Dear Bulldog Families:
I am reaching out to you this weekend with IMPORTANT CHANGES TO OUR HYBRID SCHEDULE FOR THIS COMING WEEK - OCTOBER 26-30. Thank you for your time and attention to the important information below. There is also information in this communication about our future instructional models.
Most of you are likely already aware that Cuyahoga County returned to COVID Advisory Level 3 (Red) on Thursday, October 17, and that it has been our plan to continue to operate in our Hybrid model while the county is in Level 3 (Red). This past Thursday, October 22, the Level 3 (Red) COVID Advisory took a turn for the worst and our county had the added designation of Level 3 with a star. This put our county on the Level 4 (Purple) Watch List. Based on the Governor’s report, if a county meets 7 or 8 of the 8 COVID Indicators for 2 consecutive weeks, the county would reach a Level 4 (Purple) Advisory Level. Within Ohio’s system, Level 4 states: “Level 4 Public Emergency: severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services.”
I take part in a weekly virtual meeting with all superintendents in Cuyahoga County and the Board of Health. Further information provided on Friday indicated there is a strong likelihood that our county will reach a Level 4 (Purple) Advisory level by the end of this coming week. We will know where we stand on Thursday, October 29. If our county remains in Level 3*, we will continue with our hybrid model. If our county reaches Level 4, we will enter Remote Learning and it will begin the following Monday (Nov 2).
In anticipation of Cuyahoga County potentially going to a Level 4 (Purple) COVID Advisory this Thursday, October 29, the district will plan to operate this week’s Hybrid Schedule as follows:
Monday, 10/26 & Tuesday, 10/27 - Blue Group Attends In-Person
Wednesday, 10/28 & Thursday, 10/29 - Gold Group Attends In-Person
Friday, 10/30 - Remote Learning for Blue & Gold Groups
To view the updated October 2020 Hybrid Calendar reflecting these changes, please click HERE.
Making this unplanned adjustment to our Hybrid Schedule now will ensure that both our Blue and Gold groups of students attending in-person will each get two full days of in-person instruction this coming week. This modification to our normal Hybrid schedule for the coming week is in anticipation of the district potentially needing to transition to Remote Learning for all students effective this Friday, October 30 due to the anticipated COVID Advisory Level 4 (Purple) designation.
Our OFCS Responsible Restart Plan (released 8/14/20) calls for us to operate in a Remote Learning model for all students in the event that Cuyahoga County reaches COVID Advisory Level 4 (Purple) and, for now, that is what we are preparing for. Should our county reach Level 4 status, our instructional delivery model would remain in remote for at least two weeks. If we are forced to switch to a Remote Learning Model, we will provide families seven calendar days’ notice before switching back into a Hybrid. During that time, our learning model in Remote will continue.
Listed below are the sources of information that I use in order to assist with decision making.
This link is to the Ohio Department of Health’s website to look up data by county.
This link is a sheet that I’ve assembled to track local and regional metrics.
While I certainly hope for better news, we must plan for the possibility of Level 4 (Purple), and give families as much notice as possible. We will have an update when the new COVID Advisory Levels are released during the Governor’s regular Thursday press conference on October 29. We plan to notify all families by the end of the day this Thursday, October 29, to confirm our future student instructional model. If our county remains in Level 3*, we will continue with our hybrid model. If our county reaches Level 4, we will enter Remote Learning and it will begin the following Monday (Nov 2). We have had time to prepare for remote learning and will deliver an upgraded experience when compared to the model that occurred this past spring. Additional information on changes to the structure of our district’s Remote Learning model will be communicated.
I’ve been asked frequently “when will we return to 5-days of in-person instruction?” The answer to that is “when our county enters into a Level 1 Advisory.” While I recognize that people want to compare our plan to districts outside of our county, each district makes its instructional decisions based on the data within the county that the majority of its’ students reside in, and based on the physical space of its classrooms. Our schools do not have 1,000 square feet of instructional space like some of the other districts and therefore cannot maintain 6-feet distancing. The decisions we make are based on what we’re able to do with the space we have available given the current COVID conditions. Those conditions are worsening in our area.
Like you, I am very disappointed that this is where we find ourselves, and know that this is not the direction we want to be heading in. I’ve received quite a bit of feedback via email from families regarding their perceptions of, and experiences with, our instructional model. We all want more in-person instruction, not less.
Thank you for your continuing patience and understanding as we navigate the changing situation and strive to keep our students, staff and Bulldog families safe and healthy.
Dr. Jim Lloyd
Superintendent for the Olmsted Falls City School District
26937 Bagley Rd.
Olmsted Township, OH 44138