Back to School Solon 2020-21:
Select the Family Messages bar for the most up-to-date messages about reopening.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR SOLON SCHOOLS REOPENING
Q. 86. Are all students virtual the week of January 4-8?
A. Yes, school is in session and all virtual the week of January 4-8. To allow for one full quarantine/exposure cycle after New Year's, students at all schools will be remote for the week immediately following winter break. Students will log in to their Google Classrooms at the beginning of the school day on Monday, January 4. In-person learning on campus for those students whose families made that choice for second semester will resume on January 11.
Q. 85. How often is the district's COVID-19 Dashboard updated?
A. The dashboard is updated every time there is a new positive case report or required staff/staff quarantine. This is every day, or multiple times a day, if necessary.
Q. 84. Does the state's Travel Advisory really apply to us if we go on a short trip for a college visit or quick vacation out of state to visit family?
A. Yes. As outlined in Question 56 below, students and staff traveling to one of the states on Ohio's Travel Advisory will be asked to quarantine for 14 days upon return. This includes all international as well. The list updates every Wednesday, so be sure to check here regularly. This week's (12/30) states with positivity rates at 15 percent and higher are: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
*Due to the recent holidays, many states are showing reporting anomalies. Please carefully consider if travel is necessary in this moment of widespread transmission across most of the country.
Q. 83. Now that Cuyahoga County is back to red on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, will the district automatically reverse course for students to return to campus?
A. Although Cuyahoga County has moved to red on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, we believe the Cuyahoga County Board of Health guidance we received on October 16 will allow us to stay the course in our return-to-school plan.
The decision to continue our planned return was finalized following consultation with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. During the discussion October 16, the CCBH outlined current conditions and indicated that, to date, the new rise in incidence is occurring mainly through community spread and gatherings. School and classroom exposures continue to account for a small portion of the total cases of COVID-19. Our county positivity rate remains below 4 percent as well.
And while the overall county guidance is to continue with remote learning under the designation of red on the alert system, CCBH officials told us today that some school districts have the resources to implement and sustain the necessary prevention protocols and mitigation strategies to reopen more safely.
We believe we are one of these districts. The procedures and physical infrastructure we have implemented to create multiple layers of protection, along with our successful experience over the past two weeks with our K-6 students back on campus, enable us to proceed as planned for now. You can review these procedures and the protections in place at your child’s school as they are outlined in the return-to-school messages sent to you from the district and your building principal as well as in the questions and answers below.
However, it is incumbent on ALL of us to do our part to change the trajectory of COVID-19 spread. If we are to remain in session with an on-campus option, it is absolutely imperative that cases of COVID-19 in our schools among students and staff remain low.
In large part, it will be up to you and our surrounding community how successful we are in staying in session on campus. We urge you to wear your facemasks, keep physical distance, practice good hand hygiene and avoid social gatherings. Parents, we ask that you have serious discussions with your child about their role and personal responsibility in maintaining the overall health of our school community. Should conditions in the community warrant it, we will shift back to an all-remote learning model.
Q. 82. My child is return to campus for in-person learning. What symptoms do I need to check for in my child each day?
A. It will be critical that you assess your child’s health every morning before school. We need your partnership to maintain a school environment that is as safe as possible for our students and staff. The health of our school community depends on all of us being responsible and honest about any symptoms students may be experiencing. Now more than ever, students should not come to school if they are sick, have a fever or are not feeling well.
Prior to school each day, please be sure that you check to be sure your child is not experiencing any of the following:
- Fever greater than or equal to 100.4°F
- New onset and/or worsening cough
- Difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Excessive fatigue
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
We understand that some symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to other more typical illnesses such as colds or the flu and allergies. We urge you to contact your child’s health care provider if you ever have questions or are uncertain about whether a symptom is related to a current condition, such as allergies, or is a possible sign of something more serious.
Q. 81. I opted for my son to remain virtual for the semester. Can I change my selection to send him back in person?
A. No. Many of classroom assignments and cohorting are based on the decisions that parents made prior to the school year. Students who are designated all virtual for this semester will remain as distance learners until the semester ends on December 18. If your family chose in-person learning but you are not yet comfortable with your child's return to in-person attendance, you may elect to have your child remain virtual.
Q. 80. Why did the district change to an alternating, hybridized model for grades 7-12?
A. Data and trends show that student age matters: Students who are older and more social and mobile are at higher risk for contracting and transmitting COVID-19 and younger students appear less likely to transmit COVID-19 to each other or to adults. Additionally, the most recent CDC and CCBH guidelines underscore the need to create discrete cohorts (groups) of students as much as possible to further mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in school communities.
