COVID-19 – School Year 2020-21
A New Model
The Webb Schools are providing online instruction for all students in 2020-21, in keeping with guidance from local, state and federal official and Webb’s Medical Advisory Board. In winter, Webb began allowing students to return to campus two days a week for study groups in limited cohorts with daily health check-ins. After review by health authorities and its advisory board, Webb has been cleared to allow students to return after spring break for instruction four days a week in grade-level cohorts. Athletics have also resumed. Students returned first for conditioning, then for practices and, by spring, for CIF-sanctioned games. Highlights of the Webb’s 2020-21 program include the addition of Personalized Learning Plan Coordinators for each student, enhancements to the advisory program, college guidance and more.
Dates for 2020-21 School Year
Jan. 25 – Spring Semester Begins
Feb. 13-21 – February Break
April 3-18 – Spring Break
June 12 – VWS and WSC Commencement
Hybrid Educational Model
School Year 2020-21
As we have done throughout the school year, the Senior Administrative Team carefully reviewed public health guidelines and recommendations issued by local, regional and national agencies in consultation with our Medical Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees. With the health and safety of our students, families, faculty and staff as our primary concern, and our commitment to providing the highest quality academic and school program possible for Webb students paramount, school leadership reviewed various options and opportunities before making a final decision. The final decision to retain the academic program online from late April to early June was fully supported by the Educational Leadership Team and Academic Council, and approved by the Medical Advisory Board and Webb’s Board of Trustees.
With less than half of Webb students able to attend on-campus day programming, in the absence of our residential boarding program, continuing our online academic program makes sense. This will allow us to provide students with continuity in their academic program, while also enabling us to support the unique needs of all constituents at our global boarding school. We are excited about the additional on-campus educational experience we will be able to provide for our local students, while also mindful of the support all students need in the final months of the year. We expect to increase our afternoon activities programming and to provide local students with access to science lab and art studio facilities.
At the current time, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines do not permit schools or colleges/universities to provide congregate living/dormitory living on their campuses, and they have indicated this will not change until summer.
While our academic program will continue online through the end of the year, we are excited to provide additional on-campus opportunities for students who can participate. We expect to expand the size and frequency of our on-campus study groups so that all students here in a particular grade level can experience Webb together. In addition, we will offer our complete afternoon sports and activities programming as well as science and art lab opportunities, access to our Fawcett Library Resources, and time to unwind in our newly renovated Hooper Community Center. If a student is not currently participating in on-campus activities, they should reach out by Friday, March 19 to Dr. Smith at email@example.com to indicate they intend to join after break to help with our planning.
We look forward to honoring our end-of-year traditions and celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2021. We believe our year-end celebrations are critical for our entire community and especially our senior class. As part of this, we look forward to bringing back all members of the senior class, both boarding and day students, for an on-campus, senior-trip experience in early June, in line with public health guidelines. You can read more here about our current plans regarding prom, candlelight ceremonies, commencement and more. Again, our goal is to provide meaningful in-person and virtual participation with each of these offerings for all students and families.
We expect to return to Webb’s full, on-campus boarding and day program for the 2021-22 school year.
Webb is excited to offer its Junior Scholars Summer Program for rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders on campus this July. Prospective students and families can learn more on our website about our two sessions and four unique and engaging programs in Paleontology, Science and Engineering, Digital Arts and Global Ethics. Applications are now being accepted. See our Summer Program page for more information.
Our first day of scheduled classes was Monday, September 7. Additional dates, including our Opening Days and school breaks are available on in our New Hybrid Educational Model Program.
We are proud of the many ways our new hybrid educational model will provide an extraordinary education while advancing Webb’s mission and values. The flexible model offers an on-campus experience (boarding and day) and an innovative and robust learning program (online) for students who chose it for reasons of travel delays and restrictions or because they feel it is the best program option for them as school begins in the fall.
As part of the program, every Webb student will create a personalized learning plan. Working with students and families, plan coordinators will identify student-learning goals, assist students in navigating Webb’s offerings, provide off-campus students with connections to local resources and work closely with advisors to ensure students are thriving.
Webb faculty and staff will be dedicating a significant portion of the summer months to preparing the campus for students to return and to further developing our new hybrid model.
Webb will be following the youth sports guidelines as set forth by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health — LA County Youth Sports Guidelines. Athletic and other administrative staff will monitor practices to ensure compliance with protocols.
The goal of our in-person activities is to allow students the opportunity to work together with their peers, stay in shape, and practice fundamental, sport-specific skills in a safe setting.
