With the understanding that we will continue to respond and adjust to shifts in local and community health, the following rules, guidelines, and expectations will govern the Opening of School and, we hope, our approach to COVID-19 during the 2022-23 school year. Any updates to these policies will be announced in the weekly parent newsletter, posted here, and linked in the Parent Portal.
1. School policy requiring full vaccination: We continue to require all students and employees to be fully vaccinated. At this time, we require two vaccine shots and one booster. We will monitor the progress made toward updated boosters and vaccines and will update our definition of “fully vaccinated” according to the science and expert medical advice. We urge all community members traveling by public transportation to mask while traveling and so return to the community healthy.
2. Visitor policy: We continue to expect all visitors to the School be fully vaccinated. We are mask-optional indoors and outdoors but reserve the prerogative to resume mask requirements should local and community health make doing so advisable or necessary. We urge all visitors traveling to our campus by public transportation to mask in transit to arrive healthy and protect the health of the SPS community.
3. Religious and medical waivers: We will consider requests for religious and medical waivers on a case-by-case basis. Student requests can be sent to Vice Rector for Student Life Theresa Ferns (firstname.lastname@example.org).
a. Anyone with a waiver will be required to acknowledge the personal assumption of the serious health risks posed by being unvaccinated and sign a waiver of liability to that effect.
b. If the rate of local transmission is moderate or greater as determined by our medical director, unvaccinated students will be unable to participate in “town hours.”
c. Unvaccinated students may participate in SPS athletics. Without identifying these students by name, we will need to notify opposing teams that we have unvaccinated individuals participating in a contest. Should opponents have their own requirements regarding vaccination and competition, SPS will respect and comply with those requirements, which might mean that an unvaccinated SPS player would be unable to participate in a specific contest or contests.
4. Return to School policies: As we did last year, we will require students to complete an antigen test within 24 hours prior to their arrival at SPS and submit their results to the School. Regardless of testing protocols in their country of origin, all international travelers will need to take an antigen test following their arrival in the U.S. and within 24 hours of their return to SPS. Families should expect that students will test and submit results upon return from Thanksgiving, December, and March breaks. We urge all students traveling by public transportation to travel masked and arrive at school healthy.
5. Mask policy: At this time, we plan to remain mask-optional both indoors and outdoors. However, should local or community health change, please understand that community members might be required to resume masking. Should the SPS medical staff direct a student to mask, that student is required to do so. We urge all community members traveling by public transportation or engaging in public events with crowds of people to mask and thereby return to the community healthy.
6. Testing policy: While students are in residence, we will test only symptomatic community members. We will not resume “surveillance screening” unless required to do so by changes in local and community health or public health mandates.
7. If an individual should test positive:
a. Any person who tests positive will isolate at home for five days and may return to school at day 5. (Day 0 is the day of the positive test.) That individual will mask up to day 10.
b. An unvaccinated individual with a waiver or who is not considered fully vaccinated who is a close contact (roommates/significant others) will leave school to quarantine (according to current CDC guidelines) at home for a full five days and can return only after a negative test. They must mask up to day 10 upon return to school.
c. A fully vaccinated close contact may remain in the community and will need to mask for 10 days and test at day 5.
d. A student recovering from COVID-19 must work with and comply with the medical director’s decisions about their ability to resume community engagement (e.g., athletics, arts, service learning).
PLEASE NOTE: We will not be offering remote learning for students who are in COVID isolation or quarantine.
PLEASE NOTE: We expect parents or guardians to come to school to bring a COVID-positive student home or to a safe and comfortable place for the period of isolation. We will not be offering on-campus isolation facilities for COVID-positive students.
Updated as of August 1, 2022