Category Archives: District News

September Update

Dear parents and guardians,

Welcome back!

It is with great anticipation and excitement that I welcome all of our students and families back to school.  Whether your child will be attending in person or remotely, we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to teach your children.  Our staff has worked long hours to prepare for our students return to school this year.

We look forward to seeing kids in our buildings and providing online opportunities for learning and instruction!  We are certainly living in an unprecedented time, and none of us could have imagined the challenges we have already navigated.  More challenges lie ahead, but as always, we believe that together we will be successful in our journey.

News and updates

  • Our new district nurse is Stephanie Young, who is helping coordinate our health protocols.
  • Large canopy tents have been leased from a local company and erected at every building. These tents will be used until Thanksgiving break for band and choir, as well as for outdoor classes.
  • Thanks to our partnership with Kent Displays—the same people who make Boogie Boards—the district purchased 4,000 face shields. Each student attending school will receive one, which they can wear if they choose along with their required face mask.
  • Desks were purchased to replace classroom tables to allow for social distancing.

Please know that we will continue to share additional information over the next several weeks and for the foreseeable future.  We want to clearly communicate all that we are doing to keep our schools open, productive and safe.  On behalf of our staff at the Kent City Schools, I would like to thank you for supporting us and entrusting the education of your child to us.

Looking forward to a safe start,

George Joseph
Kent City Schools Superintendent

August Update

Start date for students
As we address concerns over classroom temperatures in August, we are delaying our start date for students to Tuesday, September 1st.  Additionally, this change will help us better align with our Career Technical Education program in the Six District Educational Compact at Roosevelt.  School will start on Tuesday, September 1st for those students scheduled.

George Joseph
Superintendent of Schools

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 contact your building’s school office. 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

July Update

Dear Kent City School parents and families,

This is a stressful time for all of us and the news about the coronavirus changes daily.   I know that our Kent parents and families are very interested in the plans for school reopening in August.

Let me share the information I have at this point.

First, our number one concern is the health and safety of our students, teachers and staff.  We received some information from Governor DeWine late last week, and we are incorporating this into our plans.

These are the issues we are dealing with…

  • Because students must be separated by six feet as often as possibleour buses can transport only a very limited number of students—half or fewer of the usual riders.
  • We also must reconfigure our classrooms to allow six feet from each student’s desk.  Our classrooms can only hold half of the usual students, so this is the reason that only half of our students can attend in-person classes each day.  

Therefore, we are considering a blended, two-day, in-classroom rotation option #1.  Half of the students will report to school two full days per week while the other half of the students participate in at-home learning. All students will be provided with remote learning materials.  Each Monday is used for student follow up to ensure engagement, videoconferencing and interventions, so students in this rotation schedule will work independently at home on Mondays.

There is another option #2 for families of students who choose to NOT send their students to school.  Students will be provided with remote learning materials, which will support virtual learning entirely and independently.  These students do NOT report to school.

We are creating another option #3 for identified students with Special Educational circumstances who will report to school five days per week. These students will receive intervention support in class, working with teachers in small groups while maintaining social distance.

We will be contacting eligible families to ask them to register for bus transportation in the next few weeks.

I understand that this is a lot of information to process.  We do not have all the answers to your questions at this time.  I will be in touch as soon as we incorporate the new guidelines received last week from Governor DeWine.  Thank you for your understanding.

George Joseph
Superintendent of Schools


July 2020

Dear parents and community members,

Update on reopening of school in August
As promised, it’s the end of June, and I wanted to communicate the latest information about the reopening of school this fall.  We are taking a proactive approach to ensure that our students and families continue to experience high quality instruction tailored to their needs and comfort levels.  Our number one concern is the health and safety of our students, teachers and staff.

The news about the coronavirus changes daily and, as you know, recent increases in the number of reported cases is very upsetting.  Every day, we continue to monitor guidelines from the CDC, ODH, ODE, the Governor’s office and local health departments.  We expect to hear specific information from the Governor’s office later this week and anticipate making a more formal announcement about our plans at that time.

In the meantime, our administrative team has been working on a variety of options and plans in anticipation of offering different student instructional options next year.

I will be in touch as soon as we receive State guidelines and understand those expectations.  Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Sincerely,

George Joseph
Superintendent of the Kent City Schools

Class of 2020 scholarship winners
Students in the Class of 2020 received a number of generous scholarships from community members and groups.  For a complete list, check out this website:
https://sites.google.com/kentschools.net/scholarship/home

Register now for Kindergarten 2020-2021
All-day kindergarten is offered at no cost to Kent families.  Parents and guardians of children who will be five years old on or before August 1, 2020, should register their students as soon as possible to ensure that their child has space in their neighborhood elementary school.  Visit www.kentschools.net/kindergarten  for more details.

Rough Rider Reads returns this summer with free books
Students in kindergarten through twelfth grade who participate in Rough Rider Reads will receive a free book.  Due to COVID-19 concerns, students with last names beginning with A to M are asked to come between 5 and 6 p.m. and those with last names beginning with N to Z between 6 and 7 p.m.  Volunteers wearing masks and gloves will distribute the books to children, who must stay in their cars until their turn.  Walkers must maintain a social distance.  No food or activities are planned for this year.

  • July 14, 5 – 7 p.m., Al Lease Park
  • July 28, 5 – 7 p.m., Holden Elementary
  • August 11, 5 – 7 p.m., Walls Elementary

Information on free summer meals
Summer meals will be provided free from June 1 to August 7 by LoveLight and Community Action Council of Portage County.  See more information at the Food Services link.

Thank you again for your support of the Kent City Schools,

George J. Joseph
Superintendent of Schools