Health of the Community 
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Community Wellness Guide

Please refer to this page for official updates and resources related to Darlington School's plans for the 2021-2022 school year related to Covid-19.

Face Covering Policy Update

October 15, 2021

Dear Parents,

I remain grateful for the patience, follow-through, and general good humor of our students and faculty and staff as we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19. While we have seen cases in our school community during the first nine weeks of the school year, I am pleased to report that our current number of cases and quarantines is zero. It is also uplifting to see case numbers drop in our local community and our hospitals return to more normal operating procedures. This time has not been easy and I continue to feel blessed to live in a community with such fine people devoted to our health and well-being. I am very proud of the Darlington Community for doing our part to help us manage through the recent COVID surge. 

At this time, Darlington is returning to our start of the school year policies in regards to face coverings. That policy is below. 
 
FACE COVERINGS

Darlington’s policy beginning the year is that all students and faculty/staff, Pre-K to 12, must bring a face covering to school. There will be significant opportunities for students to be mask-free during the school day if they so choose. At the same time, we will continue to fully support the adults and students in our school community who choose to wear a mask and strongly encourage mask wearing for anyone whose immune system may be compromised. 

During the academic day, face coverings are required by adults and students, regardless of vaccination status, in the following indoor settings:

  • On all school buses;
  • At large-group gatherings of 75+ where students are in close proximity (i.e. Flagpole, Upper School assemblies and chapel);
  • As needed and determined by the administration during certain activities.

In terms of extracurricular activities, we will continue to follow Georgia High School Athletic Association guidelines.

All school policies regarding isolation and quarantine, and additional mitigation strategies remain in place. 

We do not know what may come next in terms of the pandemic, so we remain thoughtful and ready. Our commitment to in-person learning means that we may return to a fully-masked campus if the health situation within our school and/or community warrants that decision (as was the case during the recent surge of the Delta variant). 

For now, we are confident that our commitment to staying home when sick, testing for COVID-19 when necessary, hygiene and other mitigation strategies, desire to limit exposure outside of school, and high vaccination rates will allow us to continue to have a successful school year.
 
Thank you for your continued partnership in your child’s educational journey. I am inspired by the energy, enthusiasm, and fortitude that our students display on a daily basis. 

Forward Ever be our Watchword!

Brent Bell
Head of School 
 

Community Wellness Guidelines

A cohort is a group of students/faculty who are grouped together based on common age, grade level, and/or learning space proximity. We have designated overarching cohorts within the school and will limit some interaction within the cohorts based on CDC guidelines and best practices.

All students and faculty/staff, Pre-K to 12, must bring a face covering to school. We will continue to fully support the adults and students in our school community who choose to wear a mask and strongly encourage mask wearing for anyone whose immune system may be compromised. However, there will be significant opportunities for students to be mask-free during the school day if they so choose. A school-wide mask mandate could be put into place at any time if deemed necessary. COVID-19 cases within a classroom, grade level, or division could lead to mask wearing for those students and faculty/staff for a period of 10 days.

We will require the use of face coverings by adults and students, regardless of vaccination status, in the following indoor settings:

- On all school buses;
- At large-group gatherings of 75+ where students are in close proximity (i.e. Flagpole, Upper School assemblies and chapel);
- As needed and determined by the administration during certain activities.

Students may wear face coverings of their choice that are appropriate and not offensive. Face coverings may display the Darlington mascot/logo or a college mascot/logo. No other writing will be allowed on face coverings.
Students and faculty/staff are asked to stay home if they are sick or simply do not feel well. We will not be doing daily temperature checks, so it is important that you do this before leaving home. Testing of symptomatic students and faculty/staff also remains an important part of the effort to slow the spread of the virus. Members of the community who think they may have COVID-19 should be tested. As previously communicated to residential families, boarding students traveling from abroad will follow our testing protocol.
Given the availability of vaccines, less restrictive international travel, and the hardship hybrid learning places on teachers and students, we will not offer a virtual-learning option for the 2021-2022 school year. Only students in quarantine or isolation may be given the opportunity to learn remotely. Arrangements for virtual learning should be made with the student’s division director and not with an individual teacher.
Water bottle filling stations are located throughout campus and all students are encouraged to bring their own water bottle to class. The traditional water fountains are disabled.
Darlington plans to have a host of events on campus this fall. The Georgia High School Association has declared that fall sports should proceed as scheduled and without restriction, and we look forward to the softball, volleyball, cross country, and football seasons. The Soccer, Golf, and Tennis academies are also looking forward to a robust schedule. Fine arts events and field trips (with appropriate protocols) are in the works as are events for adults like the Purple Tie Affair and Alumni Weekend.
Invited visitors are welcome on campus. This would include parents invited to an on-campus event, admissions or alumni visitors, and/or other visitors who have an appointment.
The best way to combat the COVID-19 pandemic is to get vaccinated. To that end, Darlington School encourages all eligible members of the community to do so.

Vaccination not only protects individuals from serious illness; it also serves to protect the community. If your child is not yet vaccinated, we encourage you to consult a pediatrician for recommendations on personal masking choices and on receiving the vaccine if he or she is eligible.

In an effort to collect as much data as possible that will aid us in our decisions moving forward, we ask that you CLICK HERE to fill out our confidential Student Vaccination Status Form.
PRE-K TO 8 UPPER SCHOOL DAY UPPER SCHOOL BOARDING
Contacts
Need help? For questions about...
The academic program, course selection, health and safety, or general divisional information
Contact Chad Woods, Director of Upper School, cwoods@darlingtonschool.org Residential life
Contact Jennifer Rundles, Associate Director of Upper School, jrundles@darlingtonschool.org
Athletics
Contact Eddie Guth, Athletic Director, eguth@darlingtonschool.org
Fine arts
Contact Kim Tunnell, Director of Fine Arts, ktunnell@darlingtonschool.org
Enrollment and registration
Contact Matt Peer, Director of Enrollment Management, mpeer@darlingtonschool.org