COVID-19 Information Center
- Vaccinations and Isolation/Quarantine Protocols
- Decision Making Process
- Mitigating Risk on Campus
- Health Center Policies
- COVID-19 Testing
- School and Student Life
- Inclusive Excellence: Caring for Our Community
- Community Responsibility and Commitment
- Quarantine & Isolation Tool
Achieving and maintaining a high rate of vaccination in our community is the most important tool we can use to ensure the safety of our students and employees and to return to a sense of normalcy at school. At this time, the school is not requiring vaccination for students. However, we strongly recommend that families and students be vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 and influenza if they are eligible for those vaccines.
In the event an individual in our community is identified as a close contact of a positive case, we will ask your vaccination status in order to implement the appropriate protocols. To maintain privacy, the school will never reveal an individual’s vaccination status. Student vaccination records will be kept in Magnus, our confidential and secure health records database. Employee records are kept in confidential files and maintained by our Director of Human Resources. Please be sure to update the school on current vaccination and booster status through Magnus Health for students or BambooHR for employees.
Quarantining and Isolation Protocols for Positive Cases and Close Contacts
The date(s) that your COVID vaccination(s) were received and whether or not individuals have received a booster shot will determine their specific quarantining and isolation requirements.
On January 4, 2022 the CDC modified the guidelines for quarantine and isolation from ten days of quarantine and isolation to five. The School is adopting these guidelines. Please note that they differ based on vaccination and booster status. We are using this calculator to determine the return to school date.
There are many reasons why an individual might not be vaccinated against COVID-19. Bullying or other unkind behavior related to vaccination status will not be tolerated and consequences for such behavior will be addressed in alignment with our written disciplinary policies.
As we did during the 2020-2021 school year, we will continue to make decisions based on data and the most current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH), as well as state and local guidelines. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a dynamic experience for all of us, informed by a rapidly and ever changing landscape. We anticipate this year being different in some ways than last, and that at moments, we will need to tighten our protocols to ensure the safety of our community at Agnes Irwin.
As decisions are made for the operation of school this year, we will consider not only the recommendations from those sources listed above, but will also take into account vaccination rates within our AIS and local community, the counties from which we draw community members, and transmission rates in our area. During times of high community spread, we may increase mitigation measures to protect the safety of our students, faculty and staff.
Safe, in-person instruction and delivery of our outstanding academic and co-curricular program for all students is our primary goal.
It is our intention to communicate any necessary changes to the operation of school to our community in a transparent and timely manner. We will continue to approach decision making with thorough, thoughtful and pragmatic planning and an ability to pivot should the situation require us to do so.
As we learned last year, the layering of protocols is key to enabling the safe operation of school, even in moments with high community transmission.
Using this approach allows us to add or reduce layers as necessary based on community vaccination and transmission rates, both within the Agnes Irwin community, and in our local and regional community. With the guidance of the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, we will continue to use a layered approach of strategies to mitigate COVID-19 risks on our campus.
To the extent possible, we will maintain a physical distance of three feet between students in classrooms and common areas throughout the course of the year and up to six feet when feasible. We will continue to leverage the use of outdoor spaces for class and lunch times as weather permits.
Based upon the latest guidance from our medical experts and metrics, we now are prepared to transition to a mask encouraged (rather than required) policy for all members of the Agnes Irwin community, effective March 1. We will continue to perform weekly testing of PreK students, as vaccinations are not yet available for children under age 5.
Any individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, may choose to wear masks. Agnes Irwin fully supports the personal decisions of students, families, faculty and staff, and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment related to masking decisions.
Exceptions to the mask encouraged policy may be enacted, at the School's discretion, for large events taking place indoors. Mask wearing remains required on buses and vans while the federal mandate is in place.
We may change or reinstate this policy at any time based on updated guidance from the CDC, state department of health, and in consideration of local conditions and vaccination and transmission levels on our campus. Any changes to our masking policy will be communicated promptly from the Head of School's office.
The school will employ a testing strategy as necessary to support the safe operation of school. We may require re-entry testing for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, or conduct surveillance testing for students and employees as recommended by our consulting physicians throughout the year. In addition to weekly assurance testing, individuals who are symptomatic will be tested by their division nurse.
Cleaning and Disinfection of Facilities
We will continue to encourage regular hand washing and sanitizing for all community members. Hand sanitizing stations will remain in place across the campus, in every classroom, office and in all common spaces. Air purifiers will remain in use as well and we will continue to keep classroom doors and windows open when possible to increase ventilation and circulation of fresh air throughout the building. We will continue to employ a rigorous cleaning strategy with a focus on high touch areas and additional deep cleaning as necessary. Bathrooms and water fountains will be sanitized regularly with disinfectant supplies which meet OSHA and CDC requirements for COVID-19.
