We are proud to note that the percentage of vaccinated community members has risen to 99.1 percent. The safety of our students and our employees continues to be our highest priority. Please scroll down to read our school policies regarding masking and testing procedures in the Frequently Asked Questions section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are classes at Williston in person?
Starting Monday, January 10, all classes will be in-person for students who have tested negative or are out of 5-day CDC protocols. Most other aspects of school life—assemblies, dining, activities—will also return to our protocols from this fall.
What are testing protocols at Williston?
- After our first reentry week, we will continue to monitor cases of COVID-19 through Health and Wellness Services and our rapid antigen testing capabilities for symptomatic or unvaccinated individuals.
- Any unvaccinated community members will be required to continue twice-a-week testing and wear masks indoors.
- Individuals who have already tested positive during the last 90 days will not be PCR-retested unless there are concerns about new infections.
- Members of athletic teams may be tested before a contest if any team member tests positive. On occasion, we may also test entire teams before contests, due to requirements that other schools may have.
What happens if my child tests positive for COVID-19?
• Any student who tests positive, and lives within driving distance, must be picked up by a parent or guardian within 12-24 hours. All others will isolate in the Health Center and other COVID-specific locations on campus for the requisite five days as recommended by the CDC. Please see our flow chart for more specifics on our process for individuals who test positive.
• We ask that all families who are not within driving distance think about a plan for a domestic contact or guardian who can pick up a student within 48 hours if needed. If you have questions about this, please contact the Deans Office.
• For any student required to isolate, we will offer flexible and robust support for learning. Williston continues to have no formal remote-learning option this school year. Teachers will support students as they typically have, relying on OneNote, other digital resources, and extra help. In addition, please know that we are committed to supporting the mental well-being of students who must isolate. Our counseling staff will be checking in frequently on students in isolation, and developing plans for making the time pass as pleasantly as possible. If faculty members test positive, but are asymptomatic, classes will still be held in person with the teacher Zooming from home, and students in the classroom.
What happens if my child is a close contact of someone who tests positive at school?
• Students who are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic should wear a mask around others and eat grab and go meals for 5 days. If they develop symptoms during the 5 days of masking, they should follow the guidelines for those situations.
• Students who are fully vaccinated and symptomatic—must quarantine/stay home, wear a mask for 5 days, and contact Health and Wellness to discuss testing and next steps.
• Students who are unvaccinated/partially vaccinated must quarantine/stay home for 5 days (the day of your last exposure is day 0), then test on day 5 with rapid antigen or PCR tests. If day 5 results are negative, the close contact student may come out of isolation, but must wear a mask at all times indoors (and outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible) and eat grab and go meals through day 11. If the day 5 result is positive, then the close contact student must isolate for 5 additional days, and follow our protocols for testing positive.
Are vaccine and booster shots required for my child?
• Yes, in addition to requiring vaccines, Williston is now requiring booster shots for eligible community members, and our goal is to have our community fully boosted by February 1. According to the CDC, everyone ages 12 years and older is recommended to get a booster shot five months after completing their primary Pfizer or Moderna series and two months after Johnson and Johnson. Students should get a booster shot as soon as they are eligible, then upload proof into the Magnus Health Portal under immunizations.
What are the masking procedures for students on campus?
- As of Monday, February 14, Williston has moved to a mask-optional policy on campus.
- Any community member should feel empowered and supported in continuing to wear a mask for any reason. A reminder that KN-95 masks have been shown to protect the wearer as well as others around them. If students have concerns about their masks, please know that they can go to Health and Wellness to get a mask or get help with proper mask fitting.
- We will continue to wear masks during assemblies and other large gatherings (e.g. the play, concerts, the Middle School science fair). All athletic spectators, including students and faculty, must continue to wear masks indoors.
- We will also require Williston students and faculty to wear masks in town and locally unless local mask mandates change. Community members must carry a mask with them at all times.
- Unvaccinated members of the community must continue to wear masks in all indoor spaces, as well as receive twice-weekly testing.
- It is extremely important for students who are symptomatic to continue report your symptoms and be tested at Health and Wellness. If students or employees are symptomatic for anything (flu, cold, coming out of isolation), then they will need to wear masks to keep spread of sickness down in general.
What is the school’s policy for athletes returning to play after a COVID infection?
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its return-to-athletics policy for athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19. As a result of this recommendation, Williston, along with many of our peer schools, is updating our protocols to follow the AAP’s return-to-play timeline to ensure the safety of players who are recovering from the virus.
