For the 2020-2021 school year, the health and safety of students, staff, volunteers, and the community are paramount. Sidney City Schools (K-12 and preschool) is running the school year with in-person instruction five days a week.
We believe it is extremely important for the mental and physical well-being of our students that they be in school. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year start with the goal of having students physically present in school.
However, given that we have students and/or families with legitimate health concerns, we will offer a remote learning option. See more below.
Sidney-Shelby County Health Department Guidance for Schools
Active Positive Cases at Sidney City Schools by Building
K-12 LEARNING OPTIONS
ALL families will select between the in-person instruction and remote learning option through Final Forms for each child for the first and second semesters. The deadline to select your child's learning option for the 2nd Semester is November 24, 2020. This requires logging onto Final Forms make a selection for your child’s learning choice - EVEN IF YOU DO NOT PLAN TO CHANGE.
K-12 OPTION 1 - IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION AT SIDNEY CITY SCHOOLS WITH THE GUIDELINES BELOW:
The following guidelines address how we plan to accomplish in-person instruction while adhering to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Sidney- Shelby County Health Department (SSCHD) guidelines to the best of our ability.
ODH guidelines ask that schools focus on five areas:
- Assessing symptoms;
- Washing and sanitizing hands;
- Thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing school environments;
- Practice social distancing;
- Implement face-covering policies.
It’s important to know and be familiar with COVID-19 Symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea vomiting
STUDENT & STAFF ILLNESS
Overall daily absences will be monitored by Sidney City Schools for COVID-19 impact. Students and staff should check their temperature and monitor their health at home on a daily basis before coming into a school setting.
Sidney City Schools may check students’ temperatures and observe for other symptoms. Families will be contacted and asked to pick up their child who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms.
- Any student or staff member with a fever of 100.4°F or higher should stay home.
- Any student or staff member that has the following symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home from school and should be assessed for COVID-19:
- Any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, OR
- Two of the following symptoms: fever, chills, rigors (shakes), myalgia (muscle ache), headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, GI issues (nausea or vomiting or diarrhea), OR
- Any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, rigors (shakes), myalgia (muscle aches), headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, GI Issues (nausea and vomiting or diarrhea) AND an epidemiological link to a case of COVID-19.
Wilson Health Clinic at Sidney City Schools, located in the basement of the Board of Education office, welcomes walk-ins. The clinic is located at the Board of Education office at 750 S Fourth Avenue, Sidney OH and is served by Dr. Mick Beyer and his staff. Call 937-419-8021 for more information.
RETURNING TO SCHOOL AFTER ILLNESS
- If a student or staff member is diagnosed through testing as having COVID-19, they must meet the following criteria to return to school:
- Three (3) days with no fever (without using fever-reducing medication) AND Other symptoms improved AND
- Ten (10) days since symptoms first appeared
- Students and staff who only have a fever and no other symptoms and have not had any contact with an individual that has COVID-19 may return to school after they are fever-free for twenty-four (24) hours without using any fever-reducing medications.
- Any other illnesses should be handled in a routine manner according to district policies as outlined in the student handbook.
- To return to school after a COVID-19 diagnosis, the student must be transported to the school by the parent/guardian and must be checked by the school personnel by appointment.
- Staff may be required to provide documentation from a physician to return to work or abide in accordance with updated guidance from the ODH or the Shelby County Health Department.
COMMUNICATION FOR A POSITIVE COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS
- Families are responsible for contacting the Shelby County Health Department, Communicable Disease Nurse, 937-498-7249, in the event of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
- COVID-19 is a mandated reportable disease. Given this, our school district is required to notify and report COVID-19 information to the SSCHD to support contact tracing.
- Communication will be developed in conjunction with the SSCHD and Sidney City Schools to specify to guardians which classroom/bus/school/other activity the confirmed case was in. Necessary and appropriate information will be shared with staff. Student names will not be shared.
