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Milford Junior High News

Update: Our Planning Process for Reopening Schools

Posted on: June 17, 2020
reopening in the fall

Superintendent Nancy House emailed the following letter to all district families June 17, 2020:

Dear Milford Families,

Our Administrative Team and Board of Education are deciding how best to reopen school. Rest assured, we will be ready. We are working diligently to come up with plans addressing different scenarios that the new school year might bring. Our plans are being made with necessary precautions to support the safety and health of all of our students and staff. 

Our framework for returning to school is directed by guidelines set by local, state, and federal governments and public health officials. We have not yet received those guidelines. Even without final guidelines, all Clermont County school district Superintendents are meeting regularly and collaboratively working on reopening plans. 

In March, Milford teachers were given just a few days’ notice to go from face-to-face classroom teaching to preparing their students for distance learning, which was no small task. We know the 11 weeks students were at home weren’t perfect, and we know it presented challenges for our families. Our teachers did a phenomenal job while schools were closed. They were engaged with their students while they worked remotely and learning continued. We commend our teachers and staff for their diligent, hard work, and we appreciate all of our Milford families’ flexibility while school was closed. 

Classroom instruction cannot be replaced by online or distance learning. The relationship built between teachers and students serves as the needed foundation of deeper learning. The classroom experience for a student cannot easily be replicated by virtual or distance learning. We are eager for our students to return to school safely. Relationships can still be built by remote learning, but it’s not the same as being together.

Back to School 2020 Planning - Phase 1: 

“Think Tank” meetings began in late May and are ongoing. During Phase 1, groups of teachers and administrators have been meeting regularly to discuss curriculum and planning for the next school year. They have been tasked with taking a look at three different scenarios if schools are not permitted to return in the fall business as usual:

  • Scenario One: A portion of our students return to school with social distancing in effect. Staff would be responsible for cleaning between groups of students throughout the day. We would possibly consider a blended approach of remote learning and in-school, face-to-face learning. A part of this scenario includes planning an online learning option for students who are medically fragile or live with someone who is.

  • Scenario Two: The school year opens in the fall with 100% remote learning.

  • Scenario Three: The school year opens with all students returning to the buildings, knowing there is a possibility that schools may need to close again, which would require 100% remote learning. 

In each of these scenarios, transportation will continue, however, social distancing requirements may affect how that looks.

We surveyed Milford parents in May and asked two key questions: 

  1. Given what they know now, do parents want their children to return to school in person, to return to online learning, or are they undecided and will plan to wait until the fall to make a decision;

  2. Given what they know now, parents were asked to indicate if they will transport their child themselves, if they will need transportation for their child, or, if there is limited transportation due to social distancing mandates would they possibly be able to transport their child. 

A total of 3,619 responses were recorded. To capture data for each school and by grade level, we asked parents to fill out a survey for each of their children; the number of respondents represents duplicate entries per family. 

The survey results told us:

Education: 

  • 297 (8.2%) parents prefer that their child learn online next year

  • 2,404 (66.43%) parents want their child to attend classes when school opens

  • 918 (25.37%) parents are undecided and will wait until closer to the fall before making a decision

Transportation:

  • 1,241 (34.29%) parents will transport their child to school next year

  • 980 (27.08%) parents will need transportation for their child

  • 1,398 (38.63%) parents responded if there is limited transportation due to social distancing mandates, they may be able to transport their child to school.

Back to School 2020 Planning - Phase II

As soon as we receive guidance from local, state, and federal governments and public health officials and we know what decisions can be made locally, Phase II will begin. During Phase II, we will begin engaging parents and guardians, students, and classified staff - including nutrition services staff, custodians, aides, and secretaries.

You may hear from other parents, from the news, or from social media about the myriad of different draft plans and options that are being considered in school districts across our region. Different counties are rolling out their plans at different times. In Clermont County, all school district superintendents meet regularly to discuss options and planning, and all Clermont County schools plan to come to a consensus as soon as they are able to and will wait to share plans until guidance is received from the local, state, and federal governments and public health officials. Click here to read a statement from the Clermont County Superintendent Collaborative. 

We are committed to creating a plan that works for Milford and serves all students. When we make a decision, we will communicate with you. In the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, please familiarize yourself with these resources:

We welcome comments and suggestions. We encourage families and community residents to email us to share your opinion. Send an email to: contactmilford@milfordschools.org.

Sincerely,

Nancy House, Superintendent