We are asking families to stay vigilant in monitoring your children for symptoms each day to determine whether they are well enough to attend school.
- Community members displaying symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 (fever, uncontrollable cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, etc) should remain at home.
- Please contact our nurses if a student is identified as a close contact, is awaiting a test result or if anyone in your household tests positive.
- If you are unsure whether or not your daughter should attend school or need to provide a relevant update on your daughter’s health status, please contact our nurses.
- Individuals who are symptomatic will be tested by their division nurse.
When to Stay Home
- If your daughter is symptomatic
- If you are unsure if your daughter is feeling sick or unwell in any way
- If your daughter is experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Temperature greater than 100.3 F in the last 24 hours
- Respiratory symptoms unrelated to a diagnosed illness (such as asthma)
- Loss of taste or smell
- Unexplained fatigue
- Vomiting within the previous 12 hours
- Diarrhea within the previous 12 hours
The school will employ a testing strategy as necessary to support the safe operation of school. We may require re-entry testing for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, or conduct surveillance testing for students and employees as recommended by our consulting physicians throughout the year. The school may increase or decrease the use of testing at any time during the school year, with consideration of community transmission and spread in decision making.
We are partnering with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Concentric by Ginkgo Bioworks (“Ginkgo”) to support our ongoing testing strategy. We ask families to register students for the CHOP testing which will occur on campus by visiting register.pennrapidtest.org (note: not compatible with Internet Explorer).
Instructions for Registering your Child for Testing
- Visit register.pennrapidtest.org
- Follow the instructions on your screen, which include answering questions about your demographic information to create a personalized QR code.
- Students who have mobile devices can take a screenshot of their personal QR code and store it on their device.
- Parents of younger students or of students without mobile devices should take a screenshot and send the QR code to COVIDtesting@agnesirwin.org with the student’s name and grade in the subject line.
We will keep a binder with these records onsite to expedite the testing process for our community. Protecting the privacy of participants (teachers, students and staff) and their families is of utmost importance to us. No personally identifiable information (PII) or protected health information (PHI) will be shared with anyone other than the Department of Health without consent of the family.
Arrival & Dismissal
We will continue the use of the following assigned entry points into the building by division to ease the process of arrival and dismissal:
- Before care begins at 7:30 a.m. Students may be dropped off at the Main Door in the Lower School.
- Students will enter and exit the building for drop-off and pick-up at the entrances below:
- Pre-K and 2nd — Main LS entrance
- K and 1st — Owl Lobby
- 3rd and 4th — stairway to the left of Owl Lobby
- After-session is offered until 6:00 p.m. Families must register for After-session; registration information will be provided by the division in late August.
- Students may be dropped off beginning at 7:30 a.m.
- All MS students will enter through the Dorrance Family entrance.
- Four O’Clock Study will be available for students until 6:00 p.m. Families must register for Four O’Clock Study; registration information will be provided by the division in late August.
- Upper School Students may arrive beginning at 7:30 a.m.
- Students will enter and exit the building for drop-off and pick-up at the entrances below:
- 9th & 11th grade students — Suzanne Wallworth Schellenger ‘49 entrance.
- 10th grade students may be dropped off using the van lane along the Math wing and use the Sands Center entrance.
- 12th grade students — Arts & Sciences entrance.
- Upper School students will be expected to attend school for the full academic day from 8:30am-3:00pm (office hours take place each day from 8:00am-8:30am and 3:00pm-3:30pm); students will no longer be permitted to arrive after 8:25am and must stay on campus until the end of the school day.
We remain committed to offering a stellar academic program for all students in our school that reflects those core components that are most important to our community:
- Outstanding academic programming
- Balance of social-emotional support and rigorous academics
- Meaningful connections between student and teacher
- Balance of flexibility and consistency
- Clear, consistent communication
- Agile use of technology and necessary tech support
- A climate rooted in an appreciation for diversity, equitable and inclusive practices, and one in which all students feel that they belong
At Agnes Irwin, we believe in the importance of on-campus learning for all students and that their ability to learn and grow in-person with their peers and teachers is critical to achieving our mission and supporting our students.
