WC Administration Seeks Parent Input on Extension of Christmas Break
We are well into our third month of school and are very pleased that we have had only two positive COVID-19 cases among our students and staff, with both being rather mild. This speaks well of the precautions that everyone is taking and the cooperation that all are providing to maintain a healthy environment. I think nearly all would agree that the precautions are worth it if they keep our community healthy and allow us to continue school full-time on campus. A healthy community and on-campus learning have always been top priorities.
However, we are potentially heading into more difficult months with predictions of significant spread of the virus. Impending holidays and the likelihood of travel for family gatherings complicate the situation. There is a lot of uncertainty about how this will affect Central Ohio and other parts of the country. As you know, the school is expecting anyone traveling to a state listed on Ohio’s Travel Advisory List to quarantine for 14 days before returning to school. The list changes weekly and there is no way for us to know what the advisory list will look like when our two-week Christmas break begins on Monday, December 21. However, if families travel and need or wish to quarantine before returning to school, it is likely they would miss some or all of the first week of school after break, which begins on Monday, January 4.
While we do not wish for students to miss school due to a travel quarantine, we also do not wish to risk an outbreak caused by someone returning from travel. This year, we built eight extra school days into the calendar above the number required by the state. These could be used for any reason, including snow days or shutdown days in the event of a localized outbreak.
The question we are considering–and on which we are seeking input from our school families–is whether to extend Christmas break by one week, with school resuming on Monday, January 11, rather than January 4. This would give any family traveling through December 27 an opportunity to quarantine without missing any on-campus learning. Although we cannot know for certain, this may also reduce the risk of an outbreak, which could force either mass quarantines or, in the worst-case scenario, a temporary move to online learning for everyone.
We know there are also possible downsides to extending break. Some families may be forced to find childcare for that additional week. There may be other issues associated with changing the school calendar after it has been posted for some time. This is why we want your feedback. We would only make a change in the calendar at this point if there is a significant majority of families who support it.
You may respond to the simple survey by clicking here. We ask that families respond by midnight on Sunday, November 8, so we can announce the calendar decision next week. Thank you for taking time to provide us with this helpful feedback!