TWINSBURG – Schools in the town of Twinsburg are working on a plan that, to date, will look more like the school years before the pandemic.
Superintendent Kathryn Powers said information will soon be sent to parents regarding the 2021-2022 school year so they can start planning.
“We tried to get parents to have some direction, while letting them know that could change,” Powers said at the June 23 school board meeting.
Powers said the district is encouraging its students to resume learning on campus for the school year. However, parents interested in a virtual option “will be directed to Ohio Online Learning.” This option is sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Educational Services Center. Students participating in Ohio E-Learning will still be considered students of Twinsburg City Schools.
Families who want their students to take courses through Ohio e-learning will need to meet certain criteria to enroll, Powers said. For example, students who were absent for 72 hours or more without a valid excuse, or two or more days per month for nine months without a valid excuse, would not be eligible. Students who obtained a D or an F in two or more subjects for two or more terms would also not be eligible.
The district would also review the overall academic progress of students who were in the virtual option during the last school year. Students whose grades declined by two letters in two or more subjects for two or more terms would not be eligible.
Students who were in the virtual option last year must also have been engaged in their classes, Powers said.
“There were students who went online and then disappeared,” Powers said. “They must have been actively involved. If we had to do the work to find out where you were, you must be on campus.”
Feedback from educators involved with the student would also be consulted on a student’s performance and whether they believe the student can be successful in a virtual setting, Powers said.
Students with medical conditions that would make it difficult to attend in-person “would be supported,” Powers said.
After:Twinsburg district changes school start and end times
Obligation of masking and social distancing
Pupils aged 12 and over would not be required to wear masks in school buildings; staff members who teach or supervise students 12 and older would not be required to wear masks unless they are working with medically fragile students, Powers said. Additionally, fully vaccinated students and staff would not be required to self-quarantine if exposed to COVID-19. It is recommended that students 12 years of age and older and unvaccinated staff members wear masks in buildings.
Because they haven’t had a chance to get the shot yet, kindergarten to 11-year-olds will still need to wear masks, as will staff working with this age group, Powers said. Preschool students will not be required to wear masks, but “this will be strongly encouraged”.
Powers said the Center for Disease Control has ordered people using public transportation, including school buses, to wear masks. The school district will require that students and staff taking the bus wear a mask. This school year, there will be two students per seat.
The social distance between students will be at least 4 feet for preschool to eighth grade, and at least 4 1/2 feet for high school students, Powers said.
Meals and recreation
School meals will again be served in classrooms this coming school year, Powers said.
Younger students will have recess with their class cohorts, Powers said. They will also be allowed to take turns using the playground equipment.
The next regular school board meeting will be July 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the high school large group instruction room. Twinsburg High School is located at 10084 Ravenna Road.
Journalist April Helms can be contacted at [email protected]