November 13, 2020
Dear Columbus Academy Families,
I am writing to let you know that the increased number of positive tests both in our population and in Franklin County have led us to change the dynamics of our in-person learning next week at Columbus Academy. Our region’s positivity rate has increased to the point that The Columbus Dispatch reports 6 out of 8 of the school districts most afflicted in the state are in Central Ohio.
In brief, for the week of November 16th, our Lower School will continue meeting each day in its pods/classrooms. However, lower-schoolers will not have swimming and will be asked to bring lunch to school. The Middle and Upper Schools will go to 50% capacity in-person each day, as they were in September, and will also be asked to bring lunch to school. Our division heads will be notifying families about particular schedules. As always, you can choose to keep your children in remote learning the entire week.
In an abundance of caution, we will reduce the density of our middle and upper school halls and gathering spaces by asking half of the students in those divisions to attend each day. In addition, we are asking students to bring lunch next week so we can review our safety protocols with our kitchen staff upon their return and to eliminate the traffic that involves all three divisions in and out of the dining hall.
While earlier than anticipated, our reduction to 50% MS and US in-person learning each day was always likely to be a part of our winter schooling plan. Please know the expectation is that we will return after Thanksgiving at a 50% capacity in those divisions as well. Most likely, we will be in that reduced density for two weeks, after which the Middle and Upper Schools will determine how they would like to handle schedules that involve exams.
I am not sure it’s possible for me to emphasize enough the importance for our families to choose safe activities outside of school. We can only continue with in-person learning if our community fully embraces the responsibilities around travel, visiting over weekends and on weeknights – even refraining from holding sleepovers or playdates. Finally, during the upcoming vacations, our collective decision-making about how safely we choose to spend our days will greatly impact how we are able to return to school. Our success is literally in all of our hands.
If there was a way to have the changes we are making be less disruptive to your lives, we would do it! But since that is not a power available to us, I will offer that the support and expressions of thankfulness to our faculty and staff by our families this fall have been absolutely wonderful. We pledge to continue to work together to offer our students the best possible education amidst our changing circumstances.
Head of School