Covid 19 Updates Archives

Covid 19 Updates Archives

This page will house older updates regarding Reynoldsburg City Schools' plans during the COVID19 pandemic. It is not the most updated information, but rather a source for past communications.
A Video Message from Superintendent Brown 7/8/20

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Reynoldsburg City Schools Responsible Restart Plan

July 8, 2020

Dear Reynoldsburg City Schools Families and Staff,

This summer has been the most unusual that many of us have experienced in our lifetimes. The anticipation of determining what a return to school will look like has stressed and concerned all of us and I know that you feel it as well. Schools all across the country have been charged with determining a balance between considering education options and ensuring we abide by health and safety priorities. We recognize that anything but a traditional return to school is disappointing and detrimental and, at the same time, we must follow guidance from our health professionals.

We have assembled a very talented group of teachers, community members, and district leaders on a task force to consider a number of different options. We shared those options being discussed in a survey yesterday to receive feedback from you, but please know we are not limited to those options. The task force will continue to meet next week and we will devise some potential recommendations.

Last Thursday, we received guidance from Governor DeWine in regard to various alert levels created by the state and additional direction for school districts to work with their local health departments to devise specific details of reopening plans. He provided the following chart that indicates the risk level that will guide actions by local county health departments. In our case, that is Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) and Columbus Public Health. As of now, Franklin County is in Red—Level 3 (approaching Level 4) which indicates very high exposure and spread of COVID-19.   

Level Graphic 

 

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

These are the general principles that will guide Reynoldsburg City Schools as we move forward with the reopening of our schools:

1.    We will work closely with the Columbus Public Health Department and the Franklin County Public Health Department to promote safety in each school building. In the event we have a confirmed case of COVID-19, we will work with the Health Officials to implement the appropriate steps.

2.    We will be transparent with all stakeholders that some level of risk will always be present when children and school district employees occupy school district facilities.

3.    We recognize the need for consistency in areas of operations while recognizing that individual differences in classroom sizes, school facilities, and building operations may lead to some differences in practices.

4.    We will follow FCPH recommendations that we limit the number of students in buildings and/or in classrooms at one time while maintaining six feet of social distancing as much as possible.

5.    Face coverings will be required for staff and students.

o    All Teachers and Staff will wear face coverings or face shields.

o    K-2 Students will wear face coverings on buses, in hallways, and with specific mask breaks in the classroom per teacher direction.

o    3-6 Students will wear face coverings on buses, in hallways, and in classrooms with mask breaks scheduled when being outside is practical.

o    7-12 Students will wear face coverings on buses and while inside all buildings.

o    If you cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, there will be a Health Appeal Process for face coverings with District nurses.

üAppeal process and forms available by August 1st on www.reyn.org/covid19updates.aspx 

üFace shields and other measures are to be approved through the appeals process

6.    School staff will be required to report their temperatures and any symptoms daily. We ask parents/guardians to self-assess their child’s health conditions prior to sending them to school.

7.    We are planning to ask for approval of a school calendar change that would have students starting after Labor Day. Professional Development days for staff would be front loaded as much as possible in order to prepare for all digital/hybrid/in-person instruction. Staff would return to school on Wednesday, September 2. The first day of class for students in grades K-12 would be Tuesday, September 8. 

Adhering to these principles will give us an opportunity to move forward with a plan so that our students, families, and staff can prepare appropriately. As you continue to read this letter, you will find information about the two learning models (digital and hybrid), we will offer in the fall.


LEARNING MODELS

 

Reynoldsburg Virtual Academy

We recognize, for myriad reasons, it may be possible that a family decides for their child(ren) not to be present in the school building, regardless of whether we return to school with all of our students, in a hybrid format, or on a rotating basis over the course of the 2020-2021 school year. Students staying home to receive full-time instruction will be set up with an online program through an online service partner, paid for by the District. More information will be forthcoming.

If a student opts for the Virtual Academy option, they will need to commit to that model for at least the first semester. If a student is in a model that includes face-to-face learning and wishes to switch to the Virtual Academy at a time other than the semester break, a doctor’s note will be required prior to the student changing his/her learning model.

