Sewickley Academy has developed this policy to outline our return to school guidelines and reopening of our campus after the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be following the guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Education, and Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD). This is a “living document” which means there may be changes and updates. The pandemic team includes Beth Brown, Hillary Bruno, Kaitlin Busch, Cheryl Ann Lassen, Suzi Peluso, Olivia Saperstein, and Sarah Zeglowitsch. This has been reviewed by our school physician, Dr. Tom Doyle, and our administration.

All school activities will follow Governor Wolf’s plan to reopen schools. The administration has categorized reopening into three broad phases: red, yellow, and green. These designations signal how counties and/or regions may begin easing some restrictions on school, work, congregate settings, and social interactions:

The Red Phase: Schools remain closed for in-person instruction and all instruction must be provided via remote learning, whether using digital or non-digital platforms. Large gatherings are prohibited.

The Yellow Phase and Green Phase: Schools may provide in-person instruction after developing a written Health and Safety Plan.

List of 6 items.

  • Promoting a Healthy Environment

    Face masks will be required for anyone on campus for any reason. This includes faculty, staff, administrators, students, parents, vendors, or other visitors. Bandanas and gaiter-style masks are not permitted, and all face masks with any patterns, markings, or other logos must be appropriate for school use. Current recommendations are for face masks made of cloth to be two-ply and not just a single layer of cloth for maximum effectiveness. 

    A face mask will be provided by the school for faculty, staff, maintenance, and visitors. Individuals may also choose to wear their own personal face covering. All individuals must properly wear face masks (see link).

    Families must provide their children with appropriate properly-sized face masks for school use. We suggest two for each day in the event that one is soiled. A paper bag with the student’s name on it must be provided by parents for the safe placement of a soiled mask.

    Masks should be cleaned daily at home.

    Signage promoting physical distancing, hand washing, wearing face masks will be prominently displayed (see link).

    We will implement intensified handwashing protocols/hand sanitizer protocols (see link). Students and employees will be required to wash their hands: when they arrive and dismiss from school and at regular intervals during the day - a minimum of before and after meals, after toileting, before and after recess, when changing classrooms, after touching shared items, and after coughing, sneezing, or touching the face.

    Water fountains will be closed. Safe alternatives like water filling stations will remain open.

    Food-sharing is prohibited.

    Encourage smiles and waving to replace hugs, fist pumps, and elbow bumps.

    The school nurse/athletic trainer will provide frequent cleaning/disinfection of frequently used surfaces in the Health and Wellness Center and isolation area. There will be adequate ventilation in the Health and Wellness Center and the isolation room. The flow through the isolation process from the identification of symptoms to sending a student/staff home will be done by the school nurse/athletic trainer with minimal exposure to others.
  • Preparation and Training to Meet the Needs of the School Community

    The nurse will train faculty and staff on proper health and safety procedures before the school year begins and each time we return from an extended break.

    Each division will orient students in the first days back to school to new health and safety procedures.

    The nurse will produce weekly health and wellness reminders in the newsletters to parents and students.

    The Department of Support Services will plan for the social and emotional support of students, faculty, and staff.

    We will work to reduce stigma related to fear and anxiety associated with COVID-19 to prevent/stop bias incidents.

    The Department of Support Services in collaboration with faculty will provide academic support for students who cannot attend school due to COVID-19.
  • Screening Protocols

    CDC Guidance and CDC Guidance for Schools 7/23/20

    PA DOH and PDE guidelines 7/16/20

    Faculty, staff, students, maintenance, and Metz employees will self-screen each morning and verify each day that they have self-screened and will not come to campus if they are symptomatic. This should be done no more than two hours before attending school and attendance is to be reviewed by the school nurse or athletic trainer by 7:30 a.m. Students and their families will have access to the Magnus Health app to report their daily screenings (more information will be provided prior to the start of school). Division offices will report who is present in the building after 8:30 a.m.

    During the first two weeks of school, if a screening was not conducted at home prior to arriving on campus, the student/faculty/staff member will be directed to the Rea Auditorium where the school nurse will assess that individual for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. They will be allowed to remain at school if they pass the assessment. If they do not pass, they will be sent home immediately. After the two-week transition period, any student, faculty, staff, maintenance, or Metz employee who arrives on campus without having self-screened will not be permitted to remain on campus. It is important that everyone self screen at home.

    Coaches and student-athletes will follow the Athletics Task Force recommendations for screening before participating in any athletic activity.

    Vendors, contractors, and visitors will also need to self-screen before arriving on campus and should not visit if symptomatic. If they have not been able to self-screen, the host should notify the school nurse/athletic trainer and escort the individual to the Lower School entrance. The school nurse/athletic trainer will meet them outside of the building to conduct the screening.
  • Individuals Experiencing Symptoms Consistent with COVID-19

    Anyone with a temperature of 100℉ or higher, or COVID-19 symptoms (fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea during the school day) will be sent to the school nurse/athletic trainer for evaluation.  

    The nurse should be alerted that someone has been sent.  

    Anyone going to the Health and Wellness Center should travel outside. 

