Health & Wellness
Before we can educate our students, we must ensure that they are protected and well—goals that are even more important during a pandemic. As we begin the 2021-22 school year, we remain focused on three needs: the safe repopulation of campus, ongoing health monitoring for the adults and students of the Solebury School community, and protocols and practices to mitigate/prevent the spread of infection to the best of our ability while allowing for a successful, in-person learning experience.
As the pandemic wanes, our health and wellness protocols for the 2021-22 school year:
- Are created with safety for our community in mind, including protecting our community’s medically vulnerable, and coupled with the preference to return to all in-person learning;
- Reflect current conditions and understandings—and will be thoroughly reviewed in mid-August. Any changes will be communicated promptly;
May change based on new information, government mandate, safety concerns, or changes in environment.
As is true with any form of illness, it is impossible to totally eliminate the risk of infection. However, thanks to safe and effective vaccines, we can significantly reduce the life-altering impact of many illnesses, including COVID-19. Protecting our community from COVID-19 is as important as protecting us from other preventable diseases such as measles, meningitis, and hepatitis B. Just as the state of Pennsylvania requires vaccinations against those diseases for entrance into secondary school, Solebury School is requiring that our students and employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year.
For the protection and safety of the Solebury School community, we are requiring proof of full CDC- or WHO-approved vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of attendance for the 2021-22 school year. Documenting your student’s vaccine on their required physical examination form (found behind the portal in registration documents) will provide the information needed. As previously shared, all registration documents must be completed by August 1, 2021.
There may be instances where an exemption to this requirement may be granted. Students and employees with valid medical reasons precluding vaccination, as well as those with established, sincerely long held religious beliefs that preclude receipt of a vaccination, may apply for an exemption from the vaccine requirement. Please contact Leila Crooks, Director of Health Services, or Tom Wilschutz, Head of School, for more information on the process of applying for an exemption.
To assist our community with getting vaccinated, we will offer vaccination clinics on campus on August 13, September 3, and September 24 for any employee or student who wishes to participate.
Masks are not required for vaccinated individuals in most instances on campus as we start off the school year. Vaccine-exempt students are not required to wear masks (with parent permission) when outdoors or in small gatherings. Vaccine-exempt adults must wear masks at all times in indoor public spaces. All individuals (regardless of vaccine status) will be required to wear masks during large gatherings on-campus (265 people or more)—for example, all school assemblies. A couple of important points to note:
- Masks will be part of our new normal;
- Having a mask on does not mean that an individual is not vaccinated—many people may prefer to wear a mask when around people outside their home;
- Masks may be worn intermittently due to respiratory illness, allergies, etc.
Indoor Room occupancy:
We are increasing our room occupancy back to pre-pandemic levels in classrooms, the Dining Hall, the PAC, Crib, Athletic Center, Library, and all other spaces on campus. We will also keep in place our improved ventilation and air filtration efforts—including a preference for open windows in most occupied spaces. We will also continue to prioritize cleaning all spaces on campus, including those with high occupancy rates.
Return to campus for students:
Day Students - Orientation begins on September 9, 2021. See the schedule here. All students must submit proof of being fully vaccinated or have obtained a vaccine waiver before reporting to campus (see Vaccines above).
Boarding Students - See here for Move-In dates and Orientation schedule. All students must submit proof of being fully vaccinated or have obtained a vaccine waiver before reporting to campus (see Vaccines above). Boarding students with a vaccine waiver will undergo an eight-day testing protocol prior to entering the dorm - contact Leila Crooks for details by August 15. For international students, travel advisories or restrictions from state or federal entities will be considered and likely followed. Please contact Leila Crooks or Leah Hall-Hansen (Solebury’s recently hired Director of Residence Life) if you have any questions.
Visitors to campus:
Our campus is open for invited visitors and we ask them to check-in at the front desk of the Administration building when they arrive on campus. Adults who are not vaccinated are asked to wear a mask in any indoor space while on our campus. Masks are not required outdoors. In addition, there may be times when vaccinated individuals are also asked to wear masks indoors, this will typically occur during large indoor gatherings.