Stronger, Safer, Together

Wooster School Return to Campus Plan

Dear Wooster Community,

Since the early days of the pandemic, the Wooster School community has distinguished itself as being not only resilient, but antifragile as well. The concept of antifragility was developed by Nassim Talib in his book of the same name and describes entities that not only survive hardship and unexpected challenges, but actually thrive in unpredictable environments. You’ll note that the first section of our STRONGER, SAFER, TOGETHER: Wooster School Return to Campus Plan contains our Purpose, Promise, and Beliefs. Because we’ve stayed true to the ethos captured in these words, when uncertainty, ambiguity, and change have been thrust upon us again and again, our faculty and students have known what to do. Not surprisingly, because it takes antifragile teachers and parents to create antifragile kids, we’ve all found ways to thrive as a community despite our new challenges.

Examples of Wooster folks turning the challenges of the pandemic to their advantage are all around us. When we asked parents about their children’s learning in the spring, many wrote about being grateful to have seen them struggling and succeeding from a different perspective. Parents also found areas of strength within their children about which they had not been aware. Students found themselves being metacognitive about their new experiences -- seeing for themselves how online learning was playing to existing strengths or highlighting areas for growth. Our seniors last year found ways to pull the positive from the pain of not being “present” for the spring, and arguably emerged as a class that is more tightly connected than those of the recent past. All of us found ways to be patient and then have a meaningful graduation ceremony on campus, just as fun and even more intimate than any we’ve had before.

Our faculty and staff have also made the passage through the first part of this pandemic and emerged more focused than ever on individualized and personalized learning. Because of their work on instructional design and personalized learning, they’ve emerged like swiss army knives, with more tools at their disposal than they can use at any one time. Here on campus the challenge to create environments which are safe for distancing, and our need for more movement and fresh air, can be thought of as a gift that will keep on giving over time. Though we did not envision using the gyms for daytime learning, we did want to expand some existing spaces for more flexible groupings and now we’ve done it. Expanded spaces in the Middle School, Grover, and the Chapel Lower Level will serve as ideal learning spaces for us long after we can once again break the six foot bubble.

Because our community has learned how to thrive in the face of adversity these last six months -- not just in words but in deeds -- I feel good about this next part of the journey. Though the challenges will be many, I know that together we will make it work because we are antifragile. We’ll all do our part to keep our community as safe as possible and use our resources and ingenuity as best we can to stay focused on our Purpose, Promise, and Beliefs, regardless of the conditions. I’m excited about getting back together soon on campus, and I hope that you are as well.

All of that said, I do want to acknowledge parents, students, and faculty/staff fears about making the decision to return to campus. Here on campus, we are standing amidst the same swirl of uncertainty and changing information that you are, and are doing our level best to collect, understand, and synthesize the information, while acknowledging the limitations of our own resources and systems, so as to create the safest environment that we can for everyone. As of now, given what we know about the positive social, emotional, and developmental effects of in-person learning -- and the current success that we’ve had in our region in suppressing the virus -- bringing everyone back together under strict safety protocols, is the right thing to do for most.

Please take a close look at our STRONGER, SAFER, TOGETHER plans for our return to school. Because of how we’ve taken on our challenges, we’ve already become stronger as a school, and if we work hard as a community to keep each other safer, we can stay together on campus for as long as possible.

Be Well,

Matt Byrnes
Head of School

Purpose, Promise, and Beliefs

Wooster School is guided by our Purpose, Promise, and Beliefs, which represent the natural evolution of the school's mission since our founder, Reverend Aaron Coburn, charged us with preparing our students to be "gentle, generous, truthful, kind, and brave." These commitments remind us that as a school community we must learn from the past, embrace the present, and look to the future as we prepare our graduates for college and lives of purpose in a world of increasing complexity and change.


Gating Conditions and Status Levels

Wooster School Gating Conditions

The following three metrics will be monitored by the school as we consider our Status Level on a weekly basis. These are the same metrics which will be monitored at the state and county level by the CT State Department of Education and CT State Department of Health when considering the status of schools. We will also be monitoring local, school-level conditions like numbers of infected and/or quarantined students and faculty.

