August 4, 2020

Dear Independence Families,

I wanted to send you an update regarding the reopening plans for our schools and also share the link for you to sign your Independence students up for our in-person or virtual educational option.

Our Board of Education met last night to review our educational options and to discuss the Cuyahoga County Board of Health recommendation that schools start the 2020-21 school year in a remote setting.

LINKED HERE is the video of the meeting so you can listen and watch our discussion. I want to apologize that our capacity maxed out and some people were not able to watch live. We have already taken steps to ensure this does not happen again.

To summarize our discussion, the Independence Local Schools will be moving forward with our educational options, realizing the Board of Health is one of our oversight agencies. Our iPride Academy and In-Person Instruction models are still both being presented to our community. We recognize the significance of the Board of Health recommendation and also recognize we have a month left before school starts. Our intentions are to organize school options and plans and keep our proverbial eye on infection rates. If necessary, the decision to begin our “in-person” model in a remote setting will be made closer to the start of our school year and will be based on medical expertise and infection rates. We will also continue to have students engaged in our extracurricular activities, as permitted by state and county mandates. All of our reopening plans have to be submitted to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

As a reminder, our In-Person Instruction will be as close to our typical school day/week/year as possible while meeting district, county and state health and safety standards. This model may have to pivot to remote learning based on infection rates. The IPride Academy model will have students engaged in 100% virtual lessons through the Educational Service Center (ESC) of Northeast Ohio’s Ohio Online Learning Program and will be facilitated by Independence Local Schools’ teachers. 

CLICK HERE for reopening plan highlights. A more comprehensive Reopening Plan Guidelines & Protocols Manual can be found on our district website.

We ask that parents complete this form LINKED HERE to select their intended learning model for their students. Please complete this form by Friday, August 7.

Finally, transportation will be provided to those families who reserve a spot on our buses. We are limited to one student per seat and two students in a seat that are from the same household. If you select the In-Person Instruction model, you will have to opt-in for bus transportation by using the form LINKED HERE. If everyone were to sign up for transportation, this will create an additional challenge to getting our students to and from school in a timely fashion. Therefore, we are asking that any families able to provide transportation, please do so.

Thank you again for your patience as we all work to keep our students and staff safe.

Sincerely,

Ben Hegedish
Superintendent
Independence Local Schools
Independence Local Schools | www.independence.k12.oh.us