Responsible Reopening 2020-2021
July 10, 2020
Dear SCSD Parents and Guardians,
As you are aware, the Springfield City School District (SCSD) buildings have been closed to students, educators, parents, and caregivers since March 17, 2020, due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. In response, District leadership continues to monitor recommendations from the Office of the Governor, the Center for Disease Control, the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Clark County Combined Health District.
On Monday, July 6, during a work session, the District shared information with the Board of Education regarding our back to school learning models for the 2020-2021 school year. The District recognizes that the choice of student learning model is an important decision for our families and we are committed to provide as much detail as possible as our current reality unfolds.
Everyone in the SCSD looks forward to serving your student’s educational needs. Today, you are receiving basic information to help families prepare and plan for a safe reopening.
The SCSD team has worked tirelessly to monitor, interpret and act on information, policies, and guidelines that center around collective good health throughout the District. Countless hours of preparation by administrators, staff, teachers, and our custodial and maintenance teams have enabled us to provide your students with a safe and comprehensive plan, flexible enough to respond to the changing landscape of the pandemic.
As we have all learned, we must be prepared to quickly adjust our educational experience with little advance notice. Families are encouraged to have plans in place to meet their childcare and remote learning needs, should the District have to move to a more restrictive educational model at any time.
The Springfield City School District Responsible Reopening Plan is designed to provide options for multiple reopening scenarios and contingencies to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all students and staff. Options for the 2020-2021 school year include:
- A return to in-school learning.
- The continuation of virtual learning through enrollment in OnCourse, the District’s online education option.
Our goal as a school district is to make things safe, not necessarily normal. Creating inconvenience must be accepted if it makes the environment safer. As a community, it is important, now more than ever, to show grace to one another and understand that the learning environment may look different than what we are traditionally accustomed to experiencing.
Educational considerations were made to ensure each student is challenged, prepared, and empowered for his or her future by way of an excellent prekindergarten through grade 12 education. Our expectations have not and cannot change because of the pandemic; rather, we must come together to now renew our commitment to student learning.
What is Next?
The SCSD will begin the 2020-21 school year by providing families with two flexible options:
- 100% in-school learning with social distancing and safety protocols that include:
- Social distancing efforts in classrooms when possible.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including the wearing of face coverings for all staff at all times and for students in grades 3-12 when engaged in one-to-one contact with a staff member or another student.
- Parents/guardians are encouraged to provide personal face coverings, but the District will supply them when necessary.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including the wearing of face coverings is encouraged for students in grades PK-2 when feasible.
- Two students per seat on all District busses with a requirement to wear a face covering for all students in grades K-12.
- Self health assessments of all staff and students prior to leaving home for the school day.
- Increased sanitation requirements in all facilities.
- In the event of another school shutdown, all teachers will be prepared to continue the learning to all students impacted by the school closure via Google Classroom.
- 100% Remote Learning through enrollment in OnCourse, the District’s online education option, which is provided as follows:
- Curriculum is provided through the Pearson Connexus Platform.
- Students who choose to enroll in OnCourse will engage in all learning remotely via the Pearson Connexus platform and must have an existing internet connection in the family residence.
- SCSD will provide a District-owned device to students choosing this option.
- Students will have access to teachers and instructional tools online and the program can be individualized for all students.
- Given the nature of the uncertain time we are experiencing, the District asks that families who select OnCourse to make a semester-by-semester commitment. In other words, students who enroll in OnCourse to start the school year, will remain in OnCourse for the first semester. At the end of the first semester, if students want to attend their home school instead of OnCourse, they will have the option to do so, or remain in OnCourse for the second semester.
- To help inform your decision, the District will be hosting a parent and student online open house. The purpose of this open house will be to show students and parents what the platform looks like and get to experience a demonstration of what a class experience will be like with OnCourse through the Pearson Connexus curriculum. This open house will be recorded and a link to the recording will be available for families to view at any time if attendance at the scheduled open house day and time is not feasible for some families. The Time and date will be announced soon.
- Families are asked to make their enrollment decisions by the close of business on Friday, July 31, 2020, in order for the District to have ample time to plan for schools to reopen in the fall and to secure the appropriate online licenses for the necessary coursework that students and families choose.
By July 31, families are asked to commit to students returning to the school building or enrolling in OnCourse for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. For families interested in the online virtual option for learning through enrollment in OnCourse, please complete the opt-in form by selecting the following link:
Top 10 Things to Know:
- The learning options presented above are based on the current Clark County alert level, per the Office of the Governor. In the event that the alert level changes, the District will consider making adjustments based on guidance received from the Clark County Combined Health Department (CCCHD) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).
- The District will work to continue offering a full array of extracurricular and athletic activities. Students who choose the Remote Learning option will be permitted to participate in extracurricular activities. SCSD will follow CCCHD and Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) guidelines for practice, competitions, and safety requirements.
- For parents of students with significant disabilities, the District understands that students in special populations require specialized support and additional communication will be forthcoming.
- The District will offer meals to students attending school in person each day. Details are being finalized about the location where students will eat lunch and what recess will look like.
- It is our goal to minimize unnecessary movement of students within buildings as much as possible. Building principals will develop a plan for pickup/dropoff, building entry, and transitions throughout the school day to ensure the least amount of potential contact in hallways and to allow for social distancing.
- District take-home devices will be available for all students (K-12). Instructions for device pickup for students participating in Distance Learning will be available prior to the first day of school. SCSD intends to offer Tech Training videos to support families with at-home and remote learning.
- Grading and learning expectations will match those of a traditional school model. Learning will be tracked using the traditional grading system.
- District attendance will be tracked and enforced for both in-person and remote learning in accordance with Ohio Law and District Policy.
- The SCSD Board of Education will be asked to approve the detailed Responsible Reopening Plan next week. The approved working document will be available for public review on Wednesday, July 15.
- The SCSD Board of Education will be asked to approve a revised District School Calendar. Once approved, the new start date will be August 26, 2020. The revised school calendar can be accessed here.
Parent Updates & Other Important Information
Please continue to visit the SCSD website at www.scsdoh.org for updates.
Today’s video update highlights the information found in the parent update.
Thank you for your support and know that I am so proud to be YOUR superintendent!
Robert F. Hill, Ed.D.