As local school districts begin to reopen for the 2020-21 year, school officials continue to update their reopening plans.
All five local public school districts — Bright Local, Fairfield Local, Greenfield Exempted Village, Hillsboro City and Lynchburg-Clay Local — now require that all K-12 students wear masks.
The following are highlights from local schools’ reopening plans:
The 2020-21 school year begins on Wednesday, Aug. 19 for Bright Local students, who will attend classes in person five days a week.
According to the district’s updated reopening plan, all staff members and K-12 students must wear face coverings while on buses or entering, exiting or moving throughout the building or classrooms.
Other highlights from the Bright Local’s updated plan include:
* Parents and guardians should conduct wellness checks before students leave home. Students with temperatures of 100 degrees or more should stay home.
* Students should bring a water bottle, which they will be able to refill at water bottle fill stations, as water fountains will not be available.
* Parents may opt their students out of recess.
* If the district moves to a blended learning format — which combines in-person and remote learning — students and parents should be prepared to develop a schedule to ensure students’ work is completed. Bright Local administration will ensure students have the devices necessary to complete their work.
* If the district moves to a remote learning format, students will have access to a remote learning coordinator, who will help them pace their assignments and provide feedback on their assignments. Bright Local administration will ensure students have access to devices necessary to complete their work as well as an internet connection.
During Bright Local’s July board of education meeting, preschool coordinator Lisa Beresford said that based on the Ohio Department of Education’s recommendations, preschool students will attend school Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, so teachers may use Wednesdays to sanitize classrooms and prepare lessons.
Preschool students will be placed in smaller groups, and in at least one preschool classroom. Beresford said the district will install a divider.
For more information, visit www.bright.k12.oh.us.
During the Fairfield Local Board of Education’s July meeting, the board voted 4-1 to reopen district schools on a normal schedule beginning Monday, Aug. 17.
Under this plan, all Fairfield students will attend school in-person five days a week.
According to the district’s reopening plan, which was revised on Aug. 6:
* The district requires that all K-12 students wear face coverings — such as masks, face shields or scarves — where social distancing is not possible. Students with face mask medical exemptions must wear a face shield where social distancing is not possible. Staff members must also wear face coverings.
* Students should bring a clear water bottle as water fountains will not be available.
* All visitors must wear face coverings and have their temperatures taken.
* Parents and guardians should plan for multiple prearranged methods of picking up their students in the event they become ill while at school.
* The district will not offer attendance incentive awards.
* The district will not allow students to ride home with other students.
* The district encourages parents and guardians to pay for students’ meals and fees through My School Bucks, a free service.
For more information, visit www.fairfieldlocal.org.
Greenfield Exempted Village
On Aug. 4, GEVSD officials updated the district’s reopening plan to include the following:
* Parents and guardians must provide all K-12 students with face coverings. Unless a child is exempt, they are required to wear a face covering, such as a mask or face shield. If their child or children are exempt from wearing a mask, parents and guardians should speak with school officials.
* Students must wear a face covering when entering, exiting, or moving around a classroom, building, cafeteria or bus. The district does not require face coverings while a student is in the restroom.
* The district will incorporate “face covering breaks” throughout the school day.
* If their child or children who plays sports has been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, parents and guardians should speak with the appropriate coach or coaches.
In mid-July, the GEVSD released the first iteration of its reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year, during which students could attend classes in-person on a normal schedule or through a fully virtual platform. According to the district, this platform is different than the type of learning students did at the end of the 2019-20 school year.
For more information, visit www.greenfield.k12.oh.us.
In a recent post entitled “Update regarding masks” to its website, the Hillsboro City School District shared a news release from the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, which states that all K-12 students must wear masks.
Staff members will conduct wellness checks for students during first period.
Hillsboro students return to classes Wednesday, Aug. 12.
Superintendent Tim Davis announced at the district’s July board of education meeting that the district would require all students and staff to wear face coverings when classes resume on Aug. 12.
Davis added that the school district prefers the use of face shields because “in education we feel it’s very valuable to see your faces,” but he also said students can wear a face mask or other face covering, or even a combination of a face mask and face shield.
Following are some of the other highlights of the school district’s plan regarding the COVID-19 pandemic:
* At the July meeting, Davis said staff members will not check students’ temperatures when they board a bus, something which Davis said could cause traffic backups. Davis also pointed out that if a student had a temperature above 100 degrees when they boarded a bus, there would be no safe way to send them home since there is no guarantee anyone would be home. He said checking students as the enter school buildings could leave students standing outside in hot, cold or rainy weather. If a student has temperature above 100 degrees when they are checked by a staff member, they will be sent to school nurse where their temperature will be checked again.
* The district does not plan to adjust the school calendar unless absolutely necessary and deemed so by public health authorities.
* Hand sanitation stations will be available throughout all buildings on campus.
* To minimize contamination, the district encouraged students to bring their own water bottles from home. Students will be allowed to have clear containers holding water with them throughout the day in the classrooms.
* The district will restrict the number of visitors and volunteers. Those who enter the building will remain in the main office area. Staff members will screen those who must leave the main office area. Visitors must wear a mask while in the building.
For more information, visit www.hillsboro.k12.oh.us.
On Aug. 5, the Lynchburg-Clay Local School District updated its plan for the 2020-21 school year, which will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 26.
The district will require K-12 students to wear a face mask or shield while in classrooms, hallways, restrooms, buses and elsewhere social distancing is not possible “unless they are unable to do so for a health or developmental reason.” Students should also wear face coverings when entering and exiting the building.
Precautions and protocols for in-person classes:
* The district asks that parents, guardians and students conduct wellness checks at home. Students with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher should stay home. Students with symptoms of COVID-19 — or who have a link to a COVID-19 case — should stay home from school and see their primary care provider.
* Visitors are discouraged.
* According to the plan, “In the event that state policies require school districts to use alternative schedules, the Lynchburg-Clay School District may adopt minimum requirements for transportation to reduce the number of students who are eligible for school district transportation.”
* The district may restrict the use of certain pieces of playground equipment.
Lynchburg-Clay will also offer a virtual learning format.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.