Hello, and happy Friday! I hope you and your family enjoyed Thanksgiving break, and I hope you’ve had a good week.
Please continue reading my email, or you can watch my video update by clicking here.
Enhanced distance learning through winter break
This week, all of our students have been learning remotely - our students in the Online Academy and everyone in the school-based pathway as we returned to enhanced distance learning. I appreciate all you are doing for your students to support their learning at home.
Before Thanksgiving break, the Board of Education made the decision to shift students in our school-based pathway back to enhanced distance learning for the weeks leading up to winter break. This decision was made for several reasons - including a high number of COVID cases among students and staff at the high school level and the growing number of student and staff absences due to quarantines and cases at all levels, which was having a significant impact on the continuity of the educational experience for our students.
The change to distance learning will take us through the start of winter break on Wednesday, December 23. At this point, our plan is to return to school after break in the enhanced hybrid schedule starting on Tuesday, January 5. Over the next month, we will continue to monitor local and county health data and meet with the experts on our Medical Advisory Team. We’ll also continue to monitor staff and student absences due to COVID-19 cases and quarantines.
Notifications about COVID cases
Please continue to notify our COVID Nurse Coordinator, Gina Rancitelli, by emailing [email protected] if your student or another member of your household has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. Even during these weeks of enhanced distance learning and winter break, reporting confirmed and suspected cases will help keep people safe and to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community and school.
We will continue to send school-wide emails to families reporting any cases we hear about in our schools, and we’ll update our data dashboard on our website each Friday.
Reminder - enhanced hybrid learning schedule
A lot happened before Thanksgiving break, and I wanted to share this update again with staff and families. At its November meeting, the Board of Education approved a new enhanced hybrid learning schedule for students that will take effect when we go back to hybrid learning. The biggest change is that Wednesdays will be enhanced distance learning days for students in the school-based pathway. This will give all students in the school-based pathway three full days of structured, teacher-guided instruction — two days in person and one day in enhanced distance learning — every week. You can find more details about the enhanced hybrid model on our website.
We are working on updating the hybrid learning schedule calendar to reflect these changes and balance the in-person learning days for each group. You can look for that in my update next week.
Substitute teachers needed!
One of our challenges this school year is a shortage of substitute teachers, and it’s a challenge that all school districts in our area are facing. Our substitutes here in Upper Arlington are contracted through the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio. If you or someone you know may be interested in becoming a substitute, please consider applying. You may visit their website here for more information about that process.
Enhanced distance learning meals
As a reminder, our Nutritional Services department is offering all students free meals and breakfasts for the following day for preorder and pickup Monday through Friday during distance learning. More information is available on our website.
I hope you have a great weekend! Take care, and as always, go Bears!
Paul Imhoff, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Upper Arlington Schools