Back to School FAQ

Back to School FAQ

The following Frequently Asked Questions were generated in response to questions received directly from parents and community members that were sent to [email protected]. Bexley City Schools understands that school will look differently for students, staff and families this year and it will require flexibility and partnership from everyone. The district will continue to update this page regularly as new information is available. 
Last updated: July 23, 2020 at 11:31 a.m.
 
Why did Bexley Schools choose the draft plan presented on July 17?
The Bexley City Schools District is striving to balance important concerns as we continue to develop plans for instruction this coming school year. Safety and mitigation of risk related to COVID are at the heart of our instructional planning, along with the overall health and wellbeing of our students and staff, with consideration of their families and our entire community. The Bexley Back to School plan shared on July 17 discusses three distinct models of instruction – all-in, hybrid, and distance learning - for use in the coming school year depending on COVID health and safety issues, and also describes options for families that wish to elect to keep their students out of the school building for the semester or year. The plan has been worked on by a 29-member task force that includes Bexley School administrators, teachers and staff, Bexley Schools parents, medical professionals, IT experts and community leaders. The task force was created in order to assist the district leadership in designing and providing feedback on a comprehensive reopening plan.  In addition, the Bexley City School District has been in close contact with local public health official officials and epidemiologists who have contributed greatly to the back to school plan. Many options that are not in the plan were considered by this team and ruled out for a variety of reasons including logistical issues such as health and safety requirements or staffing levels or feedback from parents and staff that revealed certain options were less desirable or less feasible to implement.

First Day of School

When is the first day of school?
The Bexley City Schools Board of Education will officially approve the start of the 2020-21 school year at the August 4 board meeting. The school district will request approval for a transition period August 24-September 4. During this time students will attend in small groups to learn and adapt to the new safety protocols, build relationships and complete individual learning assessments so that Bexley teachers can provide a high quality learning experience for each student. A detailed plan of when students will attend during this transition period will be shared with families as soon as it is finalized.
 

When will the learning plan for the first day of school be announced?
As of July 22, the plan is that during the week of August 3, Bexley City Schools will determine which learning plan (all in, hybrid or all remote) will be in effect for the first 9 week of the school year. The selected learning plan will be linked to the county alert level as guided by the state.
 
Please note that if there is an increase in level severity in Franklin County, BCSD will immediately move (the next school day) to a more conservative learning plan. For example, if operating on hybrid and the county or other local conditions moves to purple or more severe community spread on a Thursday, BCSD will move to all remote learning that Friday.

Changing Learning Plans: How and When

 When will the learning plan change?
 As of July 22, the plan is that before the start of each 9 weeks Bexley City Schools will consider local conditions, the Ohio County Health Alert levels as well as  consult with public health officials and local epidemiologists for guidance to determine if the conditions will allow more in-person instruction when a new 9 week quarter begins.  More in-person learning will take place if there has been a downward trend in new cases in the county and will not be based on only one or two weeks of data.
 
Given the recent communications in Columbus regarding a four-week downward trend, we are investigating with Franklin County Public Health the viability of returning to school in any type of in person learning plan this August. We understand that our parents and staff want to know as soon as possible the way that we will return to learning in August.  However, guidance continues to change almost daily; we want to take our time in order to make the best decision possible.  Please note that if there is an increase in level severity in Franklin County, BCSD will immediately move (the next school day) to a more conservative learning plan. For example, if operating on hybrid and the county or other local conditions moves to purple or more severe community spread on a Thursday, BCSD will move to all remote learning that Friday.  
 
 
 Why can’t Bexley City Schools move toward more in-person learning immediately when the alert level changes?
There’s no question that this year will require a lot of flexibility from teachers, students and families. Our purpose in only moving toward more in-person learning at the start of each 9 weeks is two-fold: 1. To ensure the safest learning environment for Bexley staff and students. 2. To prevent a potentially constant shift in expectations for staff and students, we will only shift at the 9 weeks to provide consistency unless it is required to do so for the health and safety of our staff and students.
 
