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Coronavirus

Welcome from our Head of School

As we start our Autumn term, I would like to welcome our new and returning students who joined us on 7th September. It is lovely to see the school full of young people eager to learn and make new friends. Our vibrant, multicultural community is busy once again. 
 
To the parents of our new and returning students, I would also like to extend a warm welcome to you too. I have enjoyed speaking to many of you over recent months about the provision we have in place to care and educate your child. It is encouraging to know that many of our parents and students believe that despite recent global challenges, the education of our young people remains important and should be championed.

I want to personally reassure you how important the welfare of our school communities, including students and staff, is to myself and our leadership team. We have a team dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest guidance and measures to ensure our school communities remain safe so our young people can focus on achieving excellence in a protected environment. 
 
As we continue our journey together through the next school year, any changes to guidance that affect our school will be communicated to our students and parents through our Student Services team and our website. 
 
Over the next several weeks, I will continue to communicate regular updates as our new students settle into life at CATS Academy. In the meantime, if any of our students or parents have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
 
I look forward to communicating with you in my next announcement.
 
Kind regards,
 
Ben Bonaventura
Head of School, CATS Academy


The following communications have been sent:

Our plan for opening this September

Dear All,

The entire team here at CATS Academy Boston are busy preparing to reopen our beautiful campus this September. While this is very exciting, we understand that you may have questions around what school life will look and feel like due to the COVID19 pandemic. This page is dedicated to reopening procedures and protocols that we will share with you as soon as they are finalized. All of our decisions are based on the guidance of our federal and state governments along with the medical advice from the CDC and our local medical team. It is our aim to go above and beyond any legal requirements or recommendations from health officials to ensure the safety of our students and our staff. Please feel free to bookmark this page so that you can check back periodically to see updates and announcements as they are released.

We can’t wait to see you again, be safe and well.

Best,


Ben Bonaventura - Head of School 

CATS Academy's response

In light of the escalating situation relating to the spread of the coronavirus we have had to review and revise our plans for the academic year to ensure we can continue to protect and care for our entire school community. Therefore, as already announced we will be delaying the commencement of all on campus activities until further notice. It is our aim to re-open the school and deliver face-to-face classes as soon as possible. However, this is dependent on how the outbreak develops in the coming days and weeks. We will deliver courses online via our online learning environment beginning March 30 and will continue this instruction until further notice. The website and social media will be updated as necessary.

To ensure our students, parents and partners are informed and confident in our preparation for September we will host a series of online Q&A’s and implementing a pledge which incorporates a variety of measures to ensure that our school communities are safe.

From smaller class sizes, a heightened cleaning regime, PPE equipment, social distancing and increasing welfare support, to blended learning and regular health checks.

Further details can be found on our dedicated parent and student hub, here.

Read our pledge and join our Q&A sessions

At CATS College, our mission is to provide teaching excellence to young academics so they can be their best and achieve a top place at university. Despite recent challenges we as a school and as a global community have faced, we remain dedicated to continuing our mission.

As we look towards the new academic year, our teachers and academic support teams are focused on the health and wellbeing of our students, and that is our biggest priority between now and September. We want our students to feel safe and confident about learning and living on our campuses.

As such, we are implementing a pledge which incorporates a variety of measures to ensure that our school communities are safe. From smaller class sizes, a heightened cleaning regime, PPE equipment, social distancing and increasing welfare support, to blended learning and regular health checks.

As we implement these changes, we want to include you in the conversation and invite you to join in our online summit on Friday 3rd July, where you will be able to speak to our academic leadership team about the preparations we're making for this September. Because at CATS College We Care.

Revised Cancellation Policy

LAST UPDATED: 8 JULY 2020 (PREVIOUSLY UPDATED: 26 MAY 2020)

We have revised our cancellation policy to allow greater flexibility, and to ensure you can book with confidence during these unprecedented times. Our revised policy means that booking with us is risk free. The policy includes guidance for:

  1. Students who have to cancel due to COVID-19
  2. Students who wish to cancel due to general concerns
    1. Cancellation for new students
    2. Withdrawal for current students

Read the full policy here.

April 03rd 2020

Online learning continues until the end of semester -  April 03rd 2020

Dear Parents and Students,

I hope this email finds you well at home or in a safe place. During these uncertain times, the safety of our students is our utmost importance. Therefore, I am writing to inform you that our classes will continue online for the remainder of the Spring Semester.

To ensure our students remain safe and healthy during this global pandemic and to avoid any unnecessary disruption to studies, classes, assignments and teacher support will continue online until the end of Semester.

