Important information & a recap of the recent Board meeting
Return To In-Person February 8th
Our district will reopen for in-person learning on Monday, February 8. Families that have been directly contacted about a quarantine involving their students should not return to school until their designated date. Parents are reminded that students should be kept home if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and contact the school and district nurse. Our district administrative team and nurses have reviewed practices and protocols for our return and an emphasis on complying with mask mandates, spacing, and other safety aspects of our school day can be expected.
State of the District
The Reading Community City School District held a work session on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. Superintendent Jason Enix delivered his State of the District presentation to the Board and the community. The slides can be viewed on the Superintendent Updates page, and the entire presentation is available on the district YouTube page.
Mr. Enix discussed the recent history of the district, where things stand currently, and plans for the future of RCCSD. He pointed out the important partnerships that make the district thrive, including the Hamilton County Educational Service Center (HCESC), Omnia360, Rachel Wixey, the City of Reading, and many more partners.
He highlighted the district’s comprehensive K-12 curriculum, including High School AP, College Credit Plus, and Credit Recovery courses. Student activities including Athletics, Music, and Clubs were discussed, along with the District Wellness Program.
The work continues to finalize the punch list of items on the new campus. Construction is scheduled to begin on the Hilltop Athletic Complex in April and the Building and Grounds Committee will begin engaging with the community soon about future plans for the Central Property.
The district financials were reviewed, including the timeline of past operating levies and bond issues, along with approximately $1,000,000 in spending reductions in January 2020 and another $720,000 in cost savings in June 2020. Additional details were discussed in a recent Community Forum about the district’s finances which is available here. COVID-19 will continue to have an effect on district finances in the future, as it impacts state funding levels and creates additional costs. The five-year forecast was reviewed, including the need for additional revenue.
The Board discussed the creation of a Financial Steering Committee to begin work around future funding needs. Further action expected to be taken by the Board in May with the latest financial updates.
District Strategic Plan
Mr. Enix presented the final draft of the district’s Strategic Plan, which was the result of input from the community, staff, parents, and students during a process that began in October. The 35-member Steering Committee developed draft statements and gathered input in a community survey with more than 200 responses. A 40-member group of community and district members crafted the Action Plan. The Strategic Plan focuses on four areas: Student Learning, Communication, Culture, and Fiscal Responsibility. The Board is expected to vote on approval of the Strategic Plan at the next meeting Wednesday, February 17.
Thank you to the many people who participated in this process by serving on a committee or providing survey input.
Resolution to Pending Litigation
The Board voted 3-2 to approve a resolution to enter into an agreement to settle pending litigation with the City of Reading surrounding utility poles.
Vaccination Day For RCCSD Set
Reading Community City School District is currently scheduled to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, February 16th beginning at 1:00 pm. The second dose will be scheduled three to four weeks later. Early reports indicate that reaction to the first dose is very minimal for most people, however reaction to the second dose typically results in a 24 hour period of moderate to significant symptoms. This may result in staffing concerns throughout the district and require the use of a remote/calamity day if necessary. We will communicate with our families and staff as quickly as possible if schedule changes will impact instructional days.
With colder weather forecast for next week, a reminder to our families that the doors to the building open 10 minutes before the school day begins. That means RHS and RMS are not allowed into the building until 7:10 am and RES students cannot enter until 8:00 am. Please take this into consideration when dropping students off during morning arrival.
The Board discussed Open Enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year, including the following timeline.
3/15/21 Current OE acceptance letters/applications sent to parents
4/1/21 Open Enrollment window opens for new applications (8:00 am)
5/14/21 Open Enrollment window closes for new applications (3:00 pm)
5/17/21 Admin review of class sizes/black-out grade levels for OE
5/24/21 Review of applications for acceptance/denial based upon available seats
6/1/21 Letter of acceptance/denial sent out to applicants
Mental Health Resources
Reading families who are in need of additional mental health resources can visit our District Help Center, or contact our counselors:
Additional resources are available through the Children’s Home, which can be accessed here.
The next meeting of the Reading City School District Board of Education is Wednesday, February 17 at 5:30 pm