ASHLAND COUNTY – Mapleton Local Schools introduce three-tiered reopening plan

(Orange Township, Ohio) – Last week the school board reviewed the draft version of its “Strategies for a Safe & Responsible School Year,” with the expectation of a final vote to approve that plan this week.

In the “Strategies for a Safe & Responsible School Year,” officials outline three plans, in-person learning, blended learning, and remote learning.

In-Person Learning

Plan A focuses on an in-person, traditional learning approach at 100% capacity with increased measures in place to keep students healthy and reduce the spread of germs.

Safety protocols include:

  • Students and staff will complete daily health screenings.
  • Physical distancing will be maintained in classrooms whenever possible.
  • Electrostatic sprayers with EPA approved disinfecting products will be used on surfaces in classrooms, common areas in each building, and on buses.
  • Desks and high-touch surfaces will be disinfected after each use.

Per the draft plan released last week, administrators indicated facial coverings are required for students in grades 3-12 and strongly recommended for students pre-K-2. However, since the report was issued, Governor Mike DeWine announced facial coverings are required by everyone when in a public place.

Blended Learning

Students would be split into two groups with one reporting for in-person learning Tuesday and Wednesday and the other group attending in-person classes on Thursday and Friday. Students would be expected to also complete virtual assignments on the alternate days.

Remote Learning

Students would transition to 100% at-home, remote learning provide by classroom teachers.

Officials explained they are prepared to switch the educational approach as needed due to changes related to COVID-19 although the administration has not yet identified what circumstances will call for the change.

Additionally, parents who are not ready for their children to return to in-person classes will have the option to use the school’s expanded version of the existing Mapleton Virtual Academy. Families are required to have reliable internet service in order to choose this option. They will also be required to remain in the remote learning program for the duration of a full semester. The district will provide a Chromebook if needed, and the students will still be able to participate in extracurricular activities.

The board was set to reconvene Monday, August 10th at 5:00 p.m. where they were expected to choose one of the three phases to begin the 2020-21 school year. The first day of school for students grades K-12 is Monday, August 24th. Pre-K students are expected to return on Tuesday, August 1st, and attend classes on Tuesday-Thursday. District teachers and staff will return to the building on August 17th for training.


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