COVID-19 Response



The 2020-2021 school year has begun and while we are excited to have our students back on campus, we will continue to evolve our planning in response to the constantly changing landscape of COVID-19. To be sure, we are making the best decisions for our school community. Fulfilling our mission while keeping our community safe remains our highest priorities, and although our campus will look and feel different this fall, we know that our students, faculty, staff, and families will respond to the challenge in inspiring ways. We will seek to engage our core value of ceaseless devotion to a mighty task, which calls on us to nurture the desire to dream, the courage to persevere, and the will to achieve, as we continue to make decisions with the following goals as our guiding principles:

We will continue to make decisions with the following goals:

To maximize the extraordinary benefits of our unique mission as a boarding and day school during a global pandemic.

To minimize the health risks for our community during a pandemic that poses serious risk for some members of our school family.

To promote a fair and equitable experience for all students that aligns fully with our school values.





The fall will be a different experience, changing how we learn and engage with each other. By committing to the mighty tasks in front of us, we can ensure a safe, successful, and sustained return to campus. At Mercersburg, we’re all in this together, and we will make the sacrifices necessary to live and learn as one community. Our promises:

OUR PROMISES:

All students will have access to an incredible educational experience, regardless of whether or not they are able to physically be on campus with us.

Our faculty are trained and prepared to offer online courses that build off the success of the spring’s Virtual ’Burg, ensuring that we are offering the best online academic experiences for our students, when and if we need it.

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Should we be forced to go virtual for a period of time equivalent to one term, we will be prepared to offer tuition credits/refunds in alignment to the tuition announced for our online learning option.



Fully Remote Learning Option

We have remained committed to providing remote learning for any student who is limited from being on campus due to travel restrictions or medical reasons. While most families have sent their child(ren) back to campus, we acknowledge that for a limited number of families, virtual may be a preferred option for one term or even for the entire academic year. Mercersburg Academy is offering all families the option for their student(s) to engage with our program fully online. This option is offered on a per-term basis and will allow families to pay a reduced tuition by term. Details of that option can be found in the Academic Plan section.





Academic Plan 2020-2021

We are excited to announce that we have adjusted our class schedule in order to make the best use of time during the 2020-2021 school year, allowing students deep and meaningful learning, the opportunity to earn more credits, and the convenience of being able to select in-person or virtual learning by term.



Tuition Plan

As noted, Mercersburg is offering a full online learning option, Virtual ’Burg 2.0, for the 2020-2021 academic year for students that are unable to attend in-person (due to visas, travel restrictions, etc.) or for whom in-person learning is deemed by the family to be unsafe or undesirable. Families have the choice of having their child(ren) attend Mercersburg in person or virtually for each of the three academic terms (fall, winter, and spring).





Health and Safety Expectations

Because the landscape for COVID-19 is variable by region, the school is developing on-campus health and safety levels.



STORM WATCH

Mercersburg Academy launched Storm Watch, a safe campus initiative, at the beginning of the pandemic. Throughout the spring and early summer, this group was fully immersed in the planning of a safe return to campus for students in the fall. The primary role of this group is to examine, research, and analyze proactive and reactive opportunities for protecting the Mercersburg Academy community in the face of invasive contagions on our campus (like COVID-19), and how to most effectively prepare for and manage these threats if and when they occur. Storm Watch completed their recommendations in early July and implementation teams across campus have been working to ensure that the campus is ready for our students.

Level 0:
Relaxed Mitigation Practices

Risk of transmission is no longer a threat and the pandemic is over. Campus is open for in-person learning and activities, and health and safety protocols are lifted.

Level 1:
Low Mitigation Practices

Risk of transmission is low, isolated or at seasonal only levels. Campus is open for in-person learning and activities, and offers an online learning option for students. Health and safety protocols are lifted with certain exceptions.

Level 2:
Moderate Mitigation Practices

Risk of transmission remains at moderate to high levels. Campus is open for in-person learning and activities, and offers an online learning option for students. Health and safety protocols are still in effect.

Level 3:
Strict Mitigation Practices

Risk of transmission remains at high levels. Campus community is in on-campus quarantine and closed to visitors; the school implements its virtual learning protocols. Strict health and safety protocols are in effect.

Level 4:
Strictest Mitigation Practices

Risk of transmission is at its highest level. Campus is closed, students return home, and the school implements its virtual learning protocols.


*Levels are determined in part by mandates from national, regional, and local officials. 




SCHOOL REOPENING AND HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN
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