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October 25, 2020

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Here's how Ada schools will reopen in August

Board approves 13-page policy in special meeting on Monday

Ada schools announced a comprehensive fall reopening plan following a special board meeting on Monday. To read the entire 13-page policy click here.

• Click here to read the board's policy on wearing face coverings.

Caveat:  This plan is subject to change, as circumstances evolve and change, as guidelines from state, county, and local regulations change, etc.

This plan is effective on July 28, based on the guidance provided on July 2, 2020, in the COVID-19 Health and Prevention Guidance for Ohio K-12 Schools​ and the ​Ohio Department of Education Reset and Restart Education Planning Guide, and all other reliable informational material​. 

The plan will be re-evaluated by the district’s crisis committee once the pandemic designation is lifted, changed, or as guidance and/or mandates from The Ohio Department of Education (ODE), the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), or other governing entities is updated. 

It is our belief that Ada EVSD is the best, most effective, and safest learning environment for the students of Ada EVSD.  Therefore, we will do everything we can to allow for students to return to school in the fall of 2020, under the safest conditions possible, for face-to-face education/instruction, during the 2020-2021 school year (the number of days each week to be determined). 

The Timeline and Process 
All Ohio school buildings were closed for the remainder of the school calendar year beginning on March 16, 2020, by order of the Governor and State Health Commissioner in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

On July 2, 2020, the Governor of Ohio released guidelines for reopening schools in the fall. 

Hardin County school district leaders, along with leaders from the Midwest Regional Educational Service  (MRESC) Center, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center (OHPCC), and Apollo Career Center (ACC), in consultation with the  Hardin County Health Department (HCHD), came together to draft a list of best  practices,  and create a common, county-wide reopening agreement for the 2020-2021 school year for the Hardin County school districts.  

After the county plan was crafted, county administrators (i.e., Superintendents, Principals, Supervisors) met via Zoom to review and revise the county plan draft and make adjustments.  The resulting draft was then submitted to the Hardin County Health Department for review and consultation.  

County leaders met with the HCHD to review the county-wide draft plan on July 13.

Ada administrators and supervisors then began drafting a local plan in alignment with the county plan.  When that draft was ready, it was shared with teachers and staff, and meetings were held with them to further hone application of the county plan to the Ada EVSD district.  Revisions were made based on faculty and staff input.  

Ada administrators consulted with the district’s legal firm and insurance providers regarding liability throughout the process.

On July 22, Ohio Governor DeWine issued a state-wide masking order (press release found here:https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/resources/news-rele...). 

District administration met with association (AEA and ACA) leaders on July 23rd to discuss staff sick leave and other issues related to a fall, in-person return to school.

Staff meetings were held with staff on July 24th to further hone plan. 

A final draft was then presented to the Ada EVSD Board of Education (BOE) and approved.  The district level plan was released to the public on July 28, 2020.

These general principles will guide the Ada EVSD as they plan to move toward reopening school in August of 2020: 

This plan is extremely fluid.  As COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis, things can rapidly change.  The district will respond to these changes as they arise.  Consequently, this plan could change before the first day of school.

The district will implement recommended safety protocols to the highest degree possible.

The school district will work closely with the Hardin County Health Department to promote the health and safety of each person, while being compliant with local, state, and federal guidance.

The school district will be transparent with all stakeholders that some level of risk will always be present when children and school district employees occupy school district facilities.  

The school district recognizes the need for consistency in all areas of operations while recognizing that individual differences in classroom sizes, school facilities, content  and skills taught, age and developmental level of children, and building operations may lead to some inconsistencies.

The Ada EVSD is planning to maintain the previously approved school calendar with some possible modifications (see “Adjustments to School Calendar” section below) to allow for teacher professional development, deep cleaning (should a case be discovered), etc.  While some of these adjustments will allow for advanced notice, some may happen with little notice.  The Board of Education recognizes that adjustments may need to be made by the Superintendent as conditions evolve and change.

Basic Statements:  
Ada EVSD’s number one responsibility will be to provide the highest quality education possible while keeping our students and staff safe to the highest degree possible. 

Decisions about health and safety of students and staff must be made in collaboration with the Hardin County Health Department based on the current guidance, state orders, and the best science and evidence available to school leaders at any given time. 

A pandemic is an ever changing crisis, and as such, this plan may have to rapidly change or evolve in response to current conditions.  The current plan is aligned to the ​Ohio COVID-19 Risk Level Guidelines for the Public​, ​COVID-19 Health and Prevention Guidance for Ohio K-12 Schools​, and the ​Ohio Department of Education Reset and Restart Education Planning Guide​, and the governor’s state-wide masking order issued July 22, and in effect at 6 PM July 23.

School districts operate at all times according to guidelines from many agencies (i.e., Health Department, State Highway Patrol {re: bus operations}, State Fire Marshal, Ohio High School Athletic Association, Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Department of Health, insurance companies, etc.).  

Each school district in Hardin County has approved rules, policies, codes of conduct, handbooks, and procedures to maintain order, to eliminate barriers to learning, and to promote the health and safety of students and staff.  

Safety precautions are more effective when layered with other safety protocols. 

School will begin for students on Aug. 24.  This is a change from the originally approved calendar.

Aug. 20 and 21 will be full day, additional work and professional development days for staff to prepare for changes and get training on/prepare for the possibility of  remote learning (should schools be closed again).

The staff professional development day for fall will be cancelled, and there will be no early release professional development days for the fall months (August-November).

CLICK HERE to read the entire policy.