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Sept. 17 Reopening Update and Next Steps

Dear Northwood Families: 

I am writing today with a brief update on our plan to reopen Northwood. 

Present Status 

Our three rounds of assurance testing have concluded with no positive cases of COVID-19 in the Northwood School Community. We have successfully begun the school year virus free. That is an impressive accomplishment that required the commitment of our entire community. Our plan is working, but we must remain vigilant. A recent outbreak among the staff and residents of a nearby nursing home have reminded us how quickly the virus can spread in residential settings, so we will continue to take protective measures to keep our students, faculty, support staff and families safe and Protect Our Pack.  

Next Steps 

Next week we begin surveillance testing, which is a program of testing a cross-section of our population of students and employees every week to monitor for the presence of the virus. Positive cases will result in the isolation of the person who tests positive and additional testing and quarantine of close contacts.  

The weekly testing clinic is on Tuesday morning. Each week, we will test 15% of our school’s population consisting of day/boarding students from all cohorts and employees. Students and employees will be randomly chosen for testing and will be notified well in advance to report to the Health Center for a test. There is no charge to families or employees for surveillance testing. 

Leaving Campus and Visitors 

We have had numerous inquiries from families about visiting their students here in Lake Placid or having their students come home for a weekend. For the time being, we are not permitting students to leave campus, unless on a school-sanctioned and supervised trip with their class or co-curricular activity, including attending local religious services. We also ask families to continue to refrain from coming to campus to visit with their students. We expect to allow such visits soon and next week we will share guidelines for families wishing to come to Lake Placid. In the meantime, I call your attention to the FAQ  we have written to clarify expectations about the “new normal” at Northwood School. 

As always, thank you for your support and encouragement. 


John Spear  Assistant Head for School Life