Reopening Campus

KUA will continue to update this page on issues related to the reopening of school and COVID-19 as changes occur.
Updated: July 1, 2020
Kimball Union plans to reopen school for the 2020-2021 academic year. Preparations are underway with health and safety at the forefront of every decision. We will make every effort to bring a sense of joy and belonging to our students as they reunite at a familiar place under unfamiliar circumstances.

KUA United: The Plan for Responsibly Reopening Campus

Read the Latest Communications

Read the Kimball Union Distance-Learning Plan


The Campus/Student Life

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • Will KUA reopen in the fall? 

    KUA looks forward to welcoming new and returning students to campus this fall for the 2020-2021 academic year. On-campus instruction will begin on August 28. Additional details on the reopening of school are forthcoming.
  • Will KUA adapt its reopening plan if the situation changes before the start of classes?

    We will monitor and appropriately adjust to evolving recommendations put forth by the State of New Hampshire and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

    There may be times when we call upon students, employees, and families to adhere to additional measures that help limit exposure and transmission so that together we can mitigate future outbreaks. We anticipate potential adjustments to our policy throughout the year due to changes in the COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • When are student expected to arrive on campus?

    We will communicate specific details on arrivals to students and families in July. Boarding families will receive a travel and arrival survey that will allow the Health Center to ensure proper timing of quarantine and testing, and the Office of Student Life to assist with transportation and travel. 

    We ask that students and families not make travel plans to and from campus for proposed vacations and breaks that cannot be changed. The school calendar is subject to change based on prevalent conditions.

  • When will there be a decision about fall athletics?

    We are collaborating with the athletic directors at independent schools throughout New England, and in particular the Lakes Region League, to ensure each school adheres to guidelines and policies for interscholastic play. At this point, we have created redundant schedules and the league plans to decide an interscholastic athletics schedule for the fall term in the latter half of July.
  • Will students be able to participate in the arts?

    The Arts Department is developing plans to modify its offerings to account for health protocols. Many of the lessons learned this spring will guide us as we look to offer a safe and productive arts experience.
  • Are you allowing visitors to campus?

    Admission visitors are welcome on campus for a socially distanced tour and interview, Monday through Friday at 10:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. Schedules will be adjusted in August in anticipation of student arrivals. A copy of the visitors policy and safety protocols will be provided to you 24 hours prior to your arrival. To schedule a visit to campus, please call 603-469-2100 or email

    KUA's outdoor fields remain closed for public use, with the exception of the track and hiking trails as long as proper social distancing is maintained.
  • Can I access the outdoor spaces at KUA?

    KUA’s indoor and outdoor facilities are closed to public use. At this time, KUA will allow the use of its outdoor track and trail system for walking and running. Use of these areas are permitted at your own risk and you must follow appropriate social distancing, allowing at least six feet of space between individuals.
  • May I pick up my belongings from the spring trimester?

    Beginning May 30, all boarding students are able to retrieve their belongings from campus by appointmentWhile we wish this could provide an opportunity for us to catch up with all of you, and for our students to see one another, we will follow strict protocols designed to keep you and our staff healthy. Buildings will remain closed and items will be retrieved from a central location at Akerstrom Arena at your scheduled time.
    Residence hall items are safely stored in either dorm rooms or in Akerstrom Arena. Students returning in the fall are permitted to store their belongings for free during the summer. For our graduating seniors who are not returning to this area in the fall and would prefer we ship their belongings either directly to their college or directly home, we will ship 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 Student Life Office. Please email Mr. Russman, and Ms. McKim,

Academics and Distance Learning

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • What are the dates for the fall term?

    This school year will commence with classes running from August 28 through November 21 when students will return home. First-semester classes will continue with two weeks of distance learning from December 7–December 18, prior to winter vacation. In January, students will return to campus to resume classes on January 11. The first semester will end the week of January 24. The revised calendar is designed to maximize student time in on-campus instruction and minimize student exposure during travel. Please note this change to our previously published major dates calendar as you plan and make travel/flight arrangements for winter vacation.
    • 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
  • What will the class schedule look like?

