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)

KUA Contacts

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. This information does not include pre-arrival testing.*
 
Total Active Cases is the total number of current active cases of COVID-19 on campus.
 
Total Tests is the total number of tests administered on campus by the Tracy Health Center.
  
*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.
Key Dates for Fall Semester

August 28: On-Campus Classes Begin 
November 21: On-Campus Classes End 
December 7: Distance Learning Begins
December 18: Distance Learning Ends 
January 10: Students Return to Campus 
January 11: Classes Resume 
Week of January 24: Semester Ends

COVID-19 Communications

List of 23 items.

  • 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
  • August 10, 2020

    Welcome to (and back to) the Hilltop,
     
    School is opening and we eagerly await your arrival to KUA! Over the next three weeks, we will welcome our on-campus students as they begin a phased arrival in Meriden. We also look forward to reconnecting with those of you in our distance-learning program who will be taking part in the KUA experience from home. Together, both in-person and through distance learning, we will kick off the year with several orientation and opening of school activities leading up to the start of classes on August 28. As always, please refer to the Reopening Campus Page on our website for particular policies and communications.
     
    For our students who are returning to Meriden for on-campus learning, we offer the following guidelines and expectations:
     
    Packing List, Dress Code, Student Banking and Escrow Accounts
    We ask that students only bring essential items and limit what they would normally have in their rooms. Cleanliness and frequent disinfecting routines are essential to our wellbeing; less clutter will make it more realistic to maintain clean dorm spaces and living environments. This year’s packing list and dress code includes items that will help you transition to campus during COVID-19. Please also note that the Business Office emailed families last week with reminders and changes to their policies. Of particular note – cash withdrawals will no longer be possible through the School Store or Business Office. An ATM is located in the School Store.
     
    Face Coverings
    Face masks are essential to keeping our community healthy. Here is an excellent article and guidance as you select and purchase your supply of face masks. As a reminder, we recommend owning at least 7 cloth masks due to washing requirements. Labeling each mask for a day of the week will help ensure cleanliness. Gaiters will not be permitted inside buildings.
     
    Mailing and Shipping
    This year we are asking that families use the following mailing and shipping address for students. 
     
    Kimball Union Academy
    7 Campus Center Drive
    Meriden, NH 03770
     
    Arrival Plans and Opening of School Schedule
    All students must communicate their arrival plans directly with the Office of Student Life, either via the Travel Form in the parent portal or by contacting Mrs. Langevin at 603-469-2116. We intend to stagger arrivals to support our efforts to minimize the risk of exposure as students and their families return to campus. The school will confirm all travel plans and communicate with families by this Friday, August 14. The Opening of School schedule will be posted on the portal on Monday, August 17. The schedule will detail day student arrival and pick up times.
     
    Quarantine Requirements
    All students must quarantine for 14 days according to the schedule below. Many of you will quarantine at home, others at KUA, and still others at an approved location near campus. We ask that families follow the Student Travel Dates and Quarantine Requirements document, which also provides an outline of the on-campus quarantine experience. Students quarantining off campus will be asked to complete a daily heatlh screening through the REACH app. Instructions will be communicated on Wednesday. The following chart outlines your quarantine, travel, arrival, and quarantine clear schedules:
     
    International Students & Domestic Students from High-Risk Areas
    Quarantine Start at KUA (or nearby)
    Travel to KUA (or nearby)
    Clear
    14-day quarantine at KUA or nearby
    8/10
    8/10
    8/25
     
    8/11
    8/11
    8/26
     
    8/12
    8/12
    8/27
     
    8/13
    8/13
    8/28
    Domestic Student Public Transportation
    Quarantine Start at Home
    Travel to KUA (or nearby)
    Clear
    7-day quarantine at home
    8/10
    8/17
    8/25
    Travel to KUA, or nearby
    8/11
    8/18
    8/26
    7-day quarantine upon arrival
    8/12
    8/19
    8/27
     
    8/13
    8/20
    8/28
    Domestic Day and Boarding Student Private Transportation
    Quarantine Start at Home
    Travel to KUA
    Clear
    14-day quarantine at home
    8/8
    8/22
    8/22
     
    8/9
    8/23
    8/23
     
    8/10
    8/24
    8/24
     
    8/11
    8/25
    8/25
     
    8/12
    8/26
    8/26
     
    8/13
    8/27
    8/27
     
    Arrival Procedures
    1. Please arrive ONLY at your designated time. The Office of Student Life will confirm your arrival plans by Friday, August 14.
    2. Upon arrival, proceed directly to 7 Campus Center Drive, the school’s main entrance (popularly known as Rink Road and the Circle).
    3. There you will go through a health screening prior to proceeding with an outdoor Registration.
    4. Parents are not allowed in any buildings unless indicated. Indoor restroom access will be available in Akerstrom Arena. Parents may join students as they make their way to the various Registration stations. Masks and 6 feet of social distancing are required at all times.
    5. After registering, boarding students and parents will proceed to their dormitories. Parents are not allowed in the dorms, though they may help unload the car and move bags, boxes and other items to the entryway. Student leaders and dorm faculty will be available to help move things into the dormitory.
    6. After students have moved their belongings into the dorm, it will be time for parents to say their goodbyes. (For some this is more challenging than others.) Be assured, that our welcoming and caring student leaders, dorm parents, and advisors will take it from there. Before long, the students will be involved in ice breakers, orientation activities, and find themselves fully immersed in their new lives on campus.
    7. KUA will broadcast/livestream a New Student Welcome and Update on Tuesday night, August 25 at 7:00 p.m. Please see KUA Live for our livestream link.
    Registration Times
    Students arriving early, and all other students, will register starting Monday, August 24 at one of these designated times:
    1. Monday, August 24: 1:00 – 3:00 pm: Early Arrivals and Leader Registration
    2. Tuesday, August 25: 10:00 – 12:00 pm: New Boarding Student Registration
    3. Tuesday, August 25: 12:30 – 2:00 pm: New Boarding Student Registration
    4. Tuesday, August 25: 2:00 – 3:00 pm: New Day Student Registration
    5. Wednesday, August 26: 1:00 – 3:00 pm: Returning Boarding Student Registration
    6. Thursday, August 27: 10:00 – 12:00 pm: Returning Boarding Student Registration 
    7. Thursday, August 27: 12:30 – 2:00 pm: Returning Boarding Student Registration
    8. Thursday, August 27: 2:00 – 3:00 pm: Returning Day Student Registration
     
    We feel fortunate that we are able to begin an academic year in such uncertain times. Our goal is to ensure a healthy and safe arrival on campus so that we may remain open for the entire year. Being successful will require a commitment to our well-defined protocols, honesty with ourselves and others, awareness of each other, and a resilient and unbreakable spirit to persevere through one of KUA’s greatest challenges.
     
    Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you,
     
     
    Eric Russman
    Dean of Students
     
    David Weidman
    Assistant Head of School
  • July 31, 2020

    Dear KUA Community,
     
    Thank you to everyone who was able to join us last evening for our day student and parent webinar. I appreciated your thoughtful questions and concerns. If you were unable to join us, you can watch a recording of last night’s webinar
     
    Shortly you will hear from us regarding the Community Health Commitment and the Day Student and Families Understanding. We will continue to make updates and share previous communications on Reopening KUA, which can also be found in the top-right hand corner of our homepage.
     
    As always, we welcome your questions. I’ve included contact information for our panelists. I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Tyler Lewis
    Head of School
     
     
    Assistant Head of School
     
    Dean of Students
     
    Director of Health Services
  • July 29, 2020

    Dear KUA Community, 
     
    Last spring the emergence of COVID-19 brought disruptions to our academic year and necessitated us to respond quickly to ensure that we fulfill our mission. Now, we eagerly await the first day of classes on August 28.
     
    Our faculty have worked tirelessly this summer to put together a flexible academic program that provides for the safest in-person environment we can while still delivering a thoughtful and rigorous program of study. Our goal is to respond seamlessly and rapidly to personal and world events, and that offers students the opportunity to attend classes in-person or at a distance based on their circumstances. 
     
    Earlier this week you received the KUA Community Health and Wellness Expectations. Today, I’d like to share with you the Academic Program for 2020-2021. This document will provide additional guidance and information to prepare you for your return to school. 
     
    I know many of you are eager for the academic calendar for the full year. While that is not included in this document, do know we are working to determine the best course of action for academic programming beyond January. 
     
    I hope you are all finding ways to enjoy the summer. I know I can speak for the faculty in saying that we have missed you all and look forward to welcoming you to the Hilltop. 
     
    Warm regards,
     
    Academic Dean
     
  • July 27, 2020

    Dear KUA Families,
     
    It has been a busy summer on The Hilltop and the Health Center is gearing up to welcome everyone back for the start of the school year. This year, with COVID-19, we are faced with new hurdles, but the Health Center’s goal remains the same: bring healthy students safely to campus and have them remain healthy throughout the year. I want to provide you with new guidance that will help us accomplish this goal.
     
    Today we are sharing the KUA Community Health & Wellness Expectations - a set of policies related specifically to health and wellness that will guide our actions as we reopen campus and begin the fall semester. Information is changing quickly and we will continue to monitor and update these policies as needed.
     
    We encourage you to read the full set of policies, but here we will address six key areas for a healthy arrival:
     
    1. Travelling to Campus
    2. Quarantine Requirements
    3. Heightened Monitoring
    4. Masking
    5. Daily Health Screenings
    6. Testing
    7. Care of a student that is COVID-19 positive, exposed, or symptomatic
    8. Regional Support Resources
    9. Flu Vaccine
    10. Packing List
     
    I recognize that this is a tremendous amount of information. All of us here at KUA are ready to answer any questions. We will follow up shortly with more information regarding academic programming, expectations and details on residential and student life, and the Community Health Commitment for the coming year. You can find information and an archive of all communications online at Reopening Campus.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Director of Health Services
     
     
    Traveling to Campus
    KUA will require quarantine by all students based on their point of origin and mode of transportation to campus. The following dates will allow us to space out arrivals and account for required quarantine periods. We ask that you complete either the Domestic Student Travel Form of the International Student Travel Form located in the Parent Portal with your student’s travel information. For questions regarding travel arrangements, please contact Kathy Langevin at klangevin@kua.org.
     
    I am a student traveling by public transportation (plane, bus, train, taxi/car service) from…
     
    A Low-Risk Area
    • New Students: Arrive to or near campus August 18-19. Quarantine for 7 days prior to travel and then for an additional 7 days upon arrival.
    • Returning Students: Arrive to or near campus August 19-20. Quarantine for 7 days prior to travel and then for an additional 7 days upon arrival.
     
    Low-risk is defined as any county with less than 400 active cases of COVID-19 per one million residents.
    *Specific arrival days and times will be coordinated directly with Mrs. Langevin. Please check your email as we approach these dates.
     
    A High-Risk Area:
    All Students: Arrive to campus on August 12-13. Quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
     
    High-risk is defined as any county with more than 400 active cases of COVID-19 per one million residents, has increasing cases and increasing positivity rates over the most recent 14-day period or a positivity rate of 10% or greater.
     
    Outside the U.S.:
    All Students: Arrive after August 10. Quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
     
    I am a student traveling by a private car directly from my home to KUA and I am a...
    • Student Leader: Arrive to campus August 22-23. Quarantine for 14 days prior to arrival.
    • New Student: Arrive to campus August 24-25. Quarantine for 14 days prior to arrival.
    • Returning Student: Arrive to campus on August 26-27. Quarantine for 14 days prior to arrival.
    Specific arrival days and times will be coordinated directly with Kathy Langevin in the Office of Student LifeShe will be in touch by email closer to arrival.
     
    Quarantine Requirements
    If you choose to quarantine on-campus, KUA will provide you with the following during your time on campus.
    • Twice-daily health checks.
    • Single-occupancy rooms with no shared bathrooms. This will be accomplished by knocking on the bathroom door prior to entering to ensure the bathroom is unoccupied.
    • Snacks and meals will be provided and will be eaten outside or in the dining hall using our newly redesigned space that allows for social distancing and face protection.
    • Activities will be provided to keep students healthy and busy.
    • Testing will be done at prescribed points during the school year.
    We will do our best to have students quarantine in their “long-term” dorm room but if that is not possible, the student will move to their own dorm room after the quarantine period.
     
    If you choose to quarantine off-campus, either because of your proximity to campus or because your family has identified a location near campus, the quarantine should include the following:
    • Being socially distant at all times
    • Wearing a mask outside of your accommodations
    • Not taking public transportation including Uber, Lyft, Taxi, buses, etc.
    • Taking and recording your temperature daily for review by the Health Center staff
    • Not attending large public gatherings
     
    Each state has different requirements for out-of-state arrivals and these states are revising guidance frequently. Please be aware that renting a hotel or Airbnb in each state may require something different and you should make sure you ask all the questions ahead of time. Here are the requirements of three surrounding states:
     
     
    Heightened Monitoring Period
    To ensure the safety of our campus, we are using the first two weeks of school, beginning August 28, as a heightened monitoring period with strict campus guidelines. This is a critical time for the short and long-term health of our community. We will conduct twice-daily health checks on all students and employees. During this period all activities and athletics will be offered with social distancing or mask-wearing.
     
    Masks
    Mask wearing forms the foundation for our ongoing health and safety. Students and employees must wear masks at all times when inside of buildings, except when a student is in their own dorm room, while eating in Doe Dining Commons, and while participating in certain activities such as dance, chorus, theater, and athletics. Outside of buildings, we ask that every person have their mask immediately available to put on should social distancing be compromised.
     
