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Staying the Course on the Return-to-School Plan

Yesterday’s update by Governor DeWine included news of trends regarding the incidence of COVID-19 throughout Ohio and Cuyahoga County. 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 today will allow us to stay the course in our return-to-school plan. 

Based on family choices, our students in grades K-6 will continue all-in five days a week and our students in grades 7-12 will start back on-campus in hybridized two-day groups on either Monday or Wednesday. Students whose families selected the all-remote option will continue to connect to their classrooms virtually. Any family that wishes to change their student from on-campus to all-remote may do so at any time for the remainder of the semester by contacting their building principal.

The decision to continue our planned return was finalized following consultation with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. During the discussion today, 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. 

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.