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Residential Life

The critical importance of adhering to recommended health and safety practices in our residential program, both in and outside of the dormitories, cannot be overstated. Within the parameters firmly established by such considerations, we will all work together to create an environment that protects our students and School employees while still providing opportunities for community, connection, and joy. 
At the core of our residential community is fostering a sense of safety, belonging, and inclusion among our students. To do so in these unusual circumstances, we look forward to working closely with our students to design outdoor activities and creative programming to ensure that, despite whatever challenges we may encounter, Stevenson’s residential experience remains nourishing, supportive, and fun.

Please address your questions to Erik Olson, dean of students, or Marisa Knowles, director of residence.

Staged Return to Dormitories
Virtual pre-arrival programming will detail our modified procedures for residential life. Once state guidance permits the dormitories to reopen for students, boarding students will return to campus for two-week quarantine periods in three stages, with five-day gaps between each stage. 

Students will be screened prior to moving into their assigned rooms. The logistics of these screenings will be described in more detail once we establish the date on which our dormitories can reopen.

Stage 1

Seniors and junior prefects return and quarantine for two weeks.

Five days after the start of Stage 1:
Stage 2

New students return and quarantine for two weeks.

Five days after the start of Stage 2:
Stage 3

Returning sophomores and juniors return and quarantine for two weeks.

Students in quarantine will remain in remote instruction. Some campus instruction will be available for students once they are through their arrival cohort’s quarantine period. 

During quarantine, boarding students’ movement on campus will be limited to assigned mealtimes and scheduled outdoor activities. A significant amount of time  will be spent either outside or in their room. Those families with siblings scheduled to return at different times may contact the dean of students to discuss an exception to the scheduled return dates.

Emergency adult contacts
All boarding students’ families will be asked to identify an emergency adult contact over 21 years of age—a family member, friend, or colleague—who lives within reasonable driving distance (approximately 500 miles or able to pick up within 24-48 hours) of the School. 

This person must be willing to receive the child should circumstances prevent a student’s parents or guardians from doing so themselves. Circumstances include becoming ill with COVID-19, required quarantine due to exposure to an individual positive with COVID-19, or a required evacuation of campus due to worsening spread of COVID-19. 

Each such contact will be required to complete and sign an agreement form acknowledging the arrangement and provide a cell number by which they can be reached should the need arise. Families who cannot list such an emergency adult should contact the dean of students immediately. Families who cannot list such an emergency adult and who intend to return for campus instruction should email Mr. Erik Olson, the dean of students, immediately. 

Air travel
Owing to abiding concerns regarding the safety of air travel, insofar as respiratory and surface transmission of the virus is concerned, students whose journey to campus requires air travel—regardless of their nationality or point of departure—should book flights that permit their adherence to The Pirate Pledge for at least 14 days between the day their last flight lands and their arrival on campus. They should also plan to receive a PCR test 3-5 days prior to arriving on campus, (which should be 3-5 days after air travel). The School will be in touch directly with each family in order to assist with the required planning and logistics. 

General CDC guidance regarding travel can be found here

Resident community life in the spring semester
Our residential life team is excited by and dedicated to the challenge of designing creative and student-driven programming that allows for meaningful and memorable community and connection while protecting health and safety. 

Boarding students should anticipate that the School will be operating in its “closed campus mode” through June: in other words, boarding students should not expect to be permitted to leave campus during the week or on weekends, or on overnight passes, and visitors will generally not be permitted. Only the most critical requests for exceptions will be granted. 


  • Boarding students will not be permitted to visit one another’s dormitory rooms, and their use of common rooms—some of which will be doubling as classrooms during the academic day—will be restricted. 
  • Dormitory meetings will be conducted, as needed, either virtually or in small groups (outside, weather permitting), and with proper physical distancing. 
  • Students will use the bathroom and laundry room to which their cohort is assigned, as determined by their dormitory, floor, and hallway. 
  • Once students complete their required quarantine period, visiting with peers outside of their dormitory is permissible, provided such visits take place outside and with proper physical distancing. 
  • Access to the kitchenettes that include refrigerators and microwaves will be restricted or temporarily suspended.
  • Monday Night programming will be creatively modified to comply with physical distancing protocols. 

Once again, these temporary changes—which represent an obvious departure from our norm—must be implemented to protect community health. These restrictions will be eased as it becomes safe to do so, but can be expected to remain firmly in place until a vaccine is widely available and risk of exposure to COVID -19 is much lower. 

Students should adhere to this list of recommended items in order to allow for maximum flexibility in moving from one room to another should such adjustments be required.

Leaving campus
Students who leave campus owing to emergencies will either remain in remote instruction for the remainder of the semester or may be subject to another gateway test and 14 days of quarantine upon their return.

Isolation on campus
Boarding students who exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19 will be referred to the School nurse and then transported to the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP), which is about 3.5 miles from campus, for testing. 

Students whose health circumstances do not require that they be admitted to CHOMP, but do require them to leave their dormitory room for a period of time, and/or to await the arrival of their parent/guardian or emergency adult contact, will be chiefly isolated in Benbow House (a free-standing and fully furnished School-owned residence equipped with three bedrooms with en suite bathrooms); in the small residential wing of Douglas Hall; or in the School’s guest cottage behind the gymnasium. 

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

Easing restrictions
While this document outlines what the beginning of the spring, and perhaps the entire semester, will look like, we will ease restrictions when it is safe to do so. Changes to policies and procedures will be communicated in a timely way to students and their families. 

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

Visa matters
In March 2020, the U.S. Department of State suspended routine visa services worldwide. In July 2020, U.S. embassies and consulates began a phased resumption of routine visa services, on a “post-by-post basis.” On August 25, 2020, the Department of State announced that consulates can waive the interview requirement for individuals whose visa has expired within 24 months or fewer. This provision is set to expire on 12/31/2020. International students are encouraged to closely monitor their local embassies to learn when they resume visa processing services. Stevenson continues to track announcements and new provisions set forth by the Department of State, guardedly optimistic that many current restrictions for student visas may be eased in the new calendar year.