Southeast Local Schools Responsible Restart Plan
Updated August 5, 2021
Dear Southeast Local Schools Families and Staff,
I hope this letter finds you safe in these unprecedented times. We are excited to welcome our students back to campus on Wednesday, September 1. Our hope is that the 2021-2022 school year will have a more “normal” look and feel, but we will remain vigilant as we are not yet back to pre-pandemic practices.
While we are sensitive to, and support our families and students’ individual needs surrounding the pandemic, we believe the best place for our students to learn is in-person by our nurturing staff and with their classmates and friends. The Southeast School District will offer in-person learning to all students on a traditional schedule while we are adhering to all Portage County Health Department, Ohio Health Department, and CDC compliance requirements.
At this time masks and facial coverings will be recommended, but will not be required for students and staff on campus. We would like the parents to be able to choose what option is best for their child. However, we must reserve the right to have flexibility with this decision due to a significant uptick in cases in the community, district, or building.
Currently, the CDC is requiring individuals to wear face masks on public transportation including school buses. We will adhere to this mandate so students and staff will be required to wear a mask while on school transportation.
The anticipation of determining what a return to school will look like has stressed and concerned all of us. Schools across the country have been charged with weighing a balance between considering educational options and ensuring we abide by health and safety priorities. At Southeast, we strongly believe in the importance of students returning to in-person learning as much as possible. We recognize that anything but a traditional return to school is disappointing for many, but at the same time we will consider the guidance from our health professionals. In summary, we are committed to keeping our students and staff safe while having them on site as much as possible.
These are the general principles that will guide Southeast Local Schools as we move forward with the reopening of our schools:
1. We will work closely with the Portage County Health Department to promote safety in each school building. In the event we have a confirmed case of COVID-19, we will work with our local health officials to implement the appropriate steps.
2. We understand that some level of risk will always be inherently present when children and school district employees occupy school district facilities.
3. We appreciate the need for consistency in areas of operations while also recognizing that individual differences in classroom sizes, school facilities, and building operations may lead to some differences in practices.
4. We will do our best to adhere to the recommendations of social distancing.
5. We will recommend but not require face masks for staff and students.
o Southeast Local Schools defines a face mask as a covering of the mouth and nose area for all students and staff.
o All Teachers and Staff may wear face masks. Face shields can also be used where appropriate and must be approved by the school nurse and/or building administrator.
o K-12 Students will wear face masks on school buses and vans
6. School staff will be doing a daily self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms. We expect parents/guardians to self-assess their child’s health conditions prior to sending them to school. This partnership with the parents is an important factor in a successful return to school. A list of the most common COVID-19 symptoms can be found on our school website. Student temperatures may be taken upon arriving at school.
7. The first day of class for students in preschool and grades 1-12 will be Wednesday, September 1. Kindergarten screening will take place September 1-3 by appointment only. Kindergarten students with last names beginning with A-L will attend their first day of school on September 8th. Kindergarten students with last names beginning with M-Z will attend their first day of school on September 9th. ALL kindergarten students will attend on September 10th.
OPTIONAL LEARNING MODELS
Every Student, Every Day Model: Southeast Learning Model
Southeast will follow a “typical” everyday schedule with increased safety strategies. All staff and students will attend school during normal school hours with enhanced hygiene practices and other public health precautions. The “every student, every day” 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 “Every Student, Every Day” Schedule:
All staff and students report to school daily for instruction.
All staff and students follow enhanced hygiene protocols including: frequent hand washing/sanitizing; covering mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing; staying home when ill for any reason including having a temperature at or above 100 degrees or experiencing any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.
Handwashing and hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the buildings as well as in every classroom.
Increased and more detailed cleaning methods will be employed in every building
Some school practices such as student meals, recess, related arts/electives, etc., may be altered to promote student health and safety.
Additional lunch periods and lunch areas may be added to ensure greater social distancing while students are eating.
Middle and High School athletics will proceed in accordance with OHSAA and Public Health guidance.
“Modified” Learning Model (AB Alternate Day Schedule)
If the decision is made to go to a modified schedule it will start at the beginning of the following school week. 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 both in-person and virtual attendance, which follows State and Health Department guidelines for operation. While there is no formal attendance taken on virtual days, there is an expectation for students to complete assignments during the at-home, practice days.
During the “Modified” Schedule:
All staff report to school to facilitate learning for assigned student groups.
All staff and students follow enhanced hygiene protocols including: frequent hand washing/sanitizing; covering mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing; staying home when ill for any reason including having a temperature at or above 100 degrees or experiencing any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. (Masks being required may be considered)
Handwashing and hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the buildings as well as every classroom having hand sanitizer
Increased and more detailed cleaning methods will be employed in every building
Thermometer Scanner Kiosks may be in place to efficiently check student temperatures daily
Half of the school’s student population will be in attendance every school day. Students operate on an A and B schedule where they will attend two days a week and every other Friday.
All schools will work to facilitate the totality of District programming on a reduced schedule and modified learning plan when appropriate including elementary specials, academic interventions, gifted programming, and instrumental music.
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 Classroom. 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 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.
Remote Learning Model will be considered for an emergency community, district, or building spread
In the event Southeast considers moving to “100 percent online”, we will call that schedule our Remote Learning plan.
During the Remote Learning Plan 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 will continue to report to work if permitted by the Portage County Health Department and Governor’s orders. All students are assigned to work/learn from home using our common learning management system, Google Classroom. 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 virtually “attend” class daily and to complete/turn in assigned work. Hours for instruction per day are between 9:00 AM-2 PM (specific times to be determined by building).
Building principals will communicate the remote learning plan for their individual buildings with families prior to the district going fully remote.
New instruction, completed assignments, and student feedback will be delivered to students virtually using the Google learning management system.
Elementary Teachers will 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 conduct synchronous lessons and provide daily learning and assignments to students per the student’s regular schedule. Grading will be based on the traditional, percentage and letter grade format.
Chromebooks will be made available to every student who needs one.
In accordance with OHSAA and county health orders, all co-curricular and extra-curricular activities may be suspended during the Remote schedule.
Southeast schools would only change their format beginning on a Monday following an announcement by the previous Thursday in order to provide time for families and staff to plan for the change. If we do change learning models, then we will remain in that learning model for a minimum of two weeks.
We will continue to monitor information shared by the Portage County Health Department, the Governor, and the 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 at some point in the school year should additional guidance and mandates require it.
DISTRICT START DATE REMINDER
The first day for students in grades 1-12 will be on Wednesday, September 1. Students will be off on Friday, September 17 for a professional development day.
We understand that the options we have provided may 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 options available by local and state mandates due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We also understand that the 2021-22 school year may not be as “normal” as we would like, but we will provide the quality education and experience you have come to expect from Southeast Schools. We know that the decisions we make will be impactful to our stakeholders and I can assure you that each one will be made with student and staff safety and well-being in mind. We are fully committed to doing what is necessary to support our students, staff, and families in this incredibly difficult time. If you have questions please email your child’s principal or me.
We greatly appreciate your support, patience, and grace as we endure and overcome this time. We will get through this together.
*As mandated by the ODE, our plan must remain fluid and flexible and may need to be altered or revised at any time based on guidance and mandates outside of our control.
General Transportation guidelines:
Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings for the duration of their time on the bus or van.
Social distancing will be practiced as much as feasible and no more than two students will be permitted in a seat.
Assigned seats will be required and family members will be seated together where applicable.
Hand sanitizer will be available on every bus and additional cleaning protocols are being implemented.
Late bus passes may not be available.