All faculty, staff and students will be required to complete a daily electronic questionnaire before arriving on campus. Screening questionnaire will include but not be limited to new COVID-19 symptoms, possible exposure, temperature check and recent travel; all determined by CDC and NYSDOH most current information and guidance. This screen is to be completed by 7:00 a.m.
Middle School students should be dropped off at the Middle School atrium near the Middle School parking lot in the morning. Upper School students will be assigned a specific building entrance. All students will wait in a single-file line, socially distanced to be admitted into the building.
At the end of the day, Middle School students on buses will observe social distancing and walk to the bus pickup area near the gym. Those students who are getting picked up will go to the tents in the Quad, where faculty will supervise.
12th grade students may leave campus after their last commitment. They must first check-in with their assigned study hall proctor for attendance.
3:25 p.m. dismissal: Any student who takes a bus will proceed directly to the bus stop and any student being picked up with a Middle School sibling will proceed directly to the tents on the Quad.
3:30 p.m. dismissal: Any student with a Nichols athletic or dance commitment after school will proceed directly to the location of the activity.
3:35 p.m. dismissal: All other Upper School students will be dismissed and proceed directly to their mode of transportation.
Any Upper School student who does not have a ride at the end of the day or an after-school commitment must report to the Student Commons to await a ride.
Middle School lunches will be delivered to the Middle School during a single lunch period.
Students will preorder their food through an order form and enjoy lunch within the classrooms, under our tents, or in our larger, common areas (Middle School Sky Pond, Middle School Pond, Rand Dining Room, or one of our two gyms). All lunch periods will be supervised, and students will be required to remain at least six feet apart while eating.
There will be three lunch periods for Upper School students (12:45-1:10 p.m., 1:15-1:40 p.m., and 1:47-2:15 p.m.) Students will be assigned lunch periods based on classes, with the Upper School being as equally divided as possible among the three lunch periods. Lunches will be delivered to the lunch-block building by dining services staff.
Student dismissal for lunch will be staggered. Students will pick up boxed lunches and eat outside under tents. All students will eat in socially distanced spaces marked out under the tents. Students will be supervised by faculty during lunch periods.
Students with medically documented severe outdoor allergies or allergies to stinging insects may request to eat indoors. Students eating indoors will be socially distanced and supervised by faculty. In the case of inclement weather, students will eat in their lunch-block classrooms, socially distanced and supervised.
Access to Middle School lockers will be limited and monitored. Upper School lockers will not be used. The freshman and sophomore locker areas will be off limits to students unless they have an appointment to meet with the freshman/sophomore dean.
Upper School students will be asked to bring a laptop or tablet to school each day. Those who do not own devices will borrow devices from the school. Training will be provided at the beginning of the year on all technology platforms. If students do not own a laptop or tablet, they should contact our IT department at firstname.lastname@example.org to borrow one from the school.
Nichols is committed to the continued offering of extracurricular opportunities, including our Robotics Program, Masterminds, Science Olympiad, Mock Trial, Student Council, Art Club, Environmental Club, and our numerous student-led organizations.
All extracurricular activities will follow the same expectations as set forth for classroom instruction. Extracurriculars will:
Take place in spaces appropriate to the number of students participating.
Follow social distancing guidelines.
Follow face covering guidelines.
Follow classroom expectations.
Students participating in extracurricular activities before or after school may not congregate in spaces without a faculty presence. They are expected to arrive and depart promptly from all meetings.
Students attending Nichols virtually will be allowed to participate in extracurriculars at the discretion of the faculty advisor.
Upper School clubs are set to begin sign-ups after Thanksgiving break.
All Nichols physical education classes will take place outdoors. The Nichols Physical Education Department will follow the guidelines set by the state and maintain a distance of twelve (12) feet between all students. Teachers will be equipped with headsets and microphones and lessons will be either skill-based or fitness-based. If a ball or other piece of equipment is required, students will be assigned the same piece of equipment to be used for the entirety of the class.
Until the fall athletic season starts (currently scheduled for September 21) outdoor PE classes will be conducted afterschool for fall sport athletes. Afterschool classes will follow the same guidelines as physical education classes conducted during the school day. All school equipment that is used in during a PE class will be cleaned thoroughly following the completion of the class.
