WHS “RETURN TO SCHOOL” GUIDE

(as of April 8th, 2021)

The administration, faculty, and staff at Wellesley High School look forward to welcoming students back for full-time in-person learning the week of April 26th. In order to preserve this long-awaited opportunity, each member of our community must commit to doing their part to follow state health and safety guidelines at all times.  

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, we need to be flexible and responsive to evolving public health guidelines and protocols for the remainder of the year. Any changes will be communicated with families through email, and with students through their Raider email and House Canvas messages. 

GENERAL HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES

This list of guidelines will be in effect throughout the WHS campus, whether in the classroom or moving around the campus:

  • Students must continue to complete the Daily Attestation when entering the building each day. 

  • Students are required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times in the building.

  • Students should continue to wash and sanitize hands throughout the day.

  • Students must maintain a distance of at least 3 feet from other WHS community members at all times both indoors and outdoors. This distance must be increased to at least six feet when eating/drinking. These distances must also be maintained during periods of transition by remaining consciously aware of proximity to others.

  • Students should continue to participate in surveillance testing which remains an essential part of our COVID safety plan.  As we return to full capacity in the building, it will be critical to catch cases early to prevent spread and minimize the number of close contacts.

  • What to do if your student is feeling ill:

    • Stay home and seek medical care.

    • Contact your House office to report the absence.

    • If they subsequently test positive for COVID, they may not return to school until cleared by the WHS Nurses’ Office.

    • If identified as a close contact by the Board of Health or the WHS Nursing staff, your student will receive guidance from the WHS Nurses and administration for next steps.

  • Follow all directions from WHS faculty and staff as they reinforce safety protocols. This is how we will keep our community safe.   

ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT

Our teachers are so excited to have their full class communities together, in front of them, and learning in-person again. As part of this commitment to the return of in-person learning, per district policy, Zooming into class will now be limited to:

  1. Students who are required to quarantine as a result of testing positive for COVID or have been determined to be a close contact of a positive student by the Board of Health.  

  2. RLS students who are currently zooming into classes will be allowed to continue. 

In classrooms, students will need to continue to follow all health and safety guidelines and will also need to remain seated in assigned seats unless otherwise directed and leave desks/tables in their established locations.

Virtual opportunities for extra help have proven to be both very effective and efficient for everyone involved this year, and teachers will continue to offer these. If a student wants to make an in-person appointment with their teacher, they should reach out to the teacher and ask when that might work.

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

With the goal of maintaining consistency and routine for both students and faculty, we will continue to use the basic schedule that has been in place since the beginning of the year. The school day will still begin at 8:00 am, but there are some key adjustments to note:

  • The Wednesday schedule will now feature four rotating color blocks and Advisory.

  • Passing time between classes on Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday will now be ten minutes.

  • Passing time between classes on Wednesdays will be five minutes. 

  • Dismissal will be at 1:30 pm on Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday and at 11:50 am on Wednesdays.

  • Changes related to lunch are detailed below.

We will be providing a week-by-week schedule for the remainder of the year factoring in MCAS testing (when finalized by the Department of Secondary Education on April 20th) and AP testing.

LUNCH

After careful consideration, we have determined that offering lunch as a “grab and go” option at the end of our school day was the best way to ensure health and safety while maximizing time on learning. These “grab and go” lunches may be ordered at the cafeteria servery in the morning for pickup at the end of the school day using their student ID card or through their STOCard App.

Students may bring snacks from home and Whitsons will have food available in the cafeteria throughout the day. Breakfast options will be available starting at 7:15am for students who arrive before 8:00 am. We appreciate that waiting until 1:30pm without lunch may be challenging for some students. 

As masks are required to be on at all times indoors, students will need to use passing times, directed research blocks and free blocks to step outside to eat a snack or take a mask break. In the case of inclement weather, we will provide spaces for six feet of distancing indoors monitored by school personnel in the cafeteria and gymnasium.

ARRIVAL

In our pre-COVID operations, arrival and dismissal activity created considerable challenges in our space-constrained parking lot with two arrival times each day (one at 7:30am/one at 8:30am). Now that the day will begin at 8:00am for all students, these challenges have been intensified and we will need the community’s full partnership to safely and efficiently get our students into the building.

We have worked extensively with the Town of Wellesley and the Wellesley Police Department to develop the best possible plan given our constraints. As a reminder, I have included a map of our traffic flow patterns through the parking lot.

We estimate that we could have well over 800 cars coming through the parking lot between 7:40 and 8:00am each day. We encourage you to consider alternate options for getting your student to school


Return to School Guide
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