Health & Safety

During the COVID-19 pandemic, each of us needs to express a heightened level of concern for the health and well-being of each member of the community. We all - families, students, faculty, staff -  need to reframe our outlook on community health and make it a top priority to keep one another safe. While the risk of the infection from the virus can never be fully eradicated at the School, every reasonable effort and precaution will be taken to prevent this from occurring. The School expects that all members of the community comply with the rules, policies, and expectations created to protect the safety and health of the community, even when it may be inconvenient to ourselves. The following guidelines will be in place for the 2020-2021 school year and are supported by local, state, and federal guidelines. They may be altered throughout the year to reflect new guidelines and information.

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • Daily Health Monitoring of Students & Faculty/Staff

    KO will utilize Ascend, a web-based HIPAA compliant application. All members in the community - students, faculty and staff will enter their health status on a daily basis. Users will answer a few short questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms recognized by the CDC before heading to school. Based on the information entered, the app will let students, faculty, and staff know whether they may come to campus or must stay home. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms or are otherwise sick, do not come to campus. Students will be able to attend the class online at home if they choose.
  • Face Masks

    Health experts have determined that wearing face masks is a vital part in stemming the transmission of the COVID-19 infection. Therefore, the school is adopting a robust mask-wearing policy for all members of our community. Face masks must be worn at all times indoors and must be worn outdoors whenever social distancing cannot be maintained. Face masks do not need to be worn during lunch; therefore strict six-feet social distancing in the dining hall will be enforced. Face mask use for sports and training can be found in the Athletics section of the Reopening Plan. The School recommends that the students obtain at least five reusable masks (one for each day of the week) and that the masks are washed frequently.

    KO's policies with regard to mask-wearing and construction are based on the current best practices advised by the agencies and individuals with whom the school consults.  Mask protocols will be updated as new information and guidance becomes available.  At this point the following are the requirements for mask construction.  

    Masks must:
    • Fit snugly and cover both the mouth and the nose
    • Be made of at least two layers
    Masks may:
    • Be made of fabric
    • Be paper surgical masks provided they can be tightened around the nose
    • Fit around the ears or the back of the head
    Neck gaiters and masks with vents on the front will not be permitted. If a student comes to campus with a mask that does not meet the requirements, a replacement mask will be issued to that student. Parents will be contacted to ensure clear understanding of the mask requirements.
  • Social Distancing

    Health experts recommend that all students and employees respect the six-foot distancing guidelines wherever possible between one another to mitigate the spread of the virus. All classrooms and common spaces have been measured and optimized to allow the appropriate number of students to be present while observing these social distancing guidelines as best as possible. Some classes usually held in smaller rooms may move to larger spaces (common areas or other, repurposed areas) to more safely accommodate the students. All seats in the classes will be forward facing.
  • Drop Off

    Middle School students will enter through the front lobby of the Estes Family Middle School; Upper School students will enter through the Roberts Building lower lobby (Trout Brook entrance) in the morning. We are planning on creating a staging area to queue students six feet apart while waiting to be checked in. The earliest that students may be dropped off is 7:30 a.m. Students will be greeted by a faculty or staff member who will check the student’s Ascend app for an ‘all-clear’ to attend school that day and to ensure the student is wearing a face mask. If the app shows that the student may not attend school on that day, they must return home.  
  • Cleaning & Disinfecting

    The School will follow the cleaning and disinfecting guidelines for schools provided by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, paying particular attention to “high touch” surfaces. Additional wall-mounted and free-standing hand sanitizers will be installed and placed throughout campus in high traffic areas. The School will add additional staffing resources during the day to increase the frequency of restroom disinfecting while paying special attention to high touchpoints in common areas. Teachers will disinfect desks, chairs, and high touchpoints prior to another class entering.
  • Air Circulation

