After nearly six months of campus closure, Middlesex opened its gates to welcome back students for the start of the 2020-21 school year. To support a safe and measured opening with robust COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty, and staff, the community is returning to campus in an elongated “phased” reopening with boarding seniors and new students moving into dorms first and sophomore and juniors joining later on September 26. Day students and those boarding students on campus began in-person classes on September 8th, and their classmates still at home have been able to attend all classes live through a hybrid classroom set up that allows both remote and in-person students to engage with each other. To facilitate substantial physical distancing in our small classroom settings, day students and on-campus boarders attend class in-person on alternating days, joining class through video on their “off” days. Those students who are unable to return to campus at all this fall are taking their full course loads online.
Middlesex’s full academic curriculum is available to all our students, and numerous campus modifications allow the community to participate in a “typical” Middlesex program (with face coverings, of course!), including weekly advisor meetings, private music lessons, two different theater productions over video, (virtual) Chapels and assemblies, and intramural athletics for all levels. Students are also assigned to small “pods” (or “families”) of classmates so they can socialize in dorms and at meals without masks. Weekend activities take advantage of the School’s sprawling campus as well as the increased safety of outdoor, physically distanced events like movies on the Circle, fishing and canoe trips on Bateman’s Pond, evening snacks and conversation around dorm fire pits, and disc golf.
The opening of school has been unlike any in Middlesex history, and even with strict health and safety protocols, the community has been as unified and joyful as ever as we work together to navigate this unprecedented climate with optimism, energy, and caution. We cannot wait for our boarding sophomores and juniors to join us on campus soon!