UPDATE, 3/17/2020: Wellesley’s Town Election has been postponed from Tuesday, March 17, 2020 to a date to be determined, but on or before June 30, 2020.
From the town of Wellesley:
Based on the evolving conditions associated with the COVID-19 outbreak occurring throughout the state and in our community, the Wellesley Public Schools (WPS), in consultation with Town leaders, has made the decision to close beginning tomorrow, Friday, March 13, 2020. As the situation remains fluid, WPS anticipates remaining closed for approximately two weeks, however, this may change based on direction from state and local health officials.
All students will be dismissed at the end of the day, today, Thursday, March 12.
Over the next few days, WPS administrators will work collaboratively with the Wellesley Teachers’ Association to finalize plans for remote learning. The district will use their four remaining “snow days” to prepare for this transition. We will update staff and families in the coming days with additional information about these plans.
We realize this decision has a significant impact and far-reaching ramifications for our community and understand the disappointment, frustration and uncertainty that is created. However, we believe these steps are necessary given the current realities.
The Wellesley Health Department (WHD) urgently reminds all parents and children that it is imperative to follow protocols for personal protection for prevention, as well as to lower risk of transmission of illness to others. Please remember the importance of social and personal distancing; avoid large gatherings; and do not congregate in areas.
Currently the Wellesley Free Libraries (WFL) are open; however, all programs and activities are suspended. Please remember that while schools are closed, the WFL cannot act in loco parentis and is not a place to drop kids off for extended periods of time. When visiting any Library buildings children should be accompanied by adult caregivers, limit the time of the visit and restrict use of public computers.
To protect senior citizens in our community, effective on Friday, March 13, the Tolles Parsons Center will be closing for a minimum of two weeks, and all Council on Aging (COA) programs and activities, including the lunch program, will be suspended. COA staff will be available to provide critical support services to residents. In addition, the COA bus service will be running on a restricted basis. Please contact the COA for assistance at 781-235-3961.
We are urging our senior citizen population to continue to be vigilant, avoid large gatherings, practice social distancing and good hygiene, and to stay home as much as possible to limit exposure to Coronavirus.
Working closely with the WHD, the Recreation Department will be modifying, postponing, and/or canceling future programs and/or large gatherings. For Recreation programs that ARE NOT CANCELED, participants can expect to receive emails regarding information reducing the risk of COVID – 19. A daily of list of program offerings and cancellations can be found at www.wellesleyrec.org
ask for your flexibility, support and understanding as we work to best address the needs of our entire community at this difficult time.
Please continue to visit our Coronavirus Information website for updated information: www.wellesleyma.gov/coronavirusinfo
And this addendum:
Dear WPS Families,
We recognize that today’s school closure announcement may be create a child care challenge for some families tomorrow. We have worked with the Wellesley Recreation Department to create a no-cost option for K-5 families for tomorrow only at the Warren Building from 8:30AM-3:05PM. Lunch will be included and availability is limited to just under 50 students. Please visit https://webtrac.
More COVID-19 news
- The Wellesley Town Election is still on for Tuesday, March 17. You’re encouraged to bring your own black pen to mark your ballot.
- A run on paper products…
- Kidville in Wellesley, which follows Wellesley school district protocols, is closing on March 13 for what it expects will be about 2 weeks. Stay tuned here.
- One place those kids who suddenly find themselves school-less won’t be heading immediately is Truly Yogurt. Owner Steve Marcus wrote: “I wanted to let you know that we’ve decided to close Truly Yogurt starting tomorrow until further notice. Our employees (mostly Wellesley and Needham teen-aged staff) serve hundreds of customers daily and we think it prudent to align with Wellesley public school’s decision to limit gatherings for at least the next 2 weeks.”
- UU Wellesley Hills will close its church campus to the public starting Sunday, March 15th, 5:30pm for “a couple of weeks, at least.” The last regular service in the sanctuary will be the Sunday, March 15th, 10:30am. The iconic stone church in Wellesley Hills has also cancelled its annual Rummage Sale, originally scheduled to run on March 28th.
- The Wellesley Multicultural Festival, organized in partnership with PAWS, Hardy, Hunnewell, Schofield, Sprague, Fiske, Bates and Upham elementary schools and Wellesley Middle and High Schools, scheduled for April 3, has been cancelled.
- From The New Yorker, Wellesley College English professor Dan Chiasson: The Coronavirus and the Ruptured Narrative of Campus Life
- Lots of deep cleaning going on in town. Among those with signs about this on their storefronts: Russian School of Mathematics in Wellesley, which closed March 13/14.