The RCS Virtual Academy is an all online model of instruction with the core curriculum being designed by education vendors and partners. The curriculum is accredited and is aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards. Support from teachers, vendor instructors, and technical support will be provided, and will be reviewed at a parent meeting later in the summer. 

Reynoldsburg students will remain enrolled in the Reynoldsburg School District and the student’s scheduled courses will be designated as “online learning”. Students will also be able to participate in district athletics, extra-curricular activities, and after-school functions. 

For high school credited courses:

=         All course grades will be a part of the GPA and final transcript. 

=         We will ensure that our virtual option has been approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse as credits reflected on a high school transcript.

=         Reminder: For athletic eligibility, students need to receive a passing grade in at least 5 semester classes, or the equivalent, during the preceding grading period.

We will hold a parent informational night with information about this program in the coming weeks. To accommodate family requests, as well as provide advanced notice to our schools and ensure we have the resources to support our students, families need to complete a form to sign up for the RCS Virtual Academy by August 14, 2020 to provide the necessary information and planning to assist each student. That form will be available soon.  


“All In” Learning Model for Level 1 and Level 2
In the event that FCPH deems Franklin County a Level 1 or 2 according to The Ohio Public Health Advisory System, Reynoldsburg will follow an “All In” or typical everyday schedule with increased safety strategies. All staff and students will attend school during normal school hours with increased social distancing measures, enhanced hygiene practices and other public health precautions. The “All-In” schedule is followed when it is deemed safe for all students and staff to be in daily attendance at the school at the same time with safety practices in place in accordance with Public Health Department guidance.


During the “All-In” Schedule:

=         All staff and students report to school daily for instruction.

=         All staff and students follow enhanced hygiene protocols including: face covering protocols, frequent hand washing/sanitizing, six feet of social distancing when possible, covering mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing, staying home when ill for any reason, having a temperature at or above 100 degrees, or experiencing any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.

=         Some school practices such as meals, recess, related arts/electives, etc., may be altered to promote student health and safety.

=         Preschool, Full-Day and Half-Day Kindergarten will operate as normal.

=         Middle and High School athletics will proceed in accordance with OHSAA and Public Health guidance.

“Hybrid” Learning Model for Level 3 

If the FCPH declares Franklin County a Level 3 as described in The Ohio Public Health Advisory System, Reynoldsburg will follow a “Hybrid” schedule. This is a rotation of at-school and at-home learning days for students. Teachers will be utilizing blended learning and guided instruction models so that students are still learning during the entire week. Students will attend school for face-to-face instruction for at least two days of each school week and receive practice, independent work, and project tasks to complete AT HOME using Google Classroom and teacher created resources.

Attendance at school is counted for in-person and virtual attendance, which follows State and Health Department guidelines for operation. There is an expectation for students to complete assignments during the asynchronous, at-home, practice days.

During the “Hybrid” Schedule:

=         Parents, staff, and students will be given a guidance document before school starts that outlines specific information related to academics and instruction in this model.

=         All staff report to school to facilitate learning for assigned student groups.

=         All staff and students follow enhanced hygiene protocols including: face covering protocols, frequent hand washing/sanitizing, six feet of social distancing when possible, covering mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing, staying home when ill for any reason, having a temperature at or above 100 degrees, or experiencing any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.

=         Half of the school’s student population will be in attendance every school day (We will determine what this looks like based on the Task Force’s recommendations and other factors).

=         Full Day Kindergarten will operate as the rest of the school does.

=         Half-Day Kindergarten students will operate on an A and B schedule where they will attend two days a week and every other Friday. 

=         We are awaiting additional guidance from ODE and ODH in order to address Preschool questions in this model.

=         All schools will work to facilitate the fullness of District programming, on a reduced schedule and modified learning plan when appropriate, including elementary specials, academic interventions, gifted programming, and instrumental music.

=         School practices such as meals, recess, related arts/electives, etc., will be altered to promote student health and safety. Parents should expect some changes to current food policies to protect students who have food allergies. Breakfast will be grab and go.