This year, Agnes Irwin will provide asynchronous learning opportunities to those students who are isolating after a positive COVID diagnosis or for unvaccinated students who are required to quarantine because of an exposure. Students will be given access to asynchronous work only after being approved by the Division Director and the school nurse. The school requires 24 hours notice to support students in transitioning to asynchronous learning.
All other students are expected to be on campus for in-person instruction; Agnes Irwin will not provide a synchronous remote learning program for students this year. Students who are experiencing a non-COVID related illness should stay at home, rest and recover, and return to campus when they are well enough to do so. Any student with a medical need requiring them to miss more than seven days of school should be in touch with their Division Director to make arrangements for learning in accordance with our standard medical leave policies (see divisional handbooks for additional information).
Students will be able to move freely throughout the campus, including having access to libraries, the STEAM studio and other spaces on campus.
Before and After-Care
We will offer before and after care for lower school students and 4 o’clock study for middle school students again this year. Details of this offering will be shared by each Division in mid-August.
LS students arriving at before care will enter through LS main entrance to have their pass checked by the receptionist and will be directed to the before care location from there.
Athletics, Physical Education and Wellness
We intend to return to regular athletics programming for middle and upper school. Upper school schedules are posted on the school website under the Team Schedules section, and middle school schedules will be posted during the first week of September. The Agnes Irwin School’s Athletics Department will publish safety protocols that are informed by CDC, state and federal guidance. Go Owls!
Physical Education & Wellness are essential components of the program at Agnes Irwin. Students will continue to have PE and Wellness classes as a part of their regularly scheduled courses.
Visual and Performing Arts
We will continue to evolve our guidelines for the arts in accordance with CDC, state and local recommendations. Masked singing will be permitted on campus this year, especially when classes can be held outdoors. Student performances will resume as regulations allow and we look forward to welcoming audiences back into the theater.
Dining, Food Service and Student Spaces
We are working closely with our food service provider, Culinart, to safely resume operations and we are pleased to return to use of our dining facilities in both the lower and middle/upper school buildings this year.
Students will eat meals outdoors when weather permits and will be allowed to use the dining halls as well. We will use seating charts to keep track of student seating should contact tracing need to occur, will require masking and minimize the number of individuals in the servery at a time to minimize risk of exposure.
Vending machines and microwaves will be available for use again, as well as lockers and cubbies. Student lounge spaces will be available for use as well. Individuals are encouraged to bring a filled water bottle to school with them each day and may use water fountains or stations for refilling during the day.
Community Activities and Events
Unless limitations to large gatherings are put in place, students will gather together for divisional assemblies. All school programming will be planned according to current guidelines at the time of the event. We will also host community events on campus throughout the year. Attendees and visitors at these events, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to be masked when on campus. Live Streaming will be provided for special events hosted throughout the year.
We will take field trips when possible this year. Divisional offices will provide detailed information about relevant safety protocols for these trips as they take place.
Visitors, including parents/guardians, will be invited back to campus this year with mitigation measures in place. Visitors must have a scheduled appointment and may not freely enter the building without prior notice. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must be masked when on campus and will be required to complete a symptom screening upon arrival.
We will follow federal law, which mandates the wearing of masks on buses, and will require any individual using school transportation for athletics contests, field trips or other school-related activities to be masked.
We encourage families to transport students to and from school by car when possible to mitigate risk of exposure on public or school district transportation. If students must use public or school district transportation, they must wear a mask and we encourage them to continue to practice physical distancing when possible, sanitize their hands regularly, and wash their hands with soap and water when arriving at school or home after being on the bus or train.
If families choose to carpool, we encourage transparency between families about vaccination status to ensure safe decision making for all individuals in the carpool. Unvaccinated students should remain masked at all times with windows open while driving in a car pool.
Supporting the social-emotional health and wellbeing of our community is of the utmost importance to us at Agnes Irwin. We know that in moments of uncertainty, it is important to pay close attention to these needs and offer appropriate resources for our students, their families, and our faculty and staff:
- Our School Counseling team will be available to meet with students one-on-one and through small group meetings.
- We will implement a new curriculum, #WinatSocial, in parliaments and advisories in middle and upper school to support students in appropriate use of social media around issues related to COVID as well as other topics.
- Employees will continue to have access to support through our employee assistance program.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
The COVID-19 pandemic has had different impacts on all of us and data shows that individuals of color have experienced the negative effects of the pandemic in disproportionate ways. Agnes Irwin remains committed to being a place where all members of our community feel safe, are seen, affirmed and valued for who they are and what they bring to our community. The diversity of our community is broad and beautiful — we are a tapestry of stories, and our experiences with the ups and downs of this pandemic are as varied as each of us. It is critical that we live up to our ideals of equity, inclusion and belonging in implementing policies and in honoring the unique journey of each family during this unprecedented time.
