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July 2020

July 2020
Dear Twinsburg Schools Family:
 
Today I am writing to you about the reopening of our school district for the 2020-21 school year.  The information included in this letter, along with the attached guidance document entitled, “Strategies for a Safe & Responsible Return, 2020-21 School Year” and the Twinsburg City School District’s revised School Calendar for 2020-21 provide important details.  As you know, the current pandemic requires all of us to reevaluate the decisions we make so as to ensure our health and well-being and that of our loved ones.  In developing our reopening plans, we focused upon healthy and responsible choices, while using the feedback we received from our staff members and from you to inform our decisions.  Obviously, COVID-19 continues to evolve, thus I want you to know that the plans that I introduce to you today are tentative and can be influenced by a number of factors including changing health and safety guidelines and updated guidance from State and County officials.
 
First, the Twinsburg Board of Education authorized a revised School Calendar for 2020-21.  As you will note in the attached copy, the first day of the school year for our students will be Tuesday, September 8, 2020.  The reason for this adjustment is to provide the District with ample time to prepare for our reopening.  This includes time to provide professional development for staff so they can enhance their skills related to remote teaching and learning, to provide opportunities for student assessment, and to provide ample time to be able to relocate classrooms and instructional materials due to our need to maintain the required six (6)-foot social distancing in classrooms. 
 
Please note that the previously scheduled dates for which students did not have school (October 19, 2020 and April 5, 2021) have been converted to regular school days.  This was necessary to ensure that we had Calamity Days built into the revised calendar.
  
The revised District Calendar also indicates that August 31, September 1, 2, & 3, 2020 are “Soft Reopening Days”.  We are very concerned that our students have not been on campus since the middle of March.  That means that when school begins, they will have been away from our campuses for five (5) months.  With that fact in mind, we feel the need to assimilate our students back to school by facilitating smaller groups of students, most likely determined by the alphabet and by family groups, over this four (4)-day period so our teachers can get to know their students, provide students with directions regarding new safety protocols such as social distancing requirements and proper handwashing techniques, assess students to determine early benchmarks, and to issue Chromebooks to students in grades K-8.  More information about these “Soft Reopening Days” will be forthcoming.
 
The attached guidance document entitled, “Strategies for a Safe & Responsible Return, 2020-21 School Year” provides many details regarding our District’s reopening.  You will note in the document that all staff members will be required to wear masks while at work.  The guidance document also indicates that masks will be strongly recommended for students in grades 3 – 12 while in school, and masks will be strongly recommended for all students, grades Preschool – 12, while riding the school buses.  This language was adopted from Governor Mike DeWine’s statement of last week.  Please note that the Twinsburg Board of Education will authorize a policy regarding the wearing of masks prior to the start of the school year.  This policy may change the current recommendations noted in the guidance document.
 
You will note that we will offer our students two (2) options:
 
Option #1:  On Campus with Students In-Person and In-Buildings with Safety Protocols:  Grade Realignment – On Campus

It is our intention to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for all of our students and a safe and healthy work environment for our staff members.  This Grade Realignment – On Campus Plan would provide all students in Preschool – Grade 6 an opportunity to learn on campus five (5)-days a week.  Students in Grades 7 – 12 would follow a modified period Blue/White Schedule, attending classes every other day and engaging in Blended Learning activities while at home on alternating days.  Students in grades 7 - 12 identified with significant learning challenges as determined by their Individual Education Plans (IEPs) will be provided with opportunities to learn on campus five (5)-days per week. Option #1 requires the District to realign grade bands in our schools so as to be able to ensure required social distancing.  Due to space restrictions caused by social distancing requirements, the Twinsburg City School District will not transport students in grades 9 – 12 for the 2020-21 school year, with the exception of transportation provided for students as defined in Individual Education Plans (IEPs), transportation provided for students who attend classes at the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (CVCC) and transportation for athletics and co/extra-curricular activities.

Option #2:  Twinsburg City School District Virtual Academy

Given the current pandemic, we realize our parents may desire a virtual/remote learning platform for their child(ren).  The Twinsburg City School District Virtual Academy will provide students with high-quality distance learning opportunities taught by our Twinsburg City School District educators for the duration of the 2020-21 school year.

I respectfully request that you review the “Strategies for a Safe & Responsible Return, 2020-21 School Year” guidance document, reference the two (2) options described in the guidance document, and then declare your intention for your child(ren) for the 2020-21 school year using the Parent Survey found at this link: https://forms.gle/cEz2uwrtG21wrcLD9 .  Please note, a separate survey must be submitted for each child.  We ask that you use your child’s student identification number when completing the survey.  For your convenience, a letter has been sent to you via the US Mail that includes your child’s student identification number.  You should receive that letter in your mailbox in the next several days. For parents of our new Preschool students, incoming Kindergarten students, and other students new to our school district, student identification numbers have not been issued for your child(ren), therefore, please complete the survey using your child’s name.  

I realize that it may be difficult for you to commit to a decision, however, the declaration of your intent for your child(ren) will assist our school district in planning for the upcoming school year.  To that end, I respectfully request that you complete and submit a separate survey for each of your children by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 17th. 

In the coming weeks, I will provide additional updates including information about school schedules and any other guidance we receive from State and County officials.  It will be my intent to provide timely, consistent, transparent, and factual information.  All correspondence will also be posted on our District website.

Thanks for your continued support and partnership. I will continue to update you as we move forward to what we expect will be a great year of learning!  Stay well and remember, we are #TigerStrong and #TigerProud and together we will get through this pandemic.

Kathi Powers, Superintendent

Superintendent:
Kathryn Powers
330.486.2000
 
Administrative Assistant:
Marianne Franko
330.486.2002
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Contact Us   |   11136 Ravenna Road   |   Twinsburg, OH 44087   |   Phone: 330.486.2000   |   Fax: 330.425.7216
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11136 Ravenna Road | Twinsburg, OH 44087 | Phone: 330.486.2000 | Fax: 330.425.7216
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