Why is BSCD using the Franklin County COVID-19 numbers and not the Bexley numbers?
Our top priority is the health and safety of our students and staff. We know that our staff, students and their families may leave the City of Bexley often for work, to visit family, shop, etc. In addition, many of the people who work in the stores, restaurants and other services within the Bexley city limits may also be residents of Franklin County but not the City of Bexley. For these reasons, we will continue to determine our health and safety protocols based on the community spread of COVID-19 in our county; however, we will continue to monitor local conditions in Bexley as well and make our decisions in conjunction with local  health officials.
 
Why are we rushing to go back to full capacity when the virus is still raging? 
District administrators and members of the task force continue to plan for those students who will not return to school for the semester or year regardless of local or county conditions.  We have distributed a second survey to determine how many students will be part of the E-Learning Academy at the request of many parents who have indicated their plans have shifted since the first survey.  The final plan for the E-Learning Academy cannot be finalized until we have updated numbers. 
 
We have included several measures in the plan to safeguard against a rush back, even though our district agrees with the American Academy of Pediatrics that time physically in-school is essential to students’ academic, social, emotional and mental development. We will not change our learning plan to include more in-person instruction until the start of each 9 weeks. A shift to more in-person instruction will require a downward trend in community spread, the district will consult Franklin County Health Alert levels, public health officials and local epidemiologists for guidance. We will immediately (the next day) move to all remote learning if local conditions require such as a purple alert level for Franklin County or other indicators in our city or specific buildings require. 
 
 
 

Bexley E-Learning Academy

District administrators and members of the task force continue to plan for those students who will not return to school for the semester or year regardless of local or county conditions.  We have distributed a second survey to determine how many students will be part of the E-Learning Academy regardless if the instruction is provided by a Bexley Schools teacher or a third-party and how many students will be part of the E-Learning only if it is provided by a Bexley Schools teacher. If the E-Learning Academy must be provided by a third-party due to current staffing levels, the instruction will likely be provided by the Ohio Online Learning Plan. The district will present the final plan for the E-Learning Academy once we have updated numbers from this survey.

Hybrid Learning Plan

Can I request my child to be in a specific class or on a certain schedule to accommodate our shared childcare duties during the distance online instruction days?
Specific requests for changes in daily assignment should go to your building principals. While they will strive to accommodate requisitions, in order to maintain six feet of distancing in the hybrid, only about half the students can be in attendance at a time. 
 
 
Will the online learning during hybrid be provided by my student’s teacher or through the Bexley E-Learning Academy?
Yes, should a shift to full distance learning be required, students enrolled in the in-person learning plans will continue to be taught by their in-person teachers online.

Distance Learning

Are teachers receiving more help to develop better and more effective ways to do online learning?
Yes, one of the reasons Bexley Schools is recommending to the Board of Education that the start of the school year be moved later is to provide more professional development and time for teachers to plan for a more robust distance learning experience, in case distance learning is needed at any point throughout the year.  Throughout the summer teachers have been meeting and planning  for both hybrid and distance learning plans. Bexley Schools Instructional Coaches have been providing resources and support to our teachers specifically on distance learning throughout this summer. Coaches will continue to support teachers with in-person, hybrid and distance learning will continue all year.
 
How will remote learning this year differ from last year’s experience?The biggest difference is that our teachers will be more prepared. Last year’s shift to distance learning was abrupt, and we did not know how long it would last. Our teachers learned a lot last year and became more and more comfortable with the instruction as they continued to experiment and learn from each other. In addition to more time for teachers to prepare, we will be better equipped with the right resources to support students online. Teachers and Instructional Coaches have already been preparing for all the learning scenarios we may use this year so that our staff and students are more equipped to transition if needed.
 
Unfortunately, our order for Chromebooks to begin our 1:1 technology plan is delayed due to international shipping delays, a world-wide shortage of computing chips and other factors out of our hands. We hope to have a device in the hands of every Bexley student this fall so that everyone has easy access to our distance learning resources.
 
