Bulldog Bulletin - April 22, 2021
Posted 4/22/2021 at 5:11:32 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
There are two exciting pieces of information to share in this edition of the Bulletin. First, as a follow up to the Governor’s request that schools partner with local health departments to offer Covid19 vaccination opportunities, I am happy to share about a new County-wide vaccination initiative between the Clermont County Department of Health and all of the county school districts. Beginning this Saturday and running through the following Wednesday, clinics will be held following the schedule below.
These clinics are open to everyone (not just students age 16-18), regardless of the school district you live in (for example, if the shot clinic at Goshen High School is more convenient for you schedule wise, you are free to sign up to receive the vaccine there).
When picking a location, it is important to remember that you will have to return for your second dose 21 days later. Using Batavia as an example, if you attend the clinic on Wednesday, May 5th you will have to return to the Batavia location for your second dose on Wednesday, May 26th.
As the Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 16 and older, I want to encourage any eligible student who has not been vaccinated along with all members of the community to be vaccinated at any of these sites. The key to ending the hold that Covid has and to reduce the number of variants from increasing is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.
If you have already been vaccinated but know of others who still are in need of a vaccine, please pass this opportunity onto them. Click HERE for information on how to register, along with specific information regarding the Batavia High School clinic event.
Second, as part of our pandemic recovery plan, we are excited to announce a summer enrichment experience opportunity through the creation of the Batavia Local Schools Student Catalyst Grant program.
Funding for this initiative has been made available using Covid relief dollars designated for academic supports and enrichment. For the initial grant round, $30,000 has been allocated to fund individual student summer enrichment opportunities up to $250 per student. To learn more about this exciting opportunity and apply, please click here.
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - March 29, 2021
Posted 3/29/2021 at 9:06:32 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
The change in seasons sure has a way of making things feel a little brighter. As I've been writing this edition of the Bulletin, my gaze continues to be drawn to my window, where signs of spring abound, and I am reminded of how much we have to be grateful for as a school district in spite of the year we have all had to walk through.
Below are several important updates that are broken down by topic.
As of today (3/29), everyone ages 16 and up is eligible to be vaccinated, and I would encourage everyone to be vaccinated at your first opportunity. For the next couple of weeks it is going to take some perseverance to obtain an appointment, as demand will be exceeding supply. This will even itself out fairly quickly, and the best guidance I can give is to keep at it if you can't get an appointment right away, and to check appointment websites daily. Our path back to normal includes getting as many people vaccinated as possible and continuing to wear masks and focus on distancing and hand washing during this critical time.
Below are links to several websites where you can schedule vaccination appointments:
Clermont County Health Department
Hamilton County Health Department
Ohio Kroger pharmacies and clinics will dedicate an hour of each day exclusively to offer COVID-19 vaccines, check appointment availability
For the Cincinnati mass vaccination clinic, search for zip code 45207 (Cintas Center – Open to Public)
With construction set to begin a little more than two months from now, there is a lot to catch up on with the building project. Beginning Wednesday night (3/31) through Thursday night (4/8), there will be five opportunities to get an update on the project, see updated project images, and have your questions answered. Dates, times, and meeting links are listed below:
3/31 - 7:00pm (online)
4/1 - 12 noon (online)
4/7 - 3:15pm (online)
4/8 - 4:15pm (in-person)
Live presentation at Batavia Elementary School
(This session is primarily for staff, but members of the public unable to participate in any of the other sessions are welcome to attend).
4/8 - 7pm (online)
To kick off construction at Bulldog Place, groundbreaking ceremonies will take place on Tuesday, June 1st on campus. These are open to all members of the public and will be recorded for those unable to attend.
Elementary Addition Groundbreaking - 10:30am
High School Groundbreaking - 11:00am
Middle School Groundbreaking - 11:30am
As soon as we return from Spring Break students will begin to take annual State tests. After being cancelled last year due to the statewide school closure, students will once again be participating in these important assessments. While the results are not being used for the state report card this year, the results are extremely important, as the data will be key in helping to determine academic needs as we emerge from the pandemic. Please encourage your child(ren) to do their very best on the days they will be testing in the coming weeks.
K-8 Language Arts Curriculum Adoption
A project that was pushed to the side by Covid was the curriculum adoption project for Language Arts in grades K-8. We are excited that this work is back on track and the goal is to have a new Language Arts series in place at the elementary and middle school by the start of school next year.
2021-2022 Open Enrollment
For families who are open enrolled in the District, the annual application window is open from April 7 - April 30. More information, including changes on where applications are to be submitted, can be found here: https://www.bataviaschools.org/OpenEnrollment.aspx
Have an enjoyable spring break and happy Opening Day to all of our Reds fans!
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - February 17, 2021
Posted 2/17/2021 at 8:38:27 AM by Keith Millard [staff member]
As you probably have heard in the news, Governor DeWine has laid out a vaccination schedule for school personnel throughout the State of Ohio. For Clermont County school employees, the week of February 22nd has been designated for the first dose of the vaccine, and for Batavia specifically, vaccinations will occur on Friday, February 26th.
In order to accommodate approximately 200 staff members who will be vaccinated on a staggered appointment schedule at West Clermont High School (which is the vaccination site that we have been assigned to), Batavia will operate on a remote learning schedule for this day.
The second dose of vaccine will be administered either on Friday, March 19th OR Friday March 26th, depending on which vaccine is received on February 26th. This day will also be a remote learning day, and the specific day will be announced as soon as it is known.
Finally, as we have used our last three allotted snow days, any future days where school has to be closed due to the weather will be a remote learning day, following the same remote learning schedule from a few weeks ago.
I know we are all tired of this late winter blast...keep hanging in there. Spring isn’t too far away!
Bulldog Bulletin - Special Weather Bulletin
Posted 2/8/2021 at 4:54:17 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
Bulldog Bulletin - Special Weather Bulletin
In this Covid year, I was at least hopeful that winter weather would not become a major issue, but looking into the next few weeks, it is something that must be considered.
In order to meet our minimum hours of instruction and not have to extend the school year, we are limited on the number of additional days school can be closed with no instruction taking place. On the flip side, the traditional snow day is the type of school age ritual you hate to see go during this time where so much has felt upside down.
