Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Community Commitment Agreement

Rights, Rules & Responsibilities

As we look forward to our return to campus in Quarter 3 of the 2020–2021 academic year, we ask every member of our school community (students, parents, faculty, staff, and campus residents) to adhere to and abide by our Community Commitment Agreement (“Agreement”) both on and off campus. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we all share in the responsibility for keeping our community as safe as possible. Walnut Hill remains a place with significant personal freedom and responsibility, however, the conditions of the COVID-19 global pandemic require a shift in our policies and procedures. Our policies—and our actions—must be governed by a public health perspective, focused on the well-being and safety of the community as a whole (students, faculty, staff, and campus residents) rather than on individual preference. To meet our goal of providing an in-person educational experience for as many students as possible, and as safely as possible, we will all be required to adjust how we conduct ourselves on and off campus. To reduce the risk to our community and their families, everyone students, faculty, staff, and campus residents—must commit to following federal, state, and local public health guidelines, as well as Walnut Hill’s policies and expectations for conduct both on and off campus, as outlined in the following Community Commitment Agreement.

Please read the following carefully. By signing this document, you are certifying that you read, understand, and agree to abide by the terms of this Agreement. Please note that the School’s plans for the upcoming academic year are subject to change at any time. The School reserves the right to update its plans and the terms of this Agreement to reflect such changes, which may be informed by public health guidance and governmental regulation.

Before Arriving On-Campus I Will

  • Complete all online training as required by the School.
  • Bring the required supplies including warm winter clothing, headphones, bug spray, hand sanitizer, face coverings/masks, and follow packing guidelines for what to bring for my room.
  • Practice home-quarantine for 14-days prior to arrival on campus and monitor my health for COVID-related symptoms during this time.
  • Get the necessary COVID-19 testing or quarantine upon arrival in Massachusetts as set forth by Governor Baker.
  • Complete all immunizations, including the flu vaccine (required this year), prior to coming to campus (the only exception is if you are from a country that does not offer certain vaccines). The School will help make arrangements for you to get the appropriate and required vaccinations upon arrival in the U.S.
  • Complete the health screening daily for one week prior to my arrival on campus.
  • Move into my room on the date and time interval for which I registered, following all guidelines for arrival.
  • Delay my plans to arrive on campus if I am feeling ill or have signs of any illness. I will wait until I am fully recovered and have clearance from health services before traveling to campus.

On Campus I Will:

  • Participate in Walnut Hill’s Monitoring and Testing Program which includes:
    • Being tested for the virus that causes COVID-19 upon my arrival on campus and being quarantined until a negative result is returned.
    • Participating in weekly testing.
    • Cooperating with contact tracing inquiries by, among other things, responding to texts and calls from contact tracers and answering all questions about my contacts honestly and completely.
    • Complying with any request to isolate or quarantine made by the School and be available daily for a clinician to check on my health status via secure email, phone, or both.
  • Complete the daily health screening in the morning and clearly following directives from it.
  • Participate in classes, events, or meetings remotely if I’m not feeling well.
  • Contact health services as soon as I have any symptoms of COVID-19 or do not feel well, isolating immediately.
  • Wear approved face covering (masks) in all school facilities, including workplaces, classrooms, dining hall and dormitories except when alone in my assigned room and on school grounds when I am unable to maintain physical distancing.
  • Physically distance, maintaining at least six feet/two meters separation between myself and others in all school facilities.
  • Observe all guidelines for dining (grab-and-go, outdoor dining, or eating at assigned appropriately distanced seating).
  • Agree not to host any off-campus guests, including family members, at any time.
  • Boarding Students agree not to host more than one resident of the same building in their room at any time.
  • All Students agree not to enter any residential dormitory except their own.
  • As a member or leader of a student organization, I will abide by all rules around in person gatherings including limiting attendance and social distancing.
  • Adhere to other health and safety practices recommended or required by the School, such as frequent hand-washing.
  • Fully participate in Walnut Team Clean to clean and sanitize all spaces on campus upon my entry and exit.
  • Boarding students agree not to leave campus for any reason without permission from the Health Center Staff or the Dean of Students.
  • All community members agree to follow all guidelines set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts around group gatherings (25 max. inside, 50 max. outside), social distancing, face coverings, travel outside of the “safe states” whether boarding/day students or faculty/staff.
  • All community members agree to minimize travel off campus or outside the State of Massachusetts.
  • Community members agree to immediately report any violations of the health and safety policies they are aware of.

Health & Safety Violation Consequences

As we return to campus we must all accept responsibility for keeping each other healthy and safe. As part of the Community Commitment Statement we all signed we agreed to abide by policies and procedures put in place for health and safety.  We are going to be extremely strict about adherence to all policies and procedures. Violations may result in immediately leaving campus for that day or for the remainder of the quarter or the year. This list is not exhaustive but is meant to give all of us a sense of what the consequences are for infractions. Please make sure to review this prior to signing the Community Commitment Statement.

Violations that receive warnings

  • Mask Violation - failure to wear, wearing incorrectly, incorrectly laundering – first
  • Not following “Team Clean” expectations - first
  • Not following “social distance” expectations - first
  • Not following bathroom etiquette - first
  • Improper drop-off for day students - first

Violations that will result in leaving campus/classes for that day

  • Failure to complete daily screening prior to leaving dorm room or coming to campus (remote classes)
  • Mask Violation - second (remote classes)
  • Not following “Team Clean” expectations - second (remote classes)
  • Not following “social distance” expectations - second (remote classes)
  • Not following bathroom etiquette - second (remote classes)

Violations that will result in returning to remote (off-campus) learning for at least the remainder of that quarter:

  • Failure to complete daily screening prior to leaving dorm room or coming to campus - 3 times
  • Mask Violation third time
  • Improper drop-off procedure - third violation
  • Space violations – ex. Include being in same practice room, being in a space that can have more than one person without face coverings, more than one guest in dorm room, being in a dorm that you don’t live in, not following max # in rooms, etc.
  • Not following “Team Clean” expectations or not complying when reminded - third violation
  • Leaving Campus without permission – Both boarding and day students, there are no daytime leaves even for day students.
  • Pattern of not social distancing (i.e. closer than six feet, holding hands, hugging, kissing, etc.) or not changing behavior when asked - three times
  • Singing or playing wind or brass instruments anywhere on campus except alone in your dormitory room with door closed
  • Having visitors on campus, including family members or friends in majors not currently on campus.
  • Not following protocol for eating (socially distanced of 6 feet or alone in space).
  • Pattern of not following bathroom etiquette - three times
  • Not following community commitment expectations off campus – including attending large gatherings, not wearing masks, not socially distancing
  • Not honestly complying with contact tracing requests/questions
  • Not following quarantine expectations
  • Ordering Take Out

Walnut Hill reserves the right to update or change this list anytime as necessary.


If you have questions that aren't addressed by this website, we welcome you to reach out.

Health & Safety
Beth Minnucci, School Nurse

Residential Life
Melissa Cassel,
Dean of Students

Susanne Carpenter
Assistant Head of School

Karen Loder,
Director of Admission & Financial Aid

Ben Gregg,
Director of Academic Studies

Niki Conraths,
Director of Artistic Studies

External Resources

Dial 211
Massachusetts 24/7 information about COVID-19 in 150 languages

CDC Travel Information
CDC Information on Coronavirus
World Health Organization, Coronavirus