COVID-19 FAQ

We have provided the following answers to frequently asked questions to help families prepare for the 2020-21 school year. We will update the FAQ section of the Path Forward web page as new information becomes available. If you have additional questions that are not addressed here, please email them to covidquestions@sstx.org.

Making Decisions about Reopening Campus

List of 10 items.

  • What are the school's plans to resume classes after Spring Break 2021?

    While we have had some confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses since returning from the December holidays, we have done a very good job of preventing community spread and preserving community safety in the midst of robust on-campus activities. We encourage everyone to exercise the same adherence to our protocols and commitment to each other in the coming weeks so we can complete the school year in a safe, healthy manner. 

    Our Spring Break will begin Friday afternoon, March 5 and run through Sunday, March 21, and we encourage all students to avoid or minimize high-risk behaviors during the break. 
    Read More
  • What is the plan for surveillance testing when we return from the Winter Break?

    Updated on Jan. 4, 2021
    All students need to be tested at least once with a negative result before returning to campus for in-person classes and activities the week of Jan. 11. Students are welcome and encouraged to test twice before returning to campus. Following are available days/times for testing the week of Jan. 4.
    Read More
  • What is the school's plan for classes in January after Winter Break?

    Updated on Dec. 30, 2020:
    Following is our plan to return to school in January 2021 after the December holiday break.


    Read More
  • What is the school's plan for classes after Thanksgiving break?

    Updated on Nov. 19
    As each of our families finalizes plans for Thanksgiving break, we are asking everyone to continue following the same health and safety protocols, code of conduct and duty to disclose during Thanksgiving week that have been in place since the start of the school year. Students who are able to strictly adhere to those protocols will be able to resume on-campus activities on Tuesday, Dec. 1. (Monday, Nov. 30 is a Teacher In-Service Day with no classes scheduled.)
     
    Read More
  • Why did the school decide to delay in-person classes on campus for Upper School students until Oct. 13?

    Updated Sept. 18, 2020
    The school decided to use a phased approach so we can take the necessary time to teach, reinforce and supervise students in using the safety protocols while making sure that faculty and staff can support smaller groups of students before bringing back more students. We will undoubtedly learn a great deal at each phase, and we recognize that as the situation evolves, we may need to make adjustments to our approach and operations.
     
    There are several reasons why the school is starting only with the 6th graders. It is a relatively small class of about 60 students, and having this group of students on campus will allow us to monitor and assess how well our plans are being implemented and if they are effective in the "real" world. We will be able to identify opportunities to improve our in-person learning plans as we welcome other grades back to campus. Most of the 6th grade students do not know each other since everyone is new to St. Stephen’s.  It is important that they get to know each other in person and to meet their teachers in person. Also, they are the youngest and least autonomous students, with the greatest needs for the kind of emotional and developmental support that can only be fully realized by a teacher in a structured classroom environment. They are the least likely to be able to be successful in a remote learning environment. 
    We established a two-week interval between bringing back each new group of students for several reasons. First, we believe this interval will allow the school to help new groups of students get familiar with the physically distanced spaces, adjust to new classroom routines and change behaviors, as necessary, before the next group comes on campus. Second, as noted above, faculty and staff will also be learning to operate under the new conditions and protocols, so they will need time to adjust to the new ways of teaching and supporting students. Finally, as it takes between 2-14 days for symptoms to appear after exposure to the virus, the two-week interval could help us identify and contain the spread of the virus before another large group of students returns to campus. The potential consequence of repopulating our campus too quickly is that we might have to return to a fully remote learning model later in the fall.

    At the same time, we recognize the needs of our Upper School students to get back on campus and re-engage with their classmates, faculty and coaches in meaningful ways. That’s why we asked our faculty to imagine ways that we could host cohort activities for Upper School students on campus. These cohort activities began on Monday, Sept. 14 and will continue this fall. The activities — which range from athletics and fine arts to outdoor recreation and college counseling — allow us to support the emotional, psychological, relational and physical health of our older students in the interim period before they are scheduled to return to campus for in-person classes on Oct. 13.
  • Why is the school taking two weeks between each group of students returning to campus?