The plan moving forward is to find a balance between the need to get instructional days in while still allowing for a few of those unanticipated magical days for kids where they wake up to an unexpected day off.
Between now and the end of the school year, the next three days of school that have to be called off due to weather will be considered “traditional” snow days.
After the third day, any additional days where school is off due to weather will move to our remote learning schedule.
Looking down the road several weeks to when school staff Covid vaccinations in Clermont County occur, the current plan for Batavia is to shift to remote learning on those days. The vaccination schedule for Clermont County has not yet been finalized, so additional details will be communicated as soon as they are available.
Thank you as always for your continued support and flexibility as we work through this Covid school year together.
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - February 5, 2021
Posted 2/5/2021 at 12:38:23 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
To begin this Bulletin, I would like to just say ‘thank you’ to everyone for their flexibility this past week. Keeping in-person learning going has been a priority for the District since the start of the year, and the switch to remote learning this past week was done only as a last resort.
Looking ahead to next week, the plan is to return to in-person learning beginning Monday, February 8th.
Should there be further issues with transportation capacity moving forward, the following steps will be taken prior to moving to a full district remote schedule:
Temporary shut-down of individual routes on a day by day basis (with no route being shut on successive days unless no other options are available)
Moving the high school to remote learning on a day by day basis
Moving both the high school and middle school to remote learning on a day by day basis
The elementary school will only move to remote learning if all of the steps above still do not allow for transportation necessary to operate the elementary school.
Looking ahead between now and spring break, the potential does exist for additional days where there is a switch to remote learning or days where school is not in session due to the weather, Covid cases, staffing issues etc. While the goal continues to be remaining open for in-person instruction, it is important to have backup plans in place for your student(s).
Thank you again for your part in making this week work as well as it has, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday.
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - January 2, 2021
Posted 1/2/2021 at 11:53:30 AM by Keith Millard [staff member]
For the first Bulldog Bulletin of 2021, I want to start by wishing you a Happy New Year. Here’s to better times ahead for us all as the year progresses.
As we prepare for returning to school on Monday, there are a number of very important informational items to share.
To start, it is important to keep in mind that while there is optimism about what lies ahead for the spring and summer, the next few months are going to continue to be challenging until vaccinations become more widespread.
The most important thing, and I can’t stress this enough, is the need for continued vigilance in wearing masks and distancing, not only during the school day, but also at all after school and community events. While we had great success keeping school open this fall, the reality is that the second half of November and December were very challenging from a staffing perspective.
In order to get through the next couple of months it will take everyone doing their part. While there is light at the end of the tunnel, we are in the part of the tunnel that is going to take the greatest effort to get through.
Close Contact Quarantine Changes
One of the biggest challenges for everyone prior to break was dealing with quarantines due to being in close contact with someone who was diagnosed with Covid-19. For those who had to quarantine multiple times, it was especially difficult. In December there was a bit of relief, as schools had the ability to shorten the quarantine time from 14 to 10 days in the academic setting (with 14 days still required for athletics).
Over the break, the Governor announced preliminary results of an evaluation conducted by Ohio State in partnership with school districts in Ohio that examined the relationship between close contacts who were wearing masks appropriately and the spread of Covid-19. The findings suggest that “Children who were close contacts and appropriately masked had rates of COVID-19 that were similar to children with no known COVID-19 exposure in school. The COVID-19 rate in the comparison group suggests community transmission outside the school setting.”
Based on this evaluation, the guidance on quarantines has changed. Beginning with our return on January 4th, if a student, teacher, or staff member is exposed in the classroom setting to someone with COVID-19, quarantine will not be recommended for the exposed individual(s) as long as everyone is appropriately wearing masks and other appropriate protocols are followed (ex. hand washing, classroom sanitation, existing classroom setups, etc.)
This change, however, will not eliminate all contact tracing or quarantines. There are a number of settings where contact tracing and quarantines will still occur. These include (but are not limited to) lunch, busses, athletics, extra-curriculars, as well as close contact exposures that occur outside of school. If a person is considered a close contact in any of the above scenarios, s/he will still have to be quarantined for 10 days from the last date of exposure.
For athletic quarantines, the District will continue to follow the guidance from the Ohio High School Athletic Association and the Ohio Department of Health, which allows for a return to school after 10 days, but wait until 14 days have passed until a return to athletic participation.
Covid Communication Changes
In an effort to be transparent and communicate openly, the approach taken prior to break was to notify the entire district by email every time a positive case was identified. In addition, emails were sent to families whose students were in a classroom or activity where the positive case occurred, regardless of whether the student was or was not a close contact. The result of this was a large volume of emails, many of which pertained to the same case.
In order to reduce the number of emails families are receiving and to provide more clarity and context to our communications, the following changes will be made beginning January 4th.
A new web page has been established that will contain daily positive student and staff case counts. Each Friday afternoon an email will be sent out with a link to this page. This will replace the building wide emails that were previously sent.
Email communication will continue to be sent to the parents or guardians of all students who share a classroom space or have participated in a school activity with a student, teacher, staff member, or coach who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Phone communication will continue to be made with all families of students who are considered to be close contacts and who must quarantine.
By making these changes, the goal is to provide a clearer picture of Covid case counts within the District, while still meeting communication expectations from the Ohio Department of Health.
Reporting A Positive Case Or Quarantine From The Break
As you could probably tell from emails you received over the break, parents and the health department continued to contact us regarding positive cases.
If, during the break, your child:
Has been tested and is awaiting a result,
Has received a positive test result
Has been quarantined as a result of being a close contact
It is important that your child not come to school and this information be communicated with your child’s school building using the following email addresses prior to their return:
Batavia High School
firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com
Batavia Middle School
firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com
Batavia Elementary School
firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com
A Final Thought
The pandemic has been a dark time for us all, in so many different ways. If you have lost a loved one, a job, or your sense of security and normalcy due to the pandemic, my heart goes out to you and your family in the most sincere way. I do hope that along the way, you have been able to find some silver linings even among the dark clouds. I had no idea the lessons I would come to learn over the course of 2020, and while I’m happy to see it go, I’m looking forward to using those lessons to make 2021 the brightest year it can be.
