Return to Learn Announcement 7/22/20

July 22, 2020

Dear Plain Local Families,

I would like to thank all of you for your patience as we have worked to develop a comprehensive plan to reopen Plain Local Schools this fall. I am writing to share our reopening plan as well as important information for the 2020-2021 school year. The number one priority while developing this plan has been the safety of our students, staff, and community. This plan allows parents to make the best choice for their family as we return to school. Please note, all pertinent information for the start of the school year is posted on our website at plainlocal.org.

As we have witnessed across the world, this health pandemic sparks many emotions in people. Plain Local’s decision is based on what the community expressed in the parent survey this summer, the best and most accurate information from our health department and health professionals. This situation continues to change daily, and these plans are subject to change prior to the start of school. I am asking everyone to come together and support each other as we reopen our schools. No one has ever experienced what we are going through, and tearing each other down will not make the situation any better. Plain Local is strongest when we work together as one community.
 

PLAIN LOCAL SCHOOLS RETURN TO LEARN PLAN

School Calendar:
The Plain Local Schools Board of Education approved a revised calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. Students in grades 1-12 will begin school on Monday, August 24; this will allow the entire staff to participate in professional training and development during the week of August 17. Kindergarten, students with last names starting with A-L, will start August 31, and students with last names starting with M-Z will start September 1. A copy of the revised calendar is included in this letter.

Grades K-6 Face to Face Instruction:
All students in grades K-6 will attend school in person five days a week. Students will be placed in reduced size classrooms that allow for six feet of social distancing. This model will allow for small group instruction that we believe is critical as we welcome students back to school. More information will be available in the coming weeks from each building principal.

Grades 7-12 Hybrid Learning:
Students in grades 7-12 will follow a hybrid schedule, attending classes in person two consecutive days, followed by two consecutive days engaged in remote learning at home. Students will be organized into Green/Gold teams in the coming weeks, and more information will be available from each building principal. Teachers will have daily office hours where they will be available for students and families. Oakwood Middle School will follow the high school bell schedule of 7:25am - 2:25pm to allow for flexibility with transportation.

Important note: The Career and Technical compact classes will meet every day as normal.

K-12 Eagle Online:
Available for all students in grades K-12. Classes will be taught virtually by Plain Local teachers using Florida Virtual Curriculum that is aligned to Ohio State Standards. Plain Local teachers will supplement lessons with the FLVS curriculum to align with other Plain Local classrooms in the district. Students are welcome to participate in all after-school extracurricular activities across the district. Students who enroll in Eagle Online must commit to a minimum of nine weeks. At the end of nine weeks students wishing to change from remote to in person instruction will be able to request that option if space is available. Individual circumstances will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Important note: Parents must commit to Eagle Online by Wednesday, August 5, via Final Forms. Call 330-492-3500 with any questions

RETURN TO LEARN GUIDELINES

Face Coverings:

  • Masks will be required for all K-12 students and staff for the protection of our students and staff.
  • The district will be offering mask breaks during the day when appropriate. Mask breaks will also be permitted in classrooms when there is no interaction between individuals.
  • Masks will not be required at lunch, recess, or physical education.
  • Masks are required for any student riding a Plain Local bus.

Health Protocols:

  • Student temperatures will be taken at the beginning of each day. 
  • Students with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will be sent home. 
  • Staff will also have their temperature taken with the same guidelines as all students.
  • The district has worked closely with the Stark County Health Department to develop a process if a student or staff member tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19. 
    • The individual will be immediately isolated from school personnel, provided with PPE if needed, and sent immediately home. 
    • The health department will be contacted at the same time to begin interviewing the family and start contact tracing. 

Classrooms:

  • All students must sanitize their hands upon entering the classroom.
  • Shared materials will not be permitted.
  • The classroom door will be kept open to maximize airflow and reduce the number of touches to door handles.
  • Classrooms will be disinfected between class change and after school.

Common Areas:

  • Water fountains will not be available for use, students may bring their own water bottle to school. Refill stations will be available for all students.
  • Upon arrival to school, students will report immediately to their classroom.
  • Follow all signage in all common areas.
  • Follow all signage in the hallway for student travel.
  • Lockers will not be used to start the school year.
  • Staggered class dismissal time may be necessary to reduce hallway interaction.

Visitors:

  • Visitors will be limited.
  • Parents must call and schedule an appointment before coming to the building.
  • Visitors with temperatures 100 degrees or higher will not be permitted in the building.
  • Follow all posted guidelines and signage when entering or exiting the building.
  • Any approved visitor will have their temperature taken by a member of our staff. 
  • All social distancing and health protocols must be followed.
  • Meetings that can, should be held virtually instead of in person.

Transportation:

  • Busing will be provided for all eligible K-12 students. Eligible students will be identified through Final Forms.  
  • Oakwood Middle School will now follow the high school bell schedule of 7:25am - 2:25pm to implement safety procedures outlined by the state of Ohio. 
  • All students riding a bus must wear a mask.
  • Two students will be permitted per seat.
  • Students must remain seated, facing forward while riding the bus.
  • Students must sit in their assigned seat.
  • Students from the same family will be assigned to sit together.
  • All students must sanitize their hands before finding their seat on the bus.
  • Busing will be provided for Career and Technical students in the Compact.
  • Parents will need to communicate their intent to use busing by Wednesday, August 5, through Final Forms. Call 330-492-3500 with any questions

Cleaning:

  • A comprehensive cleaning and sanitizing program have been developed for each school.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are being installed in every classroom. 
  • Multiple opportunities will be available for students to wash their hands daily. 
  • Restrooms will be sanitized on a regular schedule.

Plain Local’s reopening plan will be continuously evaluated. The flexibility allows the district to transition easily into another learning model based on developments with COVID-19.  This plan will change and is not assumed to last for the entire school year. 

Parents are invited to submit questions about the Return to Learn plan online at https://bit.ly/PLSQuestions. Questions and answers will be posted at plainlocal.org during July and August. 

It is critical that we hear from parents regarding their commitment to Eagle Online and Plain Local Schools transportation. Numbers will greatly influence planning and are necessary for staffing. We appreciate each and every family’s time as they work to choose the best option for their family.

In closing, there is no perfect plan. I believe Plain Local’s Return to Learn provides safety and flexibility for our families. This is not how any of us want to start the school year, but we must remain united as a community. Our students will be watching us closely as we discuss and make critical decisions. I hope we can be positive role models for them during a different time in our history. We have a choice on how we respond, and I am confident this community will respond positively. I will continue to communicate weekly as we prepare to reopen on Monday, August 24.

Click here to view our 2020-2021 school year reopening webpage. 

 

Go Eagles!

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Brent May
Plain Local Schools
Superintendent

 

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.





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