Dear Highland Parents,
On July 2, Governor DeWine provided reopening guidelines for Ohio schools. In addition to that guidance, the district has been carefully studying and reviewing a variety of other scientific, medical and public health research and information to help inform our decision-making. Those resources serving as primary references for us include the following:
- COVID-19 Health and Prevention Guidance for Ohio K-12 Schools, Ohio Department of Health;
- COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry /Clinical Guidance/, American Academy of Pediatrics;
- COVID-19: Recommendations for School Reopening, SickKids;
- Coronavirus Resource Center, Johns Hopkins University;
- COVID-19 Data Dashboard, Medina County Department of Health; and
- Recommendations and research from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.
Based on the information currently available to us, including the latest COVID data as reported by the Medina County Health Department, we have made the decision that the Highland Local School District will reopen for students, in-person, 5 days a week (with specific health and safety provisions in place). Our collective goal must be to not only simply return students to school, but to do so in a way that is as safe as possible for all students and staff.
A preliminary plan will be released next week outlining as many specifics as possible. There will also be an opportunity for both parent and staff feedback before the plan is finalized. (Please note, any plans for the reopening of school must include contingency plans for an all-remote learning option for all students, should the Governor issue another stay-at-home order or if local risk levels [Ohio Public Health Advisory System] warrant the closing of facilities at any time).
In addition to returning to school, there will be a remote learning option for those families who choose not to send their student(s) back to school. Again, we are working to finalize information and will make that available to you next week.
As we are all aware, the decision on how, exactly, to safely return to school this fall is an incredibly difficult one and one that is filled with strong opinions, emotions and frankly, conflicting scientific and medical recommendations. We are striving to make the best possible decisions we can, in this constantly-evolving situation.