News from Loveland Schools – September 11, 2020
LOVELAND, OH (September 11, 2020) – Here is this weeks edition of Tiger Talk: News from Loveland Schools.
District Survey to Parents, Students, and Staff to Gauge Reopening Plan
In order to continue to evaluate the balance of managing the public health concern for COVID-19 throughout this school year, we will be inviting families, students and staff to respond to a survey of their current perceptions every two weeks beginning today.
The purpose of the survey is to monitor current perceptions of health/safety as it relates to COVID-19 and how the current model impacts instruction. The plan is to repeat the exact survey every 2 weeks and only alter the dates. This way we can monitor the perceptions over time and use it to make adjustments and improvements as part of our review for changing models/schedules throughout the year. We will publish the results of these surveys.
The survey questions are designed to help us monitor these district level questions:
- Health/Safety – Are we implementing and reinforcing the health protocols to the best of our ability? Are we responding to health/safety reports promptly? Does the current schedule adequately support the health and safety of our students and staff?
- Education/Instruction – Are we adapting to the limitations of the current school year to provide for student learning? Are we identifying and responding to our students’ needs? Does the current schedule adequately support teaching and learning for our students and staff?
- What is the comfort level with changing to a less restrictive model (i.e. From blended to 5-days a week or from remote to blended depending on our current situation)?
We are interested in your perspectives, and your feedback will help us modify what we are doing today and address any concerns when changes are appropriate. If a change does become appropriate in the near future, we will communicate it well beforehand so families can plan accordingly.
Here is the link to your survey: FAMILY SURVEY
The survey will close Monday, September 14 at 9:00 a.m.
The District committed to formally evaluating returning to five day a week in-person learning for PreK-6 during the week of September 7. Decisions to change the schedule will be based upon several factors:
Current state, regional, and local COVID-19 data
Necessary time to provide for student and staff scheduling changes
Ability to staff in person learning
Necessary time to reroute transportation, prepare food service, provide appropriate furniture or adaptations
Family, student, and staff perception of the current model and changing models
We will evaluate the perception survey data early next week. We will also communicate early next week a summary of our evaluation. If the decision is made to return to 5-day a week in person learning for PreK-6, we will also communicate the date of that change in order to allow families to plan.
The District will evaluate the return to five day a week learning for grades 7-12 during the week of September 28.
Instruction/Technology Update from Andrea Conner, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning
While the first two weeks of school have been unusual, Loveland teachers stepped up to the challenge by working collaboratively to plan for teaching in the blended learning model. Much time was spent aligning and pacing the curriculum to allow for a specific focus on the essential state standards. By the end of the first week, teachers implemented classroom routines that established a balance between necessary health and safety protocol implementation with a focus on teaching and learning. Through the creation of lessons that are accessible both synchronously (direct instruction with a teacher) and asynchronously (instruction completed on their own), Loveland students engaged in lessons that both reviewed prior learning and helped teachers determine next steps in classroom instruction.
All major digital programs have been rostered and are accessible to both teachers and students. This was a particularly difficult task as student schedules were adjusted up until the student start date. Because all school districts are in similar situations with the challenging start to the school year, Student Information Systems were slow to sync to allow for a seamless rostering experience. There are a few supporting programs that are still experiencing some challenges, but we are slightly ahead of where we typically are for the second week of school.
Chromebooks are still on backorder and are expected to arrive in October. Chromebook carts have been reassembled in the Elementary School, and the technology department is working to get Chromebook carts back together for the Primary School and Early Childhood Center. Cameras have been distributed at the high school and teachers are working creatively to increase access for students by allowing them to join learning in a synchronous manner.
Purchasing additional devices and other technologies continues to be a challenge due to high demand. The technology department continues to watch for stock replenishment and purchases those devices that are appropriately priced. Loveland City Schools is committed to working towards increasing technology accessibility in the most fiscally responsible manner as is feasible.
You are encouraged to reach out to your school principal for specific questions or suggestions.
August/September Edition of HealthBeat
Free Breakfast and Lunch for all Students
All Loveland School students will receive free school meals beginning Monday, September 14, thanks to recent action taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Food Service departments will be reimbursed for the meals by the USDA with funds appropriated and not used while school was not in session during COVID-19 school closures.
All students in all buildings will be offered school breakfast and school lunch at no charge. The menu will be the same as posted on the website for each building, barring unforeseen product or staffing shortages. These meals will be at no charge through December 2020.
Students in grades K-4th MUST email Food Service Director, Kris Tracy at email@example.com to be added to the take home list or you can utilize the “Drive thru” at the Goodwill parking lot to receive meals. Everyday remote/online learners can utilize the “Drive thru” at the Goodwill parking lot to receive meals (breakfast and lunch) M-F 1:30-2:30 p.m. in front of the parked school bus. All students in school need to pick up lunch in the cafeteria or from one of the cafeteria carts coming to one of the many eating locations. Please take advantage of this opportunity to be able to get a well-balanced and nutritional meal at no cost to you.
The announcement of this option became available after the USDA announced on Aug. 31 that summer meal program operators could continue serving free meals to all children into the fall months. Districts were told to wait due to meeting critical criteria of the Free and Reduced guidelines.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA has provided an unprecedented amount of flexibilities to help schools feed kids through the school meal programs, and we are also extending summer meal program flexibilities for as long as we can, legally and financially,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.
Loveland Schools COVID-19 Data Update
On September 4, Governor Mike DeWine issued an order on COVID-19 data reporting and notification protocols for K-12 schools. This order is effective September 8, 2020. In response to this order, the COVID-19 Data Update will be revised and posted each Friday with the number of new positive cases and close contacts being quarantined for that week within Loveland Schools. Please click here to see the most recent update.
The district Data Update does not reflect cases that happen outside of Loveland Schools, at home, or in the community. Based on our experiences with COVID-19 cases on athletic teams that occurred before school started, we have been able to further adjust mitigation efforts (masking, distancing, hand sanitizing, and cleaning) to prevent any additional exposure. Additionally, these same mitigation efforts, coupled with the blended model we have implemented PK-12, will limit exposures in school.
When the district is informed of a positive case, the building administrator for the school or team/program with the positive case will take the following steps:
- Gather facts of the case, including the identifying information of those students and staff who have had close contact with the case (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more).
- Notify the LCSD health services team of the positive case.
- Work with the health service team and Hamilton County Public Health to notify those parents and students identified as being close contacts.
- Once all students and families are contacted, all district families and staff will be notified of any positive case via email.
From August 31-September 11, there have been zero positive cases or close contacts in Loveland Schools. No staff or students were quarantined due to COVID-19 at school.