On-Campus Opening

We are prepared to invite all of our students, faculty, and staff back to school. We are confident that we are able to provide the full range of programming to our students with safety precautions in place. However, it will take education, training, and practice for our faculty, staff, students, parents, and community members to adjust to our new normal. We know that with heightened communication and clear goals in mind, we will be able to support our students' learning and social and emotional growth in this environment.  

All students, faculty, and staff will be expected to wear face coverings throughout the school day. We understand that consistent mask use will require learning on the part of our students, and we are committed to supporting that learning throughout the day. All masks must have the student’s name on them, and guidance will be sent to families before the start of school to help prepare students for prolonged mask use during the school year. Please note that bandannas, gaiter-style masks, or masks with inappropriate text or graphics are not permitted.

During the first week of school happening on campus, students will become familiar with the steps the Academy has taken to keep them safe as well as what each person can do to stay safe while at school. We will practice our procedures so that each person is clear on how they will navigate through campus. At the same time, we will share a virtual tour video with you to show our community what a “day in the life” looks like for our students who are learning and growing while practicing health and safety guidelines at the same time. The Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have specific guidance for reopening schools, which includes a number of considerations. To that end, the Lower, Middle, and Senior Schools have planned the following.

List of 6 items.

  • Lower School

    Each homeroom will operate as an isolated cohort, or pod, staying together throughout the day. The two homerooms in each grade will function as a larger cohort. These homerooms will maintain social distancing from one another (i.e., the two homerooms will not mix students) but will share common faculty members between them. The Early Childhood (EC) homerooms will each have two assigned teachers, and there will be one specialist assigned to work with the three Early Childhood classes all day. The students in these three classes will refrain from mixing whenever possible, and the students in each homeroom will only work with their two teachers and the EC-assigned specialist. Grades 1-5 will have three faculty members assigned to it – the two homeroom teachers and one specialist who will be only with those two homerooms all day. These will be the only adults these students engage with each day. 

    There will be no visitors permitted in the Lower School building or classrooms. Caregivers may be needed to provide separation support in the Early Childhood building, but we will work to minimize this as much as possible.

    Early Arrivals
    There will be no formal Early Arrival Program in the 2020-2021 school year. All doors will open to students at 8:00 a.m., following the procedures indicated below.

    All faculty and staff must enter through the main entrance of the Lower School to check-in.

    Each grade will be assigned a specific entrance to use each morning. See assigned entrance maps on the Lower School Resource Board on MySewickley.

    Students will proceed directly to their classroom, where faculty will be present to receive the students as they arrive and engage them in the necessary health protocol.

    Students who use a bus or van as transportation to school will use a separate entrance and will remain there until they are escorted to their classrooms.

    Students with siblings in multiple grades will still need to use their assigned entrances, but older siblings will be permitted to escort younger siblings to their assigned entrance.

    While we will do our best to follow the new schedule that had been designed before the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that some adjustments will be necessary. Each specialist will teach their subject matter to the students in the grade to which they are assigned. Since two homerooms cannot be together at the same time, the times of these sessions may vary somewhat. All other specials content will be delivered in a Virtual School model, supervised and supported by the specialist or homeroom teacher in the room.

    Unstructured Play
    Similar to other aspects of our initially planned schedule, some aspects of the Unstructured Play block will need to be adjusted as well. As originally planned, each homeroom will be assigned a designated outdoor space for their Unstructured Playtime, but these times are likely to be somewhat different than indicated on the original schedule.
    At the end of the school day, each grade will exit through their assigned doorway. Students with younger siblings will be permitted to proceed to the exit of their youngest sibling for pickup.

    Students who take the bus or a van will be picked up as a group from their homeroom and brought to the bus holding area.

    After Ours and After School Activities

    We recognize the need for many of our families to have a childcare option for students upon the conclusion of the school day.

    After Ours will take place in the commons of the Early Childhood building. Families can pick up their students from their homeroom at the end of the school day. 

    In accordance with the guidance from the CDC to keep gatherings under 25 people whenever possible, the After Ours program will be restricted to no more than 22 students.

    While the operation of this program removes students from their pods and mixes them together, the importance of this program to our families warrants a risk that is equivalent to the mixing of students in any other activity that occurs outside of school hours.

    All after school activities are canceled.

    Community Events

    Hopes and Dreams Conferences
    The Hopes and Dreams Conferences held just prior to the first school day will occur in-person, as originally planned. In a departure from previous years, we are requesting that students attend the conference with the family. All students and families will be expected to wear a mask to campus and enter using the assigned entrance for that student, as this will provide us the opportunity to introduce students and families to our new entry protocols prior to the first day of classes.

    Parent Conferences
    Families will have the option of scheduling an in-person conference with their homeroom teacher or to schedule a virtual meeting using Zoom.

    Parent Coffees
    Parent coffee events will take place as scheduled, but RSVPs will be requested in order to use an appropriate space. Each coffee event will have a theme or topic of conversation, and parents will have additional opportunities to speak with the Division Head during weekly office hours.

    Assemblies will continue to take place every Tuesday morning, with the exception of those Tuesdays immediately following a day off. These assemblies will be delivered virtually to each classroom and will be made available to families to view shortly thereafter.

    Field Trips
    Field trips will be limited but will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Divisional overnight trips will be suspended for the year. Instead, students will have the opportunity to experience virtual field trips as planned by the classroom teacher.

    Back-to-School Celebration
    We will celebrate our return to school on Thursday, September 3, 2020. These celebrations will be planned on a homeroom-by-homeroom basis. Due to COVID restrictions, families and caregivers will be unable to attend.

