Dear SGWS Community,
The Reopening Task Force (Tracy Edwards, Rocky Lewis, Amy Hecky, Dr. Kyle Yoder, Julie Gannon, Edward Grimes, Kristen Oberhaus, Marie Paul) called a special meeting on September 21 to act on several weeks of conversation on re-evaluating our decision to keep our students in distance learning for the full first trimester. We have determined and acknowledge that making the decision to implement distance learning for a full 12 weeks was the wrong decision. It was an approach that did not allow Spring Garden to be truly responsive to the changing health and safety status of our community. Time, weekly data from Summit County Public Health and Ohio Department of Health, and additional planning have allowed us to develop a plan to move forward with an approach that allows for responsiveness to the pandemic. It is our intention to return to in person learning prior to the end of the first trimester. We acknowledge this may be welcome news for some and stressful news for others. We are hard at work to help make this transition as seamless and smooth as possible for our families. We will return to in person learning when air ventilation systems, outdoor classrooms, and some procedural details are completed.
For the remainder of the school year, we will be working with a phased approach using defined triggers to move the entire school between distance learning, a hybrid model, and full in person learning. This will allow us to best serve our students educational needs while remaining flexible and responsive to the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
We realize that switching modes of learning will cause complications in our families' schedules. Therefore, switching between modes will only happen after a new county level is maintained for a minimum of 2 weeks to lend learning stability, stay responsive, and give families time to plan. We will implement weekly emails and meetings, every week on Fridays, to keep our families informed.
Key Points to Know:
- Parents will have a minimum of 2 weeks to plan for phase transitions.**
- Parents/guardians will have the option to choose between distance learning or in person learning through the end of the first trimester to honor our original commitment to a full trimester of distance learning. In the near future, families will be asked to commit to either our phased model approach or distance learning for the remainder of the school year.
- If you are going to choose distance learning for the remainder of the trimester, please contact Rocky Lewis by Friday, October 2.
**It is likely that with a return to in school learning, we will see cases of COVID in our school community. The number of student, faculty and staff absences may create the need for a more immediate change in phases with less than 2 weeks notice. Individual student, class and cohort quarantines are all possibilities when we return to in person learning. A One Call Now notification will be sent if an entire class or cohort will need to quarantine. The timeframe in this scenario is typically the same day we are notified of a positive test. Moving forward, parents will receive a Friday Response and Reopening Email with details about what phase we are in and if we are moving towards another phase based on community spread to help parents plan.
Action items for parents/guardians:
- Contact Rocky Lewis by October 2 if you want to remain in distance learning through the end of the trimester.
- Begin to consider if you will choose either our phased model or distance learning for the remainder of the school year.
- Read the Tuesday Note and Friday Response and Reopening Plan Emails. Join Rocky and Amy for Friday Coffee and Conversation weekly from 9 a.m.-10 a.m. as they share up-to-date information and answer questions.