PLANNING FOR THE EVENTUAL REOPENING OF SCHOOL
We would like to update you with our planning for the eventual full or partial reopening of our schools this fall. Specifics about the exact date or the rules under which we will be able to return to school are still being formulated at the State level, but we are getting enough information that we feel reasonably confident in sharing our preliminary plans.
We believe that there will be three levels to manage the phased reopening of our schools and we have decided to refer to them as the Red, Yellow and Green levels. Moving through these levels will be guided by the transmission rate of COVID19 in Fairfield County. As the infection rate goes down in the county, we anticipate being able to move from the Red Level to the Yellow Level and eventually to the Green Level. If, on the other hand, the county infection rate increases at a significant level or if we have a confirmed case of the virus in our school, then we would move from Yellow back to a Red for a period of time.
The Red and Green levels are easiest to define.
A Green Level would be the full opening of school with very few or any restrictions or accommodations to address the spread of COVID 19. It is our thought that this level can only be achieved if there is a medical solution, such as in the form of a COVID19 vaccine or widely administered testing for immunity to the virus.
The Red Level would be in the form of an Executive Order declared by the Governor or the Ohio Department of Health restricting and preventing students from entering the schools. The Red Level is how we ended our school year. Our students would stay at home and our teachers would use our virtual online platform to deliver instructional programming.
The Yellow Level would be a partial reopening of schools. We anticipate that we will be required to make a daily health assessment, take temperatures daily of our students and staff, maintain social distancing at 6 foot, and wear masks. The social distancing requirement will cut our capacity in the classroom and on the school buses by about 50 percent.
Currently, the capacity levels on our school buses will be one student to a seat or less to accommodate the social distancing requirement. In addition, buses will be disinfected at the end of each route with a quick drying sprayed-on disinfectant.
The school district will be divided into two transportation regions, Region One and Region Two. Please keep this concept in mind as you read about and consider Options A and B below. Those students living in Region One would be transported to attend school together on their designated days and those students living in Region Two would be transported to attend school together on their designated days. This strategy will allow families to have their children attend school on the same designated days.
Given these parameters, only half of the students will be able to come to school on any given day. We are currently proposing three possible options to support a Yellow Level educational program. As you consider these options please know that if a family does not feel comfortable sending their children to school during the partial reopening, the student’s absence will be excused the student will be supported with instruction using our virtual educational system.
The options include:
Option A: About half of the students would attend at the elementary, middle, and high school on Monday and Tuesday and the other half of the students on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday would be reserved to allow support staff to complete deep cleaning and sanitizing of the schools between sessions. Teachers would still use Wednesday to support students virtually as students stay at home to complete their weekly lessons.
Option B: About half of the students would attend school on alternating days with half of the students coming to school on Monday and Wednesday and the other half of the students attending school on Tuesday and Thursday. In addition to daily sanitizing, Friday would be used to deep clean and sanitize the school by the support staff. Teachers would still use Friday to support students virtually as students stay at home to complete their weekly lessons.
Option C: Students in Kindergarten through 4th grade would attend school every day. Teachers and students would be assigned to classroom space in the elementary and the middle school buildings to accommodate small class size and while meeting the social distancing requirements. Students in grades 5 through 12 would be supported at home with virtual instruction by teachers assigned to them. The thought here is that younger students need more support and structured instruction and older students have sufficient basic skills to be successful in the virtual learning environment.
We would like your feedback and have provided a survey link to obtain your feedback and comment. Thank you in advance for your assistance. We will use the information to modify our plans to best serve our students while meeting the anticipated requirement for school health and safety.
CLICK HERE FOR SURVEY