    The academic program will move to semester-length courses for next year. Each class will meet four times per week, twice for a 90-minute block and twice for one hour. The pattern of class meetings will be stable from week to week, unlike in our previous schedule. 

Health and Wellness

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • How will students learn about the health and safety protocols and what will be expected of them?

    Protocols and policies will allow for community members to safely move around campus and take into consideration: circulation flow, occupancy loads, mask wearing and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) protocols, and social distancing throughout the entirety of campus.

    Students will receive further details by email and before the start of school will receive an updated Community Handbook that outlines the expectations and responsibilities of our community members.
  • Do students, faculty, and staff need to have a COVID-19 test before school begins?

    Students, faculty, and staff will be required to have COVID-19 testing prior to travel, and again at predetermined times after arrival to campus. Detailed information regarding student testing will be sent to students in families in July. 
  • Do students need to quarantine before the start of classes?

    Yes, students will be required to quarantine prior to travel, and again at predetermined times after arrival to campus. We are considering students in four categories: (1) international students, (2) domestic boarding students within driving distance to campus, (3) domestic boarding students who will need a flight or public transportation to arrive on campus, and (4) day students. 

    Due to government regulations and CDC guidance, information on quarantine and testing procedures can vary for our boarding student groups.
    We will communicate details with requirements for quarantine specific to each group. Boarding families will receive a travel and arrival survey in early July. This will allow the Health Center to ensure proper timing of quarantine and testing, and Student Life Office to assist with transportation and travel. 
  • What are common symptoms of COVID-19 and how is it prevented or treated?

    For confirmed COVID-19 cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms typically include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent infection with this virus, and there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended once infected. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • What are the best preventative measures I can take for COVID-19 and the flu?

    We encourage you to read How to Protect Yourself from the CDC and know how it spreads.

    Wash your hands often.
    Avoid close contact.
    Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
    Cover coughs and sneezes.
    Clean and disinfect.
    Monitor your health daily.

  • Does KUA have a plan if a community member becomes infected?

    KUA’s Emergency Preparedness Team is meeting daily to ensure that we are prepared if a member of our community tests positive. Any actions will be made under the direction of the DHHS, and we will take all steps necessary to protect the impacted individual(s) as well as the greater community.
  • Does KUA have a confirmed case of COVID-19?

    On June 4, KUA was made aware that a construction worker who had been on campus tested positive for Covid-19. At this time, that is the only member of the construction crew who tested positive. We believe there was no direct contact between the worker and anyone at KUA nor any other contractors on campus.  
  • I'm an employee. What if I don't feel well?

    We recommend that employees call their primary care physician if they are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19. Please also alert the Health Center at 603-469-2055. Melissa Underhill, director of health services, can be reached at

COVID-19 Communications

List of 14 items.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, and Ms. McKim,  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

    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 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.
    Nicole M. Hapeman, M.A./Ed.S
    Director of Counseling Services
    Kimball Union Academy
  • 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.
    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
    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 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 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 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.
    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 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, 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
    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.
    Tyler Lewis
    Melissa Underhill
    Director of Health Services
    Debrah van Dijk
    Director of Human Resources
    Eric Russman
    Dean of Students
    Jason Bourne
    Director of Technology
  • March 11, 2020

    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 and we encourage you to reach out with questions and concerns.
    Tyler Lewis
    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.
    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 Please contact Melissa Underhill, Director of Health Services, at 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.


    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:
    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 with health-related questions.
    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
    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

KUA Contacts

Melissa Underhill
Director of Health Services
Eric Russman
Dean of Students
David Weidman
Assistant Head of School
Debrah van Dijk
Director of Human Resources
Tricia McKeon
Director of Marketing and Communications
Jason Bourne
Director of Technology

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

External Resources


Kimball Union Academy

603-469-2000  · 603-469-2040 (fax)  ·
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.