Fall 2020 Campus Reopening Plans

We're excited to return to school!

Follow along for more information on our back to school 2020 reopening plans.

We seek to provide an education during this time, and always, that places the well-being of our students at the forefront while maintaining the unique factors that make a Wellington education excellent. As always, the safety and security of our students is our top priority.

To that end:

  • We will open on September 8, 2020, and plan to follow our regularly scheduled calendar year - given any unforeseen circumstances.
  • A key element to our plan involves a slower progression of students’ return to better ensure all members of our community are fully acquainted with the new policies and protocols we will require of them. Those activities will take place August 26 - September 4, and you will learn more from division heads in the coming weeks. 
  • All students will attend school 5 days a week. It is our hope that this learning will take place on campus, whenever possible.
  • We know that each family will have unique needs, so we have developed education models that build optionality and flexibility through technology, curriculum and culture.
  • We are completing detailed plans - designed around the Wellington student experience - with safety, well-being and engaged learning as our primary focus.
  • Click here to read the most current version of our Campus COVID Response Plan.

Please note: These plans and associated documents will be updated throughout the summer based on further guidance from the federal, state and local government and is subject to change. Please check back often.

Tue, 08/25/2020 - 13:09

What you need to know

August 6 - Version 2 of Campus Reopening Plan released

August 6 - On-campus Learning/learning from home Intent Survey open on Veracross for parents and caregivers

August 11 - Parent & Caregiver Town Hall at 8 p.m. Register here

August 14 - On-campus Learning/learning from home Intent Survey closes

August 25 - Version 3 (expected final version) of Campus Reopening Plan released

August 25 - Wellington to reaffirm 5 day on-campus learning plan in alignment with local and state alert levels. Should model or campus reopening plans necessitate further pivots, it is our hope that we can confirm that by August 20. 

September 8 - First day of 2020-2021 school year! Go Jags! 


Why are you planning to go back to full time in-person learning during a pandemic?

Every day brings new layers of understanding around COVID-19. In a time when Wellington must remain agile yet decisive, we have established three guiding principles to help anchor decision-making for our return to campus this Fall and beyond. We believe that academic outcomes, social-emotional growth, and wellbeing through meaningful connections, is most effectively facilitated through in-person education. That being said, we have enhanced our technological support to enhance the experience in that regard for those who choose Learning from Home. 


What factors inform the decision making for opening school and facilitating learning on campus and off campus?

1. Medical and public health experts, including federal, state, and local health officials (CDC, ODH/ODE, FCPH). We also consult regularly with the top medical experts leading Ohio State’s effort alongside a panel of Columbus-based pediatricians. We will follow all federal, state, and local mandates to inform on-campus learning and shifts to Learning from Home. We have a weekly call with FCPH to learn of their new recommendations and guidelines, and to share elements of our policies and protocols. 

2. Our guiding principles. These will be our 'north star' in regard to decision-making and policy development as our community moves through this school year. 

  • Engaging and excellent education: We are committed to ensuring that the teaching and learning for our students will continue to be challenging, individualized, and engaging. Every decision we make must be in service to our mission to help students find their purpose and realize their potential for tomorrow's world.
  • Health and safety for our community: We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and surrounding community in every decision we make.
  • Caring for our community relationships: We place tremendous value and importance on the social and emotional health of our students, faculty, and staff as well as our broader community. We will continue to balance this priority in alignment with our guiding principles.

3. A commitment to following the COVID-19 research. Our understanding of COVID-19 and the ramifications of our school year continues to evolve and be informed by the scientific method and the best research available. We are continually committed to using gold standard research as a guiding light in making decisions at every turn. 

4. Our Wellington Board of Trustees. We will lean on the broad base of knowledge and expertise that comprises our board to act as a guide and accountability check. 


What was the process used in developing Wellington’s re-opening plan?

Wellington’s campus re-opening plan was created by specific groups with whom we consulted: Program Innovation Task Force (parents / faculty / staff), Medical Subcommittee (parents /faculty / staff), community pediatric and medical professionals / MDs, as well as our staff and faculty group.


How will Wellington administration decide when in-person learning needs to be suspended?

We are aware that the State of Ohio is currently revising this advisory system, and we will remain connected to the Franklin County Health Department to assess and revise our plans and policies accordingly. Of course, Wellington will observe all federal, state, and local mandates if they present themselves. IN addition to these external factors that requires shifts in learning models, we have established our own internal contact tracking and community spread thresholds in collaboration with Franklin County Public Health. 


How will parents and students be notified if in-person learning needs to be suspended?