There are members of our community who are fully vaccinated, those who are immuno-compromised and those who are ineligible for vaccination. There are individuals and families who are ready to get back to normal and those who are anxious and remain fearful about the trajectory of the pandemic. In a community that believes in inclusion and belonging, we care for all of those individuals, honor their stories, and do what it takes to keep each other safe.
If at any time, you have an experience in our community that is not in alignment with our philosophy and practices around DEIB, we invite you to be in touch with us at email@example.com
The success of the 2021-2022 school year is based on our collective and collaborative commitment to doing what we can individually to mitigate risk and ensure safety for our students, faculty and staff as much as possible.
Vaccination remains an important tool for our community to ensure minimal risk of exposure to our students, faculty and staff and decreases the likelihood of programming being impacted by COVID-19. Students are expected at all times to honor all of our established rules governing student conduct and to live out our core values or character, respect, excellence and community every day.
Additionally, we expect all members of our community to commit to the following requirements:
- Complete a daily symptom screening for students and keep students, and adults home, if they are sick, symptomatic or have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19.
- Communicate with the school promptly and honestly about increased risk or possible exposure.
- Follow CDC, federal, state and local guidelines regarding social distancing, use of face masks, and hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
- Make good decisions that keep you and your family safe, taking into account the most current guidance and considering the needs of our community in your individual choices.
- Be flexible, giving grace, and recognizing that each of us is doing our best to navigate this unprecedented time.
Agnes Irwin's Commitment to You
We are grateful for all that you did to make the 2020-2021 academic year such a tremendous success! We look forward to another great year and commit to you that we will:
- Live out our mission to empower girls and honor our core values.
- Intentionally build and sustain our community through excellent programming.
- Innovate, refine and create rich experiences for our students.
- Sustain an inclusive environment that is rooted in respect, safety, affirmation of diversity, equitable and inclusive practices, and a sense of belonging for all members of our community.
- Keep the safety of all members of our community as our top priority.
- Provide a high-quality academic experience that exceeds expectations and centers the needs of girls.
- Communicate regularly, transparently and in a timely manner and provide opportunities for feedback from all stakeholders.
|Negative Test Result||Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.||None|
|COVID-19 Like Symptoms||Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.||
If not tested, assume individual is positive, and follow return to school tested positive.
|Tested Positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)||Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.||
If individual has a fever, continue to stay home until 24 hours after fever resolves.
Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 & Fully Vaccinated or Boosted (Close Contact/Quarantine)
(Does not apply to household exposure)
Has been boosted
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months
If develops symptoms, individual should get tested, stay home, be excluded from school, and follow return to school guidance for COVID-19 Like Symptoms.
|Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 & NOT Boosted or Vaccinated (Close Contact/Quarantine)||
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted
Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted
Are not vaccinated
If individual develops symptoms, they should get tested, stay home, be excluded from school, and follow return to school guidance for COVID-19 Like Symptoms.
Agnes Irwin has a mask encouraged policy for all members of the Agnes Irwin community, effective March 1. Any individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, may choose to wear masks. Agnes Irwin fully supports the personal decisions of students, families, faculty and staff, and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment related to masking decisions. Exceptions to the mask encouraged policy may be enacted, at the School's discretion, for large events taking place indoors. Mask wearing remains required on buses and vans while the federal mandate is in place.
Hand sanitizing stations are in every classroom, office and in all common spaces. Air purifiers will remain in use as well. A rigorous cleaning strategy focuses on high touch areas. Bathrooms and water fountains will be sanitized regularly.
- 2/22/22: A Community Update Regarding Mask Wearing at AIS
- 1/2/22: Reminders: Tomorrow's Testing Schedule and Important Vaccination Status Update
- 11/17/21: Underlining the Urgency of Staying Home When Feeling Sick or Ill
- 11/15/21: Masking and Healthy Attendance Reminders for Families
- 9/15/21: COVID Surveillance Testing Update
- 8/6/21: Fall 2021 Reopening Plan Update For Families
- 6/30/21: COVID-19 Mask Guidelines for July 2021
- 3/5/21: Community Update
- 3/1/21: Important Inter-Ac Spring Sports Update
- 1/8/21: Important Inter-Ac Winter Sports Update
Dear Agnes Irwin Community,
We have been consistently monitoring COVID positivity rates within our school community and we have seen a significant decrease in cases. Based upon the latest guidance from our medical experts and metrics, we now are prepared to transition to a mask encouraged (rather than required) policy for all members of the Agnes Irwin community, effective March 1. We will continue to perform weekly testing of PreK students, as vaccinations are not yet available for children under age 5.
