The Covid Fund

Our Plan

We understand the power of place.
We at the Thacher School are keenly aware that the School’s most distinct advantages lie in our proximity to the Sespe; in the value of face to face relationships; in the power of community gatherings and fellowship; and in our ability to leverage the lessons of horses, camping, and team sports into personal growth and leadership. Knowing the power of this place and the opportunities Thacher provides, bringing our students back to campus safely became a top priority in the spring of 2020.

The Covid Fund

Our Goals

Reopening the School
Over the course of three board meetings in April and May of 2020, Thacher’s administration and board worked through a series of scenarios that informed the work to be done over the course of the summer to reopen the School. During this deliberate process, we made the following commitments: 
  • to the safety and well-being of all in our community 
  • to our School’s values, ethos, and culture 
  • to providing our students with a Thacher education 
  • to rational, information-based action 
  • to the best plan for Thacher
  • to the responsible use of resources

In order to bring students back to Thacher, administration, the board of trustees, and a team of health crisis management, and legal counsel agreed on the following assumptions and actions:
  1. Campus will be as safe if not safer than students attending school at home.
  2. We will have risk mitigation policies, procedures, and best-practice guidelines in place for students/parents/faculty/staff/families.
  3. The Thacher community and approved campus visitors will commit to: (1) each other’s health, safety, and well-being; and (2) compliance with risk mitigation policies, procedures, and best-practice guidelines.
  4. We will require additional funding and resources to manage the Covid-19 response.
  5. We will have sufficient, rapid-return covid-19 testing (viral and antibody) for the Thacher community and approved campus visitors to identify, contact-trace, and surveil.
  6. We will have a medical advisory committee in place to advise the School on health and safety aspects of Thacher’s covid-19 response.
  7. We will make facilities and program modifications that meet our medical advisory committee's recommendations and any applicable federal, CA, and Ventura County laws or regulations.
  8. We will have the ability to test, contact-trace, isolate, and treatment procedures and protocols.
  9. We will have facilities and health care providers to isolate identified and suspected covid-19 cases.
  10. We will have a covid-19 evacuation plan in place should circumstances require that campus be closed.
  11. We will maintain the capacity at the individual and institutional levels for both online and in-person learning.
  12. We will have a staggered start for administrators, faculty, and students.

The Thacher School administration believes it is safe to bring the students back. Our actions were also guided by a belief that it may take 24 months to have a readily available vaccine. As such, we made the decision to not bridge to a vaccine. Rather, we prepared to open in the fall of 2020 without a vaccine readily available.

Despite the fact that teenagers are a very low-risk group to become seriously ill from covid-19, they can be spreaders and are often asymptomatic. Given that we have individuals who are over 60, or in other high-risk groups at Thacher, we felt that Thacher needs to be able to monitor, isolate, and manage the virus. The needs of all of our constituencies and our ability to respond to the Covid-19 crisis were considered.
Back-to-School Playbook for the 2020-2021 School Year
The Thacher School
5025 Thacher Road
Ojai, California, 93023

Tel : 805-646-4377

Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students: The Thacher School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other School-administered programs.