Happy late July to everyone. I hope the summer was good to you and your family. As we gear up to return to school on August 16th, there are a number of important informational items in this edition of the Bulletin.
I’ll lead off with the topic that is on everyone’s mind, which is masks in school. Over the past few days there has been a flurry of information released on recommendations for mask wearing in school from the Ohio Department of Health, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the Centers for Disease Control, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
To begin the school year, we will be following the guidance from Children’s Hospital, the CDC, and the AAP by highly recommending that masks be worn inside school buildings during the school day regardless of vaccination status. Information and understanding about the impact of the Delta variant continues to evolve daily, and the use of masks inside the buildings gives us the best opportunity to maintain full time in-person instruction. While this is not a mask mandate, a return to requiring masks could occur if it is the difference between having in person instruction or having to return to remote learning.
The only exception to this (and this is important to understand) is on school busses, where all riders must wear a mask. This requirement includes trips to and from school, field trips, and sports trips. There is currently a federal order which mandates masks on all forms of public transportation, and this mandate includes school busses. (click here to read more about this order).
Covid Safety Protocols
In addition to highly recommending masks during the school day inside the buildings, there are a number of Covid related safety practices that will continue this school year, including:
Spacing of at least three feet where possible
Use of hand sanitizer between class changes
Cleaning of classroom desks between class changes
Assigned seating in classrooms, busses, and cafeterias for contact tracing
Nightly cleaning of classrooms using our Clorox 360 machines
Quarantines per health department guidelines
Also, a new air purification system using Covid relief dollars is being installed on the air handlers at all three buildings to enhance the neutralization of airborne pathogens. Long after Covid is not the issue it is currently, this upgrade will be beneficial to overall indoor air quality, and we will be able to move this system from the current buildings into the new buildings once construction is complete.
Vaccination and Quarantines
While the district is not mandating vaccines, they are still the number one tool out there to prevent infection with Covid-19. Any vaccinated person will not have to quarantine should they be considered a close contact to someone who has Covid-19. (Here are a couple of recent articles on the impact the vaccine is having and the difference in outcomes between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals: article 1, article 2).
Once we get a little closer to the start of the school year, a communication will come out with information about submitting student Covid-19 immunization records.
For our 7th grade students who still need their Tdap vaccine, and 12th grade students who still need their meningitis vaccine, a back to school vaccination clinic will be available by appointment only on August 11th at Batavia High School. Click here for more information on signing up for the clinic.
Back to School Open House Schedule
Wednesday, August 11th 5 - 7pm - Pre-K to 2nd Grade
Thursday, August 12th 5 - 7pm - Grades 3 - 5
Batavia Middle School
Thursday, August 12th 4 - 6pm - Grades 6 - 8
Batavia High School
Monday, August 9th
9 - 11am Last Names A - L
1 - 3pm Last Names M - Z
Freshman Parent Meeting - 6PM
Sophomore Parent Meeting - 7PM
Thursday, August 12th
Student Open House 2:30 - 6:30pm
Junior Parent Meeting - 6PM
Senior Parent Meeting - 7PM
Transportation Sign-Ups and Freeze Dates
If you have not completed a transportation form for the coming school year, please complete one as soon as possible at this link. Only students who have a form filled out will be scheduled onto a bus. Also, there will be a transportation freeze from August 9 - 18th, during which time no changes to routes will be made.
School Breakfast and Lunch
For the coming school year, breakfast and lunch will continue to be provided free of charge to all students thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Even so, if your family qualifies for free or reduced lunch it’s extremely important to fill out the free/reduced meal application to continue to receive important benefits, including school fee waivers and access to supplemental food assistance.
There is some exciting news to share on the construction project. First, the elementary addition project is well underway, and it won't be too long before walls are starting to come up out of the ground. Second, on July 14th bids were opened for the middle school and high school project. Monarch Construction submitted the winning bid, which was formally awarded at the July 19th Board meeting. Many of you remember that Monarch was the company that built the elementary school, and we are excited to be able to team up with them to complete Bulldog Place.
While formal construction is scheduled to begin on September 13th, you can expect to see increased construction traffic once school begins. A pre-construction kick-off meeting will be occurring the week of August 9th, and a detailed construction traffic and parking pattern for Bulldog Place will be shared at the conclusion of this meeting.
With our successful bid day, the project is still on track for completion in the Summer of 2023, which means we are now on the two year countdown clock for moving everyone into the new buildings!
All the best,