With the start of the school year upon us, the Tabor community is excited for an educational and healthy academic year. To mitigate the risks surrounding COVID-19, Tabor Academy in conjunction with our state and local government, has been hard at work strategizing and reorganizing our facilities to keep our community, and the community at large, safe. Many of these changes are available for viewing in our recent informational videos. These videos include changes to the Health Center, the Dining Hall, our academic rooms, residential life, and more.
Tabor has made countless changes to adapt to best practices laid out by the Board of Health, the Commonwealth, and other agencies. Some of these changes are, but not limited to, the following:
• Students, faculty, and staff will be tested for COVID-19 upon return to school for the new academic year and then again 14 days later.
• All community members will be required to wear masks unless they are in their dorm rooms with the door closed.
• We will provide COVID-19 rapid antigen testing through Southcoast Health for all students who may be ill. Students living four hours or less will return home if they become sick. Students living four hours away or more, will be cared for in our Health Center.
• Our Health Center has been expanded to include a Health Center Annex which will provide quarantine space for COVID positive patients and persons under observation.
• Students, faculty, and staff will use a phone app every morning before school to identify any symptoms that might have arisen overnight.
• Our large venue meetings and events will go virtual (i.e. weekly chapel talks, all-school meeting, etc.)
• All spaces including classrooms, the dining hall, and common spaces have been organized for social distancing. As well, we have decreased the number of students in each classroom setting.
• The Dining Hall will have Grab ‘n Go options and seating available across our campus in tents, picnic tables, and other areas, all designed for physical distancing.
• All classrooms are equipped with webcams and microphones, allowing students who are remote to join their class in real-time.
• All students, faculty, and staff will be asked to sign a social contract. If the contract is not adhered to, they will be required to study and work remotely.
• We have increased outdoor seating for students, faculty, and staff to access throughout the day.
As you can see, Tabor will look to de-densify our spaces wherever possible, restrict movement about campus, and adhere to state guidelines. Additionally, Tabor has put in place several contingency plans to help stop the spread of illness should any case arise. We are in a unique position as a school to have a successful year: our class numbers are naturally small, our campus is vast – giving us the ability to socially distance, and most of our facilities are separated from one another.
As always, the health and safety of our students and community are paramount. This year has seen an increase in changes due to COVID-19; however, we believe the plans put in place will make our community as safe as possible. We are proud of the work that our Plant Ops department, and our community as a whole, have done to re-shape our school to fit the current climate. We would also like to thank Marion Public Health Nurse Kathy Downey, and Jim Feen, current parent and Senior Vice President and CIO at Southcoast Health for their involvement and guidance as we went through the planning stages. Although life at Tabor may look a little different this year, we are steadfast as ever in delivering the same quality educational experience in a healthy and safe environment.