COVID-19 Updates

As stated in our letter dated July 17th, our Administrative staff is continually refining procedures that will enable our students to continue their education in a safe and healthy environment. Since March some of our students have remained in isolation on campus and away from the outside community. Our goal, as the Fall 2020 term approaches, is to retain that protective bubble. Preparing to bring back the Southwestern community during the pandemic requires that all those returning to campus take responsibility for the re-entry process. Please check back as we will continually update this information. Update as of 9/8/20.

Returning to School

  • When should resident students arrive on campus?

    We understand that travel poses many challenges. However, students should make every effort to arrive and move in on Monday, August 31. (A future correspondence will discuss what to expect on August 31, Registration Day.)  Students and families must let the Student Office know their travel plans as soon as possible.  Contact either:

    Mr. Bornt at (626)799-5010 x 234 or or

    Mr. Shriwise at (626)799-5010 x 208 or

  • Will students have to be tested for COVID-19 before arriving on campus?

    Yes. All students will have to be tested and provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within 7 days prior to arriving on campus. Students/families must present this document when they arrive on campus.

  • What if a student tests positive before coming to campus?

    If a student tests positive before returning to campus, he or she must remain home for at least 14 days prior to coming to campus. In the event of this happening, notify the Student Office immediately (information above).  We will be in touch with the family concerning the details of the student’s return.

  • How can students reduce their risk of contracting the virus before coming to campus?

    It is important for students to be very careful before arriving on campus, especially during the 14 days prior to arrival. Following stated public health guidelines such as wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing, washing hands frequently, and minimizing contacts and exposures are very important during this time.

  • Will students new or returning to campus be required to quarantine after they arrive on campus?

    Yes, all new and returning students to campus will quarantine for two weeks in the dormitories upon their arrival.

  • What will happen during the on-campus quarantine at the beginning of the year?

    During the time of quarantine, students are expected to stay in their assigned dormitory. As instruction begins, students will work from their dorm rooms. All meals will be delivered to the dormitories. We will need students to cooperate and not congregate in rooms or visit other dorms. We’re planning some fun on-campus, outdoor activities, conducted at safe physical distance, for individual dorms.

  • Will students be tested after returning to campus?

    No, unless in the future the student exhibits symptoms of the virus.

  • Once on campus what health practices will students be asked to adopt?

    In order to care for every member of our school community certain practices will be required of everyone. These include, but are not limited to, use of face coverings, social distancing, hand washing, daily temperature testing, and participation in contact tracing (as necessary). If students are unable to comply with these standards, they will lose the opportunity to be on campus.

  • Is there a daily health test that all students, faculty, and staff must take?

    Yes. All students, faculty, and staff will have their temperatures taken every day, and each person will have to affirm that they do not have the symptoms for Covid-19 virus nor have they been in contact with anyone who has the symptoms. If other symptoms are present with or without a high temperature, students will be tested and isolated in a dorm until test results are returned.  Faculty and staff who have recognized symptoms including a high temperature will be asked to stay at home and self-quarantine until tested negative for the virus.

  • If a student tests positive while on campus, what will happen?

    If a student tests positive while on campus, he or she will be isolated in a dormitory set aside for this purpose and the family will be consulted as to the next steps that will be taken.

  • How will students learn about the health and safety protocols and what’s expected of them?

    We will share updates with students and families as they become available. After arrival on campus, an orientation followed by regular student meetings will inform students of changes and updates.

  • Academics

  • Will there be in-class instruction to begin the fall semester?

    No, we will begin the year with distance learning.  In a situation that is constantly evolving, Southwestern’s administrative staff joins “by invitation only” teleconferences each week with Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, for the most up-to-date information and guidance for classrooms, dining facilities, and dorms. As of our last briefing on August 13, 2020, LA County remains on the state’s watch-list. Therefore, we will not be permitted to hold in-person classes with students entering and leaving campus. We are monitoring the situation as it develops and will communicate changes as they become available.

  • May students start the year learning from home?

    Yes. To start the 2020-21 school year, our goal is to provide an on-campus experience for students that are able to join us and distance learning for students delayed or restricted by travel or who prefer it to start the year. When it is safe, we hope to re-unite our entire Southwestern family on campus. We do not intend to offer virtual learning for the entire year unless world events dictate that we must do so.

  • How will a student get their class schedule?

