Legg, PhD.
          Our COVID-19 era campus lifestyle will include testing and contact tracing, social distancing, handwashing, mask-wearing, and limits on the number of people who can gather together. We will have isolation and quarantine protocols for those who test positive for COVID-19 and the people with whom they have been in contact within our community. We have analyzed and are currently amending all campus spaces to conform with COVID-19 public health guidelines. To meet social distancing requirements, we are reducing capacity in dormitories and classrooms and are redefining protocols for how we will use public areas on campus.
           

          List of 7 items.

          • Daily Safety Protocols

            • Required For Start of School: Every student is required to provide the Health Center a “fit to return” physical clearance note from a medical provider three days before arriving on campus and the COVID-19 Honor Pledge (both will be available via Magnus Health portal on July 15).
            • All students and employees will wear masks during the school day and only remove masks (or appropriate face coverings) in designated mask-free areas when social distancing in possible.
            • Students and employees will have daily temperature checks and will need to answer a brief health questionnaire before entering class or beginning their workday.
            Read More
          • Health Center

            There are two health centers now on campus which will both have nursing personnel in supervision. Full details of the health center hours will be available later in the summer.

            1. Well Center for well visits (1st floor, Sage) 
            2. Care Center for sick visits (Ground floor, Hyphen)
          • Masks/Face Coverings

            The use of masks or appropriate face coverings are an important precaution to slow/stop the spread of the virus and protect each other. Everyone on campus is required to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when indoors.
            Read More
          • Testing/Monitoring

            We are adding a second, separate health center to assist in the screening, testing, and any necessary isolation. Our health protocols are being updated to meet the unique circumstances presented by the risk of COVID-19 infection. New hygiene standards for community members and mechanisms for routine symptom-checking will be established. Every student and employee will receive a COVID-19 test as follows:
            Read More
          • Containment

            All students and employees who report COVID-19 symptoms or who are exposed to the virus must follow the testing, contact tracing, and quarantine protocols established by the school, and the Rensselaer Department of Health. 
            Read More
          • When to Stay Home

            Safety is a collective effort. All students and their families must commit to supporting Emma Willard School’s health, wellness and safety protocols. Day students and employees must agree to stay at home when they are not feeling well, have COVID-like symptoms or have potentially been exposed. Each member of the Emma Willard community will be required to complete the COVID-19 Honor Pledge. The COVID-19 Honor Pledge will be made available through the Magnus Health Portal on July 15 and must be completed with the other medical documents required for the start of school.
          • Frequently Asked Questions

            If you have questions about health and safety protocols, please contact Director of Nursing Jen Bliss, RN. You may read the answers to questions others have asked here.
            Read More
          The school gained important learning from the rapid move to Virtually Emma earlier this spring. We have surveyed students, parents, and our faculty to discern how improvements can be made. This information is providing insights into how we can improve and intentionally meet the unique needs of our Emma community and is guiding our planning over the summer. Our approach for the 2020-21 academic year assumes some degree of remote instruction. We have taken into account circumstances that likely include visa and/or travel restrictions, as well as physical capacity limitations.

          List of 8 items.

          • Learning Program Outline

            In preparing for the fall of 2020, Emma Willard School has focused on preparing for three scenarios: live learning, hybrid live-asynchronous learning, and fully online learning in the event of a New York State shutdown. The 2020-21 program has been designed to offer flexibility in meeting the needs of the student body, and preparing for transitions between face-to-face and online learning. Emma Willard School’s program will be offered in two models for the 2020-21 school year:  Synchronous Learning and Asynchronous (Online) Learning.
            Read More
          • Advanced Studies

            Updated 07.07.2020
            In the fall of 2020-21, a select group of AP classes will be the school’s first iteration of our new “Advanced Studies” program. These Advanced Studies courses will largely continue to align with the Advanced Placement™ curriculum. The curriculum covered will continue to prepare students to sit for the AP exam, however, Advanced Studies courses will not prepare students as fully for the AP exam as the Advanced Placement™ courses. Advanced Studies teachers will provide students with additional resources and recommendations for self-study to allow students to prepare fully for the AP exam.
            Read More
          • Students in Classroom Spaces

            • Emma Willard School is following CDC and New York State guidance for social distancing in classrooms. To ensure adequate social distancing, class size will be capped at 10 students. Students will sit at individual desks spaced six feet apart, facing the front of the classroom. 
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            • Where possible, the school is working to build cohorts of students who are in the same classes. Cohorts will be most readily implemented in grades 9 and 10 where the majority of students are enrolled in the same classes.
          • Revised Class Schedule

