Belpre City Schools Updates
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Updates from Superintendent Jeffrey S. Greenley
FRIDAY, JULY 10, 2020
WASHINGTON COUNTY OFFICIALS RELEASE STATEMENT ON SCHOOL REOPENING
The following is a joint statement by Marietta/Belpre Health Department, Washington County Health Department, Belpre City School District, Bright Beginnings Preschool, Fort Frye Local School District, Frontier Local School District, Marietta City School District, Ohio Valley Educational Service Center, Warren Local School District, Washington County Career Center, and Wolf Creek Local School District:
The cornerstone to our community is the education that is provided by our local schools. The void created this past spring by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of all schools was devastating to our students’ educational and emotional growth. Knowing this, along with other countless reasons, it is our goal as school and public health officials to safely re-open our school buildings and get kids back into the classroom this fall. It will take all of us to help make this goal a reality.
Collectively, we have been planning and preparing for the safe return of students this fall. Each school district will have a reopening plan built upon the Ohio Department of Health’s Covid-19 Health and Prevention Guidance for Ohio K-12 Schools, the Ohio Department of Education’s Planning Guide for Ohio Schools and Districts, and the directives issued by the Governor and Ohio’s Director of Health, as well as local requirements from the two Washington County health departments. Each school district will make their individual plan available within the next several weeks.
Each reopening plan will focus on these five health principles: (1) assessing for symptoms, (2) washing and sanitizing hands, (3) cleaning and sanitizing our classrooms and schools, (4) proper social distancing, and (5) when appropriate, face covering policies. While each district’s reopening plan will be very similar, there may be small differences that reflect their community’s unique needs.
These plans will outline how the health principles will be implemented based on Washington County’s Risk Level set by the Ohio Public Advisor System for COVID-19. Washington County is currently at the second level – Orange Alert Level 2. However, Washington County’s designated risk level can change. If our county’s risk level would rise to Purple Alert Level 4, schools would close and fully switch to Remote Learning to better protect students’ and staff’s health.
For this reason, school and public health officials will continue to collaborate, share best practices, and adapt our plans to reflect educational best practices and the current risk conditions in Washington County. Providing in person instruction to all of our students every day is our goal. Community members can help us reach this goal through healthy day-to-day actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, like staying home and getting tested when sick, regularly washing hands, avoiding crowds and confined spaces, and using face coverings while in public.
THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2020
DISTRICT ONLINE LEARNING
Dear Belpre Families:
Thank you for your patience and support while we have worked behind the scenes to get everything ready for on-line learning to begin next week. Our teachers have worked tirelessly this week to learn best practices and prepare to support your family remotely. As we begin this new chapter we would ask for your continued understanding while we iron out problems that are sure to happen as we try something different. First, as a reminder, please have Blizzard Bag assignments completed and transmitted to your child’s teacher by this Friday, March 27th. Beginning March 30th, new learning will begin and our teachers will begin utilizing online platforms to facilitate learning at home. Each teacher has been asked to use Google Classroom as a homebase for all learning. Many of them have already added your child to their classes and other teachers may invite you with a unique code. Step by step directions have been linked here for you. We strongly encourage parents of elementary students to join their classroom’s Classroom Dojo app so that they can stay in touch with the teacher. If you haven’t heard from your student’s teacher by Monday please send them an email so they can contact you. Email addresses for faculty members can be found on our website or on our app available in the Apple or Android store. All students will need to have a device and internet access to complete tasks. If you need a device and did not pick up one during the scheduled times, please contact your child’s principal. Free internet is being provided by both Suddenlink and Spectrum for up to 60 days. In addition, our WiFi can be accessed in our school building parking lots if needed.
It is important that you support your child in completing their work. Tasks that are being given to your child should be both age and developmentally appropriate. Please contact your child’s teacher with any questions that you may have. Everyone at Belpre City Schools has been working hard to make learning from home as successful as possible. It is our hope that each child gets to enjoy being in the comfort and safety of home all while being taught by their favorite teachers via video chat, email, etc. The Ohio Department of Education has also created tips to help support your child during this time; these have been linked here for you.
More now than ever before, thank you for supporting your child’s educational journey with us. As a reminder, we will continue to serve lunch and breakfast daily at both schools from 11:00 – 11:30 and at designated stops throughout town. Our cooks, paraprofessionals and bus drivers have worked hard to make this as convenient and safe for you as possible. We hope to see you there.