    HVAC operational inspections have been and continue to be performed to verify that mechanical parts and components are working at their optimum design performance under extreme conditions and heavier loads. HVAC systems will be started 2 hours prior to anybody entering the building and will stay on at least 1 hour after; these have a range of 6-20 air changes per hour. Restroom exhaust systems will run continuously. Duct and vent cleaning is being performed before the start of school and will continue to be scheduled. Coils are also being disinfected with an EPA-approved disinfectant. Buildings that do not have centralized HVAC systems will have exhaust fans added along with HEPA air purifiers to have additional air changes.
  • If Your Child Becomes Ill At School

    Students who show COVID-19-like symptoms while at school will report to the school nurse and will stay in one of three isolation rooms to protect themselves and others, monitored and cared for by the school nurse in full PPE and regularly disinfected after use. A parent, guardian or other parent-designated caregiver will be expected pick up their child promptly if they are sick at school. A physician's note will be required for return to campus after recovery and/or the appropriate quarantine period. (Note: The Ascend app enables physicians' notes to be uploaded and verified by the nurse.)
  • Health Office Protocols

    The school has outfitted a separate area with three isolation rooms for anyone who has Covid-19 like symptoms.  The isolation rooms ensure the separation of students with symptoms and those who are making visits to the health office for other reasons.  Any student exhibiting symptoms will be instructed to go to Robert’s Lower Lobby health office entrance and will be led to the isolation area.  Students are asked to avoid walking through buildings on their way to the health office entrance.  Parents will be informed of their child’s illness and will be required to pick up their child immediately.  Please have a backup plan in place in the event you are not available to pick up your child.  The nurse will provide parents with guidance based on their child’s symptoms.  To prevent health office congestion and possible cross exposure of Covid-19, simple first aid situations will be handled in the classroom.  Every teacher will be provided with supplies needed for those types of situations.
  • Communication & Education

    Communication is vital to the success of the Reopening Plan so that parents, students, employees and other key stakeholders feel reassured that our plan is comprehensive and that we are centering on the health and well-being of our community. Education regarding health protocols will be continually reinforced prior to school reopening and throughout the school year through digital billboard reminders, posters, short videos and advisee group discussions. Signage and reminders of health protocols will be placed throughout campus, and short videos about handwashing, social distancing and other safety protocols will be made available to instill a culture of safety and ‘care beyond self.’
  • Mental Health

    Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, we are concerned about the social and emotional health of our community. Our school counselors and our dean of students will coordinate education, resources, and mental wellness strategies to navigate the current situation and proactively check-in with our students. The School is augmenting its advisory program by partnering with The Social Institute, a resource for social-emotional support tools. See our School Life section in our Reopening Plans for more information.
  • Travel Restrictions

    Travel Restrictions and Regulations:  During the town hall meeting on August 18, there were a number of questions about travel restrictions. The following is a clarification of the school's policy. All members of the KO community who will be on campus must abide by the state guidelines with regard to travel.  Per state regulations, anyone travelling to a high risk state (current state listing can be found here) will be required to self quarantine for 14 days. If you are travelling outside of CT to a state designated as high risk between August 24 and September 7, 2020, please email Beth Scully ( to inform her of your plans.  This is to cover for the transition to the platform. Students will attend school remotely during the time that they are self quarantining. Families are asked to communicate with their child's advisor in order to ensure that all teachers are informed that the student will be at home if they normally would attend school on campus.

    The Health and Safety Pledge has been finalized.  Students will go over this document during orientation, and parents and students will sign off on it during the first week of school.  
  • COVID-19 Taskforce

    A designated team of administrators will meet weekly to access our response to the pandemic and modify our plans when necessary. The Ascend health app will collect all the data necessary for contract tracing. In the event of a positive COVID-19 test at school, the school nurse will report the data to the department of health. The School will abide by the state’s health recommendations and temporarily close campus for 2 to 5 days or longer if needed in order to investigate, contact trace, and clean.

    Please note that the app data is only as reliable as the information that is being input from our community members. It is critically important that all community members are transparent about their health status of a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 at home.

Campus Protocol Videos for Fall 2020

Dining Hall Procedures


Mask Wearing

Health & Safety Protocols

Middle School Drop-Off

Upper School Drop-Off

Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.
Copyright 2018. Kingswood Oxford.