Any individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, may choose to wear masks. Agnes Irwin fully supports the personal decisions of students, families, faculty and staff, and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment related to masking decisions.
To successfully implement this policy, it will be important for students and employees to stay home when ill. We will require individuals returning from isolation to wear a mask through the 10 days, as well as those who are close contacts. In addition, we will continue to test symptomatic students and staff. Exceptions to the mask encouraged policy may be enacted, at the School's discretion, for large events taking place indoors. Mask wearing remains required on buses and vans while the federal mandate is in place.
We welcome this progression towards normalcy and we will remain committed to the safety of our community in classrooms and at the many cherished events that make up our spring calendar. Please reach out if you have questions about this new guidance. Once again, I thank you for the support, steadfastness, and cooperation that have allowed our entire community to benefit from the excellent academic and co-curricular programs upon which our School's legacy is built.
Head of School
Dear Agnes Irwin Community,
Happy New Year! As we look ahead to tomorrow's testing, here are some important reminders:
Please report via this form if your there was COVID illness in your family over winter break. Your timely response will help us plan for the quantity of tests for Monday, January 3. This information also helps us to understand the impact of COVID in our community.
Families must update their student(s) vaccination status in Magnus by Monday, January 3, especially if her status has changed from unvaccinated to vaccinated or if your daughter has received her booster since the start of school.
If you are having difficulty navigating the Magnus system, please contact customer support at Magnus Health SMR by phone at 877.461.6831 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We will continue to require students and employees to wear masks while indoors. We are asking students and employees to upgrade their masks to the recommended three-ply surgical masks or KN95 masks.
Schedule for Mandatory Student and Employee Testing on Monday, 1/3/22
Please note that testing is not required if your student has had COVID within the past 90 days.
There will be NO classes on Monday, January 3 and we will conduct the mandatory testing for all members of our community on the schedule below. Please arrive with your QR code in hand during the time assigned to your division. If you have children in multiple divisions, you may choose the division time that works best and we will test all of your students at the same time.
Families will only be allowed to enter the building for testing. If you arrive early to campus, please wait in your car until your designated testing time window. The forecast calls for chilly temperatures tomorrow, so please dress accordingly.
After testing, you will receive results via email later in the day. In the event of a positive result, Division Directors and the nurse will be in touch with return to school specifics. We ask families to keep the school updated on their symptoms. Students who need to isolate at home will be provided with asynchronous course work by their teachers.
Classes will resume Tuesday, January 4. If there is a need to change this schedule we will notify families (via our emergency notification system) by 6 a.m. that day.
Thank you for your cooperation and support ahead of our return to school.
Head of School
Dear Upper School Families,
I am writing today to follow-up on our message from Monday. This week, we have experienced a large number of Upper School students with illness, including some cases of Influenza A and strep. As we know, we are entering a season where flu, strep, and RSV are likely to be challenging and we are still navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is more critical than ever that students stay home when ill and/or awaiting test results.
We ask for families' support in the following ways:
- Students who are ill should not come to school. If your daughter leaves school early, the soonest she may return is a full 24 hours after her departure from campus. Students must remain out of school for a full day after a midday departure. For example, a student who leaves midday Monday, the earliest she can return would be Wednesday.
- Students must be fever free for a full 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine. In addition, students who have been vomiting or are experiencing diarrhea must be symptom free for 24 hours as well.
- If students have been out of school due to illness, they must be seen by a physician and evaluated for flu, strep, and covid and these test results must be shared with Head Nurse, Kristine Birkmire to clear students for return.
- If your daughter tests positive for influenza and is prescribed tamiflu, she will need to stay home for the full dose of tamiflu—five full days—as students are still contagious until the dose is fully completed.
- We recommend that students get the flu vaccine. After a winter of lower flu rates last year, the strains of flu this year are more virulent. As with the COVID-19 vaccine, the flu shot is the best way to protect your child against serious illness.
The safety of our school community is our top priority. Should your child need to stay home sick, please be assured that the Upper School faculty and staff will be able to support her in getting caught up on her academic responsibilities.
We are relying on your support of our safety protocols to continue to successfully deliver our academic program. I thank you for your continued cooperation in the interest of our students' and community's safety.
