Health & Wellness
We are welcoming boarding students to return to campus and learn remotely with their peers. There are enhanced protocols in place to decrease the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19; namely, we require that all students get a PCR test within 72 hours of their return, and we also test them once they are on campus. We will then repeat these tests throughout the winter trimester in an effort to monitor the health of our on-campus population.
Before we can educate our students, we must ensure that they are protected and well, goals that are even more important during a pandemic. In creating a Health, Wellness, and Safety plan that meets, then surpasses, the minimum guidelines set by the State of Pennsylvania, we are 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.
As is true with any form of illness, it is impossible to totally eliminate the risk of infection. Our goal is to implement a multi-pronged strategy to reduce the likelihood of transmission of the virus. The most important aspect of that strategy is a shared responsibility throughout our community to learn, accept, and practice our Health, Safety, and Wellness plan—we are all in this together.
Please embrace the responsibility for keeping our entire community healthy. This can best be accomplished by the choices you and your family make. Please choose to:
- Limit your discretionary travel over the course of the school year as much as possible;
- Avoid large gathering places—malls, movie theaters, etc;
- Wear a mask when you’re out and about; and
- Rigorously practice physical distancing at all times.
View health protocols here for faculty and staff, as well as day and boarding students.
We recognize the possible impact on young people from the pandemic and are prepared to support each student emotionally to our fullest capability. The emotional well being of our students is as important to our community as their physical well being; with this in mind, we have increased our mental health services for the coming year. In addition to scheduling one-on-one sessions, Julie Laing, Director of Counseling, and Bill Christy, Associate Director of Counseling, hosting group mental health Zoom drop-ins during all arts blocks. They are also available for consultation with parents as needed and can provide referrals for additional support if requested.
The Swiss Cheese approach
“Each intervention that we currently have for COVID-19 prevention is kind of like a slice of Swiss cheese. There are holes in it, and so the virus can get through in certain ways. But if you layer multiple prevention practices on top of one another, it’s less likely the holes in every slice of cheese will align to make a clear path through the entire stack. The holes are not necessarily aligned in the same places on each slice, so if we stack those [slices] up, then we have suddenly a block ... that the virus can’t get through.” Ryan Malosh, a research scientist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health
Our Health, Wellness, and Safety plan includes multiple layers of protection. For the foreseeable future, we will:
- Use face coverings/masks when interacting with anyone outside one’s family. There are possible exceptions to this requirement as detailed in Section 3 of the Governor’s order requiring universal face coverings—please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or feel this exception applies to you;
- Participate in surveillance testing as advised by the Bucks County Department of Health and our school doctors;
- Physically distance whenever possible (using a six-foot radius as our minimum guide), provide barriers in spaces where physical distance is not possible;
- Place limits on gatherings including the number of individuals in a classroom, eliminating large campus-wide gatherings, posting revised occupancy limits in common use spaces;
- Sanitize and clean frequently throughout campus according to CDC guidelines;
- Increase ventilation and the circulation of outside air for indoor spaces;
- Encourage hand washing and make hand sanitizer available in every classroom space as well as throughout campus;
- Conduct daily Health & Wellness checks for all reporting to campus including temperature checks and symptom-screening;
- Provide visible reminders for health and safety around physical distancing, hygiene, mask wearing
- Remember the three C’s—Clean your hands and spaces throughout the day, Cover your nose and mouth under a face covering, don’t Crowd and be sure to maintain distance between yourself and others.
- Create and maintain student “cohorts” in the dorms, allowing for social interaction while minimizing exposure risk;
- Eliminate shared equipment as much as possible;
- Decrease on-campus visitors;
- Designate and use outdoor spaces for learning and socializing; and
- Support health and wellness on campus—if you’re sick, stay at home and protect yourself and the community by seeking care (boarding students and faculty/staff who live on campus should remain in their residence and contact a school nurse).