November 19, 2020
Dear DECA Community,
Yesterday, Wednesday, November 18, 2020, Public Health Dayton Montgomery County (PHDMC) issued an advisory that recommends that Montgomery County residents stay at home whenever possible until December 17, 2020. The advisory includes clear guidance for schools: "Universities and public and private K-12 schools that are currently implementing a hybrid or full in-person learning mode are advised to transition to online remote learning after the Thanksgiving holiday." Although this is not an order, we continue to take the recommendations from PHDMC seriously.
In light of this new advisory, effective Monday, November 23, we will transition to remote learning for all students (K-12) at DECA through the end of our winter break. I know that this news will be met with a sense of relief for some and frustration or concern from others. Our hearts break at the prospect of not seeing our students in person for the next several weeks. These are incredibly taxing times for all of us, but especially for our students as they are forced to constantly adjust to a new schedule. We are saddened that many of our students did not have an opportunity to return to school for even a few days before this change is happening. Please know that we are committed to ensuring that the first students who will return to in-person learning when it is safer again to do so will be our students who haven't had the opportunity to come back yet.
Regardless of the challenges posed by this pandemic, we remain focused on our mission to prepare your child to gain the skills they need to go to and graduate from college. In the short term our team is committed to tweaking our remote learning plans to ensure that our students find success over the next several weeks.
Throughout this time we will continue to keep you updated via email and on our website. Please stay tuned for updated information.
Below we have included several important updates for your family to review as we transition to remote learning in the coming days.
Change to Academic Calendar
We will move the end of the 2nd quarter from December 22 to January 14. We are instituting this change to ensure that students (especially at the high school) have ample opportunity to finish the second quarter academically in as strong a position as possible.
Meal Distribution During Remote Learning
We fully plan to continue to offer to provide meals for all DECA students free of charge during this period of remote learning.
During remote learning families can drive or walk up to DECA PREP (200 Homewood Ave) from 10:00-12:30 on school days to receive lunch (and breakfast for the following day).
November 19-20: Normal hybrid schedule
November 23 & 24: DECA will operate fully remotely for these days.
November 25-27: Thanksgiving Break -- No school for students
November 30-December 22: DECA will operate fully remotely for these days.
December 23-January 5: Winter Break -- No school for students
January 6: DECA will plan to resume our hybrid model at this time. Our team will continue to monitor the spread of the virus and our ability to ensure we can fully staff our buildings before making a final decision about returning to our hybrid model.
January 14: End of the 2nd Quarter
January 15-18: MLK Break
January 19: Start of the 3rd Quarter
While we are engaged in remote learning please continue to report any positive tests related to your children who attend DECA. We are required to continue to notify Public Health of all instances of positive cases. You can report a positive case using our google form to us know any time.
DECA’s Return to School Plan for Second Quarter
We recognize there is no completely safe way to reopen schools; however, based on the feedback of hundreds of DECA parents and observing the health guidelines from the CDC, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and Public Health Dayton, we have decided to return to school via a phased in return process offering two days of in-person instruction for students during the second quarter. This hybrid approach will allow us to maintain the six foot social distancing guidelines widely established as best practice within our schools.
Families who remain uncomfortable returning to school can opt to select a remote learning only option.
- Hybrid Learning: This is the default for students, and it combines two days of in-person instruction at school with three days of online instruction at home each week. Chromebooks will be provided by DECA for all students who select the Hybrid Learning Option and are in need of a device.
- Remote Learning Option:Families selecting the remote learning option for their children are choosing to remain remote for the duration of the second quarter. Remote learners will engage in at-home learning through instruction by DECA teachers. Chromebooks will be provided by DECA for all remote students in need of a device.
Beginning November 2nd, all three buildings will begin a phase-in process, allowing us to safely bring our buildings to 50% capacity with the hybrid models. While the first day of in-person learning will not be the same for every student, every student will continue to have access to their teachers, content, and classwork through remote learning in the interim. Families will be notified two weeks before students are set to return to in-person learning for those who have selected the hybrid option. Remote Learning Option
*The Confirmation Date is the date DECA staff will confirm to families of children that they are on track to begin hybrid instruction.
We are asking all families to make their selection by completing this form. The deadline for opting into remote learning is Wednesday, October 14, 2020.
Read more about our second quarter return plan in our Frequently Asked Questions page.
We are nearing the end of the first quarter and are ready to provide an overview of our plans for the second quarter. Please watch this message from our Superintendent, Dave Taylor, for the latest information.
