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Bay Village City Schools to start year with remote learning until September 11

"We must remain nimble, prudent and flexible as we manage our district during a pandemic."

BAY VILLAGE, Ohio — The Bay Village City School District has announced its plan for reopening this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to students and parents, Superintendent Jodie Hausmann revealed that the district will start with remote learning until September 11 for all students, including the preschool SEED program. Hausmann says the district will then reevaluate every two weeks, reviewing Cuyahoga County Board of Health information, consulting with its Medical Advisory Team and reviewing its dashboard of data points in making decisions in two-week chunks. 

"We are not medical experts, so we will honor the Cuyahoga County Board of Health’s evidence-based rationale that recommends schools begin the year remotely," writes Hausmann.

Families will be notified of eLearning or In-building instruction on the second and last Thursday of each month by 4:00 p.m. 

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Hausmann also laid out the circumstances by which Bay Village Schools could move to a hybrid learning mode. "When we are able to hold In-building learning following these guidelines: Cuyahoga County Board of Health recommendation, declining cases, 5% or lower positivity rate for a steady period of time and COVID-19 state advisory system color is yellow or orange, we will initiate our Slow Launch Start. After studying the success and failures of a variety of countries, a slow launch to school is imperative to monitor any community spread increase. This gradual beginning starts with 25% to 50% of children per day for two weeks, then a step up to 100% of students attending. Students who are not In-building during the Slow Launch Start will be engaged in eLearning, which will include live streaming time and teacher-assigned independent work," she wrote.

As far as athletics are concerned, Hausmann says during eLearning periods athletics and activities will continue at Phase One for contact sports, Phase Two for non-contact sports and Phase Three for tennis and golf. 

Hausmann closed her note with a plea to the district to remain unified during the uncertainty of the pandemic. "Please don’t let this public health crisis divide our One Rocket Nation. We will keep fighting and absorbing information. Accepting changes that need to be made does not mean we have to agree with them. We are on virus time. As we navigate the new normal, we need to find ways to be in community and to uphold one another and our work. Our goal is that by determining instruction in two-week chunks and by relying on the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, our Medical Advisory Team and our dashboard of data points, the 2020-2021 school year will be safe, enriching and as normal as possible for our students during these unprecedented times," she stated.

The announcement by Bay Village City Schools comes on the same day that Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to address education and the return to schools during his briefing.

In addition to DeWine and Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, multiple doctors from children's hospitals are expected to speak at Tuesday's briefing, presumably regarding the upcoming school year.

The reopening of schools has become a highly debated topic as the start of the upcoming calendar approaches. While DeWine said in July that he expected students to return to the classroom this fall, several districts have opted to begin their school years remotely, with others opting for a hybrid model.