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Superintendent's Update: February 19, 2021

Dear BC Community, 

February’s winter weather has presented one more challenge to this school year on top of all the pandemic related issues. Your patience and understanding of the challenges we have encountered are appreciated. We remain committed to providing consistent in-person instruction as much as possible, as safely as possible, regardless if the challenges are weather or pandemic related. 

Below are a few reminders addressing the inclement weather and upcoming educator vaccinations. 

Weather Related Closings & School Hours

Please remember our school district encompasses parts of many townships (Bloom, Greenfield, Liberty, & Violet) and two villages. Some roads are treated by different townships, the county, ODOT, and village street departments. Our district is also geographically diverse. The eastern side of the district includes many roads, located in relatively open agricultural land, on which our buses travel. Blowing and drifting snow can be an issue on many of these roadways even when they are treated. 

Some of you may be wondering if we are required to make-up school days due to the number of days we have missed. At this time, the answer is no. In 2014, Ohio law changed requiring schools to meet a minimum number of hours rather than days. School districts must be open for instruction for a minimum of 910 hours for students in full-day kindergarten through grade 6, and 1,001 hours for students in grades 7-12. Any school day missed in which remote learning assignments are provided, such as Blizzard Bags or other remote assignments, does not count against the hours requirements. At this time, our instructional hours continue to exceed the state minimum by several hours. If we would happen to fall below the minimum hours, our 2020- 2021 school calendar designates June 1-4 as potential make-up days. 

Ohio’s Educator Vaccination Program Reminder & Update 

Several weeks ago, Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health announced Ohio’s plan to prioritize Ohio’s educators in Phase 1B of Ohio’s Vaccination Program. 

Bloom-Carroll Local School District staff members, who voluntarily choose to receive the vaccination, are scheduled by Fairfield Medical Center to receive the first dose on Thursday, February 25th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Over 80% (170 +) BCSD staff members have elected to receive the vaccine. Due to the limited supply and logistics of mass vaccination efforts, those choosing to receive the vaccination must do so at the scheduled time.

As a result of the schedule and unavailable staff, the district will be adjusting our instructional status and will operate on a remote instructional schedule on February 25th and 26th. Students will not report to school on these dates and they will be assigned remote learning assignments. 

The vaccination schedule does not permit the district to adequately staff our classrooms/buses and a subsequent shortage of staff, due to potential side effects, will also impact our ability to adequately staff critical positions. 

Elementary students (K-4) will be provided with assignments or the assignments will be posted on our website. 

Middle and high school students will be provided with assignments or assignments will be posted on Google Classroom or Schoology. 

Teachers who are available and who do not need to take a personal illness day will communicate virtual/teleconference meeting times to check-in and respond to students’ or parents’ questions on both remote learning days. 

Parents or students should contact the Food Service Supervisor, Mrs. Enyart, to arrange for a lunch on the remote learning days. ([email protected] or 614-834-6751). 

This week we learned Fairfield County educators will be receiving the Pfizer Vaccine. The second dose of the Pfizer Vaccine will occur on Thursday, March 18th.  

Our district will operate on the same remote learning plan on March 18th & 19th as we are on February 25th & 26th.  

We understand the inconveniences associated with the recent winter weather and the upcoming educator vaccination schedule. As we move forward, I am optimistic weather conditions will improve and the educator vaccinations will be behind us, allowing us to fully focus our efforts on teaching our students in-person on a consistent schedule. 

Go Bulldogs! 

Shawn Haughn