Dear Parents & Caregivers,
In response to new guidance from Franklin County Public Health released yesterday, we convened our medical subcommittee of the Board of Trustees and are responding with updates to our distancing practices. We have also included a few important reminders below in response to frequently asked questions.
Please know that we will continue to monitor changing numbers and public health guidance throughout the school year and pivot as needed with the health and safety of our community as the top priority.
With some innovative uses of additional dining spaces such as the Doerschlag Den, the patio outside of the Thomas Family Dining Room, Gard Gym, Upper School Commons, and outdoor lawn seating, we will maintain 6-foot distancing during lunch, while also returning to the level of menu choices that we typically enjoy. Students not eating in the Thomas Family Dining Room will still select all of their food from a wide array of options.
We shifted our furniture arrangements today in order to maintain 3-foot distancing while students are seated at desks in Little Jags-grade 6 classroom spaces. We will conduct morning care with 6-foot distancing, maintain grade level cohorts during lower school brain breaks, and limit grade level mixing while maximizing distancing during Aftercare.
While class sizes are returning to those of a more typical school year, we have elevated our investment in teachers to support our strong enrollment and are proud to offer an improved student-to-teacher ratio of 7:1. This staffing increase will occur most notably in early childhood and lower school where we have added additional learning guides. This will also enable us to flex further, if needed, to accommodate additional spacing models or to provide more personal support and learning from home.
In the summer of 2020, we conducted a full analysis of our air filtration and upgraded our systems to meet or exceed filtration recommendations. All interior spaces have filters with a minimum filtration rating of MERV 13 in the air handling system equipment (RTUs), the filter rack edges have been sealed to prevent bypass of unfiltered air, and the filters will be changed more frequently. In a few locations, including the Little Jags building, portable air purifiers have been installed to provide enhanced ventilation.
Testing & Vaccinations
Our medical subcommittee of the Board of Trustees has determined that strong preventive measures such as universal masking, distancing, and encouraging vaccines are more effective than random testing. Because more than half of our students are not currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, a vaccine mandate would not be as effective now as it might be in the future when all of our students have the option of receiving the vaccine. Please know that we strongly recommend COVID-19 vaccinations for all eligible students and employees. If you have not already, please email Danielle Goldfarb at email@example.com with your student’s vaccination status.
In the unfortunate event of a positive case of COVID-19 among our students or employees, we will continue to conduct contact tracing in each situation, update our COVID-19 dashboard, and send an email alert to all parents and caregivers.
We are so looking forward to the beginning of an exciting new year tomorrow, and we thank you for your partnership as we lean in to the same flexibility that we strive to inspire in our students each day.
The Wellington COVID-19 Task Force
Danielle Goldfarb, school health professional
Lindsey Smith, chief operating officer/director of athletics
Laurie Beth Sweeney, chief experience officer/director of development