Return Plan 2020-2021 Academic Year
July 27, 2020
Dear DECA Families,
This has been and continues to be a challenging summer for DECA and schools across the country. We've been hard at work crafting a plan that we can be confident will ensure our students' successful return to school in the fall. Our priority for the 2020-21 school year has been to keep our entire DECA community safe during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. That priority has not changed and as we move closer to the start of the school year, we have been actively monitoring the status of the virus in Montgomery County. As you know, the spread of COVID-19 continues to rise across the nation, and Montgomery County is experiencing alarmingly high positive test rates, especially within the Black community.
Last week we reviewed the DECA health and safety plan with our Return-to-School Task Force to address concerns we have received from teachers, staff and parents. We concluded that even with implementing social distancing on school busses and in classrooms, we are not confident given the continued increasing viral spread that we can keep our DECA family safe. Simply put, we cannot risk the safety of our DECA students, teachers and staff.
Based on these discussions and our monitoring of local and national trends in COVID-19 cases, we have decided to postpone the start of the academic year to Monday, August 24, and begin our school year virtually in the full-time distance learning model for all students for at least the first quarter. Remote instruction will be delivered by DECA teachers, not a third-party provider.
With this proposed change, our teachers and staff will return to school as scheduled on August 5, so that we can devote more time and resources to professional learning to ensure we are well prepared to provide a robust full-time distance learning program with DECA teachers that supports all students.
We want to emphasize that this decision weighs heavily on all of us and, while this is not the solution we would prefer to be offering to our families, our team believes it is the only sensible option that can protect our students, staff, and families while continuing to provide a quality education. We recognize that this change will present challenges for many of our families, and we hope that by informing you as soon as we made the decision, you will be able to make necessary adjustments to your plans for the fall.
We will share an updated Frequently Asked Questions document with you by this Friday, July 31, which will provide more details on the plan for distance learning, including information about Special Education, Social-Emotional and Mental Health, and Technology. We will also be having another Facebook Live Town Hall scheduled for Tuesday, August 4 at 6:30 pm. If you do not have access to Facebook, we will email the link for you to join.
We know that remote learning is not how most children are best suited to learn, but these are extraordinary times we are living in. It remains our greatest hope to have students return to our building as soon as it is safe to do so, and in the meantime we have every intention of providing a rigorous, engaging remote learning education. Thank you for our continued support as we move forward together during this challenging time.
We will be updating you with Monday Messages every other Monday throughout the summer beginning June 15, 2020!
May 25, 2020
Dr. Hennessey, the entire DECA team, and I would like to express our appreciation for your incredible work supporting your child as we learned how to do school entirely remotely. Our parents and our students stepped up in huge ways because this was a challenge for all of us! We are incredibly grateful for your patience as we worked through some issues, and we hope you are pleased with our effort to make this a meaningful and enriching opportunity for your child.
Across all three campuses, this week marked the final days of new assignments for DECA students. Next week is our final week of school, and as such we want to take some time to hear from you about how the remote learning experience has been for you and provide you with a brief update about a few key events happening over the summer. Please complete the survey by June 6, 2020 to be entered into a raffle for one of 10 $15 doordash gift cards.
Parent Guardian Survey: https://forms.gle/jVBSt57BAjTYsYEw8. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey to help us learn how to improve this experience should we be required to provide remote learning again next year in some manner.
Student Survey: https://forms.gle/A6djKQRYcvKK47Hr9. Parents please share this student survey with your children. We know that some of our youngest scholars may need help completing theirs, but it’s important that we hear their perspective.
Chromebook Return: Since the announcement of the school closure a bit over two months ago, over 1,300 chromebooks have gone home with our students. We now have the incredibly important (and difficult) task of ensuring that we’re in good shape for next year. We ask for your help in returning all of the DECA-issued chromebooks you have, so that we can get them inventoried, cleaned, and repaired so that they are ready for use for the upcoming school year.
Summer Intervention & Enrichment: We are incredibly excited about all of our virtual summer intervention and enrichment programs that begin on June 15! Each campus is rolling out the details of their summer programming so if you’ve missed something, stay tuned. We have something for every DECA student to participate in, and we hope that we can set records for the numbers of pages our students read in June, July, and August! We know that many of our students will need chromebooks to participate in our summer programs, and we plan to make chromebooks available for that purpose. We will have times set up for families who need a chromebook over the summer to come pick one up from us in mid-June after we’ve had enough time to get them ready.
Finally as we look to the fall, we are currently investigating three possible scenarios for what next year may look like: 1) continued remote learning if schools are not permitted to reopen, 2) all students returning to the building while maintaining social distancing, or 3) a blend of the two that would have some students in school with others remaining at home learning remotely. As we learn more we will continue to keep you informed. Thanks for your continued partnership with us as we work to develop your child into a college graduate.