Locker rooms will not be used. Students will be expected to arrive at school in clothes that are breathable and non-restrictive. If a change of footwear is required, students can keep their PE shoes in a portable backpack/gym bag.
Students will be screened and triaged before entering the Health Office. If they are assessed and it appears not related to COVID-19, they will enter the Health Office (clean room) for treatment. Students will remain masked, physical distancing will be maintained from other students and all universal precautions are in effect as per protocol in the Health Office. Student will be released and returned to class as soon as possible. Spaces will be properly disinfected between student visits. If, upon triage, a student is determined to have possible COVID-19 symptoms, the student is to be immediately taken to the isolation room.
For the health and safety of students, no food can be brought on campus. Sage Dining will offer a grab-and-go lunch, and though not as broad a selection as they have had in the past, there will be good and healthy options.
Middle School: Lunches will be delivered to the Middle School by Sage Dining and students will be eating lunch in designated outdoor lunch spaces or classrooms.
Upper School: Upper School will have three different lunch periods so that we can maintain social distancing. Students will report to their designated lunch area at their scheduled time and pick up their lunch.
Kids love the food and Sage will still be providing it. There will be no salad bar, but there will be several meal options each day. Kids will be spaced appropriately whether indoors or outdoors, whenever possible, in a tent on the Quad. Food allergies will be accommodated by Sage. Students with bee allergies or if there is a concern with bees will be moved indoors for lunch. Hand sanitizer will be available.
Should there be a positive case, we will contact the Erie County Department of Health and contact tracing would begin. The school community will be informed of a positive test, without revealing the name of the student or employee. The Erie County Department of Health has the Head of School’s cell phone number in order to maintain continuous and open contact.
Quarantine for 14 days is required. However, if we are aware of a chronic condition, like seasonal allergies, there is no quarantine required. A visit to the nurse does not mean an automatic 14-day quarantine.
The school will be following weather forecasts, and no students will be outdoors if it is too cold or unsafe. Ventilation system updates are currently being made to Albright and Mitchell Halls, and we have been consulting with professional engineering firms to ensure our buildings exceed specifications going forward.
A great deal of time has been spent on this topic. Jessica Block and Cory Shelton are working together to create an X-period schedule for students, including those who both sing and play an instrument. Sections will meet each day, with the chorus distanced at 12 feet, outdoors. Orchestra will be indoors, with strings distanced at 6 feet and band at 12 feet, in the FPAC. Students will be able to make music together, safely whether they are social distanced in person or participating virtually.
We are increasing the hours of, and monitoring by, private security personnel. Lanyards are still in use, with doors marked for access. We can move to limiting the number of entrances if necessary. Door security is still in place, however since we will be utilizing outside spaces, we will have more presence of outdoor security watching the students and the entrances to the campus. We will consider closing the gates if we find that it is necessary.
The start to school will be staggered. With fewer students on campus, there will be time with each class for a thorough orientation devoted to the logistics of being on campus, like how to enter and exit the buildings and navigate one-way hallways.
The first two weeks of school will be spent on “how-to” in addition to subject content. The technology education component will prepare students for their coursework.
We are requiring masks while indoors, even if six feet apart.
Carefully. Adults will be present to remind students of best practices and they will provide mask breaks. Middle School overnight trips are not possible, but we are trying to create other bonding experiences. When outdoors, they can socialize somewhat more.
Our Middle School students will be reminded to keep to the right, and to keep moving. Lockers have been spaced, alternating by grade, so lockers in the same area are not accessed at the same time. There are no lockers being used in the Upper School.
Students should have chosen PE or a sport for the Fall. PE students will report to class in the morning, and those in a sport will have PE after school. Beginning September 8, and until the official beginning of sports, currently slated for September 21, those sessions will be skill-based. We await guidance from the state, as clubs are allowed but school sponsored sports are not. We hope to have the ice down over Labor Day weekend, and are following guidelines of USA Hockey. As students wait for the sports season to begin, they cannot go to an outside team after school for PE credit.
All traditional fall sports are expected to remain in regular sequence. We will continue to monitor winter sports. For students who have not chosen a fall sport,PE will be in the mornings during X period. Coach Ross will prepare activities for off-campus students.
There will be an Athletics Q&A session scheduled for the fall.