The alternating schedule for students in grades 7-12 is an additional phase of our return plan that allows us to create smaller groups of students to reduce risks and possible exposures. Due to the complexity of middle and high school schedules, we are not able to group students by classrooms. Virtual learning for the majority of our older students continues to be successful except for the lack of in-person connections that the students need.
Q. 79. When will our students start back in person?
A. We are starting students back with a staggered start in October as follows:
Grades K-6 - All-In: 5 Days a Week at School, for those families who selected the all-in option. (Preschool remains 4 Days a Week at school, for those families who selected the all-in option.)
Grades 7-12 - Alternating Schedule: 2 Days at School, 3 Days Virtual for families who select the all-in option.
Monday/Tuesday - Students with Last Names A-K Attend School In Person
Wednesday/Thursday - Students with Last Names L-Z Attend School In Person
Friday - All Virtual
Q. 78. When we will know a date regarding a possible return to in-person learning?
A. The Cuyahoga County Board of Health released updated guidance on September 14. All week, the district administrative team. building leaders and our education association will be discussing the dates for a return to school as well as comparing the new CCBH guidance with our previous back-to-school plan. Families can expect a communication from the district on Friday, September 18.
Q. 77. How do I help my child log in?
A. To find your teacher’s webpage, go to the Solon Schools website at www.solonschools.org and select your school. Hover over your school name to find the direct link to Teacher Webpages. A complete guide to Google Classroom and Zoom is also posted on the Blue Announcements bar for each school.
Q. 76. With a remote start to the year, will the first day of school still be delayed to August 26?
A. Our teachers will be using those additional professional days for additional training and planning for our more robust virtual learning environment. Students in grades 1-12 will start school August 26, Kindergarten students will start August 28 and preschools will start on August 31.
Q. 75. Will we be able to return to in-person instruction before the end of the first quarter?
A. Based on the information we have received from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, we do not believe we will be able to return prior to the end of the first quarter. We are in continual communication with the CCBH and as we draw nearer to the end of the quarter, we will evaluate the health information and guidance from the county to make the determination on reopening in-person.
Q. 74. How will virtual learning look different for my child than it did in the spring?
A. Our administrative staff and teacher leaders have been working hard all summer developing new models of virtualized instruction for our students. The key takeaway from this work is that ongoing interaction with your child’s teacher will happen throughout the day at scheduled intervals. This will provide the structure and live connections that our families asked for and we know our students need. Please refer to the sample daily schedules that were sent in your school communication for an overview. Additional information will be shared over the next several weeks so that families will have a clear picture of what you and your child can expect.
Q. 73. How will I get my child’s Chromebook and learning materials?
A. In the coming weeks we will be sending out detailed information about how and when material pickup will occur. Just like in the spring, we will have a scheduled time for you or your children to come to the school and safely pick up their materials.
Q. 72. What does this mean for my child with special needs and their instructional plan?
A. This is part of the decision-making process that we are engaged in right now. We have meetings next week to help us make specific decisions regarding our students with special needs in a fully remote environment.
Q. 71. What about the air filtration quality in the school buildings? Are you testing the air quality?
A. We have recently completed an in-depth audit of the HVAC systems in all of our buildings. Over the past several years we have made significant investments to upgrade and improve ventilation in each of our schools to within hospital grade specifications. These improvements were done as part of our regular maintenance and upgrade plan for the district’s HVAC systems even before the onset of COVID-19. Therefore, all district HVAC systems are operating in-line with CDC recommendations for the re-opening of schools. Additionally, in accordance with CDC recommendations, the HVAC systems are running at the highest level of fresh air intake possible and all exhaust fans are on high at all times. These settings are reviewed daily and will continue to be evaluated and monitored throughout the school year.
Common design standards in schools somewhat restrict the level of air filter that can be used. The CDC recommends that schools increase central air filtration to “as high as possible without significantly diminishing design airflow.” With that in mind, the filters used in our school building units are being increased to a maximum of MERV 13. This is the highest level of filtration that our systems will allow and is considered hospital level filtration.
There are a few areas within the district that do not have adequate air flow and filtration as they do not access HVAC system. The use of these spaces will be minimized or eliminated for student use. Where necessary, and as recommended by the CDC, these spaces will be supported with supplemental, portable HEPA filtration units.
Finally, each of the health clinic areas will also receive portable HEPA air filtration units.
