COVID-19 Updates

Centreville Layton School is dedicated to the safety and well-being of our students and our faculty and staff. During this unprecedented time, we will make it our priority to communicate any changes to our COVID-19 action plan. You can find all of our updated communication below.

July 31, 2020
Dear Parents,
I hope you and yours are well and doing your best to keep cool as we approach the end of this steamy month of July.  I am pleased to share this update from Centreville Layton School’s Reopening Committee regarding our plan and protocols to date for reopening this fall.  Our plan thus far was developed in accordance with the state’s reopening guidelines and within its three school reopening scenarios.  To refresh your memory, the scenarios put forth by Governor Carney and Secretary of the Department of Education (DOE), Dr. Susan Bunting, are:
  • Scenario 1 – GREEN – Minimal Community Spread – Few cases with minimal increases. Low percent positive cases. Low numbers of hospitalizations. Schools are open for in-person instruction.
  • Scenario 2 –YELLOW- Minimal to Moderate Community Spread – Moderate levels of community spread. Moderate percent of increased cases, percent positive and hospitalizations.  Schools may use a hybrid model of remote learning and in-person learning options with precautions in place
  • Scenario 3 – RED – Significant increase in cases, percent positive and hospitalizations.  School buildings are closed – remote learning only

Governor Carney’s School Reopening Task Force guidelines can be found by clicking here.

During a conference call with independent school leaders Wednesday, Governor Carney stated that, “…unless the situation were to dramatically change, I do not foresee issuing any order for schools not to reopen.” While this is encouraging, the Governor has not rendered his final decision regarding the scenario under which schools will reopen.  Per his statement, however, we have been/are planning for the in-person and remote option reopening scenario – YELLOW.

Centreville Layton’s Reopening Committee, made up of faculty and administration, has been working diligently and thoughtfully to develop plans for our safe return to campus. We have been guided by public health data/information, recommendations from local, state, and federal agencies, and the unflagging dedication to our students and faculty to provide a safe and healthy learning environment and the best possible learning experience for our students this fall. Along with these organizations we have received expert guidance and support from Delaware’s Department of Public Health’s (DPH) independent school liaison.

By clicking here you will be redirected to the CLS reopening plan framework for the 20-21 school year.  If you have any questions please feel free to call or email. I will be delivering updates as we continue to plan for the very safest return to school.


Bart Reese

July 16th, 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope you and yours are healthy and happy and that you’ve been able to enjoy the summer so far.  As I’ve alluded to in several previous emails, I appreciate and respect your fortitude through this health crisis and your patience with us as we navigate it together.

As of today, we are just under eight weeks away from the start of the 2020-2021 school year. And, I am happy to report that yesterday afternoon Governor Carney and Dr. Susan Bunting, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) introduced DE School’s Reopening plan.

Governor Carney and Dr. Bunting proposed three reopening scenarios, based on the level of COVID-19’s community spread. As you can see from the information below, each scenario, for which we have begun developing protocols, requires different instruction modes. Governor Carney informed us that we would know by “early August” which scenario will be in place for DE schools to start the year.

  • Scenario 1 – GREEN – Minimal Community Spread – Few cases with minimal increases. Low percent positive cases. Low numbers of hospitalizations. Schools are open for in-person instruction.
  • Scenario 2 –YELLOW- Minimal to Moderate Community Spread – Moderate levels of community spread. Moderate percent of increased cases, percent positive and hospitalizations.  Schools may use a hybrid model of remote learning and in-person learning options with precautions in place
  • Scenario 3 – RED – Significant increase in cases, percent positive and hospitalizations.  School buildings are closed – remote learning only
Now that we have the state’s guidelines, the CLS Re-Opening Committee can move forward in earnest in developing our plan.   As we do so, and in anticipation (hope) of opening under scenario 1 or 2, our work moving forward will be based on the following guiding principles –
  1. We understand how difficult these past few months have been and the next few months might be (hopefully not too much longer).  We understand that you are making difficult decisions/choices for your family in these uncertain times and we support you.
  2. With the students’ and faculty’s health and welfare driving our efforts we will do all we can to safely deliver our in-person/”live”, student-centered, team supported academic and co-curricular programs.
  3. Keenly aware that we may have individuals unable to join our in-person program we will provide an at-home option.  While delivered by way of an alternate platform from the in-person program, we aim to  provide a dynamic, meaningful and stimulating learning experience.
As we continue to refine the details of our plan regarding – Health and Safety, Program: in-person and remote, Facilities and Operations – I will be in contact. If you have any questions please feel free to call or email.
Again, thank you for your patience and support.  Please stay safe and healthy.
Bart Reese

