Summary of Mentor Schools Re-Opening of School Plan for 2020-2021
The plan to re-open school for 2020-2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic has been developed based on guidance from: Ohio’s Governor’s Office, Department of Health, and Department of Education, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Center for Disease Control.
Parents/Guardians have two choices for their children in the 20-21 school year. The first choice is Mentor Schools Online, which can be done entirely from home five days per week. In Grades 6-12, students will be able to join their typically-scheduled classes with Mentor teachers at the same time “In Person” students are being taught. At the elementary level, students will be assigned to a Mentor teacher and will be exclusively remote with other children in the Mentor Schools Online (MSO) program. When parents register (Deadline: July 31st at midnight), they are committing to either one semester at a time or the whole year.
The other choice is the In Person model, which has 3 basic plans attached to it. The All-In plan is in place when it is safe enough for all the students in the In Person model to return to school five days a week. The Remote plan is in place when the district, county or state is experiencing higher risks due to Covid. Students would learn exclusively from home with their assigned teachers. The Hybrid plan is used if there is a moderate risk level in order to limit the number of students attending in-person classes at a time.
The Hybrid plan for grades 6-12 would consist of students with last names A-L attending in person on Mondays and Tuesdays, while students with last names M-Z would attend in person on Thursdays and Fridays. When students are not attending in person, they would join the class remotely from home the other three days of the week. No students or staff would be in person on Wednesdays to allow for a deep cleaning day, but teachers would still meet with students remotely.
The Hybrid plan for Kindergarten through grade 5 would consist of all students coming to school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, while learning remotely on Wednesdays to allow for a deep cleaning day. Class sections will be added in elementary buildings for this school year by hiring highly qualified substitute teachers for the entire year and spreading students out to achieve sections between 13-18, thus allowing for social distancing of at least 6 feet.
For any remote learning days, there are structured Zoom periods scheduled for grades 6-12 and K-5. This summer, and in professional development just before school begins, there will be additional training on best practices in Blended and Remote instruction. Training will be ongoing throughout the year.
There will be some logical exceptions to the plan schedules for our CARES program, our Pre-school program, and identified special education units, as long as we are able to maintain layers of safety protocols, particularly with low numbers of students in classrooms.
For all In Person plans, there will be a series of layered “best practices” applied each day to mitigate the spread of Covid. There will be training of staff and students in these protocols prior to school beginning and throughout the year. These include:
- Monitoring for symptoms before, during, and after school
- Daily temperature checks of students (by their parents/guardians) and staff
- Face coverings for all staff and required for all students grades 3-12. Face coverings will be highly encouraged in grades Pre-K-2, but required on all buses and high traffic areas, like hallways. (Policy/guidelines in development)
- Physical distancing in classes and other locations, supplemented by plastic barriers
- Increased cleaning and sanitizing measures
- Increased education of students and staff on best practices in hygiene
- Protocols for response to Covid among students and staff (in development) in partnership with the Lake County General Health District
All students, regardless of which model they are in, will continue to have mental health and social-emotional supports available to them. Besides access to various related-service personnel, this will include access to programming in age-appropriate initiatives and education.
Decisions about which plan we are in for the In Person model will be guided by Ohio’s color-coded Health Advisory System:
Generally speaking, when Lake County is in Levels 3 and 4, we will conduct the fully remote learning plan. If we are at Level 2, we apply the Hybrid plan. If we at Level 1, we would typically be fully open. The chart is a guide and not the only metric for determination of being open/closed. We will also take into account: timing, to remain sensitive to families; additional district, city, and state Covid data; new medical information that becomes available; and other factors that could have an impact on the safety and functionality of school. We reserve the right to deviate from the schedule, particularly in the interest of safety, but also considering the importance of continuity/consistency/communication.