Sycamore Community Schools

October 16, 2020 Update

Sycamore To Remain in Face-to-Face Learning

Yesterday Governor Mike DeWine announced that Hamilton County was elevated to Ohio’s COVID-19 watch list, one step below the state’s highest alert level for Level 4 “purple.” Hamilton County Health officials have warned us that the county will likely advance to purple next week.

At this time, Sycamore Community Schools plans to continue face-to-face instruction even if the state elevates Hamilton County to purple status. This decision was led by health data from our schools and major local zip codes, as assessed by Sycamore’s Data Assessment and Risk Team (DART).

When the state initially released it’s COVID-19 Risk Level Assessment colors back in June, a Level 4 purple designation included a stay at home order, with only necessary travel. However, the governor has since reversed that decision by not mandating that businesses and schools close when their county reaches purple.

“There’s no mandate from the state in regard to purple,” Gov. DeWine said during a coronavirus briefing on Thursday. “There’s some guidance, and we tell people that it’s a heightened level of awareness and a heightened level of concern.”

Please click here to read more information about our plans for continued learning.

Sycamore Schools To Remain in Face-to-Face Learning

COVID-19 Weekly Dashboard

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Check Out Our COVID-19 Data By School Building

Click here to clearly view this week's dashboard in its entirety, including a breakdown by building. Save this link to your bookmarks bar to view the dashboard each Friday.

Each week, we will share the number of confirmed student and staff cases of COVID-19, and the number of close contacts in quarantine in Sycamore Community Schools. Close contacts are defined as individuals who were within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more of a positive case, inside or outside of school, and must quarantine for 14 days. Quarantine does not include positive case isolations which are reflected in the number of confirmed cases. Enrollment data only includes current students attending Sycamore Community Schools in our seven buildings and Virtual Classroom learning. The dashboard is last updated on the Thursday prior to release on Friday and includes data from the prior week (Thursday-Thursday).

For more information, please visit our Healthy Back to School section of our website.

K-12 Satisfaction Survey Ends Tonight

The deadline for submitting your satisfaction survey is Friday, October 23 at 11:45 p.m. Your feedback is greatly appreciated as we continue to improve you and your child's experience during the 2020-21 school year.

Because experiences can vary by building, grade level, and learning model, we ask that you please fill out a separate satisfaction survey for each student in your household. The survey will take you to a different set of questions depending on which learning model you indicate your child is currently attending. The survey should only take about 4-5 minutes of your time but your answers are invaluable to us. Each one will help us ensure we make this school year the best it can be. Be assured that all answers you provide will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Click here to start the survey. You can use this same link to fill out the survey more than once. Thank you for your participation!

Second Semester Planning

Building Capacity Analysis

Our Building Capacity Analysis was presented to the Board of Education on Wednesday night. We asked our building administrators to do an analysis of each classroom based on 3-6 feet physical distancing. They were able to determine the number of current face-to-face seats available by grade level and by course/bell (Grades 9-12). The results are below:

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Identifying Flex Spaces

Building administrators were also tasked with identifying potential spaces within their buildings where additional classrooms could be added. This included:

  • Empty classrooms saved for flex spaces when there is a confirmed case in the building (students and staff are moved to these classrooms while their classroom is deep cleaned)
  • Classrooms where virtual teachers are instructing virtual classroom learners with no face-to-face students

The administration team also identified non-classroom spaces like gyms, theaters, and faculty lounges that could be converted into classrooms understanding the impact that converting these spaces could have on specials. The results are below:

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What's Next?

We will assess the results of our K-12 Satisfaction Survey and report those back to the Board of Education at their next meeting on November 4.

As other neighboring districts begin to unveil their plans for the second semester, it is important to remember that we started the school year much later this year. And unlike our typical school year calendars, the second semester does not begin until February 1, 2021.

Superintendent Forsthoefel Announces Retirement At End of School Year

Sycamore Superintendent Frank Forsthoefel is retiring at the end of the 2020-21 school year after serving 33 years in public education. The Sycamore Board of Education approved his retirement during their meeting on October 21. Click here for more information.