July 2, 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope you are enjoying the first official days of summer and that you and yours are healthy and happy.  Our campus has never looked more beautiful and the new gymnasium and auditorium/multi-purpose space are almost completed.  All we need now are students!

To that end, we are so excited to be back on campus for in-person teaching/learning this fall  and we are working on a reopening plan to do so safely.  As I have stated on several occasions, the health and welfare of our students and faculty are of paramount importance and will drive every aspect of our reopening plan.

As I write this, Governor Carney is reviewing his Education Task Force’s recommendations for school re-openings this fall.  In anticipation of this report, the CLS leadership team has begun to develop its own general plan. Upon receiving the state’s official guidelines, we will begin to refine the details of our reopening plan and disseminate it promptly.

The key components to our general plan include protocols for:

  • Social Distancing
  • Facemask requirements
  • Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing
  • Hygiene
  • Health screening and monitoring
  • Visitors to campus

As we continue to develop our reopening plan, I ask you to continue to be cognizant of the fact that – as COVID-19 goes, so will the state’s guidelines and decisions (what’s in place today could look different tomorrow). That said, we are focused and planning for a safe reopening and transformative fall.


Bart Reese
May 19th, 2020

Dear Centreville Layton families, 

I hope this note finds you and yours in good health and that you are coping as well as you can during the ongoing health crisis. While I’m sure this news will come as no surprise, as Phase 1 of  Governor Carney’s plan for re-opening the state of Delaware does not include schools, we will deliver our summer program using our continuous learning platform.  

Our community’s health and security, as well as the academic and emotional development of our students, remains our highest priority.  Because of this,  the leadership team and I will spend this summer concentrating on plans to transition our students and teachers safely back to campus in preparation to begin classes in the fall. Operating remotely for the summer program is a component to ensuring this transition.  

To that end, the summer program faculty is fully prepared and committed to providing instruction, structure and engagement through our continuous learning format.   The summer program version will closely resemble that of the CLS school year program.  Our Summer Program Director will be communicating details in the coming days.

As I know you do, we remain hopeful that at one point soon we will be able to reinstate our in-person program and welcome students and their families back to campus.  Until then be safe and stay healthy.  

Bart Reese
April 25th, 2020
Dear Centreville Layton Families,
I hope this note finds you in good health and that you are coping as well as you can during the ongoing health crisis facing our nation.  While I’m sure not surprising, the following is not the information I wanted to be sharing with you today.  Due to the continued health threat of COVID-19, yesterday Gov. John Carney extended the Stay-at-Home order for some businesses in Delaware. Schools are among those businesses and will remain closed for students through the end of this academic year.


This is extremely disappointing news and certainly not what any of us wanted to hear.  And, while we understand the decision was made to ensure the safety of students, staff, and families, it doesn’t make it any easier to digest. This news presents yet another test of our fortitude and attitude.  I have been incredibly appreciative of your patience, flexibility and support during this situation thus far, and, faced with this news, thank you in advance for your continued positivity and understanding.


As we surmised this could/would be the likely outcome, the faculty is fully prepared and remains committed to continuing to provide instruction, structure and engagement through our distance teaching-learning program through the end of the school year.  As has been the case since we started the distance program, any appropriate tweaks will be communicated by our level heads.  To that end, clearly, there will be changes (rescheduling and postponements) to spring traditions and calendar events (art show, field day, prom, graduation, etc.).  We will also have to schedule dates/times for students and families to return to campus to retrieve items they may have left at school before we dismissed for spring break.  These details, as well, will be communicated by Debbie Maguire and Rich Taubar in the coming days.


I honestly cannot believe that Centreville Layton School will not assemble face-to-face again this year.  I speak for the entire faculty and staff in sharing that we deeply miss your children and are beyond disappointed that we will not be able to connect and work with them again in person this spring.
We will be in touch with you promptly regarding the above mentioned calendar shifts and changes. Until then be safe and stay healthy.

