Wesleyan's Response to COVID-19

JULY 25, 2020

Dear Wesleyan Family,

This has been a summer of great uncertainty for all of us as we have spent the better part of the last four months working to answer the question, what will school look like this fall?

We are pleased to confirm that we will be re-opening campus and welcoming back children on August 12 and 13. However, our re-opening will look and feel different than it would under normal circumstances. Please carefully read the re-opening information for each division below, especially the initiation of our hybrid model with which we will begin the school year.

Thank you for your continued commitment to the school. We are incredibly grateful for you and look forward to partnering with you in what promises to be a challenging school year. However, God often does amazing things in our lives and in the lives of our children, in the midst of challenge. I encourage you to rest in the words of John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

For His Glory,

Chris Cleveland
Head of School

Returning to School

List of 3 items.

  • Drop-In Days


    Lower School
    Drop-in Day will take place on Monday, August 10 and Tuesday, August 11. Families will receive a link to sign up for a time slot in Sign Up Genius prior to Drop-in Day.

    Middle School
    We will not have the traditional drop-in day on Monday, August 10.

    High School
    We will not have the traditional drop-in day on Monday, August 10.
  • New Student Orientation


    Lower School
    We will not have New Student Orientation for lower school students this year. 

    Middle School
    New Student Orientation will take place as originally scheduled on Monday, August 10 and Tuesday, August 11 from 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    • All rising 5th grade students and all new students should attend.
    • Parents and students will receive information from their grade chairs before New Student Orientation. If you are unable to attend in person, please reach out to your grade chairs as soon as possible.
    High School
    New Student Orientation will take place as originally scheduled on campus Wednesday, August 5 from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and virtually on Thursday, August 6 from 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
    • All new students should attend.
    • Parents and students will receive information from their grade chairs before New Student Orientation. If you are unable to attend in person, please reach out to your grade chairs as soon as possible.
  • First Day of School


    Lower School
    • Students with last names A-J will attend on Wednesdsay, August 12 and students with last names K-Z will attend on Thursday, August 13.
    • All students will attend on Friday, August 14. Virtual learners will begin on Friday, August 14.

    Middle School


    Wednesday, August 12: On Campus (no late arrival Wednesday; school begins at 8:20 a.m.)
    • All 5th grade students.
    • Green Group (last names A-J for 6th-8th grade).
    Wednesday, August 12: Virtual (no late arrival Wednesday; school begins at 8:20 a.m.)
    • Gold Group (last names K-Z for 6th-8th grade).
    • All 5th-8th grade students who choose the 100% virtual option.
    Thursday, August 13: On Campus
    • All 5th grade students.
    • Gold Group (last names K-Z for 6th-8th grade).
    Thursday, August 13: Virtual
    • Green Group (last names A-J for 6th-8th grade).
    • All 5th-8th grade students who choose the 100% virtual option.
    This rotation will continue until Friday, August 28 when our plan is reevaluated.

    High School

    Thursday, August 13: On Campus  
    • Gold Group (last names K-Z) 
    Thursday, August 13: Virtual  
    • Green Group (last names A-J) 
    • All 9-12th grade students who choose the 100% virtual option 
    Friday, August 14: On Campus 
    • Green Group (last names A-J) 
    Friday, August 14: Virtual  
    • Gold Group (last names K-Z for 6th-8th grade) 
    • All 9th-12th grade students who choose the 100% virtual option 
    This rotation will continue until Friday, August 28 when our plan is reevaluated.

Four Instructional Models

List of 4 items.

  • 100% Model: All students K-12 on campus each day


    Welcoming all students and faculty back to campus is our goal for the fall. However, that is not the model in which we are re-opening school in August.
  • Hybrid Learning Model


    **Please note we will not have late arrival Wednesdays in this model.

    Grades K-4
    will begin the year in a hybrid rotation for the first two days of school (August 12 and August 13). Beginning Friday, August 14, all lower school students will be on campus, unless they have chosen the virtual learning model.

    Grade 5
    will begin the school year on campus on August 12.
    • Due to their age, the unique transition from lower to middle school, as well as the steep learning curve with new technology, all 5th grade students will be on campus everyday through Friday, August 28, at which time this plan will be re-evaluated.

