About Friends

WFS COVID-19 Information

Hybrid Plan to Begin 2020 School Year




Dear Friends,
 
As July comes to a close, we wanted to provide the most recent information regarding our planning for the new school year. Thank you to everyone who completed the re-entry surveys sent in the Summer Message. Your input has been very helpful as we have considered various ways to deliver our program to our students most effectively.

In mid-July, the State released “Returning to School” Guidelines and noted that Delaware is in the “yellow” phase in terms of COVID-19. The spread of the virus in this phase is described as “mild-to-moderate” and the guidelines say that “schools may use a hybrid model of remote learning and in-person learning options with precautions in place.” Please note, the Governor is scheduled to announce a decision on school openings in the beginning of August, and we are planning for all three scenarios––fully in-person, hybrid, and full remote learning––if we must change course.

Current Plan for Opening 
 
We highly value in-person instruction, and will make it a priority to bring students to campus to the extent that it can be done safely. Assuming we are still in the “yellow” phase on our first day of school, September 8, we will follow a hybrid model as follows:

Lower School
Students will attend school in-person each day and remain with the same cohort of students in their classrooms; specials will be taught in the homebase classrooms. Some larger indoor spaces will become classrooms to accommodate the distancing guidelines, and the use of outdoor learning spaces will be maximized. Wednesdays will be half-days to allow time for extended cleaning and faculty planning time. 

As part of our planning in the current “yellow” model, we must limit interactions between students in different grade levels and/or cohorts. As such, we are exploring how we can adapt our ASP program to meet the needs of our families while maintaining the health of our larger community. We know that we are not able to offer child care or drop-in care until the guidelines indicate we can be more flexible in grouping students. In order to help us plan, we ask lower school families to fill out the survey here. 

Middle and Upper School
Students will attend school in-person two days a week with the following schedule:

Monday and Tuesday: Middle School in the building, Upper School remote
Wednesday: All Students Remote, Extended  Cleaning
Thursday and Friday: Upper School in the building, Middle School Remote

This schedule will allow for each division to have access to all of the larger indoor and outdoor spaces for instruction and decrease the density of people in the building on a given day. Regarding athletics, we are awaiting guidance from the DIAA which will announce the status of fall sports by August 13. 

For 6th grade ASP, as noted above, we are exploring how we can adapt our program to meet the needs of our families while maintaining the health of our larger community. We know that we are not able to offer child care or drop-in care until the guidelines indicate we can be more flexible in grouping students. In order to help us plan, we ask 6th grade families to fill out the survey here. 

Safety Protocols
We will follow the safety protocols as outlined in “Returning to School” Guidelines provided by the State. This includes, but is not limited to, requiring face coverings when inside the building, active hand-washing and use of hand sanitizer, distancing in school spaces and classrooms, and being outside as much as possible. In addition, each morning, students and faculty/staff will need to complete a health assessment regarding their temperature and symptoms before going to school. Students and faculty/staff displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home. While in the “yellow” or “red” phase, we will restrict visitors on campus, discontinue field trips, and will not be able to hold large events or gatherings such as homecoming events, open houses, performances, and concerts.

These are just some of the safety measures we will take, and full details will be provided in our Reopening Guide which will be sent later in August. This guide will also include more detailed information about the school day, food service, athletics, and more.

For any student with a medical concern, or should the need to quarantine arise, we are planning to provide continuous remote instruction, which may be synchronous or asynchronous. Families should notify the nurse by Monday, August 3, if requesting to choose full remote instruction for their child due to health reasons:
Lower School, Stephanie Gramiak, sgramiak@wilmingtonfriends.org
Middle & Upper School, Emily Green, egreen@wilmingtonfriends.org

We realize there is a lot more information to share, including plans for an orientation that will include new procedures and logistics. As mentioned above, we are awaiting the Governor’s announcement regarding schools in the beginning of August, and will provide a detailed guide once the extent to which we can return is clear. 

In the meantime, please contact your division head with any questions:
Lower School, Julie Rodowsky, jrodowsky@wilmingtonfriends.org
Middle School, Jon Huxtable, jhuxtable@wilmingtonfriends.org
Upper School, Rebecca Zug, rzug@wilmingtonfriends.org

Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility.

In Friendship,