Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

List of 20 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. What is the plan for lunch when the weather is not conducive to outdoor dining?

    In the event of inclement weather, students will eat inside, in designated locations by grade:

    1. Grade 12 will eat in the Fit
    2. Grade 11 will eat in the Fit
    3. Grade 10 will eat in the Garthwaite 
    4. Grade 9 will eat in the Mugar
  • Q. What steps are you taking to ensure that students, faculty, and staff will be safe if/when campus reopens?

    We are working with AUXS, an auxiliary services organization that supports independent schools, colleges, and universities with expertise in campus operations, campus programs, and campus services.

    AUXS has specifically been helping with details such as medical protocol, cleaning practices, supply chain, programmatic modifications, cleaning and disinfecting, and density management, among other items. 

    One of their areas of expertise is protocol surrounding the transmission of infectious illnesses on school campuses. We are specifically working with their lead consultant in this area, Dr. Adrianna Bravo, for both our day and boarding programs, to develop a protocol in the event a community member falls ill, for example.

    We have also been looking at campus through a public health lens, auditing spaces, exploring alternative room configurations, reviewing traffic patterns, and identifying density points. We have partnered with The Stone House Group to audit facilities, air quality, and circulation. 

    Campus has been outfitted with numerous, strategically placed sanitation stations and will soon have no less than six external handwashing stations on the upper campus and three to four on the lower campus. Plexiglass will be utilized as needed. Directional signage will be placed throughout campus to create consistent traffic patterns and reduce the risk of density points. By the start of school, every room on campus will have a maximum capacity sign. In addition to increased, regular campus cleaning and sanitation, a deep cleaning will take place every Wednesday, while students and faculty are at home. 

    For the health and safety of our community, CSW will remain closed to visitors (this includes parents and alumni/ae) until further notice. The exception are vendors and contractors who must proceed to the Facilities Barn via the Athletic Entrance to be checked in to campus. They will be expected to follow the same safety protocols on campus as everyone else and will follow the same screening process before entering the campus.

    We do not expect visitors to the Admissions Office or any other school department once Mod 1 has started. In the rare case that a visit needs to happen, it may only happen by appointment with access to very limited locations and people. Visitors are expected to follow the same daily screening guidelines as all employees. 
  • Q. Will students/faculty/staff need to be tested prior to returning to campus?

    Persistent issues around availability and the unpredictability around accuracy and timing of results have led us to not pursue testing at this time. Should there be significant improvement in this area, the school will reconsider its policy. Testing will of course be used for suspected cases of COVID-19, and such testing should be covered either by the state or private insurance.
  • Q. Could you please detail what you mean when you ask students to quarantine before school? Must all family members self-isolate as well?

    We are asking families to make smart, healthy choices — limiting exposure to those outside of the household unit, refraining from travel, and staying home as much as possible, within reason. We understand that this may not be possible for all family members, and simply ask that each family do their best to remain safe, utilize PPE, and continue hygienic practices as recommended by the CDC in the event that complete isolation is impossible. 
  • Q. Can you share what will trigger the need for a student to quarantine?

    Each day, students, faculty, and staff will be required to fill out a confidential health screening form. Anyone who answers “yes” to any of the questions posed about symptoms they may be exhibiting, or people they may have been in contact with, may be required to engage in quarantine.

    Please review our Assessment and Triage Flowsheet for additional response protocol. 
  • Q. What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?

    Isolation separates people who are infected with the virus from people who are not infected. Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others. Please review this document for additional details
  • Q. How does one quarantine?

    • Stay home and monitor your health.
    • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19
    • Watch for fever (100.4?F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19
  • Q. When is it safe to be around others after quarantine?

    Deciding when it is safe to be around others varies by situation. The School Nurse, in consultation with the School’s Health Team and the Department of Health, will provide directions about the individual’s return to school.
  • Q. What counts as close contact?

    • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes.
    • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
    • You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them)
    • You shared eating or drinking utensils
    • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.
  • Q. Is CSW providing masks?

    Universal mask-wearing continues to be the most effective way to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, all faculty, staff, and students, as well as any campus visitors, MUST wear masks while indoors, and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. Mask removal is allowed in designated spaces for mask breaks and for eating. Research has shown that the best mask option (outside of N95, which should be reserved for medical professionals) is the surgical mask. The school will provide everyone with a starter set of surgical masks at the start of the school year. Each community member is expected to wear a mask of this variety while on CSW’s campus. We will share with the community ideas on how to use those masks on a rotating basis without having to throw them out daily. 
  • Q. Will teachers have PPE?

    In addition to provided face masks, teachers will also have an option of getting a shield. If there is another piece of equipment that helps teachers feel safer, we will also do our best to provide this for them.
  • Q. Have you discussed eye protection?

    Eye protection is important. We will, therefore, be teaching students how to properly remove their masks, while also reiterating the importance of frequent hand-washing. Those who would like to wear additional eye protection are welcome to do so, though this is not a community requirement at this time. 
  • Q. How does the school plan to ensure mask use by the students?

