All students in kindergarten to grade 12, as well as faculty and staff, are required to wear a cloth face mask or mask with a clear insert while on campus. Those students younger than kindergarten may wear face coverings, and the teachers will do their best to help them wear and care for it effectively. 

The only exceptions are:
  • When eating lunch in a safe, distanced area while following rules around eating
  • When changing masks
  • If a faculty or staff member is alone in an enclosed room (office) and no one else will be using that space after them for 30 minutes or more. If the space is not being used by a single person, faculty and staff must sanitize all the proximate surfaces near the work area. 
  • When outdoors, as long as the 6-foot distance can be consistently maintained and the person is not standing near an entrance or a pathway where others might be walking by

The following are NOT masks and will not be allowed at Hawken:
  • Face shields (can be added in addition to a mask, however)
  • Gaiters
  • Bandanas
  • Masks with little plastic valves on them
  • Any single layer fabric mask, as masks should be 2-3 layers thick and preferably made of tightly woven fabric like cotton as opposed to elasticized material

Wearing a mask: Users should wash their hands prior to putting the mask on or taking it off, touch the mask only by the straps, and avoid touching the mask while it is being worn. If the mask gets wet, it should be changed. Hawken will have extra masks for those that need a replacement during the school day. The mask should fit snugly over the nose bridge, chin, and mouth. Masks should be washed daily. We recommend following the CDC guidelines at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html.

Caring for and storing a mask: During a mask break, the wearer should be careful to touch only the straps. Recommendations for taking mask breaks while maintaining a clean mask include:
  • Preferably storing the mask in a paper bag instead of a 
  • plastic bag
  • Bringing multiple masks to school, so that each break results in putting on a clean mask
  • Using masks with straps that tie around the neck so that the mask can simply hang from your neck during a mask break


This restart guide represents our best thinking, as well as that of experts at some of the top medical and educational institutions in the nation. Thank you to all of our medical advisors and peer schools for your guidance in helping to identify the specific protocols and resources referenced in this comprehensive plan.