January 8, 2021
Dear Black Tiger Family:
I want to thank all of you for your perseverance and support as we navigated through a challenging past year. Moving into 2021, please know that, from my heart, I want to bring our children back into the classrooms. However, I also know the importance of doing it responsibly. There are many considerations that must be taken into account, including:
We are seeing COVID-19 holiday figures starting to spike.
A new, more contagious, COVID-19 strain revealing itself.
The fact that vaccinations for the 1B group which includes K-12 staff will not be available until February at best.
I truly want our students back in their classrooms, with their teachers, five days per week as fast as possible; however, for the reasons including those mentioned above our buildings and staff are not equipped to do that yet even with the newest guidance on individuals who must be quarantined.
The plan we embrace needs to have the best chance of sustainability. I know you were frustrated with the shifts we had during first semester – I was too. Therefore, our plan needs to give our students the best chance to ultimately return to full-time, in-person learning in the near future. And, per Governor DeWine’s request, schools must agree to return to some form of in-person learning by March 1 for their staffs to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. I understand that being fully remote allows for greater consistency, but it lacks the in-person setting that our students need and is required for vaccinations.
Therefore, beginning January 19, we will transition students, including those in Special Education and Career Tech into a Hybrid Instructional model. Students in our Black Tiger Remote Learning Academy will remain in their current format.
Next week we will stay in a remote learning model for all students including those with special needs and those in career technical programs.
Again, I want to thank our families, teachers, staff and community members who have continued to support our district. I deeply appreciate your efforts toward ensuring that our students receive a high-quality education - whether in-person or learning remotely.
We look forward to seeing our students on Tuesday, January 19. In the meantime, please continue to adhere to all current health guidelines in place as we work together to keep everyone safe.
Be well, stay safe and – as always - Go Black Tigers!
Dr. T.M. Nichols
Cuyahoga Falls City Schools