Most likely via email. In case of emergency, we can robocall or text parents.


If Franklin County or Ohio are required to go into additional stay-at-home orders, will Wellington provide childcare? And for what ages?

Wellington will provide childcare under stay-at-home / pandemic-level scenarios. At this time, we will offer pandemic-level childcare, should it be necessary, for current Wellington students in Little Jags through kindergarten from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. M-F. 


Will Wellington provide tuition credits, refunds, or reimbursements for families that do not take advantage of on-campus learning and on-campus food services?

We understand that this time is incredibly difficult for our families and enrollment decisions may be impacted by your family’s life circumstance and preferences.   

Credit policy for EC is based on the presence of the following factors:

  • Students cannot be on campus for more than the 4 weeks due to a government mandate.

  • Once those 4 weeks have passed in an imposed-remote-learning situation, the timeline would begin for families of EC students to be awarded a credit of $1K/student for every additional and consecutive 4 weeks of remote learning.

  • ONLY IF they choose not to participate in our Pandemic Childcare. This honors the additional cost they might incur to get childcare.

  • Students will remain enrolled at The Wellington School during this time.

Credit policy for grades 1-12 Is based on the presence of the following factors:

  • Students cannot be on campus for more than the 4 weeks due to a government mandate.

  • Once 4 weeks have passed in an imposed-remote-learning situation, the timeline would begin for families of students in grades 1-12 to be awarded a credit of $300/student for every additional and consecutive 4 weeks of remote learning.

  • This honors all operational savings.

  • Students will remain enrolled at The Wellington School during this time.

If families opt-out of Wellington’s prepared lunch offering due to preference or learning from home, refunds will not be provided. 

We are building a comprehensive HyFlex model for this year, with our expenses being overwhelmingly in staffing additions for this model. This means that even lunch costs are largely in people and new safety protocols such as individual containers and carts and people to deliver these to classrooms, not in food. Therefore, tuition does not change with your choice to pack or supplement your child’s lunch, though we heard your request for the optionality and concern for food waste.


Is Wellington accepting new students? Will this affect cohort numbers or start dates?

Wellington is currently accepting applications for new students, though some grades may have a waitlist. Our enrollment numbers will not affect the cohort and instructional group numbers we put in place. Instead, we will staff accordingly to ensure our ratios are kept small. Additionally, the start date for 2020-2021 was not affected by any new applications. Wellington continues to hold pre-COVID admissions standards for our applicants. 


Are you adding additional staff?

Yes, we are hiring additional learning support staff to accommodate smaller groups of students.


Will you still be honoring the one-to-eight teacher-to-student ratio that the previous plan suggested?



What community standards and behaviors for safety are in place?

As we strive to support an educational model that allows us to deliver an innovative and agile program for our students, utilizing our small class sizes and campus spaces, we need everyone to help us maintain the health and safety of our community. Our interest to have students on campus is linked to the academic and social-emotional benefits that we feel will serve our students best. That being said, in order for us to have students on campus, we need everyone to commit to keeping themselves and others safe. We are, together as a community, asking for a community commitment.

  • We commit to limit contact with others as much as possible by avoiding hosting or attending gatherings.
  • We commit to wear a mask and to maintain social distancing when out in public.
  • We commit to limit our travel, and if we must travel to an area of increased COVID-19 prevalence, we commit to quarantine for 10 days upon return.
  • We commit to monitor for symptoms each morning, and to stay home from school if there are any symptoms present.
  • We commit to communicate with the school regarding direct contact with COVID-19 positive individuals, and commit to report if there is a positive case in our family.

The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff is of the utmost concern for us, and we know that you will join us in doing your part to help to keep us all as safe as possible. Each of us matters. Our decisions impact those beyond ourselves, and we appreciate your help during this time. Our community's resilience and unflappable optimism is impressive. We have seen community members step up to help and support one another time and again. Your support has never been more important than right now. We are Jaguars!


What is your quarantine period if a teacher or student is diagnosed with COVID-19?

In the event that Wellington experiences community spread of COVID-19 within grade levels or across divisions, we have developed the following protocols for notifying and quarantining groups of students and faculty who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

If there is a single positive case in a grade or division level cohort group:

  • There will be a 14-day required quarantine for the student as well as any siblings of the students with the positive case. 
  • Relevant student cohorts and families will be notified of positive cases, but student names and personal identifiers will not be included in the communication.

If there are multiple positive cases in a grade or division level cohort group:

  • At this time, Wellington is defining ‘multiple cases’ as two or more positive COVID-19 cases in Wellington students.

