Clarification of Final Forms Registration for Online Learning

Clarification on post it note

Yesterday we posted a Final Forms registration form for those who wanted online learning for the entire school year.  Please consider the following:

Generally we make every attempt each year to assign students to classes and have those same students stay in the same class with the same teacher(s) for the entire school year.  The relationship between the teacher and the student is often key to the success of the individual student and for the class as a whole.  What our team is attempting to do is to identify those families who have a high level of certainty that they will need an online format for education for the entire school year. 

The reality of our current situation is that it will be at least winter before we have an FDA approved vaccine, and it might be longer.  After a vaccine is approved, it will need to be mass produced and then get to every corner of the country.  The timeline for this chain of events puts us somewhere at least mid-late spring, at which time the school year would be nearly finished.  And, this scenario requires that everything happens on a perfect timeline.  Given this scenario, the question we are asking is . . .

Do you already know you will likely need for your child(ren) to remain in an online format for the entire year?

This information is necessary at this time in order to make every attempt to group students who intend to be online for the year together into classes and courses.  This allows for less disruption for all students if we are in a place to open for in-person instruction at some point during the school year.  Having this information also allows us to assign employees who may be at higher health risk to assignments that are certain to be online for the year.  Lastly, by knowing how many students would remain online, we would also have a better understanding of how many students could show up for in-person instruction as we are making decisions about and implementing appropriate safety protocols.

The challenge for some families answering the survey is that there is concern the District may decide to return to in-person instruction before the family is ready to make that decision.  I am receiving messages essentially demanding that we permit any family to make a change in decision at any time and to honor that decision.  I'm sorry that I cannot make such a commitment, as the variables are too many to predict exactly how many students at each and every grade level would decide to make such a change.  I can assure you that we will do our best to accommodate families if they need to make a change in their decision at a later time.

For the immediate question at hand, if you know you or your child are at high risk or have close family who are at high risk and you know you will likely need to be online for the entire year, please check the box for this choice.

I appreciate the difficulty and complexity of this decision, however our team has to make our best effort to protect the most vulnerable members of our school community and this is one step towards making that happen.

Please know that the refusal to answer the question can only be interpreted as NOT wanting online for the year.

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Athens City School District  |  PO Box 9 (21 Birge Dr.)  |  Chauncey, OH 45719
Phone:740-797-4544  |  Fax:740-797-2486