2020-2021 School Year COVID Plans

Dear Wye River Families,

Thank you for your patience as we continue to evolve through a school year unlike any we’ve ever experienced. We were delighted with our success with hybrid classes in the fall, and are excited to resume the hybrid model on February 1.

There are several caveats to keep in mind as you look through our plan:

-No single plan will make everyone happy, nor perfectly meet the needs of everyone in the school community;

-We aim to strike a balance between meeting the physical, social-emotional, and academic needs of our students, as well as the safety of our teachers, recognizing that in the face of a pandemic none of these needs can be met as well as they would be without this health risk;

-The choices we’ve made are not political one way or another, but are based on the best guidance available from the CDC and the Maryland Department of Health;

-There are many moving parts to WRUS reopening, including the need for cleaning and social distancing in common areas, classrooms, and buses;

-We need to be flexible and nimble, and willing to adjust as circumstances evolve;

-Health and safety is a shared responsibility that will require discipline and sacrifice from everyone in the school community.

In preparation for reopening, we have:

-organized classrooms such that desks are 6-feet apart,

-built an isolation room where a sick student can wait to be picked up,

-purchased touch free hand-sanitizing stations for distribution around the school,

-purchased PPE for teachers, with a some extra masks in case a student loses one -purchased touchless thermometers,

-consulted with health care experts and the Queen Anne's County Department of Health on our preparations and decisions,

-upgraded the WRUS internet access to be fast and reliable,

-put together guidelines for operating in a hybrid model,

-arranged for pool testing in the winter and spring,

-had our faculty and staff vaccinated.

Our hybrid plan with groups of students attending on alternate days is informed by our testing, the level of community spread, the need for many students to meet in person, the need for many students to remain remote, and the requirements of transportation social distancing and classroom social distancing.

No student will be required to attend in-person, as we’ll continue to teach remotely for those students unable to come into the building.

All of us have a responsibility to keep each other safe in this pandemic. Accordingly, masks must be worn by everyone at all times in the building, students and teachers must maintain social distance, and cleaning, hand-washing and sanitizing must be done at the end of each class and before getting on a bus. Students unable or unwilling to abide by these precautions will have to move to an all-online learning environment.

In addition, everyone coming into the building must fill out a “School Health Check,” each day before getting on a bus or (if privately transported) coming into the building. Anyone with symptoms should remain at home, call the school, and attend classes remotely until the Maryland and CDC guidelines are met.

Again, thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to help our kids get through this difficult time.