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Wakefield's Opening Plans for 2020-21 School Year

Wakefield's Opening Plans for 2020-21 School Year
Gray Carr Bridgers

Wakefield School Opening Plan for 2020-2021

“Although still in the midst of uncertainty, we have been working diligently to prepare for the coming year, creating scenarios and instituting plans to be ready for a healthy and safe on-campus and in-person return to school in the fall. While we do not have all of the answers, we do have systems for implementation, flexibility, and the willingness to embrace the opportunities for enabling the very best experience we can offer to our students - no matter the location.”


Ashley Harper, Head of School


As always, the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, and families are our priority. We have prepared four scenarios for a healthy and safe educational experience this upcoming school year. Flexibility has been a priority for adapting and innovating our educational platform, teaching methods, personalization options, and family engagement with Wakefield. We will begin two weeks early, starting August 24th. When possible, we will prioritize on campus learning in accordance with official government direction. We have encouraged our faculty and staff to engage in professional development this summer so that they can refine and refresh their curriculum, pedagogy, and community building efforts so that everyone is ready for a changing learning environment. 

While we await further guidance from the Virginia Department of Health regarding the requirements for schools, we are planning to enact increased health and safety protocols throughout campus. The physical campus will experience increased daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols by a certified company using EPA/CDC rules. For students, we will encourage increased personal hygiene, PPE use, and employ screening procedures to detect any symptoms. For the classroom setting, we will limit large campus gatherings if necessary, reduce class sizes, keep students in grade specific areas, and change scheduling to allow for social distancing between classes. 


We have designed four plans for this upcoming school year:  on campus and in person, staggered on-campus presence, seasonal distance learning, and a significant portion of the year in a distance model. 

On Campus

First and foremost we hope to be in person, on campus in the fall. Students, faculty and staff on campus will experience health screenings and likely need to wear PPE while on campus. We will schedule classes to decrease traffic in the hallways and larger gathering spaces. This does give us a chance to use our spaces all over our beautiful campus more creatively to promote social distancing. Also, this means that there are potential changes to our calendar that alter participation or attendance in special events and sports. Ultimately this scenario is dependent on permission to be in school from government and health officials. 

Staggered On-Campus Presence

            In the staggered on-campus model, we will use a rotating schedule that limits the number of students and faculty on campus at any one time, as required by government officials. This will also include increased safety and health practices when members of the Wakefield community come on campus. When students and faculty are not on campus, they will use distance learning methods. 


Seasonal Distance Learning

            This scenario assumes a period of required campus closure, such as during a flu season or COVID-19 peak. While this is not the most ideal option, we are prepared to move to and deliver an engaging and impactful distance learning model for students to continue their studies. Once allowed, students would return to campus as soon as possible. 


 A significant portion of the school year in a distanced model

This final scenario assumes a significant period of the school will operate under mandated campus closure, including the beginning of the year. It is our understanding that this is very unlikely. However, in the case that this is required, faculty and staff are prepared to move to our distance learning model so that students can continue their studies. Once allowed, we will be prepared to return to campus as soon as possible. 


Families facing concerns are highly recommended to reach out to admissions at to learn more about how we can address your family’s needs.