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 approved by the Board of Education on July 31, 2020. 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. 

Two pathways for 2020-2021 school year
The school-based pathway offers two models that may be implemented at any time depending on the current situation with COVID-19: the 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.

Based on the current COVID-19 situation and public health guidance, our current educational delivery model for K-12 students in the school-based pathway is Hybrid learning. 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.

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. As of September, Online Academy enrollment is closed for the fall and will reopen in November for students to transition after winter break.

Updated Learning Mode Guidance


Since the fall of 2020, Upper Arlington Schools has been working closely with a Medical Advisory Team to monitor both Upper Arlington health data as well as what’s happening in the county and around the state. These local experts in public health, infectious diseases and the mental health of school-age children are continuing to review and share new and emerging research and information about COVID-19 in schools and the community. 

As new information emerges, the Medical Advisory Team will continue to update its guidance for the district as the pandemic continues. Their latest learning mode guidance - approved by the Board of Education on January 12, 2021 - is simply a guide for the Board of Education to consider the continuation of education in a particular learning mode or transition to a different learning mode. This new guidance replaces the matrices previously approved by the Board of Education in 2020.

The guidance is informed by localized data from within the Upper Arlington attendance area through a pilot project with the Ohio State University College of Public Health. The COVID-19 Analytics and Targeted Surveillance (CATS) project provides local school districts with more specific data on what is happening within a school district’s attendance area. This gives our district yet another layer of information that will help the Upper Arlington Board of Education make the best decisions possible as we move forward in the pandemic. 

Upper Arlington Schools and the Medical Advisory Team will continue to monitor preliminary local health data and adjust their recommendations based on updated information and data.

Current learning mode - enhanced hybrid learning

Students in the school-based pathway will be returning to school in the enhanced hybrid learning model beginning on Tuesday, January 5. 

The enhanced hybrid learning model, approved by the Board of Education in November, will provide every school-based student with three full days of structured and teacher-guided learning every week. The primary difference is that most Wednesdays will be enhanced distance learning days for both hybrid groups. Hybrid group 1 students will continue to have in-person learning on Mondays and Tuesdays, and hybrid group 2 students will continue to have in-person learning on Thursdays and Fridays. Students will continue with independent remote learning on the other days of the week when they aren’t in school in person.

New hybrid learning schedule

Mondays and Tuesdays: 

Hybrid Group 1 - in school in person

Hybrid Group 2 - independent remote learning


Enhanced distance learning for all students in the school-based pathway (Hybrid Group 1 and Hybrid Group 2)

Thursdays and Fridays:

Hybrid Group 1 - independent remote learning

Hybrid Group 2 - in school in person

If we have a four day school week, the schedule might look a little different. This is so we can balance the in-person learning days for both hybrid groups. 

We have updated the hybrid learning schedule calendar to balance the in-person learning days for each group. This planning tool reflects the hybrid group schedule for in-person and remote learning days that will be used when the district is in the hybrid learning mode. Learning modes are likely to change throughout the year.

Important COVID-19 Updates


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?

This document (UPDATED September 28, 2020) from public health officials offers guidance on when students should stay home from school and when they may return to school. You may review these additional resources from Franklin County Public Health that answer some common questions:

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.


Please be aware of the following guidance:

  • Franklin County Public Health and Columbus Public Health have issued at Stay at Home Advisory. For more information, please click here.

  • If you are leaving the state of Ohio and traveling within the United States, please check to see if your destination is on Ohio's COVID-19 Travel Advisory list. It is advised that anyone entering Ohio from a state with a high incidence of COVID-19 quarantine for 14 days from the time they left that state. The list of states is updated every Wednesday. Please note that if the state you have traveled to is added to the list while you are there, it is advised that your student quarantine for 14 days before returning to school. 

  • If you are planning to travel outside the country, please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for recommendations by country.

View text-based website