Head of School
Dear Agnes Irwin Families,
Last week, new information and news was released regarding the state masking mandate both with the Commonwealth Court ruling voiding Acting Secretary Beam's school mask order and the state's appeal. The appeal triggered a stay of the Court's ruling and keeps the masking order in effect. We have been advised that schools should continue to observe the school masking order throughout the duration of the court's proceedings.
In early August, we notified families in our 2021-2022 school year operational plan that mask wearing would be required indoors. This decision was made before the mandate was set by the state of PA. We continue to meet regularly with our consulting physicians about our health and safety plans and their recommendation has been to maintain our masking expectations while indoors. We continue to monitor the local transmission rates as well as the vaccination rate of our student body.
You can support the School's decision making process by taking the following actions:
- COVID-19 vaccination is not required by the School at this time for students, but we strongly encourage all members of our community to receive the vaccine when it is available to you.
- Families interested in securing a vaccine can schedule an appointment at vaccines.gov. Last week, we had a successful clinic for our students ages 5-11. The second dose clinic for this group will be on 12/1/21, from 4 - 6 p.m. Getting vaccinated is the best way to ensure your child has uninterrupted classroom time and can avoid quarantine protocols when exposed to COVID-19.
- According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, students who are vaccinated and are considered a close contact do not have to quarantine unless they develop symptoms of COVID-19. Students who are unvaccinated and are deemed a close contact will be required to quarantine at home. As a reminder, the School is not offering remote synchronous learning this year.
- If your child's vaccination status has changed since August, please submit your COVID-19 vaccination status using the Magnus Health Portal. Updated and accurate vaccination rates in our community support the decision-making process. This information is used to support contact tracing measures and for the Covid Response Team and School leadership to make decisions based on vaccine rates of our students and our employees.
Students and employees who are experiencing symptoms of influenza or COVID should stay at home. Additionally, students who are awaiting the outcome of a COVID-19 test should stay home until they receive those results. The safe operation of school greatly relies on families and employees keeping ill members home. Symptoms to watch for are:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
To review and learn more about the School's mitigation efforts, visit agnesirwin.org/covidinformation.
I am thankful to all of our parents and families for your continued cooperation. It is that very partnership that has allowed us to stay open and in person since September 2020.
Head of School
To the AIS Community,
Staying safe so that we can enjoy another successful year of in-person instruction and togetherness is of the utmost importance. Your efforts, cooperation and diligence have already gotten us off to a strong start and I am grateful for our community's continued support as we launch our COVID assurance testing program.
Our consulting physicians have helped us to develop our COVID response strategy. They continue to remind us that assurance testing for AIS students, faculty and staff along with other layers of mitigation (masking, vaccinations, respiratory hygiene) enables us to offer as much in-person academic and co-curricular programming for students as possible.
Regular, routine testing returns results in just 15 minutes. AIS nurses and staff are skilled in conducting testing with the least amount of disruption to the normal routine of the school day. Parents will receive test results directly from Penn Rapid Test. For students participating in indoor athletics, the performing arts, and school sponsored retreats — the frequency of testing will likely increase to ensure that all individuals can safely participate.
Please note that by completing the registration form and sending the QR Code, families consent to the testing of their student and release the School from any liability associated with the testing. The school may increase or decrease the use of testing at any time during the school year, with consideration of community rates to inform our decision making.
A Heartfelt Thanks
I thank you and your families for your support and cooperation as we strive to keep our community safe and school operations as normal as possible. I am particularly mindful of the challenges and disruptions to daily routines posed whenever a household member is ill. As partners in raising children, we will continue to collaborate with and listen to our community. We will draw upon our reservoirs of kindness, strength and understanding when the need arises.
Head of School
Campus is abuzz with activity! Furniture is being positioned, fresh coats of paint applied, and lively planning discussions are being held as we work to prepare the school for the return of students and faculty in just a few weeks.
This letter contains important back to school reminders and plans for the upcoming year. Please carefully read through the sections below to best prepare your family for the start of our school year.
AIS-ON FAMILY CONTACT INFORMATION
It is critical that we have current and accurate contact information for all members of our community. This ensures that we can keep you informed about program updates, community events and in emergency situations. Please take the time to log into AIS-On and review, update and revise your family's contact information in the system.
It is most helpful if you complete all sections in the contact card for each member of your family. Click here for an instructional video on how to complete this important task.
Your daughter has been asked to work on an engaging, enriching, and manageable set of assignments this summer. Please log into AIS-On to review these assignments.
