The Miami Trace Local School District administration and task force team are finalizing plans for a safe return to school — beginning with the first day for students now scheduled for Monday, Aug. 24.
“We understand the importance of preparing different plans depending on the COVID-19 pandemic conditions,” said Kim Pittser, assistant superintendent who will officially become the new superintendent of Miami Trace on Aug. 1. “It is our intent to use the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, along with the Reset-Restart Planning Guide by ODE (Ohio Department of Education) and the Health and Prevention Guide by ODH (Ohio Department of Health) to guide our decision-making process.”
According to the Miami Trace administration, there are three guiding principles that are the foundation of the work behind all learning plans:
– Health and safety of all staff, students and families
– Effective teaching and learning for all students
– Clear communication to all stakeholders.
The learning plan options for the return are:
● Plan A – Traditional Option: In-person classroom settings with safety protocols in place such as hand washing and sanitizing, modified traffic flow, and social distancing according to space.
● Plan B – Hybrid Option: In-person classroom settings at 50% capacity. Under this plan, students will attend school on campus two days per week and participate in remote learning the other three days per week. Accommodations will be made for families and households who have multiple children attending the district.
● Plan C – Remote Learning Option: Full remote learning is in place with teachers still leading instruction for students.
Based on the current county-wide conditions, it’s Miami Trace’s goal to return to school with “Plan A – Traditional Option.”
The following are more guidelines Miami Trace has released to the public:
Special Online Program Option
We understand that not everyone is comfortable with a full return to campus. In an effort to support these students, Miami Trace will offer an online program that operates the entire 2020-2021 school year. Further details on how to register for this special option will be made available in the next several weeks, as well as what the time commitment will be. The recent survey results provide starting points for communication.
Current programs include Florida Virtual Program K-5 and Apex Learning 6-12.
Transportation is a unique aspect of the MT District. Due to more than 75% of our student population relying on bus transportation, we will continue a dual route schedule. Students will be sitting multiple to a seat, and family members will be encouraged to sit together. Bus passes – only one pass permitted for pick up/drop off per student. More details will be forthcoming as they are determined.
According to the current regulations on early childhood education, the preschool classroom maximum count is 10 persons per room (with teachers and paraprofessionals in that count). Miami Trace plans to modify the preschool format for the 2020-2021 school year to accommodate as many children as possible while following state regulations.
Each building in the MT District will develop specific details of operation in the special education settings across the district in accordance with federal and state guidelines under IDEA.
Health and Safety Measures
● Staff and students will self-assess for COVID symptoms before arriving on campus.
● Clinics in each building will be separated for well and sick students.
● Nurses will have non-contact thermometers to screen students when needed.
● All employees will be required to wear face masks or face shields. When social distance is being honored, masks may be down for instructing and clarity in communicating with students.
● Masks (face coverings) for all students (PK-12) in buildings and classrooms are highly recommended.
● Masks (face coverings) for all students (PK-12) using Miami Trace transportation will be required due to the inability to ensure any social distance on the buses. The exception is if students are unable to do so for a health or development reason per the Ohio Department of Health order.
● Students may request a mask or covering, if needed, on a limited basis.
● Hand washing will be done frequently throughout the day.
● Hand sanitizer will be located in areas where hand washing is limited.
● Surface cleaning will be a consistent focus throughout the school buildings.
● Classrooms will be reconfigured so that space is maximized for social distancing. All students will be in assigned seats, and classes will utilize outdoor settings as much as possible. Transitions will be decreased and traffic flows will be modified as much as possible.
● Visitors are highly discouraged. When on school grounds, visitors are required to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. Parents/guardians picking up a student may call the office upon arrival and receive assistance. Visitors will only be permitted into school buildings for authorized events and predetermined meetings arranged with school personnel.
● Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles to school.
● Breakfast/Lunches will be modified to reduce student capacity in one location for extended periods.
Positive Cases and Staff or Students with COVID Symptoms:
● If a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19, he/she will be immediately isolated and will follow the protocols set by the Ohio Department of Health. Contact tracing and investigation processes will be conducted by the Fayette County Health Department and may result in further quarantine requirements.
Reminder of COVID Symptoms:
● Fever-measured temperature greater than 100 degrees
● Cough/Shortness of breath
● Sore throat
● Muscle pain or ache
Effective Teaching and Learning
● Determine instructional plans for 2020-2021 based on review of previous year
● Provide proper PD to staff for teaching in all three learning plans
● Establish processes full online program for students unable to return on campus
● Ensure students are equipped to function in all three learning plans
● Select the most applicable learning plan for buildings and grade bands
Communication to all Stakeholders
● Email-please check emails during the summer leading up to our fall start for important information, surveys, and announcements
● Social Media (Facebook and Twitter)-these are the main channels of social media for Miami Trace
● Website-we will continue to utilize our district website to house all COVID-19 related details along with the Reset-Restart documents and communications
● Call Out System-our call out system will continue to be used for important updates
The Miami Trace Board of Education approved this plan at Monday’s meeting. All of these guidelines and procedures are subject to change according to local and state guidelines.