Q. 70. Will you hire additional crossing guards with more students potentially not taking the bus this year?
A. Yes. The district is working with the Solon Police Department to add crossing guards to the busiest intersections on S.O.M. Center Road students in the parent transport zones would need to cross to reach Solon Middle School and Orchard Middle School.
Q. 69. What will happen if my child doesn't feel well at school?
A. Students who do not feel well during the school day will be directed to the school clinic and an assessment will be completed by the clinic staff. Students who are exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases as identified by the CDC and Cuyahoga County Board of Health (click here), will need to be picked up from school immediately. Students in the clinic who are feeling ill will be asked to put on a clean medical mask and wait in a designated area of the clinic.
Q. 68. When can my child return to school after being sent home sick?
A. Families will need to send a medical note detailing that their child is not experiencing a contagious medical condition in order to return to school in person.
Q. 67. Can my child rest in the clinic if he or she is tired?
A. Students who visit the clinic will receive an assessment to determine the nature of their complaint. To keep the risk of exposure to a minimum, only students with an essential health care need will remain in the clinic.
Q. 66. How will my child receive daily medications?
A. Students who require daily medication at school will go to the clinic for administration by our clinic staff at the prescribed time. Students will remain in the well area of the clinic to receive medications. Please be sure to complete, and have your physician sign, the necessary Administration of Medication During the School Day form at the start of the year.
Q. 65. What if my child cannot wear a cloth face covering?
A. The CDC recommends all people 2 years of age and older wear a cloth face covering in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household, especially when other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Wearing face masks throughout the school day is a critical component in our safety protocols this year. These masks should not have valves or vents. The CDC also recognizes that wearing cloth face coverings may not be possible in every situation or for some people. In some situations, wearing a cloth face covering may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency or introduce significant safety concerns.
If your child has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a cloth face covering, you will need to submit a note to the school from your child’s health care provider specifying that they need to wear a face shield instead of a mask. Per the CDC, if face shields are used without a mask, they should wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend to below the chin. Reusable face shields should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
Q. 64. Can I choose for my child to wear a face shield instead of face mask?
A. Wearing masks helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and masks are recommended for both students and adults in the school environment, according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and CDC. Students in grades K-12 attending in-person school with us each day should wear a mask (without vents or valves) throughout the school day.
Q. 63. What about mask breaks during the day?
A. Students will remove their masks for lunch while they eat and drink. Additionally, for our K-6 students, our recess monitors will help facilitate mask breaks for students who want to get a breath of fresh air away from other students. We will also provide tutorials for students and parents about how to safely remove and store a mask while not in use.
Otherwise, students will keep their masks on throughout the school day. We continue to urge families to provide increasing opportunities for students to wear masks now so that is familiar by the start of school.
Q. 62. Why is the school not taking temperatures to start the day?
A. Families of students who are attending with us in person will start each day by completing and submitting a before-school health screener, which includes student temperatures. We understand that some families would like us to do this for them or to be sure that every family does in fact take their child’s temperature and assess their child’s health. However, we believe it is imperative that our families work in partnership with us and understand the importance of this daily screening prior to students heading to the bus stop and arriving at school. We will provide additional resources about how to perform the health screening and take an accurate temperature closer to the start of school.
Q. 61. Will the deadline be extended to make my decision between the Virtual Learning Option and In-Person Learning for my child?
A. Yes. We know this is a difficult choice and want to provide more school-specific information and updated protocols for you to better inform your decision. You will have until 11:59 p.m. on August 2 to decide. Look for an update from your child's school on July 30.
Q. 60. Why hasn’t my question been answered yet?
A. We are receiving thousands of questions and answering them individually and in aggregate as quickly as possible. Some questions are easy to answer, while others are more complicated and still require work on our end here in the district to fully answer. Our district administrators, building leadership teams and teachers through our education association are working to create the new instructional models, schedules and procedures to support our students in both in-school and virtual learning. We will provide more detailed information next week, including sample schedules of what a student’s day may look like both at school and virtually, prior to the deadline for making your decision on July 31.
Q. 59. My child will be learning virtually for first semester. Should I opt-in for bus transportation in case I change my mind for second semester so she can ride starting in January?
A. No, if you are selecting the Virtual Learning Option for your child, please do not opt-in for bus transportation now. Out of necessity, we are handling this school year one semester at a time. We are routing our buses now for the students who will actually be riding in the fall to maximize the distancing on the buses. If you submitted the form for the Virtual Learning Option and requested bus transportation as well “just in case” for January, we will take your students off of the bus route for this semester. We will need to re-evaluate bus ridership levels for second semester in late fall based on the situation at that time. You will also be making a second semester learning option selection then as well.
