WALLINGFORD — Choate Rosemary Hall will not reopen its campus until October.
In a letter that went out to families last month, Alex Curtis, Choate’s head of school, announced the school’s board of trustees had decided to delay reopening the campus.
Classes began online on Tuesday for the school’s 870 students, who come from all over the United States and outside the country.
Curtis wrote the delay was due to factors outside the school’s control that “have not trended in our favor.”
“Since we announced in late June our plan to reopen for the fall term on campus, we watched with concern as infection rates across much of the United States increased in July. We have held off on our decision about reopening as long as we felt we could do so, hoping the incidence of the virus would abate markedly and allow for a confident September reopening, but we have not yet seen a significant flattening of the curve in many regions,” he wrote in the Aug. 20 letter.
Meanwhile, public health conditions in Connecticut remain good. Choate’s leaders have been monitoring the challenges universities are facing with in-person learning, and believe the best decision is to pause now, rather than resume, have problems arise and then have to abruptly shut down, Curtis explained.
“In short, we have ultimately concluded that a delay is in the best interest of the health and safety of all and a successful reopening in due course,” Curtis wrote.
Curtis explained the postponed reopening will allow Choate leaders to monitor the progression of the pandemic nationally and globally and will allow the school to “enhance our already rigorous plan” for COVID-19 testing.
Health conditions in Connecticut are also a factor. If the state’s positive test rate is lower than 10 per 100,000 residents and test positivity rates remain lower than 5 percent, Choate leaders expect to move forward with the October reopening.
“If Connecticut's public health conditions do not meet those standards at that time, we will need to reconsider or further delay our planned reopening, likely until at least January,” Curtis wrote.
Curtis, in the notice, announced boarding students would receive a $1,550 tuition credit. Day students would receive a $325 credit. Should the school not resume in-person instruction for an entire academic term, tuition will be set at $13,000 per term, Curtis wrote.