In the Upper School, every student’s schedule is different so we do not issue a supply list for all students. Instead, each individual teacher will communicate what students need for each class. All students will need a laptop or tablet. IT Director Mr. Sullivan has issued instructions – see the Parent Newsletter for information. If you need help with technology, please email email@example.com. Upper School students are required to bring devices to class, but Middle School students are not.
There will be opportunity to go outside and take mask breaks. We will be getting the students outside to take mask breaks. Inside, the only time the students are not required to wear masks is during lunch. Students will be required to have masks on during class and at all times while they are inside the buildings.
Parents are to contact the school and notify us (send note with student, call the office) if the student needs to leave early. Also, parents should contact the school again once they arrive to pick up the student via phone or intercom at the entrance. Parents will not be allowed on campus at the beginning of the school year and we will continue to monitor the situation based on Erie County Department of Health guidelines.
We have to be aware of allergies etc., especially going into the fall. If a student has symptoms, Nurse Derenda will be in touch to assess whether this is a recurring situation, in which case there will not be a need to quarantine. We don’t want families concerned about talking to the nurse because they don’t want to be sent home for 14 days.
If someone is not feeling well and is sent home, they can pivot immediately to online learning for whatever duration becomes necessary.
All teachers have taken a 3-week course on design for hybrid learning. Every class’s page will have a permanent Zoom link for students to join their class.
When someone is ready to come back to school, the family must communicate with the nurse to be cleared.
The policy is to wear uniform shirts, but bottoms should be sports-ready. Sneakers are okay, too. Sports will be held outdoors as much as possible, with students distancing 12 feet apart. Keeping the uniform tops helps alleviate worry about what to wear each day, and concerns over comparing expensive labels. Fun dress-down days will be planned in.
A second pair of sneakers is still required, for indoor sports, and can be stashed in the hall locker.
The goal is to be as flexible as possible, given the variety in levels of risk families face. Students should make a commitment for one quarter, either online or on-campus, though a pivot will be possible when necessary. Upper School families should contact Sarah Jacobson and Middle School families should contact Paul Errickson to create a schedule. Online classes will be synchronous, and a Zoom meeting will start at the beginning of each on-campus class.
Nichols appreciates the value of clubs. Clubs will take place as space and shared equipment are taken into account. Children may participate whether they are on campus or virtual. All clubs will have a virtual component.
These activities are so important to help the kids form a cohesive group. Robotics will coordinate by grade, and can be joined online. Masterminds will be all virtual with logins from home.
Locker rooms are not available to the students to change clothes. We want to continue to offer physical education so we are asking that students come ready to participate in physical education.
Middle School students should wear uniform tops and comfortable bottoms and shoes so that students can participate in sports and be comfortable when we conduct classes outside. They may wear an athletic shirt under their uniform shirt if desired.
We have families who depend on school districts to provide transportation and we will coordinate with those families when possible. As nothing has been confirmed by the districts yet at this time, families should consider when possible to find their own modes of transportation. We are anticipating transportation will be available from the districts, but transportation is dependent upon your home school districts and their policies.
If Nichols uses our own green buses for trips, we will follow social distancing best practices, cleaning and hygiene best practices, and face coverings will be required on Nichols buses.
Excluding writing outside of athletic brand logos, all of them are appropriate: sweatpants, track pants, athletic leggings. The torso should be fully covered. Comfort for PE and athletics is the priority, as the locker rooms will not be used. Athletic shorts should be mid-length. Tights are not considered leggings. By leggings we mean yoga pant-type leggings, appropriate attire for practice. See the full dress code for details.
We are not testing students, faculty, or staff. We will be having each student to complete a form through an app every morning with responses to COVID questions. Students are asked to take their temperatures every morning before coming to school. If students have not completed their form prior to coming to campus, they will have to report to the School Nurse's office where their temperature will be taken and form completed before they can enter the classroom.
Completing the form is the first check-in step that must be completed prior to the student coming to campus. We are asking that students and their families not travel out of state to any of the designated states listed on the New York State Travel Advisory list. If travel has/will occur to any of the listed states by someone in each individual household, we are asking that all students in that household quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to campus.
Faculty and staff will be following the same screening procedures as students, completing their online questionnaire each day before reporting to school. Faculty and staff will be asked to take their temperature each day before reporting to school as part of the questionnaire they will be completing.
