Visit COVID-19 Updates page.
See details on Health/Safety, Academics/Remote Learning, and Student/Campus Life.
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COVID-19 Information and Updates
This page serves as the information hub for campus news related to the COVID-19. Please check back regularly for updates.
As always, our number one goal is to protect the health and well-being of our community while remaining adaptable and responsive to changing circumstances. We are working around the clock to communicate with constituents as accurately, quickly, and effectively as possible. We appreciate your support and your partnership as we navigate this challenging time. Please contact the appropriate department listed below with questions:
Health and Wellness - Health Center Director Ashleigh Pfleegor, HealthCtrNurses@oldfieldsschool.org or 443-944-5860
Academics and Remote Learning - Director of Academics and Programmatic Affairs Joe Doherty, DohertyJ@OldfieldsSchool.org
Student/Residential Life and Campus Community - Assistant Head of School Caroline Blaum, BlaumC@OldfieldsSchool.org
Recent Updates and Communications
3/30/2020 - Governor Hogan issues "stay-at-home" executive order for Maryland. Oldfields employees required to work from home if possible.
3/25/2020 - Oldfields extends remote learning until April 24. Read more >
3/25/2020 - Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan announced public schools will remain closed until April 24.
3/24/2020 - Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan announced a requirement that any Maryland resident who has recently visited the state of New York must quarantine themselves for 14 days.
3/23/2020 - Details on remote learning to begin March 30 shared with parents and students. Read more >
3/16/2020 - Oldfields postpones Alumnae Weekend 2020. Read more >
Frequently Asked Questions
(Information current as of March 29, 2020)
What steps is Oldfields taking to minimize the risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) on campus?
- Our Coronavirus Task Force meets on a regular basis to identify and mediate potential threats and is in regular consultation with local public health officials and fellow independent schools. In addition, the task force follows updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the US Department of State, the Maryland State Health Department, and the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center in order to make the most informed decisions possible for the health and safety of the Oldfields community.
- All employees are required to work from home if possible. Any employee for whom it is essential to visit campus must complete the Employee Visiting Campus Screening Form and communicate their intention with their department head prior to arrival.
- All employees and campus families are required to follow CDC guidelines for travel and report any travel plans, domestic and international, via the Travel Disclosure Form. If any travel destinations are of concern, they will be contacted by Oldfields Health Center with specific instructions.
- All visitors to campus are required to complete the Visitor/Vendor Form which provides information on who/where they are visiting on campus, recent travel by them and any family member, and any symptoms they may be experiencing. Our health center will reach out to any potential visitors if the form raises any concerns.
- All employees living or working on campus are following the CDC recommendations regarding social distance, frequent hand washing, proper cough technique, self-containment when sick, refraining from handshakes, etc.—essential practices in limiting the spread of any virus.
- Regular communication occurs with service providers across campus to prevent the spread of germs. This includes making arrangements for enhanced protocols for campus cleaning and sanitizing, taking steps to train and protect on-campus health care providers, and exploring foodservice delivery options in the dining hall if still appropriate when students return.
Are there any restrictions to a student’s eventual return to campus?
Should on-campus activity resume at any point during spring term, we will continue to follow the CDC’s guidance. Any student who has come in contact with a person of concern for COVID-19 infection or a known case of COVID-19, or is sick with fever and cough or difficulty breathing should also not return to campus until they are symptom-free and have completed a 14-day self-containment period off campus. Contact the Oldfields Health Center with any questions or concerns.
What should I do if I do not have enough medication and my medication is stored at or ordered through the Oldfields Health Center?
Depending on the medication, it can be shipped to you or a new prescription can be called into your local pharmacy. Please contact the Health Center or 443-944-5860 in order to coordinate the next steps.
How can I increase my chances of staying healthy?
With both influenza and coronavirus causing concern, we encourage continued focus on the CDC’s guidelines on prevention:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Stay home as much as possible even if well. It is imperative that everyone, especially our teenagers, understand the important role they play when it comes to “flattening the curve.” Even if you are not feeling sick, you can be a carrier and spread the disease.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If trips outside your home are essential, maintain social distancing.
Oldfields is prepared and excited to utilize this powerful medium to provide quality education outside of the traditional classroom. Remote learning has gained in popularity, and today the majority of universities offer classes and entire programs online. However, not all remote learning is the same. Oldfields has put together a virtual learning platform that is thorough, predictable, and, most importantly, offers a personalized learning environment with individual attention. Click here for a complete Academic Remote Learning Guide. Below are some of the details about our Academic Remote Learning.