Our approach to online learning

We have been in touch with all our students to schedule class times and assignments that accommodate their learning needs. We will continue to deliver the same high levels of teaching and support to ensure our students get the most out of online learning. It is important that you are fully engaged with your online classes and complete your assignments by the due date so an accurate record can be maintained by your teachers. For details of our approach to online learning please download our guide.

I would like to thank you all for your attendance this week as we kicked off our first week of classes online. It was great to see so many of you participating in group discussions, projects and one-to-one sessions.

Please see below our FAQs which will hopefully answer some of your questions, if you have any further queries please reply to this email.

Will the campus reopen before the end of Semester?
To ensure our students remain safe and healthy during this global pandemic and to avoid any unnecessary disruption to studies, classes, assignments and teacher support will continue online until the end of Semester.

Will I receive any refunds towards my boarding fees?
We will be issuing a $1,000 refund for room and board to all seniors and students not returning to CATS Academy Boston in September. Students who are reenrolling for the 2020-21 school year will get a $1,000 credit issued to their room and board for the upcoming school year. There is no refund for tuition as all students will earn a full academic year of credit for the 2019-20 school year provided they complete all the course requirements.

What will happen to my belongings?
We will professionally pack and store all student items left in the room at no cost to the family. The boxes, up to four boxes per student, will be stored in a secure facility until October 1, 2020. Returning students and students entering college in the fall can obtain their goods when they return to Massachusetts. Any packages that have to be mailed home will be shipped home at the expense of the family. These shipping fees will be deducted from the security deposit paid at the beginning of the school year.

Will I receive academic credit for courses enrolled in the year?
Students will receive academic credit for course work this year IF students continue with the online instruction being provided by CATS Academy Boston AND successfully complete and pass assessments given in each enrolled course. Students will graduate IF successfully fulfilled graduation requirements published in 2019- 2020 CATS Academy Student Handbook.

AP Exams provided by CollegeBoard will take place online. All students enrolled in AP courses at CATS Academy Boston are encouraged to take their subject specific test with CollegeBoard.

Will Prom still take place this year?
Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, this year’s prom will no longer be taking place. We understand this may be disappointing for many of you, so we are looking into ways to set up a virtual prom using video conferencing.

Will we still have a Graduation ceremony?
So long as it is safe and permitted, we intend to hold a graduation ceremony mid-late August, accommodating to college start dates. This will also be live streamed for anyone who can’t attend, and all students will receive their certificate whether that is in person or via postal service.

Will you pay for my flights that have been cancelled?
We will not be paying for any flights that have been cancelled because of the Coronavirus. We recommend that you contact the airline directly who will have a refund policy in place to deal with these cancellations.

Be well and I look forward to building an online community with you all.

Very best,
Ben Bonaventura
Head of School

March 31st 2020

Health Insurance -  March 31st 2020

You're covered - our health insurance policy

We know that the current situation regarding the coronavirus is causing concern in regards to our students health insurance and whether you are covered for COVID-19 related costs. We want to reassure you that you are covered for the following:

  • Any COVID-19 related costs
  • All other illnesses under regular policy
  • Due to an exclusion suspension you are now covered in all countries, including your home country, for the balance of this policy year (expires June 14th 2020)

The standard policy provided is a 10 month policy, which covers our academic year, this will expire June 14th 2020. If you wish to extend your policy to 12 months (expires August 14th 2020) this will be an additional $150.

If you would like to extend your health insurance policy or have any further questions, please contact Julie Gwin (Lead Nurse): jgwin@catsboston.com

March 30th 2020

I-20 Q&A -  March 30th 2020

Hello everyone

It was great seeing all of you this morning 😊!

I know that you have some questions regarding your I-20 status. Below you will find the answers to most of the questions asked this morning, please let me know if you have any others regarding you F-1 status.

CATS Academy has switched to fully online instruction, what does this mean for my current student status?

A. You must maintain your full course load and show progress in all classes to remain in active status . Please check your CANVAS Account – if you are having trouble logging into CANVAS please contact, Mr. Rogers drogers@catsboston.com AND Mrs. Sheridan ksheridan@catsboton.com

Due to COVID 19, we will be out of the country for more than 5 months, will I maintain Active Status?

A. Yes, under current conditions, if an active F student leaves the United States to complete the spring term online, their SEVIS record should remain in Active status and not be terminated. While the temporary measures related to COVID-19 are in place, students deemed to be maintaining status if they are making normal progress in their course of study. For that reason, the five-month temporary absence provision addressed in 8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(4) will not apply for students who remain in Active status.

How will I have my I-20 signed?

