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Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction


Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction 

August, 2021 


District Name: 

Dublin City Schools

District Address: 

5175 Emerald Parkway, Dublin, Ohio 43017

District Contact:

Jennifer Schwanke, Deputy Superintendent

(614) 764-5913

District IRN: 


The recently passed American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides substantial federal resources to support states and local school districts. As a result, local school districts are required to develop a plan, which details the safe return to in-person instruction and the continuity of services. This plan is developed with stakeholder feedback and will be monitored and revised based on ongoing review through September 30, 2023.


Protocols for Incorporating Mitigation Strategies 

The District will continue to implement mitigation strategies. Should health conditions shift or stakeholder feedback necessitate, the district will continue weekly meetings with Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) as well as internally review COVID positivity rates, case count, conditions and mitigation strategies and offer necessary revisions. 

Physical distancing Physical distancing will be practiced to the greatest extent possible. 

Handwashing and respiratory etiquette Handwashing will be emphasized throughout the school day. Hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the buildings and students will be encouraged to sanitize their hands when entering and again when leaving a classroom. Cough and sneeze etiquette will be taught, monitored, and reinforced. 

Facilities District cleaning protocols will remain consistent with 2020-21 expectations. Ventilation systems all have a MERV rating of 13 or higher. 

Contact tracing Contact tracing will occur based upon FCPH guidance for all highly infectious diseases. District nurses have all been trained in this process

Diagnostic and screening testing Dublin City Schools will continue to have testing and screening supplies at nursing clinics. The district will strategically utilize BinaxNOW test kits for COVID concerns in order to keep students safely in school as much as possible. 

Vaccinations The district will continue to encourage faculty, staff, and students to be vaccinated. The district is willing to serve as a host site as vaccinations are available. 

Accommodations for children with disabilities The District will build a health plan to meet the unique health needs of students. This could include home instruction or further mitigation efforts in the school setting. 


  • Face masks will be required for all PreK-8 students during the school day.
  • It is strongly recommended, but not required, that all high school students and wear a face covering/mask while indoors, especially those that are not vaccinated. Mask use during outdoor activities is not necessary.

  • Due to a federal requirement for mass transit, students and staff are required to wear a face covering/mask on school transportation. Individuals who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask because of a developmental delay or disability, may complete a mask exemption form. If requirements change, the District will adjust as well.


Plans for the 2021-2022 School Year 

The District is planning for a return to in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year. Details are as follows: 

  • Classes will begin August 18, 2021. 
  • In-person learning will be the default learning model for all students. We know that students best learn when they are in the classroom with their teachers and their peers. 
  • We do not plan to offer concurrent (livestream) instruction, where teachers are teaching to students who are in-person and remote at the same time. 
  • Students who are unable to attend school in person for medical reasons must submit medical documentation to their school counselor. Please note that medical documentation must be kept up to date, particularly as vaccine eligibility and availability becomes more widespread. 
  • High School students will be in person all days of the week, we will resume Working Wednesdays, a late start schedule for high school students every Wednesday for teacher professional development opportunities.
  • DCS Virtual K-8 will continue to provide an online and blended-learning setting for elementary and middle school students who have applied to participate. For additional information, please contact Online Coordinator, Erin Schultheis, at


Grade Level Start and End Times 

2021-2022 School Year 


Identifying Academic Needs 

Summer Data Days - All Dublin City Schools teachers were given a day of professional learning during the summer of 2021.  The purpose of these data focused days is for teachers to reflect on student data in preparation for the 21-22 school year.

The focus of student identification will be through the utilization of the Ohio Improvement Process and a MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) structure in all schools. Multiple data sources will be incorporated, including but not limited to the following: 

  • High School Course Completion Rates 
  • MAP Assessments/Academic Universal Screener 
  • Off-Track on 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee 
  • Teacher observation
  • Student Attendance 

*Adjustments to programming and practices will occur over time based on data and response to interventions. 


