Cuyahoga Falls City School District Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan 2021-2022
July 19, 2021
The Cuyahoga Falls City School District is committed to educating all of our students. The Board of Education, administration, and staff believes that the best place for children to learn is in school in-person while in a safe and conducive environment. With this belief in mind and in collaboration with the Summit County Public Health Department, Akron Children’s Hospital and other local school districts, our K-12 students returned to full in-person instruction in April 2021.
As vaccination has increased and case counts have decreased, the Board of Education now intends to open all district schools for in-person instruction in August of 2021 five days per week. The district fully complied with state and local health orders until the Ohio health orders ended on June 2, 2021. School officials will continue to communicate with the Summit County Public Health Department to implement any new or changed safety protocols.
Facial Coverings: The wearing of facial coverings (masks) for students, staff, and the public is voluntary, but is recommended for those who have elevated health risks or have not been vaccinated. If state or local health orders change during a time of elevated communicable disease community spread, the superintendent may require the correct use of facial coverings.
Physical Distancing: The district will utilize a 3-foot physical distance protocol throughout the district, when practical. Signage also reminds people of the importance of physical distancing.
Handwashing: In accordance with CDC guidelines https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html, staff, students, and visitors are encouraged to frequently wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer is provided in every classroom, office, and common areas and handwashing signs are placed throughout the facilities.
Cleaning & Maintaining Healthy Facilities:
1.) The district utilizes electrostatic disinfectant sprayers throughout restrooms and on buses.
2.) Staff and student training is provided to ensure adherence to the safety protocols. Signage and public announcements are used to inform the community of the expectations.
3.) The wearing of facial coverings is a Federal requirement established by the CDC when on public transportation including school buses. Additionally, buses will open vents or open windows to increase outside air flow when practical.
4.) The district has upgraded all univents in the district to improve air quality. Specifically, all univents have been equipped with bi-polar air ionization systems that have shown remarkable effectiveness in fighting airborne and surface-level disease. We are also investigating the inclusion of air conditioning in those areas not currently conditioned. As a result, we will no longer be utilizing plexiglass dividers on desks or in classrooms.
Contact Tracing, Isolation, and Quarantine:
1.) Visitor access to the campus is limited. Anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is not permitted on school grounds. All visitors must enter through a buzzer door system at the main office of the building where they will verify that they are not experiencing illness symptoms. 2.) In accordance with the protocols established by the Summit County Public Health Department for the 2020-21 school year, the district nurse will monitor absences and conduct contact tracing for staff and students.
3.) If required, the nurse will report weekly positive cases to the Summit County Public Health Department.
4.) The district will follow Summit County Public Health Department protocols for the quarantine and isolation of staff and students.
1.) The district collaborated with Discount Drug Mart and Summit Educational Service Center during the 2020-21 school year to make vaccinations available and convenient for staff and eligible students.
2.) The district will continue to partner with local health officials to provide vaccination opportunities for staff, students, and the community.
1.) The district will provide health and safety accommodations in accordance with students’ Individual Education Plans.
2.) The district will make every effort to collaborate with families regarding individual special needs. Various forms of communication are available to facilitate this process, including, but not limited to: email, U.S. mail, text messaging, Remind App, Google Classrooms, phone calls, Zoom meetings, and physically distanced face-to-face meetings.
Continuity of Services:
1.) The district plans to continue full in-person learning moving forward.
2.) In the event of school closure due to pandemic, the district will pivot to remote instruction.
3.) The district will provide a Virtual Learning Option through the ESC of Western Reserve for students/families who desire an online option.
4.) The district will continue to use NWEA MAP testing to assess students in grades K-10 to ensure that students are progressing as expected and interventions are made as needed through the Response to Intervention protocol.
5.) The district will continue to offer extended learning opportunities for after-school and summer learning experiences.
6.) The high school will continue to utilize the Edmentum program for credit recovery purposes.
Social and Emotional and Mental Health Needs:
1.) The district utilizes Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) K-12.
2.) School counselors have provided age and grade appropriate teaching resources for social, emotional and mental health related classroom based instruction.
3.) The district partners with Red Oak Behavioral Health for on-site social, emotional and mental health services
4.) The district hired a Coordinator of Wellness and Success along with two full-time social workers to accompany ten full-time school counselors who work directly with staff and students daily in each of our schools.
1.) The district enjoys a strong relationship and partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital through which school health services are provided. A full time RN is assigned to the district along with medical assistants in each building clinic.
2.) In partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital, all staff and students have full-access to a virtual health clinic during school hours. Virtual visits are facilitated by the district nurse and patients see a licensed physician.
3.) All students will receive free breakfast and lunch for the 2021-22 school year through the USDA. If school is closed due to a pandemic, the district will deliver meals directly to student homes utilizing the same process it used during the spring of 2020. The district will continue to assess and adjust procedures in accordance with state and local guidelines. The plan will be reviewed at least semi-annually. Currently, breakfast will be served in classrooms at elementary buildings and lunch will be served in the cafeteria with assigned seats in the elementary buildings to promote contact tracing and social distancing.
This document was presented to the Board of Education at the July 14, 2021 Cuyahoga Falls Board of Education meeting and is posted on the district website. If you wish to make public comment or for any questions or concerns, please visit our website at: www.cfalls.org under the Return to School Quick Link.