health & safety considerations

We are thrilled to welcome all students back to campus instruction for the 2021-22 school year. While we are beginning the school year with fewer restrictions in place than in the spring, we must still implement some modifications to protect community health. These restrictions will likely remain in place for some time this fall, and will be eased as it becomes safe to do so. Changes to policies and procedures will be communicated in a timely way to students and their families.

Pre-arrival Considerations

Pre-arrival Testing

Across our three divisions, all students and employees will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result received within 72 hours before their first return to campus. We will provide on-campus testing before the start of school (prior to each of the fall athletics preseason start dates, and prior to the start of classes). We will share details of these testing opportunities and provide registration information soon on student and family Pirate Pages. Day students unable to come to campus, or resident students living far from campus must undergo this testing before they arrive, and should identify a facility near them where they can be tested before coming to campus.

Remote Instruction

Given that the current conditions allow us to reasonably protect students and employees’ health and safety, remote synchronous instruction will not be provided. Students whose arrival to campus is delayed or who will undergo term-time quarantines or other absences will be able to participate via Canvas (middle and upper division students) or SeeSaw (lower division students) and by way of direct contact with their instructors.

Travel Policy

We are following CDC travel guidelines which recommend that unvaccinated travelers using public transport should EITHER:

  • quarantine for 7 days after travel if they get tested for COVID-19 between days 3-5 upon return, OR
  • quarantine for 10 days if they do not get tested.

All fully vaccinated students (both boarding and day) may return to school without undertaking a self-isolation period, and will not be subject to further testing unless they develop symptoms of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccination

All students 12 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. We strongly recommend that all eligible students be vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to school. Please be advised that should the CDC, CDPH, and/or MCHD guidelines mandate that schools require COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible students, we will adhere to those guidelines.

Further vaccination information for

All unvaccinated lower and middle division students will participate in regular asymptomatic testing with a frequency to be determined by guidance from the CDC, CDPH, and MDPH. See below for detailed testing information.
We will help international students who are unvaccinated and wish to receive vaccinations receive vaccinations immediately upon their arrival. All unvaccinated upper division students—both day and boarding—must submit negative COVID-19 test results on a weekly basis. See below for detailed testing information.

Per CDPH mandate, all eligible Stevenson employees (teachers and staff) will be required to present proof of vaccination, or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

As stated above, all students must present a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to school. All fully vaccinated students (both boarding and day) may return to school without serving a self-isolation period, and will not be subject to further testing unless they develop symptoms of COVID-19. All unvaccinated students must self-isolate 7 days prior to their return to campus, which means they should not travel via public transport or attend concerts or other large gatherings, whether they take place indoors or outdoors.

Seasonal Flu Shot

The School’s immunization and communicable illness policy requires students and employees to receive a seasonal flu shot once it is available. Flu clinics are scheduled on campus for late September/early October for all campuses and more information will be communicated in the coming weeks. In the face of a global pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus, seasonal flu shots play an important role by reducing the incidence of influenza, which results in symptoms similar to COVID-19. 

The effectiveness of these vaccines may vary from season to season. The protection they provide depends on the age and health of the person receiving the vaccine, and the degree of match between the viruses used to produce the vaccine and the viruses in circulation. Despite variations in these vaccines’ effectiveness, every year they prevent millions of influenza illnesses, tens of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths.

Daily Health Screening

All students and faculty will complete daily symptom checks and report their status via the SchoolPass app. PK-12 day families and boarding students should purchase digital oral thermometers to use in reporting their daily temperature. Our nurses will be equipped to take the temperature of any community member who may become ill or manifest concerning symptoms while on campus.

Any community member who experiences a fever of 100 degrees (or two degrees above their baseline body temperature), or who would likely experience a fever were it not for medication, or who has other symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection, should:

  • be isolated immediately;
  • contact their doctor, or have their parent or guardian contact the family’s pediatrician;
  • call or email the School nurse; and
  • not come to campus under any circumstances (or not leave their dormitory room, in the case of a boarding student) until granted explicit permission by the School nurse to do so.

