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. For 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.
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 regularly. 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 requires that our students and employees are 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 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.
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. Students and employees who do not have either a vaccination card or an exemption on file will not be permitted to attend classes, school-related activities or be employed at Solebury School.
Boosters are strongly recommended for all of our students who are eligible at this point. Please note that if your student is not boosted and not within six months of their second Pfizer or Moderna shot (or within two months for J&J) and is determined to be a close contact of a positive case, they will need to quarantine for five days according to our revised protocols. The CDC has recommended that all people over the age of 18 should receive a booster shot 6 months after their last dose of the COVID vaccine. On December 9, 2021 the CDC updated its guidance regarding who can get a COVID-19 booster shot. All teens aged 16-17 who are six months past their last dose of the Pfizer vaccine are now eligible to receive a Pfizer booster. Vaccine protection is an important part of keeping our community safe and able to learn in person.
The wearing of a face covering continues to be required in most indoor spaces. Employees are not required to wear a mask when alone in workspaces or classrooms. Masks will continue to be required in common areas in dorms through the month of January and if you have a guest in your room. For masking requirements for athletics, see here.
We do ask that anyone who is suffering from a respiratory illness to please wear a face covering in any public space, including dorm lounges. When eating, please take care to distance yourself from others or eat outside.
We continue to utilize point-of-care rapid antigen tests made available to us via the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Project ACE-IT Program. For the winter trimester our testing will expand to the following groups:
- Those participating in indoor competitive sports will be tested weekly
- Those participating in theater will be tested weekly
We will continue to test all symptomatic or exposed students and faculty who are fully vaccinated. Symptomatic individuals should be tested 24 hours after symptom start, and those with a known exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 should be tested on day 3-5 after that exposure.
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 open windows in most occupied spaces. We will continue to prioritize cleaning all spaces on campus, including those with high occupancy rates.
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. All visitors to campus must follow the school’s policies and procedures when on campus and may be asked to disclose their vaccination status.
COVID-positive diagnosis for employees or students:
While we expect that COVID-positive diagnoses will be minimal (given our high vaccination rate on campus), the possibility of cases does exist. All employees and students are required to disclose to our Health Office if they have received a positive COVID diagnosis, if they are unvaccinated and a close contact of a positive COVID diagnosis, and/or if they are quarantining because of a COVID exposure.
Solebury School has updated its protocols regarding isolation and quarantine for COVID-positive cases and COVID-positive close contact exposures, incorporating the revised guidance from the CDC. You can see our updated and revised COVID diagnosis protocols here. We will once again notify students, parents, and employees of a positive COVID diagnosis for students or employees and share information as appropriate with Bucks County Department of Health and the State of Pennsylvania as required.