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2020-2021 School Reopening

As we open the 2020-2021 school year at Bryn Mawr, this webpage will serve as a family resource for navigating the return to campus. Throughout the year, we will all need to remain flexible, creative and collaborative as we adapt to circumstances that will be beyond our control. 

While all plans listed here are subject to change, we are striving for flexibility and transparency in our process and considerations. No matter what, we are committed to Bryn Mawr’s longstanding mission to inspire a passion for intellectual curiosity, emphasize the delights and demands of learning, and nurture the full potential of our diverse student community in mind, body, and spirit.

Read Bryn Mawr's Reopening Plan

Phased On-Campus Reopening

Little School and pre-kindergarten through first grade students will begin the year on campus. Little School opens on Monday, August 31. Lower School will open on Tuesday, September 1. All other grades will begin the year virtually, and will be phased in each week to on-campus learning. A chart with projected start dates is pictured at right and linked here.

This slow repopulation of campus will allow us to manage new behaviors, help students and faculty with new routines, track health trends, and to monitor the effects of additional people as we add to the number of individuals on campus. Please note these dates are subject to change.

Community Commitment to Health

We know that it will take an extraordinary level of commitment and shared responsibility to make any reopening effort succeed. Bryn Mawr students, parents, faculty and staff must protect each other through safe behavior, both on and off campus. Please read our community commitment to health:

  • Follow federal, state, and local orders: All families are expected to adhere to the directives of applicable federal, state, and local government health departments, including the CDC, regarding social distancing on and off campus, mask wearing, frequent hand washing and limiting travel out of state to mitigate transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Contact school if a family member tests positive for COVID-19: If your child or someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, you must notify the Bryn Mawr Health Center immediately. The nurse, in collaboration with the appropriate health department, will assist with contact tracing. The Bryn Mawr School, in collaboration with the appropriate health department, will use the State Decision Aid to determine isolation, quarantine and further testing.
  • Stay home if sick. If a student is sick, or is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they may not attend classes in person. Distance Learning will continue to be provided to those students who are sick, unable, or unwilling to attend on-campus classes. Parents are expected to inform the Health Center if their student is absent due to COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Stay home if exposed: If anyone in your household has been notified by the Health Department that they were in contact with an individual infected with COVID-19, you are required to notify the school. During this time, your child should continue classes via Distance Learning. 
  • Participate in health screenings. Parents and caretakers must complete symptom and exposure questions for their students before each school day, including the student’s temperature, recent travel and potential exposure, via an app. Additional information and instructions will be shared later in August. 
  • Practice hand hygiene: Practice and reinforce good hygiene practices at home, in particular, the importance of frequent handwashing, for at least twenty seconds, including before and after meals and after using the restroom. Hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the school and can be used when hand washing is not possible. Students should also cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough or sneeze into their elbow.
  • Wear face coverings: Everyone on campus age 5+ is required to wear a face covering. Children age 2+ will be encouraged to wear masks except when eating or resting. If using cloth face coverings, material must be 2-ply or greater. Masks with valves are not permitted. Please send your child to school with a face covering every day she is attending on-campus classes; Bryn Mawr will have a back up supply of masks in case items are forgotten at home. Teach your child how to properly use and remove a face mask. If using fabric masks, ensure that your child’s mask is cleaned regularly. We will work with each child at their developmental level as they learn to manage this safety protocol. Anyone not adhering to the mask policy will be required to leave campus.
  • Limit social interactions outside of school: Parents and guardians should limit students’ social interaction outside of school and have them refrain from participation in large gatherings where they will be at a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission. It is imperative that families partner with the school to ensure that their student limits their exposure both during the school day and while off campus in order to mitigate the spread of the disease.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel: Families should review the destination's State Department of Health travel guidelines, including the State of Maryland, before undertaking any travel. Students who have traveled outside of the country or have or are planning to travel to a known "hot spot" or "red zone" state will be asked to quarantine for 14 days upon their return. “Hot spots” or “red zone” states are considered those that are trending upward in positivity rates greater than five percent for the previous seven days. Data for state by state trends and positivity rates can be found on the JHU Coronavirus resource page. If a student is traveling between Aug. 15 and the start of school, please contact Barbara Scott in the Health Center to discuss best practices for health and safety after the student returns.
  • Update your health forms: Parents must complete and submit all required student medical forms and consents including physical exams via Magnus Health prior to the first day of school. 
  • Limit Personal Items: Limit the items your child brings onto campus each day and reinforce policies around sharing of food, supplies and other items with other students
The School may, in its sole discretion, change, modify or issue additional guidance to address specific circumstances or for other reasons. Those changes will modify or further enhance these safety protocols. Students, families, faculty and staff are expected to stay current on school policies listed on this page.

Health Policies

Symptoms of COVID-19 often resemble symptoms of other illnesses. It is the expectation that if a student becomes ill during the school day, a parent/guardian or caregiver will pick that student up within one hour of notification. Students who become ill with COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated until they are picked up. If an adult or student on campus presents symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive, we will adhere to the following protocol outlined by the Maryland Department of Health. Click here for a full size view the chart.

If you have any questions or concerns related to Bryn Mawr’s response to COVID-19, please contact nurse@brynmawrschool.org.

Distance Learning

Our teaching and learning program allows us to toggle between on-campus and Distance Learning formats if necessary. Click here to read more about Distance Learning at Bryn Mawr. Read our expectations outlined in Bryn Mawr's Continuity of Learning Plan and review Bryn Mawr’s Policy for Student Participation in Distance Learning.