Please continually check this page for updates as we will be adding and adjusting information to reflect the most current situation surrounding COVID-19. As always, with any important changes or announcements, we will contact you by email to ensure you have been notified. Last updated on 8/1/2020
Opening of school 2020-2021
Boarding school communities have always relied on a collective dedication to their values and safety, and since Canterbury’s founding, moral leadership has been a central tenet of our mission. I cannot emphasize strongly enough the role we must each play in bringing our community back together—a healthy, responsible, excited community—and my belief that as a small, student-centered boarding and day school, located in the part of the United States best containing COVID-19, and fortunate to have faculty and facilities prepared for the flexibility required to tackle the months ahead: if any institution can build the infrastructure to open safely and take exceptional care of its extraordinary community, Canterbury can.Head of School Rachel Stone P '23, '24
August 1, 2020
We can't wait to welcome our students back to campus!
Below you will find essential information to help you prepare for the upcoming 2020-21 School Year. This page will serve as the central location for all information relevant to the first weeks of school, from academic details and medical forms to schedules for student registration, move-in, and orientation.
In addition to the required forms, make sure you have everything else you need to start the year safely:
- Course Selection
- Summer AP Assignments
- Academic Guide
- English Summer Reading
- Follett Virtual Bookstore
Associate Head of School for Academics
The Donovan Center for Learning
Director of The Donovan Center for Learning
Director of Academic Counseling
Academic Counselor for Fifth and Sixth Forms
Assistant Director of Academic Counseling
Academic Counselor for Third and Fourth Forms
Director of College Counseling
Assistant Director of College Counseling
AP Calculus — No required summer assignments
AP Physics 1 — No required summer assignments
AP Physics C — No required summer assignments
- Boarding Student Information
- Day Student Information
- International Student Information
- Health and Medical Information
- Dress Code
- Student Bank
- Travel Information
For Questions please contact:
Student Life Office
Assistant Head of School for Student Life
Dean of Students
Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Day Students
Associate Director of Admissions, Co-Director of International Students
Language Teacher, Co-Director of International Students
For dorm students wishing to do their own laundry on campus, they can come to the Debit Card desk and sign up for a laundry card. Students will need cash to add additional loads of wash to their card. They use the same card each year they attend Canterbury. Washers and dryers are located in the dorms. Their first card is no charge, replacement fee for each Lost/Stolen/Damaged Card: $6
One load of wash = $3.00 ($1.50 wash / $1.50 dry)
For dorm students not wanting to do all or part of their laundry, Canterbury School works with E & R The Campus Laundry to provide a full line of pick-up and delivery laundry and dry cleaning services to accommodate our student's needs. They offer a couple of options which you can contact directly for your different needs: eandrcleaners.com or TheCampusLaundry.com.
Students may also walk downtown to the green in New Milford to use any of the two local laundry and dry cleaning establishments.
All international students need to deliver their passport, I-20 and visa to the Admission Office upon arrival to Canterbury.
Have questions? Please contact:
Assistant Head of School for Student Life, Peter LaVigne at email@example.com
Associate Director of Admissions and Co-Director of International Students, Gillian Ritter at firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Director of International Students, Tami Devine at email@example.com
Dean of Students, Jake Dellorco at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see Fall 2020 Opening Plan at the top of this page for more information regarding COVID-19-specific requirements and protocols.
For questions about Magnus Health or health services at Canterbury please contact:
Colleen Cook, R.N. '02
The School Health Center, located in the Ingleside building on the west side of campus, is open daily and staffed by registered nurses who work closely with the School’s certified athletic trainers and guidance counselors. Our school doctor and medical director is Dr. Kenneth Marici, MD.
For the past three years, we have partnered with Magnus Health School Medical Records to provide a simple, safe, and secure way to collect and manage our student’s health information.
As a parent, or guardian, you will be able to access your child's Magnus account and enter his or her health history, emergency contact information, and insurance cards. You will also be able to download all of the School medical forms, and electronically sign needed permission forms.
Please login to the School parent portal and access your student's Magnus Health account by clicking on the link to Magnus Health under the Portal Links section. Your User ID and password for Magnus are the same as the one that you use to login to your parent portal.
Once you have access to your student’s account, please start to complete the health requirements as soon as possible. August 1st is our target date for the completion, and submission of student medical information.
It is important to note that every student must meet the State of Connecticut immunization requirements, and must submit a physician’s report of a current, complete physical examination. Both forms are available to download and take to your child’s physician for completion.
Should you need assistance with technology please contact: Magnus Help Desk: 1-877-461-6831 or email@example.com.
Your student’s Magnus Health medical record will need to be updated in preparation for the upcoming School Year.
Please login to the School parent portal and access your student's Magnus Health account by clicking on the link to Magnus Health under the Portal Links section. Your user id and password for Magnus are the same as the one that you use to login to your parent portal.
Once you have accessed the account, you can update the student’s health history, upload new or updated action plans, immunization records, physicals, and insurance cards. You will also need to electronically sign the Permission To Treat and Releases form.
Please remember that every student must have the report of a current complete physical examination on his or her health record before returning to school and participating in Canterbury athletics.
We understand that because of insurance constraints a student’s annual physical may need to be performed later in the school year. When that is the case, you will receive a reminder email one month before your student’s physical expires. A student will not be allowed to continue participating in athletics if his or her physical has expired (not performed within twelve months).
As always, August 1st is our target date for completion of the School medical requirements.
If you encounter any difficulties accessing your student’s Magnus account or updating information, please contact: Magnus Help Desk: 1-877-461-6831 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minimum System Requirements for Mac and Windows Computers
Windows: Windows 10 recommended.
Macintosh: MacOS X 10.14 or newer
An Apple or Windows laptop with wireless capabilities that meets the minimum system requirements. A Chromebook computer will also work and print on our network, but it will not have the capability to run as many third party applications as a Mac or Windows computer.
Although we are a GSuite for Education school we can provide free copies of Microsoft Office to our students if desired.
Acceptable anti-virus programs for Windows computers
While there are others that are suitable, Canterbury School recommends: AVG, Avast, Kaspersky, Symantec/Norton, McAfee, Panda or Trend Micro.
- How do I print on campus?
- How do I access the network?
- What devices can I bring with me?
- Does the campus have WiFi coverage?
- How will I manage my password?
- How do I access my portal?
During registration, new and returning students will set or reset their passwords. They will then visit the computer lab where they will test the password. This password will allow them access to all campus resources including device registration, printing, Google, and Veracross.
If a student needs or wants to reset their password, they can stop by the Technology Help Desk in the Library.
Canterbury Debit Card Account
New Students will receive a Canterbury Debit Card after Registration and their photo has been taken. This card has various functions and is to be used each year they are at Canterbury.
The Canterbury Debit Card is used as your ID, for allowance withdrawals, and for boarding student’s dormitory door locks. Students are to present this card for each purchase in the snack bars, and the school store. Both discretionary and non-discretionary charges are posted to this account.
Their first card is no charge, replacement fee for each Lost/Stolen/Damaged Card: $15
Please complete and return this form and initial deposit on or before August 15 to the Debit Card Office.
Each month parents will receive two statements:
- A Student Billing Statement via email
- An itemized summary of Debit Card Account Statement via email. Charges for certain academic-related fees will continue to be billed on the Student Billing Statement. Guided by the budgeting worksheet and direct communication with their child, parents can determine the frequency and amounts required for deposit to their student’s Debit Card Account.
101 Aspetuck Avenue
New Milford, CT 06776
Mail Room Hours
Monday – Friday
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Mail and Packages
Mail and packages are sorted on a daily basis. Students will receive an email for packages that are too large for their mailbox. Those packages may be picked up whenever the Mail Room is open.
Shipping materials and assistance are available for Students who need to send a letter or package via USPS, UPS or Fedex.
Students may pay for shipping items in cash or they may charge to their Canterbury Debit Card Account, provided the funds are available.
Both Day and Boarding students will be assigned a new mailbox each year they are at Canterbury. Faculty and staff frequently correspond with students in this way. At Registration, students will receive their mailbox number, combination and directions on how to open their mailbox, in their folder. It is recommended to add this information, for easy access throughout the school year, to their contacts list in their cell phone.
Students needing transportation to campus from local hubs should contact Tracey Ramée in the Student Life Office via email or (860) 210-3860. When possible and requested, Canterbury will pick up students from airports and train terminals. In the case where School personnel are unable to do so, Ms. Ramée will help coordinate other modes of transportation to campus.
Jim Stone, email@example.com
Head Football Coach
Jim Stone, Canterbury’s head coach of Varsity Football since fall 2017, brings over 30 years of coaching experience at the independent high school level. Jim served as the Director of Athletics at Blair Academy, NJ for twenty years during which he led the football program as the head varsity coach. Jim led the Blair Buccaneers to eight State Prep A titles and six MAPL Championships during this time with an overall 128-56 record. Prior to serving as head coach, Jim was the offensive coordinator for Blair Academy for two years and the assistant varsity coach at Berkshire School for four years. Jim attended University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC where he received his bachelor’s degree in education and was a member of the Varsity Baseball team. In addition to serving as head football coach, Jim is the Director of Athletics.
