Since the start of the 2020-2021 school year, we have been fortunate enough to welcome our in-person learners back into our school buildings and provide quality education to students both virtually at home and in the classroom.
Due to the adherence to safety protocols in the schools and the support of our community working hard to keep COVID cases to a minimum, we are on track to return to school “all-in”. If Hancock County remains either yellow or orange on Ohio’s COVID Alert System, our students will return to school full-time, all day, every day beginning Monday, November 9.
I am fully aware that we are going back to school all-in later than some surrounding county schools. In addition, just like our surrounding districts, our top priority is educating our children in a safe environment. However, because of the larger population of students attending Liberty-Benton Schools, we needed more time to make this transition.
Beginning November 9, we also plan to reintegrate specials into the school day as well. This is exciting and I look forward to seeing artwork on the walls and hearing music in our hallways once again.
We understand that in-person learning increases the risk of student absences because of the pandemic. We have had four positive COVID-19 cases in the district and have had several students quarantined, most of whom are quarantined because they are awaiting test results for family members. The important thing to keep in mind is that we have a plan for these learners. While any student is out of the building, they have the ability to “sit” in their classrooms through Google Meet. This limits the disruption of education as much as possible, something that is incredibly important as we move through the school year.
We want to continue to teach our students in the classroom. Together, we can make that happen. We must remain serious about the healthcare community’s mandates and recommendations. We appreciate all that you are doing to prevent community spread of COVID-19 through practicing social distancing, remaining home as necessary, wearing face coverings and washing hands frequently. Of course, staying vigilant in doing the daily health checks before sending your students to school is an imperative action in preventing student exposure. Thank you for you doing your part.
Despite the challenges of 2020, we will celebrate the milestones and accomplishments of our students. We continue to find innovative ways to give our students the quality Liberty-Benton experience that our community has come to expect and that our students deserve. With collaboration, flexibility and patience, we will find solutions for any obstacles that are presented this year.