Approaches to Academic Supports 

The following approaches that will be used to support students academically: 

  • DCS Summer Bridge programming offers students opportunities for extended learning. This includes expanded credit recovery opportunities and additional academic and enrichment experiences for students.
  • Summer graduation ceremony added to recognize student academic progress in credit recovery.
  • Provide professional development opportunities to staff in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Continued implementation of workshop instruction to allow for differentiated, data-informed instruction for students.
  • Opportunity of remediation through APEX for Ohio State Test preparation
  • Increased Tier 2 intervention staff in the area of elementary math intervention
  • Addition of an MTSS coordinator to support structures around best practices and student support.
  • Continuation of literacy team structures to support 3GG goals.
  • Implementation of ELI programming for extended day kindergarten programming for identified students.
  • Implementation of career exploration at middle school level.
  • Partnership with CLC Works student mentorship at high school level.
  • Increase access to education technology (hardware and software) for all students K-12

*Adjustments to programming and practices will occur over time based on data and impact of programming on student performance.


Approaches to Identify Social & Emotional Needs 

In addition to utilizing information provided by students, parents and school staff regarding the social and emotional needs of students, the District administers the Panorama Student Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) survey to students in grades 3-12 in the fall and the spring.  This data assists staff in planning at the district, school, classroom and individual levels in areas such as teacher-student relationships, sense of belonging, self-efficacy and school safety.


Approaches to Address Social & Emotional Needs 

The following approaches have and will continue to be used to address the social and emotional needs of students: 

  • Ongoing implementation of social-emotional learning resources.  During the 2021-2022 school year, we will create a committee to review different SEL programs and adopt a main resource for each level across the district.
  • Increasing relationship-building opportunities for online students.  DCS Virtual will focus on creating a sense of community so our remote learners feel a sense of belonging in their selected learning environment.
  • Providing additional mental health support for all students.  The district has increased the number of school social workers from 11 to 15 for next school year.  We have also increased the scope of work our community mental health agency, Syntero, can provide to students across the district.
  • Creating a new Director of Social-Emotional Learning position.  This individual will focus on the SEL needs of all students across the district.

During summer 2021, additional social-emotional interventions and support will be provided to targeted students participating in our ESY and Summer Boost programming.


Periodic Review 

This plan will be reviewed regularly and as new guidelines are released by state and federal agencies. Adjustments to programming, practices, and policies will be made based on data, impact of programing, and local, state or federal guidelines. 


Public Input 

The Dublin City School district seeks public input regarding the District's plans for a safe return to in-person instruction. Public input will be collected monthly using multiple methods including building and district Key Communicator groups, building PTO meetings, and the District PTO presidents meetings. Additionally, our Board of Education meets in person and welcomes public participation. Input will be periodically reviewed and considered to determine if revisions are necessary to the plan. Public Comments can be submitted using:


ARP ESSER Local Use of Funds Plan

Dublin City Schools plans to use the ARP ESSER funds to staff the online learning academy. This staff of 32 educators will provide services and assistance throughout FY24. Specifically, staff will be working directly with students but will also be engaged in intervention programs (RTI, MTSS), implementing plans for students with disabilities (IEP, 504), and with the creation and maintenance of online curriculum and resources. We will also purchase Chromebooks to provide access to technological support for supplemental resources, and will purchase Chromebook carts to manage storage and upkeep of these devices. These purchases will ensure an appropriate educational experience for both in-person learning and online learning.

To specifically target students with learning loss, we will engage in pre- and post- assessment data analysis, using norm-referenced standardized assessments (MAP, DRA, DMA). Upon analysis of student data, we will determine which students require intervention support and establish qualification criteria based on overall learning needs. Using both a Literacy and Numeracy Service Team, teachers will collaborate to provide intervention services and appropriate differentiation within the classroom. Parents will be invited to be part of the development of RTI and MTSS plans, especially throughout the monitoring phase of these plans. Teachers will also engage in ongoing professional development to address concerns related to student attendance and engagement in the online learning process.

Alongside these efforts, our Director of Social Emotional Learning will provide training and monitoring to ensure that interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on student subgroups (each major racial and ethnic group, children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, gender, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care). 

The remaining funds will be spent to ensure the enrolled student population— including those for whom data indicates there has been limited learning loss in the past year— has access to appropriate resources, staffing, and technology to best access curriculum. This will include training staff to differentiate instruction in a remote learning environment to meet the needs of gifted students or those who would benefit from enrichment (i.e. project-based learning, personalized learning modes, pathways based on interest and aptitude).