Preschool through Grade 12

Operations and Campus Experience

  • A typical school day at ISB will now be different from when we were in the classrooms last. It will take an adjustment and patience from all of us to get used to the new ways of teaching and learning on campus, but together, we will make the best of it.
  • Students will be grouped into smaller, grade-level cohorts that will attend classes together, with minimal interaction with other cohorts. Large spaces such as the art room and the Media Center will now be used as classrooms, and the student lounge will not be available.
  • Movement will be limited throughout the school and students will spend most of their time in the same classroom or set of classrooms with their cohorts. There will be no large gatherings such as assemblies or cross-grade meetings - those will take place safely online.
  • Lockers will not be available in order to limit the time spent in the hallways and in close proximity. Students will be expected to keep all their belongings in class, in a dedicated area.
  • Lunch will be held in classrooms or outside when possible. Upper School students will not be able to order delivery due to strict visitor restrictions. The vending machine will not be in service. Regrettably, we will no longer be able to bring in food to share for birthday celebrations and special occasions.
  • Water fountains with hand-push buttons will be shut down and drinking directly from the water fountains will no longer be possible. Only fountains with bottle fillers will be operational. Students are asked to bring a reusable bottle with their name clearly labeled on it.
  • We will build in time for being outside and for mask breaks each day. Playground areas will operate at a reduced capacity on a rotation schedule, and new areas such as the front lawn or the back of Building 4 may be used to maximize access to the outdoors.

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

  • The cafeteria will not be open. Students will have lunch in their classroom or outside when possible, while maintaining 6’ of distancing.
  • Hot Lunch service will deliver individually-packaged lunches to students in their classrooms. Meals will be delivered in insulated carriers to the school entrances and brought inside by ISB personnel. We are also working with the caterer on safety and cleaning protocols for food preparation, food packaging, and food delivery. There will be a limited number of emergency hot lunches at a cost of $15 each, for students who arrive without a meal. Families will be able to order meals on-line, directly through our caterer “Season to Taste,” starting later in August.
  • Upper School students will not be able to order delivery due to strict visitor restrictions. The vending machine will be disabled.
  • Students should bring labelled personal water bottles to school and refill them at contactless water-bottle-refilling stations.

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Will Garderie or Study Hall be open?

  • Yes. The Garderie and Study Hall will take place in the classrooms where social distance can be maintained and with everyone wearing masks. Students will remain with their regular school-day cohort.
  • We will not be able to accommodate drop-ins, so please be sure to sign up in advance for the garderie. Contact Catherine Bastien for Elementary and Martine Goldberg for Middle School. 
  • Parents picking up their children will 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 the school personnel.
  • There will be no vacation week camps this year to allow for deep cleanings of the school during vacation weeks. 

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Will after-school activities be available?

After-school activities such as clubs will be postponed at least until the October break, pending a safe and successful reopening.

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Will there be field trips?

There will be no field trips for the time being.

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How will the library work?

  • The libraries will not be open, but Middle and Upper School students will be able to reserve books through the online catalog for delivery to the classrooms within 48h. Books can be returned to the mobile cart outside each library and will be “quarantined” for 96h after use before they can be delivered to another student. Information will be shared later in August.
  • As in the past, our Librarians will supply classrooms in all divisions with books for specific projects.
  • Each Elementary School classroom will have its own small library managed by the teacher.

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How will drop-off and dismissal work?

  • Drop off times are staggered 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 hands. Parents are asked not to enter the school nor 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.
  • Tardy slips will be waived during the month of September, while we all get accustomed to the new procedures. 
  • Dismissal may be staggered and conducted through assigned exit doors/pick-up areas. To pick up Elementary School students, parents should park and wait in the designated pick-up zone by grade (see map below) for their child. If it is raining, please come to the pick-up door by grade (see Rain Map). Middle and Upper School students will meet their parents outside.
  • Parking in the Gym lot is permitted for afternoon pick-up. Parking consideration (parking without 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 pick-up. We ask parents not to enter the buildings and to keep safe distance and to wear a mask while in front of the school.
  • In case of a tardy drop-off or early pick-up, parents should ring the bell, and school personnel will escort the student to or from their room. Secondary school students will walk to their classroom on their own.

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Drop-Off Entrances by Grade Level

Elementary Parent Pick-Up Zones

Please wait in the designated area by Grade for your Elementary students. 

How will the ISB bus service operate?

  • Transportation service will be offered Monday through Friday, starting Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 through Wednesday, June 16th, 2021, following 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 details on routes, schedules, and fees, and the COVID-19 protocols letter from the bus operator. To sign up or if you have questions, please contact Kate Allen.
  • All staff and students on the bus, regardless of age, will be required to wear masks at all times. Windows will be kept open at all times, except in extreme weather. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance of the bus and food and drinks will not be permitted.
  • Students will be assigned to a bus and a seat on the bus, with one student per bench, alternating sides for each row to allow for 3’ of physical distance. Children from the same household will be able to sit together. Students will embark and disembark by row.
  • The daily screening on the Magnus Health App will have to be completed before 6:30 AM in order for the student to be allowed to board the bus. Should a student develop COVID-19 symptoms during the school day, they will need to be picked up by a parent or guardian, as they will not be permitted to board the bus.
  • Cambridge Public School is offering a limited bus program starting Tuesday, October 13th to Cambridge residents with students in Mid-K through Grade 3. To learn more or sign up, please contact Kate Allen.

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Who will be allowed to enter the school buildings?

  • Even though parent participation in the school life is very important, this year, for safety reasons, parents will not be permitted in the school buildings. There will also be no events hosted at school. There will be a box outside the main entrances to drop lunchboxes and deliveries.
  • Visitors will be limited to only absolutely essential persons whose engagement is mission-critical. Any contractors will be scheduled outside of school hours to the extent possible.
  • Anyone who is exceptionally allowed to enter the school will have to wear a mask, sanitize hands, and undergo the same health screening required for students and faculty and staff each day.

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Will the parking rules change? Can Upper School students park at school?

Traffic and parking protocols will remain the same as last year. Upper School students who wish to park should request a parking sticker with the Dean of Students.

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What are the recommendations for those taking public transportation, or biking to school?

  • For the safety of all, masks are required on the school grounds, including parking lots.
  • Individuals using public transportation should respect physical distancing and wear masks and gloves. Please discard any gloves at the end of your ride and sanitize hands when entering the school.
  • Students and staff biking to school should wear masks (and a helmet - it’s the law!). Our bike racks are 3’ apart so please respect physical distancing when un/locking your bike.

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This page was last updated on: September 10th, 2020.