HEALTH FORMS AND REQUIREMENTS
For the 2021-22 school year, all student medical information (including dental) will be submitted and maintained within Magnus Health SMR (Student Medical Record), an online database. Visit AIS-On to set up and access your family's Magnus Health account. Students must have all health forms submitted prior to preseason athletics and/or the start of school.
Technology related questions about setting up your Magnus Health account should be directed to the Magnus Help Desk at 877-461-6831. For questions related to specific form needs, please contact Kristine Birkmire, Head Nurse or Shelby Coy for those related to athletics. When uploading documents, please keep a copy for your records.
The Owl Cafe is back in business! We look forward to the re-opening of our dining facilities for breakfast, lunch and snack this fall. Details about meal plans and ordering will be provided in divisional updates later this month.
SCHOOL UNIFORMS AND SPIRIT GEAR
The AIS Shop is open and you can order uniforms and other AIS gear in our online store. Stay tuned for additional information about dates and hours when the store will be open for visitors. You will also hear soon from the Parents' Council with details about the RenAISsance Uniform Sale, where you can purchase gently used AIS uniforms and gear, reopening to families this year.
Families who are interested in donating used apparel items to RenAISsance, please contact Cathy Ferguson.
FALL 2021 OPERATIONS PLAN
We look forward to welcoming all of our students back to campus next month and have been busy preparing the building and revisiting our safety protocols in anticipation of opening on September 9. Please visit the COVID-19 Resource page on our website to familiarize your family with the school's operational plan for the 2021-2022 school year. Be sure to bookmark this site, as we will post updates or changes to the plan in that space throughout the year.
DIVISIONAL BACK TO SCHOOL DETAILS
Our Division Directors have been hard at work this summer preparing for another year of academic excellence at Agnes Irwin. We are excited to implement new curricula, launch refined daily schedules, and reconnect with our most celebrated traditions for students across the school. You will hear from Division Directors by Monday, August 23 with details of course placements, student schedules, uniform guidelines, dining options and more to help you prepare for the start of school.
LOOKING AHEAD TO IMPORTANT FALL DATES
Mark your calendars now so you don't miss any of this year's exciting events!
- Preseason Athletics begin: August 23
- RenAISsance Uniform Sale: August 30-31
- Orientation (all new students; all 5th, 9th & 12th graders): September 8
- First Day of School: September 9
- New Parent/Guardian Welcome Reception: September 12
- All School Back to School BBQ: September 17
COVID-19 Mask Guidelines for July 2021
June 30, 2021
This message is intended to clarify wording around our COVID-19 protocols. The protocols have been updated to reflect that all unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask while inside. We realize that not all individuals are of age to be vaccinated and we will continue to do all that we can to protect them and others against the disease. Thank you.
New COVID-19 Protocols
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has determined that due to the high number of vaccinations and low community spread rates, face masks are no longer required. Vaccinated employees and children may continue to wear face coverings if they please. All unvaccinated employees and campers at Summer @ AIS must continue to wear a face-covering to avoid the spread of this disease.
Other mitigation measures are still in place to reduce the risk of any illnesses spreading on campus. Hand sanitizing stations, open-air classrooms, and the prohibition of sharing drinks/snacks will continue to be followed.
In the event that an individual within our Summer at AIS community tests positive for COVID-19, or has been in close contact (as defined by the CDC) to another individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, Agnes Irwin’s comprehensive action plan will go into effect immediately. We will work collaboratively with each family and local PA Department of Health officials on a case by case basis regarding disease information, symptom monitoring, notification of the Summer at AIS community, contact tracing, quarantine, testing, and return to camp requirements, to ensure the safety of the impacted individual and the entire camp community at all times.
Community Update: 3/5/21
March 5, 2021
Dear AIS Families,
I hope you are well, and looking forward, as I am, to warmer weather in the week ahead! It is hard to believe it is already March, with spring break just a few short weeks away. Below, please find several updates, including a change to our travel quarantine policy, a reminder about spring break, and an update on vaccinations for our faculty and staff.
Travel Quarantine Update
After careful consideration, effective March 8, we will modify our travel quarantine requirements to align our school's policy with the recently announced changes by the state of Pennsylvania. The full context of the announcement can be found here. This means that no quarantine period is required upon returning to Pennsylvania after travel. We ask that you continue to practice physical distancing and limit interactions beyond your immediate family. We also require that you continue to monitor for symptoms, report all concerns or illnesses to the appropriate division nurse, and complete the daily health screening before traveling to campus. Our consulting medical experts have been clear that our commitment to responsible behavior, regardless of location, is the biggest factor in mitigating the risk of COVID-19. We continue to expect our community members to abide by the expectations outlined in our Community Agreement, both in and outside of school, as we continue to work to keep our community safe.
