When COVID first hit in the spring of 2020, none of us could have imagined the ways in which it would change our lives. In the midst of doing our best to keep ourselves and our families safe, we watched as other aspects of our lives and communities were thrown into turmoil. While we all had different experiences and were impacted to different degrees, we were all affected in some way.
In the midst of it all, the Welsh Hills community was able to reopen with on-campus instruction. Through strong and empathetic leadership, informed by data and a commitment to children, Welsh Hills instituted mitigation policies and procedures, including the following, that kept the students and staff safe:
Required masking for all community members three years of age and over
Only staff and students permitted to enter facilities
Screening and temperature checks at arrival
Small pod sizes with no mixing
Consistent handwashing, cleaning, and sanitizing
Daily cleaning with electrostatic sanitizing sprayer
Installation of UV system air cleaner in the main building’s air handler
Individual air filtration units to circulate clean air
Frequent use of outdoor classroom spaces
These strategies proved effective for us, as we were able to offer in-person instruction for the entire 2020-2021 academic year.
Given that a significant portion of our population is not yet eligible for vaccination, and in keeping aligned with our mission and vision, we have decided to revise our mitigation protocols in a very thoughtful way. This plan will allow us to remain fluid as we observe, monitor, and adjust as needed.
Our long-standing goal is to provide the best Montessori-based educational experience for our students. We will resume our standard class sizes, and we will continue to require masking for every community member aged three and over when indoors. By continuing to wear masks indoors, we can resume many of the Montessori and best-practice teaching tools that make Welsh Hills School effective and unique.
The safety of our community and educational experience of our students are my top priorities. I believe that our approach serves
both of those goals.
Be safe and well,
Welsh Hills School Board of Trustees Resolution 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Welsh Hills School Board of Trustees hereby resolves:
In this time of great uncertainty, it is imperative that all members of the Welsh Hills School community remain committed to our school vision statement: “Welsh Hills School builds life-long learners, independent critical thinkers, creative problem-solvers, and compassionate, responsible individuals who are respectful global citizens.” It is through our actions, that we can strive to embody those ideals.
Our goal is to keep the school open for in-person education. To succeed in meeting this goal, all WHS constituents have a responsibility to help maintain a safe, healthy environment at Welsh Hills School, and to realize that their individual actions contribute to the health and well-being of the school community as a whole. The WHS Board of Trustees recognizes that physical distancing, hand washing, and wearing face coverings are all important tools that will help to keep our community healthy.
In order to mitigate risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board expects that the school’s constituents including employees, trustees, students, and families follow all directives mandated by the Center for Disease Control, the Ohio Department of Health, the Governor of Ohio, and the Licking County Health Department, and that constituents follow established best practices, both on and off school grounds. Welsh Hills School will provide our students, families, and staff with up-to-date information on any governmental mandates and best practices relating to COVID-19 prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year and with any updates throughout the year as necessary.