Update on state guidelines for schools and our fall planning process
Dear UA families,
I wanted to touch base regarding today’s updates from Governor Mike DeWine as well as our fall feedback and planning process.
As you may have heard, the governor today released state guidelines for reopening schools in 2020-2021. In addition, we are awaiting a second document for schools from the Ohio Department of Health that will provide additional guidelines.
During his press conference, the governor also highlighted the importance of handwashing, physical distancing, appropriate use of face masks, cough and sneeze etiquette and the importance of staying home when sick or displaying symptoms.
Governor DeWine also shared a new Ohio Public Health Advisory System for Ohio counties. Each week, the state will report out on the status of all 88 counties in the state. These alerts range from Level 1 (yellow) to Level 4 (purple). As a county’s alert level increases, precautionary measures should increase. Franklin County is currently at a Level 3 (red) and approaching a Level 4 (purple). More information about this advisory system will be available at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home.
Updates on fall planning process for UA Schools
Here in the district, our team has spent the last several weeks creating a prototype for the 2020-2021 school year based upon the feedback and input gathered from our students, staff and families in May and June. This prototype provides two pathways for families. The first is a 100 percent digital learning option. The second path prioritizes in-person instruction and provides three different delivery models depending on health and safety guidelines. Any of these three delivery models could be used throughout the year, but the priority would remain providing as much in-person instruction as safely possible. It is likely that the decision about what school-based option would be used for a given time period would be informed or determined by the new Ohio Public Health Advisory System outlined by Governor Dewine today.
Once we thoroughly review the guidelines from the state, the Ohio Department of Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics and meet with Franklin County health officials, we will be able to share more details on the prototype. The Board of Education is truly committed to taking the time to hear from every possible voice in this process, so we will be going back to staff and families to gather feedback. Please look for further communications with a short survey on Tuesday, July 7. Due to our tight timeline, the survey will close on Friday, July 10.
We will review the feedback and make any updates or clarifications before presenting these to the Board of Education in mid July.
Thanks in advance for your partnership and patience as we plan for the upcoming school year.
Paul Imhoff, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Upper Arlington Schools