COVID-19 Protocols 

We're in this together!

I want you to know how much I appreciate every single step, plan, precaution, and communication that you and the group are orchestrating and administering ... May God’s wisdom and grace uphold you in this work.

The Rev. John W. A. Jenkins, Current Parent

An Update on Masking Policies

March 4, 2022

Throughout the pandemic, St. Andrew's-Sewanee has based our COVID policy on the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). As of today, the CDC map shows our four-county region as yellow (Medium) for community spread which allows us to update our masking policies.

AS OF SATURDAY, our campus will be mask-optional. We have delayed this change in policy for 24 hours to allow our parents the opportunity to discuss their family's wishes for their own child's practices. 

As a reminder, the CDC recommendations for areas at Medium risk are the following:

  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions.
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms (COVID testing will continue to be available on campus)

As we move into this new phase, we have our community to keep the following in mind:

  • ALWAYS exercise kindness. If you have a teacher or classmate who chooses to remain masked, asks for more space, etc., please respect their wishes.
  • If you are not ready to unmask and are concerned about the quality or fit of your own mask, please see Nurse Gilliam in the Health Clinic.
  • Even when COVID is not the risk, we have other viruses circulating (a cold and stomach bug at the moment). Get plenty of fresh air, exercise, and sleep. Keep washing your hands. Don't share drinks
  • If you are not feeling well or are feeling anxious about this change, see the Wellness staff (Nurse Gilliam, Nurse Lankhaar, Ms. Lowe, or Mr. Ferry).
  • Tuck those masks away somewhere safe. We have been following CDC guidelines throughout the pandemic and will continue to follow them into the future. If at some point, masking is again recommended, we will return to it.

We are grateful for the continued cooperation of our community.

An Update on Masking and Gathering Policies

March 1, 2022

The CDC's announcement on Friday, which provides guidance on relaxing masking indoors, paves the way for us to adjust our masking policy as our county situation improves. 

While we await the good news of Franklin County moving into the Medium (yellow) or Low (green) COVID-19 Community Level, we have made some small changes based on the very low transmission rates we are currently experiencing within the campus community. We have returned to in-person all-school gatherings and, this week, we will return to worship in St. Andrew's Chapel for our Ash Wednesday service. For many of our students, this will be their first time worshipping in this beautiful space, the soul of our campus.  

Everyone has been so cooperative and patient. We are eager to see each other's smiling faces again but want to assure you that individuals on our campus will always have the option to stay masked if that is what is most comfortable for them.

Our COVID protocols have been and will continue to be, to do what we can: (1) to maintain the health and well-being of our campus community; and (2) to ensure in-person learning and activities while staying in compliance with CDC policies. Our community has achieved great success in meeting these goals over the last two years. We are grateful for your continued support and cooperation.

If Your Child is Not Feeling Well

If your child is not feeling well and you have any concern that it may be COVID, please contact our Health Clinic to schedule a test.

  • Students and employees with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are encouraged to contact our Health Clinic to schedule a test.
  • COVID-exposed but asymptomatic staff and students may continue to attend school in person with extra diligence in their masking.
  • Staff and students are encouraged to update vaccinations, per CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance.

As always, our Health Clinic staff reserves the right to make decisions on a case-by-case basis as is needed for the safety of our community.


Per CDC guidelines, SAS recommends that students and employees stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. SAS encourages all students eligible for the vaccine to be fully vaccinated (including recommended boosters). Students who become eligible during the school year should receive their vaccinations as soon as they are able. Our Health Clinic staff is available to help facilitate vaccinations for all of our students.

If your child is vaccinated and/or boosted, please upload a copy of their vaccination card to MAGNUS or fax it to our Health Clinic, 931-914-1224. 

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Statement on COVID Vaccines for Teenagers
American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) Statement on COVID Vaccines for Children 12-18

Find vaccines near you.


Guiding Philosophy

St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School strongly believes that students benefit from in-person learning and that social activity is important for adolescent development. We also strongly believe that the central pillar of community is care for one another.

In 2020-2021, SAS implemented strict and successful protocols to minimize online days while keeping our community safe.


Face Coverings

As recommended by the CDC:

  • Masks are required in academic buildings, on school transportation, and in community spaces such as St. Andrew's Chapel, McCrory Hall for the Performing Arts, Wood-Alligood Gymnasium, the Robinson Dining Hall servery.
  • Masking for athletics and Afternoon Programs will depend on the activity, location, and conditions.
  • When students are traveling off-campus with the school, they will be expected to wear a face covering on transportation and when indoors.