It is important to make sure seniors are recognized as such, even if it’s not as expected. There will be some flexibility. Seniors do not have to arrive until their first commitment of the day, even if that is second period. Seniors may leave during the day, but must check in with their study hall proctor before doing so. They can return to campus, and can leave early when their commitments end. There will be study space available for those wishing to stay on campus.
If we find there is too much traffic with seniors coming and going it may be curtailed, but we want them to have some traditional freedoms.
Fill out the daily health survey in the Magnus Health app at home to speed entry into the building. Students will first go to lockers, then their first period room, moving as quickly as possible. At the end of day, the kids will gather in a tent in the Quad for dismissal, as there is not enough room to wait in the foyer. Faculty will be on hand to monitor.
Bright Place will be open 3:30-5:30 p.m. or when the last kid is picked up. We’ll be using the large gym space and will keep grades separate from one another. We are still working on pickup procedures for parents, and will communicate those as finalized.
We recognize the difficulty of wearing masks for 8 hours. Masks are to be worn at all times while inside, including during classes that are held indoors. Faculty can take their classes outside at any point - we are encouraging this. When outside and distanced, students can take off masks. In passing periods, the direction of movement will intentionally force everyone outside, and they can take off masks then as well.
You can find the latest edition of the school calendar on the Nichols website. Find it in the drop-down menu under “School Calendar” and click 2020-21 Academic Calendar.
Adjustments have been made since the calendar debuted in February. The first day will now be a staggered start. In October, students will be off for Columbus Day on Monday, back to school on Tuesday, and then have Wednesday off, to accommodate those taking the PSAT.
With guidance from the Erie County Department of Health, medical experts, and our school nurse, it has been determined that no tests will be required before school begins. A test result is just a brief moment in time, and we do not want to promote a false sense of security. As the science improves, testing could be employed in the future, and we will continue to watch those developments.
We are working with the state, CDC, and Erie County Department of Health and have been told that if there is a documented medical reason we do need to respect it. We have not had any of these requests at this point.
An unwell student should stay home and rest, but can join online if they are feeling up for that. Faculty has been working to establish web pages and Zoom links for their classes on MySchoolApp. Families should keep communication open about what is working. We recommend structure for all students, and keeping consistency.
A commitment to online or in-person learning has been requested, but a pivot is possible. Upper School families should email or call Head of Upper School Sarah Jacobson to discuss a change. Middles School families should email or call Head of Middle School Paul Errickson. The school understands the need for flexibility, but consistency will be key for student success.
Faculty has been preparing for hybrid learning. MySchoolApp will be consistent school-wide, with teachers’ pages containing a Zoom link for each class offered. At-home students should check in with teachers at the start of each class.
We will be wearing masks at school when indoors. Consider how distracting a mask might be. Go for comfort. The school store sells Nichols masks. Disposable masks will be available as needed. Face coverings chosen need to be something that can stay in place.
Masks should be in accordance with dress code policy and may have small patterns, the Nichols logo, college or sports team logos are okay too. We ask is that is not a large image or extensive writing. We do not want masks to be distracting and are thinking about fun themed mask days during the year.
Masks with valves are not allowed since they are not safe for people around you. We have thousands of disposable masks if students forget or a mask gets damaged, and we have Nichols-branded masks in the bookstore.
Yes. Beginning at 7 a.m. there will be proctored spaces assigned to those who need to arrive early. Many families have students in both the Upper School and Middle School and we want families to be able to arrive together.
Middle School students who are on campus after 3:30 p.m. will go to Bright Place. There will be a phone number for parents to call when they have arrived on campus to pick up their child(ren).
We will not be renting out any of our indoor facilities. Rink rentals will be limited to our existing relationships that utilize our hockey rinks. Hours will be limited. Locker rooms are not available to outside organizations and sanitation will be done prior to Nichols students arriving the next morning.
Students will need sturdy backpacks. No lockers are available this year, since students cannot socially distance in those spaces and they are not well ventilated. Almost no student will have more than three academic classes per day, since most will have at least one study hall – so they should be able to manage fine with a backpack.
Middle School students may begin arriving at 7:30 a.m. Upper School students may arrive beginning at 7:00 a.m., but they are strongly encouraged to come to campus when their first activity of the day is scheduled. 9th and 10th grade students must arrive by 8:15 a.m.; 11th and 12th grade students do not need to report to campus until their first commitment of the day.