Julio Omaña, firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Boys’ Soccer Coach
Julio arrived at Canterbury in the fall of 1992 after his graduation from Ursinus College, PA. He received a double bachelor’s degree in communications and Spanish and earned his master’s degree in Spanish language and literature from Middlebury College Language School, VT. Julio has taught French I and all levels of Spanish, though he currently teaches French I, Spanish I, and AP Spanish. From 2008-12, Julio was a reader for the College Board for their AP program and was a member of the Spanish Language Development Committee. In addition to his classroom responsibilities, Julio has organized the Canterbury-San Cayetano Cultural Exchange since 2010 and is a regular chaperone on the Canterbury Lourdes pilgrimage. Julio is the assistant coach of Boys' Varsity Soccer, and has coached soccer for boys' and girls' teams at various levels for nearly 28 years. Julio lives just off campus with his wife, Amy Omaña '86, their two dogs, and their children, Abby '20 and Brendan '19.
Sam Hargrove, email@example.com
Head Girls’ Soccer Coach
Sam Hargrove has served as the head coach of Girls’ Varsity Soccer since fall 2016 following several seasons as the assistant coach of Boys’ Varsity and head coach of Boys’ JV Soccer. Sam was a four-year varsity letter winner and starter on the Men’s Lacrosse team at Williams College, MA where he received MVP Honors his senior year. Sam played both club soccer and lacrosse during his high school years before committing to play lacrosse in college. The 2017 Saints Girls’ Soccer team had a competitive season against tough Class A and Class B-competitors, beating out Kent School and Berkshire School.
Maddie Hutchings Lord, firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Field Hockey Coach
Madelaine joined the Canterbury community in 2018 as a member of the English Department and head coach of Varsity Field Hockey. She received her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in education from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and her master’s degree in teaching with a concentration in secondary English from Sacred Heart University, CT. While at McGill she competed on their Varsity Field Hockey team and captained the team. She is also a onetime nationally-ranked spike-ball champion in Canada. Immediately prior to Canterbury, Maddie ran the Ridgefield High School, CT field hockey program for two years as the head coach. Maddie lives off campus in nearby Washington, CT at Rumsey Hall School, CT with her husband Zach, a fellow teacher.
Boys' Cross Country
Drew Houghtalen, email@example.com
Head Boys' Cross Country Coach
Drew Houghtalen was named the head coach of Boys’ Cross Country in 2015. A three-sport collegiate athlete, Drew ran cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track at Sacred Heart University, CT. He was named the captain of the Cross Country team in 2010 and of the outdoor track team in 2011 and 2012. Drew served as the volunteer assistant coach of the Sacred Heart Cross Country team in fall 2011.
Girls' Cross Country
Tracy Garcia-Lavigne, firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Girls' Cross Country Coach
Tracy Garcia-LaVigne has coached the Saints Girls’ Cross Country team since 2004. She helped organized the entire league to host the New England Championship meet in 2004, 2013, 2015, and 2018. Tracy has been a certified United States Associated Track & Field (USATF) Level 1 coach since 2013.
EJ Soifersmith, email@example.com
Head Volleyball Coach
E.J. has been the Varsity Volleyball coach since 2005. She played volleyball for Eastchester High School, NY and Downstate Club Volleyball Team where her team won the Regional Championship, the highest award for high school teams in New York state. E.J. was a four-year varsity letter winner and team starter for the Varsity Volleyball team at Rutgers University, NJ and was captain her junior and senior years. She was awarded the Student-Athlete Award for her conference her junior year as well as team MVP. Since Rutgers, E.J. has been heavily involved in coaching volleyball clinics and middle and high school teams, including in Westchester County, NY where she learned to play volleyball herself. Over the last twelve years, EJ has grown the volleyball program tremendously at Canterbury.
Athletic Requirements beginning for the 2020-21 Academic Year:
- All Canterbury students are required to participate in a minimum of two competitive sports or the equivalent out of three seasons during the school year, with the option to do a third or choose an on-campus alternative.
- All students must participate in a sport or afternoon activity in all three seasons.
- Athletic equivalents that substitute for a team sport in one season only during the year:
- Media Arts
- Drama (winter only)
- Independent Music (Must be accepted by Chair of the Music Department)
- AP Art Portfolio
Strength Training does not count as a competitive team sport and is open to only Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Formers.
Students are required to apply for exception to participate in an activity off campus as alternative.
All Third Formers and new Fourth Formers must participate on a team sport in the fall of their first year at Canterbury.
Save the Date
VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
August 19, 2020
An oportunity for our new and returning families to learn more about Opening of School details and Athletics.
More details to follow
- July 17, 2020 - Student Life Letter
- July 1, 2020 - Fall Reopening Update
- June 1, 2020 - State of the School
- May 2020
- April 2020
- March 2020
On our hilltop this July, the Student Life Office is busy preparing for the 2020-2021 Canterbury school year, and we are so excited to welcome our students back to campus soon. Of course, our return to school this fall will be different than in previous years. Much of this letter and its associated links and documents focus on our primary goal of safely returning to the hilltop and the strategies to keep our community healthy thereafter. In addition to reiterating several important aspects of Rachel Stone’s July 1 letter, this letter contains other typical summer reminders from Student Life. Please note that Canterbury’s August 1 correspondence will provide further details, protocols, and information.
As in years past, there is a great deal of information about the upcoming year on Canterbury’s
Opening of School webpage. This page serves as the central location for all back-to-school information, including required forms, arrival dates, updated calendar, and academic details. For your convenience, a Parent Checklist can be found on this page, which includes all action items and forms to be completed over the next few weeks (due dates included).
PRIOR TO RETURN TO SCHOOL
As stated, our goal is to return to school healthy and COVID-19-free. With this in mind, please note the following:
We are asking students and families to partner with us in mitigating the risk of exposure as much as possible before returning to campus. To that end, we ask all families to be particularly attentive to your child’s travel and interactions during the two weeks leading up to registration. During this quiet time, we ask that your child avoids large crowds and places of recent outbreaks, minimizes exposure to sick people, physically distances by six feet, and wears a mask in public.
With guidance from the Canterbury Medical Task Force, all students must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within seven days of arriving on campus (this is an adjustment from the July 1 letter). This timing may change according to the State of Connecticut or CDC guidelines. For a list of resources to help families identify testing locations, please click here. In most locations, it is now taking up to 3-5 days to receive the results of a PCR test. The time between testing and arrival on campus is especially critical for students to self-quarantine. Please note that students will not be permitted on campus without proof of a negative test.
For families who live close enough to campus, we encourage you to move your child’s belongings into their dorm room during a pre-arranged time slot starting on August 17. This will allow us to limit the number of people in dorms at one time and lower the density normally associated with orientation. Families will schedule a date with the Student Life Office to drop off belongings and return home. Families will hear from us after August 1 about scheduling these appointments.
Students arriving from states or countries that require a 14-day quarantine MUST plan on arriving at Canterbury during the week of August 17 to quarantine on campus OR must plan to arrive in CT/NY (or another state that does not require a quarantine) 14 days before their arrival and quarantine at another location. Please be aware that states whose residents will be required to quarantine for 14 days may change between now and the start of the school year. We understand that some families will require special consideration regarding early arrival. We are happy to work with families from those states impacted to help arrange plans.
As a reminder, each family will need to provide the School with an emergency departure plan in the event that your child tests positive for COVID-19 and needs isolation or if the School is required to shift to a fully remote learning model based on state or local conditions. In the Student Life Questionnaire explained later in this letter, each family will have an opportunity to provide us with their emergency contact/local guardian. For families who need help securing a local guardian, please reach out to the Student Life Office.
If a member of the community tests positive for COVID-19, Canterbury’s medical team will communicate with families appropriately. Based on clearly-defined contact tracing, other students who may have been exposed will be required to quarantine. When possible, we strongly recommend students quarantine off campus or at home. That being said, we have a limited amount of space on campus for students who live at a great distance to quarantine.
ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION
As mentioned in the July 1 letter and on the Opening of School website, each Form/grade will return to campus on a specific date. While new students to Canterbury will arrive on campus and register in person, our returning students will complete their registration online prior to arrival. We need to limit the number of family members permitted on campus on arrival and registration days.
WHAT TO BRING
In addition to the normal belongings on the packing list, below is a list of COVID-19-related items to consider:
Because students will be required to wear a mask for the majority of the day, students must bring 5-10 cloth masks (Canterbury will provide each student with two masks). We advise students not to use masks with valves in them as they are not effective. Mask patterns must be appropriate.
Boarding students must also bring a portable shower caddy as no student belongings can remain in the bathrooms between uses.
We recommend that students bring a thermometer.
We also recommend that students bring a portable or window fan for their dorm room.
Please note the adjusted dress code requirements for 2020-2021. The decision to simplify the dress code this year stems from our desire to make students feel more comfortable given the additional COVID-19 protocols that will be in place.