    Updated on Sept. 10, 2020

    We established a two-week interval between bringing back each new group of students for several reasons. First, we believe this interval will allow the school to help new groups of students get familiar with the physically distanced spaces, adjust to new classroom routines and change behaviors, as necessary, before the next group comes on campus. Second, faculty and staff will also be learning to operate under the new conditions and protocols, so they will need time to adjust to the new ways of teaching and supporting students. Finally, as it takes between 2-14 days for symptoms to appear after exposure to the virus, the two-week interval could help us identify and contain the spread of the virus before another large group of students returns to campus. The potential consequence of repopulating our campus too quickly is that we might have to return to a fully remote learning model later in the fall.
  • Will the school consider allowing Upper School fall sports teams to have practices on campus before returning to in-person classes on campus?

    Updated on Sept. 10, 2020

    We have asked our faculty to imagine ways that we could host cohort activities for Upper School students on campus starting next week. These cohort activities would allow us to support the emotional, psychological, relational and physical health of Upper School students in the interim period before they are scheduled to return to campus for in-person classes on Oct. 13. While we are finalizing our plan to roll out these cohort activities, they will encompass a range of student interests, from PE/athletics, fine arts and outdoor recreation, to spiritual, academics and health. Following are key features of these cohort activities:
    • They will involve outside activities and will be scheduled after the academic day and/or on the weekend.
    • Each cohort group will be limited to 10-12 students.
    • Day students and boarding students will not be in cohort groups together.
    • Each student may only participate in one cohort group,but each cohort group may meet 1-3 times per week. 
    Our division leaders will share more details in the coming days. Students participating in the cohort activities will be required to complete self-screening each time they visit campus.  In addition, students and parents who have not yet signed the COVID-19 acknowledgement of risk and waiver forms in MySSES should do so as soon as possible.
  • Has the school decided when and how it will start the 2020-21 school year?

    On July 14, the Austin-Travis County Health Authority urged local schools to delay the fall semester until at least Sept. 8, or to offer virtual-only instruction before that time. The city of Austin subsequently announced an updated health order stating that school systems and private schools operating in Travis County cannot reopen schools for in-person classes until after Sept. 7. In accordance with this city directive, St. Stephen’s will begin school on August 25 and will use a remote learning and living model until at least Sept. 8. We have communicated directly with residential families regarding the timeline and strategies for bringing residential students to campus for the fall.
  • What criteria is the school using to make decisions about the 2020-21 school year?

    St. Stephen's Administrative Team is working closely with the school’s Reopening Task Force, Medical Advisory Committee and Board of Trustees to make all decisions regarding reopening school this fall. Our top priority throughout all these efforts remains the health, safety and well-being of our students and employees, and we are working diligently to minimize risk. The decisions we make in conjunction with these consultative and governing bodies will adhere to Diocesan standards as well as CDC guidelines and official orders from local, state and federal officials.
  • What steps is the school taking to help it make decisions about the 2020-21 school year?

    St. Stephen’s has formed a Reopening Task Force to guide our planning and preparation for the 2020-21 school year. The task force consists of representatives from nearly every segment of our school, including academic administration, advancement, admission, athletics, dining hall, facilities and grounds, faculty, finance, fine arts, health and wellness, human resources, our international and residential programs, marketing and communications, and IT services. Task force members are considering the myriad details required to prepare for each of the three scenarios—from health screening, social-distancing protocols and facilities usage, to online teaching, assessment and collaboration tools, as well as daily and weekly academic schedules, and even the length of the fall term and appropriate breaks and holidays. All of these issues are complex and interconnected. In making its decisions, this task force is drawing upon a range of internal information, including survey feedback from parents and students, as well as best practices from other school districts, universities, and independent and boarding school associations; the latest guidelines from the CDC; and official orders from local, state and federal agencies.

    We have established a Medical Advisory Committee that will guide our decision making with respect to a healthy reopening in August and ongoing operations throughout the school year. Head of School Chris Gunnin will serve on this committee along with Gretchen Inman, director of health services; Cindy Stadulis, chief financial officer; and Dr. Kerry Rhodes, school physician; as well as parents Dr. John Abikhaled, a general surgeon currently serving as president of the Travis County Medical Society; Dr. Liz Alcocer, an infectious disease expert; Dr. Okey Nwanyanwu, a global public health expert; Dr. C. Leilani Valdes ’91, a specialist in anatomic and clinical pathology; and Dr. Leslie Wells, a pediatrics specialist. St. Stephen’s is grateful to all the members of this committee for their assistance in accessing the latest medical information, understanding health policy guidelines and connecting the school to valuable health resources.