    Academic administrators will work with students virtually during the week of August 31-September 4 to finalize class schedules. A student’s core courses in English, math, science, history/social science, foreign language, and visual and performing arts are dictated by graduation and college entrance requirements and follow an outlined sequence. Students provided their preferences for elective courses in a recent survey several weeks ago.

  • Will students be permitted to change their class schedule?

    Yes, prior to September 4th when final schedules will be emailed to a student’s address. Students should check their email throughout the week as this will be the primary form of communication.

  • How will the academic program be delivered when some students are learning from home and others are staying on campus?

    Every student will have the opportunity to be equally successful in their classes, whether they are learning on campus or at home, remotely or in person. Our Faculty is preparing an academic experience that will begin virtually and evolve into hybrid, and/or in-person models of teaching and learning when we can do so safely.  It has been challenging to identify one online platform that accommodates all of our teacher, student, and class needs but we continue to make progress on streamlining our program. More information will be shared on this topic in an upcoming Academic FAQs – Part 2.

  • How will students be supported in this new academic environment?

    In addition to scheduled class time, every teacher will be available during office hours. Students can reach their teachers in their classrooms by phone or electronically for individualized attention and support.

  • What will be the daily class schedule?

    Through the year, Southwestern will follow a block schedule with three subjects for 100 minutes per subject each day. On even numbered days students attend periods 2, 4, and 6, and on odd numbered days periods 1, 3, and 5.

  • What will be the daily class schedule if a student lives in a distant time zone?

    Southwestern will have three groups of students – those learning on campus, those learning remotely in homes nearby, and students learning in homes abroad.   We are sympathetic to our students living in different time zones. We expect to engage them with both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities.

  • Once in-class instruction begins, what will the classrooms look like and what procedures will be in place to insure the safety of all students and faculty?

    Health and safety is our primary concern for students and faculty alike. Students and faculty will be required to wear masks/face coverings and to abide by physical distancing guidelines in all classrooms. In addition, the number of students per class will be adjusted according to the size of the learning spaces and in accordance with Health Department regulations. We will use canopies outside and other spaces in buildings to reduce the density of students and faculty. Directional signage will be posted to guide traffic flow and plexiglass barriers will be used on desks in some instances. Our increased efforts in cleaning and sanitizing all areas on campus will continue, and include frequent sanitizing in classrooms between classes.

  • When will classes begin?

    The first day of regular classes is Wednesday, September 9, 2020.  See Southwestern’s 97th year 2020-2021 Calendar on our website for an overview of the entire year –

    Initially, all students will be distance learning from the safety of their homes and dorm rooms. While it is our goal to eventually operate with in-person learning, Southwestern will only move to this model once it is safe to do so.

  • What Learning Management System (LMS) will be used for classes?

    To address the many challenges learned from the final months of the 2019-2020 school year, Southwestern appointed a remote learning team made up of ten teachers and administrators. Their thorough work and research ultimately led Southwestern to select Moodle. The Moodle learning platform is fully customizable, allowing teachers to develop and personalize their courses, while providing all Southwestern educators and students with a single, integrated system for all of their classes. Sign in at

  • What will be the expectations for distance learning?

    Before students are permitted to sign-in to classes, they must read, agree, and sign the 1) Online Instruction – Student Rights and Responsibilities, and 2) Southwestern Academy Honor Statement. These two documents outline the code of conduct expected of all Southwestern students. Please read these documents carefully!

  • What will be the daily class schedule while students learn remotely?

    Southwestern is determined to accommodate our three cohorts of students, those learning on campus, those learning in homes nearby, and those learning in homes abroad. To do this, Southwestern has modified its original plan and created a schedule that provides synchronous learning for each and every one of our students.

    For those students on or near campus, classes with your teachers and classmates will be from 9am to 12pm.

    For those students learning in homes abroad in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam, teachers will hold classes in the evening (your morning the next day).

    Check your email from Ms. Brunjes for your schedule. (See next question.)

  • When will a student receive their schedule, login name, and password?

    Students should expect an email from Ms. Brunjes that contains their final schedule and login credentials on Tuesday, September 8th.

  • How will materials be made available for classes?

    The majority of our textbooks will be digital. For those that are not, students near campus will pick up their books on Registration Day, Tuesday, September 8th. Arrangements will be made for those students on campus to get textbooks on Wednesday and Thursday, September 9 and 10. All other needs will be addressed by individual teachers.