Dear LV Parents:
I know that many of you have been anxiously awaiting information about the upcoming school year. I have been working all spring and summer with the other Licking County school district superintendents and Chad Brown, Commissioner of the Licking County Health Department (LCHD), to develop school opening requirements amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The school attendance requirements I am sharing with you is the product of that work, and they are directly aligned to the LCHD guidelines for schools.
We know that there are varying levels of concern among individuals and certainly varying circumstances. Some of your children have health issues that make you legitimately concerned with them getting COVID. Some of you, the parents, have health issues that cause you the same concern, or have relatives you care for who should not be exposed to COVID. We appreciate and respect all of those concerns and others we cannot even imagine. This is why you will see in the information below that you have choices so that you can do what you think is best for your child(ren) and family during the pandemic. Whichever choice you make we will respect, and we will do our very best to educate your child to the best of our ability.
Whether you choose in-person education in our buildings or the remote learning option school will begin on our adopted calendar and schedule, we are NOT, as some districts are, delaying the start of school for students by a few days. The first day for students is Wednesday, August 19. You will find the school calendar here: http://www.lickingvalley.k12.oh.us/Downloads/202021CompositeCalendar.pdf
I cannot possibly anticipate all of your questions so I am not going to try. Please read the requirements below and if you have questions about the requirements shared below send me an email and I will do my best to respond. If you have questions specific to your child’s school, email your building principal. I have created a parent FAQ Google document here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KXMu50tWEt4DCQ-T9uIY_KLz0u4ITKjXiG74LiI3HCg/edit?usp=sharing
I will post your questions and my answers here so that you can see what others are asking.
David Hile, Ed.D.,
Licking Valley Local Schools School Opening Requirements for Fall 2020
Student Health Issues
- Parents are expected to adhere to all recommended health checks prior to each school day. In other words, parents must, before sending their students to school, take their temperature and assess them for any symptoms of illness.
- Any student with a temperature of 100.4 or higher shall remain home or will be sent home.
- The duration of homestay for a child with a fever of 100.4 or higher is fever free (without medication) for 72 hours (three full days) and improvement of all other symptoms for 72 hours.
- Temperature will be checked upon return.
- If a student tests positive for COVID-19, upon order of the Licking County Health Department (LCHD), they and their family will be quarantined for 14 days. The LCHD will perform all contract tracing.
- To return to school, the child must be transported to school by the parent, both parent and student must enter the building wearing a face covering, and the student must be checked by the school nurse prior to being granted readmission to school.
Communications - Confirmed COVID 19 Positive
- If a school has a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a student or staff member, the individual will be quarantined in accordance with CDC guidance.
- LCHD will work with the school administration to determine the best communication strategy to communicate the case to the staff, parents, and public.
- All confirmed COVID-19 cases will receive an isolation order from the LCHD.
- As of now, 1 case of COVID-19 in a school building will not prompt an immediate shutdown, but the school district and the LCHD will monitor the situation going forward.
- A face covering is required for all students in grade 3 through 12. Students who have a medical reason for not wearing a mask must present the school with a written justification from a medical doctor to be excused from the mask requirement. Students who cannot wear a mask must wear a face shield.
- A mask is preferred because it provides the greatest barrier to sharing aerosols between individuals, the greatest cause of COVID-19 transmission. A face shield will only be permitted when a student has a documented medical reason for not being able to wear a mask.
- Parents must provide face coverings for their students, the school district cannot provide face coverings for students.
- School employees will be required to use a face covering when they are within 6 feet of students. Teachers may wear a face shield if they are medically unable to wear a mask, or for specific instructional purposes wherein students must see their faces for effective instruction to occur.
- Students who refuse to wear a face covering at school will be sent home immediately and not permitted to return until he/she agrees to wear a face covering at school and follow all procedures outlined in this document. If the student will not agree to wear a face covering he/she will be transitioned to the remote learning option.
- The LCHD recommendations will be followed to the extent possible concerning physical distancing in all areas of district facilities.
Alternative Learning Options
- Parents may choose one of two learning options:
- Send their student to school agreeing to follow the COVID related safety procedures documented here, and assume some level of risk (if you choose this option you do not need to notify us, just send your child to school), or;
- Agree to the remote learning option from home for one semester at a time.
- Students who will enter the remote learning option WILL NOT be placed in the Licking Valley Educational Options Program, that program has a different purpose. Students in the remote learning option will be instructed by the teacher assigned by their building principal.
- Once enrolled, a student must remain in the remote learning option through the end of the semester.
- Parents must ensure their students are engaging in, completing, and submitting assigned school work, and he/she must communicate with teachers and administrators as needed and requested.
- Students who do not engage and submit their work regularly will be reported as truant.
- If you choose option 2 you must notify us on or before August 1st. Email to Shelly Wood, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, at [email protected]:
- Parent names
- Student name
- Grade level for the 2020-2021 school year
- Best days and times for school communication with parent
- Does your child have a medically documented reason he/she cannot wear a mask/face covering?
- Your principal and our transportation supervisor will need a copy of the doctor’s order. Send this to Shelly Wood via email as well.
- Purchase your child a face shield that extends below his/her chin and covers his/her whole face.
- One sentence explanation of why you chose remote learning for your student over attending school in-person
- Does your student have an IEP or 504? Please specify which.
- If your student has an IEP, how will you ensure your student participates in IEP services that may be provided remotely?
- Parents who can transport their children to and from school should do so. This will help us space students out on the buses.
- On buses, students will sit 2 per seat, one near the window and one near the aisle, except 3 students living in the same household will be seated together, or 3 students in the same classroom may be seated together.
- Seating charts will be implemented to assist with contact tracing should it be necessary.
- Face coverings are required for all drivers and all students K-12. The district will refuse to transport a student who refuses to wear a face covering. Students with medical exemptions from face masks must wear a face shield on the bus. Your principal and our transportation supervisor will need a copy of the doctor’s order (see above).
- Licking Valley may adopt state minimum requirements for transportation to reduce the number of students who are eligible for school district transportation should the need arise.
- Students will be socially distanced when in line and when sitting in the cafeteria.
- Hand sanitizer will be made available to students prior to and after eating.
- Students will sit with their classmates where possible to reduce student intermingling.
- Elementary students may be assigned seats similar to their assigned seats in their classrooms when possible.
- Gyms will be used if additional spacing is needed to achieve social distancing during lunch periods.
- Students will be kept in their classroom cohorts during recesses.
- Staff will coordinate recess activities that limit students’ physical contact with others.
- If students can remain 6 ft. apart they will be given the opportunity to take their masks off during recesses.
- Students must sanitize their hands after recess.
- Recess equipment will be sanitized after uses.
- Visitors are generally discouraged from being in school district facilities so parents must avoid unnecessary visits to school.
- Safety protocols such as taking temperatures may be implemented for anyone entering a school facility.