For several reasons, including the need to keep rooms clean and the ability to pack rooms quickly in the case of an unforeseen shutdown, we ask families to PACK LIGHTER than normal.
OTHER COVID-19 CONSIDERATIONS
Canterbury’s Medical Task Force has worked diligently since May planning for the opening of school. With their guidance and directives, we have revised and/or planned a safe residential life structure, flow and arrangement of the dining hall, configurations and maximum capacities for classrooms, and a format of the Health Center. The Task Force is also helping Student Life create daily safety protocols such as required daily wellness checks, clearly-defined contact tracing, and concrete rules regarding when students will be required to wear masks. In addition, the Task Force is highly recommending that all students receive a flu shot this year. The Health Center will be able to provide this for a fee if receiving the flu vaccine on campus is easier for families than scheduling one prior to their child's arrival. Please see Magnus for more information. On August 1, the Student Life Office will share a comprehensive set of on-campus expectations having to do with health and safety.
Good health hygiene will be more important than ever as each person contributes to the overall well-being of our community. Students will need to comply with protocols and encourage one other to do the same. Because an outbreak on campus could result in state or local authorities deeming it necessary to close down the school, each student needs to be ready and willing to adhere to guidelines for wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and keeping rooms clean. It will be very important that students hear and follow directions as intended and be proactive in protecting the health on our hilltop. In addition to requiring parents to sign an informed consent form, we will be asking each student to sign and comply with a Saints Pledge to keep Canterbury safe.
We know you have likely heard that certain collegiate and high school leagues have announced that they will not be competing in the fall. Canterbury recognizes the importance of athletics to the overall health and well-being of students as well as to the college aspirations for some of our athletes. It is still Canterbury’s hope that our fall varsity teams will be able to play an altered interscholastic schedule with other independent schools following similar preventative protocols starting in early October. In Connecticut, high school athletic programs began practicing in late June and youth programs began competing in July. In the event that we cannot compete against other schools, we are committed to providing a robust training and athletic program for our athletes on campus, including daily practices, skill development, and gathering film for recruiting purposes. Canterbury’s varsity teams will not hold preseason practices but will begin practice once students return to campus. There will also be scheduled times for off-season sports teams to work on skill development in the fall. Canterbury will be hosting an athletic-focused Town Hall Zoom Meeting on the evening of July 28. Please stay tuned for more details.
Many boarding students are accustomed to traveling on weekends after classes and/or athletics to return home to spend time with family, to participate in off-campus commitments, and to visit colleges. In order to start the year as healthy as possible and limit potential exposure off campus, students will likely not be able to sign out for weekend travel in September without special permission from the Student Life Office. Our hope is that we will be able to allow students to sign out in October, but there will be additional steps to the signout and return-to-campus procedure. We will provide additional details on weekend signouts and visits in our August 1 letter from the Head of School.
FACULTY ADVISOR AND BIG BROTHER/SISTER
New students should expect to hear from their faculty advisors in the next two weeks. Faculty advisors are the “go-to” adults for questions, concerns, and information once the school year begins. While some of the details of the fall remain undecided, the advisor can help guide you in the right direction should you have questions.
Similarly, every new student will be given a Big Brother/Big Sister in the coming weeks. Your Big Brother/Sister is a returning student who will be another resource for you as you transition to your life on our hilltop. The group of Big Brothers/Sisters is excited to meet you all!
2020-21 STUDENT HANDBOOK AND FORMS
The Student Handbook for 2020-2021 is now available, and I ask that you read it while paying particular attention to the following sections: Major Rules, Policy on Healthy Relationships, the Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs, and Terms and Conditions for Internet Use. As mentioned above, please notice the adjusted dress code for 2020-2021. Once your family has reviewed the Handbook, a parent/guardian must complete and submit this form to confirm. Students will sign a similar form during the first week of classes. In early August, we will share an additional document that includes a more detailed list of community expectations regarding COVID-19 safety, including the Saints Pledge. That said, we expect that some aspects of the Handbook (e.g., weekend signout procedures, rules regarding day student and interdorm visitation in dorms) will be altered. Sections such as Major School Rules and Policy on Healthy Relationships will remain unchanged.
The School Calendar is found on the last page of the Handbook and online. As stated in the July 1 letter, we ask for your patience regarding our plans following the December break. Once we are back on campus as a full community, we will finalize our January-June calendar. These calendar dates reflect our best predictions at this point in time and are subject to change should the State of Connecticut guidelines and/or medical landscape shift in ways that prevent Canterbury from opening as scheduled. Prior to registration, you will receive a more detailed orientation and opening days schedule.
I encourage you to complete the checklist and submit the online forms. We ask that all families—returning and new—complete a Parent Information Questionnaire by August 1. The Magnus Health forms are accessible through your Parent Portal. Please contact Rachel Leonard, Canterbury’s System Support Specialist, if you have issues or questions accessing your portal.
As a reminder, Canterbury is offering the opportunity to engage in summer academic enrichment at no cost to our families. While some sessions began last week, students (new and returning) are able to participate in test prep skills sessions, creative writing workshops, and summer reading book discussions. To see a full list of the academic enrichment offerings and schedule, please click here. Students should consider taking advantage of these opportunities and are required to pre-register for the sessions; links are included on the schedule.
In conclusion, we understand that even as we provide updates and answers, there will continue to be more questions about the fall. We will have more specific Student Life plans as we get closer to September, but please do not hesitate to contact me, Dean of Students Jake Dellorco, or the Student Life Office at 860-210-3860 if you have any questions about Student Life or the opening of school. I look forward to seeing you at the start of next year.
Peter D. LaVigne
Assistant Head of School for Student Life
July 1, 2020
To the Canterbury Community,
Warm summer greetings from New Milford. As we officially transition to the 2020-21 school year, we are writing with the latest updates regarding next year as the second of three official letters to the extended Canterbury family (June 1 State of the School linked here).
The most accurate description regarding the return of our students this fall remains cautiously optimistic. On the one hand, outlined below is a tentative calendar that aims for a school schedule that is as normal as possible in hopes of establishing a familiar, effective, and healthy routine for our students. From August training for our student leaders to new course offerings (and the fall opening of the Steers Center!), our goal is to retain the spirit and sense of belonging that are hallmarks of the Canterbury community. On the other hand, we acknowledge that the pace and pattern of our routines on campus will include necessary changes, from socially-distanced academic and dining spaces, to the importance of wearing masks and the role of COVID-19 antigen testing throughout the year. Along the way, our commitment to our students and to meeting their needs is unwavering, and we are intently focused on welcoming back our school community come September.
To that end, please find below a series of updates.
I. Calendar Update
We will be offering a number of academic enrichment opportunities starting the week of July 6; please see a Donovan Center for Learning update from Associate Head of School for Academics, Sue Roberts, later today. This letter will also provide updates regarding your child’s courses for 2020-21.
Week of July 13: Letter from our Student Life Office regarding family forms and questionnaires, students’ Faculty Advisors, the Big Brother/Big Sister program, student dress code updates for the fall semester, and the timeline/process/option for boarding students to bring items to their dormitories prior to registration.
July 21: Virtual Town Hall Meeting for New & Returning Families
- Topic: Athletics. Further details and registration link to come.
August 19: Virtual Town Hall Meeting for New & Returning Families
- Topic: Final Details regarding the Fall Semester. Further details and registration link to come.
Beginning August 17: In order to address the current complexities of international travel, our international students will be welcomed back to campus for dormitory move-in beginning on August 17. We understand that current travel restrictions require some international students to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the United States and/or to quarantine in a third country prior to arrival in the United States. For all of our international families, please continue to review the current CDC travel restrictions, to reach out to Director of International Students, Gillian Ritter, with updates or questions, and to know that we are also closely monitoring these protocols and are eager to work individually with each international family.
August 17-30: Boarding students will have the option to sign up through the Student Life Office to bring belongings to dormitory rooms in a staged, scheduled manner. Details to follow from Assistant Head of School for Student Life, Peter LaVigne, and Dean of Students, Jake Dellorco.
August 31 (a.m.): Student Leaders return for registration and dormitory move-in. Information regarding specific arrival times to come.
- Leadership Training begins.
September 2 (p.m.): Sixth Form and Postgraduates (Senior Class) return for registration and boarding student dormitory move-in. Information regarding specific arrival times to come.
- Our Fall Athletic Preseason was initially scheduled to begin on September 2. As Canterbury’s plans for athletics continue to clarify, we ask for your patience regarding the start of practices for fall teams. We will provide an athletic update during the July 21 Town Hall.
September 3: Fifth Form (Junior Class) returns for registration and boarding student dormitory move-in. Information regarding specific arrival times to come.
September 4: Fourth Form (Sophomore Class) returns for registration and boarding student dormitory move-in. Information regarding specific arrival times to come.
September 5: Third Form (Freshman Class) returns for registration and boarding student dormitory move-in. Information regarding specific arrival times to come.
September 6: Orientation activities held for all students (required community event).
September 7: Classes begin.
Virtual Fall Family Weekend (date TBD)
November 21: Classes end for Thanksgiving Break.
