Dear Bloom-Carroll Community,
I hope you are enjoying the holidays safely. The purpose of this message is to communicate the instructional status level(s) we will operate under as our students and staff return from winter break on January 4th.
Beginning, January 4th, students in grades K-8 will resume, or return, to instruction under the Modified Green Instructional Status Level. This is the same instructional status level and time schedule utilized since October 5th. K-8 students attend Monday-Friday on a forty-five (45) minute early release schedule.
High school students (grades 9-12) will continue on our Orange Instructional Status Level Monday, January 4th through Thursday, January 14th, which is the end of the first semester. During this time, high school students will receive instruction virtually and they will continue to follow the instructional bell schedule utilized prior to winter break; first period begins at 7:30 a.m. High school students are expected to attend class virtually and attendance will continue to be taken for each class period. Parents should notify the school if their child is ill and is unable to participate in virtual instruction.
The hope of doing this is to reduce the potential spread and quarantines experienced as cases increased following Thanksgiving Break. Health officials expect we will experience a similar case increase following the winter break. By nature, high school students are much more mobile and interactive with each other outside of school. Nearly one-half of the student cases we have experienced occurred among high school students exposed to the virus through close contact with a COVID positive family/household member, through work settings, or other social settings. This two-week time period – nine school days – of virtual instruction will provide consistent instruction for all high school students while hopefully isolating any COVID virus cases transmitted during the holiday break.
It is our goal to resume in-person instruction on our Modified Green Instructional Status Level for high school students at the beginning of the 2nd semester on January 19th.
We understand there are benefits and consequences of every decision and every instructional status level. Utilizing virtual instruction for the next nine school days at the high school will hopefully allow us to maximize in-person learning the remainder of the school year with fewer interruptions. We know virtual instruction can be difficult for some students. Parents and students are encouraged to contact a school counselor (614-837-0786), the school psychologist (614-834-6712), or your family physician if you experience or observe any emotional changes in your child.
Parents of high school students, or high school students, may arrange to receive a lunch for each scheduled school day by completing the following lunch form (https://forms.gle/n65YnucPrW62Gjxm8). Those who have previously signed up for lunches do not need to do so again. Lunches may be picked up in the high school cafeteria on Mondays between 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Please contact [email protected] with any questions about lunches.
Student activities (grades 7-12) will continue under ODH and OHSAA safety guidelines for those programs not subject to quarantine restrictions.
As I have said before, these decisions are painfully difficult. I believe in the value of consistent in-person instruction. These decisions are made based upon the data and our experiences over the past several months. I am optimistic we may be starting to see some light at the end of this COVID tunnel. I anxiously await access to vaccines, for those who desire the vaccine, and the release of data from an ODH/OSU study about the effectiveness of quarantining students wearing masks in schools. On December 23rd, Governor DeWine announced that adults working in Ohio’s schools will have the option to receive the vaccine in phase 1B of Ohio’s vaccination program. More details about Ohio’s plan should be released soon.
In the meantime, it continues to be important we all take as many precautions as possible to keep our schools open, or reopen, for in-person instruction by wearing a mask in public, washing your hands often, limiting social interactions, and staying home if ill. We all share the same hopes - that this pandemic will be put behind us as we enter a new year and our children will be able to have the education and experiences they deserve.
I wish you a safe and Happy New Year!