COVID-19 Updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates for the Kents Hill School Community

Since Coronavirus (COVID-19) became a global concern in January, Kents Hill School has been tracking its evolution and meeting regularly regarding communications, planning, and procedures. In order to keep our community of faculty, staff, students, and parents informed, we will distribute email communications and update this page as necessary. Please check back frequently for the latest information regarding school policies and guidelines.

Remote Learning

Kents Hill’s original plan was to engage in remote learning from April 6-10, with our students coming back to campus on April 13. Since we made that decision, the progression of COVID-19 has changed the educational landscape in Maine, and local schools will be engaged in online learning until April 27. Given this, we are now targeting May 4 for a return to campus. While we remain hopeful that we can finish the year on campus, it is challenging to make definitive plans with so much unknown in our world. We will continue to communicate with you regularly and will share information as soon as we have it about the rest of the academic year. The Board of Trustees and Head of School plan to make these decisions and communicate them by April 20 at the latest.

Contact Kents Hill School

Christopher S. Cheney
Head of School
ccheney@kentshill.org

Diane Chick
Dean of Students
dchick@kentshill.org

Addie Michaud
Assistant to the Dean of Students
amichaud@kentshill.org

Cathleen Samborski
Health Center Director
csamborski@kentshill.org

Remote Learning Guide

COVID-19 Communications

List of 14 items.

  • April 3, 2020: Remote Learning Guide For Parents

    Dear Kents Hill Families,
     
    What a strange spring break we have had! Here on the Hill it has snowed multiple times, we have had two power outages, and the campus is quiet and still. Occasionally we will see each other on the pathways and wave, but most of our interactions have been on Zoom. We have spent the last three weeks thinking of each one of your children - where they will be learning, what their learning preferences are, what challenges they might be facing right now, what time zone they are in - and we have created a remote learning experience that we believe will support them all.
     
    Our remote learning guide is available by clicking here. It contains information about all aspects of Kents Hill’s remote learning plan and hopefully answers all of your questions. I also wanted to highlight some specific aspects here:
     
    Schedule
     
    Next week, on Monday and Tuesday, we will follow a special schedule designed to reconnect your child with their faculty and classmates, establish remote learning norms in each class and identify any technology or access challenges. Wednesday will be our asynchronous or independent learning day and our normal remote learning schedule will begin on Thursday.
     
    Our remote learning plan incorporates a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning and flexibility for small-group and individual check-ins. This is intentional: by offering different ways to teach and learn, we will be able to best meet the unique needs of our diverse body of student learners. The daily schedule has been created to accommodate as many of the students in the ten different time zones as possible. It is our expectation that students are present whenever possible. However, we do understand the challenges that time mismatches create, and will, therefore, make exceptions for our students who are unable to participate in our synchronous classes due to the time differences. Our video conferencing platform does have the ability to record classes and all synchronous classes will be recorded. This will allow students unable to attend online classes to access course content. If students are not able to participate in the synchronous classes live, they should communicate directly with their teacher who will work to develop an asynchronous learning plan for those classes.
     
    Many of you spoke about the importance of community and physical activity to your child, and so we have built-in multiple ways for your child to stay connected. Daily wellness activities will provide small group opportunities, as well as give your child workout options, and all will be targeted to those who are primarily or entirely staying inside. We have worked hard to create opportunities to connect in small and large groups. We will start each week with an All School Meeting (your child will get a Zoom invite from Erica Chute or Chris Cheney), where we will announce upcoming “challenges” to engage students in a variety of different ways. Students will meet with their advisory group regularly, virtual dorm meetings will take place on Thursdays, and there is scheduled time for group meetings, so groups like Student Council can meet weekly and continue to make positive changes to Kents Hill from away. 
     
    The schedule for our first week is available on page 8 of the remote learning guide.
     
    Next Friday, I will send the schedule for the following week and will communicate with students and families each Friday with schedule changes and updates. The schedule should stay primarily the same, allowing you and your students to build a learning routine. We will build in opportunities for reflection and feedback and would only make changes that would improve remote learning for your children.
     
    Grading
     
    We recognize that student access to web-based technology will vary from household to household, making remote learning a challenging prospect for many families. We also know that the COVID-19 crisis has left everyone feeling more anxious and stressed than usual. As a result, we have created a modified grading policy for this spring's remote learning that reflects variation in student access to technology and Kents Hill's unwavering commitment to the wellbeing of our students. The policy includes: 

    Teachers will enter weekly participation grades for online learning that are based on a common participation rubric, which will be posted on the Husky Portal for each academic class. We see weekly participation grades as a way of rewarding our students for trying something new and making a good faith effort to remain focused on academics despite challenging circumstances.

    Teachers give no grade lower than 75 for assessments submitted on time and completed in accordance with the directions published to the student portal. This guideline reflects the novelty and potential difficulty of remote learning. Please note that there are exceptions to this policy: students who turn in late or incomplete assignments (or who fail to submit assignments at all) may still earn grades lower than 75 per their teachers' discretion.
     
