About Us

Health and Safety 2021-2022

Shady Hill is committed to providing a safe, authentic, challenging, mission-driven educational experience for our students despite the complexities and ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the health and safety of our community at the center of our action plans, 2021-2022 will call on us to be flexible, innovative, and quick to action as we navigate uncertainties. 
Outlined below are our guiding principles and school opening plans to ensure we can provide the highest quality program possible in a manner that keeps our students and school community healthy and safe.


Forms to Complete

On the Parent Portal, you will find the following forms to review and complete:

  • Acceptable Use Policy
  • Community Health Pledge
  • Bus Registration (if applicable)
To access the forms, select the yellow 'Forms to Review' banner at the top of the login page. If you need help logging into the Parent Portal, please contact the Marketing & Communications office.

COVID Testing Form

In order to participate in Routine COVID Pool Testing (testing by classroom), we will require that you complete this separate online consent form.

Please note that if you have multiple children attending Shady Hill, you will need to complete online forms for each child.
For the coming year, we will be placing students into Gradehead sections with one Gradehead in grades I - VIII. Beginners and Kindergarten students will have two Gradeheads in each section and dedicated spaces to allow for teachers to work with smaller groups of students at the recommended safe distance. With social distance and required mask-wearing recommendations, each grade will have four sections with the exception of Grade VIII which will have 5 sections. Department classes will be held in department classrooms. Outdoor tents will be available as flexible alternate teaching spaces. All students in grades I - VIII will have 1-1 technology provided and we will continue to use technology as appropriate to support instruction. 
As always, we will continue to have the well-being of all children at the heart of our discussions and planning for the year, as we help returning and new students transition to school.
We have made numerous improvements to campus last summer to conform with current health and safety guidelines. We repurposed buildings and spaces to create 42 separate gradehead classrooms. We have now redesigned all classrooms to ensure 3-foot separation of students, and in most rooms have purchased new furniture to accommodate social distancing. We have outdoor tents which will be utilized for department classes and other purposes.
Ventilation and air quality improvements were made in all classroom spaces last summer. In rooms with ducted HVAC systems, sub-micron filtration pads were installed to provide added filtration in excess of the recommended standard for schools. For buildings without HVAC systems, we installed Novaerus 900 portable air disinfection units in addition to the fresh air intake units already in place. Buildings without HVAC systems all have an abundance of operable windows for fresh air and the Novaerus units were added as an enhancement.
Along with the changes mentioned above, we have also:
  • Installed hand sanitizing stations throughout the campus. 
  • Ordered portable handwashing stations to be placed throughout campus.
  • Made all bathrooms single use (one occupant at a time).
  • Replaced drinking fountains with water bottle fillers.
The safety of our students, employees, and families is paramount in our planning for this school year. We were optimistic that this school year would reopen with less restriction and a return to pre-pandemic school life. However, due to the current surge and increased case counts in our area, we are opening this school year with covid protocols based on recommendations from DESE, CDC and AAP. 
The School’s Health & Safety Advisory Committee, comprised of senior administrators, School Health Director, School Consulting Physician and outside medical experts reviews and advises the school on matters of safety and health during the pandemic. 
Shady Hill has mandated that all employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Shady Hill strongly encourages all eligible students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is not mandated for children. Shady Hill will follow State requirements regarding mandating the vaccine for our students. 
All students and employees regardless of their vaccination status will be required to wear masks while indoors on Campus. Students and employees have the option to wear masks outside and on the path. All guests and visitors must wear masks while indoors and outdoors while on campus. Students are expected to bring their own masks. 
During the school day, students will wear masks indoors for classes and will wear them in tents when used as a classroom. Masks may be removed when walking to and from classrooms, but will be put back on before arrival indoors. Masks will be worn for indoor PE and gym classes. 
It is most important for students to wear masks correctly. Masks should cover the nose and mouth and be comfortable for kids to wear while indoors. Masks should have at least 2 layers of fabric. Please send extra masks to school in case they get soiled or lost during the school day. The School has extra masks available if needed. 
Students will be spaced at 3 feet social distancing between student work stations or desks. Classrooms will be set up to allow group work and collaboration between students even with social distancing. 

We encourage students to eat outside for lunch and snack. Students will practice good hand hygiene before and after eating lunch and snack. When students eat indoors they will eat at their desks or tables allowing for maximum distancing between students while eating. 
All students and employees will participate in a school-run COVID-19 testing program. 

All families and employees will use the mobile app, SchoolPass, to report daily wellness screenings. See chart at right for protocols if a community member presents with illness. Click to enlarge.
Relationships are central to who we are at Shady Hill. Forming and maintaining bonds between students, faculty, and parents will be challenging but essential in the coming year. For students, meetings that require different sections to interact, such as Lower and Middle School Assembly will continue virtually.  Student board, affinity groups and gatherings  will be held in-person during the school day. Parents and guardians will continue to meet and form connections online via the reimagination of many of our regularly scheduled events. In addition to the overview provided below, Lower School Psychologist Mark Steward will continue to hold parent coffees online. 

While our school community centers on our children, we are also a place for adults to form connections and forge long-term bonds. Traditionally, parents and guardians have been invited to campus during the school day for assemblies, at drop-off and pick-up, and for educational and social events. This fall, we will continue to foster our adult community, but virtually. Below are welcome letters from two volunteer groups central to the life of the School as well as a fall calendar of virtual events for the adults in our community. Stay tuned for more information from DASH (Diversity at Shady Hill.)

Welcome from Parents Council
Welcome from Shady Hill Fund Co-Chairs

617.520.5260        178 Coolidge Hill    Cambridge MA 02138