BELLBROOK — The phased-in approach was the way to go for Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools.
That’s how Superintendent Dr. Doug Cozad feels after visiting the district’s buildings several times since bringing back half the students Monday and half the students Tuesday — the first days classes were held in person since COVID-19 shut down all Ohio schools in March.
And with about 22 percent of the students choosing the remote learning option, that left a smaller amount of students arriving in person.
“It went very smoothly,” Cozad said. “(The phased approach) really helped us just really go over procedures and protocols and with only half the kids it was extremely helpful.”
A first-day concern under normal circumstances is making sure everyone is where they need to be when they need to be there. That was not an issue, Cozad said, adding that creating a schedule several times usually takes months of doing and they did it in just a couple weeks.
“Kids were in their proper places,” he said, lauding building principals and staff for their involvement. “A big piece of that from the beginning, we had teachers and staff involved in our planning. We’ve been working on it for a long time.”
In following state mandates, all students were wearing masks and were “taking it in stride,” Cozad said. Elementary school kids were taking breaks outside where it was safer to remove masks.
“They’re doing a nice job,” Cozad said. “It’s gone really well, knock on wood.”
It went so well that Cozad said he doesn’t anticipate any major tweaks after meeting with fellow administrators Wednesday.
The only aspect of the restart that could use some improvement, Cozad said, is the daily health assessments from parents at home.
“We had to do a lot of follow-up at the building level,” he said. “That’s just not the parents’ routine of doing that. Trying to get them to remember. It’s different.”
Students were participating in remote learning Wednesday and will be back in the buildings after. Cozad anticipates classes to dig deeper into the academic pieces then.
“That’s probably the slowest part (of the restart),” Cozad said. “We knew that coming into that.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.