Campus Guidelines

About this page

The information on this page was updated for the 2022-2023 school year on August 16, 2022. When any pull-down section on the page is updated, we will add a date at the bottom of the page to indicate when that data was last edited. If there is no date, then this data was first published on 7/29/2020. 

For health support please contact the school nurse at or 919-228-4562.


Your Responsibilities

Cary Academy expects employees, families, and students to abide by all expectations put forth by in its efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, including not only the current expectations set forth below and on this web site but also additional expectations that may be established by Cary Academy as circumstances change.

You agree not to come or to bring your child to campus if they are feeling ill or are exhibiting any of the symptoms below:

Fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher)
Sore throat
Cough (for people with chronic cough due to allergies or asthma, a change in their cough from baseline)
Difficulty breathing (for people with asthma, a change from their baseline breathing)

New loss of taste or smell
Diarrhea or vomiting
New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever


Consider self-identifying to Cary Academy if your child has a health condition that could put your child at higher risk from COVID-19, including by way of example the conditions listed below, so that we can discuss how best to keep your child as safe as possible:

  • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma,
  • Heart disease with complications,
  • Compromised immune system,
  • Severe obesity (BMI of over 30),
  • Other underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or liver disease.

Follow heightened personal hygiene expectations, including:

  • Washing or sanitizing hands frequently throughout the day,
  • Avoiding touching face, eyes or mouth.
  • Inform the school nurse should you receive a positive test for COVID-19, so that the school can follow guidance from local health authorities.

Follow NCDHSS protocols (outlined in sections below) for quarantining should you have a confirmed or suspected case.

The above community responsibilities are based upon the most current available guidance, including but not limited to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’s Public Health Toolkit (K-12), and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) for operating schools in the current environment.  As circumstances and/or guidance may change in the future, you understand and agree that these responsibilities will also need to change accordingly in the future.  Thus, another important responsibility will be to abide by all future expectations established by Cary Academy.



Healthy Campus Framework

Holistic Wellness

COVID-19 is thought to spread from close contact, person-to-person. The CDC recommends several steps to help prevent the spread of the virus, which have informed Cary Academy’s responses outlined on the these pages.

However, at the core of Cary Academy’s approach to the pandemic is supporting a deeper understanding of health, wellness, and self-care for all members of our community.

These are life skills and mindsets that will serve students well beyond the time of the pandemic and are in alignment with major goals of the school’s current strategic plan.

Click here to see a supporting document, jointly prepared by counselors at Cary Academy, Durham Academy, and Ravenscroft for 2020-2021 on how you can help your child navigate these stressful times.




The most powerful tool in combating COVID-19 and getting back to “normal” is vaccination. We strongly encourage all members of our community who are eligible to get vaccinated, and a booster if they are eligible.


Expected On-Campus Behaviors

Personal Hygiene

Students, employees and visitors should wash/sanitize hands when leaving home in the morning or right upon entering campus. They should continue to wash or sanitize hands regularly throughout the day, with the most common routine being between classes and before/after lunch. Proper hand washing is essential. 

Healthy hygiene includes sneezing or coughing into your elbow and avoiding touching your face, eyes, or mouth. 



Campus Environment

Air Quality

Working with our vendor Brady, we have installed upgrades to the HVAC system to use air filters with MERV 13 or 14 ratings. The Admin building (library and cafe) has an additional needlepoint bipolar ionization system for added filtration. The CMS building has an added UV-light filter that covers air handlers in the science wing and makerspace. In addition, Brady has increased outside air intake in our systems to provide more fresh air circulation in the buildings.

While cleaning and air flow are important, the most critical element in mitigation strategies are masks and regularly washing or disinfecting hands. 



Off-Campus Behaviors

Due to the nature of the pandemic, we trust that all employees and students will continue with healthy and safe behaviors when they are off campus. Such behaviors will help keep us all safe. 




Daily Heath Check -- STAY HOME when ill

To help keep members of our community healthy, we expect that individuals will monitor their health daily.

Due to the higher transmission rates of the Omicron variant and its ability to present like a lesser illness, it is essential that individuals stay home if they don’t feel well. This includes cold-like symptoms such as sore throat, cough, headache, tummy ache, or excess fatigue. 



Individuals (symptoms, exposed, diagnosed)

The school will work in partnership with local public health authorities in responding to cases or exposure to COVID-19 within the community.

Individual expectations for individuals with confirmed or suspected cases have continued to evolve, and these guidelines reflect data from the CDC as of August 2022. It is critical to contact our school nurse to report confirmed cases and to work with her on next steps.

If an individual has a confirmed case of COVID-19, they will be required to isolate. Here is a shorthand of key expectations for individuals.

A person with a positive PCR test who has been symptom free can return to school 5 days after their test collection date.

A person with a positive PCR test who has had symptoms can return after 5 days from their first symptoms once they have been fever free for 24 hours and other COVID-symptoms are improving. 

We are still asking that you report COVID cases to our school nurse, Emily McClintock. She can then advise if there is uncertainty about protocols.

Contact tracing and notification

Cary Academy will work with local health professionals on contact tracing, as necessary.

While testing agencies will report positive tests directly to the NCDHHS, individuals with general questions can call the COVID information line at 919-856-7044. 


Secondary exposure/risk within families
  • Family members don’t need to quarantine after home exposure, unless they are showing symptoms. However, it is recommended that all family members should get a PCR test 3-5 days after exposure. 


Guiding Resources

Key Health Guidance

These may update frequently.