The Orange City School District plans to implement its hybrid model on Oct. 19 after spending weeks devising a schedule for each building, ordering plenty of personal protective equipment and fielding hundreds of questions from parents.

Orange opened the 2020-2021 school year with a fully remote system. Starting Monday, students can remain virtual or come back in a hybrid model, a mix of in-person and virtual learning. The Board of Education is hoping that Cuyahoga County does not return to level three (red status), the second highest on the state’s four-level Public Health Advisory System for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re shooting to be perfect, but we’ve learned from districts around us that there will be some bumps in the road,” Superintendent Lynn Campbell said at the school board meeting on Monday.

The district posted many documents on the website, www.orangeschools.org, for parents and students to review last week, including health and safety procedures, a COVID-19 decision tree, traffic flow, in person logistics and building schedules.

The main entrance for the Orange schools campus is Gail Allison Drive on Chagrin Boulevard. There is also a back driveway on Hiram Trail, which is usually closed, that cuts through Hiram House Camp. Dr. Campbell received permission from Hiram House to use the driveway from the campus to Hiram Trail.

Moreland Hills Elementary School and Brady Middle School are switching cohorts at lunchtime, leading to increased traffic. Families dropping off or picking up students at the elementary and middle school will use the Hiram Trail driveway. Buses and employees, along with families and students headed for Orange High School, will use Gail Allison Drive. All traffic must exit on Gail Allison Drive.

Parents should also be able to check the parent portal to see if their student’s teacher was reassigned. Several elementary school teachers will be teaching the fully remote students, so their current students were reassigned to another teacher. That information is now available online.

“Please be patient, make issues known. Let it be known what we can do to improve, and we will continuously improve. I think we’ve shown that we will,” Dr. Campbell said. “In this next phase, we will continuously improve as well to deliver the best instruction possible to our kids who are on campus as well as those ones who are at home.”

Board President Beth Wilson-Fish asked if the district plans to host more town hall meetings with the principals, which drew more than 480 attendees last week. Dr. Campbell said that there should be at least one more meeting during the second week of the blended learning model to gather feedback from parents.

“Thank you and fingers crossed,” Mrs. Wilson-Fish said of the district’s planned reopening on Monday.

Julie Hullett has been a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times since August of 2018 and covers Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. She graduated from John Carroll University with a journalism degree in 2018.

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