Parent Frequently Asked Questions

The decision to close campus for the remainder of the academic school year and complete the year with our distance learning program brings with it a host of understandable questions on a wide range of topics. Instead of attempting to answer all these questions in one long email, we address them below. Questions and answers are organized by topic, so you can read all of it or only read the topics that are relevant to your family. This page will be updated as new information becomes available, so we invite you to check back frequently.

All academic, calendar, and event information for the remainder of the school year will be communicated to families and students first via email from the head of school or appropriate division principal and then added to this page.

Class of 2020

With the decision for campus to remain closed for the duration of the school year, we know there are many unanswered questions regarding how this decision will impact the end of your senior year.

The experience of all our students and families is of tremendous importance to us, and no single year is more important than another. However, there is something special about senior year. The spring events of the senior year have been intentionally designed to build toward the culmination of the Wesleyan School experience. With that in mind, we are taking extra care with how we address the conclusion of this school year for the Class of 2020.

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  • What does the decision for our campus to remain closed through the end of the school year mean for end of year events for the Class of 2020?

    Discussions of even the possibility of canceling any of these events is painful and heartbreaking. As of now, all spring events for the Class of 2020 are postponed.

    Because we are still restricted by social distancing guidelines, Wesleyan has made the decision to cancel the formal commencement weekend festivities originally scheduled for May 22 and 23. Instead, we will endeavor to move these events to the weekend of July 24 and 25, assuming that it is safe for us to gather as a community at that time.

    We also want to assure you that regardless of when we have Commencement, we will consider you to be graduates of Wesleyan School on May 23. You will have earned your diploma, and even if we cannot present you with your diploma on that date, that does not mean you have not graduated from Wesleyan.

High School Distance Learning Update

Now that the foundation of independent work and time management has been further established since we started distance learning on March 25, we want to foster more connection between students and teachers.

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Middle School Distance Learning Update

Now that the foundation of independent work and time management has been further established since we started distance learning on March 25, we want to foster more connection between students and teachers. Our primary goal is for students to be well socially and emotionally, and from an academic perspective, our goal is not to occupy the time of children, but to make certain that essential content and concepts are understood so that when we return to campus, students are prepared for their next grade level or sequential course without gaps in learning.

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  • How will we foster more virtual connections between students and teachers?

    Live Office Hours on Microsoft Teams
    While many teachers have met with students on Microsoft Teams over the past few weeks, every teacher held live office hours on their rotation day for Rotation 5, the most recent rotation, and will also hold live office hours for Rotation 6, the rotation that started today.

    Live Class Check-Ins on Microsoft Teams
    Beginning with Rotation 7 on Wednesday, April 22, middle school teachers will have 20-minute class period check-ins on their rotation day. We want teachers and students to connect relationally during this time and provide opportunities for clarity on assignments and questions from students. Students are strongly encouraged to attend their class period check-ins according to the schedule below. Due to the variety of circumstances at each child’s home, children will not be penalized for not attending these class check-ins.

  • Is there another way for a student to keep track of his/her assignments during distance learning?

    Karyn Vickery, Director of Academic Support, along with the grade chairs created the customizable planner below to help students keep track of their assignments.

  • What is an example of a student meeting with his/her classes on his/her rotation day?

    If a child has math 2nd period, Bible 5th period, and PE 6th period, he/she would attend class at 10:50, 1:00, and 1:20 on A Days.

    Because of the extraordinary times we are living in, know that some teachers may have to adjust their class check-in schedules because of their unique circumstances at home. Teachers with these unique situations will communicate accordingly with their students.

Academic Information for Middle and High School

These are truly extraordinary times, and therefore, we want to respond in an equally extraordinary way. Wesleyan School believes in holding our students to a high bar of academic excellence, working tirelessly to help students achieve success in and out of the classroom. However, throughout the distance learning process, we have been asking ourselves two important questions.

1. What can we do as an institution to alleviate the elevated anxiety of students and parents during this time of uncertainty?
2. What can we do as an institution to make sure all students progress in a given grade level or course in order to prepare them for the 2020-2021 school year without doing any academic harm to them?

The questions and answers offered below are our efforts to address these two over-arching questions.

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  • How will teachers approach assessments?

    Traditional and historical assessments are not a good fit for a distance learning format. While it is important for teachers to assess how much a student has grasped the essential content of a course, teachers are preparing assessments that are flexible, creative, and conducive to distance learning.
  • How will the school approach grading?

    Throughout our distance learning experience, we have worked closely with our college advisors, counseling department, accreditation agencies, along with several other independent schools like Wesleyan nationwide to establish our grading approach for the remainder of the spring semester.
    • Like other peer schools locally and nationally, Wesleyan is adopting a “no harm” philosophy as the most fair, equitable, and understanding position. “No harm” honors our students’ efforts prior to Spring Break and affords opportunities for improvement of grades while learning remotely — and doing no harm for students not performing optimally in this new distance learning model that is forced to exist due to the global pandemic all families are facing.
    • Teachers will continue to assign work, collect homework, give assessments, provide feedback, and record grades in Blackbaud.
    • Course grades will continue to fluctuate as students complete their work throughout the remainder of the semester; however, we will take their course averages at the end of the semester and compare them to their averages on March 13. The higher of those two averages will be applied.
    • Under a “no harm” philosophy, as long as a student is completing assignments and actively engaging in classes, grades can only improve.
  • How do I find out my child’s average on March 13?

    A progress report will be available in Blackbaud on April 24 stating your child’s course averages on March 13, prior to the start of distance learning.

    In order to create this unique report, Blackbaud gradebook access will be removed for the week of April 20. While reports will be visible on April 24, gradebook access will not reopen until April 29.

    Students and teachers can still use Blackbaud for assignment purposes even though gradebook access is temporarily removed.
  • How will the school handle final exams in grades 7 – 12?

    There will be no final exams for students in grades 7 – 12, with the exception of national AP exams for students in AP designated courses.

    This decision will alleviate significant stress for students and help them be in the best possible position for finishing the semester strong.

    Our faculty will use the additional instructional time to focus on advancing student skills and essential content knowledge without having to focus on exam preparation and losing instructional time during the traditional exam week. Priority should be and will be placed on students’ present well-being and their future-oriented learning.
  • How will the school handle Honors Day programs for middle school students, high school students, and seniors?

    Formal Honors Day programs will not be held this year; however, we are making alternate plans to recognize and celebrate students who will be receiving awards that would have otherwise been presented during our traditional Honors Day programs.

Lower School Information

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REFUNDS

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  • Will Wesleyan provide any refunds for services that are no longer being provided?

    Yes, now that the school can reasonably calculate the number of days campus is closed, we can refund or credit costs for things such as unused bus service, after school care, and lunch. There were also several voluntary trips that were planned for this spring to which deposits were already paid. Refund information for those trips will be communicated directly from those trip sponsors. The Business Office will be processing all refunds or credits and will communicate with you directly. The default option will be a credit to your Smart Tuition account for 2020-21 tuition unless you are not returning, then you will receive a refund check. If you do not want a credit, you will be given a way to respond to let the Business Office know you want a check instead. The Business Office will work on this as quickly as it can over the next several weeks, but we do not yet know an estimated completion date as this process requires a review for each individual family, some of whom have multiple children at the school. We would ask for your patience, but rest assured this process is underway.

Calendar

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