August Update

Free meals beginning Monday, August 10 until the  start of school:  www.kentschools.net/food-services

August 2020

To our Kent families and community,

How we will safely reopen our schools   
We know that you have been anxiously awaiting news from the Kent City Schools about our plans to reopen our schools for Fall 2020.  In making decisions about reopening the Kent schools in response to the coronavirus pandemic, please know that our number one concern is the health and safety of our students, teachers and staff.  We appreciate your patience and understanding as the reports of coronavirus outbreaks, as well as guidelines from Governor Mike DeWine’s office, change frequently.  This is a very challenging time for all of us, and we take these decisions very seriously.  All of us in the Kent Schools care deeply about the safety and the education of your children.  We believe these are the best options.

Please note these four important points

  • Considering a later school start than August 24th.  We will provide more information during the week of August 10.
  • We anticipate that everyone in our school buildings will wear face masks to comply with Governor DeWine’s order and local guidelines.
  • Parents and caregivers are expected to perform daily symptom and temperature checks of each student prior to coming to school.
  • Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces and restrooms will be done throughout the school day

How we developed our plan
Our Kent administrators and Board of Education members, along with a committee of parents, community members and staff representing each building, worked together to develop this plan over the past few months.  It was developed in conjunction with guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Department of Health and the Kent City Health Department.  We took their best ideas and advice and put together two options for our Kent families.

Option #1—blended learning

Ohio Coronavirus Color Map
Click on this image to go to the most current map.

Families who choose this option need to know that whether or not students can attend school in-person could change each week.  The district will make its decisions based on Governor Mike DeWine’s color-coded coronavirus alert system, which advises residents of each county on the status of the coronavirus in their area.  The Governor’s office uses data, such as number of new cases, hospital admissions and other factors, to determine the risk and assign a color code.

We will continue to monitor the color-coded state map stating each county’s risk level. Based on Portage County’s level—and taking into account the color level of surrounding counties—instructions for the following week could include one of these three scenarios:

  • When Portage County and surrounding districts are yellow, orange, or red, a blended learning plan of two days in-person at school on Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday will be followed. Half of the students will attend at one time, and all students will have three days of at-home learning.
  • Or stay home  for remote learning if Portage County is designated purple and unsafe.

The Kent Schools reserves the right to make adjustments regardless of Portage County’s color designation if surrounding or connecting counties have a higher or different risk level.  This decision would include consultation with the Kent City Health Commissioner.  We are well aware that this blended learning option comes with significant scheduling challenges for families.

Option #2—remote learning
These students do NOT report to school and will be assigned to a student cohort and teacher for the entire first semester.  A qualified Kent City Schools teacher will provide remote learning materials utilizing local resources and curriculum.

Important notes about the two options

  • Each family must choose between Option #1—blended learning or Option #2—remote learning for the entire first semester. No changes can be made until second semester.
  • Family support is key to making this work. How parents and caregivers discuss and explain these options helps set the stage for each child’s success this fall.  We all know this is not an ideal situation, but we are working together to provide the best education for all our students in the safest manner possible.

Making your decision
We need to know your preference for Option #1 or Option #2 by this Friday, AUGUST 7, at 12:00 noon.  Remember that students cannot switch between options until second semester.  Click here for the Attendance Schedule Request Form for Fall 2020. The form was taken offline on Friday, August 7 after 6:00 p.m. Remaining students will be placed in Cohort B.  If you did not respond, and would like your student to go to Option #2 – remote learning, please email business@kentschools.net, and give us your student’s name, grade and school, with your preference for Option #2. For more detailed information, please review our Revised Reopening Plan for 2020-2021 – Policies, Procedures and Protocols

NEW! Click here for our Reopening Plan’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

Our teachers, staff and administrators are committed to making this work for your child.  Thank you for your continued support.

George Joseph
Superintendent of Schools