Update from the Superintendent
August 5, 2020
Dear Families and Staff,
Last evening, the decision was made to conduct all pre-K-12 academic programs remotely for the first nine (9) weeks of school. As we have stated regularly, our plans for this school year have been constantly evolving based on the latest information regarding the pandemic. Since March, we have been in ongoing communication with health officials and collaborated with other area districts. This difficult decision was made in order to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect our students, staff, and families from this pandemic.
We will still begin our school year on Tuesday, September 8th. Remote learning will take place for the first nine (9) weeks of school through Monday, November 2nd. Prior to this date, the District and Board of Education will continue to evaluate and determine if it is safe to reopen.
I cannot stress enough that remote learning will look different than it did at the end of the last school year. In the spring, we were responding to a crisis and our primary goal was to offer a sense of normalcy for students. Looking ahead, our students learning at home will have a more structured online learning experience with greater tools in place to keep students engaged and learning. Our teachers have been engaged in professional development all summer in order to be prepared for Remote Learning 2.0.
When we are able to return to in-person instruction, Berea City School District will still offer the Titans Virtual Learning Academy option. All along, we’ve made plans for possible closures of our in-person instruction program due to the number of COVID cases. Assuming it is safe to return to in-person classes at the end of the nine (9) weeks (or sooner), students who wish to do so will return to in-person instruction in our buildings with all of our health and safety precautions in place.
A detailed remote learning document is in the process of being finalized. The August 5th community presentation has been postponed to August 19th at 6:00 p.m. If you missed last evening’s Board meeting, it is available to watch on YouTube.
Many families have inquired about school supply lists due to Ohio’s sales-tax-free weekend August 7-9th. Our elementary list is now available and our middle school list will be posted on our website before Friday. These lists will indicate which supplies will be needed for remote learning. Chromebooks (supplied by the District) and the Internet are also needed for the remote start. More information about Chromebook distribution will follow in the coming weeks. If you do not have Internet access in your home, please complete this form.
I understand that the decision to begin the school year remotely has not been well-received by some families. This, by far, is the toughest decision that I have had to make in my 29 years as an educator. We ALL have been on a rollercoaster of emotions since March, and I understand. We ALL feel confused, saddened, and even sometimes angry at the opportunities lost at the hands of this pandemic. Please remember to be kind to each other. Out of our challenges come opportunities and I promise you that we will meet these challenges head-on.
We will continue to communicate with you as we approach the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Though the year ahead will look different in many ways, we look forward to serving our families and the entire community.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Tracy L. Wheeler
Ohio Dept. of HealthCOVID-19 Call Center1-833-4-ASK-ODH1-833-427-56349 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Cuyahoga County and United WayCoronavirus Help Line1-855-711-3035