Back To School 2020-21

June 30, 2020

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 the large amount of feedback. Feedback from our community and staff is very valuable in this process. 
 
(1= least preferred, 5 = most preferred) 
 
The task force is awaiting guidance to be released by Governor DeWine, which is expected Thursday, 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. 
 
Operations
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. 
 
Technology
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.

BCS Reopening Task Force Update - June 25, 2020

The BCSD Reopening Task Force met for the third time on Wednesday, June 17. During this time, the group finished reviewing the data from the May 26 parent, staff, and student surveys. The task force also discussed potential hybrid school options, which would allow about half of our students in the buildings at a time. At the end of this discussion, it was determined that a second parent and staff survey was necessary. We sent the survey out earlier this week, and ask that they are completed by Sunday, June 28 at 11:59 p.m.This survey asked for input on all the possible scenarios the district may face during the school year. We are planning for three scenarios upon the advice of both Franklin County Public Health and Columbus Public Health officials: fully in-school, fully online, and a hybrid plan. The task force meets again on Monday, June 29, to discuss the results of the second survey. Bexley City Schools and the members of the task force understand that the decisions surrounding reopening during a pandemic are complex and will affect our families and our community. We appreciate your input on the last two surveys and we may reach out with another survey in the coming weeks to ensure you are part of the process.
 
Below you can read about the work happening in our district’s departments during summer. Please continue to check out our “Back to School” website for more information on the task force and return to school plans by visiting https://www.bexleyschools.org/backtoschool20-21.aspx.
 
Operations 
Director of Operations Dr. Harley Williams and the building principals have met regularly to discuss the daily operations of the district amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The district purchased hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, cleaning supplies, 3-ply masks, face shields, and gloves for our staff members when they return. We’re also in the process of purchasing face mask reminder signs to display throughout the school. Our maintenance staff has been busy with cleaning buildings and preparing classrooms for the start of the school year. 
 
Staff and Student Learning 
Chief Academic Officer Jill Abraham met with Allied Arts teachers to consider teaching and learning implications with each return to school scenario. Director of Student and Community Engagement Leisan Smith and instructional coaches are providing professional development to interested staff regarding online learning, social-emotional learning, and equity throughout summer.
 
Technology 
The BCSD technology department is preparing for the shift to a 1:1 technology initiative, meaning every student in the district will have a device. The 1:1 initiative addresses technology needs and gaps, which were identified in the district’s strategic plan. Ten Bexley teachers are attending Ohio Blended Collaborative professional learning, which will help them understand how to best integrate technology, no matter the learning environment. The tech department has also been updating teacher laptops and the district’s software, so we are prepared for the start of school. 
 
 

BCS Reopening Task Force Update

 
The Reopening Task Force continues to work to create a safe and realistic plan for the 2020-2021 school year. The task force met for the second time last week. We broke into smaller groups to review data from staff, student, and parent surveys that were sent out during the week of May 25th.
 
We are grateful for the large response we received from our community. We had over  2000 responses from the surveys (190 staff, 690 students, and 1,200 parents). The survey responses provided excellent feedback and ideas; however, there are significantly different, and often contradictory,  opinions of how to return.  Therefore, the task force will have a great deal to consider before releasing the finalized plan.  The health and safety of our students and staff and the student learning experience are the most important components to consider in creating a  reopening plan.
 
We have been told that we would receive  guidance from local and state health agencies and the Ohio Department of Education before Bexley City Schools reopening plans are complete. However, nothing has been provided thus far.  Therefore, we have reviewed other states’ reopening plans to help guide our planning.
 
The task force meets again June 17, 2020. The entire administrative team met for two days this week also reviewing survey results and planning for a variety of return scenarios to share with the full task force at the next meeting. We will continue to discuss the survey responses and enter the next phases of planning. The plan for reopening is expected to be completed in July depending on changes in orders, guidance, or the overall status of the pandemic.
 
We recognize the importance of making local decisions, with our community and our facilities in mind, that are best for our students. The members are the Reopening Task Force are the following:  

Dr. Kimberly Pietsch Miller

Superintendent

Kyle Smith

Treasurer

Jill Abraham

Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Harley Williams

Director of Operations

Brad Pettit

Director of Technology

Tyler Trill

Public Information Officer

Susan Drake

Maryland Principal

Jeannine Hetzler

Cassingham Principal

Melissa Klosterman-Lando

Montrose Principal

Jason Caudill

Middle School Principal

Kristin Robbins

High School Principal

Sam McMasters

Director of Student Services

Leisan Smith

Director of Student & Community Engagement

Amy Dunn

Cassingham Teacher

Meghan Kroll

Maryland Teacher

Sherry Baugh

Montrose Teacher

Kim Ranft

Middle School Teacher

Kara Whitlatch

High School Teacher

Ben Pinciotti

Cassingham Teacher

Cindy Tyson

Montrose Nurse

Jason Evans

OAPSE President

Ed LaFollette

BSN, RN, CNOR, Clinical Manager of Surgical Services, Bexley Parent

Suellen Bennet

Epidemiologist, Bexley Parent

Jason Bumbico

IT Bexley Public Library, Bexley Parent

Dr. James MacDonald

MD, MPH, Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Family Medicine, Ohio State. College of Medicine, Nationwide Chidren's Hospital Division of Sports Medicine, Bexley HS/MS Team Physician, Bexley Parent

Erin Crilly

Organizational Strategist, Bexley Parent

Mike Price

Director of Bexley Parks and Recreation, Bexley Parent

Katie Sarvas

Director of Before and After Care, Summer Camp

Victoria Powers

Board of Education Member

BCS Creates Reopening Task Force For 2020-21 School Year

 
Like all school districts across our state and nation, we are looking ahead to what school will look like in August and into the 2020-2021 school year in Bexley Schools. 

With the health and safety of our staff and students foremost in our minds, we are planning for what next year may look like.  Per the governor’s comments this week and from reviewing guidance for opening the 2020-2021 academic year, we are planning for our school buildings to be open to students for in-person learning in some format. 

We recognize the importance of making local decisions, with our community and our facilities in mind, that are best for our students. We have convened a BCS Reopening Task Force to help design and provide input on our reopening plans. The task force includes administrators, teachers, classified staff, our clinic nurses, a board of education member, and four parents who bring expertise in the areas of public health, medicine, and internet technologies. Strategic partnerships and community input are essential to our success as a district and we are looking forward to the work of this group.

The task force met for the first time on Monday, May 18.  It’s first task is to develop and administer surveys for staff, students, and parents regarding distance learning, potential new health, safety and cleaning protocols, hybrid (in-person and distance) learning, and to gather feelings of stakeholders regarding the return to in-person school in August if we are able.  The surveys will be distributed the week of May 25.  The task force will reconvene on June 4, to review the data and to begin the next phase of planning.

Once in the planning phase, the task force will be forming work groups to dive deeper into each aspect of returning to school in August. These groups will be reaching out to colleagues, parents, and other groups so that we can hear additional community input throughout the planning process. It is our goal to communicate our plan to return to school as soon as possible.  However, because of the ever-changing environment, we know that we will need to revisit our plan throughout the summer, and possibly up to the opening date of August 20, in order to make revisions or additions if necessary.

Throughout the summer, we will provide updates on the progress of the task force in order to keep you informed each step along the way.  Updates will be included in the superintendent’s newsletters that will return to a bi-weekly delivery the week of June 8 and on our website.

Thank you for your continued patience and support of Bexley City Schools.

Be Well!

Kimberly Pietsch Miller, Ed.D.

Dates

Thursday, August 13th - New Family Orientation for Elementary Schools via Zoom (6:30 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.)