NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio — Based on the recommendations from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, North Royalton City Schools will start the 2020-21 school year with remote learning for the first nine weeks, Greg Gurka, superintendent of NRCS announced Wednesday.
After the first nine weeks and if pandemic conditions change, the district will move to its phase plans for in-person learning options for the remainder of the year as long as it’s done in a safe manner for students and staff.
Gurka said while the majority of the reopening details will be shared next week, he clarified two major changes:
First, there will be no need for our parents to choose a learning model option as we asked you to do a few weeks ago. During remote learning this first quarter, all students will be assigned to a classroom with a North Royalton City Schools teacher. All students will follow a daily schedule of their assigned classes. Instruction during this time will consist of live lessons and recorded video lessons with teachers through Zoom or Google Meet, with additional instructional support through Google Classroom. Some lessons may be for whole-class instruction, while others are for small groups of students to differentiate instruction. More information and schedules will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. If and when we return to blended learning or all in, face to face instruction, families who opt to remain with home remote learning for their student(s) on a daily basis will be afforded the opportunity to do so. This at-home learning option will be taught by our North Royalton City Schools teachers. A description of what that will look like at each level will be sent out to parents with an opportunity at that time to opt into it or return to in-person learning. There will no longer be a separate option for courses taken through the Ohio Online Learning Program.
Secondly, as was stated previously, students’ first day of school was to be Monday, August 24, 2020. Because of the changes to our plans, the necessity of our counselors and principals to create new schedules, and the need to get technology into the hands of all of our students, we will be pushing back the start of remote learning to Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Our staff will still report on August 17 and utilize the days between August 17 and September 1 to participate in professional development activities, teacher-based team meetings, and prepare for both live and recorded lessons for our students. We will be sending a separate communication to kindergarten parents to discuss kindergarten screening and their first day of remote instruction.
All extracurricular activities and athletics are canceled, effective immediately. This will remain the decisions as long as remote learning is in place, according to the district.
"I know that any decision we make will not be agreeable with everyone. The Cuyahoga County Board of Health are the health experts. We have worked with them throughout this pandemic and will continue to adhere to their guidance as we move forward. I have heard and read the spectrum of science, opinions and beliefs that everyone has shared with me regarding this pandemic as well as what should and what should not be done regarding schools. I fully understand and share your frustrations. The reality of this situation is that I cannot with a clear conscience, regardless of the spectrum of opinions shared with me, bring over 4,500 students and staff back to school when the Cuyahoga County Board of Health says it is unsafe to do so," said Gurka.