=         To minimize contact and social distancing, students in middle and high schools will not be able to utilize lockers. In addition, school staff will create signage and instruct students to follow “one-way” hallways when possible. 

=         Finally, no field trips and large-group student events will be planned for at least the first semester. This includes the Washington D.C. trip that was rescheduled from May 2020 (refunds will be provided).

=         Teachers will engage with students for face-to-face learning on assigned “at school” days, facilitating new learning experiences based on academic standards, and prepare for independent work, practice, and project tasks on students’ assigned “at home” days. Students will work to complete assignments with access to Google (G) Suite and Zoom. In this platform, students can access a variety of programs, videos, lessons, templates, assignments, virtual tutorials, and other tools to support their “at home” work.

=         Teachers will be expected to maintain productive communication with families and students using common communication practices established by the building. 

=         Middle and High School sports will proceed in accordance with OHSAA and public health guidance.

“100% Online” Learning Model for Level 4*
If the FCPH deems Franklin County a Level 4 according to The Ohio Public Health Advisory System, Reynoldsburg will move to a “100 percent online” schedule. Administrators will determine which schedule will be used depending on guidance and information provided by local and state health officials. The move to the “100 percent online” schedule will occur when State or National Levels of COVID-19 necessitate a closure of school(s) in the best interest of the health and well-being of both staff and students. Students enrolled in the Virtual Academy will continue in that platform.

During the 100% Online Schedule:

=         Parents, staff, and students will be given a guidance document before school starts that outlines specific information related to academics and instruction in this model.

=         All students and staff are assigned to work/learn from home using our common learning management system, Google Classroom and/or Echo. Students enrolled in the Virtual Academy will continue in that program. The instructional content will be created by classroom teachers, and in this platform, students can access a variety of programs, videos, lessons, templates, assignments, virtual tutorials, and other tools to support their “at home” work.

=         Students will be expected to “attend” class virtually daily and to complete/turn in assigned work.

=         New instruction, completed assignments, and student feedback will be delivered to students virtually using the learning management system.

=         Elementary Teachers will be expected to conduct synchronous (teacher present at the same time as the learners) lessons via the learning management system and video conferencing tools. In addition, teachers will connect with students for feedback and tutorials each week, as determined by individual learning needs.

=         Middle and High School Teachers will be expected to provide daily learning and assignments to students per the student’s regular schedule. Grading will be based on the traditional, letter grade format and will be outlined in the guidance document sent home to families before the start of the year.

=         In accordance with OHSAA and county health orders, all co-curricular activities may be suspended during the Remote schedule.


*If The Ohio Public Health Advisory Level for Franklin County changes, schools would change their format beginning the following Monday in order to provide time for families and staff to plan for the change.

We will continue to monitor information shared by the Governor and Ohio Department of Education and make needed adjustments as appropriate. It is important to understand that transitioning to an all-digital learning model Districtwide may be necessary in the future should additional guidance and mandates require it.


DISTRICT CALENDAR/START DATE:

We also want to let families know, as stated earlier, that it is likely our school calendar will be adjusted in order to delay our start date until after Labor Day (September 7). We plan to present our proposed calendar to the Board of Education for approval on July 21.


We understand that the options we have provided will be very difficult for many of you, but please know we have tried to be diligent and thoughtful to create the best possible plan for our students, teachers, and staff, given the risk levels in Franklin County.

We also understand that the 2020-21 school year will be very different than anything we have ever experienced in education, but it provides us with the opportunity to remake our industry for a rapidly changing society and to prepare our students to venture into it fully equipped to be successful. We are fully committed to doing what is necessary to support our students, staff, and families in this incredibly difficult time. We greatly appreciate your support, patience, and understanding as we navigate this unfamiliar time.

Sincerely,
MJB Signature

Melvin J. Brown
Superintendent
Reynoldsburg City Schools

Click here to read a PDF of the letter.

RCS Responsible Restart (July 21, 2020)
Please click on the image below to view the Reynoldsburg City Schools Responsible Restart plan
 Responsible Restart
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