    Each family is encouraged to spend time looking for proper fitting masks that your student likes and feels comfortable wearing. We recommend owning at least 7 cloth masks due to washing requirements. Labeling each mask for a day of the week will help ensure cleanliness. A few suggestions for identifying the proper mask:
    • GAITERS are NOT allowed inside academic buildings or the dining hall as an acceptable form of face covering.
    • The thicker the material the better (3 layers is the best).
    • Have your child perform the flame test, put the mask on and try to blow out a candle. If they can blow it out, it is too thin to be effective.
    • Washable is better for the environment.
    • Washing at the end of each day is important and must occur in a washing machine with hot water and then dried on high heat.
     
    We know this is going to be hard for students, but as we see a surge in cases, we feel strongly about making this mandatory. We are happy to have the student bring disposable masks or we can provide disposable ones if you prefer that style. This may include the need for headbands to take the pressure off the ears.
     
    Daily Health Screenings
    All students, employees, and any visitors/vendors will be screened daily. The health screening includes a set of questions and a temperature reading. We will graph the temperatures and anyone with an increase of 2 degrees from baseline or a temperature over 100.0 will be flagged for an additional Health Center screening.
     
    Testing
    We recommend that every student be tested prior to arrival on campus. However, we recognize that with limited testing in the United States, this may not be feasible. If you are unable to secure a test at home, please alert the Health Center prior to arrival. Students will be tested after arrival and again around day 10 of the quarantine/heightened monitoring period. We will also test anytime someone develops symptoms or is exposed to a known COVID-19 positive person. We have contracted with a company that provides test results within a reasonable timeframe and is able to bill insurance.
     
    Caring for Students Who Test Positive, Are Exposed, or Symptomatic
    The Health Center, in consultation with campus partners, has developed a comprehensive policy to minimize exposure to COVID-19 and properly care for our students while on campus. We are asking families to designate a trusted adult within driving distance to KUA who could care for your child if they should need to isolate or quarantine. We understand that this is not always possible. In those cases, we have designated secure spaces on campus for isolation and quarantining that protects both the student and the campus community. In addition, we have trained an internal contact tracing team which will immediately begin the process as needed. We recommend that each student create a “Go-Bag” which will include travel-size toiletries, nightclothes, a change of clothes (in addition to nightclothes), and a phone charger. We will keep these items in sealed plastic bags in the Health Center. We will close down dorm rooms for 24 hours if a student tests positive or is symptomatic and we want to ensure the student has the necessary items they need for that time.
     
    Regional Support Resources
    As noted above, this year we are encouraging students to identify a family member, consultant, or friend within driving distance of the Academy where they may safely and comfortably stay should a health emergency arise. With shortened breaks and uncertain quarantine requirements around travel, students would benefit from having a trusted adult who can support their needs here in the region. Please take a moment to fill out the Regional Support Resource survey in the student portal and indicate if you have someone nearby. If this is a challenge for your family, not to worry. Just reach out so that we can work with you. The information you provide is important and confidential.
     
    Flu Vaccine
    This year a flu vaccine is required for all students and strongly encouraged for all employees, except those with a medical or religious waiver. You will need to fill out a waiver and have it notarized by your local state or town authority and sent to the Health Center. The flu vaccine consent form will be sent out closer to when they will be administered. The vaccine will be free as in recent years.
     
    Packing List
    This year we are asking students to bring only necessary items to campus. Clothing, school supplies, some electronics will be appropriate. Non-KUA furniture, rugs, and shelving units are discouraged. Our goal is to reduce clutter and set students up to maintain clean, sanitized spaces. It is also possible that students will have to move rooms after the initial move-in phase due to the complexities of accommodating the campus-wide transition from quarantining to normal operations. We are hopeful that students will be able to pack up quickly and easily when necessary. A specific packing list will be shared in early August.
  • July 24, 2020

    Dear KUA Community,
     
    Over the past few months, we have been keeping you updated on our progress for the opening of school and the development of our plan for responsibly returning to in-person instruction this fall. The structure of our planning has been bi-lateral: working with groups of faculty, staff, administrators, and students to develop internal policy; and creating a set of shared principles as a member school of the Independent Schools Association of Northern New England (ISANNE).
     
    I am proud to share with you the completed plan of shared principles that ISANNE schools have created and agreed upon. As you will see in the ISANNE Responsibly Reopening Schools Plan, this has been reviewed and approved by the two leading voices in the medical field on the reopening of schools and universities. Dr. Michael Jaff and The Honorable David Shulkin praised our plan as being comprehensive and holistically thoughtful and recognized that due to our scale, geography, and our collaborative plan, we are ideally positioned to have a successful year on campus as an in-person learning and living community. The key to our success is having our full community “buy-in and commit to the plan.”
     
    I encourage you to review the plan which encompasses all of the principles guiding our policies and procedures for the year. It will offer transparency on our thinking, and clarity on our responsible approach to reuniting our vibrant campus community. Very shortly you will receive a comprehensive update on our campus policies. The ISANNE plan, as well as policies, news, and FAQs will continue to live on the Reopening KUA page of our website.
     
    Thank you,
     
    Tyler Lewis
    Head of School
  • July 16, 2020

    Dear KUA Community,
     
    Thank you to everyone who was able to join us last evening for our Community Conversation webinar. It was wonderful to have so many of our students and families gather to continue discussions surrounding the Plan to Responsibly Reopen Campus. We thank you for your questions and appreciate the care and concern you have for our community as we move closer to the start of the academic year. If you submitted a question that was not answered in the webinar, please know we’ll follow up with you directly. If you were unable to join us, you can watch a recording of last night’s webinar.
     
    We continue to monitor and process information as it becomes available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Program, and the State of New Hampshire. Please anticipate hearing from us frequently over the course of the next few weeks with important details on health and safety, the on-campus and distance academic program, and additional guidelines that will help us kick off a great and healthy new school year. We will continue to make updates and share previous communications on Reopening KUA, which can also be found in the top-right hand corner of our homepage.
     
    As always, we welcome your questions. I’ve included contact names below. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone for assistance as you plan your return to the Hilltop.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Tyler Lewis
    Head of School
     
     
    Academic
    Tom Kardel, Academic Dean
     
    Student Life and Travel to Campus
    Eric Russman, Dean of Students
     
    Health and Safety
    Melissa Underhill, Director of Health Services
     
    Election of Distance Learning for Fall
    Lindsey Ratliff
     
    Visa and I-20
    Jenny Araya-Mesen
     
    Tuition and Contracts
    Kelly George
  • July 1, 2020

    Dear KUA Community,
     
    Each summer the team at Kimball Union Academy takes some time to pause, reset, and relax after the close of the year. This year looks a little different for us, as I’m sure it does for you.
     
    Today I would like to share with you KUA United: The Plan for Responsibly Reopening Campus. It reflects the work of many people who have contributed time and expertise to work toward a healthy and safe return to The Hilltop for the 2020-2021 academic year.
     
    The initial plans presented here represent our most up-to-date thinking about our return to campus. We have learned a lot over the past four months, but there is still much we don’t know about this virus. Every day the team at KUA is reading, monitoring, discussing, and revising plans to keep pace with this evolving situation. If we have learned anything, it’s that there is more to this story. We ask for your patience and flexibility as we continue to respond to ongoing uncertainties.
     
