RETURN TO SCHOOL - A Letter from Superintendent Keith Kelly

July 2, 2020

Dear Mayfield Families and Students,

I hope this communication finds you well, happy and healthy as we continue to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This communication contains important dates and information. Please read carefully.

The Governor has directed students back to school. In Mayfield, students will be back to school 5 days a week. In addition, there will be an at home remote learning option for those families who choose not to send their students back to school for health and safety reasons. There will be NO hybrid (home and school learning model) offered. This decision is in line with our survey data (see survey summary below). 

Please note that while we are preparing to come back to school in person five days a week, the Governor can issue a stay at home order and close school facilities at any time, putting us back into a remote learning environment.

On July 2, Governor DeWine provided the reopening of school guidelines to all Ohio school districts. The guidelines were crafted with input from the Department of Health, The Center for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, parents, educators, professional education organizations and the Ohio Department of Education. We consider these guidelines as best practice mandates and must be followed. See the links below for more details about the reopening mandates and guidelines.

https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home

https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/?fbclid=IwAR3wZiXtSoKa15p-iFviCy4-HhGyNvOv_O37n3m-CpGN-xzOSCFOoXaVAJ0

http://education.ohio.gov/restart

Please note that at the time of this writing the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio.gov websites were experiencing technical difficulties. We have been assured that the problems will be corrected very soon and you will be able to access the reopening of school information.

Summary of Survey Results (over 2000 respondents)

=        Approximately 87% indicate a preference for a full return to school. Comfort levels vary from no concerns to some concerns.

=        Approximately 13% would voluntarily continue with remote online learning.

=        Approximately 85% would assist with transporting their students to school if needed.

The Governor’s Guidelines

In order to bring students back to school the Governor has said that we “must” comply with the health and safety guidelines.

Generally, the guidelines direct us to do the following:

=        Maintain 6 feet distancing protocols

=        Regularly clean classrooms, desks, furniture, equipment, spaces, buses etc.

=        Practice regular hand washing

=        Adhere to transportation PPE requirements

=        Adhere to mass gathering guidelines

=        Strictly limit visitors including parents

=        Adhere to classroom, hallway, gym, cafeteria, playground and office PPE protocols

=        Adhere to stay at home guidelines if staff and students are demonstrating signs of illness

=        Adhere to competition guidelines

=        Adhere to food service guidelines

Reopening of School

=        A full return to school 5 days a week requires us to make the following modifications in order to meet the health and safety guidelines and protocols:

o   Limitations on student movement in the buildings

o   Students and staff PPE requirements and policies

o   Adjustments to instructional schedules

o   Adjustments to lunch schedules

o   Adjustments to transportation schedules

o   Adjustments to cleaning schedules

o   Adjustments to recess schedules

=        The remote learning from home option is for those not comfortable sending their children back to school due to health and safety reasons.

o   More information for those who want the remote learning from home option is forthcoming.

o   This option will require a commitment for one full semester so that we can plan for appropriate staffing levels.

=        There will be NO hybrid, home and school learning option offered.

Transition Back to School Week: August 17-21

Our 2020-21 school calendar will remain the same. However, the week of August 17-21 will be a Transition Back to School Week.  The purpose of this week is to get students and staff back as safely a possible while getting them acclimated to new routines and mandated safety protocols. Please note that the dates of return schedule for particular grades was designed to meet the transition and developmental needs of students. For example, 6th and 9th grades are major transition years.

The following grade levels will return to school on these specific dates the week of August 17-21:

=       August 17- Phase in Grades 6 & 9 only

=       August 18- Phase in Grades 6 & 9 only

=       August 19- Phase in Grades 4, 5, 6 & 10 only

=       August 20- Phase in Grades 3, 2, 7 & 11/12 only

=       August 21- Phase in Grades 1 & 8  only

=       August 24- School opens for all students PreK-12 (Kindergarten phases in as usual this week)

The Instructional Day

The instructional day will be modified to meet safety and health mandates, continue positive relationships, provide emotional and social supports, provide services and maintain quality of instruction.

You will begin receiving back to school details from your principals on July 15. However, you can generally expect these changes to the instructional day.

=        Elementary School  

o   Students will be allowed to snack in their classrooms and will eat lunch in their classrooms. Recess times will be staggered. Art, music and PE will be scheduled in blocks of time. Start times and end times may be modified. These times will be determined soon.

=        Middle School

o   Students will arrive to school at the usual time and be dismissed at the usual time. Student movement will be restricted. Students will be spread out and eat lunch in their classrooms, cafeteria and open learning spaces. The existing teaming model allows flexibility of time and learning.

=        High School

o   Students will be on an alternating day block schedule (details forthcoming). Movement will be restricted. Students will be spread out and eat lunch in classrooms, cafeteria and open learning spaces. Start times and end times may be modified. These times will be determined soon.

Additional return to school information will follow and come in three forms:

=        A Return to School Handbook that will provide a district overview of protocols, practices and schedules.

=        Video vignettes demonstrating return to school health and safety protocols and practices.

=        Principal communications that will provide specific information pertaining to each school building beginning on July 15.

Please note that this communication and all forthcoming information will be posted on our website and Facebook page. www.mayfieldschools.org

I ask for your continued patience and support as we plan for the dozens of needed adjustments in order to prepare for the safe return to school 5 days a week in August. The routines will no doubt be different. But, the quality of our relationships with your students and the quality of instruction will not change.

Finally, we all hope and pray that there will be solutions to this pandemic. In the meantime, it is important that we get through the changes and challenges together. Please be on the lookout for forthcoming communications.

Thank you again for your patience and support.

Proud to be a Wildcat,

Keith Kelly

Superintendent

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