Q. 58. Will the district automatically go to all remote learning if Cuyahoga County reaches purple, or Level 4, on the state COVID-19 advisory system?
A. The district’s contingency plans include consideration of many factors. We have been in discussions with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health this week to refine exactly which indicators will be most important in influencing a decision to move to all remote learning. This includes, but is not limited to, the data points and averages that would move Cuyahoga County into that Level 4 alert category. Those data points would influence our decision to most likely shift to remote learning.
Q. 57. Is there a possibility that Solon could change to all remote learning prior to the start of the school year?
A. At this time, we are doing everything possible to start the year with students both returning to school and learning virtually at home for those students who are unable to return. We understand how important school is for our students and parents. However, we are continually monitoring the health situation of our community and consulting with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health regularly. If the situation changes significantly and it is in the best interest of students and staff members to move to all remote, the district is prepared to do that. We hope that is not necessary to start the year, but this situation is fluid and we are analyzing everything daily.
Q. 56. My family is just returning from a vacation from a state on the Governor’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory List. Or we went out of town for a short family visit over a weekend. Should my child attend school if she is an in-person learner and activities at school such as band, drama, show choir and sports practices/games?
A. Please see Question 84 above for the current week State of Ohio WEEKLY TRAVEL ADVISORY due to a 7-day rolling average positivity rate of 15% or higher. Families and students traveling to or through the states on the Ohio Travel Advisory listing must quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to on-campus learning or extra-curricular activities.
The list is updated by the Ohio Department of Health each Wednesday with states that have positive testing rates of 15 percent or higher for COVID-19. We will include any changes to states on the list here on Wednesdays as well.A. In accordance with the Governor’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory, students who have traveled to a state on the advisory list are not permitted to come to school or any school activities, including athletics and fine arts practices, until they have completed 14 days of home quarantine. This also includes staff and parent volunteers. This also applies to college visits.
The advisory calls for travelers to quarantine at home for 14 days from the time they left a state on the list. Travel to a state on the COVID-19 advisory list includes stopping for gas, food or bathroom breaks while passing through, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Thank you for your cooperation in adhering to this important protocol. It is critical to minimizing the potential spread of COVID-19 in our school community.
Q. 55. Will students and staff need to take a COVID-19 test prior to the start of the school year or at other times?
A. No. Decisions about the appropriateness of testing for children and staff will be left up to families and medical professionals.
Q. 54. What happens if a student starts coughing or exhibiting other symptoms of COVID-19 in a classroom?
A. Students who develop sore throats, coughs or other symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent to the clinic and sent home. Families will need to send a medical note detailing that their child is not experiencing a contagious medical condition in order to return to school. We know many of our students have seasonal allergies with symptoms that resemble those of COVID-19. We will err on the side of caution in asking families to confirm with a health care provider that their child’s symptoms are not contagious.
Q. 53. The Back-to-School plans reference before-school screening families should do at home to be sure that their child is well enough to attend school each day. What exactly will we need to look for every morning?
A. Conducting an honest check of your child’s well being each morning will be a critical component of helping keep our school communities as safe as possible. We understand some families would like us to do temperature checks prior to students entering the buildings for them, however, public health and medical professionals have stressed that it is important for daily screenings to cover more than just a student or staff member’s temperature.
Please consult the School Health Screening checklist from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health: School Health Screening - Cuyahoga County Board of Health
Q. 52. Is it possible to consider only permitting the students on IEPs to attend school in person?
A. We believe it is important for all families to have the same opportunity to choose whether their children attend school in-person or virtually. The recent decision to have only the students on IEPs attend Solon Preschool was forced by stringent state restrictions on preschool classroom student-teacher ratios, not a district decision to exclude peer model preschoolers.
Additionally, many of our students who have difficult learning challenges are attending school in person.
Q. 51. Are allergy concerns for students in the classroom going to change what students are permitted to eat for their packed lunches? Will the nut-free policy still apply to classrooms if students are exclusively eating lunch at their desks? Last year, students were able to eat food that contained nuts in the cafeteria, but not classroom, will that still be true?
A. Just like every year, our schools will analyze the information parents submit through the Annual Information and Emergency Contact Update system to make decisions about peanut-free, nut-free and other allergen free classrooms. That same process will occur this year and families will be notified about any limitations on lunch or snack food that would be eaten in the classroom. The Grab and Go lunches packed by the cafeteria and purchased by students would all be peanut-free.
