CEDARVILLE — As the Cedar Cliff Local School District prepares to open its doors for students Wednesday, Aug. 26, Superintendent Chad Mason is asking for compassion as everyone navigates through the COVID-19 era.
“Please be patient as we work through these trying times, and understand, we are doing everything we can to keep both our students and staff as safe as possible during this pandemic time,” Mason said. “The most important thing for us to be successful is teamwork by the students, staff, administration, and community during this time. We can only remain open as long as everyone does their part to assist in limiting the spread, and we can only do that if everyone is rowing the boat in the same direction.”
Many precautions have been taken and reopening plans have changed several times since it was first released. But students — about 90 percent chose the in-person option — will likely notice myriad changes as soon as they approach the building.
Gov. Mike DeWine’s most-recent mask order is posted at all doors entering the building notifying the community of what requirements are in place for students this year. All staff members and students will be wearing masks, unless one of the state-accepted exemptions applies.
Students, staff, and community can expect a temperature screening upon arrival on campus. Four scanners were purchased with federal COVID-19 funds allocated for districts to use for supplies to fight the pandemic.
The building will be closed to all students until 7:40 a.m. Staff members will be required to arrive at 7:33 a.m. for a temperature check and to allow seven minutes to get acclimated and ready for the school day. Students who are not eating a school breakfast will immediately proceed to their locker (if necessary), utilize the restroom (if necessary), and then move to their first period class. Upon arrival, teachers will utilize the thermometers and begin temperature screenings for their first period classes.
Building principals and faculty spaced furniture “as best we can” to promote the six-foot distance recommended by health officials, Mason said. And extra hand sanitizers and COVID-19 postings are placed throughout the building for student usage and information. Drinking fountains have been covered and bottle filling stations have been added for paper cup usage by students during the school day.
And as long as the weather allows, students can expect staff members to attempt to teach in outside locations as much as possible for better ventilation.
As a reminder, here are are few of the safety enhancements previously announced.
— The time students have between classes in the middle school and high school will be extended from three to six minutes to allow for staggered release from classrooms. Students with an even-numbered locker will be released first and have three minutes to get to the next class. Then students with odd-numbered lockers will be released and will have three minutes to get to class.
— Students will be seated in classrooms on a side of the class — odd-numbered students on one side, even-numbered students on the other. This will better allow the teacher to monitor who leaves class at the appropriate time and provide social distancing as students are entering the classroom while their peers are seated, according to the district reopening document.
— The district has obtained temperature kiosks so teachers will be able to check in each day and ensure they are not a health risk to other faculty members or students. These facial recognition systems will be hands-free and in an area that provides for quick and easy access for regular screenings.
— The concept of “community” supplies will be prohibited due to surface area concerns. Each student will need to bring their own supplies (pencils/pens, markers, etc.) and have those materials available for their personal use.
— There will be no field trips or school-wide assemblies during the 2020-2021 school year, unless Greene County Public Health or the Ohio Department of Education guidelines change.
— Extra cleaning will take place and additional staff members may be employed specifically for cleaning and sanitizing high traffic areas such as restrooms and cafeteria tables/areas.
— Per health department regulations, restroom facilities will be cleaned at a minimum of every two hours during the school day.
The plan also encourages parents and students to be prepared for a shift to a virtual or remote learning environment should the district experience an outbreak as defined by the Ohio Department of Health. Plans are also in place for a blended in-person/remote format.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.