Maintaining a safe and healthy campus community and learning environment is Webb’s top priority. As such, we are committed to complying with government and agency mandates, employing best practices, making informed decisions, and establishing campus access and program controls in response to shifting local, national and global realities. Please review our New Health & Safety Protocols for the 2020-21 school year.
We look forward to the possibility of offering on-campus study groups starting March 1. We know our students have missed being on campus and need the opportunity to be supported with the challenges of distance learning, to be around their peers and have some time between class studying and being together.
Guided by L.A. County’s protocols for schools and our Medical Advisory Board, we believe we can host these groups safely. This will require, of course, your cooperation, and thus it is important that you read, understand and agree to the protocols below in advance of registering to participate. Please note that we continue to monitor community spread and will suspend plans for these activities if we do not feel it is safe to proceed.
Both on and off campus, all participating students and faculty/staff will need to follow the guidelines outlined in Webb’s Health and Safety Protocols.
1) All participants must complete a daily health assessment before entering campus and participating in activities.
2) Entrance and exit to campus will be monitored before and following study group arrival and departure for compliance with all health and safety protocols.
3) Students will remain in assigned cohorts of students and faculty/staff. Except when in individual study spaces, most of their time on campus will be spent outdoors.
4) All participants will be required to physically distance at all times, six feet or more, and also wear a mask unless alone in their assigned study room with the door closed or eating in a designated area.
5) Every participant, each student, faculty and staff member, must agree in writing by signing A Community Pledge, that they have read and understood and will abide by Webb’s Health and Safety Protocols.
In accordance with the Los Angeles County Public Health Department’s guidance for schools and HIPAA privacy rules, our nurses will follow established procedures for community notification. When the Health Center receives notification of a positive/suspected case of, or close contact to COVID-19 in our Webb community:
Notice is sent to any student/family who has been on campus during the same time frame as the infected person. This notice will share basic information, but not specific details, and will remind families that if their student had possibility of close contact (from contact tracing information), they will be notified separately.
For those on the same team/activity as the infected person but without close contact, nurses will send additional communication with instructions to monitor for emerging symptoms. This notice will share additional details about possible exposure.
Anyone identified as a close contact to an infected person will be contacted directly by a Webb nurse, instructed to contact their primary care physician, arrange for a PCR test and quarantine until negative results are received.
Webb is required to report any positive COVID-19 test to the Los Angeles County Public Health Department within one business day of being notified if the person had been at school any point in the 14 days prior to becoming ill.
No notice will be sent to students/families who have not been on campus.
As always, the Health Center team is here to support you – please reach out if you have any questions or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A major component of Webb’s program is hands-on learning. The faculty has created ways for students to participate in a range of hands-on experiences, even as they are learning from home. In science, for example, we are supporting and enabling student lab work at home, as well as using new online tools for science experimentation, including virtual reality labs.
Webb was already beginning to look at moving beyond its online class management system Haiku in the fall of 2019. A work group of the Academic Council identified new systems, as well as discussed pedagogical needs. The Canvas system stood out for several reasons. It is a robust system, while others like Google Classroom or Blackboard are designed mainly to offer assignment posting and a gradebook. Canvas, especially with the Canvas Studio extension we are implementing, offers powerful collaboration and communication tools that enable students and faculty to create robust content within the system. It also integrates well with other systems we use, such as Office 365, which is used for email and more. It has a terrific mobile app as well.
Screening testing is one key layer in Webb’s comprehensive health and safety plan. We will test members of the community (students and adults) participating in on-campus programming using Abbot’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen testing. This test takes about two minutes to perform, utilizes an anterior nose swab administered by a medical professional and gives results within 15 minutes. More information on this product can be found at https://www.fda.gov/media/141569/download.
It is important to note that, while the BinaxNOW test has high accuracy rates, this or any antigen test typically cannot detect lower levels of virus and therefore may yield a false-negative result. This is one reason why the cadence and frequency of testing is important. As with any diagnostic test, the BinaxNOW may yield a false-positive result; this is why PCR testing, which is highly sensitive, is used to verify results. Still, research shows that the ability to test frequently, with immediate results, is key to controlling virus spread. Screening testing is just another layer of protection for our community, in addition to daily health assessment (Passport), mask-wearing, physical distancing, hand-washing and special cleaning protocols — all are needed to keep our community healthy.
Following best practices and the advice of our Medical Advisory Board, Webb’s Health Center professionals have created a community testing schedule, and the frequency of tests (once or twice per week) will typically depend on the number of days per week a person is on campus. Please know that, depending on the health needs of the community, the testing cadence may be altered at any time without notice.
