Back to School Update 7-30-21

Back to School Update 7-30-21
Posted on 07/30/2021
Back to School Update 7-30-21Printable PDF Version

BCS letterhead

July 30, 2021

 




With the school year quickly approaching, I want to share how the district plans to approach the year specific to COVID-19 and in-person learning.  I am proud and thankful to say that Bellefontaine City Schools, with the support and efforts of students, staff, and community, successfully handled many challenges last school year.  Those challenges may not be over, but I am confident that we will continue to work through them as they come along.

 

Bellefontaine City Schools will begin the 2021-2022 school year with the following in place:

 

·       Cleanliness:  

o     Our staff did a great job of cleaning and sanitizing multiple times each day last year and that will continue. 

o     Cafeterias will be used as normal with cleaning throughout the day, especially between group uses.

o     The district will use disinfectant sprayers throughout the facilities and on busses.

o     Staff and student training is provided to ensure adherence to the safety protocols. Signage, public announcements and the district website are used to inform the community and families of expectations.

o     Busses will open vents, and windows to increase outside airflow.

o     The district is analyzing the cost to install air conditioning at the high school.

·       Handwashing: In accordance with CDC guidelines, https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html, staff, students and visitors are encouraged to frequently wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer is provided in every classroom, office, and common area and handwashing signs are placed throughout the facilities.

·       Air movement and air quality:  Ionization units were installed last year to clean the air and help in the sanitation of surfaces.  We also know that exchanging the air in our rooms frequently is critical.  We will also continue this practice as well.

·        Vaccinations:  

o     Vaccinations are a personal choice.  There will not be a requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend school or participate in clubs or sports.

o     The district will continue collaborating and partnering with local health officials to provide vaccination opportunities to staff, students and the community.

·       Masks: 

o   Masks are a personal choice unless mandated by our local, state, or federal health departments.  Anyone who wants to wear a mask is encouraged to do so, but they will not be mandated to start school.

o   Masks will be mandated by the Logan County Health Department for all who are ill.  Students who come to school not feeling well (common cold, sniffles, etc.) will need to wear a mask.  As always, students who are truly sick should not come to school.

o   Masks will be mandated by the Logan County Health Department if/when we have 46 positive cases in the county at any one time.  That number represents 1 case per 1,000 people in the county.  The mandate will last two weeks and include all students, staff, and residents of the county.

o   Federal guidelines still require masks on public transportation.  Our buses are public transportation.  We strongly encourage masks to be worn on buses, but that decision will remain a personal choice.  Our local experts believe air movement on the buses is much more important.  We will have windows and roof vents open.

·       Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine:

o   COVID-19 positive students/staff will need to isolate for 10 days.

o   Any student/staff member who has direct contact with a COVID-19 positive person must wear a mask for 10 days, but a quarantine is not necessary.

o   A COVID-19 positive case in a K-5 classroom will require the whole class (vaccinated or not) to wear a mask for 10 days.

o   A COVID-19 positive case in grades 6-12 will require students (vaccinated or not) who had direct contact with that individual to wear a mask for 10 days.

o   Visitor access to the campus is limited. No one who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is permitted on school grounds. Visitors are required to enter through a buzzer door system at the main office of each building where they will very that the visitor is not experiencing symptoms.

o   If required, the nurse will report weekly positive cases to the Logan County Health Department. The nurse will also monitor absences and conduct contact tracing for staff and students.

·       Band, Choir & Orchestra:  We will have band, choir, and orchestra this year.  When possible, we will put greater distance between students in those classes.  Conducting those classes in large open spaces is ideal so those classes may not be held in the traditional classrooms.

·       Open Houses and Events:  We are planning for full capacity at our Open Houses and school events.  We do ask that anyone who is feeling ill to not attend.

·       Accommodations: The district will provide health and safety accommodations in accordance with the students’ IEP.  The district will make every effort to collaborate with families regarding individual special needs. Various forms of communication will include but not be limited to email, US mail, text messaging, Final Forms, phone calls, Zoom meetings and physically distanced face to face meetings.

·       Continuity of Services:

o   The district plans to continue full in-person learning.

o   In the event for school closure due to the pandemic, the district purchased Chromebooks for all students.

o   The district utilizes a full online program to provide instruction to students who have health conditions that could prevent regular in person attendance.   There is a requirement to meet face to face with assigned teacher periodically.

o   The district will continue to use MAP testing to assess students in grades K-12 to ensure that students are progressing as expected and interventions are made when needed through RTI.

o   The district will continue to offer before and after school learning opportunities.

o   The high school will continue utilizing Virtual Learning Academy as a credit recovery option.

o   The middle school and high school will continue Naviance to promote career development and track individual progress toward graduation.

o   Summer school was implemented in summer 2021 for grades K-8 with a focus on reading and math.

o   Summer credit recovery was offered for grades 9-12.

·       Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Needs:

o   The district utilizes PBIS and supports in grades K-12

o   In collaboration with the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Board the district implemented a preventive program, DESSA survey, to identify student strengths and areas for growth as well as lesson plan initiatives to support student needs.

o   Mary Rutan Hospital provides a full time athletic trainer to support student health during extra-curricular activities.  The trainer assist in the assessment, identification of injury and illness.

o   The district is utilizing a Health and Wellness coach at the high school for the 21-22 school year.

o   The district also employs a social worker in collaboration with Logan County Children’s Services to connect families and schools and to assist with nonacademic barriers.

o   In collaboration with TCN, the district has access to two, full time mental health counselors, which provide services solely to the students within the school day as well as before or after school.

o   All staff receive SafeSchools training annually as well as Mental Health First Aid so they can assist someone dealing with mental health issues.

o   Students in grades 6-8 receive Botvin LifeSkills training.

o   Students in grades 6-12 participate in the Signs of Suicide Screening.

o   Grades 3-5 use Covey’s Leader in Me to promote self-awareness and social emotional wellbeing.

o   Grades K-2 utilizes PAX Good Behavior Game and Heroes.

o   The district participates in Handle with Care program. This provides collaboration between first responders and school officials when crisis occur outside the school day.

·       Student Health

o   The district employs a full time nurse and 3 LPNs.

o   All students receive free breakfast and lunch for the 21-22 school year through USDA. If school would close due to the pandemic, the district will assess its ability to deliver meals directly to student homes.

 

The Bellefontaine City School District cannot control local, state, or federal mandates.  If mandates are ordered, the district will follow them.  This plan was created June 2021.  The district will continue to assess and adjust procedures in accordance with state and local guidelines.  The plan will be reviewed at least semi-annually. This document will be presented to the public at the August board meeting and is posted on the district website.

 

We look forward to opening school and seeing students soon!

 

Sincerely,

 

Brad Hall

Superintendent

Bellefontaine City Schools

 

If you wish to make public comment or have any questions/concerns, please contact:

Brad Hall

Superintendent

Bellefontaine City Schools

820 Ludlow Rd.

Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311

937-593-9060

hallb@bcs-k12.org

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