December 1 - December 17: Our plans for the final weeks of the Fall Semester remain flexible. We know that some boarding schools have already decided that students will not return to campus between the November and December vacations and will instead pivot fully to distance learning; we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 medical updates in order to make as informed a decision as we can regarding a return to campus for in-person classes vs. a shift to distance learning. If at all possible, we will bring our community back together to finish the semester safely and productively.
January 5: Spring Semester classes begin on campus.
Spring Semester: We ask for your patience regarding our plans following the December break. Once we are back on campus as a full community, we will finalize our January-June calendar.
These calendar dates reflect our best predictions at this point in time and are subject to change should the State of Connecticut guidelines and/or medical landscape shift in ways that prevent Canterbury from opening as scheduled. We understand that students who travel a great distance to join our community have questions about the availability of staying on campus during breaks, and we are working in earnest to address those questions. Finally, we would ask that all of our families continue to monitor local and national/international travel guidelines/restrictions; the State of Connecticut currently has a Travel Advisory in effect for several states, which we are closely tracking and about which we will provide an update in our August 1 communication.
II. Medical Update
We have learned a great deal about COVID-19 since our students departed in March, and there is general consensus—both among the broader medical community as well as within Canterbury’s Medical Task Force—that the ways in which we can most significantly reduce the arrival and spread of illness on our campus rely on two critical components: 1) all students, faculty, and staff check for symptoms daily and seek medical care if feeling unwell; and 2) all members of the Canterbury community practice good hygiene and adhere to safety protocols (e.g., engage in social distancing and wear face masks as is reasonably possible). Our shared, persistent commitment to these practices will serve as our community’s best defense against coronavirus and our best avenue toward a healthy, productive, on-campus experience this fall.
This commitment will include:
“Quiet” period for students, faculty, and staff prior to students’ return to campus. We will ask all families to be particularly attentive to your child’s travel and interactions during the two weeks leading up to registration on campus in order to limit points of intersection with COVID-positive friends and relatives.
COVID-19 (PCR) Testing within four days prior to each student’s arrival on campus. Students must arrive for registration with official medical documentation of a negative test. At this time, antibody testing cannot be used to replace PCR testing. We know that the logistics of scheduling a test within this four-day window may be challenging for a small group of our families; please be in touch with Director of Health Services, Colleen Cook, if you have questions or concerns about scheduling the PCR test prior to your child’s return to campus. For a list of resources to help families identify testing locations, please click here.
Prior to returning to campus, parents and students will review and agree to Canterbury’s Medical Response Action Plan and Informed Consent language (regarding adherence to safety protocols and understanding of the reasonable risk associated with COVID-19). These documents will be shared digitally as part of Canterbury’s August 1 community letter.
Daily symptom checks. All students, faculty, and staff will be asked to self-check for symptoms daily and seek medical attention if experiencing symptoms. Details regarding these protocols will be included in our August 1 Medical Response Action Plan.
Testing protocols will continue throughout the school year and will be communicated with families as part of Canterbury’s Medical Response Action Plan. We will have an antigen quick testing device in our Health Center for use by our medical team for testing of symptomatic students, and our testing protocols for surveillance screening will be shaped by forthcoming state guidelines.
In the case of a positive COVID-19 test on campus, a family member will be required to take their child home for isolation if ill or for quarantine if considered a close contact. For families living further away than 300 miles/five-hour drive, an emergency contact/local guardian must be identified (as is the School’s expectation every year). We will have the ability to manage only short-term (<24 hours) isolation/quarantine on campus.
Canterbury’s medical and safety practices will include comprehensive use of PPE, cleaning supplies, cleaning protocols, and hand sanitizers following CDC and State of Connecticut Department of Public Health guidelines. We will have multiple members of our faculty and staff trained as certified contact tracers, will create separate “well” and “unwell” spaces in the Health Center, and will continue to be guided by: 1) local and state advisories and viral activity (new positive case rates and new hospitalizations) and 2) the Report of The Higher Education Subcommittee ReOpen Connecticut, the CT Independent School ReOpen Plan Education Subcommittee, and the State of Connecticut K-12 ReOpen Report. In addition, it is important and reassuring to note that COVID statistics in Connecticut are among the very best in the United States and that the June 25 American Academy of Pediatrics report (COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry) highlights: “The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”
III. Academic & Athletic Update
As noted in our June 1 community letter, we know that the need for remote learning may continue into the fall for some students while others may need to engage in remote learning for short stretches during the year for a variety of reasons. Details regarding the structure of Canterbury’s remote learning option (an option that will provide access to our on-campus academic courses) will be shared in our August 1 letter; the prorated cost will be available to those families whose children cannot return to campus due to government-mandated travel restrictions or in the case of a temporary campus shut-down.
Our Athletic update remains unchanged from June: we are hopeful that fall athletics will be offered, albeit with additional safety protocols in place. In the meantime, we continue to closely monitor the experience and protocols of local/regional summer athletic programs that have begun, to learn from decisions among college athletic conferences, to take cues from the State of Connecticut, and to be in conversation with peer boarding schools. Additionally and in collaboration with peer schools, our athletic department is strategizing how to best support, develop, and showcase our athletes this fall, particularly those athletes who experienced a lack of exposure to the college recruiting process this past spring. We look forward to providing our latest thinking during the July 21 Virtual Town Hall.
IV. Our Ongoing Commitment toward Building/Sustaining a Diverse and Inclusive Community
There is no question that our School’s focus on DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) work has run in concert with our focus on a healthy opening for the fall. You have seen recent communications from our hilltop regarding the Canterbury Faculty DEI Committee as well as our student forums and faculty forums, which will continue meeting throughout the summer (and years ahead) to read, reflect, discuss, and create action plans regarding critically important topics centered on anti-racism. In addition, we are building the framework for a broader committee that will involve student, alumni, trustee, staff, and faculty representatives of the Canterbury family, a committee whose work will begin in earnest this fall to help craft the long-term goals and roadmap reflective of Canterbury’s enduring commitment to social justice and to a diverse and inclusive school community. Regarding our most immediate short-term steps, we will seek feedback/perspective from members of the extended Canterbury family through structured focus groups, and we will formally open the 2020-21 school year with DEI-focused professional development.
V. Closing Thoughts
Amid the chronic uncertainty and unrest we face today, let us not forget the hope and optimism we feel when envisioning the return of our students and reconnection of the Canterbury community. It is important that we prepare our students for new community norms around health and safety—indeed, things will look different!—as we also remind them that the relationships we build on this hilltop will not be precluded by masks and social distancing. To be sure, our returning students have carried the spirit and soul of this remarkable School with them since March, and they will share it with the new members of our community come September.
Until then, please continue to check our Opening of School 2020-2021 webpage and to stay healthy and safe throughout the summer. We shall stay in touch along the way.
Gratefully...and Go Saints!
Medical Task Force
Head of School Rachel Stone P ʼ23, ʼ24
Director of Health Services Colleen Cook R.N. ʼ02
School Physician Ken Marici M.D. ʼ87, P ʼ20, ʼ22
Trustee Anna Flik M.D. P ʼ21
Associate Head of School for Operations Pete Cotier ʼ86, P ʼ19, ʼ20
Associate Head of School for Academics Sue Roberts P ʼ24
Assistant Head of School for Student Life Peter LaVigne P ʼ14, ʼ16, ʼ17, ʼ20, ʼ23
Business Manager Stephen Carleton P ʼ16, ʼ20
June 1, 2020
To the Canterbury Community,
June greetings. We trust this letter finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe. As the coronavirus-impacted world begins to reopen, we are reaching out to all members of the extended Canterbury family with a State of the School update regarding the strength and stability of Canterbury, our ongoing COVID-19 planning, and our timeline for decisions moving forward.
On May 23rd, we shepherded the Class of 2020 across the virtual Commencement finish line and congratulated them on staying the course despite the unexpected hurdles placed in their way. As I said to the Sixth Form that morning: "Thank you for being my, and Mr. Stone's, diehard copilot class. For never taking this place for granted. For managing the disappointment and disruption of this spring with grace, humility, and resilience. And for loving this school, and one another, so deeply." Now, we turn our full attention to the 2020-2021 school year and the path forward to bringing our community back together on this hilltop.
Most critical to today's letter are the following key messages: 1) Canterbury remains an excellent, transformative option for students, now more than ever; 2) We plan to bring our students back to campus this fall, with classes to begin the week of September 7th; and 3) the financial, medical, and human infrastructure of our School is both enduring and extraordinary.
I. Why Canterbury: While the experience and program offered by Canterbury have always been life-changing, our ability to meet the needs of students and families in the wake of coronavirus is simply unmatched. We are a deliberately small, student-centered community in safe, rural western Connecticut. Our response this spring to stay connected to, and present for, our students was overwhelmingly well-received by our families; we are proud of the success of our Distance Learning Plan as well as our Student Life framework, from consistent touchpoints by advisors and coaches to virtual weekend activities and an explosion of student-driven social media.
