We’ve been faced with the unique challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and we're uplifted by the spirit with which the Kent Place community has adapted. We're proud of what we — and you — have accomplished. As we look to make the best decisions for all of our students, faculty, and staff, please use this site as a reference to our guidelines and policies.
Kent Place’s commitment to providing an engaging, challenging curriculum for its students while keeping a strong sense of community has been at the heart of every decision we have made since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to have an impact on our school. 

Every day, our Pandemic Operations Response Team assesses new information when developing and revising guidelines and procedures that will enable the most fulfilling school experience possible.

Our Guiding Principles
  • Protect the physical and mental health and safety of students, faculty, and staff
  • Provide the Kent Place academic experience in an environment in which each student thrives — whether on campus or within a virtual setting
  • Be compliant and closely adhere to guidelines from the state of New Jersey and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Maintain our strong sense of community
  • Ensure access and equity for all students
  • Deepen school–parent partnerships
  • Establish innovative and effective use of campus spaces and places

Health and Safety

The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is of paramount importance. The Pandemic Operations Response Team, with guidance from Hackensack Medical Center, Dr. Allyson Agathis, our school physician; the New Jersey Department of Health; the EPA; the CDC; the American Academy of Pediatrics; and Governor Murphy, continues to work on specific strategies, among them in the following areas.

List of 7 items.

  • Health Services and Standards

    In alignment with the New Jersey Department of Health Guidelines, Kent Place has separate isolation and injury rooms located in both the Primary and Middle/Upper School Health Offices. The nursing staff is provided with all necessary personal protective equipment, such as gowns, face shields, masks, and gloves.

    Students are not to be in school if they show any symptoms of illness. Any student who presents with any symptom(s) will be respectfully and safely escorted from class or upon bus arrival and isolated from others to determine the individual’s health status.
  • Testing

    As regional COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, we are adding this safety precaution for anyone coming to campus. Testing does not replace any of our other safety measures, it is only an addition.

    Kent Place parents and employees should view our COVID-19 Testing page on MyKPS for information about our upcoming test collections.
  • Daily Screening

    Every morning, all Kent Place parents/guardians are sent via text message and/or email an electronic personal-health questionnaire, which must be completed before they arrive on campus. Results are reported to the Health Office and remain confidential. A daily temperature check for all guests and students takes place on arrival. Students who have a fever, report COVID-19-like symptoms, or may have been potentially exposed must stay home, are required to contact the Health Office for further assessment.

    The electronic personal-health questionnaire only is required if planning to come to campus.
  • Contact Tracing

    In the event of a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 by a student, faculty, or staff member, the school nurse will contact the Westfield Regional Health Department, at (908) 789-4040, for guidance. Members of the nursing staff and campus security are professionally trained in contact-tracing procedures.
  • Face Masks

    Students and employees are required to wear a mask. Face coverings are required when indoors and on buses. The use of a mask outdoors is determined by the ability to be physically distant and the activity. We provided five masks to each student and employee at the start of the school year; students and employees are welcome to use their own if desired. We understand that prolonged use of a mask could be difficult for some students (especially our younger girls and boys), and we continue maximize outdoor times to provide breaks from wearing them. We recommend that student names or initials be placed on masks. Gaiter masks and masks with vents are not allowed.

    Any person while in common spaces is required to wear a face-covering at all times, regardless of occupancy. If in an enclosed space (classroom/office) alone, the individual is permitted to remove the mask. Masks must be worn in bathrooms.
  • Cleaning Practices

    The Operations Team has implemented heightened cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting procedures for our classrooms, public spaces, and high-touch surfaces. In addition to these steps:
    • A new cleaning contractor strictly follows CDC/EPA guidelines and policies.
    • All three main divisional buildings have central HVAC systems capable of providing 100 percent fresh air on demand.
    • All other buildings have fresh air–fed air-conditioning units or fans.
    • A number of our high-traffic faucets now have touchless capabilities.
    • Every classroom has hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies.
    • Plexiglass shields are placed in appropriate areas.
    • Electrostatic sprayers are used on buses to sanitize them after each use.
    • All high-touch surfaces are disinfected throughout the day and all spaces every night.
    • An additional day porter supports disinfection practices throughout the day.
  • Expectations at Home & Community Health Pledge

    Keeping our community safe and healthy is achieved through a strong partnership between our school and our families. We strongly urge all families to maintain a firm commitment to all state executive orders that are applicable while school is in session. Kent Place will strictly follow quarantine recommendations for travel outside of New Jersey.

    All families and employees must sign the Community Health Pledge. We understand that our health and safety is a shared responsibility. By making healthy choices as individuals, we will not only help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community, but also protect our friends, family members, classmates, teachers, and colleagues. In doing so, we will demonstrate that “we” comes before “me.”

