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Parent Update 10/16/2020
Greetings,  I hope the Parent Update finds you all doing well.  It is hard to believe that we are at the end of the first nine weeks of school.  It has certainly been a year unlike any other and it seems like we will continue along those lines for some time to come.  I hope this Parent Update will provide you with some valuable information.
 
Second Nine Week Learning Model
Mount Vernon City Schools decided to operate under the Traditional (Green) learning model for the second nine weeks, beginning on Monday, October 19th.  The Traditional (Green) learning model has students attending school 5 days per week.  
 
We made the decision based upon a great amount of information, including current county and school Covid data, various surveys, and meetings with Knox Public Health, District Administrators, Mount Vernon Education Association, OAPSE Local #470 and several local physicians.
 
Our goal is to remain in the Traditional (Green) learning model for the remainder of the year.  With that being said, we will constantly review current information and work closely with health and safety officials with the understanding that we would need to remain flexible if emerging conditions warrant a change.
 
Q: What conditions might warrant a change?
A: While our goal is to remain Traditional (Green) for the remainder of the year, there are a variety of conditions that could warrant a change which may include:
 
  • Knox County Alert Level - Working closely with Knox Public Health we will continue to monitor the Knox County Alert level.  If we can maintain a Level 1(Yellow) or a Level 2 (Orange) we will remain in our current learning mode.  If Knox County would rise to a Level 3 (Red) this alert would prompt a meeting with Knox Public Health to carefully review indicators, with the potential of moving to a remote learning model.  If the county should move to a Level 4 (Purple) the district would need to shift to the Remote (Red) learning Model.
  • Additional conditions that may warrant a change in learning models: 
    • Student absences due to COVID positive student cases and/or Quarantine 
    • Staff absences due to COVID positive cases and/or Quarantine 
    • State Mandate by Governor or Ohio Department of Health
* If a change in learning conditions is warranted, we would do our best to provide parents with as much lead time as possible, based upon the circumstances.

COVID Dashboard -
We would encourage you to take a look at the districts ‘Covid Dashboard’ located on the district website.  Covid Dashboard ButtonWe continue to update the site with additional information and current statistics from around the state, Knox County, and within Mount Vernon City Schools. Covid Dashboard

Safety Protocol Reminders - 
We will continue to emphasize the importance of following the appropriate Health and Safety Guidelines.  Please review the Health and Safety guidelines by selecting the link above.  We have also listed a couple of the more prominent health and safety protocols below.
  • Daily Home Screening Checks - It is extremely important that parents/students perform daily home screening checks. If any of the eight checkboxes are checked, students are requested to remain home.
  • All Students/Staff are required to wear a facial covering during the school day.  Mask breaks will still be available to students but the process will be modified when students cannot maintain  6' of social distancing. 
  • We will continue to do our best to maximize social distancing.  We will have some classrooms where students may be seated closer to 3’ apart, with masks and safety protocols in place.
  • Regular hand washing and/or hand sanitizer use will be encouraged throughout the day. 
Mount Vernon Digital Academy-  
The Mount Vernon Digital Academy will see some changes during the second nine weeks.  When the district announced that we would be operating under the Traditional (Green) learning model, student enrollment in the MVDA decreased by nearly 275 students. During the first nine weeks we saw about 20%, or around 800, students choose the online Digital Academy.  With nearly 275 students returning to In-Person learning from MVDA during the second nine weeks, we will need to make some programmatic and staffing adjustments.
  • Elementary MVDA will continue to operate in a similar manner utilizing the same platform.  With a significant decrease in enrollment at several grade levels, some teachers were reassigned back to their buildings to accommodate the in-person increases at the building level.  We will still operate with 12 MVCSD teachers.  
  • The Middle School (6-8) and High School (9-12) will combine resources to provide a 6-12 Digital Academy program.  
    • The 6-12 MVDA will operate out of the Central Office (former Elmwood Elementary)  
    • All students will be assigned a ‘Mentor Teacher’ with students utilizing the competency-based Apex curriculum.  
    • Students will have the option to sign up for tutoring sessions via zoom or in-person.  Students who need more structure and support may be assigned to ½ day programming throughout the week.
Free Breakfast & Lunch - 
We have received some GOOD NEWS relative to food service. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending flexibilities to allow free meals to continue to be available to all children throughout the entire 2020-2021 school year. We encourage all parents/students to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity which will support our food service program and save families money.
 
Parent/Teacher Conferences - 
Parent/Teacher conferences are scheduled during the 2nd week in November, on Wednesday. November 11th & Thursday, November 12th. We are encouraging parents to consider attending P/T conferences via ‘Zoom’ or a phone call as much as possible.  If circumstances don’t allow us to participate in a ‘Zoom’ or phone conference, we will provide opportunities for In-person conferences.  All in-person conferences must be scheduled and all participants must wear a mask.  Building specific information will be forthcoming.
 
Elementary Grade Cards - 
Elementary parents are asked to read the following letter which details what will be included in the first nine-week report card.  Due to the performance differences between Remote and In-Person grades, some teachers may elect to leave the letter grade portion of the report blank.  All other pertinent information will be included.
 
School Bus Safety Week - 
We will celebrate school bus safety October 19-23 this year.  The theme this year is:  Red Lights Mean STOP!  Far too often we have drivers who either don’t see or ignore the red lights on the school buses.  When the red lights are on, we are crossing and/or boarding students.  Failure to stop is not only dangerous to student safety, it is against the law.  Please...When you see Red Lights - STOP.  This is also a great opportunity to thank your school bus drivers and the staff that support them for their care and dedication to the safe and effective transportation of our children.  We transport nearly 2000 children on 21 buses each and every school day, traveling more than 1500 miles per day to accomplish that.  Special thanks to our transportation department.
 
Special Thanks to Lowe’s of Mount Vernon for supporting the district with bottled water during the recent boil alert. All students and staff who attended school on Thursday had access to a bottle of water.

 

 
Have a great weekend and Go Jackets!