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EL schools release restart plan

EAST LIVERPOOL — East Liverpool school district recently released its plans for “a responsible return to schools” this fall.

According to district Superintendent Jonathan Ludwig, not only have they participated in the weekly county and administrative meetings, they also surveyed parents and staff to discern their most important concerns while following federal, state and local guidelines.

Teachers will report on Monday, August 24, but classes won’t begin for students until Tuesday, Sept. 8 to allow teachers the time to prepare for the various learning options, which will center around either in-person learning or a remote option at home through the Potter Kiln Academy, explained East Liverpool High School Principal Dawn Moore.

The various learning options include a multi-tiered option based on the constantly changing state and local health indicators.

Under the Level 1 (yellow) multi-tiered option, students will return to classes five days a week with precautionary procedures guided by the federal, state, and county health departments. “Students and staff will be required to undergo daily temperature checks and wear facial coverings unless they are medically exempt,” explained Ludwig.

Moore said that under Level 2 (orange) of the multi-tiered option, area code data will be provided by the local health departments to determine which choice the district will follow: students meeting face-to-face or students following a hybrid model. A hybrid model entails half of the students in the school buildings and half receiving home instruction on an alternating basis.

“All students will learn from home virtually on Mondays, but students will be divided into two groups based on the last names of their parents or guardians,” the East Liverpool superintendent explained. “In this model, group 1 will attend school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and group 2 will attend school on Thursdays and Fridays.

Under Level 3 (red) of the multi-tiered option, students will not report to school, but they will be required to log onto their Chromebooks for live instruction provided by their classroom teachers. “Our teachers will be providing live instruction from their classrooms at this level while students log online and continue to follow their face-to-face schedules each day,” he added.

If the school moves to Level 4 (purple) of the multi-tiered option, Moore said that the students and staff will go fully remote. This level will look different from the spring closure.

“Although we are proud of our district’s response to the COVID crisis in the spring, being one of the first districts in the county to implement programming for our students, we learned from our experience and listened to our stakeholders,” said Ludwig. “We revised our remote option to provide a standards-driven curriculum with necessary student supports and accountability.”

If parents decide to enroll their children in the Potter Kiln Academy, students will remain in this program until the end of the grading period; however, they will have access to their East Liverpool teachers virtually. In fact, the district has selected the Acellus Online Platform to deliver researched, science based instruction that differentiates based on student abilities. Teachers will have control over content, track attendance and progress as well as will be able to interact with students live.

Parents will also have access to a Parents Portal where they will be able to see the course syllabus, monitor attendance and grades, and keep up with how much time their children are spending on coursework.

Details of the Reset-Restart Plan for 2020-2021 have been released and can be viewed under the Reset/Restart Tab on the district website (www.elpotters.school) and the Frequently Asked Questions page. Parents and guardians are asked to review the plan and complete the survey to choose their children’s return option by Tuesday, when updated final forms will be due.

These forms can be updated by visiting the district website and clicking on the Final Forms link. Student athletes will need to ensure that forms are completed immediately. Students will not be able to participate in fall practices without current forms on file.

“We want our parents to understand the precautions we have taken and be comfortable with whichever option is best for their children,” Superintendent Ludwig concluded.

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