Dear Wyoming City Schools Families and Staff,
After completing the first quarter of the school year, I want to share my sincere appreciation for the amazing efforts of our staff, families, and, most certainly, our students. The past several weeks have been difficult for everyone and I appreciate the feedback that has been shared with me regarding learning challenges of our students, struggles families are facing, concerns for consistency, and more. Our teachers, administrators, and entire staff do not take these challenges lightly and we will continue to work to create structures that support students and families in every way possible.
As we await Governor DeWine’s message today, I’m sharing a modification to our current school plan that will keep Wyoming City Schools in a hybrid model next week, even if Hamilton County is labeled Level 4/Purple this afternoon. Please see the detailed information below regarding the great, ongoing work that has informed this plan modification. We have developed a more relevant data set and process to drive our decision making in the second semester and are applying it here. We believe it helps us to better support our students’ needs while providing the safest in-person environment available to us.
While we all want our students back in their school buildings every day, we must utilize the best science available to us to inform our decisions so that we can protect the health and safety of our students and staff to the very best of our ability. This summer, we shared that no plan is perfect and that great work will need to go into the individual needs that students have. Our commitment is to continue to connect and partner with our students and families to understand these needs and address them as we move forward.
My personal goal is to continue to connect with families over the next several weeks. I will reach out next week with more information regarding the plan modification below, including exactly how this plan works, and will provide staff and families with an opportunity to submit questions. I will follow up in the subsequent weeks with additional messages answering those frequently-asked questions that our staff and families submit. Perhaps the greatest asset we have in Wyoming City School is our incredible school-community partnership. Thank you for your commitment to our students!
Wyoming City Schools to remain in hybrid next week
Last Thursday, Hamilton County was placed on the Ohio Public Health Advisory Level 4/Purple watch list. Public health officials have said that it is likely that the county will advance to Level 4/Purple later today when the Ohio Department of Health releases their weekly update.
If Hamilton County moves to Level 4/Purple this afternoon, Wyoming City Schools plans to continue with the Hybrid Plan Schedule for next week, the week of November 2. This decision is based upon the indicators used in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System and the data set we have developed for use in the second semester plan in consultation with our Wyoming City Schools COVID-19 Science Advisory Team.
Wyoming City Schools is committed to making data-driven decisions aligned with public health and medical guidance. The Ohio Public Health Advisory System contains valuable community metrics but several indicators lag days or weeks behind new infections. The Wyoming City Schools COVID-19 Data Set, developed for use in the second semester and applied here, is based upon the COVID Measures to Inform School Planning from Hamilton County Public Health, City of Cincinnati Health Department, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and The Health Collaborative and input from the Wyoming City Schools COVID-19 Science Advisory Team. This model elevates the importance of school-specific data while incorporating the most relevant, real-time community measures available.
The Wyoming City Schools COVID-19 Science Advisory Team is made up of Superintendent Tim Weber, parent and pediatrician Dr. Katherine Auger, parent and pediatrician Dr. Robert Kahn, District Nurse Nicole Murphy, Director of Communications Suzy Henke, a representative from the Wyoming City Schools Board of Education, and a representative from Hamilton County Public Health. Please note that the science of COVID-19 is evolving rapidly and our model will be updated as needed as data and guidance emerges.
This model and team allows Wyoming City Schools to make data-driven decisions about remote, hybrid and in-person learning based on early indicators: evidence of in-school transmission; staff and student absence rates; adherence to protective bundle measures (home-based daily health screenings, face coverings, social distancing of at least 3 feet, barriers, hand hygiene, and cleaning practices); community transmission; and how community systems are coping. Implementation of this plan includes daily monitoring of general attendance rates, in-school new cases and quarantine numbers, and out-of-school new cases and quarantine numbers as reported to us.
When we apply this plan to current conditions, next week we will implement the Hybrid Plan Schedule.
Over the next week, we will share more information about implementation of this plan and the data points used in the Wyoming City Schools COVID-19 Data Set but we did not want to delay in getting the information that staff, students and families need for planning for next week any longer than necessary. More information will be shared in the coming days. We appreciate the patience and partnership of our staff, students and families in enacting a plan that most appropriately addresses the instructional and social and emotional needs of our students and the safety of our students and staff.