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.
Returning to Campus
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 VFMC Health and Safety Plan
Campus Reopening FAQs
Does VFMAC have a plan to re-open campus in Fall 2020?
Be assured we have been working diligently on our VFMAC 2020-2021 Health & Safety Plan for both the Academy and College. Due to all the factors and information needed to plan as COVID-19 issues unfold, the comprehensive Health & Safety Plans will be released as soon as they have been approved by our Board of Trustees and submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, likely within the next few weeks.
The school’s resumption and continuation of in-person operations will hinge on the entire community observing a wide range of public health measures to ensure everyone’s health and safety, including physical distancing, face coverings, frequent hand washing, and personal health monitoring.
What measures will be in place to ensure everyone’s health and safety when they return to campus?
Everyone on campus will be expected to adhere to four important pillars of public health: use of face coverings, frequent hand washing, physical distancing, and personal health monitoring. Details on each pillar are below.
- Face coverings: Everyone must wear a face covering in buildings, where physical distancing cannot be guaranteed, and in public settings. Masks will be issued to each cadet upon arrival.
- Frequent hand washing and etiquette: In addition to encouraging our community members to wash their hands frequently, hand sanitizer stations are located throughout campus, along with reminders of good hygiene practices and social distancing. Simple hygiene techniques make a big difference. Sneeze in the elbow; DO NOT touch the face, eyes or nose.
- Social distancing: Reminders will be affixed on floors and walls of campus buildings to ensure that everyone remains at a safe distance from others when on-campus operations resume. Classrooms and other common spaces will have similar distancing requirements. We are taking appropriate steps now to rearrange spaces to create appropriate distance between cadets and staff.
- Personal health monitoring: Cadets and employees will have daily checks (am and pm) for fever as well as other COVID-19 symptoms, and, if warranted, seek medical care through their primary care physician or the Health Center.
Is VFMAC following a phased approach to reopening campus to cadets?
What other governing bodies may influence VFMAC’s return and continuity planning?
What if the public health situation significantly improves or worsens?
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 24: College Cadets Depart Campus and Complete Semester Online
- November 30 – December 3: College Finals
- December 18: Academy Cadets Depart for Winter Break
See the Complete VFMAC Calendar
NOTE: Arrival dates and return procedures for Mid-Year will be communicated at a later date but no later than their departure from campus in the Fall.
What should cadets do to prepare for their arrival on campus?
How/when will cadets move into their barracks rooms?
Will parents be allowed on campus to help move items into the 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?
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?
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?
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?
Will there be an option of 5-Day Boarding this year?
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 near future.
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.
I am trying to buy a round-trip airline ticket. What date should I book for my return home after the fall session?
Will fall athletics and interscholastic competition occur?
Our goal is to safely operate the fall athletics season with training and/or modified practices. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has recently released initial guidance for high school sports and we are developing our plans accordingly. In addition, 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.
Will my F-1 expire after five months if I do not hold a U.S. passport or permanent residency?
When should I plan to arrive in the United States?
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. for the fall semester?
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 August 22?
Please advise the Director of International Admissions if you have any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where will I go if the campus is closed or I become ill?
An Emergency host or guardian must be identified and written on your Commandant’s Emergency Contact Form and your Health Center Medical Forms.