Covid-19 Update

VFMAC is open and is offering full-time boarding for the fall of 2020.

In order to keep our students safe, VFMAC is only offering Boarding Options and not offering Day School
and 5-Day options for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year.

COVID-19 Information

Reopening our institution in a healthful manner is critical to advancing our tradition of producing the next generation of leaders.

While it is impossible to eliminate all risks, we are working diligently to reduce risks by taking reasonable and thoughtful precautions.  These measures will include adjustments to our school calendar, new health protocols, reduced density in the classrooms, changes to our dining procedures, the ability to switch between in-person and online learning seamlessly as needed, and more.

We will continue to update this page and the documents within to accommodate new information about COVID-19, vaccines, and other factors.

Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan for VFMA

Please be aware that these are “living” documents and we will adjust our plans based on guidance provided at any time as necessary, prudent and based on what is reasonable and feasible.

Download VFMA Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan

Download VFMC Health and Safety Plan

General FAQs

What are the important dates for the 2020-2021 academic year?

Here are the critical dates we can share at this time:

  • July 22 and 23: Returning Army ROTC Early Commissioning Program (ECP) Cadets Arrive
  • August 5 and 6: All New Cadets participating in the Army ROTC Early Commissioning Program (ECP) Arrive
  • August 14: Academy and College Leadership Detail Arrive (invitation only)
  • August 22: Academy and College Plebes and All International Cadets Arrive
  • August 27: Academy Cadets Taking College Classes and Returning College Cadets Arrive 
  • August 31: First Day of College Classes
  • September 1: Returning Academy Cadets Arrive
  • September 7 (Labor Day): No Classes for College
  • September 10: First Day of Academy Classes
  • November 20: College Cadets Depart Campus and Complete Semester Online
  • November 25: Academy Cadets choosing to return home at Thanksgiving depart campus (after last duty)
  • November 30- December 11: Synchronous Classes for Academy (virtual and in person)
  • November 30 – December 3: College Finals
  • December 4-February 5: College Winter Break
  • December 11: Remaining Academy Cadets Depart for Winter Break
  • January 4: Academy 10-12th grades and Selected Leadership Return
  • January 5: Academy 7-9th grades Return
  • January 6: Academy Classes Resume in Barracks (Synchronous)
  • January 12/13: Academy Classes Resume in Shannon Hall
  • January 16: Academy Mid-Year Plebes Arrive
  • January 20-22: Academy Returner Mid-Term Exams
  • February 6: College Cadets Return

See the Complete VFMAC Calendar 

NOTE: Return procedures for Mid-Year will be communicated at a later date.

What should cadets do to prepare for their arrival on campus?
We ask that each cadet spend 14 days in quarantine PRIOR to arriving at VFMAC, if possible. During quarantine, students should monitor their symptoms and take their temperature twice per day, avoid contact with others outside of the household, not use public transportation, and maintain proper physical distancing from others (six feet/two meters).
How/when will cadets move into their barracks rooms?
To provide a smooth transition to campus, VFMAC will have staggered arrival dates, similar to the way any school year starts. Please see designated dates above.
Will parents be allowed on campus to help move items into the barracks?
To limit exposure to the campus community, parents will not be permitted on campus to help their child move into their barracks.

There will be a designated area on campus, likely the General Lot/Field House area, for you to drop off your cadet and their belongings. Everyone will be required to wear a face covering while on campus. More detailed instructions will be provided at a later date.

Will cadets be tested for COVID-19?
Upon arrival, cadets will begin an additional 5-day quarantine on campus. On the fifth day, all cadets will be tested for COVID-19 on campus using an anterior nose test, a painless procedure, via Quest labs. Results have been available in as quickly as two days. Testing is mandatory.  Cadets will remain quarantined within their “unit” until results are obtained.

Families will be invoiced through the Business Office for the COVID-19 test(s) $100 for the initial screening per semester.  Due to the contract with Quest Labs, a statement will be provided. You will need to submit paperwork to your insurance for reimbursement. At this time, we plan to test your cadet upon their return in the fall and at mid-year. This may be subject to change based on CDC guidelines and vaccine availability.

What if my child is already medically compromised?

If your child is medically compromised, please contact the Health Center PRIOR to reporting to campus in order to review medical considerations and any special precautions that must be taken. Please contact the Health Center at 610-989-1518.

What if I cannot make it back to campus by my designated date?
To ensure the safety of all of our students, faculty and staff, it is important for your child to arrive on campus on their designated date of arrival, noted above. Questions/concerns regarding missing this date must be addressed to the Commandant’s Office.
Once cadets are on campus, what type of health monitoring will there be?

All cadets will be assessed twice daily (am and pm) for temperature and symptoms. As noted above, COVID-19 testing will take place on the fifth day after arrival to campus. Those with negative results will be removed from quarantine. We will follow CDC guidelines for isolation for positive results. Parents will be asked to take their child home to recuperate. A note from the doctor will be required to return to campus post-positive COVID-19 isolation and treatment.

How will physical distancing be practiced in classrooms?
Classrooms are being re-organized and rearranged to support physical distancing.  We are spacing out and removing furniture, assigning seats, adjusting the number of students to the size of the classroom, and utilizing a variety of new indoor and outdoor spaces to allow for lower classroom density and increased ventilation.
What other changes can be expected outside of the classroom?

There will be a number of changes implemented on campus, including:

  • Barracks: During the initial five days on campus, cadets will be required to minimize contact outside of rooms without masks and practice the four pillars for public health, noted above. Once the cadets are tested and cleared, we will begin to migrate the cadets into their designated long-term living arrangements which may include a roommate. Once that is complete, we will run the barracks life, in part, similar to normal “home” operations. In other words, follow the same precautions your family would follow while in the house.

