I have a few updates for you today. You can click here to see my video update.
All-in learning webinar
We will have a family webinar on Monday, February 22 from 6 to 7 p.m. to share information and answer your questions about the transition to all-in learning. You can join the Zoom webinar on Monday evening at this link.
New deadline - learning pathway change requests
If you’re a family considering moving to or leaving the Online Academy beginning on March 1, we have extended the window for requesting that change. Families will now have until 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 23 to complete the request form. You can visit our website to see academic considerations for a transition to either the Online Academy or the school-based pathway at this point in the school year. Please email [email protected] with any questions.
This update is for families of K-8 students who are eligible for school transportation but are not currently riding the bus. If you would like to request school transportation for the rest of the school year, please email [email protected] with your student’s name, school, home address and parent/guardian phone number. (If your student currently rides the bus, you don’t need to do anything.) In all-in learning, face masks will continue to be required on school transportation, and we may have 2 or 3 students per seat.
All-in learning FAQ
We have received several questions about all-in learning, specifically about physical distancing, quarantine protocols and several other topics. You can click here for answers to some frequently asked questions. I want to highlight a few things that we’ve received the most questions about.
Physical distancing: In all-in learning, our classrooms will look very similar to how they were before the COVID-19 pandemic but with mitigation protocols (proper mask usage and additional sanitizing and cleaning procedures) in place. Our goal is to have 3 feet of physical distancing, but in most classrooms that won’t be possible. In many cases, we will have less than 3 feet of physical distancing. We will maintain 6 feet of physical distancing during lunch, when students have their masks off, and we will be using spaces throughout our buildings to spread students out.
Building preparations for all-in learning: Our operations team has been working this week and will continue next week to move furniture back into our classrooms and reset the spaces to accommodate more students. There may be some situations leading up to March 1 where we won’t be able to have 6 feet of physical distancing in our classrooms, and we want families to be aware of that.
Quarantine guidance: We are closely following Franklin County Public Health for any updates on the quarantine guidance for an exposure in a school/classroom setting. You can see the FAQ on our website for answers to some common questions about this guidance.
COVID-19 vaccinations for school staff
Next week, school staff members from our district and others across Franklin County will be receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As we shared earlier this month, we will have a modified schedule for all K-12 students, including Online Academy, on Tuesday, February 23 and Thursday, February 25:
11:05 a.m. dismissal for elementary (except Wickliffe) and high school
11:45 a.m. dismissal for middle schools
12:05 p.m. dismissal for Wickliffe
Kindergarten students (AM and PM) will have AM enhanced distance learning with early release on their normally scheduled in-person learning day.
Our Medical Advisory Team has shared that the second dose of the vaccine can sometimes result in side effects such as fever, and it’s possible that staff absences, especially later in the week, could exceed the number of substitutes we have available. In that case, we would look at calling for a calamity day, as needed, by building, and we would notify any affected families and staff members through all the same communication channels we use for any calamity day — phone, email, our district social media accounts and our website. Again, this is only a possibility, but we want you to be aware of this.
Black History Month
Finally, we are continuing to honor the incredible Black history in our area as we celebrate Black History Month. This week’s piece of history is about an area that was once called Sellsville, just southeast of Upper Arlington. Starting in 1870, this is where the Sells Brothers Circus, all their workers and the animals, settled each winter. Sellsville is an important part of local Black history because the Sells Circus hired African-Americans and other people of color.
In 1904, the last original owner of the circus died, and the circus was put up for auction. James Baily bought it and sold half to the Ringling Brothers. Then, the circus left Columbus in 1907.
Well-being webinar series with best-selling author and educator Rosalind Wiseman — 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 24 (elementary) and Tuesday, March 2 (secondary): Click here to register for this webinar series, presented by Upper Arlington Schools and the Upper Arlington Education Foundation.
Black History Month discussion series with Upper Arlington Schools and the City of Upper Arlington, Part 2: “New Growth” — 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, February 27: Click here to register for the virtual panel discussion about the story of Pleasant Litchford, the connection to the greater community of Central Ohio and the community’s plans to steward the story into the future.
Have a great weekend, and as always, go Bears!
Paul Imhoff, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Upper Arlington Schools