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MHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

CAMPUS_Catherine Hall

2020-21 School Year

As a life-sustaining organization, MHS never closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We continued to serve our students during a time when they truly needed us most. During the 2020-21 school year, we have two priorities:

  • The care and education of our students
  • The health and well-being of all

Our approach to the school year was developed using federal and state guidelines, CDC considerations, and MHS-established health and safety protocols to keep our campus a safe, nurturing, and healthy place. Read more below.

Health Center

Health and Wellness Update

As we continue to care for and educate students amid the COVID-19 pandemic, President Gurt ’85 provides an update of how MHS has been working tirelessly to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our students.

Sparty with Mask

Spring 2020-21 Athletics Update

In prioritizing the health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff, MHS will not participate in 2020-21 spring sports. As a residential school, it is critical that we take a proactive approach to safeguarding our school community. MHS will explore opportunities for student-athletes to continue skill development in alignment with our school’s Health and Safety Plan.

Guiding Principles

We look forward to 2020-21 and our important role in continuing to serve our students and their families during the pandemic, which has affected low-income families especially hard, using these guiding principles and comprehensive health and safety measures.

Continuous High-Quality Care and Instruction

MHS will deliver exceptional care and instruction to all students to support holistic growth and achievement. There is more unfinished academic, as well as life and social skills, learning and learning loss during extended school closures for low-income students. Research from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows physically attending school is best for students’ development and well-being—resulting in higher quality academic and career instruction, social and emotional learning skills, safety, reliable nutrition, and physical activity.

Whole Student Supports

On campus, MHS can provide students with the highest quality support services including comprehensive health care, academic and behavioral health interventions, and enrichment opportunities.

Health and Safety

MHS will continue to fulfill our mission while implementing safety measures to maintain health and well-being of students and staff with a Health and Safety Plan that focuses on our academic program, the safe implementation of learning, and connected programs and activities.

Health and safety measures include:

  • Daily symptom screening for all students and staff
  • Use of preventive health and safety measures, including social distancing, frequent handwashing, covering sneezes and coughs, and wearing face masks
  • Following all current CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines
  • COVID-19 trainings to highlight safety protocols
  • Frequent and extensive cleaning of all facilities and spaces
  • Reducing class sizes to 12 students on average per classroom
  • Requiring students and staff to wear masks whenever social distancing is not possible
  • Conducting large group events virtually
  • Limiting school-sponsored, off-campus activities
  • Holding fewer and longer holiday breaks


As new information becomes available, and the global pandemic evolves, we will consider and implement adjustments, as needed.

Kent Pierce, ED music teacher

In This Together

Members of the MHS community have shared perspective pieces on MHS’s Health and Safety Plan as well as the many ways in which we are keeping our community safe.

Read the Stories
A view of supplies in the Milton Hershey School Health Center.

Additional Resources

Visit the following health organization websites for additional information:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Pennsylvania Department of Health World Health Organization (WHO)

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.