Orchestra and Band: After meeting with music teachers, we have moved forward to hire a full-time orchestra teacher for 20-21. The music teachers are collaborating to ensure that instrumental music instruction in band and orchestra can take place in grades 4 and 5 regardless of the learning environment (fully in school, hybrid, or remote). We value the creativity of our teachers and are pleased that we can hire a full-time teacher as we had hoped.
Athletics: You may have seen Bexley athletes participating in summer workouts over the past few weeks. The Ohio High School Athletic Association issued guidance on three phases of workouts. Our coaches had to submit plans for following all safety guidelines and adherence to the OHSAA rules before they could begin workouts. Thus far, coaches have volunteered their time while the District and Bexley Education Association collaborated on a plan to prorate pay for athletic coaches in the event that sports are forced to stop before the completion of the season. The BEA and District agreed to a plan on June 29, and fall coaches will be hired as soon as possible. The parties entered into a similar agreement in the spring, and athletic coaches were paid 50% of their contract rates when the spring seasons were canceled.
Theater: The Bexley Board of Education discussed a resolution related to restoring the director of the theatre department to a full-time position for 20-21. With the signing of HB 164 by Governor DeWine, Bexley Schools loss of state revenue for 2020 will be approximately $411,000 instead of $635,000. As a result of a hiring freeze resolution passed by the Board on May 18, Ms. Rhinehart and four other staff members had to be reassigned for the 20-21 school year in order to meet the academic needs of students. Ms. Rhinehart was to serve in the Maryland Library during the school day and continue the extra-curricular theater program after school as a supplemental assignment similar to our athletic coaches. The Board has asked the superintendent to secure a plan from Ms. Rhinehart that outlines how a full-scale Bexley Theater Arts program could be delivered regardless of the learning environment (fully in school, hybrid, or remote) or public health requirements (e.g. limited gatherings). The Board will vote on the resolution at the regular meeting on Tuesday, July 7, at 6:30 p.m.
Task Force Update
The Bexley City Schools Reopening Task Force once again met on June 29, 2020. The task force discussed the feedback from the parent and staff surveys, which were sent out Tuesday, June 23, 2020. We had over 2,000 responses, and the task force is grateful for a large amount of feedback. Feedback from our community and staff is very valuable in this process.
View the survey results.
The task force is awaiting guidance to be released by Governor DeWine, which is expected today, before finalizing a hybrid option for school (if such an option would be necessary). The task force will continue to work throughout July. We will provide weekly updates throughout the summer in the newsletter.
Staff and Student Learning
Chief Academic Officer, Jill Abraham, and our instructional coaches are developing plans to support teachers as they return to school in August. The Bexley City Schools Administrative Team began reading So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Director of Student & Community Engagement, Leisan Smith, is leading honest and hard weekly conversations with our administrators about race and racism and how they impact our school district, specifically our students and staff of color. Our elementary school principals are designing what kindergarten screening will look like in August. The Coordinator of Curriculum and Gifted is planning for gifted testing for students in August.
The Bexley Schools Operation Department continues to develop COVID-19 operating guidelines and cleaning and disinfecting protocols for the start of the school year. We are also monitoring OHSAA’s recommendations on what phase our sports teams should be conducting summer workouts.
The BCSD Technology Department continues preparing for the shift to a 1:1 technology initiative and updating teacher laptops and the district’s software, so we are prepared for the start of school. The district is transitioning to a new Internet service provider this week. We will maintain the same bandwidth while saving money.
Bexley City Schools Board of Education
The Bexley Board of Education’s next meeting will be Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. Meeting details will be made available on the Board’s webpage as soon as they are available.
The Bexley Board of Education acknowledges the voices and expectations of our community in response to recent events that call on us to confront racism, not only through conversation but also definitive action. We recognize our critical role in shaping and cultivating an educational experience that ensures that each student, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation, feels valued, supported, and free. We believe this is essential to any public school environment, and that our work in recent years towards this goal is merely the beginning and not the end of our journey.
Read the full statement here.
Please continue to check out our “Back to School” webpage for the latest information on the BCSD’s return to school plans. This page can be found at the top of our website.