How long will remote learning take place?
At this point in time, remote learning is scheduled from March 31 through April 24.
What will the daily schedule be?
Students will follow the Plan of the Week (POW) which will be made available on Sunday evening, just like when they were on campus. The students will “attend” classes from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. The teacher will facilitate the lessons through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous lessons.
Will attendance be taken?
Class attendance will be taken for every period. Teachers will have flexibility in how attendance is measured, and the School recognizes that there will be situations when students may not be available during the assigned class time. For asynchronous lessons, students will send the teacher an email upon completion of the lesson (this will count as attendance).
What if a student is absent?
Parents should email Registrar Mary Kate Thompson when a student is unable to participate in remote learning. Teachers, along with the help of the advisor, will work with the student to complete the work with extended deadlines.
How will remote learning work for students who live in another time zone?
Students who are unable to participate within the scheduled times (see Plan of the Week) should reach out to their advisor. International students may also contact Director of International Relations Jude Zhu. These students will partner with their teachers to complete the work asynchronously utilizing recorded class session as well as other technology to insure they remain engaged in the class. International students will schedule meetings with the teachers during mutually agreed upon times.
Are there any privacy concerns with video conferencing and synchronous learning?
There are times when a teacher will record her/his Zoom meeting and post it to the class page (private site). Students’ images and voices will be included; however, the students can opt to turn off their camera and only use audio. Please reach out to Director of Academics and Programmatic Affairs Joe Doherty should you have any questions or concerns about the use of video conferencing.
What should a student do if she is falling behind in her studies?
Oldfields’ teachers recognize the remote learning format is new, and it will take time to acclimate. Students should reach out to their teacher and advisor to share questions, concerns, and requests for support. The teachers and administrators are here to help!
Are students still being graded?
The students will earn marks throughout remote learning, and a Term III grade will be recorded. There will be multiple forms of assessment, and teachers will give students ample time to prepare and ask questions. Online learning still has quizzes and tests; however, the format lends itself well to papers and projects, too. Students and parents are encouraged to monitor grades through NetClassroom and reach out to teachers with questions.
How does academic integrity work during remote learning?
Oldfields students will uphold the same level of academic integrity during remote learning. Teachers will provide instructions and guidelines for homework, classwork, projects, and assessments. If you are uncertain as to whether a resource can be used, please ask!
What will advisory look like during remote learning?
Students will have advisory three times a week in real-time. This will be an opportunity to check in with their advisor, monitor progress, and talk as a group. Relationships are the foundation of an Oldfields School education, and regular advisory will allow us to continue to foster a strong sense of community.
What should a student do when she needs extra help?
Teachers are always available during class time and office hours. Schedule a time to talk over the phone or have a video conference call (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet). Remember, we are in this together!
Will there still be access to the Academic Strategies Program?
Students in ASP will meet with their teacher during the regularly scheduled periods. The ASP teachers will reach out to the students with more information. Contact Director of ASP Lauren Taguding with any questions.
How are accommodations handled during remote learning?
Students will be provided accommodations during remote learning. Teachers will work with the students and ASP to adjust the remote learning to include accommodations.
What about books and supplies for courses?
Upon departing campus for Spring Break on March 13, 2020, Oldfields students were informed to take their books and academic belongings home with them. In addition, the School will provide digital access to materials whenever possible and permitted under copyright law.
What if a student does not have access to high-speed internet access in their current location or other technical difficulties connecting virtually?
The School is committed to helping such students access remote learning. Students who are experiencing any technical difficulty or do not have reliable internet access should contact the Technology Department.
May I retrieve belongings from my dorm?
The Oldfields School campus is closed to all but essential staff. This means students are not able to get into their dorms at the present time. If there is something essential a student needs from their room, please contact the Director of Residential Life Libby Pace.
Is there any possibility of a return to campus this term?
We will continue to actively monitor the situation and follow recommendations from state and federal health agencies. At this point, we have confirmed remote learning through April 24 with a scheduled return to campus classes on April 28. In the event the spring term were to resume on campus, we will provide reasonable notice and we would continue to support those who could not return via remote learning.
Will Oldfields refund tuition in full or in part due to remote learning?