Physical Distancing, Classrooms, and Community Gatherings

SAS classrooms are set up to allow for increased physical distance between students when possible. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, other mitigation will be in place, such as open windows and doors. Chapel and community gatherings will be in larger spaces and outdoors when possible. 

Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection

Community members encouraged to continue heightened hygiene, including more frequent hand washing and not sharing food, drinks, and utensils. SAS continue enhanced cleaning and disinfection of shared campus spaces.

COVID Symptoms and Having Your Child Tested

The symptoms currently identified as possible COVID symptoms are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Day Families: If your child presents any of these symptoms, please contact our Health Clinic staff to schedule a COVID test. Please email us to let us know if your child will be absent.

Boarding Families: If your child wakes up feeling sick, they should go to the Health Clinic. If they begin to feel sick after class hours, they should contact the Administrator on Call.

If your child (day or boarding) begins to feel ill during the school day, they should see the receptionist in the Bishop Bratton offices. The receptionist will contact the Health Clinic for further instructions

My child has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, what should we do?

Contact our Health Clinic for more information.

Please report absences to

Positive Tests, Quarantine, and Isolation

Day Families: Please consult your family physician regarding length of required isolation. Please make our Health Clinic aware of your child's health status and contact the Academic Dean or Middle School Coordinator to arrange for academic support during your child’s absence.

Boarding Families: Following current CDC recommendations, your child may be asked to isolate based on doctor's recommendations. Our Health Clinic staff will coordinate care and the Academic Dean or Middle School Coordinator will help to arrange academic support. In the event that isolation is recommended, boarding families who are able are welcomed and encouraged to bring their child home to allow them greater comfort.

COVID and Break Travel

Testing and Quarantine

Given the low transmission rates at this time, students will not be tested or quarantines upon return from Spring Break (MAR 10-20). 

Using Care When Traveling

We ask that ALL families, boarding and day, be extra careful during these breaks to limit their child's exposure and to encourage masking, hand washing, and social distancing. If, at any time, your child has been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID or is exhibiting symptoms of COVID, please contact our Health Clinic.

In the Event of General Illness

As always, day students are expected to stay home and boarding students are expected to present at the Health Clinic when showing signs of illness such as fever, cough, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Community Transmission, CDC Guidelines, and Policy Changes

SAS will continue to follow CDC guidelines and monitor community transmission and vaccination coverage to guide future decisions. All policies are subject to change.

Questions or Comments?

Contact Melissa Gilliam, Director of the Health Clinic.


COVID-Related Concerns

Melissa Gilliam, Director of the Health Clinic

Other questions:


Kelley Black, Academic Dean and Associate Head of School


Derek Perkins, Director of Admission and Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Derek Perkins, Director of Admission and Financial Aid

General Health Care

Melissa Gilliam, Director of the Health Clinic

International Students

Derek Perkins, Director of Admission and Financial Aid

Spiritual and Emotional Support

The Rev. Molly Short, Chaplain

Student Life

Bob MacLellan, Director of College Counseling


Not an SAS student yet?

Contact the Admission Office TODAY to discuss 2020-2021 enrollment.

Our Experience in 2020-2021

St. Andrew's-Sewanee School students, faculty, and staff were in-person for the majority of 2020-2021. The community followed health precautions in accordance with local, state, and CDC requirements and recommendations.

Although we began the year with strict protocols in place regarding face coverings, campus visitors, student activities, physical distancing, etc., we were able to ease these measures as new information and improving data allowed and as more members of our community were vaccinated. 

Throughout the planning and implementation, we kept our community informed and provided opportunities for feedback and constructive solutions.  Our goal was always to balance safety with what we recognize as the human need for interaction and activity. We continuously reviewed and updated our policies as we lived into our protocols and as parents, students, faculty, and staff continue to raise questions and offer constructive suggestions.


Per current CDC guidelines, employees who are vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months, do NOT need to self-quarantine following domestic or international travel. Employees who are unvaccinated and who have not recently recovered from COVID-19 are expected to self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel (domestic or international). The CDC recommends that all unvaccinated domestic travelers and all international travelers (vaccinated and unvaccinated) get a viral test 3-5 days after travel. Even after a negative viral test taken 3-5 days after travel, unvaccinated travelers still need to serve a full 7-day quarantine. If required quarantine prevents you from coming to campus, you must contact your supervisor. Accommodations will be made for those who are able to work from home. Those who cannot work from home may be expected to use sick/personal time during quarantine.