            The 2020-21 school year will feature a semester block schedule. The block schedule will allow students to take three or four classes in both of the 17-week semesters. Students will complete the equivalent of a year-long course in one semester and will have a new schedule of courses each semester.
            Read More
          • Academic Calendar

            The 2020-21 academic calendar has been updated to allow for even fall and spring semesters, with the fall semester concluding at the end of January. Click to read more details.
            Read More
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            The college admissions landscape is changing rapidly for the class of 2021. Emma Willard School’s 500 Internal Server Error-广西快三_中福在线

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            Team is staying up to date on the latest changes in college admissions to be able to best guide our students through the process.
            Read More
          • Textbook Purchases

            07.08.2020 - Ms. Balton's letter regarding textbooks

            Students should purchase textbooks and complete summer assignments for their planned course list for the 2020-21 school year.

            Textbooks for the 2020-21 School Year can be purchased online through the BNC Direct bookstore beginning July 9, 2020.
            Read More
          • Frequently Asked Questions

            If you have questions about the academic program, please contact Assistant Head of School and Academic Dean Meredith Legg, PhD. You may read the answers to questions others have asked here.
            Read More
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          List of 6 items.

          • Gatherings and Events

            Large Student Gatherings
            All large student gatherings e.g. All-School meetings, Morning Reports, Class meetings, gatherings with more than 50 persons will occur virtually or, when appropriate, outside.

            Major Events
            Major school events will happen in safe, unique, and meaningful ways. Details will be shared as each event approaches: 
            • Virtual Fall Family Weekend (October 9-10)
            • Concerts, plays—to be determined
            • Revels will occur in Spring 2021
            • Virtual Spring Family Weekend (April 22-23)
            • Spring events—to be determined
          • Athletics and Movement

            We are waiting to hear from New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) regarding their plans for athletics. We will be guided by their decisions and will adjust our movement and physical activity options accordingly.
          • Dining Services

            We are working with our food service provider, Sodexo, to ensure the safest meal and snack provision. We anticipate that we will be providing a combination of ‘grab and go’ and served options which will also include set meal times as well as cleaning time between rotations. Self-serve options such as salad bars will not be offered in campus dining facilities during the pandemic.

            Scheduled meal times will be assigned for all students and employees.
          • Weekend Activities

            We will be adjusting our weekend activities in various ways. We will still undertake off-campus activities, however, these will be carefully planned and will involve more adult chaperoning. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more detailed information. 

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            (this will be reviewed for second semester) and day students will not be permitted in dormitories, at any time.
          • Visitor Protocol

            Only essential visitors, as approved by senior leadership of the school, will be allowed on campus beyond campus safety. Essential visitors must answer the following questions and wear a mask at all times while on campus. The visitor policy will continue to be revised as the pandemic evolves.
            • Have you or those you live with had close contact with a person under investigation for COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to your visit?
            • Have you had a fever and respiratory symptoms in the 14 days prior to your visit?
            • Have you experienced flu or cold-like symptoms in the 24 hours prior to your visit?
          • Frequently Asked Questions

            If you have questions about campus or community life, please contact Dean of Students and Wellbeing Shelley Maher. You may read the answers to questions others have asked here.
            Read More
          We are creating several spaces on campus for all students to congregate between classes and meet with friends with appropriate density and physical distancing expectations in place. We ask all day students (and employees) to conduct daily temperature and symptom checks, not come on-campus if feeling ill, and to be masked unless in a designated mask-free venue. As with all of our students, maintaining good hand hygiene must be frequent and routine.

          List of 4 items.

          • Arrival and Departure

            • We will have several arrival locations on campus. Specific details of arrival plans will be provided closer to the start of the school year.
            • Students should plan to depart campus as soon as possible after their final commitment of the day.
            • As we get closer to the start of the school year, the school will establish a departure time after which all day students should be off campus.
          • Lockers

            Students will be able to use lockers with social distancing in place. The extended passing time between classes will allow for socially-distanced locker use.
          • Spaces On Campus

            All common use spaces will use visible signs/markings to provide socially distanced seating.

            Outside mask-free spaces will be identified in designated areas.
          • Frequently Asked Questions

            If you have questions about the day student experience, please contact Dean of Students and Wellbeing Shelley Maher. You may read the answers to questions others have asked here.
            Read More
          In order to allow for social distancing in the dormitories, we have developed strategies to reduce the population density within the dorms by adding an additional dormitory for the 2020-21 academic year. In addition, we will have restricted access to the dorms and family cohorts to allow for mask-free spaces.

