Dear Wooster Community,
As the Omicron situation continues to evolve, we wanted to share the following details pertaining to the school day as we begin the new year.
Daily Wellness/COVID-19 Screening on the Magnus App
As we enter into this phase of the pandemic as a fully vaccinated community in which we are still wearing our masks when indoors, the most important other aspect of transmission mitigation is awareness of when an individual is experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19. As such, we will be reinitiating our Magnus App for all community members. To see the latest guidelines from the CT Department of Health, please follow this link.
Parents will need to complete a Daily Wellness/COVID-19 Screening on the Magnus App for their student(s) each morning prior to departure for school. The Magnus Mobile app will allow parents to complete this from a smart device. This screening process will help us to create a safer environment for your students. At the completion of the quick survey each morning, you will receive a message for the student's attendance instruction for that day. We've included an instruction sheet here for you to review and set up the app on your phone.
Beginning on Monday, January 3, you will have access to begin completing the Magnus Health Daily Wellness/COVID-19 Screening for your student(s). Once you sign into your child's account via the Magnus Mobile App, you will access the screening by selecting the button titled "COVID-19." All parents must submit the screening each morning before 8:15 am.
We ask that parents begin completing this Daily Wellness/COVID-19 Screening on Monday, January 3 as part of the daily routine for your student.
For the month of January, or until the current surge of COVID infections abates, we will be utilizing both the Dining Room/Cafe and adjacent spaces for lunch waves. Utilizing more spaces will allow us to have smaller student groups, better spacing, and more effective air flow while students are eating.
For Middle School students this means business as usual. 5th grade students will continue to eat in the Middle School Common Room, 6th grade in the Upper School Student Commons, while 7th and 8th grade students will continue to spread out in the Dining Room and Cafe. Our plan had been to bring the whole Middle School together in the Dining Room for lunch to start the new year, but we will delay that decision until we feel better about conditions.
For the Upper School lunch, which has two waves — one that eats during E Period and the other during F Period — we will split each wave into half, with one group eating in the Dining Room/Cafe, while the other group spreads out into the Student Commons, the large classroom below the Chapel, and the Honor Room area in front of the Chapel. The two groups will alternate being in the Dining Room v. adjacent areas each week.
An email will go out on Sunday to give students details about the logistics and schedule. We'll also be assigning adults to help keep students well-spaced and in appropriately small groupings.
Spreading out in this way will also be a great test of our students' commitment to Self-Help, as we'll need everyone to step up in terms of cleaning up after themselves.
Isolation and Learning
Teachers will be utilizing hybrid plans to support students who need to isolate because of a positive COVID-19 test. These plans are designed for students who we anticipate will be out for 5 days or more. These plans will include a weekly learning plan, access to assignments and feedback through Altitude, and scheduled meetings with the teacher. It is important to remember that it is highly likely that students who are symptomatic may not be ready to engage in meaningful work. As always, teachers will meet students where they are in terms of their learning upon their return to school and allow whatever time is necessary for students to catch up when necessary.
Given the current spike in infections around the state, like many other schools we've decided to delay the start of athletic competitions by one week. We will still practice as scheduled, but with stricter protocols. Additionally and until further notice, we will limit attendance at games to parents and/or family members only. Students will not be allowed to attend athletic contests as spectators until further notice.
We are also offering all Upper School students the opportunity to take a hiatus from after school activities for the Winter Trimester at this time should they so choose. Students who do so will still receive credit for having met an activity requirement for the trimester.
Reporting on Positive Cases
In lieu of sending community-wide emails, we will begin tracking reported active COVID-19 positive tests and the number of community members isolating as a result as a part of our Wooster School COVID-19 | Requirements, Protocols, and Learning Environments for 2021-22 landing page. We expect to have the dashboard up and running early this week.
Head of School