1. Seven-day cumulative incidence rate: the number of new cases in the prior seven days per 100,000 people. This metric provides the recent incidence of COVID-19 infections in the county

  • Low: 0 – 50
  • Medium: 51 – 200
  • High: > 201

2. Trend in incidence rate: whether the seven-day incidence rate is increasing, decreasing, or stable compared to the previous seven days. For purposes of this assessment consider the trend to be either:

  • Low: Decreasing
  • Medium: Stable
  • High: Increasing

3. Seven-day percent positive rate: the percentage of individuals who tested positive out of the number of individuals tested over the last seven days for each county as per the CT DPH. The metric takes into consideration the number of tests performed in the county in the prior seven days.

  • Low: < 5.0%
  • Medium: 5.1 – 9.9%
  • High: > 10.0%

Wooster School Status Levels

LEVEL ONE: Vaccine and/or significant treatment advances
  • Full population on campus, 5-days per week
LEVEL TWO: Low cumulative incidence rate, decreasing trend rate, low percent positive rates
  • Cohort Model (Grades 4 - 8 and Grades 9 - 12)
  • 4 days on campus, 1 day online (cleaning) each week
  • All safety precautions in place (distancing, masks, self-reporting on health checks & temperature)
LEVEL THREE: Medium cumulative incidence rate, stable trend rate, medium percent positive rates
  • Cohort Model (Grade 4 - 8 and Grades 9 - 12)
  • Week On/Week Off (additional days on by program)
  • All safety precautions in place (temp checks on campus)
LEVEL FOUR: High cumulative incidence rate, increasing trend rate, high percent positive rates
  • Fully distanced learning

Cohorting and Physical Space

It is important to note that in preparing our campus and learning spaces for the return of faculty and students, we have gone to considerable lengths to ensure that all learning and meeting spaces are designed to allow for six feet of space between all occupants in order to mitigate the spread of viruses. As is noted in our Health and Safety Guidelines, faculty and students will also be masked whenever indoors.

Because we have the advantage of having been able to create such spaces, and with Connecticut’s continued success in mitigating COVID-19 across all major metrics, and with our community’s safety and our students’ developmental needs in mind, we are confident in our decision to begin our return to campus at Status Level Two, which calls for us to segment our student population into two cohorts: 4th - 8th grade and 9th - 12th grade.

To further mitigate risk of school-based transmission, we have chosen to design our schedule using “physically distinct” campuses as a design principle for these two cohorts. In other words, 4th - 8th grade students will use certain buildings on campus for their learning, essentially exclusive to their use. The same is true for 9th - 12th graders. See below for a list of the buildings assigned to each cohort. In any instance wherein space must be shared -- even if only at a building level and not specific rooms -- we will seek to provide additional precautions relative to schedule, social distancing, and travel routes.

We have additionally “sub-cohorted” our students within their respective divisions. In the Upper School, we have sought to schedule grade level students in proximity to one another wherever possible. More simply, we have tried to cluster where, say, our 9th graders have classes -- to mitigate community transmission and facilitate contract tracing and additional steps, as needed. In the Middle School, our small size is a further advantage. Due to its scale and more grade level specific program, we have been able to go further and create nearly distinct sub-cohorts for each grade. Students who have English together, for example, will travel together and also have history, Spanish, and co-curriculars together. In this same vein of mitigating transmission, we relooked at all of our staffing allocations, redistributing faculty to decrease section sizes. The result is fewer students and faculty together at a given time and in a given space, and of course increased individual attention for each student.

Logistically, breaking along divisional lines significantly facilitates programmatic continuity and our ability to offer our students varied and robust learning contexts across academic, social, emotional, artistic, and physical dimensions.

9th - 12th Cohort

Coburn Hall
Grover (absent the Student Center)
Science Building
Gym Complex
Reception Center
Verdery Commons

4th - 8th Cohort

Middle School Building
Student Center
Wellington Cottage
Pottery Studio (transformed into a classroom)
Outdoor tent behind Middle School Building

Teaching and Learning

Distance Learning at The Core
Fall 2020

An essential component of the Wooster School plan for reopening is to provide a core level of instruction that is available online and in the classroom and is nimble enough to allow students and the community as a whole to meet the demands of an ongoing, unknown environment. Based on our experiences in a fully online model in the spring of 2020, we have and continue to be engaged in continuous learning. This allows Wooster teachers to continue their work in personalization, the definition of learning competencies, and gaining instructional strategies, as well as the design of learning for an online or partially online learning environment. Instruction will be designed with a core foundation that allows for flexibility, that does not center on direct instruction in the classroom, and that provides opportunities for students to expand their learning based on personal interests and needs. Teachers continue to work to improve our abilities to meet student needs long term as well as in this unique and ever-changing environment.

