Eastern looking at restart options

All-call survey to be conducted of district families

By Sarah Hawley - shawley@aimmediamidwest.com

REEDSVILLE — In a letter to parents posted on the Eastern Local School District website and social media pages on Thursday, Supt. Steve Ohlinger provided an update on plans for the fall and possible options for resuming classes.

With the guidelines recently announced from the Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Department of Health and Governor Mike DeWine, the district has begun planning for the reopening of schools.

The letter states that, “Governor DeWine stressed the following points when considering options for reopening schools: Vigilance in assessing symptoms; Washing and sanitizing hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19; Thoroughly clean and sanitize the school environment, especially focusing on high-touch surfaces; Practice social distancing; and implementation of a face covering policy.”

Ohlinger stated, “As we have been formulating plans, we have taken into consideration the above items and made every attempt to assess the risks of each plan. We all have to realize that minimizing risk does not eliminate risk, therefore, each plan contains its own element of risk that has to be assumed by all.”

The district is considering three plans, and will be asking for input from parents in the district as part of the decision making process.

Option 1 — “A full restart with all students present five days each week. With this plan, social distancing will not be able to be maintained in our classrooms as space just will not allow that to happen. Implementing this plan would require a face covering policy be implemented mandating that each student wear a mask at all times while present in our school buildings.”

Option 2 — “A second plan would consist of a blended learning approach where approximately 50% of our student body would be present 2-3 days each week for face-to-face instruction while being on our remote learning plan for the other days of the week. Social distancing could be maintained in this plan which gives more latitude in the development of a face covering policy.”

Option 3 — “The last plan is a full remote learning plan similar to what was attempted this spring when schools were originally closed. We will be conducting professional development for our teachers to better respond to the remote learning platform as we know we need to provide a curriculum with fidelity.”

“Each of these plans entail safety protocols such as sanitizing our buildings and surfaces, as well as hand sanitizing, and face covering recommendations. Face coverings for all staff members is mandated by Governor DeWine. We are still awaiting final guidance on busing regulations and the social distancing requirements for busing our students,” continued Ohlinger.

The letter states that a survey will be conducted through an all-call in order to gather data to assist as plans are finalized.

“I am requesting that each household take a few minutes of time to take this survey to help guide our planning process,” concluding Ohlinger.

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All-call survey to be conducted of district families

By Sarah Hawley