A. Yes, due to COVID-19, we are allowed to electronically send Forms I-20 to student email addresses listed in your student record.
B. CATS will be sending scanned signed copy to you this June, with a new signature

College transfers, How will my I-20 be transferred to my selected university/ college?

A. Please continue to send your transfer forms to Mr. Hooks. He will sign the forms and send them to the college/university that you will be attending.
B. Your I-20 will be transferred on June 1 to your selected school
C. Please remember once your I-20 is transferred it cannot be reversed if you change your mind and decide to attend another school

- Amber Gunther (Director of Enrollment and External Affairs)

A note from our CEO: Chris Stacey

A note from our CEO: Chris Stacey -  March 27th 2020

We know that the current situation concerning the coronavirus is having a significant impact on our lives. I want to let you know what we are doing to protect the health and wellbeing of our school communities - our students, our staff, and their families.

We are continually monitoring the guidelines and advice provided by the Governments and public health bodies of the countries that we operate.

As a result, we are adapting our provision. Central to our decision-making remains the safety and welfare of our students and staff.

Our promise

View the full statement here 

March 25th 2020

CATS Academy closure update -  March 25th 2020

Dear Students,

I hope this email finds all of you safe and healthy at home or in a safe place. The school campus will be closed until further notice and we will begin our online instruction beginning Monday, March 30. This email will detail the plan for CATS Academy Boston online learning and support services for all of you. If you have questions about your course work please contact your teachers. Otherwise, if you or your parents have specific questions you can contact people at the bottom of this email. Good luck and “see” you online next week!

  • Online Courses will begin Monday, March 30 and will continue until further notice
  • The Administration will host an 8:00 am Zoom Welcome and Question and Answer Period for students who would like to join. An invitation will be forwarded within the next few days
  • Advisors will contact you via Canvas over the next few days to answer any general questions
  • Teachers will contact you via Canvas beginning Monday to schedule class times and assignments. Some classes will be live online courses through Zoom but if you are unavailable or unable to join the live class you can access the recorded lessons through Canvas
  • You are expected to complete all assignments by the due date so an accurate record can be maintained by each teacher
  • Students can contact the following people for direct answers regarding any questions or concerns

Be well and know that we miss seeing you on campus. Looking forward to the day when we can all gather together as a community.

Very Best,

Ben Bonaventura

March 23rd 2020

CATS Academy closure update -  March 23rd 2020

Good Morning Students and CATS Academy Boston Community,

Welcome back to what would have been the first day of school after Spring Break. As you are aware, we postponed classes until one week from today until March 30th, and all lessons will be delivered online. We have an online faculty meeting this Wednesday to finalize all details for distance learning. You will then receive an email outlining the final plans for the near future. It is not possible to say when or if we will return to campus this semester as the coronavirus has hit the United States particularly hard these last few weeks. I will update you all on Thursday about how we will be moving forward with online instruction. I hope you are all taking care of yourselves and your loved ones at this very stressful time. We miss you on campus and look forward to the day we can all gather together again.

  • Governor Charles Baker of Massachusetts has ordered a statewide stay-at-home advisory
  • All CATS Academy Boston employees are working from home until further notice
  • The campus remains open with a skeletal crew to ensure the proper security of the buildings and campus
  • All on-campus activities have been cancelled until further notice
  • The prom and graduation, although in jeopardy, have not been officially cancelled at this time rapidly
  • All student rooms are secured and personal property is safe
  • If necessary, room packing can be handled by CATS personnel or outside resources so students do not have to return to pack their rooms
  • Please follow the advice of experts for self-care during this time: social distancing, exercise, meditation, proper nutrition
  • Please refer to the following websites for the most current news for CATS Boston and COVID-19

Have a good day and speak to all of you on Wednesday. Be well!

March 16th 2020

CATS Academy closure update -  March 16th 2020

Dear Students,

I hope you are all doing well during this COVID-19 pandemic. It is a time unlike any other time in our history so please understand your safety is our utmost importance. By now you should either be home or have finalized plans to travel home. We have communicated with you through various means-emails, social media, texts, and phone calls.

Here is the latest information:

  • You should either stay home or finalize plans to travel home as soon as possible
  • Please update Reach so we know where you are at this point or when and where you plan to travel
  • School and dorms will be closed until further notice
  • We do plan to reopen if possible but no date has been scheduled as things change daily
  • All spring athletics have been cancelled
  • Prom and graduation are still scheduled but will be determined at a later date
  • Please do not listen to any rumors as many have already been spread
  • All information will be updated on our website and social media 

Our primary focus is your health and safety. Please practice social distancing and good hygiene. Be well and stay tuned for any updates.

