Guiding Principles for Reopening Lakota Schools

Guiding Principles for Reopening Lakota School Buildings for 2020-2021 School Year
Posted on 06/11/2020
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2020-2021 guiding principlesEven before the past school year ended, Lakota began planning for what the 2020-2021 school year might look like based on COVID-19 considerations.

How schools reopen in the fall will depend largely on requirements and guidance from Gov. DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Education and the Butler County Health Department. Lakota is also using feedback gathered from parents, staff and students, to build out plans for the upcoming school year. Lakota conducted several remote learning surveys during the fourth quarter and recently completed a ThoughtExchange that posed the question: “As we continue to build out options and plans for what school can look like in the fall of 2020, what considerations should we keep in mind?”

At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Matthew Miller presented the key principles the district will follow for reopening Lakota school buildings for the 2020-2021 school year.

“The bottom line is that we want all of our students back in school as much as we can,” said Miller. “There are many considerations for reopening buildings, and we hope to get guidance from the governor’s office and/or ODE soon to help us finish out building our plans.”

Those principles fall into four categories: Education/Learning, Health/Safety, Social/Emotional and Operations – which all relate back to the district’s vision and mission statements

The district is committed to a personalized learning experience for every student, so the goal is to provide in-person instruction as much as possible. The district is looking at in-school, online or blended options for students in grades K-12. There will be some parents who want their children to continue learning at home, so a fully virtual option will be available as a pilot program for students in grades K-12, with priority given to students with high risk health concerns. 

The health and safety of students and staff are a top priority as in-school options are laid out. “We are looking at all aspects of how to reopen safely, from how classrooms are set up to clinic operations to how lunch will be served each day,” said Chief Operating Officer Chris Passarge. Extensive cleaning protocols will be developed, as well as expanded health and safety procedures.

Transportation is also an important issue. According to current guidelines, only 24 students can be seated on a bus, reducing transportation capacity. Once it is determined how school will open in the fall (all in-school, online or a blended option), transportation issues can be finalized.

The district is also laying out plans to address the social/emotional needs of both students and staff.

“We will present a plan for reopening to the Board of Education at their next meeting on June 29,” said Miller. “The plan will need to allow for flexibility because we could always see new requirements and guidelines, depending on COVID-19 considerations.” Click here to view Miller’s presentation on the guiding principles for reopening school.