- The school district will cooperate with the SSCHD’s work in contract tracing.
- Sidney City Schools will post a spreadsheet with numbers of ACTIVE POSITIVE CASES per building.
- Students will be encouraged to wash hands with soap multiple times a day for 20 seconds;
- Staff will reinforce the important health benefits of washing hands for disease prevention;
- Hand sanitizer will be provided in common areas and within each classroom for student use;
- Hand washing or use of hand sanitizer will be required before lunch, after using the restroom, and before and after recess.
CLEANING AND SANITIZING SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT
- Daily cleaning and disinfecting of all areas in the school will continue to be standard practice. We will pay special attention to common areas including classrooms, cafeterias and buses, and high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, drinking fountains, keyboards, desks, tables, and chairs.
- Water fountains will be shut off and schools will be equipped with water bottle filling stations. Students will be asked to have a reusable water bottle as a part of their school supplies.
The current recommendation is 3 to 6 feet of space between individuals when feasible, and we will do this to the best of our ability by:
- Teaching students the importance of being considerate of others' space and keeping their hands to themselves;
- Creating routines supporting space at lunch and during transitions between classes and breaks;
- Encouraging students to minimize congregating in large groups before and after school.
Sidney City Schools will follow the Governor and the Ohio Department of Health guidelines for face coverings:
- Staff and volunteers will wear masks unless facial coverings are not advisable for health reasons or there is a functional (practical) reason not to wear it;
- Face coverings are required for students in grades K-12 unless:
- The child is unable to remove the face covering without assistance
- The child has a significant behavioral or psychological issue that would be exacerbated by the use of a facial covering
- The child is living with severe autism or with extreme developmental delay and would be agitated or anxious wearing a mask
- The child has a facial deformity that causes airway obstruction
- The child is an MD student
- A mask medical exemption form is available for guardians to fill out
- Families will be responsible for supplying the mask;
- All visitors entering the school building will be asked to wear a mask;
- There will be areas that face coverings are absolutely required. We are committed to doing what we can for the protection of our most vulnerable students and staff members. Therefore, we will be requiring face coverings in classes and certain areas. The students will know those areas either through communication on the first day of school.
- We will follow the mandate to the best of our ability. Teachers and administration will remind students to put their face coverings back on if they do not have a legitimate excuse or they are not participating in a situation where a face covering is prohibitive. If a student repeatedly refuses to put their face covering on, a meeting will be held between the administration and the students’ parents regarding an online learning option.
- There will be times that face coverings are prohibitive. Lunch, recess, gym class, marching band, demonstrating a phonics skill, outside class where distancing can be easily attained are all examples of times when face coverings would be considered prohibitive or not needed. Consideration will also be made for the various age groups and their ability to wear a mask for prolonged periods of time.
- This is definitely a “learn as you go” situation. There is no way we can anticipate every situation and have an answer at this point. We are asking all staff, students and parents to be patient as we figure it out each day.
MASK MEDICAL EXEMPTION FORM - Updated 8/10/2020
K-12 OPTION 2 - REMOTE LEARNING WITH SIDNEY CITY SCHOOLS:
Schoology Resources for Remote Learners
In order to serve families who are medically fragile or have concerns about safety, Sidney City Schools will be offering a remote learning option. Careful consideration should be given to the learning expectations and requirements. At this time, there is no hybrid of remote learning and in-person instruction; it is all or nothing/one or the other.
- Semester time commitment - families choosing remote learning will be asked to commit to this learning model one semester at a time; families can make their choice for the 2nd Semester by November 24 by logging on to Final Forms, no changes can be made after November 24.
- Daily, live classroom engagement will be expected and will count towards attendance. Students will be expected to turn on cameras during live sessions unless otherwise instructed by their teachers.
- If attendance and/or assignment submission become a chronic issue, the school will ask remote learners to return to in-person learning.
- Assignments have deadlines and grades are taken.