Moreover, we place the highest priority on the self-advocacy, independence, and personal growth of each student, and we foster that academic, athletic/artistic, and ethical growth by knowing our students as individuals and expecting them to play an active and engaged leadership role in building community. As the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged each of us to affirm and prioritize our values, Canterbury stands as a reminder that excellent academic programming can be interwoven with an unwavering system of values: Honesty, Respect, Compassion, Spirituality & Self-Reliance. Indeed, our School's mission to "inspire moral leaders in a complex, secular world" is as relevant and important now as ever. As both an educator and parent, I cannot imagine a better time for families to consider boarding school as an option for their teenage children. What our community can offer and inspire simply cannot be replicated by day and public schools.
II. Student Return: What we have learned about COVID-19 over the past three months will continue to grow exponentially in June, July, and August. Knowing that each week will bring greater clarity and improve our ability to plan, we will proceed toward September under the expectation that both our boarding and day students will return for classes as originally planned the week of September 7th. Certainly this timeline assumes that the medical landscape continues to improve and that Canterbury can meet the public health expectations established by the CDC and the State of Connecticut in order to take excellent care of our community. Along the way, we will provide updates as possible when we reliably and transparently can regarding the following topics, a list that is incomplete at best:
- Our Partnership with Parents: To reiterate prior messaging, a successful return of our students to campus will rely on our continued strong communication and collaboration with our parents/families. This partnership will include expectations regarding testing protocols (types, frequency, response to outcomes), summer medical physical exams, compliance with on- and off-campus safety protocols for our students, and acknowledgement of reasonable risk. We will share Canterbury's Medical Response Action Plan by August 1st and ask that all families read, discuss, and acknowledge their understanding of the expectations and responsibilities placed on the School, our students, and our parents/families.
- Remote Learning Option: We know that for some families, the need for remote learning may continue into the fall. We plan to offer a robust virtual academic program this fall (and winter and spring as needed) that provides access to our traditional and innovative on-campus academic schedule. For enrolled students who need to access the Remote Learning option (due to travel restrictions, illness, or other complications), Canterbury will adjust tuition and fees accordingly. Details regarding the Remote Learning Option, and its cost, will be available by August 1st.
- Athletics: We understand that our students deeply value both the individual physical/emotional growth they experience through athletics and the benefits (and joys) of team competition. We are paying close attention to decisions made across local and state organizations, peer boarding schools, and higher education. As of today's letter, there is promising news regarding athletic competition and avenues by which our Saints can resume play. As we determine when we can begin practices on campus—with the goal of interscholastic competition to follow—the safety and health of our student-athletes will be at the forefront of all decisions.
- Student Leadership: We still plan to bring our 2020-21 student leaders back to campus for training prior to the start of classes, most likely as the "first wave" of students to move into dormitories and learn our new safety protocols in order to help model and norm them in their interactions on our hilltop.
We plan to share formal updates by July 1st and August 1st and will offer relevant details along the way as possible; please also continue to check our Opening of School 2020-2021 webpage. In addition, I am fortunate to have been invited to serve on the TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools) Healthy Opening & Operation Committee, a small working group that meets twice weekly to: "provide boarding school leaders and practitioners with concrete resources and actionable ideas that can help boarding schools open and operate in the healthiest possible way." Finally, please note that Canterbury is on track to receive a Reopen CT Badge as part of our staged reopening this summer for employees, and we are following the guidance provided by the Reopen CT: Report of the Higher Education Subcommittee for the fall.
III. School Infrastructure: To be sure, COVID-19 has disrupted the world's medical and economic foundation. We know that members of the Canterbury family have been affected as well, and we extend our thoughts and prayers to you. As this healing continues, we believe that it is important for our broad community to know that our Trustees and Leadership Team have confidence in the vitality of Canterbury's infrastructure:
- Our teaching faculty have not only risen to face the challenges presented by COVID-19 but have taken professional and personal ownership to sustain the attention, expertise, and presence we provide our students. Their devotion to Canterbury is unparalleled. Meanwhile, our Administrative Team—in partnership with our Board of Trustees—has been stalwart in responding to a disrupted spring with persistence, creativity, and devotion to the sustained well-being of this community.
- Careful stewardship of your financial support to Canterbury is very important to us, particularly in the face of the significant turbulence in the financial markets created by COVID-19. Thanks to our Investment Committee, along with our Investment Advisor, the Canterbury Endowment has defended well during these last few months. Moreover, we are not only on track to exceed our FY '20 Annual Fund goal but were thrilled and humbled by the outpouring of support during our May 19th Saints Giving Day: our aim was 300 donors and $100,000 to unlock a $100,000 match...and our outcome was more than 600 donors with $223,631 raised! Furthermore, we are on track to open the Steers Center this fall, a project inspired by our students and reflective of our commitment to innovative academics grounded by values. We believe that these successes will propel us toward the finish line for our capital campaign and help galvanize the critical work of growing Canterbury's endowment.
- As we create the roadmap toward welcoming students back this fall, we are fortunate to be located in Litchfield County, where the COVID-19 statistics (incidence, prevalence, mortality) have been low since March and have become increasingly reassuring. In addition, our campus is located less than one mile from New Milford Hospital, and our Medical Task Force benefits from the extraordinary leadership, wisdom, and gravitas of School Physician Dr. Ken Marici '87, Director of Health Services Colleen Cook, RN '02, and Trustee/Pediatrician Dr. Anna Flik P'21. Just as we work toward preventing the spread of coronavirus within our community, we also work to address the physical and emotional health challenges experienced by our students during this time apart. Indeed, wellness is multifaceted and demands a collaborative, community-centered approach.
We hope this State of the School provides clarity, reassurance, and confidence in our School. I look forward to connecting with our alumni virtually this weekend, and we will be inviting newly enrolled families to a virtual Town Hall on June 10th. Finally, please encourage friends and family with teenage children to attend our Admission Virtual Open Houses on June 24th and July 22nd.
We can't wait to welcome our students back to campus this fall!
Rachel E. Stone P '23, '24
Head of School
Robert H. Steers '71, P '11
President, Board of Trustees
Dear Canterbury Families,
As we begin our final week of the academic year, I wanted to remind you of the special events and happenings on the hilltop this week. The celebration starts tonight with Canterbury’s Underform Awards Assembly and continues tomorrow evening with the Sixth Form Assembly. Both events are at 7 PM. To find the livestream links to these and all events this week, please view our Commencement 2020 website.
The Sixth Formers have a busy week (Senior Week) including several Commencement rehearsals, starting with this afternoon’s required meeting at 3:30 PM. In addition, the seniors will have their final school meeting tomorrow morning at 10 AM where we will honor this year’s Cantuarian dedicatee. We will also confer several athletic awards during this school meeting. The seniors finish classes tomorrow afternoon and begin their Senior Seminar Series on Wednesday morning.
The Underformers have classes through the end of week and finish Friday with their own special school meeting at 2:15 PM. All students and families are invited to the Baccalaureate Mass being livestreamed on Friday night at 7 PM. Similarly, our entire community is invited to Commencement on Saturday morning at 10 AM.
As mentioned, our Commencement page has all the links you need to watch the events this week. Let me or Jake Dellorco know if you have any questions.
Assistant Head of School for Student Life
May 12, 2020
Dear Canterbury Families,
With just ten days remaining in the spring semester, I am writing to ensure that our Canterbury families have the information you need for these final two weeks as well as to touch base once again regarding next fall.
For our Sixth Form parents, the final countdown begins! Your children have continued to impress us with their approach to such an unexpected finish to their senior year and have been overwhelmingly generous in spirit, nostalgia and gratitude. As they experience their last academic moments as Saints and transition into Senior Seminars and Commencement Week events, we appreciate all that you are doing to help them focus on the extraordinary accomplishment that their Canterbury graduation will be. As a reminder, the Commencement 2020 webpage has been updated and will host the livestream links for our virtual Sixth Form Assembly (May 19), Baccalaureate Mass (May 22), and Commencement (May 23). Finally, kudos to our AP Art Students whose Exhibition is tonight at 6:30; don’t miss it!
For our Underform parents, your children are wrapping up their academic courses in various culminating endeavors as they also begin to select their classes for the fall. Please continue to help them finish the year on a high note by reviewing their assignments via your parent portal. All Underformers will be expected to attend the virtual Underform Assembly on May 18 at 7:00 PM (EST) as well as the final (Zoom) School Meeting of the year on May 22 at 2:15 PM (EST). Their Advisors and Academic Counselors are available and ready to help!
Tomorrow morning’s Parent Q&A will provide an opportunity to discuss any additional year-end topics but will largely focus on next year. As I noted in my April 27 communication:
As we reach clarity about 2020-21, we remain fully committed to offering a program for your children that we believe will best meet their needs come September. From academic and college counseling programs focused intentionally on individual growth and success; to the strength and values of our community (and familiarity to returning students); to the small size, rural location, and medical infrastructure of our town and campus; Canterbury is here for you. And we are here for you whether we open right on time (hopefully), October 1st, in a hybrid model, or remotely. Thank you for your patience and partnership.
