Old Trail to Welcome Students Back for In-Person Learning

Head of School Sarah Johnston announced Wednesday the school's decision to proceed with in-person learning for the start of the 2020-21 academic year.
Families, who elect to do so, may send their children to attend in-person classes, five days a week this fall. OTS will continue to offer a robust distance learning option for families who are uncomfortable with their children returning to campus for any reason. The first day of school with all students back on campus will be Thursday, September 3. 

"Close personal relationships are at the heart of what we do at Old Trail and it has always been our goal for students to return to campus when we felt it was safe to do so," Mrs. Johnston wrote in a letter to the OTS community. "As a small school with ample space, coupled with many new health and safety policies and procedures, we believe we meet the criteria of implementing 'extreme precautions' as defined by Summit County Public Health (SCPH) in order to open our doors for in-person learning."

Old Trail's Return to Campus and Distance Learning plans were shared with families this summer. Both were vetted thoroughly by SCPH as well as the school's Advisory Committee, which included two pediatricians, a physician and board members with a broad range of experiences and backgrounds. 

Old Trail School, which is celebrating its 100th year as an institution, sits on a 62-acre campus located in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. New policies include a mask mandate for all students and employees in the building, reconstructed and repurposed classrooms to allow for proper social distancing, regularly scheduled hand-hygiene breaks, enhanced practices for the cleaning of surfaces, and the utilization of outdoor spaces and tents for learning, socialization and dining when possible. The school's HVAC system has also been upgraded to provide the highest possible air quality in the building.  

"While no environment will be risk-free during this pandemic, we remain confident in our ability to create an environment where risk is minimized for students, faculty and staff," Mrs. Johnston continued. 

For more information about the new health and safety policies and procedures in place for the 2020-21 school year, please visit our Return to Campus webpage or email us at admission@oldtrail.org.

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Old Trail School is an independent day school (toddler through grade eight) located in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.