November 17, 2020,
Plain Local Community,
Last week Ohio Governor Mike DeWine addressed the general public with an update on COVID-19 in our community. He talked about the shift we have seen since last spring from making sure our hospitals had enough beds and equipment to take care of COVID-19 patients to today, making sure we have enough manpower to staff our hospitals due to the number of individuals quarantined. Our schools are no different. Today, we have seen less than 1% of our students with a positive COVID-19 case and less than 3% of our staff. In order to keep our staff and students as safe as possible, we have seen a higher number of students and staff that need to quarantine for the safety of all. Our staff and students’ safety has been and remains our number one priority during all of our COVID-19 decision making. As I have communicated since March, our plans in Plain Local have remained fluid as the pandemic has evolved.
I want to assure you that Plain Local Schools will continue to operate in its current learning model, but it is crucial that as a community, we also plan for what is next. I truly believe that the best thing for all of our students is for schools to remain open. We know how important our essential services like access to breakfast and lunch, counseling and emotional wellness resources, and the safety of a school environment provides to students. We also know that as more staff members need to quarantine, we may be in a position where we will need to temporarily close school buildings in some capacity, and we may see temporary changes to bus routes in order to accommodate all.
If needed, the process in Plain Local will be first to temporarily close an individual classroom and/or school building before closing the entire district as a whole. If your child’s classroom or school building is required to close, I want to make sure that I am transparent in how we made that decision and allow parents time now to prepare a backup plan for if school were to close.
If your child’s classroom or building were to close, students in grades K-12 would work remotely through google classroom, with daily classes being taught by teachers at all grade levels. Our teachers in Plain Local have done a phenomenal job adapting to the ever-changing environment of teaching during COVID-19. Our staff has been trained and is prepared to provide a consistent learning environment for students, whether they are face-to-face or working remotely.
Additionally, you may be notified of a change to your child’s bus number or times as we face staffing challenges. Please be patient and know that we understand changes can be frustrating, but this is truly an unprecedented time, and in order to accommodate all, there may be transportation changes.
From the beginning of the pandemic, our primary goal has been to provide the best possible learning experience for our students while ensuring student and staff safety. We need everyone's help like never before to keep schools open. The actions of all of us will determine if schools can remain open. This means staying home when sick, wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and avoiding activities outside of school where the spread of the virus is more likely to occur.
I know if we continue to work together, we can ensure that schools can remain open.
Please note: All guidelines and reopening plans are subject to change and will be reviewed continuously to ensure cooperation with State and Local Health Department mandates and recommendations. Questions? Contact us at 330-492-3500.