Academic Plan for the Fall

List of 6 items.

  • If the students have to remain remote after Sept. 8, with fewer hours online, will students be allowed to come to campus for conferences with teachers, office hours, or small group study sessions?

    Updated on Sept. 10, 2020

    Following the first two weeks of remote learning at St. Stephen’s, our Middle School and Upper School implemented revised daily schedules on Monday, Sept. 8 that will run through Friday, Oct. 9. These new schedules seek to reduce screen time and Zoom fatigue while preserving academic excellence and sustaining structure and support for students. Please click here for more details on the Middle School schedule. You can click here to see the Upper School schedule.
     
    In addition, we are finalizing our plan to roll out cohort activities for Upper School students. These activities will encompass a range of student interests, from PE/athletics, fine arts and outdoor recreation, to spiritual, academics and health. We will provide more details on these activities in the coming days.
  • What is the academic schedule going to look like when classes begin on August 25?

    In accordance with a city of Austin directive announced on July 14, St. Stephen’s will begin school on August 25 and will use a remote learning and living model until at least Sept. 8. We have decided to extend the period of remote learning through Sept. 11 and will then begin a phased approach to resuming in-person classes on campus, starting with 6th graders on Sept. 14. Our top priority throughout all our planning efforts remains the health, safety and well-being of our students and employees.
    Read More
  • Will students be able to eventually see their grades on MySSES?

    Updated Sept. 24, 2020
    Report cards will be posted on MySSES at the scheduled times, and students and parents will see grades then -- for midterms and end of terms. Although students do not have daily access to teachers' gradebooks, many teachers are posting grades in the "comment" field for each individual assignment, and students have access to this in the LMS.
  • What is the plan for placement testing of Upper School new students?

    Because of the complexities of administering placement tests remotely, we have decided not to require placement tests for new students this Fall.  With the help of your transcripts from your previous schools, teacher recommendations, and standardized test scores, you have been placed into the math and language classes which seem most appropriate on a probationary basis. You should have received instructions for reviewing your course enrollment information in MySSES. If you feel that placements are incorrect, please contact me (kgarey@sstx.org), and I will coordinate additional evaluations. 
     
    During the first half of the Fall Term, your math and language teachers will continue to assess your readiness for the class.  If the teacher and Department Chair decide that you have been incorrectly placed, schedule changes will be made at that point. Our goal is to place you in classes for which you are well prepared, where you will be in the position to succeed while being appropriately challenged.
     
    Please let Ms. Garey know if you have questions. We look forward to welcoming you to our community in the next few weeks.
     
     
    Read More
  • What are the technology requirements for Students?

    Each St. Stephen’s student will need to have their own dedicated laptop computer or Chromebook for the 2020-2021 academic year. This requirement is designed to achieve several objectives.
    Read More
  • What kind of technology enhancements is St. Stephen’s making for the 2020-21 school year to enhance remote learning?

    We are investing in several technology enhancements designed to improve the educational experience for teachers and students whether they are interacting in person or in hybrid or remote-learning environments. These include the installation of video conferencing systems in more than 55 classrooms. This will allow teachers to present richer content while facilitating more dynamic interaction among all participants, wherever they are. Increased wireless coverage will enable us to deliver a consistently higher-quality experience for faculty and students engaging in online learning anywhere on campus. New audio-visual equipment in the Chapel will enrich the experience of our online worship services, as well as those occasions when our community gathers in person for time-honored traditions and sacred rituals, including Baccalaureate and Graduation along with marriages and baptisms.

Tuition

List of 2 items.

  • Is the school offering any special kind of payment plan for families this year in light of the economic uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 crisis?

