An independent day school serving grades K-12 | St. Paul, MN

COVID Guidelines 2021-22

January 3, 2022 Update: In late December 2021, The CDC updated their recommendations for isolation and quarantine when sick or exposed to COVID. The Minnesota Department of Health is currently reviewing these updated guidelines; SPA is awaiting MDH's guidance and will update school recommendations after review. In the meantime, SPA will follow current MDH guidelines, which include a mandatory 10-day isolation period following a positive test. Please see the "Contact Tracing, Quarantine, and Travel" section below for more information. 

Update From the Head of School | January 3, 2022

To the SPA community,

Welcome back to school and to 2022. We are looking forward to seeing our students back on our campuses tomorrow, and to hear their voices and laughter in our hallways and classrooms after what I hope was a relaxing and enjoyable Winter Break for all.

The recent surge of COVID cases and the Omicron variant have dominated the news of late. The Omicron variant differs from the Delta variant in crucial ways. It is more transmissible and early assessments suggest that this variant results in milder symptoms than Delta among those who are fully vaccinated and especially among those who have received boosters. We are tracking the impact of Omicron on our community with great care. The CDC recently issued new guidance on how to respond to the Omicron variant and we are eager to learn how the Minnesota Department of Health will apply these revised guidelines before making any changes to our school policies.

In the meantime, we will continue to follow the protocols that served us so well during the first semester and are outlined this website, below. This includes the requirement of a 10-day isolation period following a positive COVID test. Thanks to your vigilance and care, these protocols have allowed us to remain in school with very low case rates. Our success reflects the prudent and thoughtful choices that you and your students make every day. Your continued diligence will be critical as we return to school this week.

Please note the following:

  • Should MDH issue new guidance that will impact our operations at school, we will inform the community immediately. 
  • Although we had hoped to remove the plexiglass from the Randolph Campus Dining Hall upon our return from break, we are now delaying this removal for at least the next week as we move through the current surge in cases and continue to evaluate our protocols during Middle and Upper School lunch. 
  • We encourage all students and adults to consider wearing an N95, KN95, or KF94 mask when on campus. Public health authorities have suggested that these masks are preferable to cloth masks. They are widely available both locally and online. 
  • If you received an email on December 17 regarding submission of your student's vaccination documentation from Monica Garrido-Mejia, SPA’s Lead Health Assistant, please respond immediately if you have not yet done so. This request was sent to families of students for whom we do not yet have vaccination documentation. Please contact Monica if you have any questions about submitting your student’s vaccination documentation.
  • Omicron may compel us to make some alterations in some events at school in the coming days and weeks. Your division principal will keep you up to date on any changes. 

The past eighteen months have been wearying for you and your families and I remain extraordinarily grateful for your help and support as we continue to navigate school life in a pandemic. Thank you, and welcome back to school.

Bryn S. Roberts
Head of School
 

 

Update Archive, 2021-22

COVID Protocols, 2021-22

As we come together as a community this school year, we will rely on our values of respect and inclusivity to guide us in our interactions and community choices. We know that the SPA community is taking steps both individually and collectively to support the health of our community. Throughout the year, we will encourage, model, and practice compassion, care, and respect for ourselves and others. This includes respecting individual needs and the confidentiality of personal medical information. 

We know that a layered approach to mitigation is important and that no single strategy is the solution to community health. We are grateful for the multiple layers we have in place on both campuses as we navigate the evolving conditions of the pandemic. We will remain flexible and responsive in our approach this school year, adding and subtracting layers as necessary, and we will uphold our community values as we move through those changes together.  

The protocols listed below are current as of January 3, 2022. 

covid-19 planning and response team, 2021-22

The COVID-19 Planning and Response Team is made up of academic and administrative leaders from across the school's divisions and units. The team is advised by Dr. Paul Anderson, who serves as the school's Medical Director. 

  • Bryn S. Roberts, Head of School
  • Dr. Jill Romans, Assistant Head of School for Student Development and Community Engagement
  • Dr. Cindy Richter, Assistant Head of School for Academic Programs
  • Theresa Collins, Upper School Principal
  • Virginia Andres, Middle School Principal
  • Beth Nelson, Lower School Principal
  • Mark Dickinson, Director of Operations and Security
  • Chelsea Kimpton, Director of Finance
  • Courtney Barker, Director of Human Resources
  • Garry Clum, Director of Technology
  • Ami Berger, Director of Communications
  • Mary Hill, Director of College Counseling and Academic Planning
  • Dawn Wickstrum, Director of Athletics
  • Monica Garrido Mejia, Lead Health Assistant