    Technology Access
     
    Please reach out to our technology team at helpdesk@kentshill.org with any concerns regarding your child’s ability to fully participate technologically in remote learning. They can work with you to answer questions and resolve concerns.
     
    All Kents Hill announcements will come via email. Please make sure that your child is regularly checking their Kents Hill email. We will continue to use the Husky Portal (www.kentshill.org) as our main method of communication. Faculty will post a weekly class plan to the portal by 8 am on Monday and will use the portal to distribute materials, post assignments and grades, and take attendance.
     
    All courses and virtual interactions will use Zoom (kentshill.zoom.us) for synchronous learning. Students will use their existing Kents Hill Gmail account to login. Faculty will schedule each Zoom class through Google Calendar and invite students as attendees. All sessions will be recorded (including one-on-one engagement). Class sessions will be recorded and made available on the Husky Portal. 
     
    Please read carefully through the remote learning guide and reach out with any questions or concerns. We will be scheduling parent Q and A’s weekly through Zoom beginning next week and, as always, encourage you to reach out directly with any questions. You can reach me at mdavis@kentshill.org and we can find a time to talk via Zoom or phone.
     
    Thank you for your patience and flexibility.
     
    In gratitude,
     
    Meadow
     
    Meadow Davis
    Associate Head of School
  • April 3, 2020: Remote Learning Guide For Students

    Dear Kents Hill Students,
     
    What a strange spring break we have had! Here on the Hill it has snowed multiple times, we have had two power outages, and the campus is quiet and still. Occasionally we will see each other on the pathways and wave, but most of our interactions have been on Zoom. We have spent the last three weeks thinking of each of you. What is it like at your home? How are you getting along with your family? How can we make the next month as positive as possible for you?
     
    We have been busy trying to create the best possible remote learning plan for each of you. Please click here and read it all (not just skim it)!
     
    Information about your classes, your schedule, technology and lots of other important things are all included. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to me (mdavis@kentshill.org) or contact your advisor.
     
    Schedule
     
    Next week, on Monday and Tuesday, we will follow a special schedule designed to reconnect you with faculty and classmates, establish remote learning norms in each class and identify any technology or access challenges. Wednesday will be our asynchronous or independent learning day, and our normal remote learning schedule will begin on Thursday.
     
    The daily schedule has been created to accommodate as many of you in the ten different time zones as possible. It is our expectation that you are present whenever possible. However, we do understand the challenges that time mismatches create, and will, therefore, make exceptions for those of you who are unable to participate in our synchronous classes due to the time differences. Our video conferencing platform does have the ability to record classes, and all synchronous classes will be recorded. If you are not able to participate in the synchronous classes live, please communicate directly with your teachers, and they will work with you to develop an asynchronous learning plan for those classes.
     
    We have also built-in multiple ways for you to stay connected. Daily wellness activities will provide small group opportunities, as well as give you workout options, and all will be targeted to those who are primarily or entirely staying inside. We have worked hard to create opportunities to connect in small and large groups. We will start each week with an All School Meeting (you will get a Zoom invite from Ms. Chute or Mr. Cheney), where we will announce upcoming “challenges” to engage students in a variety of different ways. You will meet with your advisory groups four times a week, virtual dorm meetings will take place on Thursdays, and there is scheduled time for group meetings, so groups like Student Council can meet weekly and continue to make positive changes to Kents Hill from away. Ms. Chute and Ms. Hambrose will put together weekly schedules, and share them with you on Sundays, for all of the different student life opportunities throughout the week. As I keep saying to my kids, getting exercise and fresh air (whenever possible) is super important to all of our well-being.
     
     
    Monday and Tuesday are shorter class periods, allowing you to connect with your faculty and get a sense of what remote learning will look like, before jumping into academics. I will send you the schedules for the next week on Fridays so make sure you are checking your emails!
     
    Grading
     
    We know that access to web-based technology will vary from household to household and that the COVID-19 crisis has left everyone feeling more anxious and stressed than usual. As a result, we have created a modified grading policy for this spring's remote learning that reflects variation in student access to technology and Kents Hill's unwavering commitment to your wellbeing.

    Kents Hill teachers will all enter weekly participation grades for online learning that are based on a common participation rubric, which will be posted on the Husky Portal for each academic class. This is our way of rewarding you for trying something new and making a good faith effort to remain focused on academics despite challenging circumstances. 

    Teachers will give no grade lower than 75 for assessments submitted on time and completed in accordance with the directions on the portal.  Please note that there are exceptions to this policy: if you turn in late or incomplete assignments (or fail to submit assignments at all), you may still earn grades lower than 75 per your teachers' discretion.
     
    Technology Access
     
    Please reach out to our technology team at helpdesk@kentshill.org with any concerns regarding your ability to fully participate technologically in remote learning. They can work with you to answer questions and resolve concerns.
     