- Families should provide an environment for remote learners that is free from constant distractions and allows students to focus and attend to their learning. It is not appropriate for students to be on live sessions during situations that will distract them and their peers. Because students will often have their camera on during live sessions, any distractions in the background can be seen and heard by the teacher and other students.
- Internet connectivity is essential - you must have reliable, high-speed internet (especially if you have multiple students learning remotely). If you live in a cellular "dead zone" remote learning will not work for you unless you can go somewhere for reliable connectivity.
- Sidney City Schools can accommodate families in need of devices and/or internet hotspots.
- Please consider that anyone helping to facilitate your child's remote learning should have experience using computers and feel comfortable navigating a web browser. Younger students do require more support.
- District or statewide testing will require on-site testing with appropriate safety precautions.
Here are some additional key details to help families make the decision regarding distance learning:
- The daily schedule will be set up similar to the school day, meaning breaks for recess, transitions, lunch, study hall (if applicable).
- There will be live, virtual instruction with a teacher. The live sessions will also be recorded, should a student miss due to illness, a doctor’s appointment, etc., so they can access at a later time.
- Assignments will be done digitally. There may be options to download and print documents, though they will be shared digitally.
- Students with IEP or 504 plans will still have access to an interventionist to meet their accommodations and learning plans.
School Lunch for Remote Learners:
Remote learners wanting meals will have to come to their attended school between the school's scheduled breakfast and lunch.
Remote Learning students are also included in the SSO extension to get free meals through the end of the school year. The process for this will be as follows:
- Remote Learning students wanting school meals must get them from the building at which they would attend.
- Remote Learning students must follow all school guidelines while in the buildings (masks, social distancing, etc).
- Remote Learning students will get the options of meals we are offering that day.
- Any extra food or drink items must be purchased. Students are not permitted to charge extra food items.
- All to-go items must be in a container for transport.
- Once Remote Learning students get their meals they will immediately exit the buildings.
- Remote Learning students will not be able to get both breakfast and lunch at the same time - each school will have separate pick up times for each meal as follows:
Breakfast 8:40am to 8:50am
Lunch 10:45am to 10:55am
Main door (Door #1)
Breakfast 8:40am to 8:50am
Lunch 10:45am to 10:55am
Main door (Door #1)
Breakfast 8:40am to 8:50am
Lunch 10:45am to 10:55am
Breakfast 7:25am to 7:35am
Lunch 10:15am to 10:30am
Main front doors (parent drop-off side)
Breakfast 7:30am to 7:45am
Lunch 11:30am to 12:00pm
Main door (Attendance office)
There are NO deliveries and remote learners must get the meals from their attended school-no exceptions even if they are closer to another school.
We are asking families to make the choice for the 2nd Semester for our planning purposes. We need to have relatively solid numbers to make sure we have the appropriate staff in place and schedules can be set. As with everything, we will continue to operate with some flexibility with families, and communication lines with the administration are open.
PRESCHOOL LEARNING OPTIONS
Whittier Early Childhood Center started the school year in-person and will continue unless ordered by the Governor's Office.
Early childhood classrooms have the potential to be limited to 9 children at a time per orders from the Governor’s office. At this point, preschool will be offered 4 days a week. In the event the preschool class sizes are ordered to be reduced, Whittier Early Childhood Center will offer a hybrid model of services with in-school participation two days a week. Should a hybrid model be used, parents who pay tuition will only pay for those two in-school days. Some students may be asked to attend 4 days a week as determined by their IEP.
We are asking families to select a preference for in-person sessions should the numbers of children in a classroom change and the hybrid model be implemented.
OPTION A: In-person sessions Monday & Tuesday; on-line lessons available Wednesday & Thursday
OPTION B: On-line lessons available Monday & Tuesday; in-person sessions Wednesday & Thursday
The school will try and accommodate your preference as much as possible.
