Fall 2021 Trimester

July 13, 2021

Welcome to the 2021-22 School Year!

All of us who live, work, and play on this corner of Phillips Mill and School Lane are beyond excited as we anticipate a school year that feels far more typical than what we’ve experienced over the past two years. “Typical” for Solebury School can be summed up with four words. 

The first word is community. When I write or speak about Solebury, and when I think about who we are, I think first and foremost about community. The shared values we have, the culture that we nurture, the inclusivity that we embrace, the holistic experience that we seek to provide for our students, the beyond the classroom experiences that we offer—Solebury is so much more than just a school. 

The second word, preparation. Our goal, of course, is to prepare our students for a successful and enriching college experience, however our ambitions are so much larger than that. We seek to provide our students with the values, work ethic, skills, critical thinking, moral compass—everything they need to prepare them for life, not just college. It is an ambitious goal, but one we have been successfully delivering for nearly 100 years. We also ask our families to be prepared for life and learning at our extraordinary school. Thank you for taking an important step by reading this plan carefully and being responsive to our requirements and due dates

The third word, relationships. The bedrock of what we do is grounded in the relationships that we seek to develop between the faculty/staff and our students. I’ve been fortunate to lead this institution since 2008, and from the moment I arrived, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with alums ranging from the 1930s to the 2000s. Each of them begins and ends their reminiscences with the role that their teachers played in their lives. I love coming to work each day to this gorgeous campus, but I’m particularly proud that we focus our investing in our people, knowing that the magic that happens is the result of the relationships between our faculty/staff and our students. 

And finally, joy. Each school day I stand in the circle and greet our students as they make their way to class. And each day, it is a sea of smiles. Our students love coming to school, and love being here with their teachers, their advisors, and their friends. As we set about the noble work of educating our students, we seek to do so in an uplifting, supportive, joyful environment. 

So, as we prepare for the 2021-22 school year, keep these words front of mind. Who are we? A community. What is our goal? Preparation for life. How do we seek to achieve this? By nurturing and fostering positive and impactful relationships in an environment of joy. 

As we return to our typical culture, we will continue to keep safety front of mind for our community. On these pages is our plan for fall 2021—a commitment to returning to in-person education while taking the steps needed to keep ourselves and our families healthy. When you return in September, you will see:  

  • A community that is mostly vaccinated against COVID-19. Solebury School is requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for our enrolled students as well as our employees with some exceptions. A fully vaccinated Solebury community offers us the strongest possibility of remaining in person and able to gather in all the normal ways we do for the school year. Full details on this requirement can be found in our Health and Wellness section
  • Classrooms and other spaces will return to full capacity and classes will return to 80-minute periods that meet every other day.
  • Outside, masks will be optional. 
  • Inside, masks will be optional for students and mandatory for employees who have received a vaccine exemption. 
  • For the time being, masks will be worn at gatherings greater than 265 (such as in-person assemblies) regardless of vaccination status—therefore, students, faculty, and staff should have a mask available to them at all times when they are on campus.
  • We will return to fully in-person education. The hybrid, remote-on-demand environment that we offered our students and faculty during the spring of 2021 will not be offered as we begin the 2021-22 school year. Classes will meet in-person at their pre-pandemic capacity, the dining hall will return to full capacity, and we will gather (with masks) for assemblies, concerts, and theater productions once again.

As Solebury is set to begin this mostly typical year, there will be many more gatherings and events. The best way to stay informed about all dates from breaks to athletic events to theater productions and concerts will be to use this online calendar, found here.

As we look ahead with you to the exciting 2021-22 school year, we are mindful that conditions can change and require us to pivot and modify some, many or all of the plans we have in place. If changes have to happen—well, we’re used to that now, aren’t we? Know that I will always communicate with you directly and as quickly as I can so that we may effectively partner and support one another. Online registration is August 23-27, orientation is September 8 and 9, and the first day of classes is September 10th. I can’t wait. 

Warmly,

Tom Wilschutz
Head, Solebury School