News - Avon Lake City Schools Update
July 2, 2020
Dear Avon Lake City Schools Community,
The 2019-2020 school year was not what any of us expected. The COVID-19 crisis turned “normal” into anything but normal. Since the March 16th mandated school shutdown, “normal” continues to be redefined almost daily as we attempt to reopen our society while continuing to ascertain the effects of the virus. This transformation of how we act and interact will continue as we battle through this challenge.
The students and families of Avon Lake City Schools and the Avon Lake community have stepped up to make the best of a bad situation. I am proud of all of the efforts all of us have made to complete a school year that was like no other. None of us were prepared for a shutdown that continued until the end of the school year.
Today, July 2, 2020, Governor DeWine released the much anticipated guidelines for the restart of school for the 2020-2021 school year. We appreciate and understand the angst we all have felt during this period of waiting. As expected, the announcement includes health rules and requirements for all schools, and guidelines that offer more local control where each school district can make decisions based on the unique features of their school district and of their community.
The Avon Lake Board of Education members, administrative team, teacher leaders, and parent advocates have been preparing and reviewing a myriad of procedures, protocols and plans to reopen our schools. Over the next couple of weeks we will finalize the Avon Lake City School District plan for educating our students in the upcoming year. Our goal as of today is to disseminate the plan to our school families soon after the regular July School Board Meeting being held on Tuesday, July 14th.
As you can imagine, a plan that must take into consideration the needs of approximately 4,000 Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students and their families has an unbelievable number of moving parts. Even though it is complicated, please remember that our primary objective is to provide a safe learning environment for students, and at the same time, safe working conditions for our staff. We must ensure our adults are healthy in order to serve our children. We must ensure our students are healthy in order to be able to keep our schools open and not have to return to the nightmare created by mandatory school closure. This is a challenging puzzle because we are balancing mitigation strategies with access to a high-quality education.
WE WILL NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE THE REOPENING SUCCESSFUL!!
As things presently stand, the Avon Lake City School District plans to welcome students
Avon Lake School District is developing a plan that is “flexible and nimble.” No plan is risk-free and every plan has to be able to be modified quickly depending on all possible situations now and until the virus crisis has passed.
We want to remind all families that the possibility exists that all schools could have to shut down quickly as they did in March. We all hope this does not happen, but we suggest strongly that families prepare a plan if schools must shut down quickly. Please know that the Avon Lake City School District plan takes this possibility into account. At this point, we cannot know for sure the degree to which the COVID-19 pandemic will impact schools in the future.
We are not formally planning a scheduled shutdown during the winter, but if we see or are informed of warnings, we will adhere to directives from the Lorain County Health Department and/or the Ohio Department of Health. A concern for Avon Lake City School District specifically is the lack of air conditioning at Learwood Middle School and the four elementary schools. Health guidelines may necessitate “heat days” at these campuses. We will follow up with more details after we are able to study the guidelines set today.
Health and Safety
Along with you, we are reading and learning daily from experts in the health field about “going about life” during a pandemic. As an institution, we are committed to following guidance from the Center for Disease Control, Ohio Health Department, and Lorain County Health Department to reopen our schools. Our staff will receive extensive health training. We plan to work throughout the year with our students on healthy habits.
Summer Training/Fall Sports
Thank you again for your continuing support. Together we can implement plans that moving forward will provide the best possible learning experience for our students in a safe environment. We will update all stakeholders as the plans for the reopening of schools in August are completed, or if conditions change.
Keep being kind, keep being patient, keep being empathetic, and keep being supportive of each other.
Bob Scott, Superintendent