COVID-19 Health & Safety Policies

Updated as of 2/12/2021

Thayer Academy reserves the right to revise these policies as is necessary based on COVID-19 cases (total numbers and trends locally and in the state) and per state and federal guidelines.

Daily COVID-19 Screening

Daily COVID-19 screening should be conducted by parents before leaving home for on-campus attendance (either for class attendance for on-campus day or sports participation, if at the end of a scheduled remote day).
Parents will already know if their child has been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, but it is important to ask if they have been in contact with anyone who has had a cough, runny nose or other symptoms, or stated that they felt unwell.
Inquire if your child has any of the following:

  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to known seasonal allergies)
  • Shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Rash

Essentially, any symptom of illness.

If any symptoms are present, please check the student’s temperature. If the temperature is 100 degrees or above, the student definitely should remain home. Contact your child’s PCP and inform Thayer Academy nurses at about your student’s health status.
Even if the temperature is below 100 degrees, if the student feels unwell, your child should remain home with the option of attending remote classes, if possible, until the symptoms resolve. 

Mask, Distance, and Hand Hygiene

Multi-layered masks (of at least 2 layers), cloth or disposable, must be worn by everyone on campus, covering the nose and mouth completely without needing to adjust the mask frequently. Neck gaiters are not allowed during the academic day, but multi-layered neck gaiters (at least 2 layers) are allowed for sports. 

Mask breaks are allowed only outside when stationary at a distance of at least 6 feet from others, inside while eating lunch or for 10 minute periods inside in designated areas where desks are placed at least 6 feet apart and all those who are present are stationary and not talking.

Thayer complies with all of the state and federal guidelines regarding safe physical distancing.

Hand hygiene continues to be an essential public health preventive measure, but especially during COVID-19. Anyone on campus should be washing hands frequently and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after attending classes and eating, and when there is unavoidable need to touch shared items or surfaces.

Report of COVID-19 Symptoms or Positive COVID-19 Test

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 or receives notice of a positive COVID-19 test, the child will need to isolate for 10 days, starting from the day of symptoms or the positive test. The rest of the residing family are considered close contacts.

  • Please notify the Thayer nurses: 
    • If during regular school hours, please call 781.664.2299
    • If during off-school hours or weekends, please send an email to, and a nurse will contact you on the next scheduled school day, or sooner if possible. 
  • Thayer nurses will need to inquire about the usual contact tracing information as it relates to Thayer Academy program participation or other Thayer Academy students, even if contact with the positive case was outside of Thayer Academy classes or activities. Massachusetts has contact tracing that occurs either through the local public health department or through a state-sponsored contact tracing initiative, and an individual from either location will also contact a parent or guardian to work with the family regarding all other potential contacts.
  • Thayer Academy reports the names of positive cases internally only on a “need-to-know” basis, which usually includes the team of teachers, the coaches of related athletic teams, and other faculty and staff as needed for accurate identification of close contacts at school. Thayer Academy will not disclose the names of positive COVID-19 cases to other students or parents/guardians. Please be aware that often students/families appropriately disclose to others with whom they have had scheduled close contact events outside of Thayer.
  • The person who is diagnosed with COVID-19 can return to on-campus classes on day 11 if there has not been a fever for at least 24 hours, and if COVID-19 symptoms, if present, are markedly diminished.
  • The person who is diagnosed with COVID-19 can attend classes remotely if they are asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic and can comfortably participate in classes.

Close Contacts

A close contact is defined as anyone who has been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 person for 15 minutes or greater (cumulatively over a 24-hour period) even if a mask was worn. 

When the nurses receive notice of a COVID-19 positive student or faculty/staff, an assessment is done of the exposure to others. Most of the desks in classrooms are placed 6 feet apart, but there are some known circumstances that require periodic distance at 3 to 6 feet (such as when participating in certain science labs), or all people present in certain groups need to quarantine, such as Middle School advisor groups who eat lunch together in the same room.

The nurses identify those at Thayer that are close contacts and relays the information to those students and parents/guardians via email.

The parent/guardian is instructed to notify the PCP, and is encouraged to obtain COVID-19 testing on day 5 or later after exposure, or sooner, if symptoms develop. 

Updated quarantine policy for close contacts to a positive COVID-19 case
Effective Monday, April 26

When identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the individual must strictly quarantine for seven days. They can be released from quarantine to return to on-campus classes on Day 8 if they:

  • have received a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid molecular test**** taken on Day 5 or later, AND
  • have not experienced any symptoms up to that point.

The individual must continue to actively monitor themselves for symptoms through Day 14.

Massachusetts Guidelines about Quarantine

****Please note that a rapid antigen test is not accepted by Thayer to release a close contact from quarantine. A negative PCR or rapid molecular test is required.

Exceptions to the need to quarantine are those who:

  • are fully vaccinated, which is two weeks past the vaccine series (after 2nd shot of Moderna or Pfizer, or after 1 shot of Johnson & Johnson).
  • have tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 90 days.

Travel Policy

Click here to see the current travel policy for the 2020-21 school year.