Educational Plan

Dear Liberty-Benton Parents and Staff
 
Since last March, I have done my best to keep you informed about how COVID-19 is affecting our students, staff and operations in the Liberty-Benton Local School District.
 
Unfortunately, the district has recently endured a spike in student and staff COVID-19 confirmed cases and quarantines. Because of the illness and quarantines, the district has become stressed in all of our school buildings and departments. Ultimately, we have a duty to provide education and extra-curricular opportunities to our school community but to do it as safely as possible.  Now this has become jeopardized. As a school district, we are not alone in this. The entire state of Ohio and Hancock County are experiencing the same stress.
 
The entire district, grades K-12, will operate under a remote learning model on Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24. We will be providing curbside food service from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in front the high school. Thanksgiving break will begin on Wednesday, November 25, as previously scheduled.  As we return to school on Monday, November 30, we will return in our “hybrid” learning model and remain in the “hybrid” model through Tuesday, December 22.  While this may not be optimal, we have seen the educational benefits of our hybrid model and it allows us the necessary social distancing to help curtail the recent “spike” in quarantine cases.
 
We are moving forward with this plan for a few reasons. First, a significant number of staff and students will re-enter school after Thanksgiving break from COVID-19 quarantine, which will clear most of our quarantine dashboard. Second, this extended break from our school buildings provides a window of nine straight days without students in our buildings.
 
Of course, this is all dependent on the fact that we continue to make every effort to limit COVID-19 exposure for your families during the Thanksgiving break. Please stay home when possible, practice social distancing and if you must leave your home, please ensure that everyone is wearing a facemask. Please continue to support our collective effort to prioritize the health and safety of students and staff as we continue to support educational excellence while navigating the uncertainties presented by COVID-19.
 
I understand that this plan may place a scheduling burden on our families, but I believe a pause in in-person learning at this time will afford us an opportunity to avoid a full remote plan. 
 
Your child’s teachers will provide communication about assignments through Schoology.
 
If you have any questions, please contact your building principal. I cannot impress upon you enough that the district’s success relies heavily on your support and our collective ability to protect one another and ourselves.  
 
Have a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving break! 
 
Respectfully,
 
Mark Kowalski
 

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