What Works?

  • Gathered information from teacher, parent, and student surveys during spring distance learning.
    • Students built habits of organization, time management, and agency
    • Teacher supported independent learning: exploration, discovery
    • Clarity of communication re expectations to support learning
    • Office hours; opportunities for 1:1 or small group meetings with teachers

Continuous Learning

  • Teacher peer support groups meet weekly when school is in session to discuss best practices and methodologies for student-centered distance learning
  • All teachers (5-12) will be using Altitude platform as a mode of course delivery
    • Organization of content and assessment to further empower students to make decisions about their own learning.
      • Overview of the week/unit
      • Clarity of learning intentions
      • Targeted skill-based instruction
    • Personalized feedback and pathways for learning
      • Opportunities for enrichment and support
    • Communication with students re: assignments and next steps
  • Global Online Academy
    • All teachers took the GOA Designing for Online Learning course in March 2020.
    • 41 teachers took at least one additional course, including new hires
    • 10 teachers in intensive design boot camp
      • Facilitated small group teacher cohorts for Wooster colleagues
      • Will facilitate continued support and collaboration as the school year begins
  • Planning for consistency, continuous review, and nimbleness
    • Increased confidence and knowledge of technology options
    • Increased confidence in creating and sustaining a teacher online presence and teacher-student relationships within the hybrid instructional model
  • Continued focus on curriculum work by the department

Instructional Core Fall 2020

  • Our core instructional model platform to provide students with access to resources, clear learning targets, and opportunities to personalize their learning journey.
  • Using multiple modes of delivering direct instruction:
    • Short class meeting (synchronous) followed by work with small groups of students
    • Effective alternatives to the full class, full period synchronous class period
    • Continue utilization and familiarity with technology tools (Screencastify, Flipgrid, Padlet, Loom, Ed \puzzle)
    • Building habits, routines, and relationships on campus for students to practice and apply
    • The purpose of screen time: expression, engagement, communication
      • Examples: A brief meeting, a performance task, a check-in
  • Flexibility: model allows us to provide meaningful instruction should distance learning time need to increase or decrease.
  • Students build on what they learned about time management and organization
  • Altitude
    • All teachers will utilize Altitude platform
    • Units designed around transparent learning goals, foundational assessments, and key content.
    • Opportunities for frequent feedback and personalization of pathways
  • Hybrid Model: on and off-campus
    • On-campus opportunities for social and face to face interactions.
    • Distance Learning not intended to be entirely asynchronous.
      • Blend of synchronous and asynchronous time for each class
      • Provides the time for independent, self-paced, flexible work
  • Application and deeper exploration of skills, opportunities for personal choice
  • Increased opportunities for 1:1 or small group support
  • Focus on the development of community and supportive relationships: Advisory, Clubs. Athletics, Office Hours

Fully Online Learning Option

An essential component of the Wooster School plan for reopening in Fall 2020 is to provide a core level of instruction that is available online, and nimble enough to allow individual students and the community as a whole to meet the demands of an ongoing, unknown environment. Teachers will design instruction with a core foundation that allows for flexibility, that does not center on direct instruction in the classroom, and that provides opportunities for students to expand their learning based on personal interest and needs.

Online, however, does not mean alone. By designing core instruction for all students that builds on a hybrid learning model, students will engage both in person and via technology, regardless of their physical location. This option is also available full-time to those families who choose to not have their children on campus at this point.

The fully online option is not:

  • Exactly the same experience as in campus Level 2 or Level 3 learning.
  • Self-paced, but rather, is connected to in-person learning in a way that keeps fully online students engaged with their teachers and classmates and moving at the same pace.

Below are details regarding the design of the online learning offering, as well as expectations for students who select this option. While there are more components of this choice that require independent and self-directed work, this is not a fully independent or self-paced model. There are expectations for community involvement and participation, as well as continuous communication with teachers.