          List of 8 items.

          • Travel-Related Quarantines

            Students coming to the United States from other countries or from states considered “hot spots” by New York State (NYS) guidelines should monitor CDC guidelines for reentry and NYS Travel Advisory, which currently include a 14-day quarantine. Local lodging options that may be useful to you as you plan for any travel quarantines can be found on the "Accomodations" listing herePlease contact Tammy Miller if you need assistance with finding nearby lodging.
          • Family Cohorts

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          • Dorms

            With full enrollment, the school plans to have all dormitories open for 2020-21 and we are adding an additional satellite dorm, the Alumnae House.
          • Dorm Density

            We have adjusted the number of double rooms to ensure that social distancing is possible by reducing population density. Student beds and desks will be at least six feet apart.
          • Rooms

            Students will be housed in single and large double rooms. Final housing assignments, excluding student leaders, will be confirmed after July 15. As in prior years, we will use our lottery system for all returning upperclass students, but please note that some adjustments may be necessary with our adjusted space requirements.
          • Travelling Home on Weekends

            If a boarder travels home or away for a weekend, they will be required to return to wearing their mask in their family cohort for a 14-day period before they go mask-free on their hall again.
          • Accommodation Over Breaks

            Dormitories will remain open during all long weekends and spring break for the 2020-21 school year. 

            Dormitories will be closed from the Thanksgiving holiday until January 3.
          • Frequently Asked Questions

            If you have questions about the boarding student experience, please contact Dean of Students and Wellbeing Shelley Maher. You may read the answers to questions others have asked here.
            Read More
          At the core of all our planning for the coming year is our commitment to providing our students with the very best educational experience at Emma Willard. We will not compromise the quality of an Emma education whether delivered in-person or online. Given our plans for the coming year, we will offer all families greater choice and flexibility with regards to their Emma education. 

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          Our Decision-Making Process

          The COVID-19 Response Team has been meeting weekly since early March and has been proactively planning and reacting to the pandemic with considerable care and thought. In recent months, the focus of the Response Team has been on the safe opening of the school year and the associated plans. The composition of the Response Team reflects the complex nature of the endeavor.

          We have recognized interrelated areas of work and have established task forces to focus on these areas with the following leadership:
          • Teaching, Learning, and Community—Chaired by Meredith Legg and Shelley Maher
          • Health and SafetyChaired by Shelley Maher, Jen Bliss, and Laura Bernard
          • Operations—Chaired by Virginia Arbour, Laura Bernard, and Saytra Green
          • Communications—Chaired by Suzanne Romero Dewey, Jamie Hicks-Furgang, Meredith Legg, and Ann Dejnozka
          • Legal and Finance—Chaired by Jenny Rao, Virginia Arbour, and Laura Bernard
          • Strategic Planning and Long-Term Sustainability—Chaired by Jenny Rao, Meredith Legg, and Virginia Arbour

          Contact Team Members

          Jenny Rao
          Head of School 
          jrao@emmawillard.org

          Meredith Legg, PhD
          Assistant Head of School and Academic Dean

          mlegg@emmawillard.org

          Virginia Arbour
          Chief Financial Officer 
          varbour@emmawillard.org

          Ann Dejnozka
          Head of Advancement 
          adejnozka@emmawillard.org

          Suzanne Romero Dewey
          Head of Strategic Communications 
          sdewey@emmawillard.org

          Jamie Hicks-Furgang
          Head of Enrollment Management
          jhicks@emmawillard.org

          Shelley Maher
          Dean of Students and Wellbeing
          smaher@emmawillard.org
          Laura Bernard
          Director of Business Services
          lbernard@emmawillard.org

          Jen Bliss, RN
          Director of Nursing
          jbliss@emmawillard.org

          Jacki Cioffi
          Executive Assistant to the Head of School
          jcioffi@emmawillard.org

          Saytra Green
          Director of Human Resources
          sgreen@emmawillard.org

          Trustee and Alumna Ann Gambling Hoffman ’70

          Trustee and Current Parent Tom Sternal P'21
          285 Pawling Avenue, Troy, NY 12180 | P: 518.833.1300 F: 518.833.1815
          © EMMA WILLARD SCHOOL
          Welcome to Emma Willard School, a private day and boarding high school for girls in Troy, NY, and a leader in girls' education for over 200 years. 

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