Sewickley Academy Health & Safety Plan 2021-2022

Sewickley Academy will provide in-person instruction for all grades, Pre-K-12, for the 2021-2022 school year. Our plans are informed by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Allegheny County Health Department, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Due to the nature of the pandemic, this plan will be flexible and adaptable to the ever-changing conditions in the region and the state. Plan updates will be posted on our website,

UPDATED: CDC Updates and Shortens Recommended Isolation and Quarantine Period for General Population

Updated: 2/22/2022

List of 13 items.

  • Mask Requirements

  • Vaccination

    Sewickley Academy strongly encourages all community members to get vaccinated and their booster for COVID-19 as soon as possible. However, the vaccine is not required for enrollment or employment at this time due to its emergency use authorization by the FDA.
  • Physical Distancing

    Classrooms and indoor learning spaces will be configured for three feet of physical distance between students, when possible.
  • Health Screenings

    • All Sewickley Academy community members should self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms daily.
    • Individuals with a temperature of 100℉ or above, chills, coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, worsening headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea should stay home from school and contact Beth Brown, School Nurse. 
    • If your child becomes sick or symptomatic at school, please pick them up within an hour of notification.
  • Cleaning, Disinfection, and Ventilation on Campus

    • All high-touch surfaces, classrooms, common areas, restrooms, and shared equipment will be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
    • All buildings will utilize HVAC intake settings, open windows, and/or fans to increase the flow of fresh air.
  • Hygiene

    • We will practice and reinforce best practices for good hygiene. 
    • Touchless hand sanitizing stations are located in the common areas, and bottles of hand sanitizer are in each classroom.
    • It is highly recommended for all individuals to bring reusable water bottles to school. Water filling stations are available for use in all divisions; however, the use of any water fountains for drinking will not be permitted. 
    • Food sharing is prohibited. 
    • In an effort to limit the shared materials between students, we ask that each student continue to bring their own computer and earbuds/headphones/earphones each day.
  • Cafeteria Use

    • Lower School students will eat in the cafeteria with at least three feet of distance between each student. Grades 3-5 will take turns rotating out on a weekly basis to eat in their classrooms to reduce the number of students in the cafeteria at one time. They will still be able to purchase lunch in the cafeteria even when eating in their classrooms. 
    • Middle and Senior School students will resume eating lunch in the cafeteria. Students will only be allowed to enter the Middle/Senior School Cafeteria during their scheduled lunch period to allow sufficient distancing between individuals. Outdoor seating options are available and encouraged for use.
  • Assemblies & Field Trips

    • Assemblies, gatherings, and meetings may be held in person or virtually, depending on the nature of the event.
    • Field trips are suspended until further notice, with the exception of walking field trips, which are permitted. Early Childhood trips to Fern Hollow will continue as normal.
  • Parents & Visitors

    • In general, visitors will be welcomed on campus. All visitors must wear masks inside buildings while on campus.
    • All parent coffees will take place in the lobby of the Events Center. Lower School coffees will start at 8:15 a.m., and Middle and Senior School coffees will begin at 8:30 a.m. 
  • Athletics

    • Athletics will follow WPIAL/PIAA guidelines.
    • There are no restrictions on spectator limits at home athletic events.
    • Spectators must wear masks at all indoor events

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  • Virtual School/Remote Learning

    • Sewickley Academy will not offer Virtual School as an attendance option. 
    • Students with documented health needs who require an extended absence from school should contact the Director of Instructional and Student Support, who will work with them, their teachers, and family to coordinate the reasonable and necessary accommodations.
    • If a student needs to quarantine due to COVID-19 or exposure, the Director of Instructional and Student Support will work with them, their teachers, and their family to coordinate the reasonable and necessary accommodations.
    • Sewickley Academy will allow for snow days this school year. However, we may shift to Virtual School in the case of extended inclement weather or a season with an extraordinary amount of snow days.
  • COVID-19 Case Procedures

    • Symptoms and Testing
      • Students or employees with symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should stay home and contact the school nurse as soon as possible. If symptoms continue, follow up with a physician to determine if a COVID-19 test is necessary.
      • If a test is not recommended, the individual may return to school when fever-free for 24 hours (below 99.5℉ without fever-reducing medication) and symptoms have improved.
      • If a test is recommended, a negative PCR test is required for return to school. Sewickley Academy does NOT accept rapid antigen tests. 
      • All test results must be shared with the school nurse.
    • Positive Cases
      • If your child or someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to COVID-19, notify the school nurse immediately.
      • Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus will need to follow the CDC’s Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines
      • Students or employees who test positive for COVID-19 may not return to school until at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared and have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and improved symptoms.
      • Students who require an extended absence from school should contact the Director of Instructional and Student Support, who will work with them, their teachers, and family to coordinate the reasonable and necessary accommodations.
    • Contact Tracing
      • The school nurse and athletic trainer will work with the Allegheny County Health Department to identify Sewickley Academy community members who were in close contact with an infected person. A close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over 24 hours, starting two days before symptom onset, or for asymptomatic cases, positive specimen collection.
        • In the PK-12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student where both students were engaged in the consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks, and other prevention strategies were in place. This exception does not apply to adults.
        • Fully vaccinated close contacts do not need to quarantine if asymptomatic but will be asked to submit results of a COVID-19 test performed no earlier than 5-7 days after the last known exposure and will be instructed to monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
    • Communication Protocols
      • The school nurse will communicate with the appropriate division if an absence is COVID-related.
      • Sewickley Academy will share information about exposure with the affected part of the school community while protecting the infected individual’s confidentiality.
  • Pandemic Team

    • Dr. Ashley (Brown ’00) Birtwell, Head of School
    • Beau Blaser, Director of Technology
    • Beth Brown, RN, BSN, School Nurse
    • Michael Cesario, Interim Head of Senior School
    • Derek Chimner ’04, Interim Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
    • Dave DeNardo, Director of Finance & Operations 
    • Dr. Tom Doyle, School Physician
    • Jim Miller, Director of Buildings & Grounds
    • Krista Moyer, Director of Instructional & Student Support
    • Win Palmer, Director of Athletics
    • Dr. Shannon Mulholland, Head of Middle School
    • Dr. Jerilyn (Carter ’86) Scott, Head of Lower School
    • Jayme Thompson, Director of Enrollment Management