When will we have firm answers what the 2020-21 school year will look like?
We are awaiting those answers ourselves. We are waiting on guidance and guidelines from Governor Mike DeWine’s office, the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Health and Miami County Public Health.
Once we have this guidance and guidelines and then are able to put our plan in place, we will communicate to our parents via email, phone calls, our school website and social media.
And, as we’ve seen with so many things throughout this process, things can change even after announcements are made. We will continue to stay in contact with our students and their families throughout the process up to and after the first day of school.
Will there be in-person learning to begin the school year?
We certainly hope so. We know this is the best way to teach students. As is the case with many things, we just don’t know that answer at this time.
We may go back to in-person learning five days per week.
We may go to “blended” learning, which would be a combination of in-person and online learning.
We may face continued online learning full-time, although Governor Mike DeWine has publicly stated it is his goal to have school open for in-person learning to some degree.
Who will decide what the 2020-21 school year will look like?
While we will maintain local control through our Troy City Schools Board of Education to some degree, there likely will be rules and guidelines put in by state and local offices such as the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Miami County Public Health.
We will follow these guidelines.
Will students have to wear facemasks?
Again, we don’t know the answer to that at this point. Facemasks may be mandatory. Facemasks may be recommended, but not required. There may be no rules in place regarding facemasks.
At this point, we are waiting on word from state and local health and education agencies regarding the use of Facemasks for the 2020-21 school year. We will follow the guidelines put in place by the Ohio Department of Education, along with state and local health agencies.
We know this is an important, and in some cases controversial, issue for many families and we will communicate this information as soon as it becomes available to us.
What is “blended” learning?
If social distancing guidelines remain in place to begin the 2020-21 school year, we do not have the space in our school buildings to have every student there every day and keep them safely apart, per those guidelines.
Under those circumstances, one option would be to go to a “blended” learning model, in which some students would be in our school buildings certain days, while others would be online. Then those students would switch days, with the students who were in our buildings learning online, while the students who were learning online would attend in-person learning.
There are several options and ways of doing blended learning, all of which we are looking at now, should that be our only opportunity to have some form of in-person learning.
Will students have the option of online learning only, regardless of what guidelines may or may not be in place for the 2020-21 school year?
Yes, we will provide an online learning platform for interested students regardless of the status of the COVId-19 virus.
Will the school provide electronic devices for students to use for online learning? What about internet access?
We will loan Chromebooks to all of our students for the purpose of online learning. We will work with students and their families to ensure every student has Internet access for their Chromebooks.
What will happen to bus transportation for students?
Once again, we don’t have any specific guidelines for busing at this point. One possibility we have heard is one student per seat, unless those students live in the same household.
This obviously would make it a challenge for us, but we would find a way to transport students to school.
What will happen to services students in IEPs and gifted students?
We will continue to provide services for all of our students. It is our responsibility to educate all of our students and give them every opportunity to learn and grow.
Will students still have recess?
We understand the importance of recess and allowing students to get exercise and fresh air. We plan on having recess, even if it falls under social distancing guidelines.
What will happen to extra-curricular activities, such as athletics, band, etc?
We will do everything possible to have as many extra-curricular events for students as possible, based on the guidelines we receive from state and local authorities. We already have resumed athletic training for our student-athletes.
Will you have “specials” (gym, music, art, etc.) this school year?
We absolutely plan on having specials this year. The challenge for us will be determining what those look like should social distancing guidelines be in place. But we will meet those challenges.