Families or emergency adult contacts of PK-12 students must be prepared to keep their ill children at home, or retrieve them from campus swiftly should they suddenly fall ill during the school day.

The School nurse, in consultation with a student’s pediatrician, will determine how long that student must stay away from campus. Students obligated to be away from campus will keep up with school work via Canvas and direct communication with their teachers, to the degree that their condition permits.

This level of vigilance is necessary to minimize the possibility of COVID-19 spread in our community and is now common practice across the United States at independent schools. Given our experience this spring, we are confident that a combination of high vaccination levels and mandatory testing of the unvaccinated will enable us to prevent disruption and allow us to experience a relatively normal school year.

Testing Throughout the Year

With less than 25% of the Carmel Campus student population currently eligible for vaccination, and no residential students in the lower and middle divisions, we will employ pre-arrival testing, health symptom screening, and periodic PCR testing to ensure community safety. All testing will be on campus using the same provider we retain for pre-arrival testing.

Testing frequency

  • All students will be tested monthly.

Testing cost
Families will be billed $20 for each test administered by Total Swab, and the lab, Eurofins, will bill the insurance directly for the cost of processing the test. Families for whom this expense represents a hardship should contact the Business Office. Families that choose to use a different provider or a different test will do so at their own expense.

All unvaccinated upper division students—both day and boarding—must submit negative COVID-19 test results on a weekly basis. These tests will be available on campus. Families will be billed $20 for each test administered by Total Swab, and the lab, Eurofins, will bill the insurance directly for the cost of processing the test. Families for whom this expense represents a hardship should contact the Business Office. Families that choose to use a different provider or a different test will do so at their own expense. 

  • Health insurance coverage of testing for international students 
    United Healthcare, which provides coverage for our students from other countries, will cover costs related to symptomatic and exposure testing and treatment for COVID-19. International students can utilize their insurance plan anywhere across the globe, including their home country. 

This level of vigilance, which is now common practice across the United States at schools with residential programs, is necessary to minimize the possibility of COVID-19 spread in our residence halls. Given our experience this spring, we are confident that a combination of our community’s high vaccination levels and mandatory testing of the unvaccinated will enable us to prevent disruption and allow us to experience a relatively normal school year.

It may interest you to know that a recent survey of resident student vaccination showed that 85% of our resident students (including newly enrolled students) are fully vaccinated. Of the remaining 15%, most are newly enrolled students who have not yet had access to vaccines and have requested vaccination on arrival. 

United Healthcare, which provides coverage for our students from other countries, will cover costs related to symptomatic and exposure testing and treatment for COVID-19. International students can utilize their insurance plan anywhere across the globe, including their home country.

Community notification in the event of a positive case

In the event of a positive student case, Stevenson will reach out to those who have been in close contact with that student, along with the other students in that division (names and other identifying details will not be shared). Close contact is defined as anyone who has spent 15 minutes or more, over a 24 hour period, within 6 feet of a person who tested positive for COVID-19, while they were contagious. We will continue to adhere to state and county guidelines as it is updated in this regard.

Symptoms, quarantine, and isolation

  • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; AND
  • Other symptoms have improved; AND
  • They have either: 
    • a negative test for SARS-CoV-2, OR
    • a healthcare provider has provided documentation that the symptoms are typical of their underlying chronic condition (e.g., allergies or asthma), OR
    • a healthcare provider has provided documentation of a confirmed alternative named diagnosis (e.g., Streptococcal pharyngitis, Coxsackie virus), OR
    • at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset.

If a student develops symptoms while on campus during normal health center hours (weekdays 7:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. at the Pebble Beach Campus and 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. [4:30 p.m. on Fridays] at the Carmel Campus), they are to report directly to the health center or nurse’s office. If the student has symptoms of COVID-19, their guardian or emergency contact will be contacted, the student will be isolated in the health center, and the student will be sent home as soon as they can be picked up or can safely drive home. 