What can you expect of us?
  • Weekly overviews for each class will include specific information for students who are fully online, to indicate times for participation in synchronous class activities or group assignments for collaborative work.
  • Resources provided for all students will be available to and expected learning for online learning students.
  • Regular opportunities for teacher contact and communication.
  • Unless otherwise noted or communicated, due dates and completion dates remain the same for all students.
  • Feedback and assessment provided.
  • Grading of assignments and trimester grades are determined in the same way for all students.
  • A blend of synchronous and asynchronous opportunities.
What do we expect of students?
  • Log in to synchronous sessions as applicable and communicated by teacher (in weekly overview or other)
  • Engage in regular (weekly, or minimum bi-weekly) office hours meetings with teachers. These could be individual in nature or might include others who are fully online.
  • Review weekly overview for each class, and log in to contribute to small group work.
  • Prepare for and participate in all follow-up work with the group throughout the week, this might include scheduling of synchronous meeting times with group members.
  • Review/engage with resources provided by the teacher, as well as explore other resources as needed for work completion.
  • Complete all Altitude cards and assignments according to assigned due dates and pacing guides.
  • Responsibly ask for assistance or self-initiate meetings/communication with teachers when needed.
  • Log-in synchronously with their Advisor to participate in Advisory activities.
Parents are expected to support fully online students by:
  • Setting aside online learning workspace and time for your child.
  • Checking technology accessibility.
  • Communicating with your child about weekly expectations sent by the teacher.
  • Allowing for independent struggle and exploration of content.

For planning purposes, please indicate your choice of this fully online option by Friday, August 21, 2020 or contact Parvin Taraz (parvin.taraz@woosterschool.org), Director of Curriculum to discuss further. Please submit one form for each student.

FAQS:
Can my child opt in or out of in person learning at any time?

Once a student opts in to fully online learning, they’ll be required to stay in that status through the end of the current trimester, at which point they can reevaluate their status. Because the program is different, it would not be advisable for a student’s learning to opt in and out on a regular basis.

What will my child’s schedule (day) look like? Will s/he follow the same schedule as students attending classes on campus?

Yes. All of Wooster’s courses are designed with “online at the core,” so that students, and the whole school if necessary, can move between online and in-person learning without difficulty. Because there will be many opportunities to do synchronous learning and work as a part of student groups that are in-person, Students who are online must follow the normal schedule everyday.

How will fully online students participate in lab activities?

As was the case in most science classes in the spring, teachers will pre-record or provide video simulation of demonstration labs, which online students may be asked to replicate at home. Students may also be asked to “find a resource” online that demonstrates the concept.

Will fully online students participate in Advisory?

Yes. Students will log in to Advisory and participate synchronously through Google.

Can a fully online student “opt-in” to after-school activities and athletics?

Students may opt in to Athletics and Activities after school, but must do so for the entire trimester and will be expected to be in attendance every day and fully participate.

Will the fully online option be different in Level 3?

No. Students will still have the option of being fully online while other students are on campus every other week.

Will tuition be reduced for fully online students?

The only difference in tuition will be that we will refund the amount that was paid for food. Otherwise, a fully online student pays the same as a student who is coming to campus in Level 2 or 3. As we communicated in the spring, our primary expenses are salaries and those do not change whether we are in-person or online. In this case, because the great majority of families have indicated that they are looking for an in-person option, we will also have to maintain other fixed costs like electricity, heat, maintenance, etc. so as to keep our campus open. We also have incurred significant additional costs for technology, room reconfiguration, and safety-related materials related to having students back on campus.

Weekly Schedule

The daily schedule for 2020-21 seeks to leverage what we learned about distance teaching and learning in the spring of 2020, and integrate it with what we know works best for our students and faculty on campus. We designed the schedule first and foremost to ensure our community’s safety. We also, of course, sought to efficiently apply our limited but varied resources, the most important of which steadfastly remains our talented faculty. Finally, programmatic opportunity in all its manifestations -- intellectual, social, emotional, artistic, and physical -- was a continued touchstone.

Importantly and in the name of simplicity and predictability, we designed the schedule to be the same whether we are learning on campus or learning at home. Both learning modalities are replete with opportunities for students to cultivate the skills and dispositions to be lifelong, self-sufficient learners, as is the time, support, and feedback they need to get there.