Stay healthy and well. We are in this together!
With Belpre Pride,
Jeffrey S. Greenley
Belpre City School District
THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2020
DISTRICT ONLINE LEARNING AND MEAL PROGRAM
Dear Belpre City families:
Thank you for your patience and for your support while we have worked to get additional guidance out about how we will serve your student in the weeks ahead. Many of you have reached out to offer help and we are so grateful to the PTO for fundraising money to provide meals to students this week while we worked to secure USDA funding. We are ready to make the following decisions that will be in place through April 7, 2020:
- Starting on Monday, March 23, 2020 we will begin serving meals to students at 11 different sites across Belpre. Please see our flier for more details. These meals are free to all under the age of 18, regardless of income level. Each day we will distribute a lunch and a breakfast for the next morning.
- Next week (the week of March 23, 2020) is blizzard bag week. Each student has three days of assignments that should be completed next week. We ask that you please submit the work directly to the teacher either by scanning it in or emailing cell phone pictures. Email addresses are available on our website. We know that there may be some families that do not have access to the internet at this time. Internet is available at our buildings and the WIFI extends into the parking lot. In addition, Spectrum and Sudden link have both announced plans for families of K-12 students for 60 days of free internet. We know that it may take a few days to get service so we will offer a limited number of paper packets to students. Students who need a paper packet can request one on Monday, March 23 when picking up a meal at either the building or one of the meal drop locations. They will be delivered the next day.
- We will issue Chromebooks to students that do not otherwise have access to a computer so that they can complete assignments. We will issue one Chromebook per family for use during the public closure of our buildings. If your student needs a Chromebook they will be issued next Tuesday, March 24 at Belpre Elementary and next Thursday, March 26 at Belpre High School from 11:00 – 1:00.
- We will begin online learning for students on March 30, 2020. We will provide more detail next week.
This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will keep a close eye on CDC guidelines as well as Governor DeWine’s directives which could require us to make a course correction. Please continue to practice good hygiene and practice social distancing as we all try to flatten the curve and ensure that we have the available hospital space that people may need in the event of a spike. Parents please talk with your children about the importance of washing their hands and following the guidance so that we can protect the most vulnerable members of our community. We have you and your children on our minds and in our hearts at this time and will do all that we can to nourish their minds and bodies and support your family. Please contact us at the Central Office if you have any questions or if there are other needs that we can help meet.
Jeffrey S. Greenley
Belpre City School District
MONDAY, MARCH 09, 2020
DISTRICT PRECAUTIONS FOR COVID-19
The first and most important role of Belpre City Schools is to keep its students, faculty and staff safe while they are in our buildings learning. Our organization has been very closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (known as the “coronavirus”) and discussing contingency plans in the event of the spread of disease to the Mid Ohio Valley. The first cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Ohio earlier today but we are still unaware of any cases in our area or in the portions of West Virginia close to our school district.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Education have all compiled excellent information for school districts and the public at large to consider. Coronavirus spreads mainly between people in close contact with one another (within 6 feet) through coughs or sneezes or by touching a surface with the virus and then touching their own eyes, mouth or nose. We should all be doing three key things to prevent the spread of disease: washing hands, avoid sneezing into the air or on hands and frequently cleaning surfaces. Accordingly, effective March, 10, 2020 we will be implementing the following procedures:
- We will be placing in all bathrooms hand washing steps and reminders to encourage students to wash their hands.
- Require all students to wash their hands before they eat lunch as well as after recess.
- Request all classrooms to ensure that light switches, door knobs and desk surfaces are disinfected at lunch time and at the end of the day.
- Suspend any classroom or school-wide incentives for student perfect attendance to encourage families to keep their students home if they are showing any cold or flu like symptoms.
- Increase cleaning in common areas, water fountains and weight rooms.
- Bus seats will be sanitized daily.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide for additional deep cleaning of the building to make sure it is as safe as possible for students. We have outlined several additional steps that we will take if required in the future. We would ask that our parents have a conversation with their students about the importance of washing their hands, sneezing into their elbow instead of their hand and staying home or telling their teacher if they are not feeling well.
In the unlikely event that we need to cancel school we will notify parents as we would during snow days. Our teachers have already prepared calamity day lessons that students can do from home in the event that we need to make up some time. We will continue to be transparent with our families in our communication and response to the illness.