    St. Stephen’s understands that some of our families have questions and concerns regarding tuition in light of the financial distress and uncertainty caused by COVID-19. We have looked at several solutions to help you manage uncertainty and alleviate stress. All families are welcome to use a tuition payment plan that would allow them to make 10 equal payments beginning August 2020 through May 2021, with an option to pay in full at any time. This option requires enrollment in our tuition insurance plan. If you are interested in pursuing this option, please contact Lawrence Sampleton, Associate Head for Enrollment and Financial Assistance, at lsampleton@sstx.org

    Our school has a long history of working to make the St. Stephen’s Experience accessible and affordable. The board of trustees voted this spring to make an additional limited amount of financial aid available in light of the economic downturn. If you have recently experienced increased financial hardship and would like to discuss need-based financial assistance, please contact Mr. Sampleton.
  • What is the school’s tuition refund policy for the 2020-21 school year, and what kind of payment plan and financial aid are available?

    Last Update: August 16, 2020

    St. Stephen’s Tuition Refund Policy for 2020-21 School Year

    All families are obligated to pay tuition fees with the exception of boarding families that cannot attend St. Stephen’s due to unresolvable government or immigration restrictions.

    In the event that St. Stephen’s operates exclusively in the remote living and learning model, the School will refund fees for applicable auxiliary services not provided (dining fees, facility use fees, boarding fees, academy and theater focus fees) on a prorated basis. This calculation will be made twice during the academic year, once in early December and again in early May and student accounts will be credited accordingly.
     
    If St. Stephen’s is providing a service, the school will not credit fees due to a family’s choice not to participate in that particular service. The delay of our on-campus program for day students until at least September 8 is already triggering a refund for the first two weeks of meal and facility use fees, as we are restricted by the Austin Public Health Authority from having in-person learning until after September 7, 2020.
    Read More

Health Protocols and Insurance

List of 20 items.

  • DId the school revise its quarantine protocols based on CDC's changes in December 2020?

    Updated on Jan. 8, 2021
    We have updated the school’s quarantine protocols for students who come into close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, as well as requirements for students returning to PE or sports after a positive test result.
    Read More
  • What is the school's plan to resume classes in January after Winter Break?

    Updated on Nov. 19, 2020

    Plan to Resume Classes in January — First Week Back Will Be Remote Learning
    Following Winter Break, classes will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 5, as Monday, Jan. 4 is a Teacher In-Service Day with no classes. However, all Middle School and Upper School students will participate in remote learning this first week. We will then resume in-person classes the week of Jan. 11, using the same Middle School and Upper School cohort schedules. 
     
    Surveillance testing will be available on campus for students the week of Jan. 4, though the exact testing days and times have not yet been determined. There will be no other activities on campus that week (e.g., sports, clubs, cohorts) except for the ones we have planned for boarding students as they return to campus.
     
    By implementing remote learning for the first week of school in January, we are striving to accomplish two objectives. 
    • First, we want to give all our families and employees a full winter vacation with any family gatherings and travel that might entail. Because our faculty and staff will follow strict protocols over Thanksgiving Break to make sure they’re ready to teach students in person on Dec. 1., the winter vacation will be their first chance to travel and/or spend time with extended family since August.
    • Second, we want to provide the quarantine time necessary for students and employees to safely repopulate campus. We expect everyone to build in a safe quarantine period before returning to campus in January, following the same guidelines for the Thanksgiving Break that we communicated on Nov. 12. People who travel on public transportation or gather in large groups lacking safety protocols over the Winter Break will be required to follow one of two options before returning to campus in January: 1) quarantine for 14 days at home, or 2) combine a one-week quarantine with surveillance testing. This second option involves obtaining two negative PCR test results, with the second test occurring no earlier than day 7 of the one-week quarantine. Ideally, the two tests would be conducted on days 5 and 7 of the quarantine.
     
    For those students who decide to pursue remote learning in January after Winter Break, we will continue to support them with outstanding online programming for the remainder of the school year.
     
    Information for Boarding Families about Their Plans for January 
    On Monday, Nov. 23, Mr. Phillips will send additional information to boarding families regarding the plan for boarding students to return to campus after Winter Break. His email will include a survey regarding students’ preferred mode of learning after the break and their plans to return to campus if they choose in-person learning. 
     