This all said, and true to our institutional values, we will continue to seek feedback about the schedule from all constituents, and we will remain adaptive in the face of changing conditions and the needs of our community.

Of Note:

Free Periods

Upper School Students will still have free periods and will be asked to sign in to specific areas for those periods. Students will have the options of outside areas (which will be highly encouraged), some larger areas, and classrooms in which to spend their time. In all areas, six foot distancing will be clearly marked and expected.

Athletics and Activities

Middle School

Design: Physical education type set-up leaving each grade together as a cohort, with grades 7 and 8 split into 2 cohorts each due to the number of students. Each cohort will rotate through each activity every 2-3 weeks, the coaches will stay with their activity for each new cohort.

  • Activities include:
    • Soccer
    • Fitness
    • Tennis
    • Volleyball
    • Playground Games
  • Safety guidelines follow CDC and CT COVID-19 guidelines for safe play.
  • Inclement weather plan safely moves each cohort into an indoor space for appropriate/safe indoors.
  • More information to follow on plans for safe options for changing into athletic gear.
Upper School

Design: Upper school athletics designed to include multiple options:

  • Traditional Fall sports (soccer, XC, volleyball) will be run as a hybrid of Varsity, Recreational, and Intramurals
  • Racquet Sports (tennis, badminton) will be run as intramurals and skills
  • Fitness: variety of outdoor activities

General Details:

  • Fall Program review will be done between September 21 - 28 to determine any modifications to accommodate changes in the CT COVID-19 situation
  • Cohorts will be by student selected athletic activity
  • Independent Activity and Season Off: approved students will leave campus after classes
  • Inclement weather plan safely moves each cohort into an indoor space for appropriate/safe indoor activities.
  • More information to follow on plans for safe options for changing into athletic gear.

For Traditional Varsity Sports:

  • Pre-season: for traditional varsity sports only (soccer, cross country, volleyball)
    • Limited in dates and times to be shared.
    • Optional
  • First 2 weeks of school: skills, clinics, movement, conditioning for all
  • 3rd week and beyond: combination of skill work and intramural competition

Art:

  • Monday Art and Art Intensive will be offered with information to follow.

Theatre:

  • Fall Upper School Drama Production will be done with information about auditions/sign ups to follow.
  • Winter Upper School Musical Production will be done with information about auditions/sign ups to follow.
  • Middle School Musical will be done with information about auditions/sign ups to follow.

Athletics for the Fall Trimester

What will a fall athletic practice consist of?

All practices will emphasize movement and minimizing player contact, short breaks will be provided in appropriate socially distanced settings.

Opting Out of Upper School Fall Trimester Athletics or Activities:

In an attempt to create more options for students and reduce the number of students on campus after school, we've decided to waive the activities requirement for the 2020-21 school year. This means that Upper School students can now choose to leave campus at dismissal. Any student who chooses to opt out of athletics or activities for the trimester must have arranged for transportation each day. Students will not be allowed to stay on campus if they are not involved in activities or athletics. Decisions on participation will be by trimester. If you are interested in an opt out for the fall trimester, please submit this form by Friday, August 28.

Changing for Middle School and Upper School Athletics:

Like in our learning spaces, we will be arranging for students to change for athletic activities in spaces where they can maintain appropriate distance. We also will control the number of students who can be in any given space to change. Students will be informed of the plan for changing during the first days of school.

Preseason Athletics Option

Wooster will be offering an optional modified Upper School pre-season athletics program to provide our students with the opportunity to participate in athletics before the start of classes. The program will adhere to the State of Connecticut Department of Health Guidelines for sports as well as the CDC recommendations for sports participation. The daily program will focus on re-entry to athletics with 30 minutes of conditioning and 30 minutes of skill work designed to meet the individual fitness level of each participant. Our regular after school programs will begin on September 8, more information to follow on the revised offerings for the Fall Semester.

Update as of August 24, 2020

Due to the fact that the CT State Department of Health has recommended a state of heightened alert for Danbury, we are going to postpone the start of our voluntary preseason activities until Monday, August 31. Further updates will be forthcoming.