    We cannot emphasize enough the fact that a key part of our success will be each and everyone's commitment to following our guidelines. As one of our faculty members stated "in reality, there is no such thing as a perfectly safe space unless the community is willing to fully collaborate." This means we all need to think about our daily behavior and how it has the potential to keep us all safe or impact some of us negatively. As members of the CSW community, we must all hold each other accountable to designated safety protocol. 

    The latest research from public health behaviorists show that people respond to guidelines best when:

    • Guidance is clear, specific, and evidence-based
    • “Protect Each Other” messaging is employed, with real-life voices and examples
    • A sense of duty is established
    • Good behavior is rewarded; incentives are more powerful than disincentives  
    • Guidelines are professional and aesthetically pleasing 
    • Interventions are co-designed and piloted with audience groups
    • Peer-to-peer messaging is utilized in place of authoritarian demands

    Our Re-Entry Communications Committee will be using these observations to create videos, social media, pamphlets, signage, and other campaign materials geared toward creating buy-in, and keeping our community safe and informed. 
  • Q. There may be some CSW families who don’t physically distance or wear masks. How will CSW ensure that these students don’t infect others?

    It would pain us very much to learn that community members were dismissing well-regarded health and safety guidelines. Upon learning of and verifying such comportment, the school would request that that particular family opt for the online-only option. Only those who wear masks and practice safe physical distancing will be allowed on the CSW campus. 
  • Q. What measures will you be taking to ensure that bathrooms are safe?

    All bathrooms will have increased daily cleaning. There will also be a limited number of people permitted in each bathroom at a given time, with certain stalls blocked off. 
  • Q. Are there specific numbers set for the metrics to determine when to move between the 3 levels of opening school?

    We will be making the decision to transition between tiers based on a mix of internal and external data points. The DESE recently articulated their own tiers that coincide quite closely with our own, so we will be following their guidelines very closely. We’ve also been conducting our own zip code analyses, looking at areas where we have the most students and assigning a staff member to keep an eye on transition rates in those areas. We have been working closely with the town of Weston, in particular, on the design of a specific plan for monitoring shared data and engaging in contact tracing.
  • Q. What will the school do if someone tests positive?

    Please refer to our Affirmatives Flowchart for a detailed response plan in the case of a positive test result. 
  • Q. What should a family do if a student or someone in their household tests positive?

    If your student or someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19 or has been notified by the County Department of Health or any other health organization that they were in contact with an individual infected with COVID-19, you must notify the School Nurse immediately ( The School Nurse, in consultation with the School’s health team and Department of Health, will provide the family with directions about the student’s return to school. Please review our Assessment and Triage flowsheet for additional details
  • Q. If things go well in September, what do you envision for October?

    It has always been our goal to re-open up school at the Level 1: Green tier and welcome students and faculty back on campus later this fall. Whether or not we are able to do so will depend on both local public health conditions and our own community’s ability to stay healthy and adhere to safety protocol in September. While we hope to welcome as many students back to campus as possible, we understand that many will need to continue to engage remotely, and we will ensure that the proper accommodations are made so that they may do so.
  • Q. What parameters has the school been using to guide its decisions?

    All decision-making thus far, and moving forward, will be guided by:
    • Student well-being (physical and emotional) and intellectual engagement.
    • Faculty and staff well-being.
    • Our commitment to equitable and accessible learning. 
    • Regular internal assessments of the efficacy and structure of GryphOnline, building and adapting the program as needed.
    • Data and insights collected from our own community and fellow schools who are ahead of us on the coronavirus curve. 
    • Guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the State of Massachusetts.
    • The CSW Mission and Values

Boarding/International FAQ

List of 14 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. How can I get some personal belongings to my child who is a boarding student?

    The best way to provide your child with personal items it to mail them to CSW. Alternatively, for items that are too big to mail, you may drop them off at the Kluchman Building between 4:15 and 5:15 PM on weekdays and 11-12 PM on weekends. You should call the AOD number and someone will meet you there. 
  • Q. Is it true that boarding students will need to pack up their rooms if they decide to leave the boarding community at Thanksgiving or Winter break?

    Yes, we anticipate that some boarding students who have chosen to learn remotely for modules 1-3 will return to campus for the start of mod 4, our next entry point for boarding students. With additional students returning to campus, we may need to shift some dorm/room assignments. This will be easier to accomplish if students pack their room prior to departing the dorm. We will have more information closer to the holidays.
  • Q. When will we be able to visit boarding students?

    While a specific date has not been set, we hope to provide an opportunity for parents to visit their boarding students during the second half of mod 1. This decision will be made once we have a sense of how our protocols are working. Safety for our boarding students and residential faculty must be our priority.
  • Q. Can a day student visit a boarding student?

    Day and boarding students will not be able to socialize in person outside the academic day (8:30-4:15) until further notice. We will work to provide structured visitations once we determine it is safe to do so.
  • Q.
    Are the off-campus trips/programs for boarding students mandatory?

    While we will be putting safety measures in place for school chaperoned off-campus trips for boarders, we will not make any off-campus trips mandatory.
  • Q. When should boarding students arrive on campus?

