Dear Upper Arlington families,
My apologies for so many emails today, but I wanted to provide my regular weekly email in addition to the important updates I have shared about the Litchford cemetery site.
I hope the school year is off to a good start for your family.
Public health update
We continue our weekly meetings with officials from Franklin County Public Health and Columbus Public Health. The news continues to be largely positive, with many of the indicators of Franklin County’s overall risk level continuing on a downward trend again this week. While we remain at red, or level 3, on the Ohio Health Public Alert System, Governor DeWine indicated that a move to level 2 is likely next week.
Hybrid transition plan
With health data going in the right direction, it appears likely that we will begin the in-person hybrid learning model on September 21. We have created a plan to ensure a smooth transition for students in the school-based pathway. I shared a draft of that plan in last Friday’s email, and the Board of Education approved the plan during a meeting on Tuesday.
The plan provides for more in-person support for our learners with the highest needs. It also allows us to provide a small-group, in-school transition day for elementary students and those in sixth and ninth grades during the week of September 14. On these transition days, there will be 25 percent or fewer of students in the buildings. Our K-5 students will get used to their new facilities, and our students entering middle school and high school will get their usual orientation time. The transition days will also allow our students and staff members to practice health and safety protocols in a smaller-group setting. You can read more about the plan here.
In preparation for the transition to the hybrid learning model, families who had requested transportation for their students may now access transportation information including bus number with stop location and times. You can visit our Transportation website for more details and the dates busing will begin for different groups of students.
We have been reviewing the state’s new order on athletics, and we are pleased that our student athletes and marching band members will be able to have a fall season. While the order allows for these activities to continue, it also mandates safety protocols that mean things will look very different this season.
Attendance: Please know that spectator access will be extremely limited for our high school and middle school events as the new state order limits us to 15 percent of our fixed seating capacity. Individual event tickets will be required, and there will be no passes. Beginning with the events this weekend, we will be limiting tickets to two per student-athlete competing or marching band member performing, and we will continue to evaluate this as we move forward. High school students and families received a separate email today with more information, and middle school families will be receiving additional information soon.
Safety requirements: All spectators at events must follow the safety orders from the Ohio Department of Health — including facial covering and physical distancing rules — or they shall be subject to removal as well as legal responsibility under the Ohio Revised Code. This will be the key to ensuring our students get to enjoy the season for which they have been working so hard.
We thank everyone in advance for their cooperation and support of our students.
Paul Imhoff, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Upper Arlington Schools