UA Schools Responsible Restart Plan

Responsible Restart logoThroughout the summer, the Upper Arlington Schools team worked to consider several different scenarios for how we would be starting the school year and the different learning models we may need as long as COVID-19 remains a concern. Families, students and staff members shared their thoughts through multiple surveys and focus groups — totaling more than 12,000 touchpoints in all. Their feedback informed the planning for the 2020-2021 school year and any future distance learning needs.

The result of all of this feedback and work is the Upper Arlington Schools Responsible Restart Plan, which was originally approved by the Board of Education on July 31, 2020, and updated in February 2021. This plan details two pathways for students for the 2020-2021 school year and numerous health and safety measures that will be implemented to deliver in-person learning. 

Learning pathways for the 2020-2021 school year
The school-based pathway offers three learning models that may be implemented at any time depending on the current situation with COVID-19: the Enhanced Hybrid model, which combines in-person and remote learning, and the Enhanced Distance Learning model. The goal of our Responsible Restart Plan continues to be a return to All Students, Every Day when it is safe to do so.

The UA Online Academy pathway is a K-12 fully online learning alternative to the school-based learning pathway during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Online Academy gives parents an option for their students to learn at home with a curriculum specifically created for online education and fully guided, monitored and supported by Upper Arlington teachers.

Our current learning model

The Board of Education has set the date of Monday, March 1 for a transition to all-in learning for students in the school-based pathway in all grades - K through 12.  Beginning the week of March 1, all students on the school-based pathway will attend school in person, Monday through Friday. 

Our schools will have several health and safety protocols in place for all-in learning, including:

  • Face masks for students and staff - no gaiters.

  • Physical distancing of 3 feet in as many classroom environments as possible. 

  • Physical distancing of 6 feet at lunch, by using spaces throughout the school with precautions for food allergies in place in all spaces. Parents/guardians who wish to have their students eat lunch at home have the option of picking up and dropping off their children.

  • Frequent hand-washing and sanitizing throughout the day and extensive cleaning after each school day 

  • Additional environmental controls such as air purifiers in larger common spaces, especially spaces where students will be eating lunch, and photohydroionization (PHI) units in HVAC systems where applicable. (You can click here for a video explaining this technology and how it is being used at COSI.) 

  • Block scheduling at the middle school and high school level to reduce classroom transitions.

  • Continued case investigation and contract tracing of every student and staff case

To learn more about all-in learning, you can watch our February 22 family webinar on all-in learning on our YouTube channel, or view the presentation here. You can also see answers to some frequently asked questions on our website.

We will continue to closely monitor both Upper Arlington health data as well as what’s happening in the county and around the state, and we will continue to re-evaluate based on evolving conditions, data about the status of the pandemic, and recommendations and guidance from public health authorities and the scientific community.

Important COVID-19 Updates


Governor DeWine's Statement on Masking for Schools (May 15, 2021) — The Ohio Department of Education issued the following bulletin from Governor Mike DeWine: "Thank you for your hard work this year to provide safe and healthy in-person educational opportunities to Ohio’s students. As you may have seen, the Centers for Disease Control recently revised their recommendations around mask guidance for individuals who are fully vaccinated. While Ohio will be amending its health orders to comply with this new CDC guidance, in order to maintain consistency and model safe behavior for Ohio’s students, these changes do not affect the existing order requiring the use of facial coverings and other health protocols in our schools. With limited numbers of students vaccinated, it is important that we continue these safety measures through the end of the current school year. I appreciate the efforts that you have undertaken locally to protect students and I look forward to continuing to work together for Ohio’s kids."

Franklin County Public Health COVID-19 School Guidance (updated April 5, 2021) — This document serves as a comprehensive guidance document for schools in Franklin County, and it includes updated quarantine guidance for school settings.

Ohio Department of Health Addendum on Quarantine Guidance for Sports and Extracurricular Activities (March 15, 2021) — This document updates quarantine guidance for students regarding  athletics and extracurricular activities.

Franklin County Public Health COVID-19 School Guidance on Positive Cases, Close Contacts and Quarantines (updated February 12, 2021)

Child In-Person Participation Algorithm (updated January 13, 2021) — This document offers guidance on when students should stay home from school and when they may return to school based on the symptoms they have.


Free COVID-19 rapid test kits are available for pick-up only from our school health offices for any family who wishes to test their child at home due to symptoms or quarantine. You can reach out to your school health office or our COVID nurse coordinator with your student’s test results and with questions about the kits.


Symptom checks for students and staff members are a crucial part of keeping our school communities - and our entire community - safe and healthy amid the pandemic. We ask that all students and families conduct self-checks for symptoms before you leave for school or the bus stop each day.

Before having your student enter a school building, please consider these three important self-screening questions. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, please keep your student home and consult with your family physician. 

  1. Has your student had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) with or without a mask in the last 14 days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or has any health department or health care provider advised the student to quarantine?

  2. Does your student have any symptoms related to COVID-19? Symptoms include: fever of 100.4ºF or higher, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore threat, new or worsened nasal congestion, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

  3. Has your student been diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days?

Please contact your school nurse if your student is experiencing symptoms, receives a positive test or has been exposed to COVID-19.  When reporting any absence to your school attendance office, please identify whether the absence is COVID-19 related.


Starting March 10, 2021, the Ohio Department of Health will no longer issue a travel advisory for those entering Ohio after traveling to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher. Instead, ODH is revising its travel guidance to encourage Ohioans to carefully review Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance when considering travel:

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