The work here at the district to prepare for fall and the new school year continues. Governor DeWine indicated earlier this week that the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) will be releasing health guidance for schools regarding distancing, masks, cleaning, etc. next week. The governor also indicated that his intention is to ensure local control and flexibility for districts in this regard, but it will be the responsibility of local health departments to approve our implementation plans for reopening. Loveland City Schools reports to Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH), which has expressed that it will not approve any plans for reopening schools before the guidance is available from the ODH. Once we have the details of the guidance and adapt our plans for approval, we are confident that we will be ready with a solid plan for the start of the 2020-21 school year in August.
As we communicated last week, teams here at Loveland Schools have been working on various options that can be revised once the guidance becomes available. The options include precautions to maintain the safety of our students and staff. Our preference would be to return to school fully - five days a week - if that can be done safely. We know that remote learning will never be a perfect substitute for in-class instruction, however, we are faced with the reality that we may have to start the new school year in a nontraditional way. On Tuesday (June 23), the Loveland Board of Education will discuss changes that may be necessary to prepare for the new year, including a recommended change to the school calendar that delays the return of students by one week to allow for health and safety preparations and training.
You will find a link to a survey below to keep families in our feedback loop. Using the feedback from past surveys, teams of educators have created the in-school and online models described. Your participation in this new survey will provide us valuable information about how your family currently feels about the safe return to school in August. It will also enable us to better prepare and modify the options as health and safety guidance becomes available and is very important to us.
Your selection in the survey is not a commitment at this time. You will be asked to make a formal selection in August. Please complete this form by Tuesday, June 23, so that our workgroups can take your feedback into account as the planning continues using the guidance expected next week. As soon as we have additional information, we will share it with you. (All updates will also be posted on our website https://www.lovelandschools.org/OngoingReopeningPlanning.aspx
I am grateful to the many of you who have reached out in support, along with your suggestions and ideas, and I deeply appreciate your continued patience as we work through this process.
In service to our Tigers,
Dr. Amy Crouse, Superintendent