 

If a student feels sick during a time when the health center is not open (weekends, if they are here for meetings, practices, etc.), they should alert a faculty member on duty who will contact the nurse on duty. The nurse will provide direction to the student, faculty, and guardians regarding a need for quarantine, testing, and policies related to a sick student.

Vaccinated students do not need to quarantine as long as they have no symptoms, and must self-monitor for 14 days.

Unvaccinated students, if unmasked when exposed must:

  • quarantine for 7 days if they get tested for COVID-19 between days 3-5, OR
  • quarantine for 10 days if they do not get tested, and
  • self monitor for 14 days

Unvaccinated students, if masked when exposed: do not need to quarantine if they:

  • have no symptoms
  • get tested twice in the 10 days after exposure
  • continue to wear a mask consistently and properly
  • quarantine from all extracurricular activities including sports
  • self monitor for 14 days

This modified quarantine is only available if exposed while at school

If a student develops COVID-19 symptoms while in quarantine they need to immediately isolate and follow the policy for symptoms, as stated above.

Stevenson will follow CDPH K-12 Guidance following exposure.

In the event of a positive COVID-19 infection, infected people must isolate themselves, even if they don’t have symptoms. Isolation is 10 days from either onset of symptoms or from the day of positive test.

Isolation on campus for resident students

Boarding students who exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19 will be referred to the School nurse who will evaluate the student’s condition and administer a rapid COVID-19 test if needed. In the case of significant illness, the student will be transported to the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP), which is about 3.5 miles from campus, for testing and care.

Students whose health circumstances do not require that they be admitted to CHOMP, but do require them to leave their dormitory room for a period of time  and/or await the arrival of their parent/guardian or emergency adult contact, will be chiefly isolated in the Health Center or in the School’s guest cottage behind the gymnasium. 

Isolated students will be equipped with pulse oximeters, as needed, and will confer with the School nurses and dormitory faculty by electronic means, regularly and as needed, and will be transported back to CHOMP should their condition warrant it. 

Emergency adult contacts for resident students
  • All boarding students’ families are required to identify an emergency adult contact over 21 years of age—a family member, friend, or colleague—who lives within a reasonable driving distance of the School (approximately 500 miles or able to pick up within 24 hours and no more than 48 hours). 
  • This person must be willing to receive the child should circumstances prevent a student’s parents or guardians from doing so themselves. Circumstances include becoming ill with COVID-19, required quarantine due to exposure to a person positive with COVID-19, or a required evacuation of campus due to worsening spread of COVID-19. 
  • Each such contact will be required to complete and sign an agreement form acknowledging the arrangement and provide a cell number by which they can be reached should the need arise. 
  • Families who cannot list such an emergency adult contact will be required to obtain a membership with Student Health Advocates, a nationally well-regarded third-party program that provides a robust array of services, including emergency support.

Behavioral Pillars

Evidence continues to support the idea that wearing a mask protects others, offers some protection for wearers, and interrupts community spread, especially indoors.

All students and employees will be masked appropriately on campus indoors, in keeping with CDC guidelines and Monterey County Department of Education requirements.

Reusable masks should be thoroughly washed with soap and water after each day’s use, and allowed to air dry before being reused.

Students who may be unable to safely wear a mask because of developmental, respiratory, or other conditions should contact the School’s nursing staff. Employees in this category should contact the director of human resources.

Some cloth and disposable masks come with an exhalation valve at the front. The valve makes it easier to breathe out, but it does so by releasing unfiltered air, so it doesn’t protect others if you’re contagious. Because protecting others is the primary reason to wear a mask, please avoid purchasing masks with exhalation valves.

Further information about masks for Lower & Middle Division

All students must obtain at least four cloth masks consistent with the kind described here, and pledge to wear them at all times, with few exceptions. Examples of exceptions include:

  • During PE class and Dance class (when done outside)
  • Eating and drinking
  • After school sports

Further information about masks for Upper Division

All students and employees will be masked appropriately on campus when indoors, in keeping with CDC guidelines and Monterey County Department of Education requirements. Masks will not be required when students are outdoors.