Q. 50. Do virtual students have to wake up early and follow the school schedule exactly?
A. Yes. Students learning virtually from home will follow a nearly identical schedule to their at-school peers. So for example, any Solon High School student with a first period class would need to be logged into Google Classroom and ready for the day prior to the start of class at 7:50 a.m. Similarly, a second grader at Roxbury would be logged into Google Classroom and ready to learn promptly at 8 a.m.
Students learning virtually will need to be conscientious about their classes, assignments and daily schedule just as if they were attending school in the building every day. Teachers will have the same expectations for their students learning at home as they do for the students learning in person.
Families will need to support their students’ learning at home and throughout the school day, particularly for our younger students.
Q. 49. Does the district have enough substitutes for this year?
A. The Solon Schools can always use more qualified substitutes and this year will probably be more challenging than most. If you are interested in substituting or know someone who is, please apply through the link on our website at: Apply Here
Q. 48. What is the policy on extra-curricular activities in person when selecting the Virtual Learning Option?
A. If you determine it is in your child’s best interest to learn virtually and participate in face-to-face activities, the district will honor that decision. Although the district is doing everything possible to mitigate risk and implement safety protocols, some face-to-face activities carry inherently more risk than others. As has been the case since we have resumed in person activities, all students participating in those types of extra-curricular activities and athletics must complete an assumption of risk waiver.
Q. 47. What about school supplies?
A. UPDATE: Students learning virtually will have regular supply and learning material pick ups from their teachers and the school. These pick ups are mandatory as they include importating instructional materials your child will need.
Each school is rethinking every item on the school supply lists to be sure that the supplies requested are exactly what students need this year.
Q 46. If my child starts the year attending class in school, can I request a switch to virtual?
A. Yes. The full-semester commitment is only for the Virtual Learning Option at the start of the year.
Q 45. Do I need to submit the Parent Choice Learning Form if I am selecting In-School Learning for my child?
A. No. The form only needs to be submitted if you are selecting the Virtual Option for your child. Submit the Virtual Learning Opt-In Form Here: https://forms.gle/AKsrZa1ru5NLfMPw6
Q 44. Can I change my mind about which learning option I pick for my child?
A. The Virtual Option to start the year is a semester-long commitment. However, if your child starts the year with the In-School Option, you may switch your child to the Virtual Option at any time. Your child would then remain learning virtually for the remainder of the semester. Students who need to move to virtual learning due to illness or exposure to someone with COVID-19 would return to the classroom if they choose following the recommended 14-day quarantine or recovery from their illness.
Q 43. Do our Solon teachers know the details of the plans?
A. Our teachers union, the Solon Education Association, has been consulted and provided input to the plans at each stage of development. Their input and hands-on planning is ongoing. Several details are still being worked out.
Q 42. How long is a semester? When does the first semester end?
A. A semester is half of the academic year. The end of first semester (and the second quarter) will be December 18.
Q 41. What is the first day of school for Kindergarten and Preschool Students?
A. Kindergarten will start on August 28 and Preschool will start on August 31.
Q 40. Can you tell me more about the difference between full-day and half-day Kindergarten virtually and in school?
A. The Kindergarten teams at Lewis, Parkside and Roxbury are working on these details now. More in-depth information about Kindergarten will be sent to families this week.
Q 39. Will the last day of school remain the same since the start date is moving back a week?
A. At this time, the last day is projected to remain the same.
Q 38. What will happen if a child forgets a mask or doesn’t have a mask at school? Will the school provide masks to kids who don’t have them?
A. Each school will have extra disposable masks on hand for any students who forget them or who arrive at school not wearing one.
Q 37. Will all students who choose the Virtual Option receive a Chromebook?
A. Yes. Every student in grades K-12 will have a Chromebook whether they are learning at school or virtually. In the spring, we only had enough Chromebooks for one device per family in grades K-4, but we have ordered additional devices and will be fully One-to-One in all grades.
Q 36. Will my child in grades K-6 still have specials like art, music and physical education?
A. Specials classes will be part of every student’s day at school and virtually. Students will go to the gym, art and music rooms for specials classes to provide variety in their learning environment. Specials rooms will be cleaned and sanitized with food grade sanitizer between classes in the same way individual classrooms will be during the school day.
Q 35. My child is taking art classes this year. Is there any way she could come to school for half the day for her art class only?
A. Students who are learning virtually, will do so for all classes. Our art, music, physical education and other specials/electives teachers are working on their plans for how these classes will need to change for this year for in-school and virtual learning. For example, our full choir and full band classes will still take place, but all students cannot play or sing together in the same way they have done in the past. Our family and consumer classes that include cooking are also being rethought for safety and to be sure equity among in-school and virtual learners.
