The start of school for our students is only 19 days away. But a LOT can happen in those 19 days.
In the week, two big changes have occurred:
- The Governor and ODH cleared the way for fall sports to resume; and
- Cuyahoga County has moved to Level 2-Orange on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.
LEVEL 2 - ORANGE
Within minutes of the Governor’s press briefing today, social media was lighting up asking if we will be changing course and opening schools instead of starting remote beginning September 8th.
Two weeks ago, we announced that school will begin in “remote” mode for all students.
Last week, we announced that the school district will stay in “remote” mode through the end of the first quarter of school (Nov. 6th).
The CCBH stated that schools should start and remain in remote mode until positivity rates drop below 5%.
The bigger problem for us is the lack of testing capacity for children. The CCBH stated “there is little to no testing available for those under the age of 18” and that schools should remain in a remote mode until the testing capacity for children dramatically increases.
Level 2-Orange is defined as “Increased exposure and spread. Exercise a high degree of caution”
So, for right now, we will stick with our plan to start remote and continue to watch the data.
We will ALSO watch how re-entry goes for schools around us that have started before us with students in attendance. This will tell us a lot.
This past Tuesday, the Governor announced that there will be a new ODH health order that will permit and give guidance for contact sports to resume in Ohio. To me, this seems to defy all logic, but it’s the opportunity our student athletes and their families have been hoping for. Our non-contact sports of Golf, Tennis, and Cross-Country have already been approved for competition. (We’ve been treating Volleyball as a contact sport, even though it was re-classified as a non-contact sport earlier this summer.)
I cannot tell you the volume of time I and our Athletic Director, Joe Dianetti, have spent over the last few weeks on this issue. I’ve made VERY clear in prior communications and conversations that I’m not a big fan of contact sports occurring while this pandemic is so active. I’m not taking off my protective “dad” and “grandpa” hat, however, just like we did in the spring to make sure our 2020 seniors could have the best possible graduation experience possible, we bent over backwards to do all we could and keep it all as safe as possible. We are working on the same for this.
So, tomorrow, parents of Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Marching Band and Drill Team, and Cheerleading will receive an email with more details. We will also hold informational meetings with those parents, students and coaches next Monday evening. Look for the email for details. We’ll share more details with everyone else after those meetings have been held. Stay tuned.
One final reminder:
Yesterday you should have received an email outlining our plans for Food Service Delivery and Pick Up during remote learning. We will offer this service to all students, K-12, regardless if they are full-pay, or receive free or reduced-price meals. Our bus drivers and food service staff will be delivering meals straight to your door twice a week, or you can select to pick up meals at Fairview High School.
Thank you for your patience and understanding through all of this. I know it’s not easy. I know it’s terribly frustrating. I know all of this is placing a very heavy burden on many families. We pledge to do all we can to help ease the burden, keep your children as safe as possible, and keep you “in the loop” with things as they continuously change.
Keep the faith, everyone. We’ll get through this together.
Take care - stay safe - be well.