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - December 8, 2020
Posted 12/8/2020 at 12:07:41 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
A few quick update items for this edition of the Bulletin.
After waiting patiently for our Chromebooks to arrive, they finally were delivered just before Thanksgiving, and have now been deployed throughout the District. At the middle school, students have been assigned devices that they take between home and school each day. At the elementary school, each student is assigned a device for use throughout the day, with devices returned to homeroom carts at the end of each day. The District has been actively working toward becoming a 1 to 1 District since the 2017-2018 school year. This achievement is a milestone worth celebrating in this Covid year.
Quarantine Length Revision
Late last week, The Centers for Disease Control and the Ohio Department of Health released updated guidance on quarantine lengths for persons identified as close contacts with someone who has tested positive for Covid19. The revised standard the District will be following is a 10 day quarantine from the last date of exposure as determined by contact tracing. The CDC has found that the likelihood of a person transmitting Covid19 after day 10 is extremely low (1.4%). The reduction in the length of quarantines will help get students back to school sooner without compromising safety.
Free Meals Now Through May 2021
The USDA recently announced that the free breakfast and lunch program for all students will continue through the end of the school year. All students, regardless of income level, are able to get breakfast and lunch without charge, and we are encouraging all students to participate.
For students who are online, the weekly breakfast and lunch pickup on Wednesdays will also continue through the end of the year. If you have a student learning at home, and would like to participate in this program, please contact Adrienne Tompkins at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone at: 513-732-2343 x.7268 (NOTE: Those currently participating do not need to take any additional actions).
Deadline To Request A Switch To 2nd Semester Online Learning - Friday, December 11th.
Even with the elevated local, state, and national case numbers, our return to in person learning has been very successful, and our case counts are exceedingly low when compared to all of Clermont County. While the next few months will continue to be challenging, there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel, and hope that a corner will be turned in the next 8 to 12 weeks. For families that wish to make a switch to remote learning for the second semester, please use the link below. This switch is for the entire semester, and the deadline to request a switch is this Friday (12/11).
It’s a tried and true adage that tough times really are the measure of character, and as a District we are passing this test with flying colors. I am deeply appreciative of everyone’s efforts to keep our buildings safe and learning continuing in this moment we are all experiencing. Every individual action makes a difference as we work through this time together.
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - December 3, 2020
Posted 12/3/2020 at 3:55:38 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
Note: This edition of the Bulletin contains information on requesting a switch from in-person to online learning for the second semester. If your child is currently an in-person learner, and you plan for your child to remain in-person for the remainder of the year, you can stop reading after the chart below.
Recently, families of students who are currently online were given the option to return to in-person learning beginning with the second semester, which begins on January, 19, 2021. Approximately 40% (200 students) across K to 12 selected this option. The remaining students (just over 300) will stay online for the remainder of the year. As the returning students are spread across all grade levels, we will be able to maintain all of our health protocols that we returned to school with.
For our face to face students, the option does exist to move to online learning beginning with the second semester. As the return to in person learning has been very successful, with few Covid cases, we are encouraging students who are learning in-person to remain in-person for the rest of the school year.
The chart below shows the number of Covid cases by building since July, and our total number of cases only represents 0.004% of all cases in Clermont County, which is a very encouraging statistic.
The larger issue for some has been needing to quarantine due to close contact with a positive Covid case (whether inside or outside of school). There are changes on the horizon for how long quarantines must last which should hopefully help lessen quarantine durations as we move into the second semester. Also, as vaccine distribution begins this month and accelerates into January, there is optimism that things should begin to improve as we head into the spring.
If you would like for your child to switch from in person learning to online at the semester (January 19, 2021 start date), please fill out the form for the appropriate building using the links below. A separate form needs to be filled out for each student moving from in person to online learning. As we only have a little over four weeks left in the current semester, changes will not occur until January 19th. Due to the complicated nature of running both an in-person and on-line option, any change to online learning is final, and anyone who changes at the semester will remain online, even if the pandemic gets better heading into the spring.
Finally, each form has a specific set of additional information to consider prior to committing to switch your child to online learning, and each information statement must be acknowledged.
The deadline to request a switch to online learning is Friday, December 11, 2020. Requests will not be accepted past this date.
Batavia Elementary School Form:
Batavia Middle School Form:
Batavia High School Form:
Bulldog Bulletin - November 19, 2020
Posted 11/19/2020 at 1:13:16 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the lead for this edition of the Bulletin is how thankful I am for the role everyone has played in keeping face to face learning going for our students. While it hasn’t been easy, everyone has done a great job inside of the buildings adjusting to how school needs to operate differently in order to remain open, and the evidence of our success inside of the buildings has been the low number of confirmed Covid cases that have been identified since July.
Confirmed Covid Cases
As you are aware, every time there is a confirmed case a communication goes out to the entire District, regardless of the building where the case occurred. While the upside of this approach is increased transparency since everyone has the same information, the downside is that it also can create the illusion of more cases than there really have been throughout the District.
Another reality we are all aware of is the recent exponential increase of Covid not only in our community but throughout the Greater Cincinnati region. While our actions inside of school have helped keep case counts low, we have been affected by a large number of 14 day quarantines due to exposures both inside and outside of school.
In making decisions about remaining open and evaluating conditions that could lead to a temporary change to remote learning, we rely heavily on guidance from Children’s Hospital. Recently, the experts at Children’s released new guidance for schools, which indicates that schools should look most closely at what is happening inside of schools when making decisions about being open or remote.
Using this decision tree, we are doing well with case counts, and our number of quarantines, which was high in October, has seen a marked decrease in recent weeks.
The reality though is that with the surge in cases over the past several weeks in our region, it is going to take action on the part of everyone to help us stay open. As you most likely are aware, West Clermont and New Richmond have both shifted to temporary remote learning, largely due to a spike in quarantines and an inability to have enough staff to operate their buildings. In both of those districts, the rise was sudden and caused a very quick shift.