Once a student comes out of isolation (approximately on day 6 after testing positive), they will need to meet with either Head Trainer Ansel Garvey or Associate Director of Athletics Melissa Brousseau to discuss a return-to-play process and any symptoms to look out for. The protocol will differ based on whether the student had been symptomatic or asymptomatic.
Most asymptomatic students will follow this protocol.
- First day out of isolation (usually Day 6): Light Practice
- Second day out (usually Day 7): Full Practice
- Third day out (usually Day 8): Clearance from Health and Wellness to return to full unrestricted play (including competitions)
Please keep in mind that the CDC guidelines of strict mask wearing for all individuals who have been released from 5 days of isolation still apply. It is imperative that these individuals strictly adhere to mask wearing to prevent a spread to others including teammates.
Most symptomatic students will follow this protocol.
- Light exercise during days 6 through 10.
- On day 11, students should check in at Health and Wellness for a symptom screening and a brief exam by the nurses. If all is well, then students may return to full athletic practices and game play. If a student has any persistent symptoms or abnormal vital signs, then they must seen by the physician before returning to play.
Who will be allowed in dormitories during this period?
Until further notice, the only people permitted in any dormitory are residents of that dormitory. Visitors, including family members, are not permitted in dormitories at this time.
What happens if my child's roommate tests positive or is identified as a close contact?
- If a student’s roommate tests positive, then the student is considered a close contact and will need to follow the close contact flow chart.
- If a student’s roommate is identified as a close contact, we will be following CDC guidelines, which currently do not advise that a close contact of a close contact needs to take any special precautions. That said, we understand that knowing a student’s roommate is a close contact might be unsettling for some families, so we are monitoring situations with roommates closely and want to note that close contacts themselves do have to take precautions including masking around others, testing, and monitoring symptoms.
- Because students sharing a dorm room do not mask at all times, a student who has tested positive must have a double negative test (two tests, 24 hours apart) to come out of isolation and return to their dorm room. The earliest this would happen is day 5 and 6.
What are the policies for visitors to athletic events?
We are excited to be having athletic contests again, and have been working closely with other peer schools to develop our policies. At this time, we are asking all spectators to follow these rules:
- If you are vaccinated, you must carry proof of vaccination with you while on campus, and must wear a mask anytime you are indoors.
- If you are not vaccinated, you must wear a mask at both indoor and outdoor athletic events. Additionally, we ask that all unvaccinated spectators take a PCR test within 72 hours before your arrival to campus to make sure you do not have the COVID-19 virus. This is an important step to keeping our campus safe, and we ask that any spectator respect and fully comply with this rule.
- For away contests, families should assume that masked spectators are allowed by our peer schools unless they get an email communication from their child’s coach or the athletic department stating otherwise.
- Please know that these policies may change as virus conditions change, and we will continue to update this page as they do.
What are the policies for travel off campus?
- With weekend permissions, all boarding students, regardless of vaccination status, will be able to leave on weekends for outside sports leagues, college visits, or trips home. Unvaccinated students will be tested twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays.
- Boarding students must wear masks when going into town and may not eat indoors at any restaurant
What are the COVID-related protocols for visitors to campus?
Williston is continually evaluating our COVID-19 policies, so we can ensure the safest possible environment for all our students. Based on the most current information about the potential for unvaccinated carriers of the Delta variant to spread the virus, we have decide to add an extra layer of protection by adjusting our policies for all visitors to campus, including parents, alumni, and admission visitors. (Please see our FAQ for more detailed guidelines about spectators for athletic events.)
All visitors, including parents, must follow the guidelines below when coming to campus:
• If you are vaccinated, you must carry proof of vaccination (vaccine card, photocopy, or a photo of your card) with you while on campus and you must wear a mask any time you are indoors.
• If you are not vaccinated, you must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before you arrive on campus, carry that test result with you, wear a mask both indoors and outdoors, and limit your time in indoor spaces.
• ALL visitors to campus must fill out the following short survey before coming to campus.
Will campus be open for boarding students during school breaks?
Please note that the campus is fully closed during November, Winter, and March breaks, and during those times, students are not allowed to stay on campus. International students should have received an email earlier this summer about opportunities for students living abroad who will be unable to travel home for school breaks. Students may stay in the dorms for one night after the break begins to catch early morning flights.
Are there any COVID-related restrictions for day students?
After January 10, fully vaccinated day students may participate all campus activities, such as use of the library, eating dinner on campus, and so on.
Where can I see data on COVID-19 testing at Williston?
For this information, please visit our COVID-19 Dashboard.