Our optional pre-season program will involve the following sports and times:

Sport: Girls Soccer
Coaches: Chris Pereira - cristiano.pereira@woosterschool.org
Location: Wilson Field
Practice Dates and Times: Monday, August 31 through Thursday, September 3: 4:00 - 5:15 pm

Sport: Boys Soccer
Coaches: Kevin Malta - kevin.malta@woosterschool.org
Location: Tiedemann Field
Practice Dates and Times: Monday, August 31 through Thursday, September 3: 4:00 - 5:15 pm

Sport: Girls Volleyball
Coaches: Jeff Carone - jeff.carone@woosterschool.org
Location: Tennis Courts
Practice Dates and Times: Monday, August 31 through Thursday, September 3: 4:00 - 5:15 pm

Sport: Boys and Girls Cross Country
Coaches: Ellyn Wilkinson - ellyn.wilkinson@woosterschool.org
Location: Warner Field
Practice Dates and Times: Monday, August 31 through Thursday, September 3: 4:00 - 5:15 pm

All students participating in preseason must follow these guidelines:
  • Wear a mask to practice
  • Bring an individual water bottle(s) as needed
  • No access to the inside of buildings
  • Only use and touch your personal belongings
  • Bring hand sanitizer
  • Parents must complete the Magnus Health COVID-19 Daily Screening prior to each practice session
  • Parents should remain in vehicles, if there is a need to get out please wear a mask and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet
Prior to the start of pre-season practices, all students need to have all Magnus Health forms electronically signed and a current physical on file with the nurse/Magnus Health. Additionally, all new students and returning freshmen and juniors need to have taken a baseline ImPACT test with Mr. Hutchins.

Transportation

B & B Transportation
  • Based on gating conditions:
    • Level 1 - No restrictions on transportation
    • Level 2 - Face masks required - buses may operate up to full capacity
    • Level 3 - Face masks required - passenger capacity reduced
    • Level 4 - Distance learning
  • Drivers of buses may ask students to load and unload buses in a specific manner - (back to front, front to back)
  • Drop off and pick up locations will remain the same as they were in 2019-2020 (in the event daily temperature checks are determined to be necessary drop off locations may be modified)
  • Students who are dropped off before the start of classes must report to designated locations and maintain social distancing
  • Face masks must be worn at all times within buses (level 2 and/or level 3)
  • Parents should not drop students off who have not completed their daily Magnus screening protocol
  • For more information on estimated transportation times for B & B transportation and whether or not a bus run will have late bus service please refer to the transportation section of the website
Public School Transportation
  • Models may vary
  • Check with individual school districts for their procedures

Dining

Wooster Dining Service

  • Lunch service will commence with bagged lunches
  • An online ordering system will be utilized by students and staff to make their daily lunch selection. Buffet lunch service will not be available until we are operating at the level 1 gating conditions (vaccine and/or significant treatment advances)
  • Orders for lunch must be placed through “Wooster Eats” on-line ordering system
  • Food will be delivered for student or staff pick up to various campus locations (Wellington, Middle School, Gym Complex, Pottery Building, etc) to minimize student contact
  • Food service options will begin with simple offerings and grow into hot entrees, outdoor BBQs, special events
  • Food allergies will be handled on an individual basis
  • The dining program will evolve as the status level moves back to level one.

Lunch

To facilitate social distancing and safety protocols during Lunch, we have broken our student cohorts into sub-groups and created a three phase Lunch period, held in several different spaces. Middle School students will be assigned to our first Lunch phase, and, with their grade level, assigned to eat in the dining room, Middle School building, and outside the Middle School. Upper School students will be assigned to one of the three Lunch phases based on their schedule. During each phase, additional sub-groupings will exist that further divide students into picking up their lunch in one of either the Forever Young Gym or Alumni Gym. From there, students will be able to eat in their assigned gym or take their lunch outside, to sit and eat with friends in a socially distant way.

Health and Safety Protocols

Screening Protocols

Out of State Travel

Anyone returning from travel to a country with high risk for Covid-19 transmission, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html or a state on the CT travel advisory list must follow the quarantine guidelines outlined in the CT Travel Advisory for Visitors to Connecticut: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/travel

  • If quarantine is recommended, students will have access to online learning during the self-quarantine.