Be well,


March 31, 2020


As we make our final preparations and embark on our distance teaching-learning program, I wanted to send you another quick note to thank you again for your patience and support thus far as the COVID-19 crisis has evolved.  I/we truly appreciate your agility and flexibility with us as the rules and the timeline of the situation pertaining to Centreville Layton have changed wholly and swiftly. 

My message for you today is simple – we are ready for tomorrow.  Through the hard work of our level heads, the cooperative efforts (multiple remote meetings) of our faculty and staff, the numerous resources and articles reviewed regarding executing distance learning programs, and the anecdotal accounts shared with us by teachers and administrators already teaching remotely in our sister and brother schools, we are confident in our program and excited to re-engage with your sons and daughters.

For sure this will be an adjustment for all.  As we go live with our distance teaching-learning tomorrow morning, I ask that you, again, exercise your amazing patience, flexibility and support. And recognize that, in addition to continuing with class and course work, our goals are to provide structure and routine, as well as opportunities for engagement with teachers and classmates.   

In this unprecedented time in our school’s history, the very basic tenets by which Centreville Layton were established and upon which our mission is based – work hard; be resilient; take on obstacles and meet them head on – are being tested.  I am confident that, as they do each day at Centreville Layton School, our students and faculty will passionately and enthusiastically meet these challenges.  

Please do not hesitate to connect with us as we move forward.  Your feedback will be greatly appreciated. 

Be well,


March 24, 2020


A quick note to give you the latest on the COVID-19 situation as it pertains to CLS.  As I’m sure you are aware, yesterday Governor Carney issued a Stay-at-Home order for “non-essential” businesses/workers in Delaware through May 15th (or until lifted).  While it sounds oxymoronic to refer to a school as a “non-essential business,” I/we fully understand why we are on the list. The order mandates that no students, families or visitors are permitted on campus until the order is lifted. The order does, however,  permit our teachers – “personnel necessary to support distance learning” – on the premises. They may use their classrooms as their base of operations for distance teaching-learning should they choose to do so.

While the new Stay-at-Home order does not have any bearing on our plan to transition to distance teaching-learning (we were ready to start next week), it does affect the scope and duration. We had a sense this was going to go longer and we’re making adjustments for the new timeline.  As promised Rich and Debbie will be rolling out the guidelines and details of the distance teaching-learning program in the next day or two.

For sure I will be in touch,

Bart Reese

March 20, 2020


I hope this note finds you and yours safe and healthy, and that you have been able to make the best of the current situation and enjoy family time. I am reaching out to you today to address the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation and to inform you of the measures Centreville Layton School will be taking moving forward.

As I’ve stated in all of my correspondences thus far, your children’s health and welfare is our number one concern. Taking into consideration the recent updates by the CDC and World Health Organization, as well as the Governor’s updated state of emergency and restrictions on gatherings larger than 10 individuals, we have decided to temporarily close school and activate our distance teaching-learning plan.

We will transition to distance teaching-learning starting March 30th for teachers and April 1st for students. As of now, we expect distance teaching-learning to continue through Friday, April 10th (previously scheduled as a day off, we will recapture April 10th as a school day). Level heads and I will be in touch frequently and will notify you if we need to extend the distance teaching-learning program.

Each division level will use customized strategies and resources appropriate to its program and age/ability group. While Debbie and Rich will share the guidelines and expectations for their respective distance teaching-learning programs, the overall schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, March 30 & Tuesday, March 31, 2020: Teachers meet (remotely) for final preparations for distance teaching-learning
  • Wednesday, April 1, 2020: Distance teaching-learning begins
  • Friday, April 10, 2020: Distance teaching-learning ends (unless extended)
  • Monday, April 13, 2020: Campus reopens (unless distance teaching-learning is extended)
Athletics and Extracurricular Activities 

Athletics and extracurricular activities are postponed until further notice.

It is our hope to hold as many of our traditions/events as we can – Art Show, Prom, Lower School Concert, Field Day, Commencement – by rescheduling or other means (virtual gatherings). Stay tuned for more information.