    Plan for Returning to Campus in January Is Based on Three Assumptions
    This plan is based on three assumptions:
    1. Austin does not experience a significant surge in positive cases between now and Jan. 11 that results in city orders restricting in-person school programming.
    2. We do not have a significant outbreak of positive cases in our school community between now and then.
    3. We are able to maintain our capacity to conduct surveillance tests so that all students, employees and residential family members on campus can be tested twice a week.
     
    If any of these assumptions are not met or if other unforeseen developments arise that impact our ability to operate safely under this model, we will adjust our plan accordingly and communicate those changes in a timely manner.
  • Why is St. Stephen's implementing a new surveillance testing program?

    Updated on Nov. 5, 2020

    Through ongoing discussions with our Medical Advisory Committee, we have decided to implement a surveillance testing program for several reasons. From the start of this pandemic, we communicated the likelihood of experiencing positive COVID-19 cases on campus. While we have all done a good job of minimizing the numbers thus far, it is highly likely that we will experience more cases on our campus. Testing every member of the community twice a week will help us identify positive cases more quickly and improve our ability to prevent community spread. We also can reduce the length of quarantine in some cases from 14 days to 7 days. In addition, this testing program will allow our students to enjoy more opportunities to participate in clubs, fine arts and athletics, including competing with other schools that also are following appropriate health and safety protocols. As we continue to repopulate our campus through the Cohorts with Campus Support phase, we believe surveillance testing will allow us to do so in a safe, responsible manner. 
  • How will the surveillance tests be administered?

    Updated on Nov. 5, 2020
     
    Our Health Center team oversees the sample collection and results tracking and reporting processes. The tests are administered by our testing vendor’s staff members who are professionally trained to perform these tests. 
     
    Our Health Center is currently finalizing the testing schedule in conjunction with our testing vendor. As we expand the number of people being tested, we will offer testing four days a week, Mon-Thurs. Upper School and Middle School division heads will communicate this schedule to students in the coming days. 
     
    We have developed a check-in process for tracking which students show up for testing, and this will be managed by our Health Center team. They will report which students were tested to Upper School and Middle Schools deans of students, who will then follow up with any students who missed testing.
  • What has the school done to minimize the spread of airborne viruses in indoor spaces on campus?

    Updated Sept 30, 2020
    The school has made significant facilities improvements to minimize the spread of airborne viruses in indoor spaces on campus.
    Read More
  • What is the school's policy about students participating in activities outside of school?

    Updated on Jan. 6, 2021
    St. Stephen's has received a number of questions from students and parents regarding the school's expectations for your off-campus activities. We have created a new policy to guide your decision-making as you consider participating in these kinds of activities. Please review the new policy and let us know if you have any questions.
    Read More
  • Since buffet dining – regardless of sneeze guards – is considered a high-risk activity for spread of the virus, will the school be providing boxed or other individually packaged lunches?

    Updated on Sept. 24, 2020
    In addition to reconfiguring the Dining Hall, outfitting it with safety features, and implementing new safety protocols, we have created a number of outdoor dining spaces where students can spread out. All students have the option to bring their own lunches and eat in one of those spaces. All meals in the Dining Hall are served with “grab and go” containers so students can eat in the Dining Hall or at one of the other spaces. You can get a better sense of the Dining Hall experience in
    this video.
  • Will fine arts students in activities such as band, orchestra and choir have access to the (already mostly single-occupancy) practice rooms?

    Updated Sept. 23, 2020
    We are fortunate to have individual practice rooms in Helm for precisely these uses. Students who need to join their Band, Choir and Orchestra classes from campus will use the practice rooms in the lower level of Helm until they are allowed to meet in their regular rehearsal rooms in person with their teachers. And yes, private lessons are remote for most students at this time. All private lessons have been scheduled into specific rooms, so when students are on campus on their lesson day, they will go to the specified room, log in with the teacher and take the lesson remotely. 

    Once students are on campus, they are welcome to use the practice rooms during the day or after school. They just need to give priority to the students in class or taking a lesson. The schedules posted on each door will show open times for that room. 
     