    Back-to-School Night
    Lower School Back-to-School Night will be delivered as a virtual event for the 2020-2021 school year, and will not be held on campus.

    Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day
    We will suspend this event for the 2020-2021 school year.

    Still to be Determined
    Class Performances

    Class Celebrations (birthdays, etc.)
  • Middle and Senior Schools

    The Middle and Senior Schools we will adopt practices and procedures to minimize the risk of viral spread by limiting the number of students and faculty per classroom or gathering space to 25 or less, keeping desks facing forward and practicing social distancing to the extent possible. Classes larger than 25 (i.e., the casts of the Middle School musical and Senior School play and the choral ensemble) will either split into two groups with an instructor or maintain six feet of social distancing while rehearsing. While safety precautions are in place, the divisions will not have planned group assemblies together, nor will they gather in large groups in the common areas. Instead, those activities will happen in advisory, and some of the content will be delivered virtually. Limited numbers of students will be able to work and socialize in the common spaces and library throughout the day. Any assembly over 25 persons will be held in spaces, such as the Events Center or outdoors, where more controlled social distancing can be reinforced.

    Community Events

    Back-to-School Kick-Off in the Middle School and Back-to-School Nights
    We will assure that families get the information that they need and that we find ways to socially interact that do not require large, in-person gatherings. 

    Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Days
    We will suspend these events for the 2020-2021 school year.

    School Trips
    Divisional overnight class trips will be suspended for the 2020-2021 school year.*
    *The Global Studies Office and the Senior Class will revisit plans for overnight trips/travel this spring.

    Parent Programming
    Parent programming, coffees, and parent/student/advisor conferences will take place in-person on September 2 and on November 6 in the Middle and Senior School, respectively. 

    It is unclear at this time if we will invite the community to live performances such as the Middle School musical, Senior School play, and musical concerts. We hope that as the guidance changes in response to health and safety, we can reconvene large gatherings in the spring.
    Entry, Exits, and Hallway Traffic
    The daily Middle School 2020-2021 Schedule and Senior School 2020-2021 Schedule will allow us to stagger entry and exit from common spaces and therefore avoid the congregation of crowds. Students will stagger their entry and exit from those spaces as they arrive in the morning, between classes, at lunchtime, and when they exit the building for the day (see maps on the Middle and Senior School Resource Boards on MySewickley). As much as the weather permits, we will make use of outdoor space for community time and recreational activities. 

    Limit the Sharing of Materials
    In an effort to limit the shared materials between students, we ask that each student continue to bring their own computer, earbuds/headphones/earphones each day, and refrain from bringing any other materials with the intention of sharing (soccer balls or footballs, games, sporting equipment, etc.). Students may play games at lunch and community time that allow for social distancing, and if there is a shared piece of equipment, it will be cleaned immediately after use. All students will disinfect their hands upon reentering the building after lunch and community time. Surfaces used during class periods will be wiped down by the students who used the space at the end of each class period. 
    Middle School LINK Program and After School Activities
    After school, the LINK program for Middle School students will operate as it always has with safety precautions in mind.

    In the Senior School, a limited number of students will have access to the library and common spaces with the same safety precautions in place.
  • Communication

    We know that frequent, concise, and updated communication will be necessary as we adjust to any new recommendations from the CDC or the Pennsylvania Department of Education. To that end, we will continue to write our weekly newsletters and archive them on the respective division’s Resource Board. The Resource Boards will be updated often, especially as the Academy receives new guidance and policies from the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Education, and provide access to all current health and safety measures, including any restrictions in place and current policies and procedures that relate to health and safety and educational resources to support the partnership between Sewickley Academy, it’s families, and the community. We continue to encourage personal interaction with our families and hope that you will make use of phone and email communication to set up virtual conferences with teachers or administrators. In-person visits must be arranged through the division offices. Masks will be required at all times for anyone who has a scheduled appointment.
  • Dining Options - Meals and Snacks

    Sewickley Academy’s food service company, Metz, will provide individually packaged snack and lunch options that must be pre-ordered using a Metz app. Details about ordering will be sent separately before the start of school. 

    Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottle, snacks, and lunch from home but will also have the option to order from a limited “cold” boxed lunch menu provided by Metz and Associates. The boxed lunches will be delivered to the division and distributed to classrooms where students will eat lunch. The cafeterias will not be open to serve breakfast, lunch, or snacks.

    Lower School
    Lunch will be eaten as a homeroom, inside the homeroom classroom. Students who receive lunch from Metz will have their boxed lunch delivered to the homeroom.

    All best practices will be followed to ensure those students with allergies remain safe. Because we will not be able to eat in the cafeteria and provide nut-free tables, we will be operating as a nut-free campus. Any food brought by students from home must be nut-free in order to protect our students and staff with severe nut allergies.

    Following lunch, each homeroom will engage in best practices for cleaning and disinfecting the classroom space.

    Middle and Senior Schools
    Middle and Senior School students are encouraged to bring their own snacks with them from home.
  • Lockers

    Each division will determine how and when students may be able to use lockers. In general, students should expect to carry their personal items with them throughout the day. Access to lockers will be based on health and safety considerations, supervision, and the developmental needs of students.
  • Visitors

    Visitors will not be permitted on campus. If families need to drop off something for their child(ren) during the day, a cart will be located in the vestibule of each division. Please label the item, and we will make sure we deliver it to your child(ren). Special guests will be invited to join classrooms virtually and, likewise, student field trips will be limited but will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Contact Us

List of 2 items.

Visit Us!

Main Campus

Sewickley Academy
315 Academy Avenue
Sewickley, PA 15143
Sewickley Academy is a nationally recognized

Pittsburgh Private School

enrolling students in Pre-K through Grade 12 on a single campus.