Key updates and resources for the Cushing Academy community

Cushing Academy is monitoring recommendations regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as the situation continues to evolve. This page serves as an information hub for our community and will be updated with new details regularly.

2020-2021 Planning

Cushing Academy's goal is to resume its suspended on-campus activities to the greatest extent possible as soon as it is prudent. We are developing guidelines for a phased resumption of classes and other activities in the fall in a manner that puts the health and safety of our community at the forefront and is consistent with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ "Four-Phase Approach" to reopening.

Planning Webinar #1 (May 21)

Planning Webinar #2 (June 11)

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Below is the foundation for the work we are setting out to accomplish: 
  • The Academy recently launched a “Bring the Penguins Home” Task Force, which also includes subgroups focused on all aspects of school life: academics, student affairs, athletics, facilities, human resources, dining, and admissions. These subgroups will work with the Senior Steering Committee to inform decisions as they relate to operational changes in the next academic year. 

  • The Senior Steering Committee will provide oversight, working with each subgroup and approving plans, and it will also act as a bridge for work needed between subgroups on topics such as student arrival, student orientation, and many others. 

  • The Senior Steering Committee includes a physician with expertise in pediatric infectious diseases and an epidemiologist with experience in the research and risks of infectious and other diseases, as well as our school’s long-time Medical Director.

  • Operational experts also sit on the Senior Steering Committee, focused on process and institutional infrastructure changes to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff.  

  • Membership of subgroups will be comprised of various faculty and staff from all departments across campus. 

The goal of this work will be to create protocols for the development of an extensive operations manual to safely open Cushing Academy in the fall. Each department on campus will then implement those parameters into the various tasks that need to be completed on a day-to-day basis. 

Initial guidelines will be completed in June for review by the Academy’s leadership and presented to all employees for comments and questions. Timelines for the resumption of various activities will likely vary; however, we are hoping to have a recommendation in mid-July, and at that time we will announce our approach to the fall semester by late July 2020.

Senior Steering Committee

Joseph Marzilli
Chair of the Board of Trustees

Randy Bertin
Head of School

Catherine Pollock
Associate Head of School for Enrollment

Paul Silva
Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Tina Hermos, MD
Assistant Professor, Pediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Affiliated with UMass Memorial Medical Center

Dr. Anne Hoen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Epidemiology, of Biomedical Data Science, and of Microbiology & Immunology
Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine

Dr. Michael Mutchler P '15, '16
Family Medicine, Adolescent Medicine
Heywood Hospital
Cushing Academy Medical Director since 1996

Bill Rouse
Senior Advisor

Frequently Asked Questions

Student Life

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

Campus Life

List of 8 frequently asked questions.


List of 4 frequently asked questions.

International students

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

Health & Wellness

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • What happens if a student gets sick?

    We are taking the possibility of this scenario very seriously and we are working to create a plan for testing, tracing, and treatment, as well as quarantine protocols. Our focus is on student health and the health of the entire Cushing campus community.
  • Will it be mandatory to wear masks on campus?

    This is a possibility, but at this moment, we do not know. We are going to collect input from various medical professionals, members of the Department of Education, the Department of Public Health, and our medical team to develop an answer. 
  • Is it possible that testing will be required prior to moving to campus?

    It is possible but we do not know yet. Our medical team (including practicing clinicians who deal with testing on a day-to-day basis) is in touch and will continue to update our Task Force.
  • If a second COVID-19 wave starts, is quarantining the whole campus an option?

    This scenario is something that we are looking into. With the overwhelming majority of students and most faculty living on campus, we are in an advantageous position to maintain a healthy community. We can continue to have many staff work from home as needed to dial back on interaction with students on a daily basis.
  • How can the school ensure careful personal hygiene among students without being punitive?

    The Task Force is currently discussing training for our adult and student populations. We know that this is something that our entire community is going to have to buy into, but we also feel that the Cushing community is definitely capable of rising to the challenge. We do not want this to be a punitive process but we also want to make sure that the measures we take can be enforced.


List of 2 frequently asked questions.

Updates to Cushing Academy Families


Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.