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Over fifty years of leading lives of passion and purpose.


List of 5 items.

  • Close Contact

    Greater than 10-15 minutes within 6 feet of an individual suspected or positive for COVID-19, starting from 48 hours before symptoms onset (for an asymptomatic COVID-19 person, 48 hours before testing)
  • COVID-19 Positive

    A person has had a Positive COVID-19 test from one of the two following approved tests:
    • Positive RT-PCR COVID-19 (molecular test) or
    • Quidel Sofia antigen test conducted within 5 days of symptom onset
  • Isolation

    Refers to separation of people who are ill and have the potential to infect those around them. 
    • If a Derryfield community member is has tested positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms associated with COVID-19, the individual will need to stay home from school and isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms AND must be 1 day without symptoms and fever-free (without fever-reducing meds) before returning to school. The individual must be asymptomatic at the end of quarantine to return. 
    • If test results of a symptomatic individual are negative for COVID-19 using one of the approved testing methods, AND the person’s symptoms are improving and is fever-free for at least 24 hours off any fever-reducing medications, the individual may return to school.
  • Pooled Testing

    Pooled testing gathers samples from 2-24 individuals and combines them into one sample to test. This limits the need for unnecessary individual testing and prioritizes further testing of only positive pools. Each pool is tested and if a pool tests positive, those 24 samples are paired and the 12 paired samples are then tested to identify which pair or pairs have a positive result. Whichever pair or pairs test positive are then run in a third round to determine which individual test is positive. For more detailed information on Pooled Testing click here.
  • Quarantine

    A practice used to separate a well person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill.
    • If a Derryfield community member has had close contact (Greater than 10-15 minutes within 6 feet of an individual suspected or positive for COVID-19) with an individual suspected or positive for COVID-19 starting from 48 hours before symptoms onset. (For an asymptomatic COVID-19 person, 48 hours before testing), the close contact will be required to stay home from school and self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of last contact. 
    • If a Derryfield community member has traveled in the prior 14 days outside of New England (outside of NH, VT, ME, MA, CT, RI)  they will be required to stay home from school and self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of travel.
    • Individuals who are asymptomatic close contacts or who have traveled outside of New England cannot test out of 14 day self-quarantine.

Key Contacts

List of 6 items.

Fall 2021 Protocols

An Update from the Head of School

Dear Students and Families,

In just about a week, my dog Hefty and I will be welcoming students as they arrive on the first day of school. Classmates, faculty, and staff will share warm greetings - a familiar, joyful sight. 

So much about the year will be back to normal: the matriculation assembly, the class schedule, the myriad of opportunities in new courses, Explorations, the arts, athletics, and extracurriculars. We are still persisting through a pandemic, and thus, adaptations remain. For a full explanation of those adaptations and the science behind them, please watch this Fireside Chat of my conversation with our Fusion Cell consultant, Mike Klingshirn. As I state every time I talk about pandemic precautions, we will be flexible and alter our practices as scientific studies are published, as the number of new cases per 100,000 changes in New Hampshire, or as our lived experience requires. 

Our Fusion Cell advisors helped us to plan a healthy, successful school year in 2020-21. This year, their advice is informed by a greater body of medical and scientific research based on studies of schools and organizations across the globe. For example, last year our students were distanced six feet apart in classrooms until March when published research supported three-foot distancing. You will hear on the Fireside Chat that, as the school year progresses, some guidelines may be altered based upon scientific studies. 

Fusion Cell sees Derryfield as having favorable conditions that make our school completely different from a hospital, business, or public school:
  • Last year, our community members’ behavior on and off campus was compliant with health guidelines. 
  • Even without vaccines, our many health layers protected us and we only had a handful of positive COVID-19 tests.
  • This August, our vaccination rate is very high (over 87% for students, over 93% for faculty and staff) and still rising.
  • New Hampshire's new case rates are lower than most of the US. 
As a result of these favorable conditions and current research, the School will now:
  • Permit students to wear their own two- or three-ply masks. Lightweight, paper surgical masks will be provided at school. 
  • Determine if and when vaccine-eligible students (those in grades 7-12) will have the option to remain masked or remove their masks in certain classroom settings. Decisions will be based upon: 
    • The size and layout of a given classroom.
    • The classroom dynamic and students’ ability to follow directions and distancing guidelines.
    • Private health concerns related to the people in a class.
    • The activities planned for the lesson. 
  • Permit mask breaks to be indoors. 
Here’s to an enriching, excellent year of learning and growing for all!

Be well,
Mary Halpin Carter, Ph.D. P’13, P16, P’18
Head of School

The Derryfield School

2108 River Road, Manchester, NH 03104     p: 603.669.4524     f: 603.625.9715