Category Archives: District News

October Update

COVID-19 Dashboard

October 2020

I can’t say it often enough.  Our students and families have been so supportive as we began this very unusual school year.  We appreciate and acknowledge all you are doing at home to help your students succeed in this challenging environment.  Our teachers, staff and administrators are committed to reinventing, adapting and changing their work, while keeping education of all students as the top priority.   Thank you again for all you do.

George Joseph
Kent City Schools Superintendent

News and updates

Picture of tent number 1 at Roosevelt stadium Picture of tent number 2 at Roosevelt Stadium.

  • Two large tents have been leased and erected at the stadium to serve as outdoor locker rooms for Roosevelt home football games on October 2, 9 and 16.
  • In response to the increased use of the Internet by our teachers and students during the pandemic, we recently upgraded fiber lines and increased bandwidth at our buildings.
  • Congratulations to Benjamin Mudrak, who was recently named a National Merit Semi-Finalist. Ben is an early graduate of Roosevelt High School.
  • Free Covid-19 testing will be available on Friday, October 9, from 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, October 10, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Summit County Public Health building at 1867 West Market in Akron. Insurance will be billed, if applicable.  There is no cost to those who are uninsured.

Planning for building improvements moving ahead
Thanks to the support of Kent voters who approved a $25 million “No New Tax” Bond Issue in the spring, plans are progressing on a number of projects and upgrades in the district.  Teachers, administrators, coaches and others met recently with representatives from ThenDesign Architecture and Shook Construction Co. to review preliminary plans for a new gymnasium and fieldhouse at Roosevelt, as well as upgrades to the Richard Roberts Auditorium.

Layouts of the proposed 14,000-square-foot gym, which includes a new entryway, ticket booth, concession stand, locker rooms, restrooms, multi-purpose room and other amenities, were reviewed.  The field house, located near the Roosevelt football stadium, will have a ticket booth, concession stand, restrooms, locker rooms and an athletic training room.

Preliminary plans for changes to the 50-year-old Richard Roberts Auditorium include adding two aisleways on the main floor level featuring runway lights on the floors and new LED lighting throughout.  Seats will be replaced with square back seats with wooden armrests and red upholstery, new carpeting and include additional handicapped accessible seats in front and back of the auditorium.

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