Dear Liberty Families,
On Wednesday, October 7, 2020, the Liberty administration held a meeting to begin planning for the full return to school for all students. In addition to all administrators, attendees included members of the Board of Education, parents, teachers, transportation, technology, Akron Children’s Hospital and custodial staff, as a full return to school requires input from many people.
Prior to the meeting, the district provided a survey for families to express their level of satisfaction with the current instructional systems, but to also gauge the percentage of families desiring to continue with the current option or return full-time. The results of this survey were shared at the meeting and are also posted on Liberty’s website.
It would not be prudent to move ahead to a full return without considering the current facts presented to districts by the Trumbull County District Board of Health with regards to COVID issues. At the time of the October 7 meeting, Liberty had no confirmed positive tests in the district for either staff or students. As of the writing of this letter, October 16, 2020, Liberty has had 5 confirmed COVID cases, 4 students and 1 staff member, all contributing to multiple quarantines. Recent communication from the Trumbull County District Board of Health has cautioned school districts from full return to school too quickly, as positive cases have been surging in the county.
Given all of the data from the survey, attendees’ comments, listening to voices from the Liberty community, and the information from the Trumbull County District Board of Health, the consensus of the October 7th meeting was to continue with the current instructional models through the 2nd quarter and be ready to transition to a 4- or 5-day return-to-school at the beginning of the 2nd semester. The return would consist of either a 5-day per week traditional schedule or a 4-day per week schedule with Wednesday being a remote day for students and a professional development day for staff. Many school districts in the tri-county region have utilized extended time for teachers to more efficiently prepare for remote learning and Liberty’s administration and some staff members have visited and communicated with schools to gain input as to what may be a more effective way to support students and staff.
This year will continue to be a challenge as COVID issues will not go away overnight. If our goal at Liberty is to maintain a healthy and safe environment for ALL students and adults, we cannot ignore the current COVID environment. And, if we are committed to improving the academic achievement for ALL Liberty students, then we must also be willing to take the time to evaluate data to make the best decisions for our school community.
We appreciate the input we have received and are hopeful that you will continue to be supportive and patient as we continue to work through and improve our instructional delivery for your students.
Andrew J. Tommelleo, Ed. D
Click here to review the results of the second quarter feedback survey.