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September 17th - Return to School Update

September 17, 2020

Dear Copley-Fairlawn Families,

We have had the opportunity to review the most recent data from the Summit County Public Health Department.  While there are areas of concern, the data is remaining stable.  The latest data has shown a decrease in the pediatric case rate.  The seven-day average number of cases reported has decreased steadily since August 30.  The positivity rate remains around 4% for the State of Ohio, which is a very good percentage.  These are all positive signs.      
With the layered approach we have utilized to return to in-person learning, we have gained valuable experience managing the cases we have had through intensive contact tracing.  This, coupled with the strict safety protocols we have in place, has allowed us to isolate those cases quickly and avoid the spread of the virus.  I am confident that we will be able to transfer the contact tracing and safety protocols we have had success with in athletics and small group instruction to fully in-person learning.  
Each of our five buildings held meetings in July via Google Meet and shared the safety protocol developed by their Social Distancing Team.  I want to make you aware that we have removed much of the furniture, carpets and extra classroom items that we have all grown used to so that we can maintain six feet of distance in classrooms when possible.  Additionally, we will need to abide by the Ohio Department of Health order for all students and staff members to wear a facial covering.  The educational environment will look different, but I feel that our staff will handle this seamlessly.  
We plan to return to in-person learning for all K-12 students beginning Monday, September 28.  School schedules will remain the same as last year and students will attend five days per week.  Virtual Academy students will continue with that platform.  We will strictly curtail after school and evening events and focus on building cleaning with a limited number of second shift custodians each night.  The remaining second shift custodians have been moved to first shift to clean during the student day.   Visitors to the building will not be permitted during the school day at this time.    

SCPH has indicated to me that we will see cases in our schools, just as we will continue to see cases in our communities.  It is vital that we all follow the recommended safety protocols to the fullest extent and communicate any possible exposures and/or symptoms as early as possible to school administration.  If we work in concert in these areas, we feel we can most effectively manage the situation while providing in-person instruction, our most effective form of education.  

Thank you for your continued support of our schools.


Brian E. Poe
Copley-Fairlawn City Schools