    Grades 6-12
    will open in a hybrid model on August 12 for students in grades 6-8 and on August 13 for students in grades 9-12.
    • Middle and high school students will be divided into two evenly distributed groups, alphabetically by last name to keep families together, and each group will be on campus every other day.
    • Green Group - Last names A-J.
    • Gold Group - Last names K-Z.
    • The group that is not on campus will connect live into the classroom to stay on-track with their classes and teachers.
    • We will remain in this model for the first two full weeks of school (Friday, August 28) and then re-evaluate the status of the COVID-19 virus in our community and the effectiveness of the health and safety measures we are implementing.
    • It is our goal to have 100% of students on campus as soon as we can, but we will approach this model in two-week increments.
    • Again, our ability to be fluid and flexible and to adjust to the changing conditions and guidelines as related to COVID-19 in our community will be critical to our success as a school this year.
  • OPTIONAL Virtual Learning Model


    The virtual learning model allows students to engage in online learning from home and will be available to all K-12 families who choose it, regardless of whether we are in the hybrid model or the 100% on campus model.

    • In lower school, a teaching assistant will manage a cohort of virtual learners. Students will experience several live classes each day, participate in small group discussions, and connect with peers through social interactions. Teaching assistants will provide daily check-ins and logistical support.
    • In middle school and high school, students will join their classrooms virtually on the same schedule as students who have chosen to be on campus.
    • Wesleyan has invested in technology for each classroom that includes iPads mounted on mobile stands, enhanced audio devices for teachers, and video conferencing software with Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
    • Students choosing the virtual learning option can still participate in Wesleyan's extracurricular offerings.
  • Distance Learning Model


    For a full overview of this plan, see the Distance Learning Plan.

    In the event it was deemed necessary for Wesleyan to move to an entirely off-campus learning model, the reimagned distance learning introduced in June would go into effect.

    This option only seems likely if the Department of Health were to declare an outbreak on our campus. In our on-going communication with the Department of Health, there is not a specific number or percentage of cases that would lead them to determine that there is an outbreak at Wesleyan and therefore, recommend that we shut down. Here is what they have provided us:

    “An outbreak in a school is identified as "two or more laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff with illness onsets within a 14-day period, who are epidemiologically linked (e.g., have a common exposure or have been in contact with each other), do not share a household, and were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting during standard case investigation or contact tracing."

    In layman’s terms, this means a school “outbreak” is defined as two or more lab-confirmed cases who are linked to a school but are not considered close contacts (exposure of more than 15 consecutive minutes at a distance of 6 feet or closer).

    If these conditions are found to exist, and an outbreak was declared, that does not automatically lead to a closure. It will depend on the context of those cases. Cases could be isolated to a grade level, a division, a team, a bus route, or any other group in which smaller groups of students may have to stay at home, but the overall institution could remain open. The Department of Health will work with us, in partnership, to advise us on the best course of action. That does not necessarily mean closure, but it could.

Screening Procedures, Safety Protocols, and Cleaning

List of 5 items.

  • Face Coverings


    Lower School
    • Students should bring 2 face coverings each day. One should remain around their neck either in buff form or attached to a provided lanyard/clip. One should remain in their backpack.
    • Face coverings should come home each night to be washed or replaced with a clean one.
    • Face coverings may have designs and words but must be appropriate.
    • Face coverings are required when social distancing is not possible.
    • Face coverings are required in the hallway, during entry/exit of the building, some resource classes, and during small group work.
    • Face coverings are optional while students are stationary at their desk and during lunch, recess, and P.E..
    Middle and High School
    • We will begin the school year requiring face coverings throughout the school day, including in class.
    • Students will be given “face-covering breaks” throughout the day as we know this will be challenging for some.
    • Face coverings should be a solid color or simple design.
    • Face coverings should not have valves, branding, or messaging, except for Wesleyan branded face coverings.
  • Personal Hygiene


    One of the best things all of us can do to protect ourselves and others from the virus is to be committed to developing regular, consistent, personal hygiene habits: frequent hand washing/hand sanitizing and not touching one’s face.

    We will be more prescriptive with our lower school students in mandating this frequently throughout the day. Middle and high school students will be reminded of these practices in a variety of ways, including encouragement from classroom teachers, broadcasted announcements, and increased signage in classrooms and hallways.

    Additionally, we have more than doubled the number of free-standing hand sanitizer stations across campus. Each classroom on campus will have a pump bottle of hand sanitizer that will be checked and refilled each day.

