URGENT: All WCSD Students on Remote Instruction beginning January 5

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Dear WCSD Families:

With the end of winter break approaching, we have determined that the Second Semester of our school year will begin under a fully Remote Instruction model. Therefore, when classes resume for students on Tuesday, January 5, everyone will receive and complete their instruction remotely through at least January 14. All Special Education students will be on Remote Instruction as well. Athletic teams and other extracurricular programs will continue to practice, compete, and perform under current health and safety protocols.

Please know that we did not make this decision lightly. As we have stated several times before, our preference under these circumstances is to provide in-person instruction to students when possible. However, the data and information considered while making this decision simply do not support a return to blended instruction at this time.

We have seen an uptick in active COVID-19 cases among staff and students. We were also informed by local medical professionals that regional health data is likely lagging and underreported due to the holidays. We believe the same may be true for our internal data. Given what is now known, the medical community is bracing for an additional spike in confirmed cases and other key indicators over the next two weeks as the holiday season comes to a close.

These next two weeks are crucial to how we will be able to proceed afterward. According to our current calendar, there is no school on January 15 or January 18. We will review the latest information available to us during the week of January 11 and notify families at that time of the instructional model that will be in place beginning January 19.

For those families who have expressed concern about the different number of in-person instructional days between Cohort A and Cohort B, operating under Remote Instruction over the next two weeks has no impact on this imbalance. Please know that we continue to examine the need to address this matter.

Finally, to our families whose children receive specialized services from the district, as well as those whose students are either entering or have opted out of the Westerville Virtual Academy, please watch for additional information from your teachers and/or program leaders. They will be sharing important details about what to expect and how to proceed as the Second Semester begins next week. For those families who have opted out of the WVA option this semester, please be sure you check PowerSchool to identify your child’s assigned Cohort. If you are unable to locate this information, please email your child’s principal for assistance.

Dr. John R. Kellogg