While our goal is to provide as much notice as possible in the event we have to go remote, it is critical that you have a plan now for your children in the event that a shift to remote learning is announced.
One of the things we all can do over these next several weeks to help us stay open is to reduce our contacts as much as possible and be especially vigilant over the Thanksgiving holiday. I am urging everyone to please be careful over the break and to keep Thanksgiving gatherings as small as possible. I know that nine months into the pandemic everyone is tired of Covid, but what happens over the coming weeks outside of school really is going to impact our ability to keep face to face learning going. For my family, we have cancelled our long planned trip to see my mom and brothers in New Jersey, and will instead celebrate with just the four of us. While it was hard to make that decision, it is ultimately the right one, given the current state of the pandemic.
The good news is that there is hope on the horizon. I am encouraged by the news from Operation Warp Speed and three different vaccines that are showing promise in phase three trials. While the months ahead will be a challenge, if we can all hunker down and re-double our efforts at slowing the spread of Covid, there is promise that the coming spring will hopefully bring an easing to this pandemic that we are all hoping for.
My wish for you this holiday is peace, health, and a thankfulness for all we have as a nation in spite of our current challenges.
Bulldog Bulletin - November 7, 2020
Posted 11/7/2020 at 9:39:08 AM by Keith Millard [staff member]
As we are now into the second quarter, it's worth taking a quick look back at the first quarter to celebrate the success of our return to in-person learning. One of the planning concerns over the summer was the unknown about the rate of community transmission inside of school buildings, given the rapid shut of all schools in Ohio last March. To everyone’s happy surprise, the spread of Covid inside of schools has so far not materialized.
During the first quarter, the District only had 6 confirmed cases of Covid among students and staff. The unfortunate side effect of this however were the number of fourteen day quarantines that occurred as a result of the positive cases. The good news is that among the students who were quarantined, no positive cases of Covid occurred. At the state level, a study is getting underway with selected schools to look into the possibility of changing the rules regarding quarantine protocols, but until this is completed, any student who is within six feet for fifteen or more minutes of a positive case will still have to quarantine for fourteen days.
As we are now into the second quarter, our goal remains to stay open for instruction for as long as possible. At the same time, we also need to be realistic about the current state of community transmission that is happening outside of our school buildings, and the likelihood of increased cases being identified inside of our school buildings.
While I do not anticipate closures on the scale from last spring, there remains the possibility of having to close for a short period of time (ex. 1 to 2 days in the event of a sudden staffing shortage due to Covid), or for a longer stretch that could go for 2 to 3 weeks should there be a significant change in case counts inside a building. Whenever a closure is considered, we will strive to make the impact as minimal as possible (ex. closing only one building or a particular grade level if at all possible).
Any time a closure is necessary, our goal will be to provide as much advance notice as possible. However, due to the unpredictability of the pandemic, it is vitally important to have a plan for your students now in the event of a closure.
Should a grade level, building, or the District have to close, we will switch to our remote learning plan. For any long term closure, students will follow a daily schedule and log into their classes for instruction from their teachers. In the event of a short term closure, students at the high school will follow the current Wednesday remote learning plan, and students at the elementary and middle school will follow their schedules as they would during a longer term closure.
Click HERE for the High School remote learning plan
Click HERE for the Middle School remote learning plan
Click HERE for the Elementary School remote learning plan
To be clear, the sharing of remote learning plans in each building is not a hidden signal that there is an imminent shift to remote learning. Rather, it is to make sure that we are communicating effectively, thinking through things ahead of time, and prepared should we have to make a switch.
Additionally, in the event that we would have to shift to remote learning for a longer period of time, we would resume neighborhood meal delivery in a manner similar to the spring. We are still working on finalizing this schedule and will share information about it in the coming weeks.
Finally, I am excited to share that the chromebooks we ordered in the summer as part of our 1 to 1 device initiative are scheduled to arrive on Monday. We are currently working on a distribution schedule for our middle school students, and hope to have devices passed out prior to Thanksgiving break. At the elementary school, every student will be assigned a device that will stay at school for use each day, with the exception of any extended closure, in which case devices would be sent home with students (more information will come from the elementary school in the next few weeks).
Thanks again for all you do to support your student(s) and in helping to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Bulldog Bulletin - October 18, 2020
Posted 10/18/2020 at 9:40:36 AM by Keith Millard [staff member]
As many of you know, our resource officer in the school district is funded through a joint partnership with the Village of Batavia. We appreciate the support of the Village with this important position and the benefits that having a resource officer brings to the entire District. The District has been fortunate to have Officer Brian Fletcher serving as our resource officer for the past several years. As all good things ultimately come to an end, Officer Fletcher will be rotating back into full time staff duty at the department beginning this coming week. The good news for us is that we will still regularly see him during his visits to the buildings as part of his day shift assignment. We are grateful for Officer Fletcher’s service to the District and thankful for the impact he has had on the community in this role.
Beginning Monday we will be welcoming Officer Cameron Ammerman as our new District Resource Officer. He comes to us with 14 years of experience as a police officer and recently completed school resource officer training through the State of Ohio. Officer Ammerman has been a frequent presence at the buildings and events since the start of the school year, which will make for a seamless transition. Please be sure to say hello to him when you see him on campus!
Bulldog Bulletin - October 7, 2020
Posted 10/7/2020 at 3:43:31 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
I hope this edition of the Bulletin finds you and your family well. While we could certainly use some rain, this extended period of sun, fall temperatures, and changing leaves has been a welcome site in the midst of Covid.
To start, I want to give a shout out to our students and staff who have been doing a great job with our health protocols, and to our parents and community members attending events for following facemask and distancing requirements. Of the four counties in Southwest Ohio that make up the Cincinnati Metro region, Clermont continues to have the lowest rate of new cases per 100,000 people. I believe that this is due in large part to the way that all schools in the county are adhering to health protocols and the use of masks, handwashing, and limiting gatherings in the community. To date we still have had only one confirmed case inside of our buildings since the start of the school year, and I am hopeful that by remaining vigilant, both inside and outside of school, that we can continue to keep case numbers low.