    They should ring the bell and then wait until someone comes to escort them to the Health and Wellness Center.

    If someone is sent to the Health and Wellness Center, the nurse/athletic trainer will evaluate the symptoms and determine if the person needs to be sent home. They may be asked to wait in the isolation room where there will be minimal contact with others until a parent, guardian, or caregiver can pick them up in a timely manner. They will be escorted outside to their parent/caregiver by the school nurse/athletic trainer through the Lower School lobby when it is empty. Faculty and staff who present with COVID-19 symptoms will also be sent home immediately using the same procedures. The Health and Wellness Center and isolation room will be thoroughly cleaned between visitors.

    Siblings of students who present with symptoms associated with COVID-19 will be screened and may be sent home.

    The isolation room will be located adjacent to the Health and Wellness Center. There will be adequate space for physical distancing, ventilation, a place to rest, and access to a private bathroom. 

    The school nurse/athletic trainer will notify the Division Head and Head of School if an individual presenting with COVID-19 symptoms arrives at the Health and Wellness Center.

    If sent home, the patient must follow up with a medical provider, who must provide written clearance for the patient to return to school.

    For anyone who is not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms but requires absence due to other illness, our health policy remains the same: anyone experiencing fever, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, persistent pain, widespread rash, or allergic reaction must remain home until symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of medication.

    Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to follow the 
    CDC's COVID-19 Guidelines. If a case is confirmed to be COVID-19, then the school nurse/athletic trainer will call the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) as required to report and follow their guidelines to determine a course of action. The Head of School will share information about exposure with the affected part of the school community while protecting the infected individual's confidentiality, and the impacted facilities will be closed until they are cleaned and disinfected.

    In order to return to school, anyone recovering from COVID-19 must be cleared by their physician. Usually, 10 days since symptoms first appeared and three days with no fever (without fever-reducing medication), and other symptoms have improved. 

    If a parent or family member has COVID-19 symptoms, they will need to consult their physician. A parent will notify the school nurse/athletic trainer to discuss the physician’s recommendations. All faculty, staff, students, maintenance, and Metz employees who have a family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to follow CDC’s Guidelines for Exposure, which currently requires families to quarantine for 14 days and provide medical clearance from their physician before returning to campus.

    The school nurse/athletic trainer will follow the ACHD for contact tracing. Faculty, staff, and families will be notified of possible exposure to a person with a confirmed case by ACHD.
  • Care Coordination by the School Nurse, Athletic Trainer, and School Physician

    Each division will share absentee information with the school nurse/athletic trainer to facilitate daily tracking of attendance and monitoring for trends. The school nurse/athletic trainer may contact a parent for additional information or to provide support.

    Students with pre-existing medical conditions or who live with someone who does may be considered high risk. These students may need to take extra precautions and should consult with the school nurse and their own doctors regarding potential accommodations.

    Concerns will be addressed individually by the school nurse in coordination with the student and the parent. Alternative educational settings may be considered to address health and safety concerns.

    Daily tracking of staff and students with symptoms of COVID-19 who were sent home. 

    We will follow the Allegheny County Health Department's Guidelines for contact tracing.

    We will encourage parents to log additional interactions (e.g., playdates or after school activities) so they can be contacted if necessary.

    Ensure the staff is aware of privacy policies regarding disclosure of COVID-19 status.

    Communicate with the Allegheny County Health Department and our local school district and school physician.

    Periodically evaluate health and safety strategies to determine effectiveness.
  • Decision Tool for COVID-19 Exposure/Illness

    Click to view the Decision Tool for COVID-19 Exposure/Illness

    Definition of Key Terms -
    Retrieved from the CDC's Guidelines for Exposure.

    Close Contact: Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

    Exposure: Having come into contact with a cause of, or possessing a characteristic that is a determinant of, a particular
    health problem.

    Isolation: Separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

    Quarantine: Separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

List of 1 items.

  • Transportation as of 7/30/20

    Parents are encouraged to transport their child(ren) to and from school when possible.

    Children who are driven to school by car will use the driveway loop closest to their entrance. The parent/driver should remain in the car.

    We will follow the guidelines provided by each of the school districts and bus companies that transport our students.

    Physical distancing should be maintained at bus stops, and face masks should be worn while waiting for and riding any bus.

    Health screening and temperature should be assessed prior to getting on any bus.

    Load buses back to front and unload front to back to limit passing other students. 

    Siblings are encouraged to sit together. 

    Cleaning of our Sewickley Academy bus and vans will follow the local, state, and/or federal recommendations. Cleaning of school buses from the districts that transport our students is as follows: Avonworth is using a one-time, good for 30 days spray. Aliquippa, Ambridge, Central Valley, Cornell, Freedom, Montour, Moon, and West Allegheny are cleaning after every morning and afternoon run. We are still waiting to hear the safety protocols of the rest of the districts that bus students to the Academy.

    Field trips can be phased in and approved by the administration on a case-by-case basis.

    No divisional overnight trips will take place this year. Overnight trips for Global Studies and Athletics will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    Busing for athletes will follow athletic guidelines and recommendations.

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.