District Family Update - May 15, 2020
I wanted to share part of the information from my opening letter in next week’s issue of The Eagle Examiner.
As we wrap up this unique year, we continue to plan for next school year. Right now, we are planning for multiple scenarios as we await guidance from the state, including the exact requirements (primarily health-related) that we must meet next year. Normally, by May, class schedules are mostly done, hiring is well underway, and we are getting ready to place orders for next year. Our administrative team is full of planners, and we are all going crazy right now! We want these things done, and-- most importantly-- we want our students back in our buildings for a “normal” start of the year. However, based on what we are seeing from the Ohio Department of Education in the “Reset and Restart” draft for reopening schools, that may not be an option.
The anticipated permissible options from the state for next school year basically include what we are doing currently with remote learning or only having up to 50% of students in buildings at a time (there are many ways to do this, including bringing some students back full-time while some voluntarily continue with remote learning, using an A/B schedule, etc.). Based on the recent openings announced this week, however, I am hopeful that may shift over the next couple of months. Any scenario with kids in buildings will most likely require us to observe social distancing and continue using increased sanitation measures.
While we wait on final statewide requirements and options, our team has been collaborating with other districts to share ideas and develop potential education models for next year. We will utilize a Pandemic Response Committee, including parents and staff members from existing district committees and some from local health and business fields, to give feedback on potential plans for next year. We will provide an opportunity for all parents to provide input on allowable options through a district survey, which we expect to give in early June. For example, we need to prepare for the possibility of extending remote learning for a longer period of time, and we know that we will need to make adjustments in our delivery and expectations.
While I would love to put an exact date on having a finished plan to recommend to the Board of Education, I really can’t do that without additional information. I will keep you updated as we work through this process.
In addition to all of these academic issues, the services we will be able to provide will be impacted by the current financial challenges resulting from COVID-19’s impact on the economy and our budget. Please see The Eagle Examiner, which will be delivered next week, for an update from our treasurer, Jeremy Buskirk.
Finally, speaking of finances, I want to share an update on our levy. While our ballot issue has not been certified by the Delaware County Board of Elections, things look promising. THANK YOU for renewing your support of our students, at a zero tax increase, especially in this difficult time. With the current and imminent state cuts and local income tax cuts we will see, we are so fortunate to have these funds to provide services to our students. Even with the passage of the levy, like many of our businesses and families, we are facing very challenging economic circumstances ahead.
As always, please reach out to our team if you have any questions.
Have a great week!