Superintendent's Message

Brent Welker

Brent Welker
Superintendent

11.17.20

Dear Community Members:

 

Last night the Board made the decision that we will remain on the YELLOW operating plan through the end of the first semester on January 14, 2021. We feel that this provides the best chance for us to provide in person learning opportunities, for the greatest number of students,given the current community spread we are seeing in our area.

 

Last night, we did spend some time discussing what a RED Hybrid plan would look like. I shared some of the basics about it yesterday, and want to again review when we may consider such a move and what it looks like.

 

WHAT IS THE RED HYBRID?

 

This operating plan would allow some schools in the district to operate remotely while others are still providing some in person learning. Example – HS and MS move to RED – Remote Learning while the ES continues with in person learning four days per week. This is also the most likely scenario since the ES has seen fewer quarantines and cases to date.

 

WHY WOULD WE USE SUCH AN OPERATING PLAN?

 

While student quarantines and positive cases are always a concern, the biggest threat to our ability to operate will be ensuring that we have the staff to operate our buildings safely. If we were in a position where we could not have adults for classroom supervision, coupled with extensive quarantines, we would consider moving a building to RED/remote learning for a period to allow staff and students time to return to the classroom.

 

While our goal would be to keep some of the buildings going, if we were unable to keep all of our buildings staffed, we would have to look at moving the entire district to RED/remote learning.

 

HOW DOES TRANSPORTATION FIT IN?

 

Transportation is a lynchpin holding all of this together. If you can’t get kids to school, there is a tough time having school. As I mentioned yesterday, if we cannot fill all of the regular routes, we will have to make alternative plans for getting some students to school. We will come get students in the morning, but there may be a delay of 30, 60, or 90 minutes for some kids who are on impacted routes. We are still working through some ways to make this work smoothly without having to send buses back out, but that is the best bet right now. Obviously, parents would have the chance to transport their kids to school if their bus was going to be delayed.

 

The one issue I did not discuss yesterday was dismissal. If we are short of PM drivers, then some students will have to wait until buses are empty, so we can come back to get kids and run them home. There is the chance that some students may get home after dark if it happens later in December or January. Again, parents could pick their kids up, but for those who need transportation, there may be a delay.

 

Penta students may also be impacted on the days they are in session. There is a chance those kids may have to be dropped off at the HS where they can be picked up or taken home by bus later.

 

This is all just to say that if we are short of drivers, transportation will have some challenges. Considering our only other option would be to go remote, we may have to live with it. There could come a point where it is just not feasible, and the potential of missing kids renders this unsafe. If that is the case, we may have to go remote.

 

FINAL THOUGHT

 

We have been faced this year with a number of options that have been less than ideal. However, those bad options do not have to mean we have bad outcomes. Outcomes are often driven by our perception of the choices and decisions in front of us.

 

Please remember that our goal has never wavered. We are here to create the best experience for our kids, and that has the best chance of happening in our classrooms with our amazing teachers and support staff. We may have to make adjustments or work through difficult problems, but we all possess the power to help be part of the solution.

 

We have leaned on you a lot this year, and please know that we are grateful. Also know that it is very likely that we will need to lean on you more. Together we get to the other side.

 

Best wishes,

 

Brent Welker, Superintendent
Eastwood Local Schools
120 E. College St.
PO Box 837
Pemberville, Ohio 43450
419-833-6411
 

"Leaders create Culture, Culture drives Behavior, Behavior produces Results." - Tim Kight




11/17/2020


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