Any member of the community who tests positive to the antigen test will be taken to our COVID isolation area. One of Webb’s RNs will assess symptoms, ask contact-tracing questions, administer a PCR test and contact parents to take their child home. You will also receive instructions to contact your primary care physician and to isolate at home pending the PCR test result. Webb’s nurses will stay in contact with you throughout the testing, isolation and ultimate return to campus process.
With most schools in our state online, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) pushed back the start of high school sports and merged the traditional three seasons into two. It is our hope athletic practices could start in some way this spring, as public health protocols allow. Webb will keep students and families posted on developments as they occur. The two new season year are:
Fall (December – February): VWS Cross Country, WSC Cross Country, Football, VWS Volleyball, WSC Volleyball, VWS Water Polo, WSC Water Polo
Spring (March – June): Badminton, VWS Basketball, WSC Basketball, VWS Golf, WSC Golf, VWS Soccer, WSC Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Diving, VWS Tennis, WSC Tennis, Track & Field, Wrestling
Webb will be shifting its daily schedule to support the new Hybrid Learning Model and to respond to recommendations from its medical advisory board for each time module. In the month before each time module, students will work with a personalized learning plan coordinator who will help them map out their daily schedule. The sample “day in the life” models in the Hybrid Learning Model publication will give you an idea of the full and exciting days ahead.
Our college guidance experts will continue to work closely with admission offices in the most selective colleges and universities in the country and around the world. Our highly individualized four-year college guidance program is well structured to meet the evolving needs of students and families as they progress through Webb’s program. The new year will include additional online/virtual programming with Webb students, staff and college representatives around the country.
Yes, we will be adding additional resources in this area for the coming school year. Webb’s support is multi-layered and includes the Health Center, mental health counselors, peer advisors, lead class advisors and other trained faculty and staff. In addition, personal learning plan coordinators will take an active role in monitoring and assessing each student’s progress and needs in this area.
Depending on virus threat levels at the time Webb opens its campus to boarding students, our Medical Advisory Board, on the advice of local health agencies, may require us to accommodate students in single rooms. Webb will strive to accommodate our students on campus to the best of our abilities within these constraints and will work with families to find local accommodations within commuting distance of campus.
Most international families access medical health insurance through the Clifford Allan program with United Health Care. Please contact our Health Center at 909-482-52053 for more information on costs and coverage.
Webb confirmed that this policy does cover COVID-related illness (treatment and symptomatic testing). We’ve also confirmed that the policy is, as always, active anywhere outside the student’s home country. But in addition, the policy will also be in force in the student’s home country at least through December 31; this timeframe could be extended by the insurance commission depending on the pandemic situation.
Parents are advised to compare this program with other home-country options to determine which provides the best coverage. In general, purchasing the 10- and 12-month plans are a better value; this decision should have been made by mid-September.
The goal is to accommodate every student when they are ready and able to return to campus — not on a first-come, first-served basis. Webb has enough dorm beds to serve its boarding student population — it has not and will not over-enroll the boarding program.
Webb will continue to offer unique and engaging afternoon activities through our on-campus and online programs. Signature programs include robotics, debate, museum studies and more. Our hybrid model will enable us to offer afternoon activities in some new and exciting ways.
We are working with all of our international students to help them navigate the issues surrounding their student visas and travel restrictions. Our hybrid educational model will allow all Webb students to start the new school year on time, whether or not their return to campus is delayed. If international students are unable to travel to campus by the start of the school year, they will begin the year using our online program and transition to our in-person program when travel is possible.
The college guidance office maintains continuous contact with admission offices at the nation’s top colleges and universities across the country and around the world. As admission reps this fall work to reorder their plans for student recruitment, they will be in communication with Webb’s college guidance office. Colleges and universities know Webb’s program well and will continue to rely on us to educate stellar graduates to join their campuses. This important work will continue in 2020-21 and beyond.
We know that physical connection and proximity is important to how students interact with each other. With that said, we also know that physical distancing is extremely effective in stopping the spread of the virus. We will be working to educate students on the most up-to-date health protocols and the scientific reasoning behind them. We will expect everyone in the community to abide by our New Health & Safety Protocols, just as we expect them to follow other community norms.
the Webb Community
Current Campus Restrictions
We are restricting public access to The Webb Schools at this time.
For members of the community, their guests and approved vendors:
DO NOT ENTER campus if you have the following symptoms: fever, cough, or respiratory difficulties;
DO NOT ENTER campus if you have recently traveled to/from an area with an outbreak of COVID-19, or have been in contact with someone who has;
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately upon entering the campus;
Only current students, employees and approved vendors are allowed anywhere on campus.