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Sylvania Schools moves forward with plans for Pre-K through 5th grade students to return to in-person learning

After consulting information from a reopening committee, Sylvania Schools Board of Education has approved a return to in-person learning for grades Pre-K through 5.

SYLVANIA, Ohio — Sylvania Schools is moving forward with plans to get students back in the classroom.

Following a meeting of a committee consisting of board members, parents, teachers, administrators and staff, the Sylvania Schools Board of Education approved a shift to an updated learning model for students in grades Pre-K through 5. 

This updated model, based on input, would put all Pre-K through 5th grade students back in the classroom four days a week for in-person learning.

The plan is to work toward this goal, increasing the daily in-person instruction. Tentatively, this is expected to go into effect at the end of the first quarter.

In the email sent to families on Friday, Sylvania Schools Superintendent Dr. Veronica Motley outlined the measures that are planned or already underway to ensure a safe return to building.

These include steps such as measuring each classroom and creating a visual layout to show how increased student attendance will look, scheduling individual meetings with building level administrators to address needs and concerns, partnering with SEA and OAPSE to collaboratively develop plans for implementation and developing a communication plan to reach everyone in the district.

 Next week, the committee established to assess the return of students in grades 6 through 12 will meet and discuss a course of action. 

The details regarding any decisions made by the secondary planning committee will be communicated to district families as soon as they are made available.

Today's letter from Superintendent Motley reads, in full:

Good Afternoon Sylvania Learning Community,

I hope this communication finds you well. Let me begin by saying THANK YOU to the members of our Elementary Phase II Reopening Committee, which consisted of board members, parents, teachers, administrators and staff. We appreciate your participation in this week’s meeting as your time, discussion and thoughtful perspective was invaluable and helped us carve out our next steps for providing more instruction for our students.

Since our committee last met, our administrators have continued working through national, state, and local recommendations along with analyzing the possibilities within our buildings to expand the number of students in our classrooms. It is critical that our students and staff are safe. It is also critical that we have the supporting processes in place to succeed in shifting to an updated PreK-5 learning model. 

Based on the input, feedback and general recommendations from our committee members, our Board of Education has elected to move forward toward implementing the following:

  • Providing an increase in daily, in-person instruction
  • All-day sessions four (4) days per week
  • 100% of our PreK-5 students attending in-person
  • Implementation at the end of the first quarter (tentative)

Now that our district has a specific focus, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the steps that are already planned or in motion:

  • Measuring each classroom across the district and creating a visual layout based on those measurements to show how increased student attendance will look
  • Scheduling individual meetings with building level administrators to address specific building needs and concerns (scheduling, staffing, additional PPE, etc.)
  • Partnering with SEA and OAPSE to collaboratively develop plans for implementation
  • Develop a solid communication plan for our families, teachers and staff

Please note, there has always been a strong desire on behalf of our district to progressively pivot to the next learning model as we learned how to safely operate under the restraints of the pandemic. As you know, we started the school year under a remote learning plan and then transitioned to a hybrid plan. Given the current CDC Guidelines for Schools and our diligent efforts to use mitigation strategies, we are now better able to have our elementary students in-person more often.  

Next week we will convene our Secondary Phase II Reopening Committee where we will discuss plans for students in grades 6-12. Please note, we will continue to keep you apprised of additional details as they become available.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience as we work to implement the best plan possible. In partnership, we can make this happen for our Sylvania students and families.

Sincerely,  

Dr. Veronica Motley