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Here's what back-to-school will look like in all 10 Butler County public school districts

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 15:22:33-04

All information is current as of 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31.

Masks in the classroom or no? Will students be in classrooms at all, or learning exclusively on their computers? Each of Butler County's school districts is arriving at its own set of back-to-school plans for the fall, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the shape of the world around them.

Here's what we know about what parents and students can expect.

If this isn't your county or if you're curious what back-to-school will look like elsewhere, check out our guides to Hamilton and Clermont county schools.

EDGEWOOD CITY SCHOOLS
Parents’ choice

What will classes look like?

Parents can choose to send their children to school in person full-time or enroll in remote learning. Families that choose the second option make the commitment a quarter at a time — every nine weeks, they can decide to continue remote learning or send their child back to face-to-face classes.

Teachers will have two extra days of professional development time at the beginning of the year, pushing students’ first day back to Aug. 19

What safety measures can I expect?

Face coverings will be required for all staff in situations where they cannot maintain a social distance of at least six feet. Students are encouraged but not required to wear masks.
Schools will make individual decisions about classroom occupancy and lunchtime safety practices.

All classrooms in all schools will be equipped with hand sanitizers.

FAIRFIELD CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Parents’ choice

What will classes look like?

Parents of students in grades K-12 can choose to send their student to school for a standard five-day week of in-person classes or keep them home to learn online.

All preschool will be suspended until at least Oct. 1, when an executive order concerning preschools is set to expire.

Here's the whole plan.

What safety measures can I expect?

All students and staff will be required to wear a mask or face shield when working within six feet of another person.

Social distancing plans, including locker schedules and rules for hallway traffic, will depend on the individual school. Parents with questions should call the administrator for their child’s building.

Some visitors will be allowed, but only in certain areas of various school buildings and only with appropriate precautions in place, including hand-washing, temperature screening and mask-wearing.

Notably, Fairfield is one of the only Tri-State school districts to offer free, voluntary COVID-19 testing to all students and staff members. The district will hold a testing day for students on Aug. 6 at Fairfield High School and Creekside Middle School.

Students who cannot make that date can receive testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Primary Health Solutions, the district’s testing parter, at 4601 Dixie Highway.

HAMILTON CITY SCHOOLS
Parents’ choice

What will classes look like?

Parents can choose to enroll their student in a hybrid learning schedule — two days a week in school, three online — or keep them home to learn exclusively online, according to superintendent Michael Holbrook. Families that choose the remote learning option will not be allowed to change their decision until the end of the fall semester.

Students who attend on a hybrid schedule will be divided into two groups based on the first letter of their last names. Students with last names beginning with A-K will start school Aug. 24 and continue to attend on Mondays and Tuesdays. Students with last names beginning with L-Z will start school Aug. 27 and attend on Thursdays and Fridays for the rest of the semester.

All students will learn remotely on Wednesdays.

What safety measures can I expect?

Students and staff will be required to wear masks.

Each classroom will have hand sanitizer and be cleaned frequently, according to Holbrook’s letter.

At lunch, students will be grouped into seating pods and forbidden from bringing outside food. Many will have nonstandard or staggered lunch periods to reduce the number of people in school cafeterias at any one time.

Only “essential” visitors — a term Holbrook did not define — will be allowed to enter school buildings if they are not students or staff.

LAKOTA LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
TBA

Lakota schools were still waiting for guidance from state officials in late June, the last time superintendent Matthew Miller posted a public update.

Although the window for families to register for remote learning had already closed by July 22, the district had not finalized its plan for the students who will return to face-to-face classes.

“Our goal for the 2020-2021 school year is to provide in-person instruction for our students as much as possible,” Miller wrote in the June update. “As we await additional guidance, the district is planning for three possible options for the new school year: all students in-school, a balanced option that brings students to school with restrictions and remote learning if schools are closed by local or state health officials.”

MADISON LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
Parents’ choice

What will classes look like?

Families can choose to send their student to school five days a week or enroll them in an online curriculum. Students who attend face-to-face classes will continue to move between classrooms throughout the day.

Here's the plan.

What safety measures can I expect?

Class sizes will be around 25 students per, with at least three feet of distancing to be maintained at all times.

Students and staff will all be required to wear masks inside school buildings. Both groups will receive “protocol training” to ensure they are aware of best safety practices as they begin the year.

The district encouraged students to bring their own water bottles, as school water fountains will be shut off.

Staff must self-screen for fever and COVID-19 symptoms; parents have been instructed to screen their children.

MIDDLETOWN CITY SCHOOLS
Remote learning

What will classes look like?

All classes will be held online, at least for the beginning of the year. Students in grades 3-12 will be issued laptops so they can participate.

“This is a decision the Board of Education and my administrative team have not made lightly as we all want to get back to the classroom environment, but the risks to the health and safety of our students and staff are too great at this point in time,” superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. wrote online.

Remote classes will be held on Schoology or Google Classroom, and teachers will hold live lessons, office hours and individual learning support sessions each week.

Unlike the spring semester, all assignments will be graded and attendance will be monitored.

MONROE LOCAL SCHOOLS
Parents’ choice

What will classes look like?

Families can choose to send their children to a normal five-day school week or make a semester-long commitment to remote learning with support from Monroe teachers.

However, in case the pandemic intensifies in Butler County, the district is making plans to switch to a blended model or a completely remote system as needed.

What safety measures can I expect?

In a detailed Google Doc, the district outlined plans for all three of the above scenarios and various locations, including buses, hallways and classrooms.

Students who attend in-person classes will be required to wear masks, with “mask breaks” throughout the school day. Hand sanitizer stations will be added to classrooms without sinks.

Teachers will be asked to eliminate shared classroom supplies, keep their doors open to circulate air and sanitize work spaces as students cycle in and out of classrooms.

Parents should screen their student for symptoms every day before sending them to class.

NEW MIAMI LOCAL SCHOOLS
Face-to-face classes

What will classes look like?

All students will be expected to attend five days of face-to-face classes each week, according to the plan published on the district’s website. Some field trips will still take place for students in middle and high school; band practice and sports will continue with social distancing and sanitization.

Individual remote learning plans can be made for high-risk students.

What safety measures can I expect?

Parents are asked to screen their children for COVID-19 every day and keep them home if they display symptoms. Students who are diagnosed with COVID-19 should undergo a full 14-day quarantine and contact tracing process through the Butler County Health Department.

Inside schools, all staff members will be required to wear masks when within six feet of another person. Students will not.

Both groups will be expected to wash their hands before and after every class period as well as before and after every recess. Some recess activities, including high-touch playground equipment, will be off-limits.

Visitors to school buildings will be permitted, but only by appointment and after a temperature screening.

ROSS LOCAL SCHOOLS
Face-to-face classes

The district intends to release its final plan July 24, according to a post on its website. However, officials have already decided they plan for all students to attend five days of in-person classes each week.

TALAWANDA SCHOOL DISTRICT
Parents’ choice

What will classes look like?

Parents can choose whether to send their children back to face-to-face classes or enroll them in remote learning.

Most face-to-face classes will not be able to accommodate six feet of social distancing, according to the district’s draft plan. Students will instead work within 2-3 feet of one another.

What safety measures can I expect?

Face coverings will be required for students and employees at all times. Schools will provide two masks to each student and staff member.

Custodians will frequently clean high-touch areas such as stair rails, door handles, desks, bathrooms and shared computers. Classrooms will undergo cleaning every night.

The use of “community” supplies and equipment, such as library books and shared lab equipment, will be reduced but not eliminated.

Students and staff will be expected to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms and remain home if they suspect they are sick.