Q 34. Will elementary school children have any chance at moving around the classroom/interacting with peers in groups or will they be at the desks the entire day?
A. The teacher teams will be working on ways to help students interact during the school day in the classroom while still remaining physically distant. We understand interconnectedness is important to students’ social-emotional well-being. Although they may not be able to interact in the same exact same way they have done in the past, they will be collaborating with peers in the classroom and those who are at home learning virtually. There may be physical barriers, such as desk shields, they will still be working together and communicating, but they must still keep physical distance. Student will be able to socialize in the classroom for lunch and at recess.
Q 33. If I opt in to receive bus transportation, can I still drive my child to school occasionally?
A. Yes. A parent can choose to drive or pick up a student from school at any time. Please be sure to follow your school’s protocols for parent pick up and drop off. Changes are being implemented at all schools to help accommodate the anticipated uptick in pick up and drop off traffic. These procedures and new traffic patterns will be sent by each school as we get closer to the start of the year.
Q 32. Is there any chance the parent transportation zone will be changed?
A. Based on the responses we receive for parents who ask for bus transportation, if we are able to add students who live within the parent transport zones, we will do so.
Q 31. Has any thought been given to expanding parking for students at the high school?
A. Yes, and for the 2020-21 school year, sophomores who have their license will be able to purchase an SHS Parking Permit at the start of the year. Parking Permit information will be sent directly to sophomores, juniors and seniors soon.
Q 30. Where will my student eat lunch?
A. Each school is creating new lunch procedures. For students in grades K-4, students will eat lunch in classrooms. At Orchard and Solon Middle School, students will eat in classrooms and the cafeteria physically distanced on a rotating schedule. The cafeterias will also have plastic shields on the tables. Solon High School students will all eat during an expanded 4C lunch period in their 4AB/5BC classroom. High School families will receive a special communication regarding additional lunch procedures on July 20.
Q 29. Will students still go through the lunch lines?
A. No. Our Food & Nutrition Services team, in conjunction with each school, is rethinking the lunch process for this year. To allow for lunches to be delivered to students (instead of standing in lunch lines), students will receive “Grab & Go Lunches” that contain all of the required elements for a healthy student lunch: protein, grain, fruit, vegetable, milk. Students who buy their lunch pick it up in the hallway near their classroom from a portable kiosk. For students with food allergies who would like to purchase lunch would just need to complete a pre-order form by 8 a.m. each morning and an allergen-free alternate lunch will be provided
Q 28. Our family situation has changed due to a reduction in force at work. Can we complete the Free & Reduced Lunch Application now to help our family deal with lunch and fees?
A. Yes of course. We have unfortunately heard of similar situations from families around the district. Please go ahead and complete the application now at: https://sdms.solonschools.org/sdms2/
Also please be sure to reach out to your building principal or child’s counselor so we can be sure we addressing additional social-emotional needs and providing support.
Q 27. If you live in a parent transportation zone will bussing be available to day care after school?
A. Yes, we are doing our best to honor day care requests. Please submit the Day Care Transportation Request Form: https://forms.gle/NCYBJVwDJ7vKTgVA8
Q 26. Will the school start times be the same this year?
A. Yes. There are no major changes planned to the start and dismissal times, although a shift of a few minutes may be necessary for transportation and physical distancing as students leave school. Any small shifts will be communicated directly to parents with the arrival and dismissal procedures.
K-4 – 8 a.m.
5-6 – 8:50 a.m.
7-8 – 8:40 a.m.
9-12 – 7:50 a.m.
Q 25. Will students who are participating virtual learning be able to have the schedule and expectations in advance, so that parents can structure assistance?
A. Yes. Daily schedules and meeting times times will be provided in advance so that virtual students are prepared and know the structure of the day. Class assignments will be given in real time just as they are in a typical school day. As in the past, daily lessons will be posted.
Q 24. Will the class periods be the exact same length this year?
A. No. We have adjusted the school day schedules to incorporate time for the handwashing, sanitizing and more distanced passing times between classes.
Q 23. Will the school consider selling face masks to leverage bulk purchasing and ensure constancy of quality and fit?
A. The district is leveraging bulk purchasing of disposable face masks for use in the buildings for staff as well as for students who may forget to bring a mask to school. Additional masks will be on the buses as well for a student who forgets a mask. We are also purchasing cloth masks and face shields for staff members.
At the same time, we want staff members to wear a face mask that is most comfortable for them. For students, the choice of which face mask will be most comfortable is very important. Different fabrics feel different to children especially. We encourage parents to try different options and see which one their child likes best. Being able to choose colors, designs and styles we think is important for children as well. Additionally, masks are size-specific so it is important that families select the size mask that best fits their child.