If Bexley Schools moves to all distance learning, will the students who originally enrolled in the Bexley E-Learning Academy have access to the material provided during distanced learning?
No, students enrolled in the Bexley E-Learning Academy will be receiving their own instruction from their own classes online that may not seamlessly align with what students are doing in a classroom at their building. Just like Bexley teachers in the same building, teaching the same grade level may not be working on the exact same lesson at the exact same time, the Bexley E-Learning Academy teachers may not be teaching the exact same lesson at the exact same pace.  

Individualized Education Plans (IEPS)

The district is still finalizing plans related to IEPs. This section will be updated as soon as those details are available.

Social Distancing and Masks

Is Bexley Schools considering outdoor learning options since we know the virus is not spread as easily outdoors?
Yes, teachers are encouraged to utilize outdoor learning when possible. Face coverings will be required outside when adequate social distance is not possible.

How will social distancing be enforced during tornado and fire drills?
All safety drills will be conducted in classes by reviewing protocols.  Due to the inability to socially distance during an actual drill, we will not practice drills as we typically would until further notice.


Quarantine

*This information will be updated as guidance changes.*
 
What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19?
Information on protocols regarding positive COVID-19 cases and quarantine procedures are in the Back to Schools Overview Draft which is regularly updated as guidance changes. Please read it here: https://www.bexleyschools.org/backtoschool20-21.aspx
 
What happens if a staff member/teacher tests positive for COVID-19?
Information on protocols regarding positive COVID-19 cases and quarantine procedures are in the Back to Schools Overview Draft which is regularly updated as guidance changes. Please read it here: https://www.bexleyschools.org/backtoschool20-21.aspx
 
How will the district know if a student has been exposed to a family member or close contact that has tested positive for COVID-19?
Bexley Schools is asking every family to read and follow the Bexley Health Pledge, which will be sent to all families in early August. The Bexley Health Pledge will include a commitment to informing the district of any close or direct exposure to COVID-19. The district depends on our families and community members to make every effort to keep our students and staff safe by staying home when sick or if directly exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
 
Will students be given remote instruction if they have to quarantine?
Yes, remote learning will be available to students who are directed to quarantine. Flexibility will be offered to students who display symptoms and are too sick to complete their work while quarantined.
 
If a student or teacher is asked to quarantine, does their whole family also have to quarantine?
No, as long as the student or teacher quarantining does not have a positive COVID-19 test and does not display any symptoms, the close contacts of that individual do not have to also quarantine. If the individual begins to display COVID-19 symptoms, close contacts should begin quarantine at that time and notify all appropriate people (school nurse, supervisors, etc.)
 
What happens to the students in the class if a teacher has to quarantine but the class doesn’t?
Bexley Schools will assign a substitute teacher to cover the teacher’s duties to provide continuity of education to the students in the class.
 

Other Questions

Do we continue to pay Bexley City School taxes if we are not getting the full benefits of all in person instruction and are paying extra money for tutors?
Yes, Bexley City Schools taxes are paid by all residents whether or not they have students currently attending Bexley City Schools.  Further, all of our staff remain employed during this time.  Bexley City Schools will be offering a full Bexley educational experience while also responsibly following the health and safety protocols advised by the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the Franklin County Public Health Department. If you believe your student is in need of additional instructional support, please reach out to your student’s teacher, principal or counselor for next steps on how to access all the services available at Bexley City Schools.
 
How will extracurricular activities and clubs work for the upcoming school year?
All clubs and extracurricular activities will follow the health and safety protocols and guidelines of the Bexley City School District. Each activity will be assessed on an individual basis and each advisor will be responsible for sharing a plan of how to continue the activity safely.
 
If I decide to homeschool my student, will the school district provide me with a curriculum?
No, if parents choose to homeschool their student(s), they must register with the Ohio Department of Education and provide details on which curriculum parents plan to use at home. Bexley City Schools’ curriculum is complex and teachers pull from multiple curriculum resources to build the classroom experience, whether delivered in-person or online.