    All students using the practice rooms need to follow the protocols established. Use the hand sanitizer on the way in. Touch as few surfaces as possible. Set up your computer or phone using the provided cables, if needed. Wipe down surfaces and the door handle before leaving with the wipes provided in each room. Leave the door open. Certain specifics will be explained by the teacher, such as "unpack your guitar outside the room on the table in the hall." At the end of lessons and classes, teachers will continue to remind students of the protocols and procedures. Students using the rooms for practice must remember to do these things, too. Reminders are posted in the practice room area. 
     
    If a student or parent wants more information, or wants help in locating the practice rooms, please contact me anytime. 
     
    Elizabeth Moon, emoon@sstx.org, 512.796.5175
     
  • Will the school ask parents to disclose any use of public transportation, travel outside of Austin or participation in large-group gatherings (e.g., worship services, family reunions, club sports)?

    Updated on Oct. 28, 2020
    The scenarios for these types of activities are too numerous to address in a single response; but generally speaking, they create the potential to increase the spread of the virus. Following is the guidance we offer to employees and students about travel outside of Austin, use of public transportation and large-group gatherings.
    Read More
  • Are there in-person or zoom counseling programs available to parents during this stressful time?

    Updated on Sept. 21, 2020
    Yes, the Counseling Team is hosting weekly virtual chats for parents. They are scheduled on Wednesday mornings from 11 a.m. to Noon.
    Read More
  • Can the school clarify its vaccine policy?

    Updated on Sept. 18, 2020
    We follow the Texas Department of State Health Guidelines. Exemptions are made based on their criteria . We have one exception to their rules. Boarding students at SSES may not opt out of MCV4 (meningitis). Given the recent Measle outbreaks, we strongly encourage families who have waivers for this vaccine to revisit this decision with their healthcare providers at this time.
    Students must meet one of the following criteria to be compliant for each required immunization. 
    • Be up-to-date on their Texas required vaccines
    • Have a medical exemption on file (for contraindications and it must updated yearly)
    • Have an Exemption for Reason on Conscience (a notarized affidavit and it must be updated every 2 years)
  • How is the school cleaning classrooms?

    Following are the protocols we are using to clean classrooms:
    • When students enter a classroom they should use the hand sanitizers.  
    • At the end of each class, our faculty use wipes to clean off the desk surfaces.  
    • At the end of the day, our custodial team sprays each room with the electrostatic sprayer to sanitize the space.  Our evening custodial crew also wipes down the desks, chairs and door knobs when they clean at night.  
    • We will be applying the Novalent product to all high-touch surfaces. Novalent kills the virus on contact and remains effective on surfaces up to three months. We intend to apply this product once a month.
  • At some point a student or member of staff will likely test positive. Please explain what actions the school will take when this occurs.

    Updated on Sept. 10, 2020
    In the event that a student or employee on campus is confirmed to be COVID-19 positive based on a positive test result or is presumed to be COVID-19 positive based on a careful evaluation of symptoms, St. Stephen’s will adhere to the following response protocols.
    1. Relocate the impacted individual to an isolation space. 
    2. Begin providing appropriate care to the individual.
    3. Notify the individual’s parents/guardians/emergency contact and make plans to move the individual off campus as soon as is feasible.
    4. Thoroughly clean spaces that have been heavily used by the individual.
    5. Block off the same heavily used spaces to prevent entry/use by others until the spaces have been disinfected. 
    6. Begin contact tracing to determine other students and employees who may have been exposed to the impacted individual; notify and move these other individuals to quarantine spaces, as appropriate.
    7. Inform appropriate administrators of the incident while striving to preserve the privacy/confidentiality of the impacted individual. 
    8. Notify all employees, students and parents of the incident along with the response steps taken by the school while striving to preserve the privacy/confidentiality of the impacted individual.
    9. Notify Austin Public Health along with other health agencies, as appropriate.
    10. Determine how the incident might impact school operations and notify all employees, parents and students of any operational changes in a timely manner.
    The school also has a step-by-step process for communicating such cases with our employee and parent communities. The communications plan works in lockstep with our operational plan. For every operational step we take, there is a corresponding communications step. This includes notifying all parents and guardians via email every time we confirm a positive case in a student or an employee.
     
    Our communications plan meets the Texas Education Agency guidelines requiring us to notify all employees and all families of students, as well as our local health department (Austin Public Health). These notifications will be performed in accordance with confidentiality requirements dictated by law as well as our own standards for preserving privacy.
  • Where/how do I sign the student and parent acknowledgement of risk and waiver forms?

