Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Face Covering Policy

In order to provide a healthy and safe community for all residents Walnut Hill School for the Arts is requiring everyone to follow the below protocol for face coverings. This policy is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. Walnut Hill will be following State and local guidance and may modify this policy as necessary.

Updated September 2021

We will be using the terms “face covering” and “mask” interchangeably and include both non-medical grade cloth or disposable face coverings (cloth mask, disposable paper mask, etc.) and medical grade PPE (surgical grade disposable mask and N95).


To lower risk of transmission. Face coverings are meant to protect other people and lower the risk of transmission of the virus from one person to another. If everyone has been wearing face coverings when in close contact and someone develops symptoms, the risk of transmission of the virus is much lower than if face coverings were not used.

Types of Face Coverings/Masks

  • Must be 2-3 ply paper or cloth.
  • Must pass the “candle test”—if you can blow out a candle (or if the flame flickers) through your face covering, it is not suitable.
  • No masks with exhalation valves.
  • No gaiters.
  • No bandanas.
  • Face shields may be worn but MUST be worn with a face covering/mask as well.

Proper Use

Face coverings must cover both your nose and mouth at all times.

Upon Arrival on Campus

All individuals must wear a face covering when arriving on campus.

Outside Spaces

All individuals (faculty, staff, boarding students, day students, dorm parents, and campus residents (following State guidelines for children) must wear a face covering when on campus unless taking a mask break.

Mask Breaks

All members of the community are encouraged to take mask breaks. Mask breaks may be taken outside only and you must be at least six feet away or more from any other individuals. Everyone must have a mask ready to put on if others approach them.

Upon Exiting Campus Housing or Dorm Room

All campus residents, including students, must wear a face covering when exiting their personal dorm room, apartment, townhouse, or residence into a common area. Common areas include: dorm hallways, bathrooms, building lobbies, stairwells, dorm common rooms, laundry room, etc. Students may remove their mask in their own room, but must put one on if anyone else enters the room.

Indoor Spaces, MEETINGS

All individuals, including students and campus residents, must wear a face covering when in public spaces on campus. Public spaces include the Dining Hall, Campus Center, hallways, dorm common rooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, mailroom, etc. 

Face coverings must be worn at all times when inside unless alone in an office or in your own dormitory room or residence. Vaccinated individuals may wear masks outside if they prefer but are not required to do so.  Unvaccinated individuals must wear masks outside unless taking a mask break distanced from others. 

All visitors to campus must wear masks at all times.

Ex. You are going into the Dining Hall to pick up lunch. You should be wearing a face covering the entire time when entering, inside, and exiting the Dining Hall until you are alone in your office, dorm room, studio, or classroom.

Private Indoor Spaces

Individuals do not need to wear a face covering when alone in a private space such as their office, a practice room, art studio, or classroom. Face coverings must be readily available and must be worn when entering and exiting the space, as well as when others enter the space.

Meetings & Common Work Spaces

ll individuals attending in-person meetings or working together must wear a face covering. Face coverings must be worn when entering and exiting the space.

Use & Care of Face Coverings

Non-disposable face coverings must be washed after one day of use. These may not be used for multiple days in a row.

Disposable face coverings are made for one-time use and should be thrown away after.

All students must bring adequate supply of face coverings with them. We suggest seven non-disposable face coverings (one for each day of the week) or approximately 300 disposable face coverings/quarter.

Shared Responsibility

Walnut Hill is a caring community committed to being a safe environment for students, staff, and visitors. As such, we want to encourage everyone to be open and honest about how they feel about a situation.

Everyone should feel comfortable asking someone to put on or fix a face covering, or explain that you are uncomfortable with being so close. Remember that you may not realize that someone is high risk and that they may not want to share that information. Please be mindful of others and watch for social cues. Err on the side of caution and when in doubt put on your face covering. It is OK to ask someone if they are comfortable with you removing your face covering and staying 6' back. It is also OK to say that you are not comfortable with that. Please be kind and take care of one another. Face coverings protect others.

Non Nobis Solum.


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

Kevin Smith,
Director of Enrollment Management

Jonathan Wang,
Director of Academic Studies

Cedric Lyles,
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