I have an update about our plans for all-in learning. This afternoon, the Board of Education set the date of Monday, March 1 for a transition to all-in learning for students on the school-based pathway in all grades - K through 12. You can continue reading my email, or watch my video message by clicking here.
Beginning the week of March 1, all students on the school-based pathway will attend school in person, Monday through Friday. As you know, we have been planning for this since the summer, and we’ll spend time preparing our students and staff for this transition over the last two weeks of February as we continue with our enhanced hybrid schedule.
While we’re in all-in learning, we will have health and safety precautions in place based on the updated Responsible Restart Plan approved by the Board of Education. This includes masks for students and staff at all times, except for lunch, and as much physical distancing as possible during the school day and 6 feet of physical distancing at lunch.
As we prepare for our move to all-in learning, we will be offering a family webinar the week of February 22 to share more details and answer your questions. Please look for more details next week.
We will also be offering families one last chance to request a change of learning pathways - either school based or the Online Academy. While we want to accommodate every request, we may not be able to do that due to staffing and scheduling limitations. We will accommodate any parent who wants to enroll their child in the Online Academy. On Tuesday, you will be receiving a separate email with more details, and there will be a very short window to submit a request.
You can see this week’s data dashboard update here and click here for the updated quarantine guidance for schools from Franklin County Public Health.
Black History Month
As we continue honoring Black History Month this month, I want to highlight another important family in our local history. Last week, we talked about the Litchford family and their commitment to education in our area. Today, I want to share more about the Depp family - who are well-known today for their work on the Underground Railroad. Abraham Depp was a successful blacksmith in Delaware County, close to what is now the Columbus Zoo. He came to Ohio in 1834 and started an Underground Railroad station, using the limestone caves along the Scioto River as a hiding place for people trying to escape to freedom. The Depps and the Litchfords have a special connection - Abraham Depp’s son married Pleasant Litchford’s daughter.
The Depp land eventually was inherited by Abraham’s daughter and now bears her namesake - Lucy Depp Park. You can still see the Depp barn as well as the bell that they rang in the middle of the night to give the “all clear” signal to the people escaping slavery.
A message from The Stand Project
With Valentine's Day this weekend, our partners from The Stand Project want to share a special video message created by UAHS students regarding student mental health and what parents can do to help their students during the pandemic. The two minute video is a great reminder that many of our students are struggling and includes warning signs and shares helpful resources.
Along the same vein, we are also sharing 53 positive things to say to your child. This video is particularly timely and definitely worth three minutes of your time!
If you haven’t heard about The Stand Project, it is a coalition of community volunteers committed to impacting youth substance misuse. You can learn more by visiting TheStandProject.org.
Upcoming Black History Month and well-being webinars
In honor of Black History Month, our district has partnered with the City of Upper Arlington to offer a two-part panel discussion about Upper Arlington’s Black history featuring the history and legacy of Pleasant Litchford. Click here for more details and a link to register for the Zoom sessions on Thursday, February 18 and Saturday, February 27.
We are also partnering with the Upper Arlington Education Foundation to welcome bestselling author and educator Rosalind Wiseman for well-being webinars on Wednesday, February 24 and Tuesday, March 2. These webinars will support our families and staff members in honing skills to support the social, emotional and educational well-being of our students. Click here for more details and links to register.
Enjoy the holiday weekend, and as always, go Bears!
Paul Imhoff, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Upper Arlington Schools