    What will not change with time is our love of community, working with kids, and a firm grounding in our mission. That’s why getting this right is so critical. Our goal is to take all the necessary steps for the fall so we can not only open, but remain open for the entire academic year. We know that we are at our best when our community is whole. I want to assure you that everyone at KUA will approach the coming year not only with the necessary care and concern, but with the spirit and energy you have come to expect from our community.
     
    Your questions and feedback in this process are important. Contacts are included throughout the document. Feel free to reach out. We’ll also be following up with specific information in areas of residential life, health and safety protocols, and arrivals to campus. Additionally, we invite students and families to join us on July 15 at 7 p.m. EST for a Community Conversation where we will provide additional details and field questions in a live webinar. An invitation is forthcoming.
     
    I hope you are all enjoying your summer and I thank you for your ongoing partnership. We are stronger together.
     
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Tyler
  • June 12, 2020

    Dear KUA Students and Families,
     
    Last night I hosted a Community Conversation with current parents and students. I was joined by Dean of Students Eric Russman, Academic Dean Tom Kardel, and Director of Health Services Melissa Underhill to reflect on what was certainly an extraordinary spring trimester and look ahead to our reopening in the fall. I have had the opportunity to host similar sessions with our new families, and I appreciate everyone’s questions and thoughtful considerations as you prepare for your student to arrive in Meriden.
     
    I’d like to share with you the recording of our webinar which I hope will address some of the questions you may have. I recognize that additional questions remain. I want to reiterate that we are working as quickly as possible on our preparations for the coming year, with health and safety at the forefront of every decision. Our goal is to take the necessary steps to keep our community whole for the duration of the entire academic year, not just the immediacy of the fall trimester. We continue to process and understand evolving federal and state guidelines, develop the policies and procedures appropriate for our campus community, and make every effort to bring a sense of joy and belonging to our students as they reunite at a familiar place under unfamiliar circumstances.
     
    As we shared last night, we will begin in-person classroom instruction for the academic semester on August 28. We are planning a phased arrival of students based on a student’s geographic location (international vs domestic) and their mode of transportation (public vs private) that also accounts for any requirements for periods of self-isolation and COVID-19 testing.
     
    Right now, the faculty are creating a flexible academic model that can respond to world events as seamlessly and rapidly as possible, whether in-person, at a distance, or a hybrid of the two. This model will be employed as a means to respond to a future outbreak, but also to accommodate the range of issues that may impact a student from returning to Meriden. Please know that regardless of where a student resides for the fall trimester their education remains our priority and we will fully accommodate their situation through either in-person instruction or distance learning.
     
    Our community is designed to excite and inspire students both inside and outside the classroom, so we are being equally thoughtful in how we maintain the sense of community that helps define the KUA experience for both our boarding and day students. Just as we are being intentional and flexible in our approach to academics, so too are we examining our student and residential life programming.
     
    We know you are eager to hear additional details. We are awaiting further guidance from the State of New Hampshire due June 30. Our goal is to share our Plan for Responsibly Opening Campus on July 1. As is the case every year, but particularly in the current environment, the health and well-being of our students is the leading priority in all of our decisions.
     
    We invite you to join a webinar on July 15 where we will take a deeper dive into the plan and field any questions you may have. An invitation is forthcoming. If you have any additional questions or concerns, I encourage you to reach out. Like our students, we are excited to reunite in the fall and optimistic about the experience we will share.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Tyler
  • May 26, 2020

    Dear KUA Students and Families,
     
    Congratulations to the Class of 2020 on your graduation, and to our underclass students who are in the home stretch of what has been a very unique trimester. Though the campus is quiet, too quiet in fact, we have been busy cleaning the dorms and making sure all of your belongings are carefully and safely packed and stored. At this time, nearly all of our students' personal items have been collected and placed in boxes and are safely stored in the dorm or in Akerstrom Arena. As we shared in an earlier email, storage is free this summer. You may leave your belongings on campus so that they are here when you return in the fall, or, if possible, you are able to retrieve them this summer.
     
    Many of you have asked when you may come to campus to gather your belongings. We appreciate your patience and, like you, are hoping the evolving public health situation will improve and permit New Hampshire and its neighboring states to loosen their restrictions and allow families from across New England the opportunity to travel to KUA. 
     
    At this point, only New Hampshire residents have been cleared by the state to travel to KUA for this purpose. We anticipate that the next update from the State of New Hampshire will be around June 1. If conditions allow, we will send an email outlining how and when families can set up a time to schedule their trip to campus.   [You might consider asking a friend or family member residing in New Hampshire if they can pick up belongings for you.]
     
    In the meantime, your items are safe either in the rink or in your dorm. We understand that some of our seniors will not be returning to this area in the fall and that for unique reasons would prefer we ship their belongings either directly to their colleges as soon as that is possible or directly home instead. For those in such a situation, we will ship your belongings and cover the cost of shipping up to $200. There are some limitations to what can be shipped, including appliances/large electronics, bicycles, carpets/rugs, exercise equipment, furniture, large paintings/artwork/signs, refrigerators, and monitors.
     
    Other students that might have a unique request or extenuating circumstance should direct their inquiries to the SLO. Please email Mr. Russman, erussman@kua.org and Ms. McKim, mmckim@kua.org.  We will do our best to work out a solution with you and your family. 
     
    Congratulations, again, to the class of 2020. We wish you all the best and look forward to seeing you on campus shortly.
     
     
    Dean of Students
  • March 28, 2020

    Dear KUA Alumni,

    We wanted to reach out to all of you to say that you are on our minds as we navigate these most uncertain and unprecedented times.

    Today, we shared with our students and their families that we would extend our distance-learning program through the entire spring trimester, and will not reopen our campus for the remainder of the year. It’s a decision that no educational institution, particularly a boarding school, wants to make. But we believe there is no other course of action that both protects the safety and wellbeing of our community and contributes to the global actions that prioritize the health of our population. You can learn more about our Distance Learning and Community Program on our COVID-19 site

    Unfortunately, we have also made the difficult, but necessary decision to cancel Reunion Weekend 2020, which was scheduled to take place June 5-7 here in Meriden. Reunion is an incredibly meaningful time for us as we’re sure it is for you. Although we are unable to celebrate together this June, we look forward to hosting an all-class reunion in June 2021 when we will bring classes ending in 0, 1, 5, and 6 together in celebration of their major milestone reunions. We will follow up with those of you who have already registered for this year’s Reunion. 

    Please know how much we value you as members of our community. We are working on ways to engage with all of you and find opportunities for you to share in the great distance learning and community program we’re building for our students. Our KUA alumni community is truly global, and we hope wherever you are in the world, you know that KUA is still your home. While we can’t invite you to come visit us right now, we do invite you to let us know if we can be of any assistance to you. Please feel free to reach out to our Advancement team at advancement@kua.org.

    As we reminded our students, these are unprecedented times, but we are an extraordinary community. Thank you for being a part of it.