Anyone returning from foreign travel should follow CDC guidelines as well https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html

Screening Protocols
  • Daily Wellness Self-Screening Tool
    • All staff, faculty, and students will be expected to complete a daily wellness screening tool each day prior to arrival on campus.
    • The daily screening tool will be accessed via Magnus Health, electronic health record
    • The screening tool should be completed one hour prior to arrival at school.
    • Parents will access their child’s Magnus account and complete the screening tool.
      • Utilizing the Magnus PHR App from a smart device will allow easier access.
  • Wooster School will be using the Guidance from Connecticut Department of Public Health to determine next steps when in the presence of symptoms, close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or a positive COVID-19 test. Please review these guidelines closely as parents and students must understand their responsibilities in terms of action steps and reporting.
Access Magnus Health via the Parent Portal of the Wooster School website
  • Go to http://woosterschool.org
  • Click on the "My Wooster" icon in the center of the top page
  • Log into your Parent Portal using your user name and password (if forgotten, you can reset it)
  • Once logged in, go to the right side of the page and click on the Magnus Health icon
How to Download and Setup the PHR App
  1. Log into Magnus as you normally would via the Parent Portal
  2. Hover over your name within Magnus (top left of screen)
  3. Choose "Change Credentials"
  4. Create a Username & Password that only you know and will remember. This username/password combination will be used as your PHR mobile app login only.
  5. Download the "Magnus Mobile V2" App from the Apple Store or the Google Play store, and log in using your newly created username & password.
Positive Case Protocol

When there is a positive case of COVID-19 in our community, we will follow the Connecticut Department of Public Health Guidelines and this communication procedure:

  • When we receive a report of a positive case, the school will notify parents, and notify the public health department in the town of residence of the infected person to initiate contact tracing.
    • A student’s or faculty member’s positive test result should be reported to Nurse Jette, 203-830-3925.
    • The affected individual will begin isolation immediately and return to on campus activity will be permitted upon end of isolation as per CDC guidelines
    • Anyone under self-quarantine will have access to fully online learning.
  • Any persons in the school community that were within 6 feet of the infected person for more than 15 minutes (as defined by the DOH and CDC) within 48 hours will be directly contacted by the school. If you do not hear from us, your child was not in high risk contact.
  • Those persons deemed to be in high risk contact will be instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last point of exposure with the diagnosed/infected person.
  • We will inform the community that a case was identified.

Health and Wellness

Expectations will be high for all community members in the observance of these rules. Any community members who persistently disregard these guidelines will lose the privilege of being on campus.

Mask Requirements and Use

Students are required to provide their own mask each day, and to be responsible for regular cleaning and disinfecting of any cloth mask. We recommend that families purchase multiple cloth masks so as to rotate daily use. If in doubt about the efficacy of a particular mask, please contact Nurse Jette.

  • Surgical masks are acceptable.
  • Cloth masks must be multi-layered (must consist of at least 2 layers of material) fastened at both the top and bottom of the mask and cover both the mouth and nose (bandanas and buffs are not acceptable).
  • Masks with an exhalation valve or vents are not acceptable.
  • Masks will be required to be worn by all staff and students at all times inside any building.
  • Masks requirements will be relaxed outdoors depending upon the situation.
  • Any wording or imagery on masks should be appropriate and commensurate with Wooster’s Dress Guidelines.
  • Any adult visitor to campus must wear a mask that meets these requirements at all times.
Social Distancing
  • 6 feet of social distancing shall be maintained at all times in all locations (inside or outside)
  • Signs will be posted on all building entrances.
Hand Sanitizing and Disinfecting
  • Frequent hand washing and disinfection will be required of all adults and students on campus.
  • Bathrooms and hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout campus.
Nursing Care

In addition to our usual nurses office, there is an additional space for temporarily isolating any students who show symptoms of COVID-19 while on campus awaiting parent pick-up.

Deep Cleaning

Frequent clearing of high traffic areas and bathrooms will be done daily. Deep cleaning of cohort buildings will be done during each cohort’s online learning day.

