American Rescue Plan
Safe Return to In-person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan
Ridgemont Local Schools
Date: 6-21-2021 Date Revised: 10-26-2021
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides federal resources to support states and local school districts. Recent federal guidance clarifies that districts submit to the state of Ohio a plan that fulfills the requirement that districts publish local “Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plans” by June 24, 2021. Each district school should then post the plan on its local website and then submit the plan to the Ohio Department of Education by June 24.
This overall plan is being built upon existing district plans that address many of the elements of the federal requirements.
Ridgemont has organized this plan to include the current and prior health and safety plans developed in collaboration with the Kenton-Hardin Health Department. Since the district already has existing remote learning plans, continuous improvement plans, Covid Safety Plans, and other similar plans that encompass aspects of these requirements they are listed below and comprise the requirements to address Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan. Those previously developed plans together with the below aspects meet the relevant requirements of the federal assurances.
Plan Review and Public Input:
The district will periodically review all key aspects of this plan at least every six months for the duration of the ARP ESSER grant period, and revise its plan as appropriate. Plan review will include but is not limited to collaborative work by the district administrative team, district leadership team, and building and district network team.
The district will take into account whether revisions are necessarily based on feedback at public board meetings and correspondence with parents and local health officials.
A Plan in two Parts: The plan as required has two major component parts:
Safe Return to In-Person Instruction
Ridgemont Local Schools is a small rural district that educates students Preschool through 12th grade in one building. All students in grades K-12 have access to devices and are able to take them home and use them during hybrid and remote learning. Students with limited internet access were also provided hotspots and the district upgraded internet access outside of both campus buildings. JH/HS staff and students were previously using Schoology as our LMS and K-6 teachers and students quickly moved to using Google Classrooms. Therefore, we were able to quickly move to remote online learning when the governor ordered that all schools be shut down.
During the 20-21 school year, Ridgemont offered students both in-person and on-line instruction. About 17% of the student population selected on-line instruction that was provided by our teaching staff as an extension of the classroom instruction while teachers continued to teach the majority of students in-person. Students attending online were allowed to return to in-person as needed. Ridgemont provided remote, hybrid, and in-person instruction during the first semester and returned in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year while maintaining proper physical distancing and mask wearing protocols.
A. Universal and correct wearing of masks
Face coverings are covered in Policy 8450.01 Protective Facial Coverings During Pandemic/Epidemic Events. Ridgemont Local Schools will follow the Ohio Department of Health and Kenton-Hardin Health Department guidelines.
B. Physical distancing (e.g., including use of cohorts/podding)
Ridgemont Local Schools will follow the Ohio Department of Health and the Kenton-Hardin Health Department guidance on physical distancing.
C. Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
The district promotes behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 such as encouraging staff and students to stay home when appropriate; encouraging the practice of hand hygiene by placing sanitizing stations with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol): in each classroom; and at entrances and exits of buildings. Ridgemont Local Schools will continue with current hand washing and respiratory etiquette guidelines.
D. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation
Ridgemont Schools will continue with current cleaning and filter replacement practices and guidelines. Classrooms and busses will be disinfected as often as possible with appropriate disinfectant.
E. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments
Ridgemont Local Schools will follow guidance from the Kenton-Hardin Health Department for contract tracing and quarantine. The district also engages the expertise of the school nurse on the importance of contact tracing.
F. Diagnostic and screening testing
Ridgemont Local School provides information for workers and families to be able to access Covid diagnostic testing. An up-to-date list of testing locations can be found at the Ohio Department of Health Website. The linked ODH map shows COVID-19 testing sites throughout Ohio which are a combination of private companies and retail sites, Community Health Centers, and pop-up sites that offer Covid testing.
G. Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible
All educators and staff were offered vaccinations through the ONU Healthwise Pharmacy at our facility. ONU Healthwise Pharmacy has also offered vaccinations to students when vaccines become available.
H. Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies
Reasonable accommodations are provided for individuals that the CDC identifies as having a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 such as medically fragile students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), students with complex disabilities with IEPs or students who require accommodations under a Plan in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504 Plan).
Continuity of Services Plan
A. A continuity of services plan addresses the students’ academic needs, and student and staff social, emotional, mental health, and other needs, which may include student health and food services.
Supporting the academic and social-emotional growth of all students remains a priority as we recover from the pandemic. Ridgemont Local Schools provides interventions to address the academic and behavioral/social-emotional needs of all students. Students needing interventions are identified through a screening process. Interventions are designed and implemented and monitored for effectiveness in order to support growth in targeted areas.
Mental Health Support/Counseling Services.
In addition to a (one day per week) school navigator provided by the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties, Ridgemont Local Schools will also serve students and families through a School Social Liaison (two days per week). The school navigator can screen students and refer to the Family Resource Center for further assistance. The school social liaison will provide small group and individual services to address mental health concerns, concerns with substance abuse, and other mental health issues. Parents are directed that if a child requires this level of support, so please contact the school principal.
Family Support Services
The impact of COVID-19 on families can be significant and some families may be facing challenges they haven’t faced previously. Our school nurse, school social liaison and director of Student Services will work together to help connect families with resources in the community and ensure that basic student needs are met.
Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)
The Ridgemont Local Schools Emergency Operation Plan contains a Continuation of Operations Plan (COOP) that addresses when the facility is unavailable for an extended period of time, typically weeks or months. Plans may vary depending upon the circumstance and duration of unavailability and addresses short term and long term building unavailability. This could be activated if the need were to occur.
B. The Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan will be published on the district website at www.ridgemont.k12.oh.us. Upon request and if necessary, an individual with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act will be provided information in an alternative format that is accessible for that parent or guardian.
Ridgemont Local Schools
ARP - EESER III
Local Use of Funds
As part of the American Rescue Plan, Ridgemont Local Schools will utilize the $806,000 ARP/EESER III funds for the following items from March 13, 2020 to September 2024.
Ridgemont Local Schools will use approximately $155,000 to purchase a new handicap bus and van. Approximately $255,000 will also be used to renovate outdoor learning areas/playgrounds and increase preschool classrooms and learning areas.
Approximately $116,000 will go towards aiding with retention and continuity of service, we will be providing teachers an additional payment for planning and instruction geared to meet the needs of students academics needs through differentiated instruction based on data from high quality assessments. We will also provide payment to current classified staff to maintain ongoing operations during the pandemic. This will also help with retention of current staff.
Ridgemont Local Schools will use approximately $280,000 for supplies in the following areas and to allow for the safe operation of school and to address student learning loss and support online learning:
Safety and cleaning materials for the safe operation of school.
Technology to support online learning and our district 1:1 initiative which includes chromebooks, online learning tools and assessments.
High quality assessment tools to address student learning loss and high quality instructional tools to assist with learning and career advancement.
The plan is to utilize funds over the course of three years. The plans will be continually evaluated and adjusted to address the needs of the district.