Academic Program

A robust academic program balanced with a strong sense of community in which students live, learn, and lead continues to be our hallmark. The Leadership Team and our faculty have created an optimal learning environment for all students and we offer social/emotional support to both students and their families. In order for students to grow and excel academically, they must feel safe. Our hybrid learning plan demonstrates attention to the whole student and embeds time and space for students to connect, recharge, and engage in an inspiring year of learning. We plan to make every effort to provide students with the full Kent Place experience, with a variety of curricular and cocurricular opportunities. And although we fervently hope that we will remain on campus for the entirety of the year, we have been preparing our faculty and staff to create structures that will continue programs should the need arise for remote learning.

List of 5 items.

  • Academic Calendar

    2020–21 Academic Calendar
    Should Kent Place School make an adjustment and move to an all-remote program, the new Academic Calendar will be subject to change. Please check MyKPS on a regular basis for calendar updates.

    Large-group events this fall, and perhaps for the entire school year, will be modified based on the applicable guidelines. The school calendar is being adjusted to indicate which events may have to be changed, but it is our hope that we will be able to hold in-person family events.
  • Attendance

    As is our current policy, in order to take part in on-campus after-school activities — such as athletics, enrichment programs, and aftercare — a student must be in school (remote or on-campus) by 10:30 a.m.

    Beginning on October 5, students may no longer choose on a day-to-day basis to learn on-campus or remotely. In response to student and family feedback, the original policy to remain remote for two weeks has been revised so that if a student/family chooses a consistent hybrid schedule (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, Friday on-campus, Tuesday and Thursday remote) for a minimum of two weeks, that plan will be permitted. The goal of setting a consistent schedule benefits both the student and the educators as they plan for classes.

    If your student will be learning remotely, or learning via a combination of remote and on-campus, please complete this form. You are welcome to change the schedule you indicate after a minimum of two weeks (10 school days).

    Parents/guardians of students who are unable to attend school in-person or remotely or will be late must email or call the Attendance Hotline, attendance@kentplace.org, or call extension 340. Please provide your student’s name, grade, and the reason for the absence or lateness. Please see our most recent attendance policies here

    FOR IN-PERSON AND REMOTE LEARNERS:
    • All Primary Students are to check in directly with their classroom teacher, whether in person or remotely, and be prepared for the start of the school day.
    • All Middle and Upper School students must be present for their first scheduled activity of the day (advisory or community time) by 8:15 a.m. This is applicable whether a student is physically on campus or learning remotely.
    • Parents still must fill out the RUVNA health questionnaire if they are calling the attendance hotline.
  • Learning Together: At School and At Home

    We believe that most students thrive when they are able to connect in-person with classmates. That said, if students need to stay home, we will offer remote classes, opportunities to connect and collaborate with peers, and periodic individual teacher–student support. Our faculty pivoted quickly in the spring to provide online instruction; this summer, 100 percent of them took part in professional development to enhance their skills to teach in hybrid and remote environments. In addition, we have made significant educational technology upgrades that will optimize a smooth transition between in-school and at-home learning.

    At the start of a new year, students will benefit from meeting and getting to know their teachers and peers as we build our 2020–21 school community. This is particularly important at a time when students have been apart for six months. Thus, we hope that families for whom in-person learning is an option will make the commitment to join us on campus.

    At the same time, we remain sensitive to the varying needs and circumstances within each KPS family and understand the value of maximum flexibility. Therefore, remote learning will be an option for all families. Regardless of whether students join us in person or remotely, we expect them to participate fully in their daily courses and activities.
  • Arrival and Dismissal Schedule

    Arrival*
    • Junior Pre-K and Pre-Kindergarten: Between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
    • Kindergarten–Grade 5: Between 8:00 and 8:25 a.m.
    • Grades 6-8: Between 7:45 and 8:10 a.m.
    • Grades 9-12: Between 7:15 and 8:10 a.m.
    Dismissal*
    • Junior Pre-K and Pre-Kindergarten: 2:30–2:45 p.m.
    • Grades Kindergarten through Grade 5: 2:55–3:30 p.m.
    • Grades 6–8: 3:30 p.m.
    • Grades 9–12: 3:30 p.m.
    *Details regarding arrival and dismissal procedures are posted in The Navigator, our weekly e-newsletter to parents.
  • Educational Technology

    Kent Place classrooms are equipped with the DTEN D7, a 55” video conferencing system with an ultra-responsive touch display and amazing audio for dynamic video delivery of lessons. The DTEN D7 provides the classroom with a digital whiteboard for real-time annotation and collaboration, easy multimedia content sharing, and adjustable camera that enables teachers and students physically in a classroom to be visible and interactive with remote students.

