ORANGE TOWNSHIP -- The Mapleton Local School District introduced the community to its three-tiered reopening plan Tuesday evening.
Mapleton Local School District's Board of Education reviewed the draft version of its "Strategies for a Safe & Responsible School Year" at a special meeting and scheduled a follow-up conversation for 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, when they will likely choose one of the three phases to begin the 2020-21 school year.
"We're not asking for action on the draft tonight. We will revisit in early August," Superintendent Scott Smith said. "I want everyone to realize this document is fluid. We will revise based on local, state and national policies."
The district currently intends to resume classes Monday, Aug. 24 with both remote and in-person learning options. District teachers and staff will return Aug. 17 for training.
In its "Strategies for a Safe & Responsible School Year," the Mapleton Local School District's details three plans -- A, B and C.
When operating under Plan A, the district would offer in-person learning at 100 percent capacity.
Plan B would offer blended learning by splitting students into two cohorts. One group would report for in-person learning Tuesday and Wednesday, and the other would attend in-person classes Thursday and Friday. Students would be expected to complete virtual assignments additionally.
Plan C would require students transition 100 percent to an at-home setting with remote learning given by classroom teachers.
The district is readying to move between these plans at anytime due to changes in COVID-19 incidents, but administration is still determining what thresholds will determine a change from one plan to another.
"These are the type of things we’re trying to figure out, but these characteristics, those numbers haven’t been defined yet," Smith said.
The district is working with University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center, the Ashland County Health Department and other local entities, he continued.
Safety protocols currently include:
- Student and staff should complete daily health screenings.
- Physical distancing will be maintained in classrooms whenever possible.
- Facial coverings are required for students in grades 3-12 when physical distancing isn’t possible.
- Facial coverings are strongly recommended for students pre-K-2 when physical distancing isn’t possible.
- Electrostatic sprayers with EPA approved disinfecting products will be used on surfaces in classrooms, common areas in each building and on buses.
- Desks and high touch surfaces in classrooms will be disinfected after each use.
Parents who are not ready for their children to return to in-person classes are encouraged to use the school's expanded version of the existing Mapleton Virtual Academy. The district has partnered with the Jefferson County ESC Online Curriculum Services to offer the completely virtual learning platform to all students in Kindergarten through 12th grades.
To choose this option, students should have reliable Internet service. They will be required to remain in the remote learning program for the duration of a full semester.
The district will provide a Chromebook to the student if needed and allow the student to participate in extracurriculars and athletics.
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