As the district prepares to welcome students back to the buildings next week, we know some of you are still wrestling with a decision between in-person learning and remote learning. It does not seem that the world will return to the normalcy we once knew any time soon. That is why we are working very hard to anticipate and adapt to the changing needs of our students, families, and staff.
We know that no plan will solve all the issues at play, but that won't stop us from trying to do better and be better for our students every single day while teaching our students how to live during this pandemic. We just pray that we can all extend each other the grace needed to get through the transition as successfully as possible. Our aim with this guide is to provide you with all the information necessary to make the best choice for your own child.
If you have not already done so, please complete the survey at the link or QR code below after you read this guide so we can best prepare for the next few weeks with your child, whether that will be in-person or through remote learning. For a smoother transition, we simply ask that changes in your child’s instructional delivery be made at the natural breaks of grading periods. After making the decision about an October 19 return, the next change opportunity would be at the start of the second grading period on Monday, November 6.
The SAFETY PROTOCOLS our staff members have developed include:
- All staff and students must wear masks in common spaces including classrooms, hallways, restrooms, cafeteria (until seated),
- Limiting students according to the size of tables in the cafeteria during meals,
- Assigned seating in cafeteria to ensure distancing,
- Hand-washing schedules,
- Hand sanitizing stations,
- Sanitizing surfaces between classes when classroom used for consecutive periods,
- Alternated seating in classrooms used for consecutive periods,
- One-way traffic patterns throughout our wide hallways,
- Color-coded system and class schedule for locker usage to ensure social distancing for locker stops,
- Social distancing markers on floors where lines form,
- Teaching students to use floor tiles as spacers while waiting in lines when social distancing spots are not present (a life skill that will transfer to out of school as well),
- Utilizing the auditorium for choir to ensure more than the OMEA recommended distancing while singing,
- Digital check-ins for attendance and lunch to reduce the handling of papers,
- Books from lending libraries at school will be re-shelved only after sanitizing,
- Students will use their own supplies and materials – no sharing (the grade level supply lists are included with this guide for your reference).
Given our smaller class sizes (currently no more than 15 students in a homeroom, and which will never be more than 22), the space available per capita is that much greater in both senses of the word! Our 5th and 6th grade teachers are confident that our students will have enough room to spread even farther than six feet during classes given our extra-large classrooms. Our teachers are also using a block schedule format as much as possible to reduce the number of times students are changing classrooms. When extra room is needed for 3rd and 4th graders, they will utilize the large Science Lab to provide more space for proper social distancing. Additionally, we have ample seating in each classroom so that students will be able to sit at a location that was not in use by another student the previous class period. Alternating seating options for consecutive classes will allow for our sanitizing solution to work its magic on the vacant seats.
We share our specials and arts teachers with other buildings, so we do not have them here all day. That means the computer lab, gymnasium, band room, orchestra room, dance room, or art room are only used one period each day. The music room is used for guitar lessons after general music, but there are fewer students in that class. They will be using chairs only and we purchased additional guitars so every student will have their own instruments.
Our students who choose to learn from home will get to have their same teachers at RCAAS while remote. Students learning at home will follow the same schedule as peers at school though they were in school by streaming into live classes via Google Meets. It may look a little different since they’ll only see other remote learners and their teachers on screen, but RCAAS teachers are committed to do whatever they can to assist their students. Teachers will continue to use the Google Classroom platform to deliver instruction and collect student work. This will reduce the handling of papers for those in-person and allow those at home to keep up with their classes remotely. Teachers still plan to upload instructional materials to assist at home learners, which will assist as a study tool for ALL students. Attendance will be logged for remote learners based on their digital participation and work completion. While uniforms will not be required of remote learners, appropriate attire and behavior will be expected of all students. While online with teachers and classmates, students should be in a location that allows for them to work and should be in street clothes (i.e. no pajamas, not lying down on a couch or bed, etc.).
One day every week will be set aside for each homeroom to have a catch-up day. This is because instead of offering a library period we have extra arts offerings for our students this year. When only some students in a classroom are taking a particular class, it can be disruptive to the instructional flow of the day. This is the case with Dance, Theater, Guitar, Orchestra, and Band. Most of those optional classes are offered on one day each week for the different classes. This scheduling strategy will allow for teachers to provide in-person students with practice and intervention time while also giving the teachers some additional time to meet virtually with those students at home.
Our teachers know that it will be much more difficult for them to teach all their students both in-person and through remote learning at the same time. Knowing this, they still chose to offer to teach in both formats simultaneously because they believe that our students deserve the best we can give them, whether we are teaching them in-person or through remote learning.
The Ohio State Test in Reading for Third Graders as part of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee is still mandated by the Ohio Department of Education. It will be administered throughout the state between October 19 and November 6. We are planning to administer this assessment to our third grade students in two parts on Monday, October 26 and Wednesday, October 28 to allow for time within the state’s window for make-up assessments if needed. Mrs. Kromer and Mrs. Sims will use the large Science Lab room to allow for plenty of distancing during testing. If you are selecting remote learning, we ask that you consider sending your child on these dates for this state assessment to be taken. If you need an alternative testing date, please contact Mrs. Kromer or Mrs. Sims via Class Dojo or email to schedule this testing.
The NWEA-MAP Assessments will also be administered during the first few weeks of our return in each classroom as their schedules permit. The data from these tests provide our teachers with readiness levels for students in the areas of Reading, Math, Science, and Language Arts to better direct our instructional plans for each individual student. Students participating in remote learning are again encouraged to schedule a time to come to school and take these assessments. Please reach out to your child’s homeroom teacher via Class Dojo or email to make testing arrangements.
In an effort to assist families in finding compliant uniform items, the district has broadened the existing Campus Wear Policy to include:
- Polos, sweatshirts (without hood) and sweaters
Acceptable colors: any shade of blue or grey, white, and black
Sweatshirts (without hood) and sweaters will NOT require a polo worn underneath
Acceptable colors: Any shade of grey, khaki, blue, and black
Any SCS t-shirt may be worn and will NOT require a polo worn underneath
If you are in need of uniform assistance we may be able to help! The district does have a free uniform program, but only for students who are homeless. However, we have a stash of donated, gently used uniforms available for any family having a hard time getting uniforms for their children. Please call the RCAAS office at 419-984-1349 and let us know what sizes you are searching for so we can check our stock for you.
We hope you will choose to send your children back to RCAAS in-person on October 19, but understand if you choose to remain remote a while longer. Please know that we will still work hard to ensure their learning from home and will welcome them back to the building whenever you feel comfortable, whether that is next week, next month, or further in the future.
Hopefully, this guide has answered all of your questions. However, if you are still wondering about anything else, please do not hesitate to call or email. We are here to help you, every step of the way.
Mrs. Toft and the RCAAS Staff