    All Kents Hill announcements will come via email. Please make sure that you are regularly checking your Kents Hill email. We will continue to use the Husky Portal (www.kentshill.org) as our main method of communication. Faculty will post a weekly class plan to the portal by 8 am EDT on Monday and will use the portal to distribute materials, post assignments and grades and take attendance.
     
    All courses and virtual interactions will use Zoom (kentshill.zoom.us) for synchronous learning. Faculty will schedule each Zoom class through Google Calendar and invite you as attendees. All sessions will be recorded (including one-on-one engagement). Class sessions will be recorded and made available on the Husky Portal. 
     
    Please read carefully through the remote learning guide and reach out with any questions or concerns. You can reach me at mdavis@kentshill.org, and we can find a time to talk via Zoom or phone.
     
    We miss having you here in person but are all looking forward to seeing your faces next week and hearing your stories. We’ve got this!
     
    In gratitude,
     
    Meadow
     
    Meadow Davis
    Associate Head of School
  • March 27, 2020: Return To Campus Extended To May 4

    Dear Kents Hill School Parents, 
     
    I hope this finds you and your family safe and well. I am sure, like me, many of you are navigating a whole new world. Working from home. Children planning for or already participating in online learning. Possibly even trying to help your own parents navigate this crisis. It is unchartered territory for all of us. The world has changed, but the Kents Hill community is going to adapt and remain strong. There are more questions than answers every day, but I wanted to share with you some thoughts and plans about how we will move forward as a community. 
     
    Over the past two weeks, I have been reminded of the things that are the most important. First and foremost, I have been reminded of the importance of family. Our family has spent more time together. We have hiked, trained, and played board games. We are each navigating this differently, but we are a stronger family. I have also recommitted to exercise. My friend and colleague, Tom Carmean, kicks my butt every day as he and I run together (six feet apart of course). It is a time for each of us to get the exercise we need and to connect as friends. I am also inspired each day by my colleagues and Kents Hill team, many of whom have given up their March Break to best prepare for online learning by taking online courses, webinars and doing research. 
     
    As you know, Kents Hill’s original plan was to engage in online learning from April 6-10, with our students coming back to campus on April 13. Since we made that decision, the progression of COVID-19 has changed the educational landscape in Maine, and local schools will be engaged in online learning until April 27. Given this, we are now targeting May 4 for a return to campus. While I remain hopeful that we can finish the year on campus, it is challenging to make definitive plans with so much unknown in our world. I will continue to communicate with you regularly and will share information as soon as we have it about the rest of the academic year. The Board of Trustees and I plan to make these decisions and communicate them by April 20 at the latest.
     
    What lies ahead? On Monday, our faculty will return from March Break and begin to prepare for teaching and learning online, which we believe is so much more than sitting in front of a screen. Faculty have been taking classes and webinars and meeting via Zoom to ensure that they are prepared to deliver our 4D education in a new way. Others are also preparing the non-academic portion of your child’s education. For example, advisors will find creative ways to connect with their advisees individually and as an advisory group multiple times per week. We are also developing plans for daily office hours where students will be able to check in with their teachers and Academic Coaches. We are also planning School Meetings, wellness challenges, and other activities. Our goal is to incorporate all of the aspects of what makes a Kents Hill education so special as we design the virtual Kents Hill experience. Most importantly, we will connect with each other individually and collectively. It is the connections that make the Kents Hill community what it is.
     
    I know there are more questions than answers at this point, and I appreciate all of you who filled out the survey and shared your questions and concerns with us. While there are many questions still to be worked through and resolved as we learn more about COVID-19, I hope that the below answers provide guidance to your key questions. As always, I will reach out as we make decisions regarding our approach. 
     
    Tuition and Fees
     
    At this point, we are focused on preparing an excellent online learning experience for your child. School is continuing to operate fully, even if remotely. Once we are fully operational online and we have a clear understanding of what the remainder of the year looks like, we will begin to look at both the costs and savings associated with remote learning and determine if the school will or will not be able to offer any refunds or credits. 
     
    Online Learning Guide
     
    Next week you and your child will receive a comprehensive guide to online learning at Kents Hill including: what the daily schedule of classes and activities will look like, what technology tools students will use, how grades and effort will be assessed, expectations for attendance and communication, college counseling opportunities, SAT/ACT and AP exams, and more. If you have any questions regarding your child’s ability to access online learning, including not being able to access reliable WiFi or devices,  please don’t hesitate to contact our IT team directly at helpdesk@kentshill.org
     
    Collecting Belongings
     
    At this point, the campus (including all dorms and shared spaces) is closed to faculty, staff, parents, and students due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 situation. I know that the news of boarding students not being able to access their belongings left on campus, especially for a longer time than initially anticipated, is less than ideal. I want to assure you that all belongings are safely secured in dorms and/or locker rooms as we continue to adhere to social distancing and best practices. We will gladly ship any laptops, medications, or essential items that were left in your child’s room to you directly. Please contact Erica Chute, Dean of Residential Life, at echute@kentshill.org with a request for these items. While it is our hope to reopen campus this spring, in the event that we are not able to do so, we will work with you to either pick up belongings, store them on campus, or have them shipped home. 
     