    Wishing you and your family good health,

    Tyler Lewis
    Head of School

    Polly Antol
    Director of Advancement

  • March 27, 2020

    Dear KUA Students and Parents,
     
    For the past couple of weeks, we have been monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19 and assessing how we will move forward with the remainder of the spring trimester. While we had initially hoped we could return to campus in April, it is abundantly clear that the escalation of the cases both domestically and internationally make a return to campus increasingly improbable for this spring. This evening, the State of New Hampshire will begin following a Stay-at-Home order which limits our movements and actions until May 4 as we all work to stop the spread of this illness.
     
    In recognizing the severity and gravity of the situation we are all facing, we have made the decision to extend our distance-learning program through the entire spring trimester, which unfortunately means that we will not reopen our on-campus program for the remainder of the year. We believe there is no other responsible course of action that both protects the safety and wellbeing of our community and contributes to the global actions that prioritize the health of our population.
     
    For all of us, this is a decision that comes with great disappointment. It is not at all what any of us envisioned when we set forth at the beginning of the school year. I am reminded of our hike up Cardigan Mountain this fall. Some of us – myself included – were new to KUA. Some of us were new to hiking. But step by step, we all arrived at the top, together. And together, we will navigate the path that lies ahead.
     
    Moving forward, we are rolling out a comprehensive program of Distance Learning and Community. Your KUA experience includes a thoughtfully crafted academic program, in the context of a community where we all feel a deep sense of belonging, and we will continue to provide both despite the distance between us.
     
    So how will this work?
     
    Mr. Kardel and Mr. Russman joined me today to record this message that helps lay the groundwork. You’ll hear from them both this weekend with more specifics on how we’ll get started. The energy they are pouring into leading us to be a model of excellence in distance learning and community is creating an excitement among our faculty and staff. The first advisor meetings this week will soon be followed up by the roll-out of much programming, both familiar and new.
     
    I also know this prompts many questions and more will come as the news sinks in for all of us. Let me try to answer a few we know are most immediately on your mind.
     
    We have heard from so many seniors who are worried about graduation. We all want them to wear their caps and gowns, step onto the quad, and celebrate their accomplishments with their teachers, family members, and friends. We will have graduation for the Class of 2020, but can’t commit to a date, at this point. However, be clear that we are absolutely going to give our seniors the graduation they earned and deserve.
     
    Although it seems unrealistic to have our on-campus commencement exercises on May 23, our plan will include a way to honor our seniors in May, until we can reunite once again. We will immediately form a committee of faculty, seniors, and parents who can determine the most appropriate time and manner in which we can fully honor this milestone together. You became a member of the KUA family the moment you matriculated, and you will forever be a part of this amazing KUA family.
     
    If you are a boarder, you are also likely wondering about your belongings. We know many of the items in your dorm are important and bring you comfort. The KUA campus remains closed and we will be unable to provide you with the contents of your dorm room at this time. Please know your dorm rooms are locked and completely secure and the Plainfield Police Department continues to provide regular patrols of our closed campus.
     
    We hope to update you on how your items will be retrieved once state restrictions have been lifted. You may still request your laptop, prescriptions (including eyewear), or a passport. These are the only items we can ship at this time. Please email Kathy Langevin at klangevin@kua.org who will coordinate the shipping.
     
    You likely have more questions, and I believe the information Mr. Kardel and Mr. Russman will share this weekend will satisfy some of them. Please also reach out with other questions and concerns. As always, we will update you along the way.
     
    These are unprecedented times, but you are talented and resilient individuals, and we are an extraordinary community. This shared experience will unite us all for the rest of our lives. Stay connected, stay safe, and stay tuned - much more coming at you very soon.
     
     
    Tyler Lewis
     
    PS – Don’t forget to watch our video message!
  • March 27, 2020

    Hello KUA Families,
     
    I am writing to you from the basement-level mudroom of my house. This boot-filled room is the only quiet place I could find amid the chaos of our “new normal,” so I set up my computer on a workbench usually reserved for ski waxing and small-appliance repair to span the distance between us with this note. It seems a daunting task. We are spread out all over the world, in different time zones, sometimes speaking different languages, and all working hard to manage the myriad issues that arise now that the world is shuttering itself in response to COVID-19.
     
    I spoke to one parent this weekend who wonders how their dyslexic child will get the support they need to do school work from a distance, and another who is worried that she will be unable to convince her son to leave his bedroom during this time, spending the foreseeable future online, un-showered, and disconnected from real life. One couple started a new business in November that has now been required to shut down, they are panicking as they wonder how they will pay their bills when the family’s income has dried up overnight. A dad I spoke to last week choked up at describing how hard it was to explain to his kids, without terrifying them, why they cannot play, visit friends, or even go to a playground because his brother is undergoing chemotherapy while living in their home and any risk of infection could be deadly. Some parents are wondering if their children will make it home with the international travel bans that are in place.
     
    Every family has its own set of ever-shifting challenges to deal with right now, yet despite our distance and differences, we are all working together to be the best we can for our kids and for each other. KUA parents are connected to parents all over the world in their shared concern for how to care for little ones, help educate older children, work from home (or be exposed to the virus, or get by with no work at all), stay healthy, and manage their own mounting anxiety while also being responsive, caring, flexible parents who promote the growth and wellbeing of their children in an uncertain world.
     
    Parenting requirements up-leveled overnight, demanding a more sophisticated set of skills: flexibility, self-regulation, effective communication, presence, coregulation, and attunement with others are suddenly needed more than ever. In addition, our teenagers need help developing these same skills for coping with uncertainty and increased levels of stress. The world is turned upside down - they are isolated from friends, their routines are disrupted, and the media feeds the worries of teens who started this crisis with record-high levels of anxiety and depression.
     
    KUA is committed to helping students and families stay healthy while we are away from campus. We are in the process of intentionally crafting an online experience that accounts for the developmental need for our students to have regular social contact and connection. We are looking for creative ways to engage your kids to help them remember they are a part of a community that cares and can only thrive when their voice is added to the mix.
     
    I will be providing a range of mental health supports during this time of distance learning, including:
     
    • I can help you locate an appropriate provider for therapy or psychiatry for your child. Most counselors are doing therapy via tele-health at this time.
    • I will continue individual check-ins with students. They will be sent an email asking them to reach out to me directly to schedule a time to talk by phone or Zoom if they want to connect.
    • As always, parents can email me with concerns about your child or with questions of how to best support them as a parent. I am happy to schedule a time to speak with you by phone or Zoom.
    • Online facilitated discussions will be offered regularly for students on these and other topics: coping skills, brainstorming tough situations, and processing experiences in a safe space.
     
    Online facilitated discussions will also happen regularly for parents interested in increasing their self-regulation to better support their children. More information will be sent in a separate email later this week.
     
    For now, I am signing off from the basement mudroom. Maybe you are reading this note from your bedroom “office” or in a quiet corner of your three-season porch. Wherever you are, KUA and I are with you in navigating the coming days and weeks. Look for a follow-up invitation to the first facilitated discussion for parents, encourage your children to check their emails, and reach out if I can support you or your child in any way.
     
