COVID-19 Information

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COVID-19 Information

The health and safety of our Providence School students, families, faculty and staff are of the highest importance. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and taking proactive measures for safety.

Please refer to this page for the latest updates, messages from the administration, and other resources.

See also the Remote Learning Resources web page, with links to video messages, chapel services, and other Providence School resources for all class levels, Preschool—High School.


February 1, 2021, 9:00 am

The California Public Health Department has issued new guidance for K–12 schools, resulting in revisions to Providence’s COVID-19 safety plan. An addendum to our existing reopening guides is available now and is effective as of February 1, 2021. The new information covers face coverings, symptoms, when to stay home and when it is permissible to return to school, the school’s action plan for suspected or confirmed cases, school closure determinations, and travel guidance. Providence K–12 COVID Safety Plan Addendum

October 13, 2020, 3:30 pm

Santa Barbara County has been in the state’s red tier for two consecutive weeks and the county health department guidance allows all schools to reopen. Providence is reopening on the Canon Perdido campus for middle and upper school classes. The return to campus is staggered, to allow students, faculty, and staff to get used to following new health and safety protocols, as listed in the Reopening Providence, 7–12 guide. 

Seniors return Wednesday, October 14, as previously authorized, to write the SAT exam. Other classes will continue with the Providence@Home program until called back to campus.

Middle school (grades 7 & 8) students are invited to return on Thursday, October 15, joined by the upper school (grades 9–12) on Friday, October 16. 

Students who for health reasons are not able to join their cohort on campus for in-person learning will continue to participate in classes via video. Dedicated IPads with cameras have been installed in every classroom.

October 2, 2020, 1:00 pm

On Tuesday, September 29, Santa Barbara County moved from the state’s purple tier to the red tier. If the county maintains red tier status for two weeks, secondary schools may reopen after going through an attestation process. Providence anticipates opening the Canon Perdido campus to students in grades 7-12 on a staggered basis at some time in mid-October. Details will be announced after the two-week waiting period ends on October 13.

Until then, Providence@Home distance learning will continue for all middle and upper school classes.

Providence preschool through sixth grade classes are now all meeting in person on the San Roque campus. The last group, the sixth grade, returned on Wednesday, September 30, and enjoyed a pizza lunch in recognition of their patience in waiting to be the last to return. Campus operations are going smoothly.

September 16, 2020, 5:00 pm

The Santa Barbara County and State of California health departments approved a waiver allowing Providence to hold Lower School classes in person.

All faculty and staff who will be on the San Roque campus are completing baseline routine COVID-19 testing and will be retested on a rotating two-month basis. Health and safety protocol training and run-throughs for K–6 staff will take place on a previously scheduled in-service day on Friday, September 18. 

A tentative staggered reopening will allow students and staff sufficient time to become familiar with the new procedures. Junior Patriots (Kindergarten) classes will use Monday and Tuesday of next week (September 21 and 22) to get comfortable with health screening, drop-off, and pick-up procedures. Other classes will come back to campus one grade per day, beginning with first grade on Wednesday, September 23 and culminating with the sixth grade by the following Wednesday, September 30. Details will be sent home to parents in the next few days.

Providence@Home distance-learning will continue for all classes not yet back on campus, to provide a relatively seamless transition from the remote classroom to the physical classroom. Students began the year already assigned to their classroom teacher and cohort.  

The Providence K–6 Reopening Guide contains key information on health screening, arrival procedures, lunches and water bottles, masks, physical distancing, cohorts, cleaning and disinfecting, and much more.  

August 27, 2020, 10:00 am

Our plan to safely reopen the San Roque campus for all grades is ready to put into operation as soon as allowed by state and local health departments. At this time, we are awaiting review of our request for a waiver for in-person education for K–6 students. We anticipate an answer within the next two weeks.


The Providence COVID-19 Task Force thoroughly researched the most current advice of the national, state, and local health departments and consulted with medical professionals within our own community to develop our reopening plan. We believe it is appropriate to the situation and will accomplish our very best to keep our students, families, employees, and community as safe as possible when we return to an in-person experience. Of course, the plans set forth are subject to change, depending on any revisions to the health and safety guidance for reopening schools.

August 3, 2020, 3:00 pm

School opening remains dependent on our state governor’s mandates and the local public health department guidelines. While Providence remains fully committed to providing in-person, on-campus learning five days per week following all health and safety protocols, as of this time we are bound by government orders to keep campuses closed to students in Grades 1–12.

We are overjoyed that under our early childhood education licensing, Providence can and will welcome both preschool and kindergarten-age children on campus for in-person learning, beginning August 18, 2020. 

View Reopening Providence, A Guide for Parents, Preschool & Junior Patriots

To make distance learning a success, we have invested in additional faculty and technology (both hardware and software) to improve upon what was already a high-quality learning experience last spring that kept students thriving academically, spiritually, and emotionally.

“This remains a fluid situation,” Soo Chang, Head of School, wrote to school parents in a July 30 email, “and we remain hopeful that unfolding events may make in-person school possible in the not-too-distant future. Though we do not have a crystal ball to tell us when that will happen, as soon as we are able we will quickly transition to in-person learning, five days a week.”  

The Providence administration has been watching all developments and preparing for multiple scenarios that would involve in-person and remote-learning models. Providence is fully prepared to offer rich, daily, engaging learning for all students, whether that learning takes place online or in a safe classroom environment.

An updated list of protocols and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) will be provided when we get closer to reopening campuses.

Visit this web page to stay informed with the latest information on Providence’s plans for reopening.