Space Configuration
  • All learning spaces and social spaces redesigned for 6 feet distancing.
  • Floor stickers and/or tape shall be placed on the floor to ensure desks are properly positioned at least 6 feet apart
  • In order to improve airflow, doors and windows will be open and fans in use as appropriate.
Influenza (Flu) Vaccines
  • Flu vaccine is recommended to prevent co-infections
  • Staff and students are advised to seek vaccination from their primary care providers, pharmacy or other agencies distributing flu shots as early as possible.
  • Wooster Flu clinics administered by RVNAhealth have been scheduled as follows:
  • Tuesday, September 22, 2:00 - 4:00 pm (On-Campus)
  • Thursday, October 22, 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (On-Campus)
  • Tuesday, November 10, 3:00 - 5:00 pm (On-Campus

Calendar for Transitioning Back to School

First Week of School

Middle School Cohort (Grades 4 - 8)

Monday, September 7: Labor Day - No School
Tuesday, September 8: On-Campus
Wednesday, September 9: On- Campus
Thursday, September 10: Online
Friday, September 11: Online

Upper School Cohort (Grades 9 - 12)

Monday, September 7: Labor Day - No School
Tuesday, September 8: Online
Wednesday, September 9: Online
Thursday, September 10: On-Campus
Friday, September 11: On-Campus

After this first transitional week, on Monday, September 14, we will begin our full Level Two program, with the Middle School Cohort on campus Monday - Thursday, and the Upper School Cohort on campus Tuesday - Friday. We will stay at this level until further notice.

Chapel Program Announcement

Among the many challenges presented by coming back together during a pandemic is how to conduct the Chapel Program given the many new constraints on time, the particulars of online learning, and prohibition on larger groups of students and adults meeting together, indoors in particular. Added to these challenges is the fact that our Chaplain, Stephen Tickner was lucky to be brought on full-time by his congregation at Central Christian Church in Danbury this year, which is unlucky for us in that he won’t be able to work at Wooster.

In looking at these issues, we also want to acknowledge that we have not closely examined our Chapel Program in many years. Chapel is a long-standing and necessary part of the Wooster School experience, yet we have not given it the same attention and thoughtful analysis that we have given to our academic programs, teaching and learning, and extracurriculars in recent years.

Putting these three things together, we’ve decided that the 2020-21 school year will be a year of research, discussion, and reflection regarding the Chapel Program. We have engaged the services of Mark Lingle, Pastor of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Stamford and former Wooster Chaplain and Wooster Trustee, to lead the community through this process. Mark is already researching what Chapel programs look like at other Episcopal Schools around the country and will then help us to develop surveys and focus groups designed to collect ideas and feedback from the community on what their experience of Chapel has been, and how they envision it adding to the experience at Wooster School in the future.

Once the process is completed in the early spring, we’ll use what we’ve collected to develop the framework of the Chapel Program, which will be stronger than ever, and create a job description that we can use to search for our next Chaplain, who will begin work in the 2021-22 school year. I thank you in advance for your participation and thoughtful input as we enter into this important, and long overdue, process of reflection and revitalization of the Wooster School Chapel Program.

Middle School (Grades 5 - 8) Lockers and Supplies

In order to maintain a safe environment in the middle school hallways, allowing all students to move safely and maintain social distancing, students will not be assigned lockers. Instead, students will carry backpacks throughout the day.

To assist in organizing for this, please consider the following:

What supplies do you need?

In the blended learning model, most of your work will take place using your laptop. Thus, supplies needed are minimal and are as follows.

  • Binder that fits in your backpack or a multi-subject notebook.
  • Pencil pouch/case with:
    • pens, pencils, highlighters
    • Sticky notes
    • Small calculator
  • Five folders with pockets
What will be in my backpack?
  • Laptop and charger
  • Planner
    • Grades 5 and 6 will receive planners
    • Grades 7 and 8 should either purchase their choice or may use Google Calendar
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Headphones (and charger)
  • Clothes for sports as applicable
  • Extra mask
  • World Geography workbook (Grade 6)
  • Math workbook (Grade 5)
  • Spanish workbook (Grades, 6, 7, 8)

Note: Grade 6 students will begin the year with their World Geography textbook kept at home to be used for assignments there. Once the year starts, these may be moved into and stored in the classroom, but will not be something that is carried back and forth at any point.

What about my instrument?

More information to follow on plans for storage options for your instrument on days on which you have music.

What will I do with my jacket?

To start the year, light jackets will remain with you throughout the day and be placed on the back of your chair. As we move into the colder months, we will re-evaluate the need for a different plan.

We encourage you to check this page often for updates in addition to our regular email communications for our Wooster families.

email page print page small type large type
powered by finalsite