Dear Wellington Community,
I understand this continues to be a very challenging time for families. Please know that we are here to help and are eager to facilitate a positive and productive mindset. One of our most important values as a community is our unflappable optimism. Wellington, with its founding, fostered a mindset that challenges should be viewed as opportunities. That set-backs simply require new strategies. That with a community of caring, trust, and commitment, anything is possible. We will do this together. I know we can.
Distance Learning Roll-Out Schedule
We have access to some of the most comprehensive guidance about distance learning through our partnerships with the National Association of Independent Schools and Independent Schools Association of the Central States and we are gleaning important lessons and tips from the schools who have already begun the distance learning process. Our talented faculty are building an approach that focuses on the foundational elements of our academic program, while also being mindful of the co-curricular clubs, organizations, and affinity groups that bring so much value and connection for our students. Alongside those elements will be access to resources from and with our school counselors and learning specialists. We are bringing a holistic approach to this platform.
With that being said, here is how you can expect the next three weeks to look:
Today through March 29 - Enjoy your spring break by staying physically distant, together. I realize it is a challenge, but try your best to be in a “break” state of mind. Learning and new challenges are ahead, utilize the break as just that. I will be encouraging our staffulty to do that as well.
March 30-April 3 - We will begin to roll out resources to support families and students at every stage. Students and parents can expect further communication about the resources that will become available during this week. Much of this work will utilize technology and tools already familiar to students, such as google meet, zoom conferencing and the Google suite of tools.
April 6-17 - We will launch our distance learning approach in full, with the hopes of returning to campus on April 23. With that said, we continue to follow the recommendations from Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health. Due to the ongoing evolution of the COVID-19 situation, this date is subject to change and we will update these timelines as information becomes available to us. We will be thoughtful in our approach, and ready to support a protracted timeline if necessary.
Distance Learning - Expectation Setting
While you will be hearing from your division heads and teachers soon about how the continuous learning schedules will work and what you can expect as a family, I wanted to take this moment to give you some insight into two main approaches to this type of learning:
- Synchronous learning: Students and their teachers are able to speak and connect online - in real time. There will be set schedules when classes will connect directly and there will be opportunities to connect, in a responsive way, when some face-to-face time is needed. The division heads and teachers will share more information about class schedules and the ways that individual teacher or advisor and student times will fit into the schedule.
- Asynchronous learning: During this type of learning students work on assignments and projects given by their teachers, and process feedback provided by their teachers. Students may complete problem sets, create videos or digital solutions, draft written work, and conduct research. Some teachers will also share video lectures that teach concepts in a mode that can be watched (and re-watched!) at any time. Although our teachers will not set a specific schedule for asynchronous activities, this is a place where a daily schedule for your family can be put to great use.
We are also cognizant of screen time issues, and there will be time targeted to physical and artistic energy put into action, independent of a digital device. That is where my juggling expertise comes in.
With all of this, your involvement as a caregiver is more important than ever to the success of learning during this time. Making time for conversations, reading through assignments and reading through instructions will help your student to be set up for the best possible distance learning. I understand that this notion may feel a bit overwhelming when put in context with this strange new normal we are living in - so if at any time you could use support - please reach out directly to your division heads and teachers for supplemental assistance. We are your partner every step of the way, and we hope you’ll take us up on that.
Events - All school, in-person events are cancelled from now until the end of April. Stay tuned for more specifics from division heads and group leaders on events that will be held virtually. Our team will be bringing an innovative and creative spirit in trying to identify ways that we can still have some event experiences, though we are in different physical locations. Those elements will evolve as we move into this distance learning mode.
International Travel - It is with great sadness that we have canceled the WISE trips scheduled for May 2020. Given the uncertainty surrounding global travel for the foreseeable future and following CDC and U.S. Department of State recommendations, it is best to keep students and teachers at home. This will also allow faculty chaperones to focus on our transition to a distance learning mode, and open up our calendar for the necessary teaching and learning priorities to close out the year in a positive place. As interconnected humans, we are trying to make sense of our new reality. It is our hope and plan to build in an international experience for those in the Class of ‘21, while also continuing to build out the exciting slate of options for the Class of ‘22. It is too soon to speculate on what that might look like, but this is certainly a place for some robust unflappable optimism.
Be Well - The wellbeing of you and your families is important to us! Do you know that positive psychologists have identified six pillars that are essential to human flourishing: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment, and vitality. Consider ways that you will build some of these into your days ahead. Need some ideas? Check out these sites and apps, or connect with Erin Noviski, Wellington's wellbeing consultant at email@example.com for more ideas on implementing this wellbeing model for your family .
Resources - As we find ourselves suddenly up close and personal with work, family, and our home - I wanted to share some simple resources for creating a sense of balance in this unprecedented time. In the coming weeks, our team will roll out additional resources for families.
Reading resources for Jags:
Resources for Jags that love the Columbus Metropolitan Library:
Access e-books, documentaries and other countless educational resources by plugging in your library card on their website. Don’t have a card? No worries! The CML has made library card access easier than ever by signing up online at: https://www.columbuslibrary.org/card-application
For more resources on learning from home, click here.
We are a community of learners, built around a mission focused on every students’ purpose and potential. We are building leaders for tomorrow’s world and that mission has never been more important than this moment. We are Jags, we are together (even when apart), and we will rise to this new challenge.
Dr. Jeff Terwin
Wellington Head of School
Director of Marketing & Communications
For all information related to how Wellington is monitoring and addressing COVID-19, click here.