It Takes a Village

Every member of the St. Luke’s community can help prevent the spread of COVID-19—within the school community and in the broader community. Your support and adherence to safety protocols - and to the St. Luke’s Social Contract - will help determine whether our students and teachers stay safe and our campus remains open.

Maintaining a Healthy Environment

List of 7 items.

  • Physical Distancing

    St. Luke’s is following the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) which offers this definition:

    “Physical distancing, sometimes referred to as social distancing, is simply the act of keeping people separated with the goal of limiting spread of contagion between individuals. It is fundamental to lowering the risk of spread of SARS-CoV-2, as the primary mode of transmission is through respiratory droplets by persons in close proximity.”

    In its guidance for schools, the AAP also states: “Evidence suggests that spacing as close as 3 feet may approach the benefits of 6 feet of space, particularly if students are wearing face coverings and are asymptomatic.” This guidance is also supported by healthychildren.org as well as the findings of a “systematic review and meta-analysis” in The Lancet that “support(s) physical distancing of 1 m or more,” especially in combination with mask wearing.
  • Face Coverings & Hygiene

    All students, faculty and staff will be required to wear face coverings (masks) at all times while indoors. Masks will not usually be required outside and during athletic activities (see more in Athletics). View or download this helpful information sheet with the do's and don'ts of mask-wearing at St. Luke's.

    Masks will be issued to every student and employee before in-person classes commence. Students may opt to bring their own masks from home. All masks must fully cover the mouth and nose area and have loops that fit around the ears in order to provide a snug fit. Masks with openings, valves, or gaps will not be permitted. Bandanas and gaiters are also not permitted.

    We’ll share videos demonstrating the effective use of masks. Please have your children “practice” wearing their own masks at home for increasing periods of time in the weeks leading up to August 24th. One suggestion is to start by having them wear a mask when they are doing something they enjoy, such as watching TV or playing a video game. The goal is for them to gain comfort with this critical prevention tool. (Here are more ideas).

    Hand sanitizers are available at entrances to all buildings, classrooms, and dining halls. 

    St. Luke’s is installing eight portable handwashing stations under the front portico and on the Alumni Plaza for use before entering and after exiting the building.

    Disposable wipes or similar acceptable cleaners are available in all bathrooms, classrooms, and other shared facilities (e.g., copy machines).

    Signage has been installed to remind students, faculty, and staff to wear masks, wash hands frequently, and maintain safe physical distance.
  • Facilities Cleaning and Disinfection

    St. Luke’s facilities partner Sodexo has prepared for a safe and healthy campus for everyone. Sodexo enhanced its already significant health and safety protocols with additional training to ensure strict adherence to safety guidelines. Our daily facility care includes use of Diversey lab-tested surface cleaning throughout the campus—the same system Sodexo uses at Stamford Hospital.
  • HVAC: Air Handling System

    With the assistance of New England Energy Controls and based on advice from the Health Task Force, St. Luke’s has conducted a comprehensive review and balancing of its entire air handling system following the State of Connecticut’s guidelines. All filters have been replaced, and Merv-13 filters have been installed where possible. Further, all dampers have been opened to allow for increased air flow, mechanicals have been cleaned and disinfected, and all exhaust fans will be reset to run at all times. Windows and classroom doors will also stay open as much as possible.
  • Classrooms & Shared Spaces

    Maintaining proper distance between students at all times is a priority. We have carefully reviewed every classroom and learning space and either created new seating arrangements that provide physical distancing or installed protective barriers.

    Spaces formerly used for non-academic functions have been repurposed to allow for additional classroom space.

    Hallways have been divided—with arrows—to direct and separate foot traffic.

    Furniture has been spaced out, and in some cases removed, in order to allow more room for physical distancing.

    Plastic partitions have been installed in the Fireplace Commons, Dining Commons, breakout spaces, and library tables to allow for safe gathering with physical barriers.

    Hallways, office spaces and bathrooms are cleaned in accordance with Connecticut’s guidelines for businesses.

    Bathroom access will not be limited. Disposable paper towels will replace electric hand dryers. All soap dispensers will have antibacterial soap and signage will be installed with hand washing instructions and requirements.

    Garbage cans will have all lids removed and will be emptied regularly.

    As much as possible, windows and doors in classrooms will be kept open
  • Dining Program

    We’ve reimagined our dining options to balance safety with the need to eat and socialize. There will be a limited breakfast available to purchase. Lunch will be pre-ordered by students, packaged and picked up in a pre-assigned location. We encourage everyone to enjoy their lunch outdoors whenever possible. The Dining Commons and the Middle School Gym will provide indoor seating with tables and dividers. Eating with a mask on would be tricky (!) but students will be asked to put their masks back on as soon as they are finished eating. 

    The School’s food service provider - FLIK - will adhere to strict safety guidelines. All meals and cutlery will be prepackaged in disposable containers and disinfectant wipes will be available. The additional dining space - with clear table-top dividers - in the Middle School Gym assures safe distancing and protection when masks are removed for eating. Students and teachers will be asked to dispose of all garbage in school-provided garbage bags. Dining areas will be cleaned before and after each meal shift.