    Finally, all bathroom soap dispensers on campus are hands-free.
  • Temperature Checks


    A two-tiered process will be in place for checking temperature.

    1. Families should take their child’s temperature each morning before leaving for school.
    2. Temperature scanning devices are being installed at building entrances that continuously measures body temperatures of groups of people entering a building.
    If an individual’s temperature is over 100.4, they will not be allowed to attend or stay at school.
  • Social Distancing


    Health agencies and medical experts continue to recommend physical distancing as a
    mitigation measure in slowing the spread of the virus.  We are continuing to optimize all of our classrooms and spaces on campus, identifying and removing non-essential furniture in an effort to create as much spacing of student desks in classrooms as possible. In middle and high schools where students are not self-contained in a classroom, substantial work has been done to create class sizes to reduce the number of students in each classroom to support our effort to space children as far apart as possible in each classroom.
  • Campus Cleaning


    We will continue with our detailed, daily cleaning regimen that we initiated in January, which includes the use of handheld static foggers that are used to apply disinfectant to surfaces. This daily cleaning schedule includes doorknobs, desks, chairs, light switch covers, handrails, toilets, sinks, water fountains, tables, shelves, locker rooms, and buses. The chemicals we use kill germs in ¼ the dwell time, do not have to be rinsed, and are not caustic to surfaces, materials, or humans.

Carpool and Bus Transportation

List of 2 items.

  • Carpool


    Lower School
    • Teaching assistants will verify that a student’s temperature was taken at home.
    • Face coverings must be on when they arrive and upon entry into the building.
    • At the end of the day, students will be dismissed in groups based on bus, aftercare, and carpool group.
    • Face coverings will be required during afternoon dismissal.

    Middle School
    • Students should get picked up in carpool/ride the bus, go to their extracurricular activity, or go to Extended Day. 
    • Students should not leave or roam campus unsupervised.

    High School
    • Students should get picked up in carpool/ride the bus or go to their extracurricular activity.
  • Bus Transportation

     
    Wesleyan will continue to offer morning and afternoon bus service to students already registered for this service.
    • Bus drivers will take student temperatures before students will be allowed to board the bus.
    • Students must board the bus wearing a face covering and must wear the face covering for the entirety of the bus ride.
    • Bus driver temperatures will be taken before the start of a bus route.
    • Bus drivers will wear face coverings while taking student temperatures and for the entirety of the bus route.

Before and After School

List of 2 items.

  • Before School


    Lower School
    • Parent check-in and student temperature checks will be on the porch of Warren Hall.
    • Students will be grouped and spaced out by grade in the cafeteria.
    • Students are asked to bring their own “play kit” from home. (e.g. books, puzzles, coloring books)
    • Electronic devices are not permitted.
    • We will utilize the playground often in the mornings before school.

    Middle School
    • Students will gather in Dubose Dining Hall if they arrive on campus prior to the start of homeroom at 8:20 a.m.
    • Students will be supervised by a faculty member to make sure students stay socially distanced.
    • 5th grade students will remain in Dubose Dining Hall until 8:15 a.m. where they will receive announcements from their grade chairs
    • 6th-8th grade students will be dismissed to their homerooms at 8 a.m. to minimize gathering in the hallway. They can also utilize office hours during this time.

    High School
  • After School and Extended Day


    Lower School
    • Students will be grouped by grade levels in the Bible room (kindergarten), Bowen Cafetorium (pre-first, first and second grade), and Dozier Library (third and fourth grade). These groupings will be dependent upon enrollment.
    • Groups will rotate between their room, outside, and the gym.
    • Parents will check in on the porch and students will be called to meet you.

    Middle School
    • We will offer extended day after school to all middle school students from 5th grade to 8th grade starting at 3 p.m.
    • Parents must communicate in advance if their child is going to Extended Day.
    • For more details, please contact Kelly Weatherly.

    High School
    Students should get picked up in carpool, ride the bus, or go to their extracurricular activity. Students should not leave or roam campus unsupervised.

Lunch

List of 1 items.