  • Bathrooms: We will work out a rotational use of the bathrooms for personal hygiene and use alternating sinks to create social distancing. Bathrooms will be cleaned by designated cadets and/or staff, using PPE and cleaning agents under the supervision of the adults monitoring the barracks. The number of cadets in the bathroom will be monitored by cadet leadership and adults on-duty in the barracks.

  • Mess Hall: In the Mess Hall, there is enough square footage, tables and chairs to practice social distancing.  If necessary, we will coordinate a rotating schedule for our population to eat in the Mess Hall.
Will campus events occur this fall?
The CDC and Pennsylvania guidelines for all gatherings will be followed. As of now, and to limit exposure to our cadets, all large fall campus gatherings have been cancelled, including Parents & Recognition Weekend. However, we are planning to virtually share the Recognition Ceremony. More details will be forthcoming.
Will there be an option of 5-Day Boarding this year?
All cadets will be 7-Day Boarders to limit exposure and mitigate risk to the Forge Family.
Will I be able to visit my child/children on campus or will they be allowed to come home?

Generally, in an effort to maintain a healthy campus, we are trying to limit campus visitors and campus departures. We ask that cadets remain on campus for the designated time periods we have communicated. 

If an emergency arises, you must contact the Commandant, Lead TAC Officer or OIC before your arrival to campus. Please be aware that all visitors must be masked and there is limited accessibility to campus. 

If a cadet is removed from campus for an extended period of time, quarantining may be required. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Will fall athletics and interscholastic competition occur?

The school continues to be in close contact with our athletics leagues and peer schools to determine how to plan safe interscholastic competitions. We know athletics are important to many cadets and we thank you for your patience as we navigate this complex and fluid issue.

What happens if my child gets sick?

The Health Center team has worked extensively with the Planning Task Force to thoughtfully consider changes necessary to treat cadets in the setting of the ongoing pandemic. The Health Center has updated access protocols to reduce risk of exposure to cadets and staff. 

The protocol is as follows: cadets to be masked before arriving at the Health Center. A call will be placed to the nurse so they can prepare for the cadet’s arrival and the cadet will report to the Health Center for assessment. Cadets who present with symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested and put into isolation in Rose Hall (second floor). Parents/guardians will be notified and we will request for you to pick up your child.. If unable, cadet will be in isolation in Rose Hall until results are obtained and cadet is treated according to CDC guidelines for a minimum of 3 days without fever and medication and an additional 7 days thereafter.  A note will be required by a medical doctor clearing cadet for return to campus.

If anyone is exposed to a positive COVID-19 case, we must follow CDC guidelines to quarantine at home for 14 days.  If the cadet is unable to go home monitoring will take place on campus in Rose Hall and teaching will resume remotely.

International FAQs for Returners

Will my F-1 expire after five months if I do not hold a U.S. passport or permanent residency?
Students who are continuing to study amidst the COVID-19 emergency, and are remaining in Active status in SEVIS, will be permitted to return even if the time outside the US exceeds five months.
When should I plan to arrive in the United States after Winter Break?

If arriving from outside of the United States, cadets should plan to enter the United States and arrive at VFMAC on January 4 (7-9 grades and select leadership) or January 5 (10-12 grades). We ask that each cadet, while at home, prior to US arrival, practice social distancing and try and avoid or limit public transportation for approximately 14 days PRIOR to arriving at VFMAC. During this time, we ask cadets to monitor for symptoms and take their temperature twice per day. 

 This will help to reduce unnecessary exposure and prevent you from arriving in an airport or to campus feeling ill.

Where should international cadets look for the most up-to-date information and guidance regarding travel to the U.S. ?

Cadets can find the most up-to-date information, including warning and restrictions at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html.

What if I cannot arrive in the United States on January 4 or 5?

We know that travel restrictions, limited flights, and visa issues present uncertainty for our international cadets. Rest assured that we will hold your place at VFMAC and that we are equipping campus with technology that will allow you to participate in classes online until you arrive. Once you arrive in the United States, you will be required to quarantine on campus in a designated location for 14 days. After the fifth day on campus, testing for COVID-19 will be performed.  After 14 days of quarantine and provided you are well, all classes and activities may resume in-person.

Please advise the Director of International Admissions if you have any questions or concerns at ksethi@vfmac.edu.

Where will I go if the campus is closed or I become ill?
International students are required to designate a host/guardian who is at least 21-years-old and lives within driving distance of the School, preferably within a 2-3 hour drive (200km – 300km). Hosts/guardians are to be present for the duration of your stay and must be available to drive to Valley Forge to pick you up within 12 hours in the event of campus closure, illness, discipline issue, or other reason deemed necessary by the School. This could also include, but is not limited to, a period of isolation or quarantine.

An Emergency host or guardian must be identified and written on your Commandant’s Emergency Contact Form and your Health Center Medical Forms.

What should I do if I am unable to find a host/guardian?

If you cannot identify a host or guardian within driving distance of Valley Forge, please contact our Director of International Admissions, Kerry Sethi at ksethi@vfmac.edu.  

I am trying to buy a round-trip international airline ticket. What date should I book for my return home after the fall session?
Due to the overall uncertainty, we encourage you to purchase a one-way, open-ended, and/or flexible airline ticket. Consider purchasing travel insurance in the event travel plans are unexpectedly changed. This may help reimburse you for unexpected losses.
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