As time is moving along in the pandemic, I know there is a certain sense of Covid weariness that affects all of us. I recently heard a wise statement that while we may be getting tired of the virus, the virus itself is not getting tired. It is a good reminder that we all need to continue to do the things that have been helpful so far in keeping case rates low, while also continuing to remember that Covid is not a forever thing.
Even though it is still early October, sign ups with community agencies are already underway for families who may be in need of assistance with the upcoming holiday season. This link will take you to a list of agencies providing support. It is important to look at and follow the sign up deadlines, as these programs do fill quickly.
In case you haven’t heard, all events from Holman Stadium and the Batavia High School gym are now being broadcast on the NFHS Network. All high school and middle school games played at these venues can be viewed both live and on-demand after matches have concluded. For athletic events, there are monthly and yearly subscription options available, with more information at the link below.
Thank you for your continued support of the District as we all work through this time together.
Bulldog Bulletin - September 13, 2020
Posted 9/13/2020 at 1:58:31 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
Just a quick update now that we are a couple of weeks into school. First, I want to send a giant thank you to everyone for an overall smooth return to learning. Restarting has not been an easy task, but it has been made so much better by the way everyone has pitched in and worked to make this ‘new normal’ as doable as possible.
For our in person learners, everyone has done an amazing job with their masks, hand washing, and distancing. These are things we are all still getting used to, but they are major difference makers in slowing the spread of Covid-19 and keeping everyone as healthy as possible. For our remote learners, the first two weeks have been a learning curve, but things are starting to settle into a rhythm as we look towards our third week of learning.
In Clermont County, we continue to see between 12 and 18 new cases of Covid-19 per day, which has remained steady over the past several weeks.
In the District, there were no positive cases of Covid-19 reported for students or staff during the week of September 7 - 11.
The most important actions families can take are keep student(s) home if they are not feeling well, communicate with the school regarding the specific reason for the absence, and never send your child(ren) to school if they have had a Covid-19 test and are awaiting the results.
Looking ahead, at some point there will be another positive case with a student or staff member, and we will continue to communicate promptly when we become aware of a positive case. This past week the Governor’s office issued a new directive for all schools regarding reporting of Covid-19 cases to the community.
When we become aware of a positive case, we will, within 24 hours:
Send a general notice to the District about the positive case and the building it was located in.
Send a notice to families of students as well as staff members who share a classroom space or have participated in a school activity during the COVID-19 infectious period of a student, teacher, staff member, or coach.
In addition, we will work with the Clermont County Health Department on contact tracing and will notify individual families of students who are considered exposures, which is defined as being within 6 feet of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 for 15 or more minutes over a 48 hour period. Depending on the circumstances surrounding a positive case, it may take more than 24 hours to notify close contacts, but we will do our best to expedite this communication to families.
Food Service Update:
We are excited that Batavia will be able to serve breakfast and lunch to all students for free, regardless of their financial situation, due to the extension of a USDA program which will now run through December or when funding is no longer available (whichever comes first).
At the conclusion of this program students will go back to either full pay, reduced, or free lunch. It is very important that families who normally fill out applications for free/reduced meals to do so again as soon as possible, in order to maintain that status (based on qualifying) once the USDA program ends. Applications can be filled out electronically via Freedom Cafe in the Parent Portal, or using a paper application that can be returned to your child’s building.
Building Project Update
Work has continued to go on behind the scenes on the building project, and we are now in the design development phase. In this phase the plans for specific spaces in each building are being fine tuned, in order to produce a final set of plans that will be used when the project goes out to bid. Assuming no other pandemic related issues, here is a rough timeline of construction related activities:
Late January - Early February 2021: Project Bidding
Late April - Early May 2021 - Construction Begins
April/May 2022 - Elementary Addition Completion
Late 2022/Early 2023 - Middle and High School Completion
Summer 2023 - Removal of Current HS Academic Wing and Bulldog Place realignment
We’ll have pictures to share once the design development wraps up in a couple of weeks.
Thanks again for everyone’s flexibility as we get into the school year. Being able to respond as circumstances dictate and take things a day at a time will be the keys to getting through this. The good news is that this won’t last forever, and there is another side to the pandemic. For now though, we will make it through using our collective strength as a Bulldog family.
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - August 20, 2020
Posted 8/20/2020 at 8:44:09 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
Revised School Start Date - August 31st
In a non-pandemic year, the issues that are pushing back the start of the school year by one week to August 31 would not cause a delay, but when trying to re-open during COVID19, there are issues beyond our control at all three buildings that necessitate pushing the start date back by one week.
First, at the high school, there are several critical deliveries of school desks, table barriers, and teacher technology that have not arrived in spite of being ordered with an on-time start in mind, and they will not all be in until sometime during next week.
Second, there has been a significant shift in the forecast with expected high temperatures in the low 90’s and high humidity for much of the week, which makes attending school at the middle school a challenge when wearing masks given the lack of air conditioning in most parts of the building.
Third, at the elementary school there are issues with the elevator that may not be resolved until some point next week, which is an issue given that students will be eating in the classrooms and the elevator is critical to carrying out food operations.
Given the uncertainty of at what point the issues will be resolved at the elementary and high schools, along with concerns about the heat and masks at the middle school, the decision was made to uniformly postpone for a week in order to keep families on the same schedule.
The only exceptions will be that Pre-School and Kindergarten screenings will still take place next week as scheduled, and pre-school will start as scheduled on Thursday, 8/27.
Preparing to re-open has been a huge undertaking that has contained both expected and unexpected challenges. The week will be used by staff members to put extra final touches on everything in order to have a great re-opening day on 8/31. In a year when nothing seems normal, these were not the issues I envisioned delaying our start, but the 31st will be here before we know it, and I anticipate all of these issues to be resolved and am looking forward to seeing the school year get underway.
Thank you for your understanding,
Bulldog Bulletin - July 25, 2020
Posted 7/25/2020 at 1:26:01 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
Just a quick update on the Return to Learn survey. So far we have about 1100 students whose return to learn preferences have been submitted by parents/guardians. Thank you so much to everyone who has responded so far!
