COVID-19 Updates

KUA will continue to update this page on issues related to COVID-19 and campus operations as changes occur.


Current Status:
Green (New Normal)

Last Case Reported: 3/21/21

Contact Us

Melissa Underhill
Director of Health Services
Eric Russman
Dean of Students
 
David Weidman
Assistant Head of School
Information regarding the color-coded status can be found on the COVID-19 Condition Levels and Response Chart.

Total Cases is the number of people in the KUA community who tested positive for COVID-19 while on campus during the 2020-2021 academic year. This information does not include pre-arrival testing.*

Last Case Reported: 3/21/21
 
Total Active Cases is the total number of current active cases of COVID-19 on campus.
 
Total Tests/Pending Tests is the total number of tests administered on campus by the Tracy Health Center. This number reflects ongoing surveillance testing through the administration of the weekly pool testing.  
  
*Pre-arrival testing occurs prior to campus arrival for incoming students and employees. Before traveling to campus 4 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 and underwent isolation and care at home before being cleared to arrive on campus.

COVID-19 Communications

List of 8 items.

  • January 26, 2021

    Dear KUA Community,

    On Monday we moved out of the Low (Yellow) Heightened Monitoring phase that we have observed over the past two weeks to safely repopulate the KUA campus. We are now in our New Normal (Green) phase as the result of every member of the KUA community – students, faculty, and staff – successfully completing two negative COVID-19 tests. This not only reflects our commitment to a safe on-campus experience, but also the diligence of our families in ensuring that students arrived healthy and ready for the new year.

    I know this will bring a sense of relief both in knowing that our community is healthy and in feeling an ease in some of the restrictions that have been in place. Thank you for your support and commitment to maintaining the high standards that will keep us together over the coming months.

    Ms. Underhill and the staff at the Tracy Health Center have worked tirelessly to ensure a healthy and smooth return to campus. Your cooperation, patience, and commitment to one another keep us here. The foundation of our success lies in our collective ability to:
     
    1. Adhere to the rules in place during the Green phase
    2. Complete daily health screenings
    3. Participate in the weekly pool testing
    4. Demonstrate care and understanding for one another

    Ms. Underhill and Mr. Russman will continue to share additional information on how the campus will operate outside of Heightened Monitoring. We know that parents and students are eager to resume on-campus Parental Visitation. At this time, we are examining how best to open this up in a safe and healthy way that also complies with state travel regulations. We will follow up once we believe it’s safe to institute a new policy. Thank you for your patience.

    As we prepare for the start of the next term, we are working to ensure a successful academic term and a fun, enjoyable winter here on the Hilltop. Thank you for your continued partnership in this truly challenging year.

    Sincerely,

    Tyler Lewis
  • November 10, 2020

    Dear Parents,
     
    As we approach the upcoming break, we know that everyone is eager to be reunited with family. Just as we planned for the careful arrival of students in August, we are also planning for a safe and healthy departure this month. I want to share with you our November Departure Procedures. Please take time to read through these procedures as we begin to prepare for the break.
     
    Our last day of classes and activities will take place on Saturday, November 21 and students may only depart after their last campus commitment and upon completion of our pre-departure procedures. During the long break, all facilities and residential buildings will undergo a deep clean. To do so, students must pack and box all personal belongings and take-home essential items.
     
    It is important that we have an accurate accounting of your student’s departure plans. Students will be instructed to use the REACH application to submit their travel dates and transportation by Wednesday, November 11. After they fill out the form, you will receive an email notification and a request to approve (or deny) their information. This is required in order for the Student Life Office to give their final approval.
     
    Please note, as has been the case throughout the year, we will not allow parents or guardians into the residences. Once students leave for the break, they may not return to campus.
     
    It has been a tremendous fall for all of us here on the Hilltop. Thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding as we work to keep our community healthy and safe. Please contact Kathy Langevin with questions regarding your student’s travel plans.
     
    Sincerely,
     
     
  • November 9, 2020

    Dear Parents,
     
    As we gear up for this month’s winter break departures, we are also looking ahead to the healthy and safe return of our community in January. In October, I shared our key return dates, and today I’d like to update you on our arrival and testing plans.
     
    We are closely monitoring the uptick in COVID-19 cases here in our local community and around the globe. While there is uncertainty as to what lies ahead and recognize that we may need to alter plans, we have been encouraged by outcomes of our campus protocols and by the steadfast cooperation of our KUA community. Our hope is that our community will take a well-deserved break, and that we will reunite here in Meriden to see through the end of our academic year.
     
    I recognize there is a great deal of information to process, so invite you to join me on Thursday, November 12, at 7 p.m. ET for a Parent Webinar through Zoom. Assistant Head of School David Weidman and Director of Health Services Melissa Underhill will also be available to answer any questions you may have.
     
    Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have questions or concerns regarding either the departure procedures or our return to campus plans.
     
    Sincerely,
    Tyler Lewis
     
     
    Arrival Dates and Testing Guidelines
    Our January reopening plan is based on advances in COVID-19 testing, which offers KUA greater access to faster, more reliable PCR tests. We will return to campus in a Low/Heightened Monitoring (Yellow) Phase and will move to a New Normal (Green) Phase upon the successful completion of two negative COVID-19 tests for all community members. 
     
    Arrival Groups
    Group 1: International students abroad/students traveling by public transportation
    Group 2: Students traveling by private car
     
    Schedule
    Dec. 26: At-home heightened monitoring begins for all students and employees
    Jan. 2: Group 1 students (international/traveling by public transportation) return with a negative COVID-19 test
    Jan. 6: First PCR test for Group 1
    Jan. 6–8: Group 2 students (traveling by private car) test for COVID-19 at home
    Jan. 9–10: Group 2 students return to campus with a negative COVID-19 test
    Jan. 11: On-campus classes and programming resume; regular pool testing begins
    Jan. 13: Second PCR test for Group 1
    Jan. 14: First PCR test for Group 2
    Jan. 21: Second PCR test for Group 2
     
    Optional Arrival Date
    We recognize that some students may need additional time at home before returning to campus. Our hybrid learning model affords us the opportunity to offer an optional second arrival date for those students. Students may elect to pursue distance learning and return to KUA on February 13 or 14 and enter a two-week quarantine. Upon completion of the quarantine and two negative COVID-19 tests, students may begin in-person learning on campus. This option will come with additional costs and unfortunately will prevent students from participating in winter sports and the winter musical. However, we encourage you to utilize this option if you believe it’s in your student’s best interest. If you would like to discuss this option during the break, please contact Director of Admission Lindsey Ratliff at 603-469-2101.
  • October 20, 2020

    Dear Boarding Families, 
     
    Thank you for all of your support and understanding that has helped us to have such a successful start to the school year. At this point, we are very happy to be reinstating parental and legal guardian visitations beginning Sunday, October 25. With family connections so central to the KUA experience, we are committed to ensuring a healthy program to keep parents and students connected.
     
    Over the past couple of weeks, we revised our Parental and Legal Guardian Visitation Policy to ensure that visits are healthy and safe for all members of our community. Visits will take place on Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm in two-hour windows. These times are included in the policy. Visitors must be healthy and free of COVID-19 and COVID-19 symptoms and are limited to immediate members of a student’s family. 
     
    All visitors must check-in at the Health Center upon arrival to undergo a health screening. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the protocols prior to arriving on campus and ensure that all members of your family adhere to the visitation policy while on campus.  
     
    It’s important that I also acknowledge that while infection rates remain low in our community, we have seen a recent uptick in cases across the state. If you are visiting campus from outside the Upper Valley, we ask that you also adhere to the state and local guidelines. 
     
    To schedule your visit, or for questions, please email Assistant Head of School David Weidman at dweidman@kua.org. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to navigate these challenging times. I appreciate your ongoing partnership. 
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Tyler Lewis
    Head of School
     
     
  • October 7, 2020

    Dear KUA Community, 
     
    We have learned a great deal over the past few weeks on how to reopen a school, how to keep a community healthy and safe, and how to keep our mission alive in the face of such great uncertainty. Just as careful planning went into responsibly reopening campus in August, so too are we taking the necessary steps to bring our community safely back in January. 
     
    We continue to monitor infection rates here in our region and around the country, as well as process information and guidelines from federal and state agencies. We know that much can change as winter arrives in our area.
     
    To that end, in partnership with the seven other schools in the Lakes Region League, we have made the decision to suspend on-campus athletics during the winter break. Our final day of classes and all other programming prior to break will be held November 21. 
     
    Below you will find additional dates to carry us through our return in January. We feel confident that the following dates will allow our community to return safely to campus to begin in-person instruction on January 11. However, we know that with COVID-19 we may encounter unforeseen disruptions. Please consider booking flexible or refundable tickets if possible. 
     
    Please note that beginning December 26 we ask that all students and faculty start an at-home period of heightened monitoring. This is a time when we ask that everyone increase their vigilance to ensure they avoid any potential COVID-19 encounters or exposures by taking necessary precautions in anticipation of their return to campus. 
     
    Shortly we will share information detailing testing protocols both prior to arrival and on campus. Advances in testing and access to those tests mean that we can achieve more accurate, more timely results – great news for us all. 
     
    Please don’t hesitate to reach out with additional questions. 
     