  • Lunch


    Lower School
    • Students will rotate weekly between eating in the cafeteria and in the classroom.
    • Only one grade level will eat in the cafeteria at a time and students will be spaced 6 feet apart.
    • There will be no self-serve sandwich or salad bars.
    • Sage will provide hot menu items as well as salad and sandwich options.
    • Birthdays will be celebrated during your child’s recess time on the front porch of Warren Hall. The birthday treat should be individually wrapped for each child. Parents are invited to join.

    Middle School
    • 5th/6th grade will eat lunch in Dubose Dining Hall and 7th/8th grade will eat lunch in Yancey Gym/outside.
    • Having two locations will allow students to socially distance while eating.
    • SAGE will serve hot items each day, vegetarian options, and pre-made sandwiches, salads, and sides for students to pick up.
    • There will be no self-serve stations.   
    • Students will still be able to receive second portions.

    High School
    • 9th/10th grade will eat lunch in Dubose Dining Hall and 11th/12th grade will eat lunch in Yancey Gym/outside. 
    • Having two locations will allow students to socially distance while eating.  
    • SAGE will serve hot items each day, vegetarian options, and pre-made sandwiches, salads, and sides for students to pick up. 
    • There will be no self-serve stations.    
    • Students will still be able to receive second portions.  
    • Students will be permitted to bring their lunch, but there will not be tuition remission
    • All students, including seniors, must remain on campus during lunch.
    • Lunch deliveries will not be allowed as we are limiting our visitors to campus each day.
    • Select items will be available via pre-order from the Spirit Shop and may be picked up by students for lunch.

Christian Life, P.E., Fine Arts, and Athletics

List of 4 items.

  • Christian Life


    Chapel

    Lower School
    Students will attend Chapel in Bowen Cafetorium. There will be three Chapel rotations to maintain social distancing.

    Middle School
    Chapel will be live-streamed from Austin Chapel or pre-recorded, and students will watch it in their homerooms, Pack Groups, or virtually at home. Students on campus should still wear their chapel uniforms on Thursdays beginning Thursday, August 20.

    High School
    Chapel will be live-streamed from Austin Chapel or pre-recorded, and students will watch it in classrooms or virtually at home.  Students on campus should still wear their chapel uniforms on Thursdays beginning Thursday, August 20.

    Retreats

    Middle School
    The previously scheduled 5th and 6th grade and 7th and 8th grade retreats have been postponed until the spring.

    High School
    Freshman Retreat has been postponed tentatively for the weekend of April 10.

    Mentor Groups, Pack Time, Discipleship Groups
    Information will be forthcoming.

    Bible Studies
    Information will be forthcoming.

    Mission Trips
    Information will be forthcoming.
  • P.E. Classes


    Based off Shape America’s School Re-entry Considerations. 

    Class Activities
     
    Whenever possible, class activities will be conducted outside. Class activities will be designed to maintain social distancing. Floor markings such as tape/cones will be used to ensure social distancing for class activities.

    Face Coverings 
    Students will be required to wear face coverings for most inside activities. Students will be allowed to remove masks for outside activities where social distancing can be maintained.

    Locker Rooms/Student Dress 
    Students will not use locker rooms or dress out for PE. All students may bring an extra pair of athletic shoes for PE if they do not want to wear their uniform shoes.

    Equipment/Cleaning 
    Teachers will limit the use of equipment and limit the number of students sharing equipment during a given class. Any equipment used will be cleaned between classes.
  • Fine Arts


    The Wesleyan Fine Arts faculty and staff, K-12, remains committed to providing our students with a quality fine arts experience while keeping them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to following Wesleyan’s guidelines for masks and social distancing, students in fine arts classes can expect additional measures to ensure their safety.

    • Entry and exit protocols will be in place in each classroom, minimizing gathering at band lockers, folder cabinets, and art cubbies.
    • In visual arts, extra materials have been purchased to minimize shared supplies. Supplies that must be shared will be disinfected between classes.
    • Choral and band classes will utilize outside space for rehearsals and class when possible; choral groups will limit their singing to no more than thirty minutes at a time.
    • Theater students will continue to maintain social distancing during rehearsals and performances.
    While the Wesleyan performing arts schedule has been set for the 2020-2021 school year, we will remain flexible regarding the details of these events, always keeping student and patron safety as a top priority. Performances will look different this year, be it venue (outdoor, indoor), medium (live, streamed, pre-recorded, etc.), size (limited seating, shorter programs, etc.) and otherwise. We thank our parents and patrons for their patience as we work to provide creative and safe performing arts opportunities for our students during this time.