Currently about 79% of the responses have selected option one (in-person with backup plans as necessary), with the remaining 21% selecting option two (full online for at least the first semester). The distribution of grade levels in the responses that have selected option two is about equal per grade level.
For those who have not made a selection yet, we are asking for responses by July 29th using link below (one submission per student):
As the Governor has now issued a statewide face covering order, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has come out with new back to school face covering guidance that aligns with guidance previously released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the face covering policy in the District Return to Learn Plan has been modified in order to align with the most current expectations.
The revised face covering policy, along with an FAQ section, can be found at the link below:
Finally, given the statewide mask order, just a quick reminder to please remember face coverings if you are outside on campus but unable to maintain six-foot social distance from people who are not household members, along with any time you have to enter one of the buildings.
These certainly are new times for all of us! Thank you for everything you are doing to keep yourself and others as safe as possible. The more we can work together the sooner life can get back to normal, which is what we all want!
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - July 20, 2020
Posted 7/20/2020 at 12:24:05 AM by Keith Millard [staff member]
At the July 20th meeting, the Board of Education officially approved the District Return to Learn Plan. The plan has been updated to include an FAQ section, and the approval of the Board comes with the recognition that the COVID-19 pandemic brings new challenges daily, and that the return plan as now outlined has the potential to change in response to evolving conditions.
With the release of the District Return to Learn Plan, the next step in the process is to indicate your selections for the coming school year. The link below will take you to the restart parent survey, which must be completed for each child in the household.
If your selection for instruction is option 1 (return to school for in person instruction), please be sure that you have plans in place for your family that include the possibility of both backup options (alternating days and full time remote learning) should they become necessary to use at some point during the school year. Also, it is expected that all students who participate in option 1 will follow all in-building health and safety protocols, including face covering requirements.
To assist with final class and bus scheduling, please complete the restart parent survey no later than Tuesday, July 28th.
Thanks and all the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - July 15, 2020
Posted 7/15/2020 at 3:33:06 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
UPDATE (7/20) - The parent restart survey will be released later this evening via email.
To say it's been a spring and summer unlike any other would be a bit of an understatement. Having students back into the building for every day instruction has been the goal throughout the summer planning period, and our restart plan has this as our primary return to learn option. Please note that the details of the restart plan are subject to change, as the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are constantly evolving.
Even though we are going to start out with a return to school model that has students in school five days a week, this model is not without risks. In the health and safety protocols for our return, great care has gone into thinking through every part of a student's day and how we can strike a balance between the normal rhythms of a school day and the safety protocols that must be in place to best ensure our ability to maintain a five day a week schedule.
The reality is, it is going to take everyone doing their part, both inside and outside of the school day, to make our restart successful. Our collective job has to be ensuring that we maintain healthy practices and habits in order to keep the risk of disease transmission as low as possible. Use of face coverings, frequent hand sanitizing, and observing social distancing to the greatest extent possible are, collectively, effective tools that will give us the best chance to remain open in a full time capacity. Most importantly, in this year especially, if your child is exhibiting any symptom related to COVID-19 or is running a fever about 100 degrees, please keep your child at home. While the desire to send children to school is understandable given the amount of time we have been away, sending your child when ill only puts others at risk and increases the risk of having to shift to remote learning due to illness spikes.
Another reality that is important to consider as we head into this restart is that there may be times where a temporary switch to fully remote learning may be necessary. In order to ensure that instruction continues uninterrupted regardless of whether we are learning face to face or remotely, it is important that every student has access to a device. The district has made a major investment and will be providing a chromebook to every student in grades K-12 (with the option available to opt-out of receiving one if your student already has a family provided keyboard enabled device they bring to school). Students in grades 6 - 12 will take their chromebooks to and from school, and students in grades K-5 will each be assigned a chromebook at school, with devices going home only in the event that there is a switch to remote learning. Due to current supply constraints, we are expecting to be able to roll this program out in September.
While our survey results and feedback indicated that the vast majority of our families wanted to see a full return to school, we also understand that there are students and families who believe that more time needs to pass before returning to school for face to face instruction. For those families/students, a fully online learning option will be available for the 2020-2021 school year, with more details available in the restart guide.
On Friday a survey link will be sent to all families where choices will need to be made regarding the return to learning option being selected, bus transportation selection, chromebook selection, as well as a question regarding current home internet access. It is important to complete this survey as soon as possible once it is sent in order for the final start of the school year planning to occur.
Finally, special thanks go to everyone who has provided feedback and input during the restart planning process. Whether you filled out a survey, sent an email, or called on the phone, every bit of input has been valuable. When planning something as complicated as a restart during a pandemic, it is inevitable that not everyone will be happy with every decision that has been made. However, great effort has gone into trying to arrive at a restart plan that meets the needs of as many people as possible, and I am confident that we will be able to work together as a school district family to make our restart as successful as possible.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RETURN TO LEARN PLAN
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - July 1, 2020
Posted 7/1/2020 at 12:10:09 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
As part of our restart planning, the District will be making a full online learning option available to families with students in grades K-12.
To help us better understand how many families would choose a full online learning option, please take a minute to complete the following one question survey (LINK BELOW).
An important note: You are not bound by your response to this survey. It is simply a way to express your preference at this moment given all available information regarding the pandemic and help the District better understand how many students may elect to participate in a full online learning option.
Later this week we expect Ohio’s school restart plan to be released, which will allow us to make final decisions regarding what the in-person option will look like. The goal continues to be for a release of the final District restart plan on or as close to July 15th as possible.
Thank you for taking the time to complete this important survey.
Survey Link (Please complete a survey for each student in your household)
Bulldog Bulletin - June 25, 2020
Posted 6/25/2020 at 2:45:43 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
In it's recent presentation about plan options for reopening, Cincinnati Public Schools incorrectly stated that all schools in Clermont County had made a decision regarding what the restart would look like in the fall.
This is not correct and no such decision has been made regarding specific restart plans.
The Governor’s restart plan for Ohio schools is expected to be released on Tuesday, June 30th.
Once this document has been released the guidance will be reviewed by the superintendents from all of the Clermont County Schools, along with Batavia’s Board of Education and administrative team.