I wish I could say that now — two weeks later — we have all the answers, but like every educational institution, we are living at the nexus of persistence and patience as we do our best to plan ahead. As a small boarding school, Canterbury draws both comparisons to, and distinctions from, the roadmaps which colleges, K-12 day schools, and public schools will build toward 2020-21. To that end, we are paying close attention to various reports and recommendations as we engage in conversations and tabletop sessions with peer boarding schools; we have included a sampling of resources from the state of Connecticut, the National Association of Independent Schools, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association:
*Because of our residential program, boarding schools are included in the Higher Ed report, but we also await the ReOpen CT Report of the K-12 Subcommittee.
We know that both the breadth and depth of information woven throughout these reports are overwhelming and raise more questions than provide answers. That said, our goal is to share the resources we are accessing with you in the spirit of good communication. Please also know that we have a standing biweekly Medical Task Force meeting with members of our administrative team, Director of Health Services Colleen Cook ’02, School Physician Ken Marici ’87, and a member of our Board of Trustees who is also a current parent and practicing pediatrician. As Canterbury’s specific plans take shape, we will keep all of our families updated in a timely and transparent manner.
To be sure, a successful return of our students to campus will rely on our continued strong partnership with all of you. As an example: consistent across medical updates and government recommendations is the critical role that testing will play in monitoring and managing the safety of our students, faculty, and staff (both testing for COVID-19 and testing for antibodies as an avenue toward measuring our community’s level of herd immunity). Canterbury’s Medical Team will need to work with families to achieve a consistent level of accurate testing. Ultimately, we will have a Medical Response Action Plan to share that will address a full array of details, from those parameters surrounding our students’ safe return to those we will abide by in the case of a positive test on campus. While I am getting ahead of myself, my intention is to further plant the seed that our collaboration with all of you will be even more essential when campus reopens. I am truly grateful to work with the families who have chosen Canterbury.
I hope that many of you will join us tomorrow morning (Wednesday, May 13) for our weekly Parent Q&A, which begins at 8:15 AM (EST). While I will provide some framing, the bulk of our time together will allow for questions. If you are unable to attend, a recording of the session will be made available here. Finally, Week 3 of Epidemiology runs this afternoon at 4:30 PM (EST)!
Thank you for everything you do to support Canterbury and our Saints. Stay safe.
Rachel E. Stone P’23, ’24
Head of School
April 27, 2020
Dear Canterbury Families,
As we pass the midway point of this unusual and unexpected spring, I am writing to once again check in with all of you. Those of us living on our hilltop in New Milford continue to wish the extended Canterbury family good health during this time, to miss our students deeply, and to eagerly hope for clarity (medical and otherwise) that will inform our decisions regarding the 2020-21 school year. It goes without saying that we simply cannot wait for our students to return.
In hopes of striking an effective communication balance, we have tried to focus each message this spring on one or two specific updates. Today, we write to follow up on the topic of spring 2020 refunds/credits as well as questions about the 2020-21 school year. We have appreciated your patience as our Leadership Team continues to thoroughly and thoughtfully assess the financial implications of this pandemic on the School’s operations, our employees, and our families.
Credit/Refund for Portion of Tuition for the Spring Term
I must start by acknowledging the extraordinary work our Academic team, teaching faculty, and students have tackled from the very moment we made the decision to delay, and then cancel, a return to campus after spring break. I have seen this commitment as both a colleague and parent (apparently Latin is just as challenging via distance learning as it was in person!), and I want to thank the entire Canterbury community for embracing a new model of learning.
As I noted in my April 14 communication, the vast majority of our costs remain fixed whether students are on campus or not; moreover, we have committed to ensuring the employment of our faculty and staff through June to reiterate that our community is our highest priority. Along the way, Canterbury’s Board of Trustees and Administrative Team have closely monitored cost savings during this transitional time in order to determine a fair credit/refund to our families in good faith and in acknowledgment of your partnership during these unsettled times.
To that end, we are able to offer a credit of up to $2,000 per boarding student and up to $500 per day student, distributed as a credit applied to your student billing account. The credit will be prorated in proportion to any amount of financial aid awarded for the year. For Sixth Form families, any credit balance in your account will be refunded in June. For Third, Fourth and Fifth Form families, this credit will carry forward in your student billing account.
In order to initiate the processing of your family’s credit/refund, please register here.
How Can You Support our Saints?
Many of our families have reached out to offer help in recent weeks, and we could not be more grateful for these gestures of goodwill. In the spirit of these requests, we are sharing the option for you to consider making a tax-deductible gift of your family’s credit/refund to the Canterbury Annual Fund. Please know that we appreciate, and are sensitive to, the varying degrees of financial impact this pandemic has created for individual families. If, however, you are in a position to give, your generosity would provide critical support to our School and a powerful message to your children’s teachers and mentors. Should you have any questions about the specifics of this process, please feel free to reach out to Business Manager Steve Carleton or Chief Advancement Officer Rick Henderson.
To make a gift of your credit/refund to the Annual Fund, please register here.
Looking Ahead to the 2020-21 School Year
As we focus intently on a strong finish to the spring semester - including closure for, and celebration of, our Sixth Formers - we are also planning for next fall. To be sure, we fully intend to open the 2020-21 school year as planned and are working in close collaboration with local and state medical/public health and government officials, as well as the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), to build a roadmap to that safe opening. That said, the COVID-19 landscape continues to be fluid at best, and we will work in parallel to prepare for any and all versions of a “disrupted” fall.
To that end, and in order to provide reassurance to our new and returning families, should state or federal restrictions preclude us from starting the academic year as scheduled - including via distance learning or a late start to the year - we will adjust tuition, room and board accordingly and in reflection of the degree to which our program is impacted. Moreover, if government- issued travel or visa restrictions prevent a student from arriving on campus for the start of the school year, Canterbury will apply appropriate reductions to those same charges and provide a distance learning option until the student arrives.
We know that some families are weighing the risks/benefits of various educational scenarios for the fall, and we appreciate the array of questions tied to those scenarios. As we reach clarity about 2020-21, we remain fully committed to offering a program for your children that we believe will best meet their needs come September. From academic and college counseling programs focused intentionally on individual growth and success; to the strength and values of our community (and familiarity to returning students); to the small size, rural location, and medical infrastructure of our town and campus; Canterbury is here for you. And we are here for you whether we open right on time (hopefully), October 1st, in a hybrid model, or remotely. Thank you for your patience and partnership.
Circling back to where this letter began: we wish you good health as we collectively aim to stay steady, informed, and safe during this crisis. I am eternally grateful to our team of colleagues, Trustees, students, parents, and alumni; thank you for your commitment to our extraordinary School, and may you continue to find Canterbury’s mission both grounding and inspiring. We look forward to seeing you back on our hilltop in the near future!
Rachel E. Stone
Head of School
Dear Canterbury Families,
We write today to update you on several decisions regarding the end of the academic year. Last week, you received a great deal of detailed information regarding the spring distance learning plan once we decided that a return to campus was not possible. So that families can make plans accordingly, today we share a few times and dates for events that will close the school year in May.
- The Underform Awards Assembly will be held on Monday evening, May 18.
- The Sixth Form Awards Assembly will take place the following night on May 19.
- Sixth Form Project Presentations will occur on Wednesday, May 20.
- Canterbury’s Baccalaureate Mass will be celebrated on Friday evening, May 22.
- This year’s Virtual Commencement Exercises will be Saturday morning, May 23.
We will share details regarding each event as well as the live stream links in the weeks to come. Please note that these events will be recorded to share with the graduating class and with families unable to view them live.
As mentioned previously, we will meet with our Sixth Formers later this week to continue building the balance of our end-of-year schedule. Their suggestions and feedback are paramount to our planning. With their input, we expect to continue our senior traditions as best we can, including Sixth Form Seminars. As an aside, our Advancement Office will also reach out directly to Sixth Form parents inviting them to a conversation and enlisting their thoughts regarding the closing events of their child’s Canterbury career.
Finally, we hope parents will join us for tomorrow morning’s weekly Parent Q&A with our Student Life Team, which begins at 8:15 AM. If you are unable to attend, a recording of the session will be made available here.
Head of School
Associate Head of School for Academics
Assistant Head of School for Student Life
Dear Canterbury Students, Parents & Families,
At the close of our third week of distance learning, I write to follow up the communication released earlier this week on Tuesday. In that note, we mentioned an updated distance learning schedule for the remainder of the semester that would be released at the end of this week and include built-in mini-breaks to allow students and faculty alike to pause and take a breath. The students have done a great job completing weekly surveys, and we are listening.
In addition to providing our students and faculty time to step away from online classes, Canterbury remains committed to providing our students the time and necessary attention in College Counseling, The Donovan Center for Learning, and 2020-21 leadership processes (e.g., speech preparation, interviews). We will not be holding distance learning classes on April 23rd & 24th or May 5th & 6th. During this time, students may be scheduled for individual meetings with College Counselors, The Donovan Center for Learning and/or The Office of Student Life. Veracross and our website will be updated in the days ahead to reflect these schedule changes.
