Dec. 3 Superintendent's Coffee Q&A

  • Does Data Metrics meet every two weeks to review data? When is the next meeting? Is hospital capacity in Franklin County taken into consideration?

    The data metrics committee meets weekly.

    What trends are you seeing in DCS with regards to mental health at the HS, MS and ES levels? I believe there is a call to action here but without knowing and understanding the trends. Also MH is a very big topic for my family based on my observations from DCS, the Board and the community. I feel like MH is being used as a convenient argument for people to argue for their learning mode. But I want to know what are we doing to assess and respond to the situation.

    Our school counselors and school social workers are continuing to work with our students in the area of mental health, whether it’s something they need on a short term basis or if it’s long term as part of a disability.  Elementary counselors continue to teach lessons in each class around student well-being.  Our Panorama Student Social-Emotional Learning survey was given to students in grades 3-12 in early October and data overall was very positive.  It can be seen on our COVID dashboard site.  The number of Columbia suicide screenings given by counselors/school social workers is down from averages we collected from last year.  All of our staff have training through a program called Kognito, which helps them provide mental health support to all students- and connect them to a counselor when needed.

    Will the elementary schools who shifted schedule to begin at 8am still do so if middle and high school return to in-person learning next semester, especially if driver shortages persist? Why were those particular schools selected? 

    The District continues to work through the issue of second semester start times depending upon the learning mode we are in at a given level.

    
What was the net change of students switching from RLA to in-person learning or vice versa?

    RLA to in-person 777 and In-person to RLA 283

    
Can DCS provide in person opportunities for small group interaction (via clubs for instance) for middle school and high school students (esp those who are not currently involved in athletics)? This could provide a lifeline to students who are struggling with mental health or feelings of isolation.

    We are starting some additional district clubs virtually after the first of the year-- Invention Convention, Robotics and Esports along with a HS district tech club.

    Does the mitigation survey calculate social distance to the largest extent possible or 6 feet?

    The largest extent possible.

    Why is it on the topic of changing learning modes there are so many parents asking questions like "How did they come to that conclusion?" "Why aren't they asking for the teachers input?" "Why aren't my emails or phone calls being answered... I can't be the only one asking these questions? "

    Our current learning mode is the result of a unanimous recommendation by our committee of local physicians using the Districts learning mode decision making guide.

    Can the dashboard include a rate of covid positive/quarantined at each school in addition to the absolute number? This provides a better measure to compare between elementary, middle, and high schools.

    This information is on the dashboard.

    Do you expect that the potential COVID-19 vaccine would be required for students to attend school next fall?

    This has not yet been discussed with us by our health department, but we would continue to work with them on their recommendations into the future.

    
What are the five languages offered at the high schools?

    Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Chinese

    
What factors are at play that prevent Elementary from going full remote? There are studies showing that asymptomatic carriers of Covid shed a greater viral load and it seems that elementary school students giving it to teachers. Recently, our protocol committee met and the doctors shared information that an emerging body of evidence suggests that young children do not spread the coronavirus easily.  I have also heard that students have been giving it to their parents, thus contributing to the community spread. While this is possible, the majority of what we have seen is where parents have transmitted COVID to their children.  Have there been any brainstorming sessions to find remote solutions for students with regard to mental health, special needs, etc. Yes- we continue to work with students and parents to provide in person services but also high quality telehealth services, from speech therapy to occupational therapy, to mental health counseling and even special education assessments virtually. What are other districts doing for mental health and special needs students?  Most are very similar to us, although our teletherapy services were started in August of last year, so we are much further along than other districts.

    Please clear up the confusion surrounding the Learning Mode Decision making guide and if it was utilized in the decision to keep ES open. Because both the primary factors and the secondary factors (county alert level, FCPH recommendations, and teacher input) seemed to indicate remote…it is very frustrating as parents to see agreed upon benchmarks being ignored.

    Our current learning mode is the result of a unanimous recommendation by our committee of local physicians using the Districts learning mode decision making guide.

    What are you doing with the staff mitigation survey information?

    The information collected allows the District to measure the effectiveness of our mitigation efforts.

    
I do not have an elementary student, but I am hearing reports of equity issues surfacing for elementary hybrid students who are quarantined. Is it accurate that MS and HS students who are quarantined have access to synchronous instruction via livestreaming, but elementary students who are quarantined do not? Is there a plan in place to address this equity issue for this student population? I would appreciate any information that you can share to shed light on this issue.

    The District will begin livestreaming school at the high school level in the second semester, once high school students return to in-person learning.

    Why would mitigation strategy fidelity be included in the decision making guide if the district is unsure how to interpret the data?

    The information collected allows the District to measure the effectiveness of our mitigation efforts

    How many hospitalizations and deaths have we had in our Dublin student base?

    To our knowledge, there have been two hospitalizations and zero fatalities.

    
No doubt the teachers are phenomenal. Can you share how their opinions and concerns are being taken into account when the board is making decisions about their working conditions. 

    I think we want to know specifically what part teachers play in the decision making. From the board meetings it appears they do not have a seat at the table so to speak.

    District leadership works with the teachers union on a consistent basis.

    
The CDC just announced a shortened quarantine (7 days) instead of 14 … will the district also shorten the required quarantine, based on the new CDC guidance?

    Yes, new protocols have been posted.

    
I wondered about the decision to keep elementary in person as well. The justification is that COVID doesn’t affect students under age 10 as much. however this means teachers and 4-5 grades are still at risk. are additional mitigation strategies being implemented to alleviate this risk?

    The District’s mitigation steps are being followed in an effort to keep student and staff safe.

    I signed my children up for Hybrid with the expectation that they would be virtual if the county was red. This was in the plan presented by the Board at the beginning. We signed up for Hybrid. At what point did you decide it was ok to change the scope of this plan without my consultation. Our county is purple and my children are still in class. I feel as if parents did not have a voice in this decision and it was decided by the Board with little say so from the community.

    Our current learning mode is the result of a unanimous recommendation by our committee of local physicians using the Districts learning mode decision making guide. Franklin County’s “alert status” is only one factor taken into consideration regarding learning modes.

    Is there any possibility of elementary students being full in (all day, every day) before the end of the school year this year?

    That is the District’s goal but we will continue to monitor the data and utilize our volunteer medical professionals.

    
What about the connection between adherence to “normal” curriculum schedule and mental health challenges?  In our house, there’s a lot of stress around trying to keep up with a “normal” year’s workload, even though we are not in “normal” circumstances.

    We aware of the balance staff and families must find in order to continue learning during a global pandemic.

    Does it concern you that Dublin is an outlier district in the decision to remain in person?

    Dublin City Schools is not the only district in Central Ohio to have some form of in-person learning at this time.

    
Are mitigation strategy surveys of staff anonymous?

    Yes.

    
Please discuss the decision making guide.  When will it be revised?

    Revisions to the learning mode decision making guide will be made on an as needed basis.