    Lower School Class Plays
    • We hope to have class plays this year.
    • We will not have a division-wide performance this fall.
  • Athletics


    Middle School
    As a member of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), we will continue to follow GHSA recommendations and procedures for athletics. At this time, we plan to have middle school fall sports.

    High School

    As a member of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), we will continue to follow GHSA recommendations and procedures for athletics. At this time, we plan to have high school fall sports.

Lockers, Hallways, Spirit Shop, Water/Snacks, and Phones

List of 4 items.

  • Lockers


    Middle School
    Students will NOT have lockers this year so that they can easily transition between on campus learning and learning from home. Not having lockers will also minimize students gathering in the hallway. Students can continue to store bags for after school activities in designated areas.

    High School

    Students will NOT have lockers this year so that they can easily transition between on campus learning and learning from home. Not having lockers will also minimize students gathering in the hallway.  Students can continue to store bags for after school activities in designated areas.
  • Spirit Shop

    The Spirit Shop will not be accepting cash at this time. The preferred method of payment is preloaded house accounts or credit cards.

    Middle School
    Breakfast: Middle school students may purchase breakfast from the Spirit Shop in the morning and then proceed to Dubose Dining Hall.

    After school: Middle school students will NOT be allowed in the Spirit Shop after school. Students staying after school are encouraged to bring a snack from home.

    High School
    Breakfast: high school students may purchase breakfast from the Spirit Shop and consume it OUTSIDE prior to entering any buildings.

    Lunch: Select items will be available via pre-order from the Spirit Shop and may be picked up by students for lunch.

    After school: Select items will be available via pre-order from the Spirit Shop and may be picked up by students after school.

    Parent access
    Once school begins, parents will be allowed to visit the Spirit Shop via the door facing Scott Patio. Face coverings will be required and social distancing must be maintained.
  • Water/Snacks


    Individual water bottles should be brought to school each day. Water fountains will only be used for refill opportunities.

    Middle school students are encouraged to bring an after school snack from home as they will not have access to the Spirit Shop after school for the time being.
  • Phones


    Middle School
    For students with phones: since students will no longer be able to store their phones in their lockers, we ask that students leave their phones at home if possible. If students bring their phones to school, grade chairs will collect them in the morning, and they will be safely stored throughout the day.

    High School
    The policy for phones is the same as listed in the 2020-21 Family Handbook.

Visitors

List of 1 items.

  • Visitors


    Lower School
    • There will be limited volunteer opportunities for parents.
    • Parent volunteers will be provided a specific check-in procedure.
    • Parents will be not able to attend lunch or chapel at this time.
    • Many opportunities will be virtual (e.g. mystery reader, Passport Club).
    • Parent conferences will be available on-campus or virtually, as needed.

    Middle and High School
    • There will be limited volunteer opportunities for parents.
    • Parent volunteers will be provided a specific check-in procedure. 
    • Parent conferences will be available on-campus or virtually, as needed.

Exposure and Positive Test Response Procedures

List of 3 items.

  • Positive Test


    The State Department of Health issued guidelines regarding the policies and procedures for confirmed positive cases and for those exposed to someone with a confirmed positive case, in the form of an administrative order, which has the force and effect of law. Wesleyan School is REQUIRED by law to follow these quarantine guidelines.

    A student or employee who has a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 must:
    • Stay home and be isolated for a period of 10 days from the first symptoms or positive test results; and,
    • Remain home for the 10-day period, AND be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication; AND until symptoms improve. A negative test does not end the isolation period.
  • Close Contact


    A student or employee who has been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 must:
    • Stay home and quarantine for 14 days from the first known contact with the person who has a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 and monitor symptoms.
    • Since the incubation period for the virus could be anywhere from two to 10+ days, it is recommended that you do not get a test prior to day 10.
    • Students and employees who have been exposed to someone who has a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 will not be allowed to return to campus sooner than the end of the 14-day period, even with a negative test result. A negative test does not end the quarantine period.
    PLEASE NOTE - Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet or less of the individual with the confirmed positive case of COVID-19 for a duration of longer than 15 minutes in a single encounter.
  • Reporting


    If a student or an employee receives a positive COVID test, the individual or their parents should contact the school as soon as possible using the confidential email address reportcovid@wesleyanschool.org.