    Best,
     
    Coley
     
    Nicole M. Hapeman, M.A./Ed.S
    Director of Counseling Services
    Kimball Union Academy
    603-469-2119
  • March 19, 2020

    Dear Students and Families,
     
    I hope wherever you find yourself right now, you are safe and well. Our thoughts are with all members of our community as we all care for and prepare ourselves for the near future.
     
    As Mr. Lewis indicated in his letter to you last week, we will begin the third trimester on April 6 using a distance-learning model. Our goal is to continue to provide a robust educational program and to see that all students have the ability to finish the year and earn credit, and for our seniors to earn their Kimball Union diploma.
     
    To that end, the Academic Council, which includes administrators and department chairs, has adopted the following plan for distance learning. This document communicates what you can expect from us, what we expect from our students, and how we will partner with parents and families to ensure we have a dynamic learning program that serves our students’ educational needs. In the coming days, we will communicate more specific plans about the distance learning program scheduled to start on April 6.
     
     
    Every August, as we prepare to start a new school year, I remind the faculty of the great importance of building a sense of community and belonging within each of our classrooms. This is no less important in this distance learning environment.
     
    I wish you all well. The campus is a bit quiet right now. I, for one, am looking forward to re-engaging with my students soon.
     
    Best regards,
     
    Tom Kardel
    Academic Dean
  • March 16, 2020

    Dear Students and Families,
     
    The Office of College Advising has been monitoring information related to disruptions in the college admission process for all of our students. I wanted to inform you of news regarding upcoming tests for the SAT and ACT. We are still waiting for further guidance regarding the AP exams. We’ll continue to monitor and update you on any changes, and information can be found directly on the websites below. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or your college advisor with questions.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Gunnar W. Olson
    Director of College Advising
     
     
    SAT Administrations
    In response to the rapidly evolving situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19), the College Board is canceling the May 2, 2020, SAT administration. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled March 28) are also canceled. Registered students will receive refunds. The College Board will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as feasible in place of canceled administrations. We’ll be as flexible as possible to give students the best chance to show their skills and stay on the path to college. We have not yet canceled the June 6, 2020, SAT administration and will continue to assess its status with the health and safety of students and educators as our top priority.
     
    Read the full update from the College Board.
     
    ACT National Exam
    The safety of students and test center staff is ACT’s top priority. ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S. in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date.
     
    Read the full update from ACT.

  • March 14, 2020

    Update on COVID-19

    Dear KUA Students and Families,
     
    We know you are processing the information we shared yesterday regarding our plans for the spring trimester and have many questions regarding how to move forward. KUA’s Emergency Preparedness Team hopes to clarify a few points below to assist students and families in their planning.
     
    We are constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation, which yesterday the United States declared a national emergency. We are evaluating all guidance from federal, state, local, and educational organizations as it pertains to our community. We will continue to update you as this situation evolves. We thank you for your patience as we work through this fluid situation. Information can also be found on our website at kua.org/covid19.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Tyler Lewis
     
     
    FAQ Regarding COVID-19 and the KUA Campus
     
    Can I return to campus?
    Students are not permitted to return to campus until further notice.
     
    Will returning home jeopardize my ability to complete the term?
    Not at all. We will provide ongoing distance learning for the remainder of the year regardless of whether we re-open campus for classes again. Your education is critical to us, as it is to you, and we will do everything to support your completion of your schoolwork this year. If you complete the distance-learning program to the satisfaction of your teachers, you will complete the term.
     
    Will I graduate if I don’t return to campus?
    If you complete the distance-learning program to the satisfaction of your teachers, you will graduate and receive your diploma. While we hope to hold our on-campus commencement exercises, we cannot confirm we can do so at this time.
     
    If I’m in a different time zone, how will I be able to participate in the distance-learning program?
    Faculty are creating a schedule that will accommodate our global community. We are structuring our class time in a way that makes it possible for all students to participate regardless of where they live. We also plan to hold all-school meetings and advisory meetings. Stay tuned for a schedule.
     
    What will happen to my belongings?
    Your belongings will remain on campus and all items are safely secured in dorms. We will ship laptops and medications, and ensure your receipt of a passport or I-20. You can contact Kathy Langevin at klangevin@kua.org with a request for those items. While it is our hope to reopen campus this spring, in the event we are not able to do so, we will work with families to either pick up belongings or have them shipped home.
     
    What if I don’t have my textbooks with me?
    Any course materials for distance learning will be provided by faculty members. You will not need your textbooks.
     
    What if I receive counseling services?
    Please contact the Health Center at healthcenter@kua.org and the team will work with you on a plan to accommodate your needs.
     
    Will I still be able to access college advising?
    The College Advising team will still provide all the guidance and support you need throughout the trimester.
     
    Will I be able to take the SAT/ACT/AP test?
    College Advising is in contact with both the ACT and CollegeBoard regarding how this situation impacts upcoming SAT/ACT/AP tests and should be able to share more information soon. Because school is closing, we will be unable to offer the April 4 ACT.
     
    What about my visa?
    The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has been monitoring developments and says “SEVP is focused on ensuring that nonimmigrant students can continue to make normal progress in a full course of study as required by federal regulations. SEVP intends to be flexible with temporary adaptations.” KUA will provide SEVP the required notice of accommodations it is making for its F nonimmigrant population and continue to follow carefully all adjustment to the current guidance and additional information provided.
     
    What if I miss my friends?
    Here at KUA, we are already missing all of our students. Our tight-knit community is one of our greatest strengths, and distance will not change that. We will offer plenty of opportunities to socialize and have fun “together.” Please, take time to reach out to one another, check in on your friends and classmates, or find opportunities to complete your assignments together. Also know that all of us here in Meriden are available if you need us for support, a familiar voice, or even just a check on the start of New Hampshire’s famous mud season.


    Guidance for International Families

    Dear KUA Students and Families,
     
    Hopefully you just received an email from Mr. Lewis with some clarifications to how we are moving forward with the spring trimester. The information is also available at kua.org/covid19. We know it’s especially hard for our international families who have been separated from one another during this stressful time.
     
    Due to the rapidly changing nature of this situation and uncertainty of how long we will need to suspend on-campus learning, we encourage international students without long-term accommodations in the U.S. to return home.
     
    Please know that we will continue our distance-learning program throughout the entire spring trimester. That means that even if you go home and cannot return to the U.S., you can still complete the term online. Going home will not impede your progress nor make your KUA experience any less unique and genuine.
     
    Regarding student status in the U.S., the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has been monitoring developments and says “SEVP is focused on ensuring that nonimmigrant students can continue to make normal progress in a full course of study as required by federal regulations. SEVP intends to be flexible with temporary adaptations.” KUA will provide SEVP the required notice of accommodations it is making for its F nonimmigrant population and continue to follow carefully all adjustment to the current guidance and additional information provided.
     
    Many of you are concerned about what will happen to your belongings once you depart the U.S. If this concern is keeping you from returning home to your family, please contact me and we will make arrangements to get you your belongings. We will do everything we can to keep people safe and healthy in this time of transition.
     