  • If there are more than two cases within a grade level, outside of sibling sets, this could indicate possible community spread and will require a 14-day quarantine for the entire grade.

  • Multiple positive cases in multiple grade level in a division will require a 14-day quarantine for the entire division.

  • Early Childhood – The 14-day quarantine includes the cohort group and the lead teacher for the cohort.

  • Lower School – The 14-day quarantine includes the cohort group and the lead teacher for the cohort.

  • Middle School - The 14-day quarantine includes the cohort group or grade level depending on exposure level. Faculty is not included in the cohort group.

  • Upper School - The 14-day quarantine includes the cohort group or grade level depending on exposure level. Faculty is not included in the cohort group.

  • If Wellington reaches a threshold for multiple positive cases across multiple divisions, this will require a whole-school Learning from Home shift for at least 10 days.

Wellington has open lines of communication with FCPH to monitor and alert to potential community spread. FCPH is actively consulting on our contact tracing and quarantine procedures.

What does HyFlex Learning from Home entail? Why is Wellington’s model different from other virtual models?

  • In collaboration with the Program Innovation Committee and the Learning from Home workgroup, we are prepared to provide a robust educational experience given any circumstance. Teachers will be working with a HyFlex mindset to be as agile as possible in their program delivery and assessment.

  • A HyFlex course design model gives students the choice to attend either in person or online. In this “flexible hybrid” design, teachers provide course content for both participation modes.

  • Students electing to learn from home will engage in synchronous learning with their classmates on campus.

  • A HyFlex course design model allows students to toggle back and forth between educationally comparable in-person and virtual formats depending on current circumstances.


We understand that in-person learning is not ideal for some students and families at this time. HyFlex allows students to be part of our learning community with their peers. Students have the option to change their choice of in-person and virtual learning every four weeks.

Why are we changing the start date from August 26 to September 8?

Our first full academic day will be September 8. We will host in-take conferences and in-person orientations from August 26-31. Transition activities for students to learn and practice new protocols and expectations for being on campus will be September 1-4. This time will allow us to monitor county alert level markers and hold additional protocol training for staff and faculty.


Why the change in the school day from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.?

Our school day modifications allow extra time for safety protocols and to ensure students learning from home are appropriately connected. The flow of the day will be all-consuming for teachers, therefore, capturing time at the end of the day to button up issues and resources for Learning from Home will be critical. 


If children can’t enter the school until 8:30 a.m., will there be a place for them to wait?

Congregating areas are not possible nor advised. Students will go directly to their classroom spaces, meaning a more targeted drop-off time is necessary. Families with multiple children will be permitted to drop off their students at the same time and safe supervision accommodations are being provided for them.


What changes will there be to the school calendar, if any?

We do not anticipate any further changes to the school calendar beyond the extension made for transitional activities. 


Will there be childcare for kids in between original start date and new start date? Up to what age?

At this time, we do not anticipate providing child care as faculty will be engaged with orienting students and spaces will be getting prepped for full occupancy. However, we will continue to monitor and reassess based on capabilities and needs of our community. We will provide pandemic-level childcare services if Franklin County should move to a Level 4.

What is the plan for extracurriculars and sports?

  • At this time, students who choose to learn on campus as well as healthy students who elect to participate in Learning from Home are eligible to participate in athletics.
  • Athletic program details and schedules will continue to be shared as we receive ongoing guidance from OHSAA.
  • Since many fall sports are all outdoors, we hope to be able to allow spectators, with distancing requirements in place, if possible.
  • Masks or facial coverings will be required for all spectators.
  • Our intention is to run a complete Physical Education program, with program modifications to emphasize physical activities that do not involve direct contact for students, and with cleaning and sanitizing protocols for any equipment used (such as kayaks, fishing poles, and bikes).

What about in-person events?

  • All non-athletic indoor gatherings that include adults will not be hosted for the 2020 calendar year. Winter/spring events in 2021 will be evaluated in January 2021. 
  • We are working to modify and reimagine long standing events and traditions for students such as pep rallies and Community Sing.


Will extracurricular activities and travel still happen?

  • We will not host field trips or overnight camps until at least 2021 (but we will encourage remote class visits from experts and far-off places).
  • We have paused our exchange student program and we will not be hosting any exchange students this fall. This excludes international students as our international student program is still enrolling new students.
  • We will continue to monitor the global WISE program and other travel possibilities for the spring of 2021.

Administrative Contact 
Christine Conkle
Executive Assistant to the Head of School

Media Contact 
Danielle Turkovich 
Director of Marketing & Communications