TCS presents ‘fluid’ school plan

TROY — Troy City Schools presented its first look of what the 2020-2021 school year may look like at its regular board of education meeting on Monday.

The board did not take any action on the plan. The meeting was attended by more than 35 parents and teachers who asked a variety of questions regarding masks, absences, and other items.

“Prepare to be flexible,” Superintendent Chris Piper said before beginning the presentation.

Troy City Schools are currently planning to open its doors after Labor Day to prepare for the Coronavirus pandemic’s social distancing guidelines and sanitation practices. The later start date will also help the district keep its “Heat Days” to a minimum due to all school buildings not equipped with air conditioning with the exception of Troy Junior High School. Piper also said the additional days would allow for more professional development relating to the pandemic’s impact on lesson plans and other initiatives.

Piper said the district will adapt to the changes of the pandemic relating to the state’s risk-level system, which was put in place last week.

• Level 1 & 2 — Troy City Schools will operate as normal with all students attending class with social distancing and mask requirements.

•Level 3 — A “Blended School Week” will divide students into two staggered groups with Cohort A attending Mondays and Tuesdays, Wednesdays online learning, and Cohort B attending Thursdays and Fridays.

• Level 4 — All students will utilize remote learning until further notice.

Piper said every students will be provided a Chromebook, purchased by the district, that will be used at school and sent home with each child. The district will use the Canvas learning system that will have each student’s learning materials online and centrally located. Students and families that do not wish to send their child to school due to the risk of exposure or other circumstances will have access to online learning materials through the “Troy Online Academy,” which will be facilitated by a Troy City Schools teacher.

Daily precautions include: students and teachers are required to take their temperatures before leaving home each school day. Temperatures above 100 degrees should stay home and contact health officials. A student at school with symptoms will be required to wear a face covering and be separated from others until they are picked up from school by a parent or guardian.

Mask requirements

• Per the Ohio Department of Education guidelines, staff members are required to wear face coverings unless they work in an isolated area or provide documentation. Face shields may be used in some settings if communication with students may be impacted, such as working with students with disabilities.

• The district is still exploring when students are required or recommended to wear masks on school buses, common areas, small groups, classrooms and outdoor spaces when 6 feet of social distancing cannot be achieved as well as all areas in the buildings.

Field trips will be suspended for the first semester of 2020-2021 and reassessed the second quarter. Visitors will be limited and if present, must wear a mask while in the building.

Piper said a sanitation task force is working with custodians, school nurses and other support staff to ready the buildings for quick sanitation practices. Food services is also working on its plan to feed students to limit large groups or how to mobilize meals if school should close.

Several parents provided their input following the presentation.

One parent expressed that she was advocating for a regular five-day school week to restore normalcy for students as well as not wearing masks so teachers can read student’s expressions and not hinder communication.

Another parent said he’d be in favor of a waiver for students who want to opt-out of wearing a mask, removing liability from the school and making it a family decision. Piper also emphasized it’s Miami County Public Health that dictates who must be quarantined and attendance will be mindful of those who must stay home and either complete work at home online or make other arrangements to make up work.

The board of education will have the final approval of the plan prior to the beginning of the school year, Piper said.