    Boarding Student Leaders should arrive on campus between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Thursday, August 27. 

    New Boarding Students should arrive on campus between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 29. Please proceed to the Kluchman Circle (45 Georgian Road) upon arrival. Following arrival, lunch will be served at noon. After lunch, there will be concurrent orientation programming for families, guardians, and students. We ask that families and guardians depart campus by 3 p.m. that afternoon. 

    Out of an abundance of caution, we will be welcoming parents and guardians only. Unfortunately, siblings or extended family members will not be permitted on campus for move-in. 

    Returning Boarding Students may arrive on campus starting on Sunday, August 30 at 9 a.m. through Thursday, September 3, at 4 p.m. (on whatever day you arrive in this timeframe, please plan to get to campus between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.). 

    ALL Boarding Students who are returning to campus for the Fall should fill out the Boarding Student Arrival to Campus 2020 form that can be found on MyCSW. 
  • Q. How will you support international students who may not be able to return to the country?

    We at CSW will do everything within our power to ensure that students who want to be here on campus can be here and that those who are unable to travel can still engage in our academic program. School officials are paying close attention to news and updates from ICE and the SEVP and will be in direct contact with affected families with additional details and instructions.
  • Q. Will families be allowed to help students move in and get set up?

    Out of an abundance of caution, we will be welcoming parents and guardians only. Unfortunately, siblings or extended family members will not be permitted on campus for move-in. 
  • Q. I don’t want to board while academic classes are online. Can I move into the dorms later?

    In order to prioritize the safety of our students and our residential adults, we are at this time providing two entry points for our boarding students: at the start of Mod 1 (August 29 – September 3) or at the start of Mod 4 (January 23). No student will be permitted to move into the dorms at any other time. If a boarding student chooses to return to their home for a weekend, Thanksgiving, or Winter Break, the expectation is that the student will not return to the dorm until the next designated entry date of January 23. 
  • Q. Will students need to quarantine before they come on campus?

    All students coming to CSW from out of state, students returning to MA from a high risk state or international travel, and international students traveling from abroad must be in compliance with the Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order. Please use this website for the most up-to-date information, requirements and protocols:
  • Q. Will boarders be allowed to spend time outside on campus with other CSW students?

    Yes. Provided that they practice the appropriate social distancing protocols, boarders are free to spend time outside on CSW’s campus with other CSW students (day and boarding).
  • Q. Will boarding students have their own rooms?

    We are anticipating somewhere between 35 and 40 boarding students from China, Guatemala, Brazil, Japan, and the United States, and each student will be able to have a single room. Our students who are arriving from abroad have already begun arriving to the US and will be doing a quarantine at a local hotel for 14 days, prior to moving into the dorms. 

    Ultimately, we aspire to be able to have family units in our dorm by floor. We will not be able to do that immediately, and that's why it's an aspiration. But because we can not do that immediately, students will be required to wear masks throughout their campus experience, including the dorm, unless they are in their room.

    If we get to the place down the road where we can have family units by floor and then perhaps even by dorm, we will do that. But we will not rush to do that, and we will not compromise the safety of our students or of our residential adults in order to get to that place.
  • Q. Will there be weekend activities this year?

    There will indeed be weekend activities next year, but for at least the near future, these activities will be open to members of our residential program only.

    Activity offerings will be updated in accordance with the current local conditions but may include outdoor activities such as biking, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, or visiting (quiet) area beaches. 

    It is important to us that students don't feel like they must be isolated for months at a time. While students who don't feel comfortable engaging in activities will not be forced to do so, we intend to provide a mix of on- and off-campus offerings to choose from. Given the current conditions in Massachusetts, we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to provide students an experience that is similar to what they've experienced in the past. 

    Students should also expect not to have the same freedoms they were privy to in the past with regards to signout privileges and the like. Protocols will change, but we very much want our students to be able to get out, exercise, and do things beyond campus.
  • Q. When will non-boarders be able to take part in weekend outings?

    Weekend activities will be open to members of our residential program only through at least the end of Mod 1. We plan to reassess this decision on a modly basis, or as conditions change. 

Additional Resources

2020-21 Mod Schedule

COVID-19 Information & Links


CSW Counseling Resource
  • CSW Staying Connected - Padlet, an interactive Padlet to help you find ways to take care of yourself and to get support.  Please feel free to add your ideas and resources. 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The World Health Organization The U.S. State Department

5 Ways to Help Teens Manage Anxiety About the Coronavirus
Talking to children about COVID-19: A Parent Resource
Talking to Teens and Tweens About Coronavirus
How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus
Five Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus

Our Community

The Cambridge School of Weston is an inclusive community, with members from around the world. Each and every one of us must take care not to make assumptions about others based on perceived symptoms or identities (i.e. ethnicity and/or national origin). 

We are a community that looks out for one another, and every step each of us takes — whether it be in washing our hands, staying home when sick, or avoiding non-essential international travel — is of benefit not only to ourselves but to the entire community, especially those vulnerable to more serious medical complications.

The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.