For now, School operations continue to move forward in a remote model. When we have made all the necessary changes to allow the community to be fully engaged with online learning, the Business Office will have the opportunity to review both costs and savings related to online learning and, taking that into account, and will make a decision whether the School will or will not be able to provide any refunds or credits. We would ask for your patience while we work through all the details of the complicated changes to our operations that are currently being made.
How will communication and access to support from advisors, class deans, and the Dean of Students be handled?
Beginning at the end of Spring Break advisors will regularly reach out to students. Advisory will take place three times a week using various modes of communication. The Dean of Students Claire Guidera will continue to support student needs, requests and updates, as well as work with class deans to organize any class-wide messaging.
Will our sports teams participate in IAAM Conference athletics?
On Thursday, March 12, 2020, under the guidance of the IAAM Board of Governors, the IAAM secured approval from IAAM Heads of School to amend our spring season in an effort to serve the best interest of our student-athletes as it relates to COVID-19.
- Effective immediately, the IAAM will place a moratorium on spring season league competition.
- The moratorium on league competition will last through Friday, April 24, 2020.
- League competition is planned to resume on Monday, April 27, 2020, providing five (5) days of practice, prior to resuming any spring season competitions.
What about extracurricular activities in athletics, arts, and other areas?
Clubs and student organizations will be working with their faculty advisors. Activities and the Dean of Students Office will continue programming that can be done remotely.
What is open and what is closed on campus?
- All offices are physically closed with employees working remotely if possible. Any employee for whom it is essential to visit campus must complete the Employee Visiting Campus Screening Form and communicate their intention with their department head prior to arrival.
- All common spaces are closed, including the Dining Hall, Rodney Hall, the gym, dance studio, dorms, and fitness center and the Health Center.
- Campus Security continues to patrol campus and is available by phone as usual.
- The mailroom is continuing to receive and process mail. Fields and outdoor tennis courts can be used for individual play. No teams from Oldfields or other organizations are permitted to play or practice on any field or inside any building.
What services will continue to be provided to the community while campus is closed?
- UBS will continue to provide trash pick-up inside and outside of buildings and residences. The schedule of cleaning spaces in buildings may change, especially if rooms are being used for remote learning at non-standard times.
- FLIK will not provide any food service or catering during this time.
- Facilities staff will respond to essential and emergency calls only. No routine maintenance work orders will be processed at this time. Facilities staff will not enter a residence, office, or classroom while other people are in the space.
The College Board and the ACT have canceled exams between March and May. What should I do?
The June SAT is currently scheduled for June 6, 2020, the day of Oldfields Graduation. Obviously, Oldfields will not be a testing site for this particular test and while we prefer all of our students participate in the Graduation ceremony, any student who feels the need to take the SAT on this day should communicate this to Director of College Counseling Marissa Margosian as soon as possible. You can also take the SAT in August, October, November, and December. The October SAT will be offered at Oldfields. Oldfields may become a testing site for the August administration (you will be on campus for orientation at that time).
The April ACT is canceled, but future test dates (starting in June) are currently still planned. If you want to take it in June, you should register now before testing sites fill up. Make sure to register for the June and July exams at a testing site most convenient to wherever you’ll be staying for the summer.
Students will have plenty of opportunities this fall to take either or both the exams multiple times if necessary before deadlines. Students should plan to finish testing by November for Early Action and Early Decision deadlines (typically falling between 11/1 and 11/15); the December exams are fine for students planning on applying in the Regular Decision round.
I’ve been studying for the tests and don’t want to forget what I learned. What do I do?
Keep practicing! There are several options for test prep and review. The College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to offer free SAT practice. By linking PSAT results to Khan Academy, students get a personalized learning plan and can work through thousands of problems and four full tests. Juniors already have their accounts set up.
Many online companies provide classes and tutoring; some offer in-person tutoring, as well. Price-points vary depending on services.
- Applerouth: https://www.applerouth.com/services/test-prep/
- Arborbridge: https://www.arborbridge.com/
- Method Prep: https://www.methodtestprep.com/online-sat-act-program/
- Number2: http://www.number2.com/exams/act/companion/index.cfm?s=0 (ACT, free!)
- Prep Expert: https://prepexpert.com/
- Revolution Test Prep: https://www.revolutionprep.com/programs/
Many community colleges offer affordable non-credit test prep classes. Explore your local institution to see if classes are being offered during the summer session.
- Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com/college/sat-ultimate-course)
- Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com/sat)
I registered for AP exams this May. Will those proceed as planned?
No. The College Board announced that they are changing the format of this year's AP exam.
- Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place.