    St. Stephen’s is taking extraordinary measures to promote the safety and health of all students and employees this school year. We believe we have developed appropriate on-campus health and safety protocols, as well as return-to-campus protocols for day students and boarding students. Despite these efforts, we cannot entirely prevent students from becoming exposed to or potentially contracting COVID-19 while they are on campus. 
    Read More
  • What is the name of the tool you are asking students to use to self-screen for symptoms, and when will it be available?

    Updated on Sept. 10, 2020

    In our ongoing efforts to promote the safety and well-being of our school community this year, St. Stephen’s will require parents/guardians of all day students to use a new service to screen their children daily for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors. Our Residential Life Team is conducting daily health screenings of our boarding students, and our employees are performing daily self-screenings before coming to campus. This daily screening requirement complies with state guidelines for reopening schools safely. St. Stephen’s has contracted with Ruvna, a company that specializes in school-parent-student communications to meet this health-screening need. It screens for a number of symptoms:
     
    • Cough
    • Congestion or Runny Nose
    • Chills
    • Headache
    • Muscle Pain
    • Sore Throat
    • Loss of Taste or Smell
    • Digestive Problems
    • Shortness of Breath
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea or Vomiting
    We have sent details on this service to our 6th grade parents and will communicate with other groups/grades as they prepare to resume in-person activities on campus.
  • What are the COVID-19 numbers/markers that would necessitate a return to remote only learning?

    Updated on Sept. 24, 2020

    This is a complex decision with multiple variables to consider. We would actively evaluate a host of metrics (on campus and throughout Austin) in consultation with Austin Public Health and our Medical Advisory committee before making any such decision.

    Our Medical Advisory Committee is closely monitoring a range of data for Austin/Travis County, including the number of reported cases, the percentage of positive cases, the number of hospitalizations, reports of COVID-19-like symptoms, and the rate of virus reproduction/speed of spread. As we begin a phased approach to resume in-person classes on campus beginning with 6th graders on Sept. 14, the committee will continue to closely monitor activities on campus in light of these metrics to make any decisions regarding the future status of in-person classes, programs or activities on campus.
  • What sort of things will the school do on campus to protect students and employees from coronavirus this fall?

    Last Updated: Nov. 13, 2020

    St. Stephen’s has established a Medical Advisory Committee that will guide our decision making with respect to a healthy reopening in August and ongoing operations throughout the school year. I will serve on this committee along with Gretchen Inman, director of health services; Cindy Stadulis, chief financial officer; and Dr. Kerry Rhodes, school physician; as well as parents Dr. John Abikhaled, a general surgeon currently serving as president of the Travis County Medical Society; Dr. Liz Douglass, an infectious disease expert; Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyers, an expert in integrative biology and infectious disease surveillance and control; Dr. Okey Nwanyanwu, a global public health expert; Beth Ozmun, board of trustees representative; Dr. C. Leilani Valdes ’91, a specialist in anatomic and clinical pathology; and Dr. Leslie Wells, a pediatrics specialist. I am grateful to all the members of this committee for their assistance in accessing the latest medical information, understanding health policy guidelines and connecting the school to valuable health resources.

    Following are the daily health and safety protocols that will be in place when we reopen school, as well as the protocols for responding to positive cases on campus.
    Read More
  • What are the COVID-19 quarantine and return-to-campus protocols for day students this year?

    St. Stephen's has established a number of COVID-19 quarantine and return-to-campus protocols for day students this year.
    Read More
  • What are the COVID-19 testing, quarantine and isolation protocols for residential students this year?

    St. Stephen's has established a number of COVID-19 testing, quarantine and isolation protocols for residential students this school year.
    Read More
  • How does the school’s UnitedHealthcare Policy (student insurance) apply to the COVID-19 situation?

    International students or students whose parents live outside the United State are eligible for the school's student health insurance. Please find below valuable information concerning the student health insurance plan coverage as it relates to COVID-19.

    Please note this is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of the benefits/exclusions in the plan. You should refer to the plan summary and brochure/certificate of coverage for additional details.
    Read More

Residential Students and International Issues

List of 4 items.

Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213