Campus Restrictions/Social Distancing 

The campus is closed to students and  families. Unless otherwise mandated by local, state, or federal agencies, faculty and staff will be permitted to use their classrooms during the distance teaching/learning program. We ask all of our community members to adhere to the CDC guidelines for social distancing as well as self isolating, especially if you or your family traveled over spring break.

Campus Cleaning and Disinfecting

Over spring break our cleaning service provided us augmented cleaning and disinfecting services in all classrooms, bathrooms and gathering spaces. Additionally, we had the carpets cleaned and disinfected in the hallways.

No Current Case of COVID-19 and What Happens If This Changes

At this time, we are not aware of COVID-19 cases within the Centreville Layton community of students, families, faculty, and staff. Should this situation change, we will work with the Delaware Division of Public Health to share appropriate information. If you, your child, or members of your immediate family test positive for COVID-19, we ask that you contact our school nurse, Regina Bryant, by email.

Things to Remember

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I will take this opportunity to again remind you of important precautions to avoid all illnesses as issued by the CDC:
  • Avoid close contact Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and COVID-19, are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
  • Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
  • Heed the experts. Encourage your family to follow recommendations regarding traveling and social distancing and to stay abreast of the information being released by health organizations and officials from governmental agencies
Continued Student Care and Support

We recognize that the COVID-19 situation and the actions Centreville Layton has implemented may take an emotional toll on some of our students and families. Dr. Dostillio will be scheduling times for students and families to meet remotely. He will also be offering resources and pointers to parents for answering children’s questions and/or discussing their feelings.

While the situation we are facing presents challenges unlike any in Centreville Layton School history, my confidence and trust in the faculty and staff has never been stronger. They are a collection of the most talented and dedicated professionals and are ready to deliver. They have already dedicated a great deal of time and energy into developing and implementing the very best experience for your sons and daughters under these extraordinary circumstances.

As we move forward with our distance teaching-learning program, please know that these are uncharted waters. As we proceed with our plan and adjust to this temporary change, your continued patience and support will be greatly appreciated. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Be well,
Bart Reese

March 13, 2020


I will start by thanking you all for continuing to support our efforts at CLS and for entrusting your children to us each day.  In light of the current health situation facing us all, I’m sure your trust has been tested to an even greater degree.  As I’ve stated via letter within the last 10 days, we take the academic and socio-emotional growth of your children very seriously and that their health and welfare is of the utmost importance to us.

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to rapidly evolve and the magnitude of the situation seems more confusing and unclear, the probability of closing school for a period of time is becoming a question of when or for how long as opposed to if it could happen. I met with the leadership team this morning to discuss how to best stay ahead of (or at the least in step with) this phenomenon.  To provide the faculty uninterrupted time to devote to continuing to strengthen and thus deliver the most effective distance learning experience, we have decided to close school tomorrow – Friday, March 13.  While this starts our spring recess a day early for students, it will enable our faculty to get best prepared.

As a result, work that we have already prepared for students to take home over break along with any technology that was to go home over the break will go home with them today.   While we continue to hold out hope that the next two weeks will create a serious slowing of the spread of COVID-19 and that we are able to return to school as planned, we need to be best prepared for the alternative.

I appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation and continue to work hard to best serve your children.


Bart Reese

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The difference is clear

Our son learned the valuable skills of teamwork, patience and perseverance during his time at Centreville Layton as well as the academic strategies to move forward into a typical high school setting. Centreville Layton strikes a great balance of family-like warmth and discipline in a beautiful country setting.

Jan B.
Former Parent

This past year has been completely transformational for our daughter and her positive strides have been noticeable both at home and at school. She is growing into the best version of herself and her teachers at CLS have played a significant role in her progress.

Michelle L.
Middle School parent

This year, I’ve learned to understand that acceptance is greatly appreciated but difficult to find. Compared to where I came from, CLS houses some of the most accepting people that I’ve ever met. I am thankful for every little act of kindness shown towards me or even towards another student. They have not gone unnoticed.


We’re prepared for this because we’ve learned how to work hard, solve problems, be independent, happy, responsible and kind to all.


The support from my teachers taught me not just reading and writing, but to embrace who I am, to learn from my mistakes and grow because of them.