    Class of 2020
     
    This weekend I will be communicating with the Class of 2020. This is certainly not the spring they planned or wished for - nor is it the one they deserve. While I hope that we will be on campus to celebrate graduation at the end of May, I want to reassure you and your child that we are working to identify ways to celebrate the class and all that they have achieved while at Kents Hill. 
     
    Above all, Kents Hill is a community that is connected deeply and personally. Please join our Parents Facebook Group and follow the Kents Hill Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We would love to see photos, videos, and stories of how your family is navigating this time. Additionally, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s advisor or to me with any questions, concerns, or feedback. I would love to hear from you. You can reach me at ccheney@kentshill.org or on my cell phone at 1-207-897-8004.
     
    Best,
     
    Chris
     
    Christopher S. Cheney
    Head of School
    ccheney@kentshill.org
  • March 24, 2020: Students Online Learning Survey

    Hi Huskies!
     
    It is a quiet campus here, with about six inches of snow covering all our paths and lawns at Kents Hill. I just had two Zoom calls with different members of our community to get ready to connect with all of you online starting on April 6. We wondered how each of you is doing, talked about the best ways to stay connected during this time, and hoped that you will all share news (and photos) with us through our online platforms. We have been staying connected with faculty by sending photos to each other to chronicle our days - mine yesterday was of a hide and seek game in the woods with Mr. Slater, Greer, and Popham. I am focusing on finding my "golden moment" each day. One moment of joy, captured by a photo or a smile, to remind me of all the things that are good in my life, even when things feel really hard. I would love to hear your golden moments, please send them my way!
     
    Online learning will be new to many of you and we want to tailor the experience so that you continue to learn AND continue to feel connected to the Kents Hill community. In order to create an experience that works the best it possibly can, we created a short survey for you to fill out to tell us about your needs and wants. Please take five minutes to fill it out, we want to hear from you.
     
    You will be hearing more from us over the next week with details about online learning and ways for you to share what is going on at home with the larger Kents Hill community. Please keep connected to each other and to us. We miss you and can't wait to see you all again soon.
     
    All the best,
     
    Meadow
  • March 24 2020: Connecting With Our Alumni

    Dear Kents Hill School Alumni,
     
    Thank you to the many of you who have reached out to see how our school community is faring in these unprecedented times. We are equally concerned about each of you and your loved ones. Most of all, we hope you have the support you need and are finding ways to keep your spirits lifted.
     
    At Kents Hill, we are adhering to social distancing, which for us means practicing physical distancing while finding creative ways to engage with our community and provide meaningful learning for our students. We are fortunate to have such creative, caring, flexible, and committed faculty. When I announced that return from March Break would be delayed until April 14, training for online teaching was quickly set-up and faculty enthusiastically began sharing resources and ideas to ensure that we continue to stay in contact with and take care of our students. You can find my communications to parents and students, as well as information regarding our COVID-19 response, at www.kentshill.org.
     
    Typically, the Advancement Office and I would be traveling right now, visiting with many of you and hosting area events. While we are not able to connect in-person, we are looking for creative ways to stay engaged, even if from a distance. When I meet with alumni I leave feeling inspired and learn a little bit more about Kents Hill’s history and what your Kents Hill experience meant to you. We are still planning for Reunion and I will keep you posted as we continue to monitor the situation. Never has it been more evident how interconnected and interdependent we all are.
     
    Best,
     
    Chris
     
    Christopher S. Cheney
    Head of School
    ccheney@kentshill.org
  • March 24, 2020: Parents Online Learning Survey

    Dear Kents Hill School Parents,
     
    I am thinking of all of you, as fellow parents of high-schoolers, as I look out my window to a campus filled with snow. I have been reading a lot about our world, about online learning, and about how to find small moments of joy when the world feels overwhelming. It has been really helpful to concentrate on the connections I have with people, even if I can't see them in person. Today my nephew in San Francisco read a book to us, yesterday my tech-phobic father managed an entire FaceTime conversation, and my best friend from college and I spent an hour talking about our lives. This has made me grateful for our ability to stay connected, virtually, with our communities of people even when we cannot be together in person.
     
    I have also been meeting online with many members of our faculty to plan for our first week of online learning and to identify ways to keep our students, who are now spread across the world, connected to us and to each other. In order to do that, we want to hear from each of you about what you think your child needs most. We have put together a short survey with questions that all schools are thinking through: Do we keep traditional grades or shift to pass/fail like many colleges? How much learning do we do synchronously (all together) vs. asynchronously (working individually)? What are the best ways for us to bring small and large groups together for traditions like School Meeting?
     
    Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey and let us know what you think will work best for your child. Next week, while your child enjoys one final week of spring break, our faculty will be busily preparing to work with your students online for the week of April 6-10. We will send more information about this on Friday and then even more next week. I imagine you have a lot of questions and we are working hard to get answers. Please let me know if you have any difficulties or if there is any way I can be helpful to you and your child.
     
    All the best,
     
    Meadow
     
    Meadow Davis
    Associate Head of School
  • March 17, 2020: Learning And Course Completion

    Dear Kents Hill School Community, 

    First, I want to thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate this unprecedented time together. As things continue to evolve on what feels like an hour-to-hour basis, I can’t help but think about all of those that I know and care about around the globe, including you and your family. I am wishing you only the best.

    As you are keenly aware, there have been several recent developments in the United States and around the world surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak that have impacted our school community, including travel restrictions and new guidance for schools and businesses. As recently as today, health experts are estimating that the outbreak may not peak until April in the United States. 

    While our goal is and remains to be back together as a community on April 14, I understand that concerns exist regarding return to campus and the ability for students to finish the academic year, especially those living abroad. I want to assure you that every student will be able to finish the academic year in order to graduate and/or move to the next academic level. I am hopeful that this will be on campus, but we will do everything that we can in order to provide alternative methods of learning and course completion for students who may not be able to return, including remote and online classes. 

    Our decision to move to online learning April 6-10 has presented many opportunities in addition to questions, and I want to let you know that we are working to develop online learning guidelines and protocols, including outlining what the daily class schedule will look like and finding opportunities for our entire community to connect. We will be sending out a detailed communication regarding online learning during the week of March 30. 

    I also want to assure you that while I am hopeful that we will return to in-person, on-campus classes on April 14 and enjoy a beautiful spring in Maine, I fully understand that great uncertainty exists regarding the spread of COVID-19. We continue to closely monitor the situation in partnership with other schools and universities, and will communicate any necessary decisions with you as they are made. 

    Our faculty and staff will be working from home for the coming weeks, but please know that I am available if you or your child have any questions or concerns. I can be reached at ccheney@kentshill.org

    Again, I am thinking of you and your family and will keep you updated. 

    Best,

    Chris

    Christopher S. Cheney
    Head of School
    ccheney@kentshill.org
     
  • March 13, 2020: Online Learning April 6-10; Return To Campus April 14

    Dear Kents Hill School Community, 

    Like most of you, I have been keeping a watchful eye on the day-by-day developments of the worldwide spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), which has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

    Most recently, the United States government has declared a national emergency and halted all air travel from 26 European countries. Over the last 24-hours, cases of COVID-19 in Maine rose from zero to three. These shifts, both nationally and locally, have an impact on our campus community and we have had to make more difficult decisions in order to keep our community safe. 

    Our primary focus has and will continue to be the safety, health, and wellness of our community. Therefore, we have decided to extend March Break by one week and students will need to remain home or with a guardian to engage in online learning from Monday, April 6, until Friday, April 10.

    As an institution, we believe that taking an online course should be more than sitting in front of a computer and that real engagement involves being a part of a strong community … the true hallmark of a Kents Hill experience. We are developing ways for our community to come together, including regular advisory group check-ins and continuing our weekly Morning Meeting where we all “tune-in” to hear announcements, celebrate accomplishments, read Ms. Chute’s quote of the week, and sing “Happy Birthday” to friends and classmates. 

    As of today, the plan is for boarding students to return to campus on Monday, April 13, and for in-person, on-campus classes to reconvene on Tuesday, April 14. 

    Please note that we will revisit our plans and timing for the return to campus regularly over the coming days and weeks as the situation evolves, and will communicate any changes. If we are unable to return to campus OR if individual students are unable to return to campus, online learning will continue to be utilized through the end of the academic year. We will work together with you and your child as we determine the best way to continue their Kents Hill experience, even if it may not be what they wished for or anticipated just a few weeks ago.

    Student Learning and Academic Coaching

    We are aware that while online learning allows our students to familiarize themselves with a new learning environment utilized by many colleges and universities, it has the potential to create uncertainty and stress. Mary Keeley, Director of Student Learning, is actively partnering with teachers to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our diverse community of learners and re-designing courses to encourage engagement and creativity. Those students enrolled in our Academic Coaching program will meet virtually with their Academic Coach three days per week to work on skills related to learning online, such as time management, organization, communication, and advocacy. 

    Students Currently On Campus

    We are asking all students who are currently at Kents Hill to make arrangements to return home or to a guardian as soon as possible, and by Tuesday, March 17, at the latest. Now that we have had to extend the time away from campus from two weeks to four weeks, keeping students on campus no longer feels like an option. We recognize that staying on campus in relative isolation for an extended period of time is not healthy for our students and we are putting their needs first.

    As you develop plans, please share them with Diane Chick, Dean of Students, at dchick@kentshill.org as soon as possible. If we can help in any way, please let us know. We will be providing transportation to Augusta, Portland, and Boston each day based on the needs of our students. 

