BRECKSVILLE — Altered building furnishings, a ban on large gatherings, more disinfecting, and the addition of a school nurse and health clinic are a few of the changes students taking classes through the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center will see in the 2020-21 school year.
CVCC, which offers technical education classes for eight area school districts — including Twinsburg and Nordonia Hills — as well as classes for adults, will offer three learning models, said Superintendent David Mangas.
"Families can decide if their child attends full-time, part-time, or remotely," Mangas said. "We have flipped our school to a blended learning model, which allows students to work at their own pace, place, and time. All enrolled students have all three instructional options at any point in the year. Communication is the key. Keep your instructor and our counselors informed of your plans for attending."
Mangas said the best way to describe CVCC’s instructional model this year, which begins Aug. 19, "is to state we are a ‘Flipped School.’"
"Our course assignments, which will be graded, will be delivered through remote channels," Mangas said. "Assignments can be shared with students through Google Classroom, the CVCC website, instructional packets, and/or other electronic systems. Students will have the ability to complete these assignments at their own pace, place, path, and time."
CVCC’s classrooms and labs at its Brecksville building will be open five days a week, Mangas said.
"This will allow hands-on learning for safety training, lab completion, and instructor assistance on remote learning assignments," Mangas said. "The flexibility this will provide allows students who cannot attend every day to learn their trade and earn credit for coursework. If outside variables require CVCC to go fully remote for a period of time, we will not miss instructional content as we will already be delivering remote instruction and will be prepared for full remote learning."
Students needing a Chromebook can ask for one, Mangas said.
Several safety measures have been put in place for the upcoming school year due to the pandemic, besides the health clinic and the hiring of a registered nurse.
"Last summer CVCC upgraded the air handlers that control our heating and cooling," Mangas said. "Another function of these units is to exchange inside air with outside air. These new units provide more fresh outside air in our classrooms."
In addition, school staff has set classroom furnishings and lab equipment to keep students six feet apart, Mangas said. Water fountains have been converted to water bottle fill stations. Hallways have been marked for one direction. Meals will be eaten in the classrooms, and open house and parent conferences will be virtual.
CVCC asks that students only come in if they are feeling well and that they should take their temperature every morning before school. Students with a temperature greater than 100 degrees should stay home.
Students and staff will be required to wear masks. Visitors will have limited access to the facility and also will be required to wear masks. Those coming to the facility are asked to bring their own masks, but masks will be provided if needed. Masks must be medical or two-ply material and must cover the mouth and nose.
The building will be disinfected in-between morning and afternoon courses, as well as each evening. The custodial staff will clean and disinfect instructional and other used spaces. Instructors and aides will spot disinfect in-between facility staff cleanings. Disinfectant solution and paper towels will be stationed in all classrooms. CVCC has purchased mechanized disinfecting machines and backpack sprayers to assist in the disinfection process
CVCC will close for two days for deep cleaning if 25% of the students or staff become ill.
Students attending schools following a different school calendar will not be required to attend CVCC on the dates their school is not in session; however, they are welcome to attend class should they choose to do so. Students will have access to the online learning materials during this time.
Oct. 8 and Nov. 2 will be practice remote learning days; students will not go to the CVCC building and classes will be done remotely to test the system and figure out students’ instructional needs.
Several area school districts, including Twinsburg and Nordonia Hills, have recently opted to start their school year later. Twinsburg will officially start Sept. 8, the day after Labor Day, with a soft reopening over several days the week before, and Nordonia Hills will start Sept. 8. Officials from both districts said that busing would be offered to CVCC students during the time between CVCC’s first classes and the district’s starting date.
For details on the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center, visit http://www.cvccworks.edu/.
April Helms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.