HICKSVILLE — Hicksville Exempted Village Schools released its return-to-school plan for the 2020-21 school year to parents on Thursday, following recommendations of the state and Defiance County health departments.

The district’s plan is posted below:

As the Hicksville district continues to plan for the 2020-21 school year, our hope is to address common topics and concerns. In making these decisions, Hicksville Schools followed the recommendations of the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Health, the Defiance County Health Department, as well as the county superintendents from each public school district in Defiance County, the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center, Independence Education Center and Good Samaritan School.

At this time, the Hicksville School District plans to return to school, face-to-face, in as normal academic environment as possible. Note that this plan is based on state and county health department recommendations.

Start of School

We are delaying the start of school for students to provide additional training for our teachers to meet new state mandates. We plan to conduct a virtual open house. Additional information regarding the virtual open house will be provided in mid-August.

• Aug. 31 and Sept. 1: Staff trainings

• Sept. 2: First day of school for preschool and grades 1-12

• Sept. 8: First day of school for kindergarten

Morning Routine

Teachers will be in their classroom at 7:35 a.m. All students will go either to the commons for breakfast, their homeroom classroom and/or first period class. Students will not be permitted to be in the hallways.

Learning Options

As a district, we acknowledge that a face-to-face environment may not be the best option for every student and family. During this time, it is our goal to provide parents with options. Parents will have the opportunity to choose between two options for their child’s education:

• Hicksville Virtual Academy (HVA) provides an at-home, online learning opportunity, not facilitated by Hicksville teachers, to families who are not comfortable with the traditional face-to-face instruction. A semester commitment is required. Deadline to register will be Aug. 14.

• Either scan the QR code to the left and/or click the link provided in the introduction to start the process of registration for HVA.

• In-person learning, within the school building, while following current health and safety guidelines.

Should schools be closed or a remote learning model become necessary, students will transition to remote learning that will be facilitated by their classroom teacher(s).

Transportation

In an effort to limit the number of students on our buses and to follow the state recommendations of social distancing, we strongly encourage parents to transport their child to and from school, especially our students who ride the town route buses. Please take the time to complete the survey that was released July 31.

• Masks will be required by all students, drivers, coaches and any other adults on school buses.

• Bus riders will have access to hand sanitizer as they enter and exit the bus.

• Bus riders will sit in an assigned seat, facing forward and will be encouraged to limit conversation during the bus ride.

• Children with other family members on the bus will be seated together when possible.

• Students will sit 2-3 students per seat.

• Students being dropped off by parents will not be permitted to stand outside. Doors will not open until 7:35 a.m. Students will be required to stay in their cars until 7:35 a.m.

Temperature

In partnership with our community, we expect parents and/or guardians to administer daily symptom and temperature checks prior to sending your child to school. However, staff members may conduct temperature checks daily of students as they enter the building.

• Students with a temperature of 100 degrees F or higher will be held in a separate room until pick up can be arranged. Parents will need to have prior arrangements so that their child will be picked up as quickly as possible.

• Students sent home with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should stay home until: fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication; improvement in symptoms; and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms started.

• Students with other diagnoses shall follow the return to school policy for the specified illness.

Masks

• All staff will be required to wear face masks unless documented justification and approval from the health department is provided and/or until the governor changes the mandate.

• All students in PK-2 are strongly encouraged to wear masks.

• All students grades 3-12 will be required to wear face masks when social distancing cannot be obtained unless documented justification and approval from the health department is provided and/or until the governor changes the mandate.

Face shields

• Face shields that wrap around the face and extend below the chin can be considered as an alternative for students who have difficulty wearing a cloth face covering.

• Shields with no mask will be permitted if the use of a cloth face covering hinders the learning process of a child.

Classroom occupancy

Note: safety protocols will be in place but any student who chooses to attend school will incur some level of risk that cannot be eliminated. Districts will decrease the likelihood of infection with hygiene, cleaning and safety procedures. Every effort will be made to have students practice social distancing at all times during the school day.

• Classrooms will be set up with maximum attainable social distancing. All students will be required to sit in assigned seating.

• Sharing materials among students will be eliminated, when possible. If sharing of materials is necessary, proper sanitation will occur.

• Hand sanitizing stations will be available in every classroom, gymnasium and offices, as well as the main event hallway and the commons area.

• Students may bring a clear water bottle to school (20 oz. maximum). Bottle filling stations have been installed throughout the school.

Breakfast/Lunch

• Breakfast and lunch programs will continue as normal.

• Students will sit in assigned seating.

• Students will eat in the commons, not at their classroom desks.

• Students will sit near each other with the maximum distance attainable.

Recess

• Students will be encouraged to sanitize hands before and after recess.

• Student access to certain pieces of playground equipment may be limited, as well as activities that don’t encourage social distancing.

Visitors and volunteers

• All visitors and volunteers are prohibited until further notice.

• PK-1 parents will be permitted to walk their child to their classroom on the first day of school only. All parents must wear a mask and will not be permitted inside the classroom.

• Masks are required for anyone entering the building.

Indoor Mass Gatherings

All indoor mass gatherings are currently postponed, such as: school assemblies, principal’s math club dance party, choir and band concerts, etc.

County Codes

The state has assigned a color-coding system to Ohio counties. Counties will be updated every Thursday and serve as a guiding tool for schools.

• Level 1 Yellow

• Level 2 Orange (increased exposure and spread)

• Level 3 Red (very high exposure and spread)

• Level 4 Purple (severe exposure and spread); probable transition to remote learning.

2020-21 Remote Learning

Remote learning consists of at-home education facilitated by Hicksville Schools’ staff occurring during a shutdown.

• Remote learning may include live virtual lessons, recorded lessons and teacher engagement.

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