Dear Bulldog Families:
The health and well-being of the entire Olmsted Falls School District community is of the utmost importance to us. We know there are many questions regarding the district’s Coronavirus response and direction, and keeping our families informed is a top priority. We continue to follow the guidance coming from the Governor’s office and remain in regular communication with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. We are emailing to update you about the status of building events, school-sponsored trips and potential school district closures.
REGARDING EVENTS IN SCHOOL BUILDINGS
The Governor’s office is continuing to recommend the cancellation or postponement of all large, indoor gatherings. During a press conference held yesterday, the Governor indicated that a public order will be issued sometime today limiting mass gatherings as part of a state effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. We met with our district administrative team to discuss and review upcoming events/activities across our school district.
The decision has been made to POSTPONE all large community events / gatherings scheduled in our school buildings during after school hours beginning TODAY, Thursday, March 12th through at least April 9th. This includes most community-sponsored and school-sponsored after school events.
- Impacted community groups will be contacted directly within the next 24 hours.
- Additionally, we will be postponing a number of scheduled meetings - including PTA, parents booster groups, etc.
- Again, all impacted groups will be contacted within the next 24 hours and a listing of postponed events and meetings will be posted on the district’s website by the end of the day.
We fully understand these changes are less than ideal but we all play an important role in mitigating the spread of this virus. These are temporary measures which align with Governor DeWine’s current protocols. Those protocols could become more restrictive. We are in this together and appreciate your understanding as we navigate these unchartered waters.
REGARDING SCHOOL-SPONSORED TRIPS
Parents of 8th graders received an email yesterday afternoon at 4:15 PM from OFMS Principal Mark Kurz that the decision has been made to postpone the annual 8th grade trip to Washington DC from April 1, 2, & 3, 2020, to June 1, 2,& 3, 2020. Parents of 8th graders should refer to Mr. Kurz’s email for additional details.
Other school-sponsored trips scheduled for the coming weeks are currently under review and students and families will be advised as to status as soon as possible.
REGARDING CLEANING PRACTICES
Our building and bus cleaning procedures are always up to protocol and proper standards. During times like these - including annual cold and flu seasons - our cleaning staff does take extra measures to ensure the most thorough cleaning including extra attention to all surfaces that human hands come into contact with. Desk surfaces, door hardware, flat surfaces, glass and floor surfaces are being addressed with proper cleaning procedures and disinfecting chemicals on a daily basis.
Additionally, our transportation department received permission yesterday from the Ohio State Highway Patrol to carry a disinfect solution on every school bus in our fleet through July 1, 2020. Effective yesterday afternoon, extra disinfectant supplies were made available to drivers and they have been instructed to wipe down all school bus seats and handrails on a daily basis.
Please know that we always take measures to keep surfaces safe but we’re taking extra precautions during this time.
REGARDING SCHOOL DISTRICT CLOSURES
As of 1:00 p.m. today, March 12, 2020, Governor DeWine is NOT currently recommending the closure of elementary, middle, and high schools; however, school administrators across the state have been advised to begin preliminary planning for that possibility. The Governor has advised that parents should also begin planning for the potential that they may need to stay home with their children or find alternate child care solutions. We will continue to keep you updated on any further developments. At this time, OFCS has no reported or suspected cases of COVID-19 and will remain open.
Regular after school events for students will remain in place including athletic team and spring play practices, along with student groups and clubs. For spring athletic teams, games will be played as scheduled for now.
REGARDING DISTANCE LEARNING SHOULD SCHOOL BE CANCELLED
Our administrators and teachers have been collaborating to formulate a plan so that student learning can continue should the district be forced to close. This is a challenging endeavor for several reasons. Many districts are going to an all online platform. Our district does not have the resources for a full 1-to-1, device per student ratio, and we cannot assume every home has a computer with connectivity to the internet. My concern is equity of access to learning which is why we couldn’t implement a full technological solution. In addition, our instructional model has focused on student engagement and technology augments instruction rather than replacing it. People engage students and when that is absent, the level of engagement is compromised. We are working on creating engaging learning activities that could be done away from school that will allow education to continue should students not have access to the classroom for an extended period of time. Our plan is to send home a “hard copy” with the students. For students that misplace the hard copy, a weblink will be available, or you can work with the building principal to facilitate delivery.
In these situations, rumors tend to circulate quickly. We ask that you work only from first source information - including these official district emails and information posted on our district website. If you have questions, please reach out to your child’s school building.
Olmsted Falls City Schools will continue to carefully monitor and follow the guidelines and recommendations of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the Centers for Disease Control when making school-related decisions regarding COVID-19, including decisions about school closures.
Thank you for your understanding. We are dealing with a very fluid situation and will continue to share updates and information with you as we learn more from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and others. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or visit our website for the latest information.
Dr. Jim Lloyd
Superintendent for the Olmsted Falls City School District
26937 Bagley Rd.
Olmsted Township, OH 44138