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Prep holds Virtual Town Hall about reopening

On Thursday, Aug, 20, Fairfield Prep held a virtual Town Hall regarding reopening for the 2020-21 academic year. Below is the recording of the Town Hall, as well as a list of several questions that were answered during the livestream. There were also questions that were posed but unanswered.

There are also time codes for the video, listed below.

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Dress Code

1. Why was there a change to the dress code and how long will the boys be wearing the polos?

In light of the pandemic, the dress code will be temporarily altered to allow for students to wear polos during the school day when learning in person and from home. Students must wear a Prep branded polo or a solid color red, black or white polo along with the required pants and shoes. As temperatures cool, students are reminded that only Prep branded mid-layers are permitted. Dress shirts may absolutely be worn without a tie.

Students will be required to wear masks this year on camps at all times, and the masks will be considered part of the uniform. Masks must be Prep branded or of a solid color. Disposable masks will be acceptable. Neck gaiters will not be permitted.

2. Can underclassmen wear FP logo polos or just the seniors? If so, where can they be ordered?

Underclassmen are welcome to wear Prep branded polos. They can be ordered online or purchased at our new Prep Pride store. Students are also welcome to wear solid red, black or white polos or a button-down dress shirt without a tie.

3. Where do we get the masks so boys have them on the first day?

Students will be given two Prep-branded masks on their first day of class on campus.

Health & Safety

4. Will students be required to get COVID tested/provide proof of results before going to campus in person?

Students will not be required to provide a negative COVID test result to return to campus. Only the faculty will be testing prior to their return. Prep will continue to monitor the CDC and Department of Health recommendations and will work closely with Fairfield University in order to have a plan in place for student testing if the recommendations change.

5. Are you doing contact tracing? What will be the protocol if (when) a student or staff member becomes infected during the year?

Fairfield Prep will be contact tracing. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, a student’s family should immediately contact Prep through a dedicated phone line that will provide access to an administrator. The Fairfield Prep team will begin by immediately contacting the Fairfield Town Health Department as well as the Fairfield University Student Health Center.

Students and adults who had direct contact with the infected member of the community will be notified by a member of the Prep team. (Direct contact is defined as having had contact within six feet for fifteen or more minutes).

The individual who tests positive will be required to stay home and isolate for 10 days. People in close contact with that individual need to quarantine for 14 days. "Testing out" is not an option for either scenario for returning to Prep prior to the end of the quarantine period.

Students will be required to provide a doctor's note to Prep confirming he is healthy enough to return to school.

6. Can my son stay home the first few weeks while we wait and see if there are spikes? We have an elderly family member that lives with us and we want to be cautious.

Families who elect the stay at home option for their sons are asked to remain at home for the duration of the first quarter.

7. What will be the protocol for the boys changing classes and being in the hallways?

Class dismissals will be staggered in order to alleviate foot traffic in the hallways.

8. Will Prep require families who travel to restricted states to perform remote learning for 2 weeks?

At this time, students returning from COVID hotspot states will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

9. What is the LiveSafe app that is mentioned on the website?

Families are asked to verify that their sons are symptoms-free on a daily basis by completing the daily LiveSafe app questionnaire prior to arriving on campus.

10. Is there an isolation room set up, apart from the nurses office, for students who develop COVID symptoms during the school day until they can be picked up by a parent?

Two Isolation Rooms have been identified on campus apart from the Nurse’s Office.

Campus Life

11. What type of privileges will the seniors get to make this a special year for them?

Seniors will be given many new privileges throughout the year. The first will include a t-shirt that will be given to the members of the class on their first day of in-person classes. Seniors will be present for making of the gatherings on campus, which will be live-streamed to underclassmen, and seniors will be on campus as a full class on select Community Days. Lastly, there will be specific areas in the school that will be reserved just for seniors as a senior privilege.

12. How do the boys participate in after school activities on their “home days”?

Students will be able to attend club meetings via Zoom.

13. How will community service hours be done and will the number of hours be changed?

Our approach to service will be very different this year. The number of hours for each grade will be modified, as will the opportunities offered for students to earn hours. Information will be forthcoming at the beginning of the school year by both myself and the theology teachers.

Student Life Center

14. Will students be able to make use of outdoor space during lunch and free periods?

Students will have access to tents in the Quad for some of their classes and for their lunch and free periods. 

15. What will lunch look like on campus?

Due to the deployment of the hybrid/house system model of learning, the two daily lunch periods will be de-densified and seating will be distanced and restricted. Meals will be prepackaged and signage has been included throughout the Student Life Center to remind students of social distancing guidelines.

16. Do students need to bring lunch?

Lunch will be available for sale on a daily basis in the Student Life Center, but students will have the option of bringing their lunch.

17. Is there a way to see your balance on your PAC cards? especially since you can  not use cash.

PAC Card balances are available via the PrepConnect portal.


18. What support will be available for students who struggle with virtual learning? How will it be different from spring?

Students will still have a great support network in our new school structure. Students should always contact their teachers if they are struggling academically. This is the first and most important step for students to take. Faculty will have virtual office hours set up for days where students are physically present on campus or are learning from home. Faculty members are always accessible by e-mail to answer questions.

Our Director of Academic Support, Mr. Goodwin, will continue to run the NHS Peer Tutor program in a new format this year. While academic support was always provided last spring during our virtual learning period, the fact that students will be on campus 50% of the time, adults will be on campus 100% of the time, and our experience with virtual learning last spring will make us even better at offering academic support for all students.

