Bexley, OH -- After months of work and consultation with health experts and district personnel, the Bexley City School District today released a comprehensive plan that details how the district will mitigate the risks of COVID-19 within their school buildings when students return to in-person instruction.
Called the BCSD Parent & Student COVID-19 Guide, the 40-page guide shows the extensive consideration given to a variety of scenarios that students and staff will face along with information on the cleaning and sanitization protocols taken by the district and detailed expectations for students and staff.
The plan was developed and approved in partnership with the local health department and with broad input from educators, parents, the community, and others, all who all share one goal: Keeping Bexley students and staff as safe as possible for when in-person instruction resumes.
“We are hopeful that we can return to in-person instruction at some point this year,” stated Dr. Kimberly Pietsch Miller, superintendent. “This plan shows what we are doing now to prepare for the moment when we open our physical doors and then, hopefully, to stay open. But, it will ultimately be up to all of us to do our part.”
While it is not possible to eliminate all COVID-19 risks, it is possible to minimize the risk. Within the schools, parents will see that building procedures and daily cleaning protocols have changed and that there are extensive sanitization procedures now in place. A few examples from the guide include that:
the custodial staff will disinfect all work areas, counters, restrooms, doorknobs, water filling stations, and stair railings several times daily;
common areas, hallways, and lockers will be sanitized daily;
classrooms will be set up to ensure distancing, desks and tables will face one direction and all desks will be equipped with transparent dividers to provide a barrier between students;
teachers will maintain a distance of six to nine feet and may also request transparent curtains to be hung from the ceiling to act as a barrier;
no lockers will be used by our students;
expected spacing between students is three feet for “All-In” Learning and six feet for “Hybrid” Learning; and,
hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap/water spray bottles, and paper towels will be placed in each classroom and in other building rooms for use.
Additional details are listed within the guide include how the district will meet the needs of the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) students and answers to frequently asked questions such as: health and safety protocols, COVID-19 symptoms and diagnosis, what happens if there is potential or confirmed exposure, how facilities will be used and how the new guidelines pertain to co-curricular and extracurricular activities.
While learning is presently remote for all students right now, Bexley City Schools has offered an opt-in virtual learning option to families called the Bexley E-Learning Academy when the district transitions to in-person learning options. The transition to in-person learning will be guided by the Franklin County Public Health Department.
“I am grateful for the insight and feedback of all the task force members in creating this plan to keep students and staff safe,” added Dr. Miller. “We are looking forward to welcoming students back into our classrooms and will continue to share updates in our weekly e-newsletters and as new information becomes available.”
To access Bexley City School District’s complete guide, visit the latest district e-newsletter or the Bexley Back to School website.