Faculty will prepare the third progress report of the second semester at the end of next week, and grades and comments will be released the week of April 27th. I hope this feedback is helpful as parents partner with our faculty to support our students.
In case you missed it, please see an important letter regarding AP® exams that all students/families registered to take an AP exam should read. To view the updated COVID-19 AP® exam schedule, please click here. As many of you may have seen already, The College Board announced on Wednesday afternoon that the June 6th SAT and SAT subject test administrations are cancelled. Our College Counseling Office communicated with Fifth Formers on Wednesday and again yesterday at their form meeting. Fifth Formers continue to meet in College Workgroups, and Ms. Ferland and Ms. Mandigo will communicate changes and updates to testing as they occur. As of today, the June 13th ACT has not yet been cancelled.
Finally, I hope that many of you will join us next Wednesday, April 22nd, for our weekly Parent Q&A with our Student Life Team, which begins at 8:15 AM. If you are unable to attend, a recording of the session will be made available here.
Associate Head of School for Academics
Dear Canterbury Students, Parents & Families,
As we begin our third week of distance learning, we write to update our plans for the spring as they continue to be altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are a parent of a Sixth Former, you may already know that we reached out to the Class of 2020 earlier today to ensure that they were first to learn of the following updates. They received this video message and will meet as a Form today at 3:15 via Zoom.
On that note, as of last Thursday (April 9th), the state of Connecticut extended its “stay-at-home” order through at least May 20. As much as we had hoped that a return to campus for our students this spring might be possible, it is critical that we embrace public health best practices as a school. Therefore, our campus remains closed to visitors, and we are unable to open dorms or the athletic center for students at this time. While we suspect no one will be surprised by our letter today, we are sorry to have to share the news that given the ways the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to impact our world, distance learning will continue through the end of this school year and we will not be able to bring students back to the campus this spring.
All school-sponsored events are cancelled (e.g., spring season athletics, concerts, spring musical, Broadway Trip, Canterbury Honor Society Dinner, Prom, spring carnival), or postponed (e.g., Confirmation, Sacristan Installation, Memorial Service for Deacon Frank Bice ’77, Alumni Weekend) until further notice. Some events will move to a virtual format (e.g., Fifth Form College Day, Underform Prize Assembly), and details regarding those events will be communicated once they are determined.
While we realize that this news is hard for students to hear at a time when there is plenty of difficult news to process, we hope that the clarity and certainty provided by this update are helpful. Families need to be able to plan. For the Class of 2020, we recognize that your Sixth Form spring at Canterbury has not materialized in the way anyone would have hoped, and you deserve our best efforts to honor and acknowledge your class. While we will not be holding Commencement on campus, we look forward to collaborating with the Sixth Form regarding how to finish the spring — proudly, gracefully, and in celebration! We will be communicating directly with the Sixth Form as our plans develop and will keep the broader community informed as well, including details regarding Sixth Form Prize Assembly, Sixth Form Project presentations, and traditions woven into the days leading up to Commencement. The Commencement website will be fully updated by May 1.
To be sure, Sixth Formers who remain in good standing both academically and in terms of citizenship throughout the remainder of distance learning will receive their diploma (or post-graduate certificate) and will officially graduate from Canterbury School.
For our underform students, we know that many important questions remain, from how to manage students’ belongings at school and how to select your academic courses for 2020-21, to how end-of-year awards and leadership positions will be determined.
- The Donovan Center for Learning will begin scheduling individual Zoom appointments in late April with underform students to begin the course selection process.
- We understand that many students and families will be eager to return to campus to collect their belongings; however, we must ensure that we are planning accordingly to keep all of our community members safe and healthy. The Office of Student Life is in the process of creating a move-out protocol and calendar for students to return to campus and retrieve their personal belongings. This process will not take place prior to May and will be informed by public health, federal, and state guidelines and their recommendations regarding travel, gatherings, and social distancing.
- Student Life will also be reaching out with specific information next week to those Fifth Formers who have applied for leadership positions.
We have paused after the first two weeks of distance learning to celebrate Easter and to assess/respond to the feedback from faculty observations and student surveys. An updated distance learning schedule for the remainder of the semester will be released later this week and will include built-in mini-breaks to allow students and faculty alike to pause and take a breath. We remain committed to providing grades for classes this spring, and teachers will prepare the third progress report of the second semester in late April with both grades and comments. The College Board has adjusted its schedule and AP exams will begin on Monday, May 11 and end on Friday, May 22. Please see an important letter regarding AP exams that all students/families registered to take an AP exam should read.
Our spring semester classes will end for all students on Friday, May 22, and final report cards will be released on Veracross soon after. Sixth Form transcripts will be finalized in early June and sent directly to colleges where students have enrolled. Given the complexities of online assessment, we will not be administering traditional final exams for any students, regardless of grade level. However, faculty will ask students to complete a culminating project, assignment, or assessment at the end of the semester, to be completed by May 22.
On a different note, like all private/independent schools (from day schools through higher education), we are working to assess the institutional financial implications of COVID-19. The vast majority of our costs remain fixed whether students are on campus or not, but we are very mindful of this pandemic’s impact on our Canterbury families as well as the School and our employees; and, we are aware of questions raised concerning any possible refunds/credits toward room and board. As we navigate yet another new set of circumstances, we ask for your patience as we determine the best course of action for the School, our families, and our employees.
Finally, we hope many of you will join us for tomorrow morning’s weekly Parent Q&A with our Academic Team (The Donovan Center for Learning and College Counseling), which begins at 8:15 AM. If you are unable to attend, a recording of the session will be made available here.
Head of School
Associate Head of School for Academics
Assistant Head of School for Student Life
Dear Canterbury Parents & Families,
It is hard to believe that our students left campus for spring break just one month ago, not to mention how the world has changed since March 7th. As this week’s COVID-19 statistics and stories become even more sobering, I am writing to check in with all of you.
First, let me wish a Happy Easter and a reflective Holy Week to those who celebrate. As the daughter of a minister, I was raised in a family whose Easter morning began with a sunrise service (overlooking the Hudson River) and continued on through basket and egg hunts, a brass quartet at church, and far too much food. But most of all, Easter was a day of family, friends and joy. I wish you the same, even as many traditions will look different this year. Likewise, for those celebrating Passover, may there be moments to rejoice with loved ones, if even from a distance.
Second and along the same vein, our academic schedule this week is modified for Good Friday, and classes will not meet on Easter Monday. Our students’ schedules will reflect these adjustments in Veracross. The distance learning feedback we have received to date from your children has been overwhelmingly positive, and I hope you are hearing the same. While nothing can fully replace the face-to-face interactions within a classroom, our faculty and students remain impressively connected; when asked if “adults at Canterbury have been supportive while students transitioned to distance learning,” 100% of our students agreed, with 61% agreeing strongly. Well done to all!
As we lean into the second week of virtual academics and begin to truly establish a new pattern of learning, I echo the sentiment shared by Peter LaVigne last Friday: now is the time to further partner with us in encouraging your children to commit to a routine that will position them for success this spring. I know that many questions remain about the weeks ahead, and the month of May in particular, and I want you to know that we are working in earnest to be as proactive and transparent as possible. To that end, our Department Chairs meet today to further our conversations about what the “academic finish” to the year will look like (i.e., will classes conclude with exams/assessments; when will classes end), and Sue Roberts will provide clarity by the end of next week. As a reminder, we are committed to the distance learning infrastructure through year-end, knowing that some students will be unable to return to campus even if we are able to re-open in May.
On a related note, I know our Sixth Formers and their families are eager for an update regarding graduation. Please trust that we are not taking these decisions lightly but rather closely tracking this evolving situation in the outside chance that we can welcome students back — and our seniors in particular — at some point in May. We still plan to communicate a final decision by April 27th at the latest.
Finally, we hope many of you will join us for tomorrow morning’s weekly Parent Q&A with our Health & Medical Team.*
Head of School
* To access the Zoom link, please log in to your Veracross Parent Portal; there will be a button labelled: Weekly Parent Q&A
Dear Canterbury Parents,
We wanted to reach out to you as we complete our first week of Distance Learning. The faculty on the hilltop have been excited to see your children again, and the energy has been wonderful. Clearly the students also missed each other as evidenced by their smiles and interactions.
Now that our students have spent the week transitioning to online learning, we believe that establishing a healthy routine is the most important next step. From maintaining regular sleep habits and good hygiene, to starting the day with breakfast and time to mentally prepare, and committing to appropriate dress and a productive work space — all of this in combination will play an invaluable role in their academic experience this spring. Thank you for partnering with us to help establish and sustain your child’s routine; many of us are playing the same role as parents with our own children! In addition, please note that attendance for live classes and the advisory meetings is required; the advisory meeting is purposefully set for the first live meeting of the day and structured with key information and engaging exercises.