March 13th 2020

CATS Academy closure update - March 13th 2020

Dear CATS Academy Community,

Yesterday we announced that we will be delaying the commencement of this semester due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak in the United States.  Understandably, members of our community had some questions for us, in the interests of all members of our community we have collated the most common questions along with our responses below. 

Should I return to the campus on the 22nd March?

The campus remains closed at this time, please do not return to the campus. If your child is home they should stay home until further notice. If your child is in the United States or another country we recommend they fly home as soon as possible before more restrictions are placed on travel. 

Can I retrieve items from my dorm room?

The dorms remain closed, however, students are able to go to their rooms to gather any personal items from 9AM-2PM Monday-Friday and 10AM-6PM on March 14th & 15th as well as March 21st & 22nd. Please text or call the Residential Life number (+1-617-610-5635) when you reach the campus and a staff member will be able to take you to the dorm.

Will the school year be extended into June?

It is our aim to re-open the school and deliver face-to-face classes as soon as is possible, however this is of course dependent on how the outbreak develops in the coming days and weeks. In the event that face-to-face classes aren’t possible we aim to deliver courses online via our online learning environment. It is unclear whether this will require an extension to the academic year at this time, as the situation develops we will keep you updated.

Will I still get credit for this semester?

Yes, it is our aim to allow students to complete their courses of study face-to-face or if this isn’t possible, online. Graduating students will still be able to graduate and other students will be able to progress to the next grade.

Will CATS Academy provide accommodation for students until the school re-opens?

The campus remains closed at this time, please do not return to the campus. If your child is home they should stay home until further notice. If your child is in the United States or another country we recommend they fly home as soon as possible before more restrictions are placed on travel. 

Will the school further delay commencement if the situation worsens?

We are working with all local and federal outlets to ensure that we are acting in the best interests of students, staff, families and the local community. As the situation develops, so will our response to it.

My student is currently on a Spring Break trip with Stafford House, can they stay at the school once the program is finished?

The campus remains closed at this time, please do not return to the campus. If your child is home they should stay home until further notice. If your child is in the United States or another country we recommend they fly home as soon as possible before more restrictions are placed on travel. 

Does the CATS Academy Medical insurance cover students for medical costs incurred due to the virus?

We have received the following communication from our medical insurance provider. “Treatment of the Coronavirus is eligible for reimbursement - There is no exclusion in your plan for pandemics/epidemics.”

Has the deadline of March 30th for re-enrollment been extended?

We anticipate that we will be fully operational long before the commencement of the Fall semester, please continue to let us know your intentions as per the original schedule. 

We are reviewing and revising our policies daily as the outbreak develops in the United States. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to ensure the safest and most productive environment for your child. As always, be well and contact me if you have any other questions. 

March 12th 2020

CATS Academy closure update -  March 12th 2020

Update: Commencement of the semester has been postponed by 2 weeks.

In light of the most events occurring in the United States we have had to review and revise our plans for the academic year. As you are fully aware the COVID-19 virus or commonly known as the coronavirus has become a worldwide pandemic. Many countries, including the United States, have experienced a sudden and dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases. After much consultation, including our Board of Governors, we have revised our plan for the near future. Student safety is almost our primary concern and given the state of the affairs in the United States and Massachusetts we are planning the following:

  • Commencement of the semester has been postponed by 2 weeks.
  • ­Students can return to campus the weekend of April 4-5
  • ­Classes will begin on Monday, April 6
  • ­Teachers will provide online education beginning the week of March 30 as they need time to prepare and convert lessons from the classroom to online

What should you do now?

  • ­Students should not return to the campus as planned, please stay at home or with relatives.
  • ­Students who arrive at the campus will not be accepted, if your student needs assistance please reply to this email and let us know the situation.
  • ­Plan to arrive back on campus the weekend of April 4-5 – however, we highly recommend that you book flexible flights, this is a developing situation and we may have to push back commencement further depending on the future developments.
  • ­Please monitor emails for further updates from CATS Academy.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding. We will continue to study the COVID-19 situation as it affects our students and staff members. If necessary, we will modify our plans and inform you of any changes as they occur. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  

March 11th 2020

CATS Academy closure update - March 11th 2020

Dear Students,

I hope you are enjoying your time off from school. While you are still away I want to update you on the latest developments of the coronavirus and how we are handling the situation. Please see the information below. In addition, you will receive a Survey Monkey about your travel and people you may have contacted from countries designated by the CDC as Level 3 during your vacation. Please complete the survey as quickly as possible so we can collate all the information and provide additional resources for you if necessary.