The timeline for releasing a restart plan for Batavia is still on or as close to July 15th as possible, which is consistent with what I shared last week.
I apologize for any confusion that may have been caused by Cincinnati Public’s incorrect statement, and I will continue to keep you informed as decisions are made regarding the restart of Batavia schools in the fall.
Thank you for your continued patience and support during this time of rapidly changing events.
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - June 16, 2020
Posted 6/16/2020 at 3:57:25 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
A few quick items for this edition of the Bulletin.
First, a big thank you to everyone who responded to the restart survey that was sent last week. To date, there have been almost 750 responses, and we are appreciative of the time that went into crafting many thoughtful responses to the questions. We are continuing to work through the responses and are using the feedback as we continue our planning process for the fall. Currently, we are still awaiting the release of Ohio’s school re-start plan, which should hopefully be out in the near future. Once this is released we will be able to work on finalizing restart plans for our return to school, with a goal of providing more detailed information on or shortly after July 15th.
Second, at the Board of Education meeting on Monday night a calendar revision was approved for the coming school year, moving the start date of school from Wednesday 8/19 to Monday 8/24. School will now be in session on Monday, October 19th and Friday, December 18th (both were previously days off for students), and the school year will still end on the same date (Friday, May 28, 2021). Graduation in 2021 has moved up one day to Thursday, May 20.
Third, construction planning is continuing in the background, but things have slowed a bit due to everything with COVID-19. The biggest change in the schedule is that early site work (moving dirt, utility installation, laying drainage pipe, etc.) will not be taking place this fall, and the schedule for putting all aspects of the building project out to bid has now moved to January 2021. As the building schedule was always aggressive, this is not an end of the world development, and with all of the uncertainty regarding how next year is going to operate, having one less thing happening at Bulldog Place might not be such a bad thing.
Finally, we are continuing to offer free breakfast and lunch meals to go on Tuesdays and Fridays at Batavia Elementary from 11:00 to 1:00. The Tuesday pickup contains three days of breakfast and lunch while the Friday pick contains four days. Meals are free for anyone 18 or under, and can be picked up for neighbors, family members, or friends, and no paperwork is required.
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - June 9, 2020
Posted 6/9/2020 at 11:01:40 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
I hope this edition of the Bulldog Bulletin finds you well, and that summer is off to a good start for you and your family.
The past weeks have certainly cast a light on a number of significant issues facing our country, which are being grappled with in ways both new and time tested. As I have reflected on where we are as a nation in this moment, the importance of deeply listening to one another, respectfully considering viewpoints of others, and identifying with the challenges of others has never been more critical.
Our nation was founded almost 250 years ago in part on the enlightenment ideals of equality by the nature of our creation, and the associated unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Over the course of our history it is plain that there have been many struggles to live up to these ideals, and we find ourselves at a moment of simultaneous inflection when real change seems within grasp while our divisions have also never seemed greater. A concept from scripture that was famously orated by Abraham Lincoln during his campaign for Senate in 1858 is “A house divided against itself, cannot stand”. As the current dialogue in our nation is full of bitterness and discord over the moments we are collectively experiencing, it is easy to see where the divides are, but also where the opportunities lie.
As we individually grapple with the many challenges facing our country, I believe it is important that we work hard to find common ground with one another to help heal the rifts that threaten the house that is our nation. Spaces where we can meet one another are created by stepping out of our comfort zones to walk in the shoes of others, so that our understanding of one another may be increased. By seeing the world through the eyes of others, we enhance our capacity for loving our neighbor as ourselves, and we develop a shared empathy that opens avenues for dialogue, understanding, and change. When we can accept and appreciate that we are all experiencing multiple difficult moments simultaneously, we create opportunities for shared understandings, and we can all arrive at a place where our union is strengthened.
Our current health pandemic, the scourge of racial and social injustice, and the absence of true empathetic discourse can all be challenges that further divide us, but they also can be opportunities to reaffirm and work towards realizing for everyone the closing lines from the Pledge of Allegiance, ‘One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for ALL’.
Stay well, and continue to look out for one another as we walk this journey together.
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - May 12, 2020
Posted 5/12/2020 at 3:02:10 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
As I sat down to start writing this edition of the Bulletin, I started thinking back to March 1st, and not in my wildest dreams did I envision an ending to the school year like we are currently experiencing. I know I’ve referenced this sentiment repeatedly over the past few months, but I continue to believe that we have weathered this current moment as well as we have due to the strong foundational culture that binds our school community. The switch to learning from home has not been without its bumps, but overall it has gone well, thanks in large part to the amazing level of support from home and the tireless dedication of the staff to make this all work. As superintendent I have the privilege to get to see it all unfold, and everyone should be proud of what has been accomplished in such a short amount of time.
Wrapping up the school year
As we look to the last few weeks of the school year, the last day for new assignments will be this Friday, May 15th. The following week (5/18 to 5/21) will be spent collecting final assignments and making final classroom connections as we head into summer break. At the elementary school, fourth quarter grades will be marked as Fully Participated, Partially Participated, or No Participation. At the middle and high school, grades are being assigned for fourth quarter, with incompletes being assigned in any class where a non-passing grade would be earned. Individualized plans to resolve any incomplete marks will be developed.
For our seniors, graduation will be occurring over three nights with in-person diploma presentations on 5/18, 19, and 20. Every diploma moment will be filmed, and a complete graduation video, containing all of the normal speeches and ceremonial events will be released on Friday evening (May 22nd).
Student Item Pickup
Item pickup at the elementary school is happening this week - CLICK HERE for details on how/when to pick up items.
Item pickup at the middle school will be happening on May 18th and 19th - CLICK HERE for middle school pickup details.
Item pickup at the high school has been ongoing. Contact Mr. Stevens (email@example.com) if there is a specific item that still needs to be retrieved.
The final neighborhood distribution day for this school year will be on Wednesday, May 20th. We are exploring the possibility of continuing breakfast/lunch pickup through the end of June at the elementary school, and more details will be shared prior to May 20th.
Also, there are two upcoming community food distribution dates on May 15th at the YMCA and May 21st at Crossroads Eastside. CLICK HERE for more information.