All of the above in-person guidelines under the K-12 Learning Options will apply for preschool learning. Preschool children will not have to social distance when within their learning “bubbles.” Different from K-12 in-person learning, Hand washing or use of hand sanitizer will be required before snack, after using the restroom, before and after playground time, and before entering or leaving the classroom/building.
OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What if the Governor shuts schools down again or a large community spread occurs?
Sidney City Schools will be prepared to provide remote learning for all students should one of these situations arise and it is deemed necessary. Remote learning will look different this year, as compared to last spring with regard to learning expectations and rigor.
It may be deemed necessary for Sidney City Schools to close a building or the entire district should staff be affected and safe coverage of students is not attainable due to the lack of subs. Families should have calamity plans in place similar to weather cancellations.
Are visitors allowed in the school buildings?
Unnecessary visits to the building are discouraged so as to limit potential exposure.
Will buses be running normal routes?
Yes, we will run normal bus routes this school year. Masks will be required to ride the bus. Riders will be responsible for supplying their own masks.
What about events, field trips, and athletics?
- Large gatherings will be decided on a case-by-case basis given the level of risk in our county at the time. We will do our best to communicate decisions related to event cancellation in a timely manner.
- Currently, Sidney City Schools will not be holding traditional Open House events prior to the start of the school year. Staff is working to create a safer alternative to welcoming families back and plans will be communicated.
- Field trips will also be evaluated on a case by case basis. It must be as safe as possible for us to take students to an area outside of the school.
- Athletics will follow ODH and OHSAA guidelines. The decisions to hold sporting events is out of our control; however, we will advocate for our student-athletes. If allowed, we will host sporting events for the 2020-2021 school year and conduct them as safely as possible.
Are these COVID-19 plans concrete?
Our goal is to best serve our students educationally while keeping students, staff, families and the community safe. Given that the ODH, the Ohio Department of Education and the Governor may change direction at any time, it is important we maintain flexibility in our own plans as a district. We will continue to work in cooperation with local health officials and superintendents to provide the best education possible to our community.
What if I want my child to do the remote learning option but we do not have our own devices?
We are able to provide devices and/or hotspots to any student choosing to learn remotely. Families of remote learners can visit the Board of Education office at 750 S Fourth Ave between 8am and 4pm. Should your child be quarantined, any device that is needed for learning from home is distributed at the building level.
Will Latchkey operate as normal?
Latchkey will operate as normal for those in school as long as we continue to offer in-person instruction. Staff will be wearing masks, attempting social distancing, and following all of the in-person guidelines. Staff plans to have students separated into groups to attempt to minimize the number of students in a room at one time. Latchkey staff will continue to disinfect everything after each session (am and pm).
Further Latchkey inquiries can be sent to Paige Barker, Latchkey Coordinator.
Where will I find more information on the plan?
As we define the plan more concretely, we will share information with families through our website - www.sidneycityschools.org and social media accounts: @sidneyschools on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
SIDNEY- SHELBY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT - Communicable Disease Nurse, 937-498-7249
SIDNEY CITY SCHOOLS
Board of Education/Office of the Superintendent, 937-497-2200
- Superintendent, Bob Humble
- Special Education, Chris Barr
- Curriculum, Brooke Gessler
- Transportation, Joni Renner
- Food Services, Jason McLain
- Latchkey, Paige Barker
Sidney High School, 937-497-2238
- Principal, Denny Morrison
- Assistant Principals, Gregory Snyder and Kevin Boerger
- Athletic Director, Mitch Hoying
Sidney Middle School, 937-497-2225
- Principal, Diane Voress
- Assistant Principal, Dan Barnes
- Dean of Students, Michael Ward
Northwood Intermediate, 937-497-2231
- Principal, Keith Helmlinger
Emerson Primary, 937-497-2261
- Principal, Stephanie Klingshirn
Longfellow Primary, 937-497-2264
Whittier Early Childhood Center, 937-497-2275
**All of the above school administrators can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org