Brooks is following direction provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and independent school health consortiums to support our students, families and employees during the COVID-19 outbreak.
"I am entirely confident in our community's capacity to overcome all disruptions known and still unknown to us, and believe beyond a shadow of doubt that there is opportunity in this challenge to be at our best in ways we never imagined we would have to be."
Head of School John Packard
We will continue to communicate through email — and in updates to this page — as the public health crisis evolves.
Campus is Closed Until Further Notice
Due to Governor Baker’s stay-at-home advisory, which begins on March 24, the Brooks campus is closed to students returning for any reason. We know that this is an inconvenience, and some students may have items on campus that they would like to have. If you have any personal belongings that would be essential to continued success in the coming weeks, please be directly in touch with Mrs. Heinze or Mr. Waters so we can try to help figure out a solution. As the government and health officials continue to update plans, we will be in touch about dorm rooms when we have a better idea of when students can return to campus. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Watch the March 26 virtual panels on Distance Learning & Academics and read a SUMMARY OF THE Q&A:
Communications to Brooks' Community
April 1 Mr. Packard webinar with accepted families
March 30 invite to current student talk + Packard's
March 26 webinar invitation to accepted students
March 26 video check-in with current students
March 26 update to alumni
March 25 welcome video to accepted students
March 25 webinar Invitation to parents
March 18 letter to Brooks community
March 15 update to accepted students
March 15 email to Brooks community
March 13 email to Brooks community
March 11 email to parents
March 2 email with pre-Break details
February 27 memo, parent newsletter
As of March 30:
Invitation to Accepted Families — Please join us for two upcoming webinars: March 31, at 3 p.m., to hear from a panel of current Brooks students, and April 1, at 7 p.m., to hear from Head of School John Packard. Questions welcome! READ MORE
AS OF MARCH 25:
Webinar Invitation to Parents — Brooks will be holding two webinar chats on Thursday, March 26, at 12 and 8 p.m., to give parents a chance to hear from administrators live. Academic Dean Susanna Waters, Associate Head for Student Affairs Andrea Heinze and Director of Technology Ryan Dobbins will speak at the 12 p.m. session with Head of School John Packard. The 8 p.m. session will feature John Packard as well as Dean of Teaching and Learning Mary Jo Carabatsos, Dean of Students Willie Waters and Director of Technology Ryan Dobbins. To submit questions in advance of the webinar, visit our WEBINAR QUESTIONS FORM. READ MORE
As of March 26:
Webinar Invitation to Accepted Students — Join us for a webinar chat on Friday, March 27, at 7 p.m. for the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of Brooks administrators in the areas of academics and student life. READ MORE
Email to Alumni Community — Considering the recent CDC recommendations and the restrictions placed on many cities, we are sure you will not be surprised to learn we have decided to postpone Alumni Weekend, planned for May 8-9, 2020. READ MORE
AS OF MARCH 18:
Highlights of Letter to Brooks School Community — To provide evolving answers to questions that have come up, we've created a Coronavirus FAQ page, which includes updates in the categories of: Student Life, Academics, Athletics, College Counseling, Health & Wellness, Alumni Information, Employees and Accepted Students. New information will be added frequently and we encourage everyone to check it on a daily basis. Also, please note:
- March 23: Online classes plan will be sent out. Protocol for students approved to collect personal items on campus will be shared this week.
- March 26: Starting today, approved students may visit campus to retrieve items from their dorm room.
- March 30: Online classes begin! READ MORE
As of March 15:
Memo to Accepted Students and their Families — "Several days ago, you received an acceptance packet from Brooks School along with a letter from me, welcoming you to our community. In the handful of days since I wrote that letter, much has changed." . . . READ MORE
Letter to Brooks' Community Members — "I want to begin this letter by expressing both my hope that all of you are well during this challenging time, and my sadness to be at a point in time when dramatically altering our school's routine and schedule for the spring is upon us. On the one hand, we are remaining hopeful . . . " READ MORE
AS OF MARCH 13:
Highlights of Community Update — The spouse of a Brooks School employee tested positive for novel coronavirus disease on March 12. The person is receiving treatment and remains under quarantine at home. The employee, last on campus March 6, began self-quarantining at home on March 11 and is working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to determine an appropriate course of testing and care. The couple does not live on campus, and the spouse has not been on campus at any point during this period of time. Brooks has been advised by the DPH that there are no additional steps to take. Please note: Our deep cleaning of the school's facilities will focus particularly close attention on areas frequented by the employee and we renew our recommendation that any member of our community should seek appropriate medical attention if they experience any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
As of March 11:
Highlights of Parents' Update — We have not yet made a decision on whether we will return to school on Wednesday, March 25. The school is putting plans in place to continue academic work remotely, if needed. The final decision will be made and shared on March 18, with a comprehensive update. To date:
- All spring athletic trips (not yet departed) have been canceled. The crew teams will return from South Carolina as scheduled on Saturday.
- The campus' Community Appreciation Lunch (March 25) and Grandparents and Special Friends Day (April 18) have been canceled.
- We continue to strongly advise against any travel to “Level 2” (currently Japan) or “Level 3” (currently China, Iran, Italy, South Korea) destinations. We will require a 14-day, self-quarantine period for any member of our community who travels to or through any of these countries. As a reminder, we will not be equipped to host students on campus in need of self-quarantine. Please continue to monitor the CDC's Information for Travel to stay up-to-date.
- We are planning to limit large gatherings on campus and adhere to social-distancing guidelines in order to minimize risk. A more detailed approach will follow on March 18.
- In order to be better equipped for a range of potential scenarios in the spring, the Health & Wellness Center has been stocked with appropriate medical supplies, and the dining hall with extra food.
- We are moving forward with plans to thoroughly clean the campus ahead of students' scheduled return to campus on March 25, and continue to emphasize the importance of practicing good hygiene: washing hands regularly, covering coughs and doing all you can to reduce the risk of spreading illness.
As of March 10:
Admission Update — Brooks School is planning on hosting revisit days on April 3 and 7. However, given the rapid spread of coronavirus and the seriousness of the disease, we will be monitoring any new developments in the coming weeks. Should we determine that for health reasons it is unsafe to host large groups on campus, we will change our plans. If that is the case, we will be in touch with all accepted students via email. If you have questions, you can reach the admission office at (978) 725-6271.
As of March 5:
Travel Advisory — We are strongly advising against travel to any "Level 2" (currently Japan) or "Level 3" destination (currently China, Iran, Italy, South Korea). CDC guidelines indicate that anyone returning to the United States from a "Level 3" destination could be subject to a self-quarantine period of 14 days upon return. The school will not be equipped to host students on campus in need of self-quarantine. We, of course, do not know what additional countries might be classified as "Level 2" or "Level 3" over the next month, and ask that all contemplating international travel monitor the CDC's Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel in order to stay up to date.