    Online Learning
     
    When our faculty community returns to campus on March 30, our first priority will be clarifying our online learning protocols and schedules. You will receive more information regarding online learning that week. If you feel as though you have technological limitations that would hamper your child’s ability to participate in online learning, please contact Mike DeLisle, Director of Information Technology, at mdelisle@kentshill.org or helpdesk@kentshill.org

    Return to Campus

    In order to ensure the health and safety of our community, you will be required to complete a risk assessment form in your child’s Magnus Health Record prior to their return to campus. This will allow us to track and support any students who were possibly exposed to or became ill with COVID-19 while away. Students will not be permitted to return to campus until this screening process is completed. If you have any questions regarding this form, please contact Cathleen Samborski, Health Center Director, at csamborski@kentshill.org

    While the plan that we have outlined above may create uncertainty and challenges, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff must come first. I know that our teachers are excited to design and deliver interactive, creative, and meaningful online learning experiences, and I am certain that we will all grow and learn as we navigate a new experience.  

    I remain grateful to our internal crisis response team, which is working around the clock to plan for various scenarios and situations. I am also grateful to everyone in our community for their resiliency, compassion, and flexibility. The strength of this community never ceases to impress me.

    Thank you, as always, for your support and partnership. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at ccheney@kentshill.org or 207-685-1636 with any questions or concerns that you may have. 
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Christopher S. Cheney
    Head of School
  • March 11, 2020: March Break Travel

    Dear Kents Hill School Community,

    In the interest of keeping our community well informed, I want to share key highlights from our latest communication regarding COVID-19. You can find this communication and others on our website, which will be continuously updated as we adjust our response. 

    - Academic classes will be canceled tomorrow to allow time for faculty to be trained on delivering classes remotely. Students should take any necessary materials home (books, assignments, etc.) that would allow them to participate in online learning after March Break.

    - Boarding students are permitted to depart campus after their last obligation today, and day students should not return to campus until after March Break unless they are attending optional faculty office hours tomorrow from 9-10 am.

    - For those students remaining on campus through Thursday or Friday, the schedule is as follows. 

    Thursday, March 12
    Optional Faculty Office Hours: 9-10 am
    Brunch: 10-12 pm
    Optional On- and Off-Campus Activities: 12-5 pm
    Dinner: 5-6 pm
    Dorm Check-In: 10 pm

    Friday, March 13
    School Transportation Departs: 8 am
    Brunch: 10-12 pm
    Dorms Close: 1 pm

    - We encourage each person in our community to weigh the pros and cons of travel during March Break. We ask that you submit dates of travel and destinations on this Travel Registry Form to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information.  

    Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at ccheney@kentshill.org or 207-685-1636 with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

    Sincerely,

    Christopher S. Cheney
    Head of School
     
  • March 10, 2020: New COVID-19 Policies

    Dear Kents Hill School Community,

    Since COVID-19 became a global concern in January, we have been tracking its evolution and meeting regularly regarding communications, planning, and procedures. With March Break travel around the corner, I am writing to share important new policies and guidelines as we are intensifying our institutional response. This information and all updates can also be found on the Kents Hill School website

    I ask that all families read and adhere to these new policies, even though our current risk level remains low.  

    These decisions reflect best practices and advice from experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as peer institutions and local colleges and universities. We recognize that what we are asking may seem inconvenient, but we do ask for everyone’s cooperation for both your safety and the safety of those around you.

    Academic Classes Canceled March 12 

    Academic classes will be canceled on Thursday, March 12, to allow time for faculty to be trained on various online tools and methods so that classes can be taught remotely should the need arise after March Break. Students are permitted to depart campus after their last obligation on Wednesday, March 11. 

    At this time, all academic classes will continue to be held as they normally would upon return from March Break. However, we are encouraging students to take any necessary materials home (books, assignments, etc.) assuming that they may not be able to return to campus. 

    March Break

    Given the global nature of the Kents Hill School community and the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, we have decided to keep the campus open during March Break for any international students and/or students whose travel home requires plane transportation. Kents Hill faculty will provide full supervision in residence halls and common spaces, optional on- and off-campus activities, and meals in the Dining Commons and/or Student Center. If you are interested in this option, please contact Addie Michaud, Assistant to the Dean of Students, at amichaud@kentshill.org or 207-685-1613, by Thursday, March 12, at noon. 

    We encourage each person in our community to weigh the pros and cons of travel during March Break. If your family or child plans to travel, we ask that you submit dates of travel and destinations on this Travel Registry Form. The information submitted will be used solely for internal documentation in the event that we need to report issues to local or state authorities. You and/or your child will have the opportunity to edit the information prior to the end of March Break. 

    Return from March Break

    In order to ensure the health and wellness of our community, any student (or their immediate family member) who has traveled to a COVID-19 travel advisory Level 2 or 3 country during March Break OR has had close contact with a COVID-19 patient is not permitted to return to campus before their 14-day quarantine is complete. 