All students must obtain at least four cloth masks consistent with the kind described here, and pledge to wear them indoors, with few exceptions. Examples of exceptions include:

  • when eating, bathing, or brushing one’s teeth;
  • when in one’s own home, or in the case of boarding students, one’s own dormitory room (with certain provisions to account for faculty supervision);
  • when driving alone or with one’s own family.

Additional mask requirement for the residential program: students are required to be masked indoors in the dormitories unless they are in their own dorm room.

Physical distancing keeps people separated in order to limit the spread of contagion among them. In combination with wearing masks and washing hands, it is a crucial practice to protect health and safety. Generally, the standard—as dictated by the current understanding of transmission dynamics—is to maintain a distance of at least three feet from other people (more is always better). 

Though challenges abound, especially indoors, we will implement a variety of strategies (room capacity limits, appropriate furnishing) to ensure that we can all meet this standard within reasonable limits.

All community members will be consistently reminded to wash their hands frequently and well, according to CDC guidelines. Younger students will be directed to wash their hands at staggered times, and under adult supervision. Hand sanitizer stations will be located at the entry points to many buildings on all three campuses. More information on hand washing will be included as part of our pre-arrival orientation programming.

Campus Considerations

We are offering a full slate of fall sports and activities, and anticipate a return of regularly scheduled interscholastic competition. We will update information for spectators of indoor and outdoor sports when we receive guidance from PCAL and/or CCS and the athletic department will communicate any guidelines or restrictions to students and families prior to the first contest. 

In November 2020, the School retained Citadel EHS, a nationally recognized environmental health and safety firm with extensive experience working with schools, to assess indoor air quality and cleaning efficacy across all divisions. All of Citadel’s priority recommendations were implemented and remain in place.

Our custodial teams are Stevenson employees who are well trained, dedicated to community health and safety, and are equipped with leading edge equipment, including touchless electrostatic sprayers that disinfect surfaces effectively and safely. Public spaces such as classrooms, restrooms, showers, kitchen areas, common rooms, indoor athletics facilities, and reception areas will be closely monitored and controlled, and cleaned thoroughly.

In some cases, visitors may be allowed on campus, if they have received prior approval. Visitors must arrange their visit in advance with the appropriate person or  department, must present proof of vaccination, and must report to Douglas Hall (upper division) or the front desk (lower and middle divisions). All visitors must remain masked at all times.

Families of resident students may visit, and should arrange their visit in advance with the faculty member on duty. Visiting families must present proof of vaccination, and will not be allowed into the dorms.

We await guidance from CIF and CCS, and will update our visitor policy for spectators of sporting (and other) events in the coming weeks.

We will share more details regarding transportation (student driving, carpooling, ride sharing and bus services) in the coming weeks.

Dining services will resume on both campuses. FLiK Dining has committed to continuing the following health and safety practices from our spring reopening:

  • Daily pre-shift health screenings: symptoms questionnaire and Associate temperature reading completed by shift Manager 
  • Training and Associate sign-off for all Covid-19 health and sanitation protocols
  • Personal hygiene and hand washing practices: both on and off campus
  • Introduction and training of chemicals being used for sanitation
  • Cleaning and sanitation of all “High Touch” areas including equipment, service areas, door pulls, doorknobs, tables, chairs, etc.
  • Confirming new building protocols are in place i.e. ingress/egress
  • Contactless clock-in for Flik ISD Associates
  • Mask / PPE policy & training for all Flik ISD Associates
  • Physical distancing tools and signage in place for guests and staff
  • Modification of service style including: all food, beverages and condiments are served by Flik ISD Associates 
  • Packaged/enclosed hot and cold food

Given that the current conditions allow us to reasonably protect students and employees’ health and safety, remote synchronous instruction will not be provided. Students whose arrival to campus is delayed or who will undergo term-time quarantines or other absences will be able to participate via Canvas (middle and upper division students) or SeeSaw (lower division students) and by way of direct contact with their instructors.