    We have no idea what the future will look like and how the U.S. will reinstate international travel once the virus is better contained. We can ensure that you will continue to receive your education no matter where you are in the world for the spring trimester and our hope is to resume normal residential operations as soon as we can.
     
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Eric Russman
    Dean of Students

  • March 13, 2020

    Dear Students,
     
    We were all very saddened by Mr. Lewis’ email today. We know this news is distressing for everyone. We hope that each and every one of you is in a safe place and that your exposure to COVID-19 is as limited as possible.  
     
    As Mr. Lewis shared, the campus is closed until at least April 13. That means that students are asked not to return to campus. You’re likely wondering what to do regarding your belongings in your dorm room. At this time, we will be able to ship your laptop and your medications as well as your passport and I-20, however, we are unable to provide access to your dorm or ship additional items.
     
    Please email Mrs. Langevin at klangevin@kua.org if you need either of these items. To be clear, students should NOT come to campus to collect personal belongings. We know this may present a challenge, but we are doing all we can to keep our community healthy so that we can provide a safe return for all of you when campus reopens.
     
    Due to the extended break from campus, we want to assure everyone that facilities and housekeeping will be going through all student rooms to unplug electrical appliances, empty trashcans, wipe down surfaces, and ensure a hygienic environment.
     
    Stay safe and we look forward to connecting again virtually and in person when circumstances allow.
     
    Mr. Weidman and Mr. Russman


    Dear KUA Community,
     
    On Wednesday, I shared with you that KUA’s Emergency Preparedness Team has been meeting to determine a course of action for the spring trimester as we respond to the spread of COVID-19. Throughout those discussions, we have been guided by a desire to have our campus return to a vibrant learning community, and the responsibility of ensuring that we are creating a safe environment for all. In balancing those objectives, we made the necessary, but difficult decision to delay the opening of school for the spring trimester and shift from a residential-education model to a distance-education model.
     
    The COVID-19 situation is changing daily, and we are working in the most uncertain of times. In addition to our student body, one of our greatest assets is an outstanding faculty capable of fulfilling our mission of preparing our students for the challenges of tomorrow’s world. Implementing what will ideally be a brief period of distance learning does not diminish our commitment to our learners.
     
    Our plan is as follows:
    • All healthy, asymptomatic faculty members will report to work as planned on March 23 for health screenings, distance learning preparations, and course planning.
    • Distance instruction for all students will begin on April 6.
    • Using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, we will continue to evaluate when it might be possible to resume on-campus classes. However, we will not commence our normal program any sooner than April 13.
    Please know that we are prepared to support all of our students for the remainder of the trimester, whether that's here in Meriden or through distance learning. If you have challenges with internet connectivity in your home or surrounding area, please contact Director of Technology Jason Bourne at 603-469-2340 or jbourne@kua.org, so we can understand how best to support you.
     
    For now, students must remain off campus. For our international students who are currently in the United States and who do not have long-term accommodations in the U.S., we encourage you to return home. With great uncertainty for what the coming months will bring, we believe stability at home may be the best course of action. Again, regardless of whether on-campus classes resume, we will be able to support any learners who need to complete their academic program for the spring trimester through distance learning.
     
    However, on an individual basis, we will consider petitions from students with extraordinary logistical or personal circumstances that demonstrate a compelling justification for temporary residency on campus, such as international students who reside overseas. Any student approved to return to campus will participate in the distance-learning program. They will have limited extracurricular activities, limited opportunities to leave campus, modest campus support services, and reduced dining arrangements. We will support these students in the best way possible. Petition requests can be sent to Dean of Students, Eric Russman at 603-469-2117 or erussman@kua.org.
     
    More detailed instructions on individual courses and scheduling will be available after faculty return to campus and have ample time to create and plan for thoughtful coursework. We will also follow-up with additional information on other important aspects of the KUA experience, including the learning center and college advising.
     
    KUA’s Emergency Preparedness Team is meeting daily and monitoring developments and guidance to inform all of our decisions. None of these decisions are easy, but all are done with the goal of welcoming a healthy community back to a safe campus when the situation allows.
     
    In addition to delaying the start of residential operations, we have also taken the following steps:
    1. Indefinitely suspend all school-sponsored travel.
    2. Cancel our Admitted Student Days and offer prospective families a virtual experience.
    3. Amend our policy for any campus visitors.
    These are the practicalities of our situation, but I want to acknowledge the emotional toll this is taking on our community – this is unfortunate news to share and to receive. We are at our best when we are here, in Meriden, living, learning, and playing as a family. Today, the stillness of our campus is palpable, and we long for the chatter in the dining room, the cheers from our playing fields, and the company of good friends. Along with our faculty and staff, I am thinking of all of our students and I encourage you to take this opportunity to fully apply yourself to academic excellence during this period of distance learning. As we departed from break, I mentioned the KUA “homesickness” that we can sometimes feel when we are all apart from one another. I am deep in that KUA homesickness. So, in addition to academic work, we will be working on creating distance-community, as well – stay tuned.
     
    We will keep you updated regularly and look forward to the day we can all reunite on The Hilltop. We know many of you will have questions, so I have included some important contacts below.
     
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Tyler Lewis
     
     
    Contacts
     
    Melissa Underhill
    Director of Health Services
    603-469-2055
     
    Debrah van Dijk
    Director of Human Resources
    603-469-2165
     
    Eric Russman
    Dean of Students
    603-469-2117
     
    Jason Bourne
    Director of Technology
    603-469-2340
  • March 11, 2020

    TO PARENTS, STUDENTS, AND EMPLOYEES
     
    Dear KUA Community, 
     
    Here at KUA we are closely monitoring issues related to COVID-19 and assessing options as we prepare for disruptions to the KUA community. We want to confirm that at this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the KUA campus. 
     
    Yesterday we made the decision to cancel both the boys and girls lacrosse spring break trips scheduled for next week. With the consistent elevation of risk factors, and based on consultation with health officials and other schools, we are certain this is in the best interest of all involved. Impacted families were alerted earlier today.
     
    KUA’s emergency preparedness team is meeting daily with the charge of protecting the health and safety of our entire community. At present we are establishing benchmarks that will prompt actions regarding the safe return to campus, including evaluating the start date for the spring trimester. We are also making contingency plans for distance teaching and learning. Please know that while our goal is to fulfill our mission to educate and prepare students, we will take the steps necessary to safeguard the wellbeing of our community first and foremost.
     
    We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through the complexities and fluidity of this situation. Moving forward we will continue to provide updates by email and online at kua.org/covid19 and we encourage you to reach out with questions and concerns.
     
    Sincerely, 
     
     
    Tyler Lewis
     
     
    TO ALUMNI AND FRIENDS
     
    Greetings from The Hilltop,
     
    Here at Kimball Union our campus community has departed for spring break. While typically a welcome time to rest and recharge, this year’s break has us focusing on the current COVID-19 situation.
     
