“Almanac” Highlights

The 2021-2022 school year looks drastically different from the previous school year since many of the defining aspects of the boarding school experience—interdorm visitation, off-campus abilities, and more—will soon be reinstated. Over the summer and upon students’ return to campus, administrators worked on updating The Almanac to reflect these changes. With the elimination of Zoom classes, the Academic Dress and Special Event Dress codes have returned. In disciplinary responses, an emphasis will be placed on growth and learning, rather than more punitive measures. Racism and hate speech has also become a cause for dismissal in the updated Almanac. Many changes, however, are to be determined as the pandemic continues to evolve. Mr. Stephen McKibben, dean of community life, said, “I view The Almanac as the expression of ideals and values, and the policies and procedures that we’ve agreed to live by when we are a part of the community that is Hotchkiss. It is a living document that we can change.” 


COVID Protocols

The Almanac has loosened many COVID restrictions such as mandatory masking outdoors, allowing for the return of pre-pandemic dining hall tables, hot food lines, and stir-fry stations. However, masking indoors remains compulsory. In compliance with Connecticut state mandates, policies may start to relax beginning September 18 in the absence of COVID outbreaks.


No Chance Policy

The current No Chance Policy states that any student found in possession or use of alcoholic beverages, drugs, and other illegal substances will be dismissed. However, the school plans to review the No Chance Policy, leading to the potential of an amended policy during the second semester of the school year. 


Day Students

The Almanac states day students may have sleepovers starting on September 18. Day students share a room with a roommate and are given the opportunity to reside on campus during Saturday nights and circumstances such as inclement weather, opening days, pre-season, and other special events. Last year, day students were not allowed in the dorms and had personal desks in the library instead.


Attendance Policy

The Almanac now features weekend absence requests, fewer allowed excuses for absences, and a detailed description of sign-in/sign-out forms. “Off-Campus College Days” have reappeared for Seniors to visit colleges and universities. Students are now also eligible to submit “Weekend Requests” to spend their weekends off-campus during no-class Saturdays. The Almanac now includes a thorough explanation of the rules surrounding detentions, elaborating on the time frame in which they should be served, the infractions for which they are assigned, and alternative responses to said infractions.