Fall Opening

COVID-19 Coronavirus

DEVELOPING A PLAN FORWARD


As the course of the pandemic evolves, we acknowledge that next year we will all be called upon to adapt to the demands of the moment. We must all — students, faculty, staff, and parents — come prepared to rise to the occasion, to take responsibility for our actions, and to take care of each other. As we state in the Boys’ Prayer, we must stand for the hard right against the easy wrong, and we must be ready to help others at some cost to ourselves. 

When we welcome boys back to campus in August, we will all make a Commitment to Keep Woodberry Healthy. Based on the highest levels of current research, we will embrace four practices to reduce the risk of an outbreak on campus. These practices cannot eliminate risk, but we hope our efforts will allow us to isolate and treat cases when they occur. 

  1. Testing and Monitoring: All students and employees will be tested for COVID-19 when they arrive for the start of the school year. Anyone who tests positive will return home for treatment or be cared for on campus by Woodberry’s health team with guidance from the local health department and the University of Virginia Medical Center. 
  2. Social Distancing: We are rearranging classrooms and reimagining indoor community gatherings. 
  3. Face Coverings: We will provide students and employees with cloth face coverings. We will wear them in places where social distancing is impossible and, out of respect for others, when we are in the presence of more vulnerable members of our community. 
  4. Hygiene: We will ask boys and employees to wash their hands frequently or use hand sanitizer regularly. We will emphasize dorm cleanliness. We are increasing the cleaning of spaces we all use, such as the dining room and bathrooms. 

Like schools and universities around the country and the state, our plans are based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the Virginia Department of Health, and the Virginia Department of Education. Our reopening plan will require state approval. We have consulted with medical experts and are working with other boarding schools to develop environmental health practices that make sense for Woodberry. All of this planning work has been difficult as health guidance changes along with our understanding of the virus. This communication summarizes what we know at this point; our plans will continue to change between now and the opening of school. 

Despite the difficulties in planning, we know Woodberry enjoys several advantages as we prepare for the new school year. Our rural location and all-boarding student body — and the fact that 95 percent of teaching faculty live on campus — limit the number of people moving on and off campus each day. We are blessed with space, both indoors and outdoors, that enables us to spread out and make the community safer. But even with these advantages, we must each do our part to protect each other and the surrounding community so that we might make the most of the coming school year. 

We plan to provide additional updates to parents on July 15 and again on July 31 as we finalize our plans for the new school year.
 
 
Sincerely,
Byron Hulsey '86
Headmaster 
  
 
RESOURCES FOR BOYS AND THEIR FAMILIES


Academic
Canvas (online learning management system). Teachers already post assignments here and will utilize functions such as online discussion boards in the coming weeks.
Headmaster’s Office: 540-672-6000
Dean of Students Nolan LaVoie: 540-672-6051
Third/Fourth Form Dean Ryan Alexander: 540-672-6037
Fifth/Sixth Form Dean Greg Guldin: 540-672-6706



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Key Changes, Cancellations, and Events We are Monitoring

 
Reunion Weekend, April 17-19: Rescheduled for 2021; details to follow.

Woodberry Summer Study Abroad Programs: Postponed
Woodberry abroad trips will not take place this summer. We are exploring options for trips during spring break in March 2021 and also hope to have our regular trips resume in summer 2021.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

List of 9 items.

  • Q. How long will Woodberry be closed?

    Woodberry plans to reopen for classes on campus in the fall, with students arriving on campus in late-August. We are currently allowing Admission visitors on campus. Please visit www.woodberry.org/admission to plan an advission visit.
  • Q. Who is allowed to visit campus?

    Campus residents may welcome visitors to campus. All visitors must follow the self-screening criteria and guidelines described above.

    The golf course is open to employees, alumni, current students, retired faculty, members, and their guests.

    Walking trails, the river and the lake/ponds may be used by employees, alumni, current students, retired faculty, and guests invited to campus by residents. 
     
    Admission visitors may also come to campus. Please schedule your visit in advance on the Admission page of the website. 
  • Q. How did Woodberry make the decision to switch to online classes?

    Dr. Hulsey worked with school leaders to determine how to best serve students and elected to begin online classes after spring break. The governor’s executive order means we will continue with online learning for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. 
     
  • Q. How can boys continue their studies?

    Canvas will remain our primary method of sharing and collecting assignments. Faculty will also hold regular video meetings with their classes and can also use video meetings through Zoom to hold consultations and advisory group gatherings. The academic day will run 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
  • Q. What do I do if I don’t have a computer?

    If you do not have a computer or stable internet access at home, please contact your advisor. He will then contact the IT department to help you get the equipment that you need.
  • Q. What if I don’t have internet access at home or fast enough internet to participate in live sessions?

    Please let your advisor know if this is an issue. We will work on alternate accommodations, which could include mailing you class materials. A student’s grades will not be impacted by technology challenges that are outside of his control.
  • Q. What if I’m on a different time zone than Woodberry and cannot join live sessions?

    We will ask you to complete assigned work for your class, and your teacher will hold consultation sessions via phone or video conference. A student’s grades will not be impacted by being in a different time zone. 
  • Q. What about athletic seasons, competitions, and practices?

    The athletic director and the headmaster continue to discuss athletic plans for 2020-2021 with their counterparts around Virginia. We do not have final plans for athletics at this time. 
  • Q. Will Woodberry abroad programs still travel this summer?

    Woodberry summer abroad programs have been postponed until the spring or summer of 2021. 

    Woodberry's on-campus summer camps have been canceled. 
Woodberry Forest admits students of any race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, and national or ethnic origin to all of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs. The school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.