    We know this is a challenging time for all of us as we deal with the complexities of a rapidly changing situation. As a global community, we know everyone is facing these trying times under different circumstances and with different concerns. I wanted to share with you – our alumni and friends – a message of support as well as an update on what we’re doing here at KUA.
     
    At present, our emergency preparedness team is meeting daily with the charge of protecting the health and safety of our entire community and preparing for disruptions to our living and learning community. We are establishing benchmarks that will prompt actions regarding the safe return to campus, including evaluating the start date for the spring trimester and assessing options for distance teaching and learning. The health and safety of all our community members are paramount.
     
    Of course, we hope to welcome all of you back for Reunion June 5-7. While planning for Reunion and other large-scale events are moving forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and provide appropriate updates as they occur.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Tyler Lewis


  • March 5, 2020

    Dear KUA Families,
     
    As we all prepare for the start of spring break on Friday, we want to update you on how KUA is addressing COVID-19. This is a rapidly changing situation with great uncertainty. Please know that your student’s health and safety is our greatest priority. We are constantly monitoring the updates provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). We are also coordinating daily with local municipalities and schools on response measures through our Regional Public Health Network.  
     
    Beginning today, March 5, anyone who has traveled internationally and returns from or transits through a country that is rated as a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 based on COVID-19 risk will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. Those returning from a CDC Level 1 will be required to self-observe for 14 days before returning to campus. It is important to understand that this means that any person returning to the United States under these restrictions will not be allowed back onto the KUA campus until their 14-day quarantine/observation is completed.
     
    Upon return to campus, we are implementing a mandatory screening for all students and employees for recent travel history and fever or respiratory illness. Based on that screening, we will report to DHHS and follow its advice on possible quarantine. We understand that at that point students may have to be quarantined on campus. We are taking the steps necessary to prepare for this out of an abundance of caution. The safety and well-being of our students will be our first priority every step along the way.

    Please understand that we strongly discourage travel to countries rated CDC Levels 1-3 and also recognize the uncertainty of which countries may join that list over the coming weeks. With that in mind, please know that we will continue to monitor the situation and ask you to be cautious in undertaking travel. At this point, we do not have recommendations for where a student or faculty could self-quarantine or self-observe if they are unable to do so at home, but will continue to watch for options. 
     
    While two individuals in New Hampshire’s Upper Valley have tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, there is no evidence of widespread community transmission in the region at this time. However, once campus reopens, we understand if you feel uncomfortable having your student return to campus. Please know that we have asked faculty to prepare for the possibility that they may need to teach their classes remotely, and we will keep you updated on plans for the spring trimester.
     
    We will continue to provide timely updates throughout the break and will regularly update our website as information becomes available at www.kua.org/covid19. Please contact Melissa Underhill, Director of Health Services, at meunderhill@kua.org with health-related matters.
     
    All of us here at KUA hope that your students will enjoy a fun, restful spring break. Thank you to all of you who are welcoming additional students into your homes. We hope to welcome everyone back to campus for a productive and enjoyable spring trimester.


    Sincerely,

    Tyler Lewis

     
  • March 3, 2020

    Dear KUA Community,
     
    As we monitor the global situation with COVID-19, we also want to keep you apprised of what is happening in our local area. We are asking our families to be thoughtful about self-care, travel plans, and unnecessary exposure, and also keenly aware that the spread of this virus is not contained by borders.
     
    On March 2, the Division of Public Health Services identified its first presumptive positive COVID-19 case in New Hampshire. An adult healthcare employee from Grafton County traveled to Italy and developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 shortly after returning to New Hampshire.
     
    This individual is a healthcare employee at nearby Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, about 10 miles from the KUA campus. The NHDPHS is working with the local healthcare system and community to conduct a contact investigation, self-quarantine, and monitor potential close contacts. It’s important to note that there is no evidence of widespread community transmission in New Hampshire at this time, nor any additional reports of cases in our area.
     
    We have a page on our website that we will update with new information. It includes answers to many of the questions being asked: www.kua.org/covid19.
     
    We certainly understand the fluid nature of this situation and the concern that creates for so many members of our community. Please reach out with questions or changes to your plans, and know that we remain in communication with state health officials and will work diligently to ensure the safety of our campus. If you have not already done so, please fill out the KUA Travel Plans form. This form should document all travel of students and employees so that we have data if we need to determine close contacts in impacted communities.
     
    Please feel free to reach out to Melissa Underhill at meunderhill@kua.org with health-related questions.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Tyler Lewis

     
  • March 2, 2020

    Dear KUA Families,
     
    As we conclude the winter trimester and begin K-Term, many of our thoughts are already focused on spring break and the travel plans of our community. Every year, this is a welcome break from our routine and serves as an excellent opportunity to recharge for the final two months of the school year. This year, the evolving reports on the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) hangs as an unfamiliar cloud over the travel plans for so many of our families.
     
    We have been closely monitoring updates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of State, and the New Hampshire Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, to guide decisions that impact both our campus and impending spring-break travel. With the safety and wellbeing of our students top of mind, we have decided to cancel our spring break trip to Spain. We know this comes as a disappointment to the impacted students, but the risk was too great to ignore. We also know that many of our families in restricted-travel areas will be unable to connect during the break, and we know how hard this is for these families at such a challenging time. We have provided alternative travel options for those impacted students.
     
    The COVID-19 virus is rapidly changing and causing concern among many communities. At this point in time, we would encourage your students not to undertake any non-essential international travel. In order to properly manage the health of our community, we also ask that all of our families please complete the very brief survey here: KUA Travel Plans.
     
    We are also looking ahead and preparing for various scenarios for the start of the spring semester – all with the goal of supporting our students and their educational pursuits. For instance, we are examining remote-learning opportunities and expanding beds for students experiencing flu-like symptoms. We are also reinforcing proper hygiene to our community as we are seeing a particularly strong flu season.
     
    Once the break ends, we strongly encourage students and faculty who are experiencing any illness to remain home. This is especially important if they are experiencing a fever and/or respiratory symptoms. While these symptoms will most likely be caused by the flu, we recommend that individuals stay home until they have been free from symptoms and fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of anti-fever medications. Please alert us if your student is feeling ill. If you have any health-related questions, please direct them to Ms. Melissa Underhill, Director of Health Services at meunderhill@kua.org.
     
    In the spirit of being diligent, and ideally over-prepared, we will have our plans in place and also continue to closely monitor this situation and provide regular updates to our families. We are here to support our students as they deal with both the disappointment and the anxieties that this situation may bring. For this week, we are excited to launch into a dynamic, educational K-Term week that will have our students and faculty deeply engaged. As always, please reach out to me or any of us here at KUA, if you have questions or if there is anything, we can do to be supportive of your plans.

     
    Thank you,
     
    Tyler Lewis
     

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Kimball Union Academy

603-469-2000  · 603-469-2040 (fax)  · info@kua.org
Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the country's oldest private boarding high schools. KUA blends the best of the New England boarding tradition with an innovative, modern educational program for a diverse and global group of day and boarding students. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire, in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York.