    We continue to use MyKPS, our learning management system, to leverage class pages for easy and consistent access to course content. Zoom is our school synchronous video conference software. We utilize Zoom Rooms to integrate with the classroom hardware of the DTEN D7. In the hybrid environment, this enables teachers to make sure that all students are receiving the same high-quality synchronous learning and students can see all of their classmates at once.

    The Technology Team provides the infrastructure needed to support the academic program. For example, Kent Place has expanded its 1:1 program to include JPK–K students also with their own iPads. We continue to provide 1:1 devices for grades 1 and 2 with iPads; students in grades 3–8 use their Chromebooks; those in the Upper School use their BYOD laptops. Faculty and staff have hardware devices that enable them to make a quick shift to remote learning should that become necessary.

    Infrastructure work this summer increased Internet bandwidth, upgraded fiber-optic connections between buildings, and replaced Wi-Fi access points to improve access speeds around campus.

Community

While keeping within distancing and safety guidelines, we are committed to continuing the programs and cocurricular activities that help define what community at Kent Place means.

List of 10 items.

  • Athletics - General Information

    Kent Place is committed to fostering student engagement in interscholastic athletics as long as risk-mitigation measures sufficiently reduce the risk of infection. Based upon the guidelines put forth by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), the National Federation of High School Sports (NFHS), and other state athletic and local associations, we have protocols in place for players, coaches, spectators, and Kent Place staff to return to organized athletic activities. NJSIAA Sports Advisory Task Force.

    KPS follows all regulations and guidance issued by the state of New Jersey and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) concerning the participation at sporting events. We adhere to all rules and guidance issued, for example:
    • Student-athlete health screening and safety, mask wearing while not engaged in active play, use of public facilities, conduct during an athletic event
    • Permitted number of coaching staff, health screening, and mask wearing for coaching staff
    • Limits on spectators, to reduce crowds, or absence of spectators
    • Specific safety measures before, during, and after practices and competitions.
    During the COVID-19 crisis, the decisions, guidelines, and regulations that have an impact on the varsity Upper School sports schedules and/or seasons will be applied similarly to all Upper School athletic programs. Although we will make our best attempt to fulfill all seasons, it should be noted that it is possible that different levels of athletic programs will feel different impacts of various decisions. At this time, we intend to offer MS sports, but not interscholastic competition at the MS level. 

    BUSING
    KPS provides busing to games. The NJSIAA has mandated that teams adjust to accommodate travel rosters to reduce the number of student-athletes traveling on buses and aid in physical distancing. Masks are required and there will be no food allowed on buses. 
     
    LOCKER ROOMS
    At this time, we are not opening the locker room for use by student-athletes.

    ATTENDANCE
    As is our current policy, in order to take part in on-campus after-school activities — such as athletics, enrichment programs, and aftercare — a student must be in school (remote or on campus) by 10:30 a.m.

  • Athletics - HOME Game Protocols

    In addition to all CDC, DOH, and NJSIAA guidelines, Kent Place Athletics adheres to the following policies this fall for all HOME contests.
    • Spectators from visiting teams will NOT be allowed on campus. 
    • Only Kent Place parents who have signed our Community Health Pledge are permitted to attend games/scrimmages on campus. All spectators are required to wear a mask and physically distance.
    • All visiting teams will have passed a Health Screening and temp check at their HOME school prior to arrival at KPS.
    • All officials will be temp checked upon arrival at the scorer's table.
    • Members of the KPS Administrative Team and Campus Police will assist in monitoring KPS spectators.
    • Visiting teams will be called in advance on game day to confirm team status.
    • Sanitization stations will be at each team bench and the entrance to the field.
  • Athletics - Visiting Team Protocols

    Team Bus: KPS has worked with Summit Police to reserve a spot on Norwood Avenue near the gate to the Upper (FH) Field for visitor’s busses who arrive at KPS prior to 3:45 p.m. The visiting Coach calls Campus Security (732) 433-1153 upon arrival.
    • Student athletes and coaches disembark the bus on Norwood Avenue sidewalk. 
    • A Campus Security Officer meets the visiting team at 42 Norwood Avenue, and escorts team to tented waiting area until 3:30 p.m.
    • The bus will be relocated at 3:45 p.m. to the Morris Avenue Bus Loop.
    • Immediately after the game ends, the visiting team will depart campus. 
  • Performing Arts

    Our focus will be education in the arts through performance. All performance classes will have a robust and sequential design that will build creative and artistic skills. All performances will look different this year. We are developing a range of creative virtual ideas so that students can continue to experience the vulnerability and growth that comes with every performance opportunity. There will be no in-person singing or in-person playing of wind/brass instruments on campus.