19. Will families with multiple students in the school have their children broken out into the same house so they are in school on the same days.

Siblings will automatically be assigned to the same house.

20. Will the hybrid model be used just in the fall or is the school planning to keep the model all year long?

Our goal is to return to campus for fully in-person learning. We will evaluate our mode of instruction and learning on a weekly basis while closely monitoring the state of Connecticut's and the Town of Fairfield’s COVID numbers.

21. What will a day look like when they are learning from home?

Students will attend their classrooms synchronously, as the classroom experience will be live-streamed via Zoom. Technology has been bolstered so that our faculty will be able to interact simultaneously with students who are in the building and learning from home.

22. How many students will there be per class?

There will be an average of 12 - 14 students per in-person class.

23. Will music classes be resuming?

Music classes will be resuming in a modified format.

24. What % of students elected to do 100% distance learning.

We estimate that 7% of our Prep student body will be learning from home full-time.


25. How will you be ensuring safety in sports?

Sports will return in the fall under the guidance of the Department of Health and the CIAC. The Prep Athletic Department will go above and beyond all that is required in order to maintain a safe environment for our athletes. For more information or for any changes, please visit

26. How will sports practice work if half the school is not on campus each day?

Coaches will be flexible and accommodating of the student athletes. Students who are learning from home will be expected at practice later that afternoon.

27. Will there be people/crowds at games?

We will not have spectators at games, but select games will be live-streamed for our families.

Campus Facilities

28. Will the Prep Shuttle be running to/from the train station?

The Prep Shuttle will be running to and from the Fairfield Train Station.

29. How will safety drills (fire/lockdown) be handled?

The Town of Fairfield will be requiring fire drills this academic year, but we will be staggering dismissals from classrooms.

30. Does the parking permit get pro-rated?

Fairfield University has informed the Prep Administration that parking fees will not be prorated.

31. Has there been any consideration for trips that were rescheduled for February Break?

All travel experiences have been postponed indefinitely.

32. Will Prep have a specific drop off entrance not used by the FU faculty/staff/students?

All Prep traffic will be required/directed to enter the University campus through the new Barlow Guard Gate. Drop-offs will continue in the back of the Prep Campus.

33. Can students remain in the building after classes end or will they have to exit school immediately after their last period?

Students can remain in the building in the designated collaboration/gathering areas which will include the Student Life Center and Brissette Gym. Students attending classes in person will also be welcome to meet with their teachers for extra help and club moderators for extracurricular activities.

34. Did the school update the ventilation system to HEPA or MERV-13 filters? And/or does each classroom have a portable HEPA filter in the room?
The systems installed at Xavier have filtration at each terminal device. The fresh air is being delivered to each classroom by a dedicated outdoor air unit that is providing code required ventilation.

Video Time Codes

00:04 — Introduction by President Christian J. Cashman

06:34 — Overview from Principal Dr. Tommy de Quesada

10:49 — Classroom Layout for Academic Year with Academic Dean Tim Dee

12:32 — Fairfield Prep Reopening Page Overview

16:20 — Q&A Begins

16:35 —Will the freshmen be divided into groups for Freshmen Orientation? As well as additional questions about Freshmen Orientation.

17:31 — When will families learn in which House — Ignatius or Loyola — will their sons be a part of? When will they learn about their schedules? As well as additional questions about the House system.

19:19 — Will there be a potential for tuition refund for the 2020-21 academic year?

21:48 — Several questions regarding the change to the Dress Code for the 2020-21 academic year.

24:49 — Are we going to require our students to provide a negative COVID-19 test result before returning to school?

27:25 — Will Fairfield Prep be doing contact tracing? What will be the protocol if and when a student or staff member becomes infected during the course of the year.

28:58 — Explanation of the COVID-19 hotline.

29:35 — Can you please explain any special procedures for transfer students?

30:40 — Questions regarding siblings and carpooling for the House System.

32:20 — Dr. Cashman speaks about the House System and the need to keep the school at 50% capacity.

34:10 — Will our students be taking the practice SAT and PSAT?

35:21 — Dress Code: Will blazers be required for full school Masses if we’re assuming there won’t be full school Masses? Where can we buy the Prep polo?

37:50 — Mr. Dee walks through the change in the schedule and changes to a six-day rotating schedule.

39:49 — Transportation question: Cost of the train bus, cost of the town buses and the logistics of a drop-off at school. Will logistics be given out to families on the first day?

42:28 — Will there be adjustments to the service requirements to make sure the students receive a service experience? Dr. Andrade also reviews the retreats for this year.

44:50 — Athletics: Have we considered delaying athletics? How will sports will work if their House is at home that day?

48:59 — Several questions about lunch periods capacity of students in the Student Life Center.

51:06 — What supports are going to be available for students who are struggling through the virtual learning piece of the Prep education?

53:04 — If a student is struggling, and that support does not seem to be working, is there a possible option because of the online learning experience that he might be on campus full time?

54:10 — Peak experiences: Can you give one example of a peak experience at Fairfield Prep for the 2020-21 academic year? Reviews the new advisement program.

56:06 — Is there a protocol in place already or do we expect advice from the state or different department if a student or his family member tests positive for COVID-19? Or if someone goes home with possible symptoms.

58:00 — If a student or his family does not feel safe coming back can he stay home? If he chooses to stay home, can he come back to school once he feels comfortable?