As of today, March 11, here are the plans we have put in place for the return to school on Monday, March 23:

  • Students and teachers have been on Spring Break since March 1
  • Staff members have remained on campus during the Spring Break
  • All buildings have been cleaned and disinfected by the cleaning staff
  • All dormitories will be cleaned on Monday during class time
  • All buildings will be cleaned by disinfectants on a regular basis
  • There have been no cases of coronavirus in the Braintree community
  • Boston is twenty miles from Braintree and is a much more densely populated area than our location in Braintree
  • No student returned to Level 3 countries: Japan, Italy, North Korea, Iran, China
  • All students will complete a survey of places visited and people visited
  • All staff members will complete a survey of places visited and people visited
  • We have an outstanding medical staff of four nurses and a medical director on 24-hour call
  • Every classroom has been provided hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes
  • Dining hall staff and procedures will be modified to promote the most hygienic food service
  • All students will be educated on personal hygiene
  • There will be a Monday, March 23, morning faculty meeting to discuss the coronavirus situation
  • There will be a Monday, March 23, morning student assembly on to discuss the coronavirus situation
  • The State of Massachusetts is in a state of emergency. Of the 92 confirmed or presumptive positive cases, 70 are associated with the Biogen conference. Here is the website for the most updated information for Massachusetts: mass.gov/2019coronavirus
  • The Center for Disease Control also provides daily updates that you can review at their website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

CDC Report: If you spent time in Japan or Italy or South Korea or Iran during the past 14 days:

  • Stay home for 14 days from the time you left Italy or South Korean or Iran and practice social distancing.
  • If you get sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing seek medical care and call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

In closing, I want to reiterate to all of you how seriously we have reviewed and analyzed the situation. I am sorry to say that we do not have the capability to provide online courses for you. If you decide to stay home for an extended period of time we cannot provide you a formal education and it could jeopardize your academic credits for the year. Please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the coronavirus. Enjoy the rest of your time off wherever you are vacationing.

February 27th 2020

CATS Academy coronavirus update -  February 27th 2020

Dear Parent, Guardians and Friends of CATS Academy Boston,

As our spring break approaches I wanted to update all of you on the preventive measures we have taken at CATS Academy Boston to ensure that all students and staff members are safe now, during spring break, and when they return to school on March 23. As you are aware the coronavirus has invaded 47 countries including the United States, although most have been in Mainland China. Therefore, we have been as proactive as possible to promote a safe and healthy campus.

  • All of our students have been here since the first week of January, long enough to be declared healthy from the coronavirus
  • No students will travel home to China
  • No Chinese visitors to the US or to the school campus
  • Several assemblies and advisories educating and counseling students on personal hygiene
  • We have provided four spring break trips for students as alternatives for travel home-Boston, Boston/Orlando, San Diego, Toronto
  • Daily updates from our medical staff
  • Students will be monitored upon their return to campus and if necessary referred to the medical staff for treatment
  • Quarantine students if necessary

We deem student and staff safety as our first priority and we will do everything possible to ensure a healthy, vibrant community now and in the future. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

January 27th 2020

CATS Academy coronavirus update -  January 27th 2020

Dear Parents,

I am writing to you about CATS Academy Boston's arrangements in light of the coronavirus outbreak. The situation remains that there are no confirmed cases of this infection in Massachusetts and only three in the United States, all on the West Coast, thousands of miles from CATS Academy Boston. The risk to the US population has been assessed as low.

We have received daily updates from our medical director in the US and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, we have an outstanding full-time nursing staff who work seven days a week and monitor all students and their health concerns. Our nurses are well informed and have a tremendous understanding of our student body. In fact, we are extra cautious with any type of communicable infection and quarantine students to their rooms when necessary to prevent the spread of germs and infections.

For those students who choose not to travel home over Spring Break we have two trips available, both with language learning and recreational components. One trip involves two weeks of study and recreation in Boston and then one week of fun in Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The second trip available is a three-week trip to San Diego that includes study of English and various recreational type activities. Both are listed on the website and I will also send a note in the weekly newsletter.

Unfortunately, we do not have any dormitories open over the Spring Break. Therefore, you must make alternative plans if you do not plan for your child to return home for those three weeks. Based on the scientific data we recommend that your child does not travel to China at this time and we believe travel will be even more restricted in the coming weeks. If your child does travel to China, when they return protective measures as advised by the US government could include the need for them to be quarantined, probably for 2 weeks. This approach is based on experience gained from the progress of previous such diseases. Please note that CATS Academy Boston will be unable to provide quarantine facilities so you would need to make your own arrangements for your child to be away from the CATS Academy Boston dormitories or infirmary.

If this email raises any questions for you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 



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Updated 13th March 2020