Sycamore Community Schools

November 13, 2020 Update

Second Semester Plan

At the start of this unprecedented school year, Sycamore Community Schools set priorities to be nimble, flexible, and responsive to ensure the health and safety of all of our students and staff. Our commitment to these priorities remains unwavering as we prepare for the second semester.

After careful consideration and review of our Healthy Aves 2020-21 Plan, we will move forward for the second semester with no changes to our health and safety protocols, including adhering to the previously approved facial covering policies and physical distancing guidelines of 3-6 feet. We will continue to maintain a minimum of 3 feet distance for students and 6 feet distancing for adults in our buildings.

When we opened the school year, we asked families to commit to a learning model for one semester. We encourage families to remain in their current learning model for the second semester for stability and consistency in teaching and learning as well as for the safety and health of our students and staff. However, we understand that in some instances, that learning model may not be working for their student. From November 19-30, we will accept requests to change your student’s learning model. We will share a request form on November 19 and will accept all requests submitted prior to the deadline. Families who choose to stay in their current model will not need to fill out this form. Students will be automatically re-enrolled in their current model unless a request form is submitted by November 30. We plan to notify families of their change in status prior to Winter Break.

What families need to know before considering a change in learning model:

  • Your student will have a different teacher from the first semester if you decide to change learning models. If your student remains in the same model and class sizes are drastically reduced, your student may have a different teacher.

  • Approved physical distancing guidelines as approved on July 23, 2020, will remain in place. However, due to the expected face-to-face enrollment increase, we can only guarantee a 3-foot minimum for students. We will maintain a 6-foot minimum for adults.

  • Class sizes may increase but will not exceed typical year class sizes in the face-to-face model or current class size averages in the virtual classroom.

  • Families may need to secure alternative transportation because bussing services will be impacted by an expected face-to-face enrollment increase and likely be capped.

  • If our enrollment exceeds typical levels at our K-4 buildings, students who request to go face-to-face may be placed in a different K-4 building for the remainder of the year.

It is important for families to review our Healthy Back to School 2020 plan, which will remain the same for the second semester prior to making a decision. Our health and safety protocols as well as our teaching and instruction will remain unchanged. We will provide you with virtual opportunities before the November 30 deadline to have your questions and concerns heard and answered.

Thank You For Your Continued Patience

We understand that this school year has been incredibly difficult for all students, families, and staff on top of the anxiety and stress that this pandemic has placed on all of us personally. Thank you for continuing to be supportive and understanding as we considered all options for the second semester. We also appreciate how our students, staff, and families have been so resilient in the face of changes and challenges throughout the first semester. Your willingness to engage, roll with course corrections with sometimes minimal notice, and sacrifice has not gone unnoticed. We will continue to do our very best to make the school year a safe, successful, and happy one for all.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your building leaders or the district administrative team with any questions or concerns you may have.

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COVID-19 Weekly Dashboard

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COVID-19 By the Numbers at School

Sycamore Community Schools continues to be nimble, flexible, and responsive to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff. To date, there have been a total of 49 confirmed case of COVID-19 in our district:

  • 25 confirmed student cases of COVID-19 (out of 5,421)

  • 24 confirmed staff cases of COVID-19 (out of 851)

Please click here to view this week's dashboard, including a building breakdown of the data.

There has been no known in-school transmission amongst our students and staff. Through contact tracing, we are able to verify that exposure has occurred outside of the school setting.

COVID-19 By the Numbers in Our Zip Codes

Our Data Assessment Risk Team (DART) continues to monitor the local community spread to help us make data-driven decisions about keeping our schools open. Right now, COVID-19 cases across our local zip codes in Sycamore Community Schools are increasing rapidly:

  • 37.5 new cases per 100,000 population per day among residents in 45242 and 45249

  • The 7-day moving average of new daily cases among residents in 45242 and 45249 is 13.625

COVID-19 By The Numbers in Hamilton County & Southwest Ohio

The community spread of COVID-19 is regional across Southwest Ohio, not isolated to our local community:

  • In Hamilton County, the estimated daily incidence and seven-day moving average (R-value) is at 1.22

  • There were 44 new cases per 100,000 people per day in Hamilton County.

  • There were 99 newly confirmed cases in the city of Cincinnati

  • Southwest Ohio hospitals are at 94% capacity for medical/surgical beds and 90% capacity for adult critical care beds.

  • The regional COVID-19 reproduction value (1.26 on 11/13/2020 for SW Ohio), positivity rate, and other COVID-19 related bio-statistics indicate the likelihood of increased community spread.

How You Can Help Stop The Spread

We share this information with you not to scare you, but as a reminder that we must remain diligent in our health and safety efforts in order to stop community spread and continue to keep schools open. These simple but meaningful steps can lower the community spread of communicable diseases like COVID-19 and influenza:

  • Wear a face covering or face mask in public settings. This is particularly critical when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and public spaces.

  • Wear a face mask in outdoor environments if social distancing is challenging.

  • Maintain social distancing whenever possible, even if you are wearing a face covering.

  • Frequently wash hands and use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not an option. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth until you have washed or sanitized your hands.

  • Avoid gatherings, no matter how small, with anyone not in your immediate family.

  • Avoid large gatherings when possible. Stay vigilant against COVID-19 during small gatherings.

  • Stay home when sick. Self-quarantine at home when experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Get a flu shot. Influenza vaccinations (flu shots) are currently available at drug stores, health clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s offices across the region. Contact your local health department or community health center if you need a flu shot but do not have health insurance.

Please reach out to Sycamore Community Schools if we can provide additional information or assistance:

Plans for School After Thanksgiving Break

Our Data Assessment Risk Team (DART) continues to advise the district as we consider plans for school between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. The team is monitoring our health data and considering the potential risk to the safety of our schools once students return from being away from the safety of our schools. We will provide the Board of Education an update at their upcoming meeting on November 18 and communicate a decision to families after the meeting.