Stow-Munroe Falls district to share reopening plans at Monday's board meeting


The Stow-Munroe Falls school district plans to unveil its reopening plan for the new school year at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and be virtual. It can be viewed on the district’s YouTube channel.

According to a message sent to families by Superintendent Tom Bratten, the district is looking at three different scenarios for the 2020-21 school year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: all students attending school 5 days per week; students attending on a hybrid schedule with 2 days per week in the building and 3 days in remote learning; and an all-remote learning option.

“As we navigate through this unpredictable time, it is our goal at Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools to create a reopening plan that will ease as much uncertainty as possible for our families while answering as many questions as we can,” Bratten shared in his message.aug.

No specifics on the plans were available by press time. According to the district’s previously approved calendar, the new school year would start Aug. 18 for students.

The district has been working on how its schools will reopen using the state’s plan for reopening presented by Gov. Mike DeWine earlier this month. In his message, Bratten listed “several key points” made by the governor that will be used to guide Stow-Munroe Falls’ plan:

• Parents and guardians would be assessing their children for symptoms and conducting daily health checks prior to them attending school.

• The schools will provide opportunities as required for students to wash their hands throughout the day. In addition, hand sanitizer will be provided at all entrances and exits.

• The schools’ cleaning protocols will be enhanced to ensure the safest possible environment for students and staff. This includes all locations and places students gather such as playgrounds, classrooms, school buses, etc.

• The practice of social distancing will continue, with schools aiming for the goal of maintaining 6 feet of distancing as often as possible. “We know this will look different in every building and will require a great deal of flexibility,” Bratten noted.

• The district will be creating a face covering policy. While Bratten said in his message that school staff will be required to wear masks unless unsafe or it interferes with the learning process, “the district is exploring policy for our students.”

Gov. Mike Dewine announced July 9 that Summit County along with several other counties had advanced from Risk Level 2/Orange to Risk Level 3/Red, triggering the order for mandatory masking that went into effect at 6 p.m. on July 10.

Under the order, masks must be worn when in any indoor location that is not a residence; outdoors when unable to consistently maintain a distance of 6 feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household; waiting for, riding, driving or operating public transportation, a taxi, a private car service or ride-sharing vehicle. The state defines a business subject to this order as any for-profit, non-profit, educational or non-federal government entity. Facial coverings are not required for children under 10 years old, according to the order.

“We certainly understand the difficulty that this delay has caused our Bulldog families with respect to planning. Additionally, we recognize that many of our students and families still feel uneasy about returning in the fall,” Bratten told families in his message. “We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we work through this process.”