Some of our parent groups are looking into Solon-branded masks for sale to families. If those become available, we communicated that with ordering details right away.
Q 22. Are there consequences for kids who repeatedly take off their masks?
A. Learning to keep a mask on for extended periods of time is new for everyone. Our staff will be working on ways to build positive culture in the classroom for keeping masks on during the day. This would include reminders and positive reinforcement, so students are hearing more affirmative messages than negative ones. We ask that parents begin this process at home over the next 6 weeks to help children get acclimated to wearing masks for increasingly longer periods of time.
Q 21. What about orientations and meet the teacher events?
A. Each school is planning a combination of virtual and small-group orientation programs. Families will hear more about these at the beginning of August. The large group back-to-school ice cream socials and supply drop offs to meet the teacher are simply not possible this year. But we understand the importance of providing a smooth transition especially to a new school building and we will provide opportunities for that to happen prior to the start of school.
Q 20. What type of assistance will seniors get with college planning if they are learning virtually?
A. Students will receive the exact same support from our counselors regardless of whether they are participating at school or from home. The college planning programs for students and parents will be conducted virtually this year and recorded for SETV as in years past. Students learning virtually would meet with their counselors through Google Meet. The online Naviance college planning tool will continue to be used by Solon High School students and parents.
Q 19. What exactly will virtual learning look like? Will there be a camera set up in the classrooms? Will the students who are learning from home be engaged in the same lessons as the students who are in the actual classrooms? Will there be a set schedule for their school day? Will they be able to reach out to teachers for help during the class time?
A. Over the summer, we have been installing new cameras in every classroom to allow for live, direct instruction. Students learning from home will have live interaction with their teachers each day. This will occur throughout the school day for elementary students and with each teacher for grades 5-12. The entire class would not be live-streamed; instead students will be connecting to their teacher or small group within the classroom through Google Meet. Google Classroom has been enhanced to allow for more differentiation and small group connections. Students who need assistance will be able to ask questions during the class time. Each teacher will provide details on exactly how and when for their class. At the same time, students learning virtually will have a set schedule for classes and a clear understanding of how to connect and when for each class. Additional technology such as headsets and microphones will also be used to assist with clear communication among teachers and students.
Q 18. If a student tests positive or is a close contact of someone who tests positive and needs to quarantine for 14 days, would online learning be available to that student during that time frame?
A. Yes, a student who must be absent from school due to COVID-19 or exposure to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be able to access the learning for their classes virtually. This is exactly why we did not choose a separate virtual academy model. We anticipate throughout the school year, students will need to be at home due to illness or exposure to COVID-19 and we want to ensure as much consistency in learning as possible.
Q 17. If a student or teacher in a class tests positive, would the entire class need to be quarantined for 14 days?
A. We are still working on finalizing protocols with public health experts. However, current guidance is anyone who has sustained contact of 10 minutes or more within 6 feet of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 would need to be quarantined for 14 days. Out of an abundance of caution, at this time we believe we would consider an entire classroom to fit within that criteria. As these protocols are finalized, we will share them with you (and in time to make your final learning option decision). We will also update these protocols as we approach the start of the year and during the year as additional guidance from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and other public health officials requires. This would include a change in the overall situation regarding COVID-19 in Solon, Cuyahoga County and Ohio.
Q 16. What happens if a family member of a student in my child’s class tests positive?
A. If a family member tests positive, that student would be quarantined and not in school for 14 days. In the absence of a positive COVID-19 test for the student, current public health guidance indicates that classmates and teachers would not need to be quarantined.
Q 15. What happens if a teacher tests positive for COVID-19?
A. Any teacher or staff member testing positive for COVID-19 would be isolated and not in school for 14 days. Every class taught by that teacher would be quarantined for 14 days and move to virtual learning for that 14-day period.
Q 14. For in-school learning, will my child stay in the same classroom for each period? Or will they still move from one classroom to another?
A. This may look a little different at each school and we will continue to add details. At Solon High School, students will need to move from classroom to classroom for each period of the day. At the K-4 buildings, students will remain in their classrooms for the core academics but move to the specials classrooms for their scheduled special that day. At Orchard students will move among their team classes and to specials classes with their cohort to add variation to their learning environments. Like Orchard, Solon Middle School uses the team model and is finalizing the plans for student movement among classrooms early this week, so families will have time to factor that into their decision-making.
Q 13. Are the students required to wear both a face mask and face shield at the same time?
