Preschool through Grade 12

Operations and Campus Experience

  • In Elementary School, students will be grouped by grade into groups, or cohorts, that will attend classes and school activities together, with minimal interaction indoors with other cohorts to the extent possible. Cohorts may be mixed outdoors as needed. In the Middle School and in the Upper School,  each School/Division will be considered its own cohort.
  • During Garderie, students will stay in their cohorts to the extent possible but may be mixed.
  • Teachers and assistants will not be assigned to specific cohorts.
  • Large gatherings in person such as assemblies will be avoided and conducted virtually to the extent possible. 
  • Sharing of educational materials will be allowed, with the exception of musical wind instruments.
  • Drinking fountains will be shut down, and drinking directly from the water fountains will not be possible. The School has installed fountains (including outdoors) with bottle fillers. Students are asked to bring a reusable bottle with their name clearly marked on it. No more plastic cups will be available at the Front Desk.

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How will students eat lunch? Will the cafeteria be open?

  • The cafeteria will be open for Grades 1 and above. Students in Maternelle will have lunch in their classroom. Students will eat outside when possible.
  • Our caterer, “Season to Taste,” will deliver individually-packaged lunches to students by classrooms. Meals will be delivered in insulated carriers to the school entrances and brought inside by ISB personnel. The packaging is compostable. There will be a limited number of emergency hot lunches available at a cost of $15 each for students who arrive at school without a meal. Families will be able to order meals online directly through “Season to Taste,” starting later in August. 

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Will Garderie or Study Hall be open?

  • Yes, the Garderie and Study Hall will be open. Contact Catherine Bastien for Elementary School and Nicole Hanover for Middle School. Information about vacation week camps will be available in the Weekly Update.
  • Parents picking up their children from Garderie or Study Hall should ring the bell, announce the name of the student they are picking up, and wait outside. Elementary School students will be escorted to the door by school personnel.
  • Health & Safety policies will apply during Garderie, Study Hall, and camps. To the extent possible, students will stay within their cohort, but it may not be possible in all instances.

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Will after-school activities be available?

After-school activities such as sports and clubs will be available. A preview of Fall 2022 clubs for Preschool & Kindergarten and Lower School is currently listed on the Parent Portal. Please note these clubs are subject to change. Further information will be provided in the Weekly Update. Questions? Contact Catherine Bastien or  Nicole Hanover.

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Will there be field trips?

Yes, we expect to organize local and overnight field trips, subject to community rates of transmission. Information on field trips will be communicated by homeroom teachers and/or will appear in the Weekly Update. All health and safety protocols will apply during these field trips, and cohorts will be maintained to the extent possible during travel. The School is currently planning overnight field trips for Fall 2022 and Spring 2023, subject to health conditions and travel advisories.

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How will the library work?

The Lower School Library is currently undergoing renovation and will be closed to visitors until further notice. Families will be able to request books from the library and they will be delivered to their children. Information will be forthcoming in future Weekly Updates.

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How will drop-off and dismissal work?

  • Drop-off times are organized with different building entrances assigned by grade. School personnel will be on hand to direct students straight into their classrooms. At each entrance, students will be required to sanitize their hands. Parents are asked not to enter the school and not to gather in front of the school.
    Car drop-off will follow the carpool lanes. Students arriving by school buses will disembark in a staggered manner, row by row.
    Grades 1 to 5 will be dropped off at the gate at the bottom of the main playground (next to the Church). In case of inclement weather, Grades 2 to 5 will be dropped off at the Gym door, and Grade 1 will be dropped off at the main door of Building 4.

  • Dismissal may be staggered and conducted through assigned exit doors/pickup areas. To pick up Elementary School students, parents should park and wait for their child in the designated pickup zone by grade (see maps). If it is raining, please come to the pickup door by grade. Middle and Upper School students will meet their parents outside.

    ◦    Maternelle and Grade 1: Building 4
    ◦    Grade 2 and 3: Door D Building 2
    ◦    Grade 4 and 5: Door B Building 2
    ◦   See the specific door information provided by the Elementary School Division.

  • Elementary School parents will be able to pick up their students inside their classrooms on Fridays.
  • Parking in the Gym lot is permitted for afternoon pickup. Parking consideration (parking without a resident permit) is in effect from 7:30 to 9:00 AM and from 2:45 to 4:00 PM within the area framed by Massachusetts Avenue, Alewife Brook Parkway (Route 16), Churchill Avenue, and Matignon Road (see Map 2). 
  • For the safety of all, the playgrounds and the front lawn of the school will not be available after pickup. We ask parents not to enter the buildings.
  • Please respect our friendly neighbor, The Cambridge Matignon School, and do not park on their grounds. Also, we ask that ISB families not use the lawn in front of The Cambridge Matignon School.
  • In case of a tardy dropoff or early pickup, parents should ring the bell, and school personnel will escort the student to or from their classroom. Secondary school students will walk to their classrooms on their own.

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How will the ISB bus service operate?

  • Transportation service will be offered Monday through Friday, starting Thursday, September 1, 2022, to Wednesday, June 14, 2023, in accordance with the school calendar. There will be two routes:
    • Mattapan-South End-Back Bay-Charlestown-Davis Square-ISB
    • Lexington-Belmont-Arlington-ISB
  • Bus service will be offered on a first-come/first-served basis, with priority given to returning students. Please see the Parent Portal for routes, schedules, and fees. To sign up or if you have questions, please contact Karen Sturla.
  • Bus windows will be kept open at all times, except in extreme weather. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance to the bus.
  • Cambridge Public Schools will offer busing starting September 6, 2022,  to Cambridge residents with students aged 4 through Grade 8. To learn more or to sign up, please contact Karen Sturla.

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Can we carpool?

Yes, you can carpool. Find families living in your neighborhood by searching the Family Directory on the Parent Portal.

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Who will be allowed to enter the school buildings?

  • Even though parent participation in school life is very important, parents will typically not be permitted in school buildings as extensively as was previously the case. This is in order to continue protecting the health and safety of our community. To meet with an ISB administrator or teacher, please make an appointment.
  • Elementary School parents will be able to pick up their students inside their classrooms on Fridays.
  • Visitors will be limited to essential persons whose engagement is mission-critical. Any contractors will be scheduled outside of school hours to the extent possible. 

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Will community events (back to school night, PTO, community meetings, etc) be back in person?

Yes!  Decisions on whether events will be held in-person or virtually will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration health conditions in the school and the local community. Invitations will be sent out closer to the date.

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Page updated Tuesday, August 23rd.