- Students will take an online, 45-minute exam instead.
- Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice.
- For each AP subject, there will be two different testing dates.
- Students will be able to take these exams on any device they have access to (computer, tablet, or smartphone).
- Taking a photo of handwritten work will also be an option.
- Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, students and teachers can attend free, live AP review courses delivered by AP teachers from across the country. https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates#free-ap-classes)
All Oldfields AP test-takers should refer to the email sent by Ms. Margosian on March 22 or the AP website for more complete information.
How will university closings impact college admission decisions and financial aid?
Like many other places, colleges are working remotely and are notifying candidates on the regular schedule. Many decisions have already been released, and the rest will be coming out shortly. Please read your emails and keep checking your portals for status updates. If your financial aid application is complete, you’ll also receive a financial aid package.
Help! I haven’t visited all the schools I’ve been admitted to, and the colleges have canceled their admitted student programs and tours. How do I choose?
Many colleges have developed virtual programs; information about those programs will be shared in admitted student packets or on their websites. Other suggestions include:
- Go to the school website: take the virtual tour, participate in online chats, and reach out to your admission officer to ask questions.
- Watch videos about the school, or take virtual tours on other sites such as www.youvisit.com, www.campusreel.org, www.youniversitytv.com, or www.campustours.com
- Check out the social media/Instagram information on Scoir.
- Read blog posts such as those at https://campusencounters.wordpress.com/. Ms. Margosian has more information and pictures she can share with you if you’re interested.
- Reach out to Ms. Margosian to get help!
Will the candidate reply date at colleges change for seniors?
May 1 is the traditional date by which you must put in a deposit at the college of your choice in order to hold your spot. Many colleges have extended their deadline to make deposits to June 1, 2020 (more schools are making this change every day). That said, DO NOT COUNT ON THIS! If you are not sure of your respective deadline, call or email your admissions rep and ask. Unless you know for sure, assume that May 1 is the deadline and plan accordingly!
Please remember that you may only deposit at one college. If you deposit at a college and then later accept a waitlist offer, you must inform the first college that you will no longer be attending. Oldfields will send your final transcript to only one college.
This resource can help with information about which schools have extended deadlines: www.nacacnet.org/news--publications/newsroom/college-admission-status-coronavirus/
Will Oldfields short-term move to remote learning have any impact on my status with colleges?
No. Admission offices know that many high schools across the country have closed or moved to online learning due to COVID-19. You will not be penalized in the admission process.
Will I be able to meet with Ms. Margosian during remote learning? Will she be able to help me make my final college choice, help with financial aid, scholarship search, essay writing, or answer other questions?
Yes! Just like your teachers and advisors, Director of College Counseling Marissa Margosian, is available as always to talk about your options, help interpret financial aid awards, provide advice about waitlists, help the juniors prepare for their applications, and more. Please make sure you continue to read the emails Ms. Margosian is sending so you can keep up-to-date and know the best way to get in touch and schedule a meeting. In addition to providing advice over email or text, you can also schedule a video or phone conference.
Since I was unable to visit colleges over Spring Break, how can I learn more about the colleges in which I am interested? Will I be penalized for not "demonstrating interest"?
Many schools offer online tours and videos, so start with the college admission website and explore as much as you can be using online tools. Use the skills you learned in seminars! Take notes and keep a list of follow up questions for college representatives. If possible, start planning college visits for this summer. Even though there will be fewer students on campus, seeing a college in person is valuable, and remember that you don’t have to visit every college before you apply; as long as you’ve visited enough to know the type of college feels right, we can help facilitate visits later.
While it is true that some colleges prioritize expressions of "demonstrated interest" such as campus visits, we are confident that no college will penalize a student who was unable to visit their campus this year due to campus closures, travel restrictions, or health concerns. There are also multiple other ways to demonstrate interest: meet with reps in the fall (and many of you have already done that … planning ahead has paid off!), emailing reps with questions, and even READING your emails. Many schools have software to let them know if you’ve opened their emails. Use your time at home to read through those emails, delete the ones that aren’t of interest, and create a college file so you can put those that are interesting away for later reference.
All events up until April 24 have been canceled or postponed. Any events that we can participate in online will be communicated in the POW.
Due to the rapidly changing environment surrounding the coronavirus, decisions will be made about all events after April 24 on an individual basis. We will let you know as soon as we do!In addition, Alumnae Weekend scheduled for April 24-26 has been postponed. Date TBD