As I’m sure you can imagine, I am asked this question multiple times per day about what next year is going to look like. At this point there are unfortunately more questions than answers. What I can say is that we are working daily to develop different options depending on what life looks like as we get into late summer. In a few weeks Ohio will be releasing guidance to all school districts regarding plans for re-opening in the fall, and this will certainly play a big part in any plans we make. The other thing to watch is how the re-opening of the economy and daycare centers goes in the coming weeks, as lessons learned in these areas will have an impact on school restart plans. It is reasonable to expect that no matter what, there will most likely be a combination of in-person and remote learning that will take place for part if not all of the 2020-2021 school year. What that looks like is the work for this summer, and you can expect regular communication from me as planning progresses and circumstances throughout Ohio and the nation evolve.
What I do know for certain is that there will be another side to this, and that there are silver linings that will be discovered as we continue to emerge from this moment.
Continue to stay safe and watch out for one another.
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - April 21, 2020
Posted 4/21/2020 at 3:33:08 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
As you are most likely aware, the Governor did announce yesterday that schools will remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. While I wish circumstances were different and that there was some way to finish the school year face to face, it is ultimately the safest decision as Ohio continues to work to flatten the curve of COVID19.
My heart goes out to all of our seniors. I know through numerous conversations that many were holding onto hope that there might be some small chance to return for the last few weeks in order to celebrate this important right of passage together with friends and family. For our spring athletes, as well as our winter athletes who had seasons cut short, I feel for the loss of what should have been a special season to remember that will unfortunately not occur. While there is no way to get it back, I hope that the memories of past seasons, along with the support of your teammates and coaches, will help to tide you through.
Currently, the high school is working on several ways in which this year’s senior class will be recognized. Plans for what graduation will look like are going to be shared by the end of the week. There are also a few surprise ideas for senior recognition that will be happening over the next several weeks that will hopefully be special for the Class of 2020.
Our plan for the remainder of the school year, as I shared in the bulletin from this past weekend, is to continue with remote learning through the end of the school year, which is May 21. We know, based on the Governor’s announcement yesterday, that next school year may look different than what we are used to. The learning that takes place during this closing month of the school year is very important as we begin to explore what a return to school is going to look like in August. I have been so impressed by the work of teachers, students, and parents as we have figured out remote learning together, and I know we are going to finish the school year strong.
Finally, as the shutdown of school was abrupt, we know that students have a number of items in school that need to be picked up. We are currently working on a plan for students to be able to pick up belongings, and we expect to announce that plan in the next few weeks.
As superintendent, I think of you daily, and while this is a trying time for all, I continue to hold onto the promise that good things do come from times of trial, and I know that we will emerge stronger as a district and community by the ways in which we work to support one another in this moment.
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - April 18, 2020
Posted 4/18/2020 at 11:02:20 AM by Keith Millard [staff member]
Good Saturday morning to everyone! In my conversations with numerous people over the past few weeks, one of the common share points has been the lack of connection to the day of the week, as COVID has certainly thrown off the rhythms of daily life. I had a good laugh when a friend sent me the cartoon below and I thought it was worth sharing, as it really captures the odd times we find ourselves in:
Three items for this edition of the bulletin:
First, I know how hard this time is for our senior class of 2020. As a parent of a senior who is also a spring sport athlete, our family has had to work through this very different spring. These are difficult times and my heart goes out to every parent, student, and spring sport athlete who is having this special time of life disrupted.
This coming Monday Mr. Derickson has scheduled a video call that is open to all members of the senior class, where they will get a chance to share graduation and recognition ideas. The goal is to have some sort of recognition occur on graduation day, along with keeping options available for an in-person graduation ceremony later this summer. The commitment is to ensure the Class of 2020 is celebrated in a special way. More details will be shared regarding specific plans towards the end of next week.
Second, the top question I continue to be asked is, “are we going back to school this year?” While I think it is unlikely, the governor said in his Friday press conference that an announcement about schools will come next week. If the decision is to remain closed, our remote learning plan will continue through the end of the school year for students. If the decision is to re-open, we will have a plan in place for a return that is in line with orders from the governor and Ohio Department of Health. This is one of those areas where we will continue to take it a day at a time, and our plans will continue to evolve as more information is revealed.
Finally, for the Board of Education meeting this coming Monday, the meeting will be live streamed beginning at 6:30pm. This link will take you to the livestream of the meeting. With the current stay at home order in place, public participation will not occur in the traditional face to face manner. However, any questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, and answers will be provided either during the section of the meeting normally devoted to public participation or afterwards in a follow up email reply.
Keep hanging in there, and I continue to send thoughts and best wishes to everyone during this time.
All the best,
Bulldog Bulletin - April 12, 2020
Posted 4/12/2020 at 11:07:51 PM by Keith Millard [staff member]
A few quick updates as we head into our fourth week of remote learning:
1. Grab and Go breakfast and lunch is FREE for any person 18 or younger (this includes non-school age little ones at home) and happens every Monday/Wednesday/Friday. A new pickup site at the corner of Harmony Court and Pleasant Acres Drive is being added beginning Monday, April 13th. Click here for full list of pickup locations and times.
The week ahead should hopefully provide some insight as to what life will look like for schools after May 1st. Updates on the status of the school closure along with information regarding our seniors will be shared as soon as new information is available.
I hope you are staying safe and hanging in there!
Bulldog Bulletin - April 5, 2020
Posted 4/5/2020 at 11:59:58 AM by Keith Millard [staff member]
I hope everyone is hanging in there and adapting to this new temporary rhythm of life. The entire staff misses seeing the students and families each day. Remember to keep taking it a day at a time...it’s more manageable that way.
As the Governor has now officially extended the school closure and stay at home order through May 1st, the link below will take you to a new District remote learning webpage, which contains links to each building plan and other useful items.
The new stay at home order means all District facilities, including buildings and all athletic fields are closed to students and the public through May 1st.
Beginning April 6th, breakfast and lunch grab and go service will be available at 5 neighborhood locations as well as at Batavia Elementary School every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Meals are free for any child ages 18 or below. The link below has more details.