    While seniors will not be able to leave campus during lunch (or leave and come back during free periods), they will have a special outdoor space on the Alumni Plaza where they can eat lunch or relax between classes. In addition, the cafe has been set up with dividers on tables and only seniors will be permitted to eat lunch there.
  • Music Programs

    St. Luke’s is committed to maintaining our full music program during this crisis. The CT State guidelines for physical distancing for wind instruments and singers require 12 feet of distance among participants. St. Luke’s band and choir classes will meet in much larger spaces than usual, and in some cases in smaller groups than usual, to ensure appropriate distance. Singers will wear masks. Band and Choir concerts will be presented either via video or as live-streamed events without an audience. We are fortunate to have dynamic and creative music teachers who are dedicated to making this a positive artistic experience for all students.


AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS

The main mode of COVID-19 spread is from person to person, primarily via droplet transmission. For this reason, strategies for infection prevention should center around this form of spread, including physical distancing, face coverings, and hand hygiene.”

Health Monitoring: Students, Faculty, and Staff

Self Check and Reporting

As part of the St. Luke’s Social Contract, all employees and students will conduct a daily self check for symptoms of COVID-19 before coming to campus. 

Prior to leaving for school EACH morning, every student, teacher, and staff member will be required to log in to SchoolPass and complete a health inventory, which will be submitted electronically for each individual. (SchoolPass information was sent to families in August).

Parents - note that this health inventory will ask you to take the temperature of your child, and attest to no fever or other COVID-19 symptoms such as cough, fever, chills, muscle or body aches, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, and/or new loss of taste or smell. (For full list of symptoms consult the CDC's Symptoms of Coronovirus for the most up-to-date information. 

If any of these symptoms are present, individuals should remain at home and consult a doctor. Individuals who do not complete and submit the daily health screening or who have not passed the screening will be sent home. Symptoms can range from mild to severe illness, and appear 2–14 days after you are exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.


This graphic does not include all possible symptoms. Go the CDC’s Symptoms of Coronavirus for the most up-to-date information.

Individuals Testing Positive

In either of the following cases:

Student or employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19;

Someone living in the same household as the student/employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19,

these actions will follow:
  1. Please inform the school at coronavirus@stlukesct.org as soon as possible. 
  2. The student/employee will self-quarantine at home for 10 days from the date symptoms first appeared. Additionally, the person needs to be symptom-free for 48-hours, without medication, before returning to campus. Please be sure to follow the federal guidelines on self-isolation or self-quarantine in this situation. 
  3. In the case of a positive infection, the School will work closely with the New Canaan Health Department to conduct contact tracing. Senior COVID-19 Coordinator Julia Gabriele, School Nurse Irene Maier, Assistant Athletic Director Anna Knechtel, and Athletic Trainer Nicole Guido have been certified in contact tracing by ASTHO (the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials). 
  4. Per CDC guidelines, household members of a COVID-19 positive individual will be asked to quarantine for 14 days from the last known contact with the infected person. Individuals who have had close contact with the household member will not be asked to quarantine unless that household member tests positive for COVID-19. The CDC defines a close contact as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. 
  5. An entire grade level or division may be asked to quarantine for 14 days.
  6. Names of any/all individuals testing positive or being asked to quarantine will not be made public without permission from the individual.
  7. An email communication may be sent to the broader community to raise awareness and reinforce the need to adhere to guidelines.
  8. Daily absence reporting to the health office must be completed for each day the student will not come to campus.

Isolation Spaces for Safety

Should someone become symptomatic while on campus, St. Luke’s has a 144 sq. ft. isolation space located near the front entrance. This private space is in addition to our existing health office and will help us ensure we can safely separate anyone who is ill from the rest of the population.

If isolation is needed, a parent or guardian will need to pick up the student for immediate quarantine. Before pickup occurs, the school nurse will provide care and monitoring in either the School Health Office or the new isolation area.

Individuals with COVID-like symptoms and non-COVID illnesses:

  • All students and employees sent home with COVID-like symptoms should contact their Healthcare Provider for further evaluation/recommendations. If your Healthcare Provider recommends COVID-19 testing, you should remain home from school until you receive the test result. If those results are negative, you need to submit a note from your Healthcare Provider medically clearing you to be on campus.
  • Those with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 must complete 10 calendar days of isolation from the date of the first symptom, be fever-free for at least 48 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and see an improvement in other symptoms before returning to school.
  • Those diagnosed with a non-COVID illness must meet the specific return-to-school criteria outlined by their Healthcare Provider. At a minimum, you must be fever-free and have had no vomiting or diarrhea for the past 48 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
  • A Healthcare Provider’s note documenting the alternative diagnosis and indicating the illness is not COVID-19 needs to be shared with the school nurse before returning to school. This documentation must also include medical clearance from your Healthcare Provider to return to school with a specified date for return.
  • Those with COVID-like symptoms who do not get tested for COVID-19 and who do not provide a Healthcare Provider's note documenting an alternative diagnosis, must complete 10 calendar days of isolation from the date of the first symptom onset, be fever-free for at least 48 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and see an improvement in other symptoms before returning to school.
  • Medical evaluation and COVID-19 diagnostic testing is strongly recommended for anyone experiencing COVID-like symptoms. 
  • If you have any questions about these guidelines, please feel free to contact Irene Maier, St. Luke's School Nurse at maieri@stlukesct.org or 203-801-4911. 

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St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.