Here's what back-to-school will look like in all 9 Clermont County public school districts

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 13:31:25-04

All information is current as of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Masks in the classroom or no? In-person classes or a totally digital fall? Each of Clermont County's nine 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 Butler county schools.

Parents’ choice

How will classes work?

Batavia families will have a choice between a virtual and face-to-face school year, according to the Google Doc containing the district’s back-to-school plan.

Students who choose to learn online will be issued a laptop, if necessary, and can receive Wi-Fi through the district if they do not otherwise have it. They will use the Accelerate Education virtual platform to complete course work, and Google Meets will allow them to check in with teachers and work in small groups.

Remote-learning students cannot change their choice until the end of the fall semester.

What safety measures can I expect?

Students who attend a normal five-day school week should expect “significant changes in how the school day functions,” according to the plan. Classes may change locations to accommodate social distancing; teachers, not students, will rotate between elementary classrooms; and class change times at middle and high schools will be staggered to reduce the number of students in the hallway at one time.

All students must bring a mask to school and wear it when riding the bus, entering or exiting a building, moving between classes and working in groups.

Parents will be expected to take their child’s temperature and screen them for COVID-19 symptoms every day before school. Children with fevers above 100 degrees cannot attend face-to-face classes for at least 72 hours.

Face-to-face instruction

How will classes work?

Students will attend a standard five-day school week, during which time they will have assigned seats, remain in assigned small groups and stay in the same classroom throughout the school day.

Specialty classrooms, including gyms and art rooms, may be converted into spaces for standard classes to enable social distancing.

What safety measures can I expect?

Bethel-Tate’s plan includes one step that is thusfar unique in Greater Cincinnati: “Instruction zones,” marked on classroom floors with blue tape, where teachers will stand at a safe social distance from their students while teaching.

Other safety measures include a staggered start to the school year, with different grades returning to their buildings on different days, requiring students and staff to self-screen for signs of illness, and requiring staff to wear masks.

Students will be encouraged to wear masks but not required, except when aboard district vehicles such as buses.

Parents’ choice (for now)

Clermont Northeastern Schools have not arrived at a final back-to-school plan, but a draft released July 17 announced the district’s intention to return to full-time classes Aug. 24.

Under the draft plan, masks will be mandatory for all students. The district will monitor the Ohio Department of Health’s assessment of Clermont County and transition to fully remote learning only at ODH’s highest public health alert level.

According to superintendent Michael Brandt, families that wish to keep their child at home can select a remote learning option for the entire year.

Parents' choice (In-person or online)

How will classes work?

Students will either attend a standard five-day week of in-person instruction or learn online.

What safety measures can I expect?

All teachers and students will be required to wear masks, including on district buses. Students will have assigned seating in their classrooms, with a three-foot distance between each desk, and in the cafeteria for meals.

Students in grades K-6 will remain in the same classroom all day long, with teachers cycling in and out; students in grades 7-12 will move between rooms, but will not have locker access and will be required to disinfect their own desks upon entering a new classroom.

All classrooms will be fully sanitized each night, according to the district plan released Aug. 19.

Parents' choice (Online or in-person)

How will classes work?

Students will either attend a standard five-day week of in-person instruction or learn online.

What safety measures can I expect?

Parents should screen their students daily for symptoms of COVID-19 and keep them home if signs of illness are present.

All students and staff will be required to wear masks at all times, except in situations where they are actively eating, drinking or engaged in high-intensity exercise.

Visitation will be limited, and multiple cleanings of high-touch areas will take place throughout the school day.

Parents’ choice

How will classes work?

Families must decide by July 29 whether they plan to send their children to face-to-face classes or enroll them in a completely remote curriculum called Eagle Online.

“We will utilize hygiene, cleaning, and safety procedures in each building in an attempt to decrease the likelihood of infection, but a certain level of inherent risk of being in a public place cannot be eliminated,” district officials wrote in the plan shared with Milford families.

An increase in nearby COVID-19 diagnoses could still result in face-to-face instruction being suspended.

What safety measures can I expect?

Field trips and assemblies are canceled, water fountains are shut off and congregating in hallways is verboten.

All students and staff must wear a mask if they are within six feet of another person, including while moving around the building between classes. Students have the additional task of cleaning their desk and seat at the end of every class.

Parents will be asked to screen their child every day for COVID-19 symptoms or fever. No child with either should be sent to school.

Parents' choice (In-person or online)

How will classes work?

New Richmond students will either spend their first semester attending five-day in-person school weeks or remaining entirely at home for online instruction.

In the district's Responsible Restart announcement, representatives wrote that online instruction would be significantly different in the fall than it had been in the spring. Students will be expected to be online during normal school hours and check in with their teachers daily.

"This plan is far more rigorous, and expectations include daily attendance and participation," they wrote.

What safety measures can I expect?

Staff and students attending in person must wear masks inside school buildings as well as self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms daily.

According to the plan shared with families, six feet of social distancing will be enforced when possible; three feet will be considered acceptable in tight spaces.

High-touch and high-traffic areas will be frequently sanitized, and one-way stairs and hallways will be utilized when possible.

Parents' choice (In-person, blending learning or online)

How will classes work?

Before the start of the school year, families chose from three plans: an "all-in" option for five-day, in-person learning; a "50% capacity" plan that involved some in-school days and some online-learning days; and an entirely online option.

In a July 15 notice to families, district officials wrote that students' schedules could still be adjusted based on state and county health guidelines, including the prevalence of COVID-19 within West Clermont schools.

"Families need to be prepared to pivot to any of the three plans throughout the year," according to the bulletin.

What safety measures can I expect?

Students, staff and their families are all asked to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before attending in-person classes.

Masks or other appropriate face-coverings will be required for all students and staff while on school grounds; parents should provide these for their children, as only limited supply will be available through the district.

Drinking fountains will be turned off, and students will be expected to drink from water bottles instead.

Additionally, according to the district's plan, high-traffic areas and recess equipment will be frequently sanitized to prevent cross-contamination between classes.

Parents’ choice

How will classes work?

The district plans for most students to return to a full-time face-to-face class schedule, but parents can request their child continue to learn remotely if they do not feel comfortable doing so.

Superintendent Matthew Earley wrote on July 15 he planned to send more details to families as the summer continued.

“We understand there are, and will be, many questions about next school year,” he wrote. “With each installment, it will be our goal to attempt to answer them as we gather more information.”

What safety measures can I expect?

All staff members will be required to wear masks. Like other districts, Williamsburg will move teachers between classrooms each period instead of students.

Children will be encouraged but not required to wear masks inside school buildings. They should, however, have a face covering with them at all times in case it becomes necessary.

Students will have seating charts at lunch, and some may eat in their classrooms or outside “when practical.”

Students who ride the bus must wear masks and sit in the same seat every day.