COVID Guidelines 2022-23
As we come back together as a community for the 2022-23 school year, we rely on our values of respect, accountability, and inclusivity to guide us. We know that the SPA community is taking steps both individually and collectively to support the health of our community.
With the return to school in August 2022, we prepare for our third fall of living and learning in a pandemic. Although COVID-19 is still with us and will be for some time to come, we are now moving into an endemic stage and have shifted many of our mitigation strategies and protocols accordingly. For our day-to-day life at school, that means that we will continue with the health and safety measures that we know are most effective for protecting our most vulnerable while providing a vibrant, robust, and consistent learning environment for our students. Our community’s exceedingly high vaccination rates, especially in combination with our HVAC and filtration systems on both campuses, are some of the most effective tools we have in protecting our community from severe illness and moving us closer to pre-pandemic operations.
This website provides a complete overview of our protocols for the opening of the 2022-23 school year and will be updated as the landscape shifts and evolves in the coming weeks and months. Signature pieces of our protocols include:
- Mask-optional practices in indoor and outdoor spaces for all students, employees, and visitors to both campuses. Individuals at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 are encouraged to mask while on campus.
- Continued monitoring of illness and absences. Although we will discontinue contact tracing and our weekly dashboard, we will be closely monitoring reported illnesses. If and when there are spikes of COVID (or any other illness) in a specific cohort, our Health Assistants will notify and advise families of the best course of action.
- Reporting and tracking positive tests. All positive cases of COVID-19 should be reported to your campus Health Office (see "Health Screening, Symptoms, and Reporting," below.
- Isolation and quarantine protocols. SPA will follow the CDC isolation and quarantine guidance, which includes isolation following a positive test and a potential return to school on Day 6 after the positive test (or the onset of symptoms) if symptoms have resolved, and masking through Day 10. No testing will be required to return, although testing is strongly recommended.
As we move into this new endemic phase of life with COVID, we will rely even more heavily on individuals and families to take responsibility for their own health and wellness. Every member of the SPA community--students, families, faculty, and staff--should always take their own risk and the risk of those with whom they spend time into account when making decisions about activities and behaviors. We will emphasize individual family choices more than ever this year, and we are grateful to every member of the SPA community for their responsible decision-making and care. We will also continue to follow guidance from the CDC and MDH closely, and urge all members of the community to also stay up-to-date on such guidance.
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, and Carol Grady, a licensed school nurse who advises SPA through the St. Paul Public School district.
- Dr. Luis Ottley, 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
- Beth Nelson, Lower School Principal
- Virginia Andres, Middle School Principal
- Ken Jaffe, Interim Upper School Principal
- John Cole, Director of Operations and Security
- Christie Jansen, 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
- Rick Johns, Interim Athletic Director