Please note that the CDC continues to advise that travel increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 and recommends that you do not travel at this time. When possible, delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Spring Break Planning
This change to our quarantine policy does not affect our plans announced Jan. 27 for all grades to operate in virtual learning mode for the week following spring break. We still plan to follow the same course of action we did after Thanksgiving and winter break, and operate in virtual learning mode for the week following this holiday.
- Friday, March 26 through Monday, April 5: Spring Break, no classes or meetings
- Tuesday, April 6 through Friday, April 9: All grades (PreK to Grade 12) in virtual learning mode; no in-person classes
- Monday, April 12: In-person classes resume for all grades
Vaccination Plan for AIS Staff
As part of our commitment to in-person instruction for our students, we are pleased to announce that the school is working with the State Department of Education to procure the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for all Agnes Irwin faculty and staff, through the Delaware County Intermediate Unit. The administering of vaccines may necessitate temporary changes to our learning schedule. Any vaccine-related scheduling adjustments will be communicated ahead of time to our families.
It is our belief that through our collective mitigation efforts, such as masks, physical distancing, hand washing, continued surveillance testing and the addition of the vaccine to our faculty and staff, that we will be able to provide the same level of health and safety as we have all year to the Agnes Irwin community.
Please contact Tim Walsh, our Pandemic Coordinator, should you have questions or concerns. He can be reached at email@example.com or 610-801-1231. Thank you for your continued efforts to stay safe and work with the school to keep it safe.
Head of School
March 1, 2021
We write with an important update from the Inter-Academic Athletic League (Inter-Ac) Heads of School regarding spring sports. The Inter-Ac released the following statement on Friday:
"The Inter-Academic Athletic League Heads of School and Directors of Athletics are closely monitoring the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases in our surrounding counties, as well as guidelines provided by our local counties, CHOP PolicyLab, and the CDC.
Beginning March 1, 2021, League schools are permitted to commence athletic activities for spring sports in accordance with local and school guidelines. Additionally, the League plans to proceed with a spring schedule that includes Inter-Ac, as well as non-league competition.
Consistent with the fall and winter seasons, individual schools may choose in which sports they will participate without consequence from the league. Additional information about schedules and health and safety protocols will be forthcoming. At this time, opposing teams' spectators will not be permitted at contests. League schools will communicate their individual policies for home team spectators. Should current trends reverse, and numbers of infections increase, this plan will be revisited."
AIS will begin Upper School spring sports practices today, and Middle School spring practices will begin on Monday, March 8. Student-athletes and coaches will wear masks at all times. Middle school practices will remain intramural, physically distanced and cohorted. Practice schedules for US are posted on the athletics webpage, and competition schedules for Upper School will be posted as they become available. Middle School practice schedules will be posted this week. We will continue to very closely monitor local, regional and national guidance on sport participation during the pandemic.
January 8, 2021
"The Inter-Academic Athletic League Heads of School and Directors of Athletics are meeting regularly to review the latest guidelines provided by our local counties, CHOP PolicyLab and the CDC. We remain optimistic that with strong protocols in place and vigilant adherence to state and local guidelines that we can move forward with an abbreviated winter sports season.
Beginning immediately, League schools are permitted to conduct athletic activities in accordance with local and school guidelines. Schools will begin League-only play the week of February 1, and the winter sports season will conclude by February 28, 2021.
Individual schools may choose in which sports they will participate without consequence from the league. Additional information about schedules, health and safety protocols will be forthcoming, including the high probability of extremely limited numbers of spectators at venues."
AIS will resume Middle and Upper School winter sports activities on Monday, January 11. All indoor activities, except swimming and diving during active participation, will be masked at all times. Middle school practices will remain intramural, socially distanced and cohorted. Practice schedules will be posted to the athletics website today, and competition schedules for Upper School will be posted as soon as they are available. We will continue to very closely monitor local, regional and national guidance on sport participation during the pandemic.
- A Parent Guide to Talking to Talking about Coronavirus (National Association of School Psychologists)
- Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus (Child Mind Institute)
- Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus (NPR)
- Talking With Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks (Substance and Mental Health Services Administration)
- Talking to Teens & Tweens About Coronavirus (New York Times)
Date last updated: 2/28/22