November 19, 2020
Good afternoon Bulldogs,
I am writing to let you know that we are aware of yesterday’s resolution of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. This resolution (No. 2020-143) included an advisory for “universities and public and private K-12 schools currently in a hybrid protocol to transition to online remote learning after the Thanksgiving holiday.” While I certainly recognize the situation that our county and state are currently in, there are few things that I want to candidly relay to you:
- School superintendents were made aware of this resolution during the press conference late yesterday afternoon. Prior to the press conference, there was no indication that such an announcement would be made. I will tell you that I’m greatly disappointed that this was the case.
- The Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBoH) created a “Reopening Framework for K-12 Schools” in mid-September. That framework is extremely conservative and has no situation where any K-12 school in Cuyahoga County should be in person, 5-days per week, regardless of COVID advisory level. While we consider their recommendations, they are not orders.
- The CCBoH has had a standing recommendation for 2 months that has suggested when the county is at Level 3 (Red), all classes should be conducted virtually. When considering this point, their most recent resolution is in fact a restatement of their position that has been in effect for 2 months. When determining our instructional model, I consider their recommendations, the regional and local COVID metrics and our own experiences in mitigating the virus.
At this time, we will continue with the plan outlined in my communication to you on Tuesday and will finish out this current week in our current Hybrid model with the Gold group attending school in person tomorrow (Friday). We will then switch to our Full Remote eLearning model for Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24. We are opting for this model due to current and anticipated staff absences we are experiencing that would present a challenge to adequately staff classrooms. We are closely monitoring this situation.
Following the Thanksgiving break, on Monday, November 30, unless there are significant developments that would force us to change, our intention at this time is to return to the same hybrid instructional model that has been in place since September 8. It is our hope that being remote this November 23 and 24, coupled with the days off for Thanksgiving will allow the spread in our community to subside enough to reduce the number of students and staff needing to be quarantined and stabilize our current staffing challenges. We will communicate any change to this plan as soon as we are possibly able.
I understand that people are tired of hearing it, but we must remain flexible during this stage of the virus. I continue to strongly believe that the safest place for students and staff is in our schools. We have very strict facial covering and distancing protocols that are not in place outside of our school community.
Finally, I’d remind everyone -- if you’re sick, stay home. If you have been around or in contact with people who have become sick, stay home. This is critical. It is up to each of us to do our part in order to continue to prevent the spread of COVID19 within the school environment, and help keep our school buildings open. Please be responsible.
Thanks for your consideration and continued support. Be well.
Dr. Jim Lloyd
Superintendent for the Olmsted Falls City School District
26937 Bagley Rd.
Olmsted Township, OH 44138