Monday, August 10, 2020
Friday, August 7, 2020
Howland Local Schools has extended its deadline for the full-time online remote learning program to Monday, August 17, 2020. Families will have until the 17th to make their final decision regarding the online learning program.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Howland Local Schools will be starting the school year on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, on a hybrid learning model that blends both traditional on-campus face-to-face learning with remote online learning. We view this as a responsible starting point to ensure the district is in compliance with the six feet social distancing guidelines and other recommendations and directives. This plan was designed with built-in flexibility for the district to rapidly transition to a traditional full-time, five day on-campus learning model when local social distancing guidelines are lifted or proven resolutions to the virus are in place.
Students will be divided into two cohorts; Cohort A attends school on campus face-to-face Monday and Thursday each week with remote learning on Tuesday and Friday, while Cohort B attends school on campus on Tuesday and Friday with remote learning on Monday and Thursday. Wednesday, in this model will be utilized for additional remote online learning, teacher office hours for students and families to communicate concerns and needs, as well as other family engagement opportunities or meetings. Among other pertinent considerations, cohort assignments will be based on families as priority to assist in keeping siblings together at home and school. Cohort assignments will be announced by Friday, August 14, 2020.
More information regarding our reopening plans can be found here: https://5il.co/j2ye
Students who are either unable to return or choose not to return to school under the hybrid learning model have the option to sign up for a full-time remote online learning option through Friday, August 7, 2020, by clicking on the following link: https://forms.gle/jPEJru9CLVnxX6Yr6
Students have until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 10, 2020, to decide which learning model they will choose (hybrid or full-time online remote). Students choosing the full-time remote online learning option will be required to remain on this option through the end of the first semester.
Howland Local School Superintendent
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
I want to thank our families for taking the time to complete our educational survey that was shared at the beginning of summer. Your responses have been very informative. Not only have they assisted us in determining the instructional and assessment areas that worked for our students, the feedback has also shown us what areas need improvement.
The first day of school for students is Tuesday, September 8, 2020. We are prepared to start back to traditional on campus education if health conditions should improve prior to the start of school; however, if state/local social distancing guidelines and conditions have not changed, the intent is to return to school using a hybrid learning model that blends both traditional face-to-face and online remote learning. Students will be divided into two cohorts; for example, cohort A attends school on campus face-to-face face Monday and Thursday each week with remote learning on Tuesday and Friday, while cohort B attends school on campus on Tuesday and Friday with remote learning on Monday and Thursday. Wednesday, in this scenario would be utilized for additional remote learning online, as well as teacher office hours and family engagement opportunities to ensure each student’s needs are being met. Cohort assignments will be shared in the coming weeks, but in most instances will be based on families to assist with siblings being together at home and school.
A small percentage of parents expressed in the survey that their students will be unable to return to school for face-to-face instruction on campus. We are working to develop an independent, online learning option for those students. More information for this alternative option will be made available after August 10, 2020, by contacting your child’s building principal.
There will be a number of safety and preventative measures in place that include, but are not limited to hand washing, sanitizing, social distancing of 6 feet whenever possible and required facial coverings for students while they are on the school buses and during certain times of the school day for things such as entering and exiting buildings, navigating halls, and wherever else deemed necessary in the interest of reducing virus spread to students and staff.
We understand that our families may have questions and concerns as we move toward the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. We have opened an online question and answers form, like we've done in the past, that will reside on our website and social media where families can ask their questions and receive responses when information is made available to us. Specific or personal questions about your child or family situation should be directed to your child’s respective principal or school guidance.This is just one of many updates that I will be sharing as we move closer to our school start. Due to the potential for rapidly changing conditions, directives, and guidelines, we ask for your patience and understanding when we are compelled to change decisions or direction as we work to make this school year the very best possible for kids, families, and staff.
Howland Local Schools began using alternative delivery models for teaching and assessing students when Governor DeWine announced his directive to close schools in March of 2020. The district's remained focused on keeping its students engaged and learning while ensuring that all students who were on track to graduate were not negatively impacted by this unfortunate and challenging situation. Students who were not eligible for graduation by May 27, 2020, will continue to be on the district's radar and assisted to gain graduation eligibility under the extension granted by the state.
Throughout the school building closure, we worked to implement measures to ensure students remain engaged with teachers and curriculum including at-risk and special needs students, who may have additional challenges accessing curriculum. We were appreciative of the announcement by Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly that allowed us to award diplomas to students who had successfully completed curriculum requirements, while foregoing customary assessments, capstone projects, and work/community service experiences. This same understanding and leniency from the Governor's office applied to all grade levels and students. Each student was to be held harmless academically for this challenging situation. This did not mean that accountability and grades were not accounted for; however, it does mean that each scenario was examined with appropriate criteria to ensure students were not being penalized for working hard. Students who performed better in the final term were rewarded, while students who experienced difficulty, regardless of the challenges, were not penalized.
This has been an unprecedented and difficult time for students and families and our efforts to make things as normal as possible have been a significant challenge. We will continue to share information with students, families, and staff as we work to reopen our schools in the fall.
Howland Local Schools is working on its return-to-school plan that offers the most effective social, emotional, and educational needs for our kids and families, while remaining compliant with state and local health department direction and guidance. We have been gathering input from our parents, staff and community. We solicited feedback through our online survey. We are currently evaluating that feedback and will take it, along with the guidance and recommendations from our state and local health officials, and begin to develop our preliminary return-to-school plans. We are very much aware of how our school planning impacts our families and we are committed to sharing our tentative plans as soon as possible.
ACTIVITIES AND ATHLETICS
Any questions regarding activities and athletics, please contact the Activities Office, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Howland Local Schools encourage all students and staff to follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control:
- Wash your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members. Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home. Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus. Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people. Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Do NOT use a face mask meant for a healthcare worker. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
- Cover coughs and sneezes
If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
- Monitor Your Health
Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet. Take your temperature if symptoms develop. Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen. Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.