Thank you to the parents who attended our Zoom Q&A meeting on Wednesday morning. The next meeting is scheduled for 4/8 at 8:15 AM. Join us** to hear Colleen Cook ’02 (Director of Health Services), Dr. Ken Marici ’87 (School Physician), and Cynthia Willmen (Director of Counseling) discuss updated medical facts and useful resources for your child and you. As a note, Cynthia Willmen offers a mindfulness exercise four mornings a week at 9:30 AM for students to start their day on the right note. Your child can find details in the daily bulletin.
Finally, our Admission Office will be hosting two Virtual Revisit Days this weekend; please help us spread the word to prospective families!
Assistant Head of School for Student Life
** Please be sure to join Canterbury Zoom meetings with your first and last name so we may appropriately welcome you! Unfortunately, we will not allow entry into Canterbury meetings to Zoom profiles that we are unable to recognize.
Instructions for changing Zoom Profile Name:
Go to https://zoom.us/profile
Click on the Edit button to the right of your profile name.
Change your first and last name.
Click on the Save Changes button.
Dear Canterbury Parents,
As a follow-up to Friday’s email, I am reaching out to share a few more details regarding the Wednesday morning weekly Parent Q&A.
Our overarching goal is to provide an additional avenue by which we can stay connected to you, and you to us. Additionally, we hope that engaging in these Zoom sessions will be an opportunity to experience one slice of your children’s Distance Learning Program. Fear not, we won’t assign homework, and you are welcome to “bring” coffee to the sessions!
* These sessions will run on Wednesday mornings at 8:15 for 30-45 minutes.
* To access the Zoom link, please log in to your Veracross Parent Portal; there will be a button labelled: Weekly Parent Q&A
* We will have administrators overseeing each session with an opportunity for parents to ask questions via the Zoom Chat feature; we will certainly do our best to respond to questions/topics as they surface.
April 1: Administrative Team: Current COVID-19 updates from Rachel Stone, Colleen Cook and Sue Roberts
April 8: Health Center/Medical Team
April 15: Academics/Donovan Center for Learning/College Counseling
April 22: Student Life
April 29: Athletics
We look forward to this new experience and are grateful for your partnership in the uncharted waters of spring 2020. On that note, your children are off to an excellent start this week!
Dear Canterbury Families,
Greetings from our very quiet hilltop. Just as your children are missing their friends and social interactions, we are missing their presence throughout campus. That said, we are hopeful that our collective commitment to social distancing has kept your families safe as it has those who live on our campus. I am grateful every day for the Canterbury community; your individual expressions of support and understanding have been a source of strength and steadiness during these unprecedented times.
We are writing today with several updates as we transition fully into Canterbury’s Distance Learning Plan on Monday:
- For those families living locally, you may be aware that CT Governor Lamont: “has determined that to promote and secure the safety and protection of children in schools related to the risks of COVID-19, all public school classes will be cancelled for all Connecticut students effective Tuesday, March 17 until at least April 20, 2020, and is encouraging private schools to follow the same schedule.” Certainly this precludes our ability to bring students back to campus on April 13th. As we continue to follow CDC updates and track the COVID-19 statistics, we know that our odds of welcoming students back to campus this spring are low at best; that said, we will extend the delayed return until Monday, May 4th for classes (boarding students would return the evening of May 3rd) with a commitment to update families by April 27th.
- Meanwhile, our faculty have met these unexpected circumstances with conviction and optimism. This week, our full faculty met as “technology team” groups and within their individual academic disciplines to continue their training for Monday’s DLP launch. Under the guidance of Sue Roberts, Kelli Darrin and Rob Roffe, our colleagues have been full steam ahead, developing online teaching and learning strategies with technological tools that offer students the best possible educational experience. We are certainly looking forward to maintaining some face-time connection with our students.
As a reminder: distance learning will begin with Advisory at 10:00 am on Monday, March 30th. Students should log in to Veracross and check their Daily Schedule to find the Zoom link for live meetings. Even though our students are digitally savvy, they are not necessarily digital natives regarding academic technology. There will be a learning curve for all throughout the first week of distance learning as we transition to a new platform and way of sharing information. Please know that we will be gathering information from students about their experience on a regular basis via advisor meetings and weekly surveys.
Finally, the Technology Team offered “Tech Checks” for students this past Monday and Tuesday. We were excited to “see” more than 100 of our students from around the globe signed on to Zoom! There will be one more session tomorrow (Saturday, March 28th) from 9-10AM if your child would like to hop on and work out any glitches. In addition, teachers will share a set of Netiquette guidelines with your children on Monday, and we’ve included them here for your review.
- Prior to the start of virtual classes, your children will hear from their faculty advisors. The goal of these “check-in” meetings is simply that: we want to know how our students are doing, how your local communities are managing the impact of coronavirus, and what your children need from us. Between the Advisory Meetings built into the DLP to opportunities created outside of the “academic day,” we remain committed to being present for your children and knowing them both individually and well.
- Finally, we will offer a weekly Wednesday morning (8:15-9:00) Live Q&A for parents beginning on April 1. Director of Health Services, Colleen Cook, and I will typically run point on these conversations, though other members of the Administrative and Health teams will often be present as well. We will share a link to a Zoom invitation early next week.
Amid relentless news updates and growing questions regarding return to “normalcy” — a word that may have been coined in reference to the 1918 Flu pandemic — we truly lean on, and stand together as, the Canterbury community.
Head of School
Dear Canterbury Families,
First and foremost we hope that everyone is staying healthy during this time. We would like to share some recent updates and clarifications we received from Clifford Allen, the agency that provides the student medical insurance purchased through the school. Our hope is that you will find that this answers your questions and leaves you feeling reassured about your students health care coverage. Below is the information received from Clifford Allen:
- Treatment of the Coronavirus is eligible for reimbursement – There are no exclusions in your plan for pandemics/epidemics.
- Screening/Testing of Coronavirus is eligible for reimbursement – even in the absence of symptoms. UnitedHealthcare has waived all member cost sharing, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles, for COVID-19 diagnostic testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines. It will be important that the testing follows the CDC guidelines.
- The student does not need to be at school to be covered – The student’s coverage is in force until their current ending date, 8/14/2020, and covered expenses are eligible for reimbursement anywhere in the world with the exception of the student’s home country. While United Healthcare is willing to pay non-US providers, most of those providers will require the student to pay them and then have the student seek reimbursement from United Healthcare. Importantly, the check will be made payable to the student in US currency (after currency conversion has taken place). Claims can be filed directly by the family or you can contact Colleen Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- Your policy is a medical expense policy and does not include reimbursement for travel/lodging costs.
- Your policy does include Assistance and Evacuation Benefits. A full description is provided in your brochure. This is a service that needs to be engaged in advance of incurring any expenses. That service is designed to assist the student if they are suffering from an illness/injury and cannot secure appropriate treatment where they are located. If you believe a situation might require this assistance, you/student can reach out to the number located on the back of the ID card. Again, this service must be engaged in advance. It does not and will not “pay claims."
- ID card – If you have students that are away from school and need a copy of their ID card a copy is uploaded in the Magnus Health portal and should be accessible. You can also contact Clifford Allen offices or Colleen Cook at the Canterbury Health Center at 860-210-3888 or email@example.com.
- All of our students enrolled in the insurance program have a 12 month coverage plan with coverage through 8/14/2020.
- If you would like to reach out to Clifford Allen directly with questions or for claims submissions, they can be reached at:
Toll Free: 888-342-2224
If you have additional questions please reach out to us:
Director of Health Services
Allyson McFerran Mard
Student Billing Coordinator
March 18, 2020
Dear Canterbury Families,
I hope this note finds you healthy and well during this extraordinary time. Following Mrs. Stone’s note yesterday, we wanted to communicate some details about the days and weeks to come. On our hilltop, the Administrative Team and the Academic Office continue to fine-tune the distance learning plan which begins on March 30. Mrs. Roberts will share specific details and information on Friday.
In the meantime, Student Life remains ready to assist with any questions or concerns as best we can. We have received some requests from families to pick up items in student dorm rooms. At this time, students do NOT need to remove all belongings from their dorm rooms. If students wish to return to campus to retrieve essential items, they must coordinate their visit through Student Life (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com) prior to arriving on campus. Please know that the distance learning plan will account for the fact that students may not have access to textbooks. Approved visits to campus should be limited to 10 minutes and follow CDC guidelines for limiting exposure and spread of illness. Feel free to reach out to us as needed.
All campus events scheduled between now and April 13 have been canceled or postponed. We will continue to evaluate during this fluid situation and will alter plans accordingly. You will hear from Student Life, the Academic Office, and the Head of School regularly with important and updated information.
We understand you are likely hearing that some schools and colleges have already moved to distance learning for the remainder of the academic year. We will update families by April 6th regarding: 1) if we will return on April 13th, 2) if there will be an additional delay to a return to campus, or 3) if we make the decision for campus to remain closed through the end of the school year. Regardless of if/when students return to campus, distance learning will be available for the duration of the spring semester for those who need it.
We are all working together to ensure the next few weeks are as positive and valuable for your child as possible. Here is a link to information and frequently asked questions about COVID-19. We appreciate your continued cooperation with, and support of, Canterbury.
Assistant Head of School for Student Life