Olentangy Schools to offer in-person classes, distance alternatives

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LEWIS CENTER, Ohio (WCMH) — Olentangy Local School District released the reopening plan for schools Monday. In a letter to the community it acknowledged the survey sent out earlier in the summer was helpful while deciding the best way to serve students and families in the community.

The district will reopen in August with five day week attendance and in-person learning. Of course, the letter stressed there will be flexibility with developments of COVID-19.

The district is planning for in-person classes for all students five days per week as long as Delaware County remains under a level 1 or level 2 public emergency. If Delaware County were to move to level 3, the district would switch to a hybrid attendance model. At level 4, the district would move to a virtual attendance model.

An option also exists for families who wish to use distance learning no matter the risk level.

According to the letter:

Dear Olentangy community,

I hope you are relaxing and resetting, while enjoying a safe and healthy summer break. As communicated, the Olentangy district leadership team would like to put your minds at ease regarding the 2020-2021 school year.

As many discussions about the reopening of our schools dictate the current dialogue, we want to assure everyone that the health and safety of students, staff and families remains one of our top priorities as we consider the year ahead. We are diligently working alongside the district’s Back to School committee, staff, and parents, with checks and balances from the state’s governing bodies, to prepare for the safe reopening of facilities.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to the upcoming school year. Based on available information from Ohio’s governor as of July 2, 2020, school districts in Ohio will create individual learning models formed by guidance and regulations provided by the Center for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Ohio Department of Health and the Delaware General Health District.

The district says it will follow public health guidelines.

According to the letter, the district hopes to offer a daily attendance model beginning August 31.

With this model, as outlined below, we will provide in-person learning five days a week in a safe and healthy school environment. We are also pursuing shifting the first day of school to begin Monday, August 31, 2020 rather than Thursday, August 20, 2020. This allows for the guaranteed arrival of safety equipment and for teachers and staff to acclimate to social distancing procedures between August 20 and August 31 as they prepare to welcome your children back to our facilities.

We must be flexible and prepared in the COVID-19 ever-changing environment, and therefore have prepared four models for this school year. We ask that you review all models with open minds and know that we may need to move among the three attendance models as conditions change. These models address students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade; information for our preschool families will be forthcoming. We also recognize some families may require a dedicated distanced alternative, and all students will be given the opportunity for a full distance learning option with a year-long commitment.

This document provides a high-level perspective regarding our return to school. A dedicated microsite containing information surrounding this upcoming school year will go live later this week. This website will be your one-stop location for all back to school information, and give you the opportunity to share your feedback with us. We will send you this link later this week.

Thank you for your patience and grace as we come back together as One Olentangy, and the start of another successful school year.

Proud to serve as your Superintendent,

Mark T. Raiff
Olentangy Schools

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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