    In addition, any member of our community who is sick or displaying flu-like symptoms, regardless of travel history, should not return to campus until they have: a temperature of 99 degrees or less without Motrin or Tylenol for 24-hours and 48-hours without vomit or diarrhea. We will work with you and your local health care provider to determine when it is appropriate for your child to return to campus.

    Travel 

    Effective immediately, and in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are suspending any school-sponsored international and domestic travel through the end of March Break, including the mission trip to Florida and exchange program to South Africa. 

    Visitors to Campus

    While prospective students and their families are still invited to visit and tour the campus, visitors from countries that the CDC labels as travel advisory Level 2 or 3 are not allowed on campus until they have successfully completed a 14-day quarantine. 

    Campus Preparation

    During March Break, our housekeeping staff will be thoroughly cleaning all on-campus spaces, including all residence halls and the Bibby and Harold Alfond Dining Commons, in accordance with best practices for eliminating virus spread and transmission. We will also continue to educate our community regarding the best ways to prevent illness, including: 

    - Wash your hands often with soap and water
    - If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    - Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
    - Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    - Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
    - Avoid sharing electronic devices, utensils, drinks, and food
    - Eat well-balanced meals, stay hydrated, and get at least seven hours of sleep each night

    Useful Resources

    These policies and procedures reflect Kents Hill School’s position as of March 10, 2020. In this ever-changing situation, these policies may require updating in the future with little notice. 

    As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at ccheney@kentshill.org or 207-685-1636 with any questions or concerns that you may have. You can also contact Cathleen Samborski, Health Center Director, at csamborski@kentshill.org. 

    Sincerely,

    Christopher S. Cheney
    Head of School
    ccheney@kentshill.org 
  • February 6, 2020 (Chinese): March Break Travel Options

    2020年2月6日

    敬爱的肯特山学校家长及监护人,

    随着我们持续监测2019新型冠状病毒的进展及其对于我校国际学生群体的影响,我们将向您更新三月春季休假的指导方针。

    依照美国领事机构发布的旅行政策,肯特山学校强烈建议来自中国的学生于3月13日至30日的休假期间停留在美国本土境内。

    我们承诺将向所有可能发现旅行计划被更改或取消的学生提供必要的帮助。全球项目主任凯瑟琳·康格尔顿(Kathryn Congleton)及跨文化项目主任迈克尔·布拉克特(Michael Brackett)博士已经在与学生们沟通合作,以尽快确定替代计划,其中包括:

    有专人陪同的校外旅行项目,包含:

    学生文化交流项目 (Student Cultural Exchange https://www.studentculturalexchange.com)

    Envoys (https://portal.envoys.com/program/springcities20)

    波士顿联邦学生服务局 (Commonwealth Student Services of Boston) 可根据要求提供相关信息

    在美国的家庭成员或经批准的监护人。 

    我们要求学生在2月17日(星期一)之前提交三月春季假期的个人计划/方案,以便我们有足够的时间帮助学生作进一步跟进或调整。如果您及家人有任何问题或想了解上述任何选项,请随时联系:
    凯瑟琳(Kathryn),邮箱:kcongleton@kentshill.org;微信:kcongleton
    迈克尔(Michael), 邮箱:mbrackett@kentshill.org 或 michaelbrackett74@yahoo.com 

    与任何其他公共卫生问题一样,我们将持续监控2019新型冠状病毒的发展情况并传达任何必要的更新。肯特山学校衷心希望,在这一艰困时期,您和您的家人能平安健康。如果您有任何问题,请随时与我们联系。肯特山学校愿意尽其所能帮助您与您的孩子。

    Diane Chick
    校务主任 
    微信: DianeChickKHS

    Kathryn Congleton
    全球项目主任
    微信: kcongleton

    Dr. Michael Brackett 
    跨文化项目主任
  • February 6, 2020: March Break Travel Options

    Dear Kents Hill School Community, 
     
    As we continue to monitor the evolution of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) and its impact on our global community, we want to update you regarding guidelines for March Break.
     
    At this time, Kents Hill strongly recommends that students from China remain in the United States for the duration of the break that runs from March 13-30. This is in close consideration of travel advisories and policies being issued by U.S. Consular Services.
     
    We are committed to supporting all of our students who may find that their travel plans have been altered or canceled. Kathryn Congleton, Director of Global Programming, and Dr. Michael Brackett, Director of Intercultural Programming, are already working with students to identify alternative plans, which include:

    - Student Cultural Exchange (https://www.studentculturalexchange.com)

    - Envoys (https://portal.envoys.com/program/springcities20)

    - Commonwealth Student Services of Boston (information available upon request)

    - Family members or approved guardians in the United States
     
    We ask that students submit their plans for March Break by Monday, February 17, so that we have time to assist any students who are in need of alternative accommodations. If your family has any questions or would like further information regarding any of the above options, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Kathryn at kcongleton@kentshill.org or kcongleton on WeChat or Michael at mbrackett@kentshill.org or michaelbrackett74@yahoo.com.
     