A. No. Students will wear face masks throughout the day except while they are eating or drinking at lunch or during very specific "mask breaks" away from other students outside and during recess. The overall health of our school community is dependent on everyone's adherence to wearing face masks throughout the school day.
Q 12. When is the first day of school?
A. The start of school year will be delayed until August 26.
Q 11. Will my child have lunch at school each day?
A. Yes. Each student will have the opportunity to eat a packed or purchased lunch in a restructured environment. Every effort is being made to maximize social distancing and minimizing interactions among large groups of students. Lunch will look different depending on your child’s grade level. Specific information regarding lunch in your child’s school will be sent later this summer.
Q 10. Will my child have recess each day?
A. Yes. Students in grades K-6 will have recess every day. However, recess will be restructured to minimize interactions among large groups of students and reinforce physical distancing. Our lunch monitor staff will receive additional training and assistance in facilitating student play and interaction at recess. In addition, new protocols are being put in place to sanitize playground equipment in between recess periods.
Q 9. What exactly are desk shields?
A. The desk shields are coroplast tri-folds with clear polycarbonate inserts that allow for maximum visibility while creating an additional layer of protection while students interact in the classroom. Students are not “fully encased” in the desk shields. They provide an additional barrier when students are communicating with the teacher and peers in the classroom. They are designed to be easy to sanitize throughout the day and each evening. Teachers and students will work together to clean the desk shields, desks and seats after each class. Only the teacher will spray on the food grade, non-toxic sanitizing spray and students will wipe it off to dry with paper towels.
Q 8. What type of sanitizer/cleaner is being used in the classrooms?
A. At the recommendation of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, we are using two different types of cleaning products. During the day, we will be using a sanitizer that is rated for use in food distribution settings, which is safe for students. Each evening, the rooms will be sanitized with an electrostatic spray sanitizing machines. We will add the specific cleaners used in the classroom at night to this page early this week.
Q 7. What about special education students? How will my child’s services differ this year?
A. We understand the unique challenges our students with special needs are experiencing due to the pandemic. There are a specialized set of needs for each of these students. Therefore, each student’s IEP team will create a plan to address their individual needs. Parents will receive information specific to their student as the school year begins.
Q 6. Would my child’s experience with virtual learning be the same as it was in the spring?
A. No. Our remote learning model is enhanced from what students participated in during the fourth quarter of 2020 and is built on the direct teaching described in the reopening plan presentation for virtual learning. Students will follow a set daily schedule that includes regular live interactions with their teachers, coupled with independent and group work. This is not an outsourced virtual academy. Solon teachers and curriculum and technology leaders will be building the program and lesson plans with equity for all students in learning opportunities in mind.
Q 5. Can I change my mind about choosing the virtual learning option for my child?
A. Creating a learning environment that is simultaneously in-person and virtual requires significant planning and logistics. Class sizes, classroom management and making sure that the number of students a teacher has who are in-person and virtual are balanced are all important factors. Therefore, selecting the virtual option for your child to start the year is a semester-long commitment. You may opt out of virtual learning at the beginning of the second semester. You may change your mind and have your child start learning virtually for the remainder of the semester at any time.
Please submit the Virtual Learning Parent Choice Form by July 31 if you are selecting the Virtual Option for your child: Virtual Learning Parent Choice Opt--In Form
Q 4. Why is Solon not offering a hybrid model?
A. Based on parent feedback, the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the social-emotional well-being of our students, we felt that providing a full-time in-person learning experience for our students was best. We believe that we can do this in a safe manner while still giving our families the option of virtual learning. Consistency and continuity throughout the week is important for students and families.
Q 3. Do I have to complete the bus transportation form?
A. Yes. If you want your child to have a seat on the bus, you must complete the form. Any student without a submitted form requesting transportation will not have transportation this year.
Transportation OPT IN Form by July 24: Bus Transportation Opt-In Form
If your child needs Day Care Transportation, please complete the Day Care Transportation Form also by July 24: Day Care Transportation Request Form
Q 2. Will school personnel take temperatures?
A. We are requiring parents to assess their child’s health each day before going to the bus stop and before arriving at school, including taking temperatures at home. Students should not come to school with an elevated temperature of 100.4 or above. Staff will refer students who appear symptomatic to our dedicated COVID clinics in each building. We absolutely need our families to partner with us on this. It is the responsibility of everyone in our school community to do their part in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Q 1. What if my question is not answered here?
Thank you for your patience as we add new questions and answers continually. We will be updating this FAQ regularly in response to your questions and as our team finalizes details at each school.