    Sincerely, 
     
    Tyler Lewis
    Head of School
     
     
    Key Dates for Winter Break Travel
     
    November 21: Last day of classes and programming; students may depart after their last campus commitment and will not be excused from class or activities
     
    November 22: Departure date from campus for all students
     
    December 7: Distance learning begins for all students
     
    December 18: Distance learning ends and winter break begins
     
    December 26: At-home heightened monitoring begins for all students and faculty
     
    January 2: International students and students traveling by public transportation may return to campus
     
    January 9–10: All remaining students return to campus
     
    January 11: On-campus classes and programming resume
  • September 16, 2020

    Dear KUA Community,
     
    Today I want to recognize the tremendous role our full community is playing to preserve the KUA experience for us all. The Tracy Health Center reports that all students have now had two COVID-19 negative tests and we presently have no active cases on campus. I’m pleased to say that, as a result, we are now moving out of the Heightened Monitoring phase of our campus reopening.
     
    We will begin a phased approach to adopting some new guidelines for campus life. These will not all be introduced at once, but will include the following:
    • Reduce health screenings from twice to once a day
    • Allow for brief, consensual physical interaction while wearing masks
    • Permit small-group work in classrooms with continued mask-wearing
    • Allow for inter-squad athletic competition without social distancing, but masks or gaiters must still be worn outside of play
    • Increase dorm room, lounge, and bathroom occupancy
    • Extend campus and library privileges to seniors and juniors and library privileges to sophomores
    • Begin opportunities to pre-arranged food deliveries and takeout
    • Allow parental visitation arranged by appointment (Parents, please refer to the Parental and Legal Guardian Visitation Policy for details)
     
    These are privileges we have all been eagerly awaiting, and I know bring us closer to the KUA experience we all know and love. But it’s important to remember that we are in our third week of a 12-week window and that there is nothing permanent about this transition.  Which is to say, that on-campus or regional concerns could cause us to revert back to the Heightened Monitoring phase. This situation is fluid. There is a long road ahead and we are committed to finishing this semester together, right here in Meriden. We continue to depend on one another to see this through.
     
    COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard
    Health and safety remain our highest priority, and we will be no less vigilant in our efforts. We have launched a COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard to keep our entire community informed on COVID-19 information and testing. The dashboard also displays the level of alert for our campus using our COVID-19 Condition Levels and Response, a four-tiered color-coded system to indicate the general health conditions of the campus and surrounding community as well as the corresponding response we will take as a community should those conditions change.
     
    At present, we are transitioning to the Green (New Normal) level of alert. Any upward changes in our alert levels will require immediate action on the part of all members of our community to mitigate the spread of infection.
     
    As always, we will keep you updated as information changes and we thank you for your ongoing support.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Tyler Lewis
    Head of School
  • August 24, 2020

    Dear KUA Community,
     
    I am writing to share with you that an individual within the Kimball Union Academy community tested positive for COVID-19. While we realize that this is unsettling news, please know this is a situation we have rigorously prepared for in anticipation of the arrival of our students and faculty, and for the reopening of campus. We are focused on the care of this individual as they continue their recovery.
     
    Please be assured that consistent with our protocol, we’re taking additional precautions and remain committed to the health and safety of our entire community. As we shared prior to the start of school, our response to symptomatic and ultimately positive cases is to enact the following protocols:
    • The individual was immediately removed from their daily activities and is quarantining in accordance with public-health recommendations and campus policy.
    • The Health Center immediately enacted contact tracing to identify anyone who may have been exposed. If anyone had been exposed they were also placed in quarantine and will be monitored for symptoms and tested.
    • The positive test result was reported to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
    We did anticipate that we would likely identify individual(s) who tested positive early in our initial testing, and the process has affirmed our response and our ability to isolate the outbreak and eliminate any opportunity for further transmission.
     
    It is important to understand the facts about COVID-19 and to rely on credible sources for news and information such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is also critical that we resist any stigmas and demonstrate kindness to those in our community.
     
    As an ongoing reminder, all students or employees should please alert the Health Center if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Director of Health Services
  • August 20, 2020

    Dear Students and Parents,
     
    Thank you to those of you who were able to join us for last night’s webinar to discuss the arrival, registration, and orientation process at KUA. We appreciated all your questions and eagerly anticipate your arrival next week. A recording of the webinar is available if you were unable to join us for the event.
     
    A few additional reminders I’d like to share:
     
    • If you are unsure of your arrival time slot, please contact Kathy Langevin in the Student Life Office.
    • If you’ve not already done so, boarding and day students should sign-in to portal to read and sign the Community Health Commitment.
    • Day students and their parents should also read and sign the Day Student and Families Understanding in the portal.
     
    As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. Thank you and we can’t wait to see you here on The Hilltop next week!
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Tyler