Throughout the summer, the Nichols School Custodian Department has taken extensive certification classes on cleaning procedures. When cleaning, our staff is trained to wear PPE and use disinfectants effective against the coronavirus per the manufacturer's instructions. We will keep several months of disinfectant supply on our campus for daily cleaning needs.
We have a current supply of 10,000 disposable face coverings in storage and 2,600 gloves. We have over 20,000 wipes and will determine appropriate long-term inventory.
We are in the process of making the campus touchless, including installing hand sanitizer in entrances, bathroom and other areas as needed. Our paper dispensers, faucet, urinals, toilets are touchless.
The Facilities Department will provide alcohol wipes to teachers. Some water fountains will be closed, and push buttons will be replaced by foot press switches, where possible.
We have purchased Cordless Electrostatic Disinfectant Handheld battery sprayers for nightly disinfection. Our Facilities Department will be replacing HVAC filters more frequently and with filters with higher filtration ratings.
We are also in the process of hiring an additional custodian.
We have reviewed ventilation in each space and will improve all areas through the introduction of fresh air both naturally and mechanically, the use of air filtration systems, and the use of larger spaces for classrooms.
All faculty, staff and students will be required to complete a daily electronic questionnaire via the Magnus Health app or online application before arriving on campus. Screening questionnaire will include but not be limited to new COVID-19 symptoms, possible exposure, temperature check and recent travel; all determined by CDC and NYSDOH most current information and guidance. This screen is to be completed by 7:00 a.m.
Nichols will have a designated isolation room in the Middle School. This room will be used only for those who are exhibiting symptoms that may be related to COVID-19. Any suspected COVID-19 case will be immediately brought to the isolation room.
The School Nurse will contact the student’s parent/guardian or emergency contact. Pickup should occur within 45 minutes of contact.
Parents will pick up their child(ren) at the side door of the Middle School closest to the Quad and 5th grade space.
Upper School students may arrive beginning at 7:30 a.m., but they are strongly encouraged to arrive beginning at 7:55 a.m.
9th and 10th grade students must arrive by 8:15 a.m.; 11th and 12th grade students do not need to report to campus until their first commitment of the day.
9th and 10th grade students will be assigned to classroom spaces in Mitchell, Albright and Center ‘63 based on advisory. Students assigned to Center ‘63 must enter from the east/gym-side door. Students assigned to Albright must enter from the west/rink-side door. Students assigned to Mitchell must enter from west/turf-facing door.
11th and 12th grade students who arrive before 9:25 a.m. will report to the Student Commons, entering at the main entrance from the Quad. All students will wait in a single-file line, socially distanced, before being admitted into the building. Deans and Administrators will monitor the doors and admit students, checking a live list of Health Screening Forms. Students are to go immediately to their assigned space.
From 8:15-9:20 a.m., students may get extra help from faculty members, but appointments must be prearranged and should not last for more than 15 minutes.
Members of the Chorus with a scheduled rehearsal will proceed to the tent on Moot Meadow at 8:15 a.m. Members of the Orchestra with a scheduled rehearsal will proceed to the FPAC at 8:15 a.m. Chorus and Orchestra faculty will check for completion of the health screening form.
12th grade students may leave campus after their last commitment. However, they must first check-in with their assigned study hall proctor for attendance.
3:25 p.m. dismissal: Any student who takes a bus will proceed directly to the bus stop and any student being picked up with a middle school sibling will proceed directly to the tents on the quad.
3:30 p.m. dismissal: Any student with a Nichols athletic or dance commitment after school will proceed directly to the location of the activity.
3:35 p.m. dismissal: All other Upper School students will be dismissed and proceed directly to their mode of transportation.
Any Upper School student who does not have a ride at the end of the day or an after-school commitment must report to the student commons to await a ride.
Nichols School will reopen at full capacity for in-person instruction, while following CDC, state and local health and safety guidelines and ensuring social distancing best practices. We will utilize all of our large, common spaces around our 30-acre campus including the dining hall, Student Commons, libraries, Flickinger Performing Arts Center, our two gyms, and our ice rink to help spread students and faculty out in order to provide a safe teaching environment. We will utilize several large tents to provide additional open-air spaces for classes to meet, students to gather, and lunch to be served. We will comply with all New York State building codes. We have already measured all existing classroom spaces and designated the capacity for each of our classrooms.