    As is typical with any health concern, we will continuously monitor the situation and communicate any necessary updates. We would also like to reiterate our common wish at Kents Hill that you and your family remain safe and healthy during the 2019-nCov outbreak. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything that I or other faculty members at Kents Hill can do to support your child.
     
    Diane Chick
    Dean of Students 
    WeChat: DianeChickKHS
     
    Kathryn Congleton
    Director of Global Programming
    WeChat: kcongleton
     
    Dr. Michael Brackett 
    Director of Intercultural Programming
  • January 30, 2020: COVID-19 Monitoring; Winter Family Weekend

    Dear Kents Hill School Community,

    We are continuing to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) and want to provide you with an update and the very latest information.

    All of our community members (students, etc.) who traveled to or through China during Winter Break were screened upon arrival to the United States and are being closely monitored on a daily basis, which includes one student who traveled to Wuhan, China, and returned to the United States on December 31. In addition, we recently welcomed two new international students to our campus - one from Beijing, China, on January 7, and one from Guangzhou, China, on January 26. Neither of these students reported being ill before, during, or after travel. 

    According to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine has no confirmed cases and no individuals under investigation for 2019-nCoV at this time. We are encouraging any student or faculty member who feels ill for any reason to visit the Health Center in Maine Hall for an assessment by one of our school nurses. If the illness occurs outside of normal Health Center hours, an on-call nurse will be available on campus. In addition to a general health assessment, we will inquire about recent travel history and if the student has been in contact with any individuals who are exhibiting signs or symptoms of flu-like illnesses. Given that we are in the heart of cold and flu season in Maine, we are focusing on illness prevention education for our entire community, which includes proper hand hygiene, cough/sneeze etiquette, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. 

    All students who are planning to leave campus for Winter Family Weekend (January 31 - February 4) have submitted detailed travel plans to Diane Chick, Dean of Students. We are communicating regularly with families and asking each to inform us if they have a history of travel from China, have been in close contact with a person who is currently being investigated for 2019-nCoV, or have a fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath. We are following these same guidelines for all visitors to campus, including those who visit through the Admissions Office, Advancement Office, and Alfond Athletics Center. In addition, we are working with our peer schools to establish procedures for athletic competitions to ensure that our campus and students remain as healthy as possible. As the situation evolves, we will continue to update our campus policies and procedures. 

    As we look ahead to March Break (March 13 - 30), we are exploring options for students who may not be able to return home. These may include chaperoned off-campus trips and programs in partnership with Student Cultural ExchangeEnvoy, and others. Our International Program Director, Kathryn Congleton, will be providing additional details and resources as they become available. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Kathryn at kcongleton@kentshill.org

    Please feel free to reach out to me (csamborski@kentshill.org or 207-685-1624) at any time if you have questions or concerns. As always, we will keep you updated as the situation evolves. 

    We are thinking about all of our families, friends, and community members in China, and are committed to supporting our students through this difficult time. 

    Best,

    Cathleen 

    Cathleen Samborski, RN BSN NCSN
    Director of Health Services and School Nurse
    Health Center Phone: 207-685-1624 
    Secure Fax: 207-685-9537
  • January 28, 2020: COVID-19 Update; Ways To Prevent Illness

    Dear Kents Hill School Community,

    As a school that deeply values our diverse, global community and student wellbeing, we are closely monitoring updates of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) from the World Health Organization (WHO)Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our peer schools, and local colleges. 

    The situation remains a serious public health threat. The CDC continues to believe that the immediate risk to the United States general public is low at this time, however, the most recent travel advisory does recommend that all travelers avoid non-essential travel to China. 

    Currently, five cases of 2019-nCov have been confirmed in the United States. The CDC believes that there will likely be more cases reported in the coming days and weeks. Signs and symptoms of this illness include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Given that we are in the heart of cold and flu season in Maine, I want to remind our community of the best ways to prevent illness.

    - Wash your hands often with soap and water
    - If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    - Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
    - Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    - Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
    - Avoid sharing electronic devices, utensils, drinks, and food
    - Eat well-balanced meals, stay hydrated, and get at least seven hours of sleep each night

    Per our general guidelines, if students become sick or are feeling unwell at school they are to go to the Health Center to be assessed by a school nurse. Day students are advised to stay home if they are ill and communicate with both the Health Center and the Main Office. 

    I want to affirm that the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community is our utmost priority. We will evaluate and implement alternative March break opportunities and contingency plans for any students impacted by this crisis. As always, we will keep you updated as the situation evolves. 

    Please feel free to reach out to me at any time if you have questions or concerns. 

    Best,

    Cathleen 

    Cathleen Samborski, RN BSN NCSN
    Director of Health Services and School Nurse
    Health Center Phone: 207-685-1624 
    Secure Fax: 207-685-9537
1614 Main Street, Kents Hill, Maine 04349       |       207-685-4914       |       info@kentshill.org