First let me begin by saying that our number one goal is our students, their education and their safety, as well as the safety of our staff. Our goal is also that our students return to school in a face to face setting as much as possible this school year.
The decision to begin the school year remotely was not an easy one, however, one that we felt was necessary. Going remote allowed us to continue to provide our students with an education and prepare them for the possibility of the future rather than set them back even further by delaying school.
Having said that, the Hardin County Plan states that when Hardin County is on a yellow or orange level with the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System our students will be face to face every day. If Hardin County is on yellow or orange for the week of September 14th, we will begin school with students face to face every day on September 15th (September 14th is a scheduled teacher professional development day.) During face-to-face instruction weeks, there will be an early release on Wednesdays and students will be released at 2:30 (on Wednesdays only).
If the Hardin County alert level is red for the week of September 14th, students will return to school in a hybrid model beginning the week of September 15th only, with students who have last names A-Ma (Green Group) on Tuesday and Wednesday and students with last names Mc-Z (Gold Group) on Thursday and Friday. The days that students are not in school will be remote days. Students with multiple family last names will be grouped with the last name of the oldest student.
When Hardin County is on a red level our plan calls for limiting activities as much as possible, greater social distancing and deeper cleaning. Please keep in mind that every school in Hardin County will look different when it comes to bringing students into the building. At Ridgemont, we have some classrooms that are almost at capacity and many classrooms in both the elementary and junior high/high schools have tables rather than single desks. This makes it much more difficult to meet the social distancing requirements. If Hardin County turns to color purple at any time, students and staff will work remotely from home.
County alert color levels are updated through the Ohio Public Health Advisory System on Thursdays. If the color level changes, we will let everyone know on Friday the plan for the following week.
Ridgemont Delivery of Instruction
Along with the possibility of hybrid and remote when we are on red and purple levels, there is also a possibility that we would need to change to remote learning if we are unable to keep the building open because of a lack of substitute teachers or a shortage in bus drivers.
It is also possible that your student could be quarantined by the health department (14 day period) or they are sick. We hope that by having technology and a plan in place that your child will be able to work remotely from home and not miss out on their education. We also recognize that rural internet service is spotty and we are working to help provide service for those in need. Our teachers are working hard to find new ways to reach our students at different levels of instruction especially in times of remote instruction. This is new for them also and we are all growing. If you have questions about your child’s instruction, I would encourage you to reach out to their teachers.
Over the course of the next week, we will be sending out more information, but you will see some of the following as your child returns to school.
The following is a very basic explanation of scheduling in K-12.
K-3 students will have longer transition times to allow for handwashing and restroom breaks that allow for proper social distancing.
4-6 grade students will also have longer transition times, but will also see a change in their schedule. Teachers will follow a schedule where students will work with each teacher all day every other day. This will allow teachers to have longer periods with students and concentrate more indepth on subjects and projects. Students will change rooms every other day.
7-12 grade students will follow a block schedule with extended periods with even periods on one day and odd on the next day. This will reduce the number of times students change rooms and allow for time to disinfect and clean between groups of students.
Students will be served breakfast and lunch either in a classroom or the cafeteria.
There will be assigned seats on the bus, in the classroom and during lunch. (This is required for contact tracing.)
Students in grades K-12 will be required to wear masks on the bus and while at school.
There will be plexiglass dividers between table-desks in grades 1-6 where needed.
Water refilling stations will be available for students. Students will need to bring a flip top or pull top bottle to school.
There will be hand sanitizer at all entrances and in all classrooms.
Temperatures will be taken for all students when they arrive at the classroom in the morning.
K-6 students will be asked to bring their Chromebooks to school on the first day. We will be providing cases for all K-6 students.
Student drop-off and pick-up will also look different this year. In an effort to help get cars off the road and help with social distancing as students transition to and from the building, student drop-off and pick up cars will enter the east entrance and drop-off and pick-up students at the back of the building. Cars will continue the loop and exit the east entrance. Our SRO Deputy Michael Bell will be assisting with this process. Buses will be dropping off in the front of the building. They will be pulling in the west drive, parking, and unloading/loading in front of the building. Students who are driving will also still enter at the west entrance. (We will be sending out a map with traffic flow.)
Finally, as you know there are many changes to athletics for this fall, but we are very excited that our students will get to participate in events. Due to our 15% capacity limit, we are only able to issue two tickets per family for all home games. At this time all tickets for all events will be $5.00. We are sorry, but there will be no general admission and passes will not be honored. This is currently only for the fall 2020 season and will be reevaluated at the end of the fall season.
In conclusion, I recognize that this isn’t how we imagined school for the 20-21 school year, but I will say that I am proud of our students, teachers and parents for rising to the top, learning how to do new things, and being flexible. As the year continues, it is important to remember that we are in a fluid situation where things are likely to change from week to week or day to day. I would ask that you be patient with us as we work through this year together.
If you have questions, please feel free to call me at 937-354-2441 or email me at [email protected].oh.us.
Yours in education,