    Our rehearsals and instructional classes are being designed as hybrid models. Students will have in-person instruction in how to use audio/video tools for their independent practice at home. All these performances will be virtual. String ensembles and percussion ensembles have more opportunities for in-person rehearsals (physically distanced and masked). Choreography and theater staging/blocking will incorporate the physical-distancing guidelines for the safety of all. Some of this work will happen in small ensembles rather than large groups. We intend to use the theater and dance studio for classes.
  • Physical Education

    The Physical Education Department will focus on forging connections and building community and relationships that support students on or off-campus. Class instruction will center on personal enjoyment, personal health, social interaction, locomotor skills, movement concepts, skill development, personal responsibility, self-management, and self-awareness.

    Physical-distancing guidelines will be followed inside and outside of the facility during classes; most classes will be held outside. Students will receive their own Physical Education or Fitness pack with personal equipment that will be used on campus and can go home with them in cases of remote learning. Students will not change clothes for physical education; they should wear comfortable clothing and athletic footwear to school every day.
  • Mental Health and Social-Emotional Support

    Our school counselors will be available, as always. In addition, each division will prioritize opportunities for students to build connections among themselves and with their teachers; we understand that this connection will be particularly important in the event of a return to remote learning. Daily advisory meetings in the Middle and Upper Schools and Homeroom time in Primary School will provide time to foster connection which we believe to be essential as students navigate the complexity of life in the pandemic. The Health and Wellness Team is developing an enhanced curriculum. In addition, the Community Building Task Force, led by Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Walidah Justice and composed of members of the faculty, the Board of Trustees, and the parent community, has as its goal to enhance our school community by actively supporting all constituencies — students, parents, faculty, staff, and alumnae — whether on campus or remotely.
  • Dining Services

    Lunch continues to be served; however, students pick up their food from the Dining Hall and eat lunch in their classrooms, outdoors, or in small groups in less traditional locations.

    When possible, groups of students eat outside. We continue to offer a variety of healthful menu choices, from hot options, to wrapped sandwiches, to daily specials. All self-service areas, such as drink machines and the salad bar, have been discontinued. Plexiglass shields have been installed to protect all community members when food is being picked up. All students and staff must use hand sanitizer or wash their hands for 20 seconds before and after eating snacks or lunch. We have discontinued the use of shared utensils. Faculty have been provided disinfectant and paper towels to thoroughly clean the tables after students have eaten. Members of the food-service team will follow CDC guidelines for food service and are required to wear a face-covering at all times while in the Dining Hall. 
  • Aftercare and Enrichment Program

    Kent Place Kids in Primary School and the 3:30 Club in the Middle School will run a modified program this year, beginning on Monday, September 14. To ensure greater consistency of program and safety, we will suspend the “drop-in” option for both Primary and Middle School aftercare, and allow attendance for only those families who require the service five days a week. Aftercare will run only (and families will be billed only) when the campus is open. All afterschool enrichment classes will be offered virtually and are available to all Primary and Middle School students. For those enrolled in the aftercare program, enrichment classes are included in its cost. Specific pick-up procedures and additional protocols for all programs will be communicated directly with parents before the first scheduled day of aftercare. For all questions related to aftercare and enrichment programs, please contact Donna Ray, at rayd@kentplace.org.
  • Transportation

    Buses will operate according to the published schedule and route structure. District-provided busing will also run per district schedules or parents will have access to aid in lieu of transportation. Students and drivers must wear face coverings at all times. Drivers will instruct students to physically distance as best as is practicable and board the bus from back to front. Buses will operate with windows open, as the weather allow. Buses will be cleaned and sanitized after each use. Students should wash or sanitize their hands before leaving the house to board the bus. Parents must comply with School-wide health assessments before their child boards the bus. Temperature checks will take place in the bus loop upon arrival. Please contact Deb Wilson, wilsond@kentplace.org with questions.
  • Visitors and Volunteers

    Although we understand that some members of our community will be disappointed, campus access for visitors will be extremely limited. We will not resume on-campus or in-classroom volunteer opportunities until further notice. All essential guests will be by appointment only and must:
    • Check-in at the Customer-Service Kiosk (CSK), located at the main entrance off Norwood Avenue.
    • Be escorted by a Kent Place employee if entering any building other than Mabie House.
    • Submit to a temperature check and complete a personal-health questionnaire.
    • Wear a face covering (anyone over the age of 2).

We're Here to Help

We recognize that families in our community may be experiencing hardship due to the pandemic, and we have put structures in place to support them. Our Advancement Team has partnered with members of our community to establish an Emergency Tuition Relief Fund, which will meet the financial-aid needs of those KPS families who have felt a significant impact from COVID-19 and are concerned about their child’s ability to return in the fall. For more information, please contact Julia Wall P ’27 ’23, Director of Enrollment and Strategic Planning, at wallj@kentplace.org.
Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.