December 17, 2020
Dear Bulldog Community,
I hope that you and yours are keeping your spirits up and doing your very best to navigate through these strange times. I am writing to you today to provide you with an announcement and some important accompanying information related to what the district’s instructional model will look like beginning on Monday, January 11, 2021. Please recall that the entire district will be in Full Remote eLearning from 1/4/2021 through 1/8/2021.
Our hope is that we will see the COVID19 spread recede and with it, additional in-person schooling. With the introduction of a vaccine, schooling in the spring may look profoundly different than it has thus far. Knowing that hope is not a strategy, we have been working collaboratively to create additional instructional opportunities that we can deliver on until such time a vaccine is widely deployed. At this point in time, I foresee 2 phases that families can expect over the course of the next several months. Phase 1: increasing student-to-teacher instructional contact time and Phase 2: increase student-to-teacher in-person contact time.
Phase 1 Components: Begins on Monday, January 11, 2021
- ECC: PreK and K continue with their schedule (K students continue with 5-day per week a.m./p.m. schedule).
- Grades 1 through 12 will experience more live instruction.
- Grades 1-3: 3/2 Model
- Grades 4-12: Full Hybrid Model
- Families with students who are part of the Moderate-Intensive Special Needs Programs will receive communication directly from your child’s teacher.
- The models were determined based on the developmental levels of students (especially regarding their ability to handle online learning).
What is a 3/2 (1st through 3rd Grade) Model?
In the instructional model that has been present throughout most of the year, Wednesday is reserved as a full remote day. Under the 3/2 Model, Wednesday will be a rotated, in-person instructional day for students. For example: beginning January 11, the Blue Group students would attend in-person school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday whereas the Gold Group will attend in-person school on Thursday and Friday. The following week, Blue Group students would attend school on Monday and Tuesday, and Gold Group students would attend in-person school on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday serves as the “pivot day.” At home learning continues on those days students are not physically in school with an emphasis on higher level thinking aligned with the standards and hands-on projects/engaging work for students that allow them to show evidence of their learning through varied modes of presentation. In order to provide continuous in-person instruction during the week, Wednesday was chosen as the day to pivot.
What does Full Hybrid Model (4th through 12th Grade) mean?
- In this model, students in grades 4 through 12 would remain in their Blue and Gold Groups.
- The Blue Group would have in-person learning on Monday and Tuesday and the Gold Group would have in-person learning on Wednesday and Thursday.
- Rather than Wednesday serving as the Off Campus Learning Day, Friday will serve as the off campus learning day for grades 4 through 12.
- When students are not experiencing in-person learning, they will be required to remotely join their respective classroom and follow their schedule virtually. For example, when the Blue Group is in-person on Monday and Tuesday, the Gold Group would be required to enter the classroom virtually on Monday and Tuesday as well.
- On Wednesday and Thursday when the Gold Group is in-person, the Blue Group would be required to remotely join their respective classroom and follow their schedule virtually.
The district will create a calendar for students and families to follow in order to eliminate any confusion. Families can expect changes to be made during shortened weeks to ensure students receive equitable instructional time.
Why have an off-campus learning day? Why not just provide the same 3/2 model for grades 4-12?
The Full Hybrid Model represents a significant instructional shift for our teachers. In short, not all teachers have had experiences teaching to a live group of students and making sure those who are virtual are equally engaged. Planning for this new model takes time and while we’re excited to give our students “more,” we recognize that more doesn’t always mean better. In order to effectively leverage more instruction, we need to provide additional time and professional development for our teachers to set them up to be successful for students.
Phase 2 Components: Begins when COVID19 spread adequately recedes
While I wish I could provide an exact date as to when Phase 2 begins, I do believe that it will occur this school year.
- This phase includes more in-person instruction for students in Pathway A. Families can choose to have their students remain in Pathway B. For those in Pathway A, Phase 2 could include 4-days of in-person instruction, or 5-days of in-person instruction.
- This phase begins when the degree of community spread shows signs of decline on the key variables listed below.
- The primary variables for community spread include: 1) the number of newly reported cases per day within the county; 2) a decline in the the number of cases within the 44138 area code for the week (data released every Friday by the CCBoH); 3) a stabilization of both student and staff reported COVID cases; 4) a decrease in the number of staff/students needing to quarantine; and 5) a testing positivity rate in our county that shows a trend in a direction that is, in the judgment of the superintendent with advice from health professionals, headed in the right direction.
It continues to be our goal to keep families informed with as much information as possible each step of the way as we transition instructional models to maximize learning for students while maintaining health and safety recommendations. I appreciate your time and attention to these important communications and especially appreciate your ongoing support. Please plan to watch for follow-up communication that will be coming shortly from our respective building principals and do not hesitate to reach out to them with any specific questions regarding your student.
I hope all of our Bulldog families have a great and well-deserved winter break. We look forward to seeing students again in the new year!
Dr. Jim Lloyd
Superintendent for the Olmsted Falls City School District
26937 Bagley Rd.
Olmsted Township, OH 44138