School’s Out for Summer!

No more Chromebooks no more Flipgrid

No more teacher’s on the Zoom

Out for summer

Out till fall

School’s out for summer!

schoolsOutSchool’s out for summer! Thanks for finishing strong and making this a uniquely great school year in Worthington Schools. We appreciate the ongoing support of our families and your patience as we finished the school year with remote learning.  In many areas, our families made lemonade out of lemons.  Our conclusion to the 19-20 school year happens this Sunday (5.24.20) with our Virtual Commencement Ceremonies for the Class of 2020.  You can watch Commencement for WKHS at noon here and you can watch the Commencement for TWHS at 4:00 P.M. here.

Once we’ve celebrated our graduates we hope you can begin to enjoy your summer break.  After these last few months, we hope you can take some time for yourself to unwind, read a good fiction book, or spend time outdoors in the warm sunshine.  Hopefully, soon there will be a baseball game to sit in a lawn chair and watch.  I’ll look for you when I’m at the Dairy Queen.

As of today, I have no real idea of what next year will hold.  We’re scheduled to begin school on August 19th.  We’re planning to be prepared next school year with three scenarios for learning using a Green, Yellow, Red model:

Green:  All students in school following strict hygiene protocols

Yellow:  50% model following State-mandated social distancing guidelines

Red:  Remote learning

We have teams working on all three scenarios and we will be ready to discuss them publicly with the board of education and then the community in mid-June.  We’re building our plans with the belief that whatever we build we will need to be able to move through the levels at each school seamlessly.  For instance, we may open on Yellow in August, and in early October be told we can go to Green.  The next week we should be able to do that quickly.  Then maybe we have an outbreak at one school and they move to Red but everyone else stays Green, etc…  We see our scenarios as an accordion that may need to expand and contract all year with very little notice so we need to plan our Yellow scenario with that in mind and teachers need to be ready at a moment’s notice to move to Red.  

Back on March 5th, we took our family to the Ohio State v. Illinois Men’s Basketball game at the Value City Arena.  We sat in a full arena with 18,000 other fans and cheered for the Buckeyes.  I high-fived the guy next to me and thought nothing of it.  At the time this seemed like a normal and reasonable thing to do.  Just one week later Governor DeWine closed school buildings in Ohio.  That was 68 days ago.  What I understood 68 days ago was light-years from my thinking today.  Seemingly everything has changed and it’s evolved week after week.

That was only 68 days ago.  We have 90 days until the start of the 20-21 school year.  Thus, while we would all like to know what next year holds, based on the ups and downs of the last 68 days we’re miles and miles away from knowing what the fall looks like.  As you enjoy your summer, we will commit to working to inform you of our current thinking and we’ll all have to remain patient knowing that current thinking may need to evolve each week.

Thanks for working together to support our students and our schools.  Happy Summer!

  • Trent Bowers, Superintendent

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One thought on “School’s Out for Summer!

  1. Marc says:

    Appreciate the communications here. Transparency is always valued (acknowledging all the uncertainty; it makes communication more difficult but also more necessary). I suspect a lot of dialogue is taking place to this effect, but worth restating – the green/yellow/red system seems like it can make sense; however it does present challenges related to the flexibility required. That flexibility impacts parents who may be required to work and also to fill in child care needs where our community’s school system suddenly drops off to red. Every family will have solutions that work best for them, but it would be good to facilitate how people are addressing that? Are the schools working with childcare providers or expecting those industries to step into the void? (wouldn’t expect so) Maybe some affluent families will bring on help (nannies) while others drop kids off at the WHCC and WCC pools for hours out of the day. Maybe introducing elderly grandparents into the house to take up child care is an acceptable risk and solution for some families. In absence of an alternative to school, perhaps the yellow and red statuses are not truly workable community wide as it causes some families – with less access to resources – to experience greater hardship. Or perhaps moving children to yellow/red is elective for families because placing children at risk in our school is a better option than placing our children with cost-prohibitive childcare options or than putting elderly relatives at risk. Maybe our schools don’t need to be safe; maybe our schools need to merely be the safer than the alternatives available to our community. There are no easy answers here, however access to a variety of potential answers may not be equitably available to all households.

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