Updated CDC guidelines mean Upper School returns to full on-campus learning

Monday, April 26, 2021 marked the first day in over a year that all Upper School students at Carolina Day School were together on campus 5-days-per-week for classes. Prior to this date, the Upper School division at Carolina Day has been in a rolling campus mode.

This return to full in-person learning is a result of recent adjustments the CDC made to guidelines that affect schools. In adjusting their guidelines, the CDC says students can now safely sit 3 feet apart in the classroom as long as they wear masks, but should be kept the usual 6 feet away from one another at sporting events, lunch, and breaks.

The revised recommendations represent a turn away from the 6-foot standard that has sharply limited how many students some schools can accommodate. At CDS, the 6-foot distancing standard in classrooms has been the main factor for the Upper School division remaining in rolling campus mode since August. While it has allowed for students to be on campus two days a week, school officials acknowledge that this has not been ideal for students’ social connection and emotional wellness.

The availability of COVID-19 vaccinations also factors into Carolina Day School’s decision for a full return to campus in the Upper School. CDS employees have been proactive about obtaining COVID-19 vaccinations with 117 of Carolina Day’s 137 faculty and staff vaccinated to-date (plus 11 substitutes), and more expected. Many eligible Upper School students, ages 16 and up, are also obtaining vaccinations. Safety protocols are still in place, including protocols specific to athletics, being fully aware that COVID-19 is still a factor in North Carolina.

“We are pleased to bring Upper School students back to 5-days-per-week on campus learning,” said Head of School Stephanie Whitney. “We're planning fun end-of-year events on campus for our students, and are doing everything we can to ensure that COVID does not thwart these efforts and that we can remain on campus fully until the end of the year.”