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Article: Reopening Plan FAQ

Reopening Plan FAQ

*Last update made August 20, 2020  



We have put together an FAQ to help answer any questions you may have concerning our reopening plan. Please note, this document contains current the updates and revisions to our current reopening plan. As information changes, we will be sure to update the information here. Please check this document frequently.  

I haven’t seen the 2020-2021 School Calendar? 

NWLSD is taking our current health crisis very seriously. We are working with Hamilton County Public Health, Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Ohio High School Athletic Association in order to put the proper safety protocols in place. In order to do this, our Board of Education approved a change to our 2020-2021 school calendar. 



How many days a week will in-person learners need to attend?

Parents and families who choose this option, will return to the classroom 5 days a week to engage in in-person learning. 

Students enrolled in this program will begin school on August 27th. We believe the best way to approach our reopen is to give our staff and students time to familiarize themselves with our recent adjustments and new safety protocols and to be intentional about establishing proper social distancing.

To do this, we will bring students into the building by grade level. Between August 27 and September 1, various grade levels will phase into their buildings. All students will have fully returned to school by September 2. Students in grade levels that are waiting to phase into their buildings from August 27 - September 1, will participate in remote learning.


What are each school's phase-in schedules? 

School will begin on August 27th for all students, however; students will phase-into their buildings between August 27-September 1. *Please note, once students phase into their buildings they will remain in the buildings. Students who are waiting to phase in will do remote learning.


Middle School Phase-in Schedule

  • Thursday, August 27: 6th grade Phase In Day, (7th/8th grade at home learning)
  • Friday, August 28: 6th grade Phase In Day, (7th/8th grade at home learning)
  • Monday, August 31: 7th grade Phase In Day, (6th/8th grade at home learning)
  • Tuesday, September 1: 8th grade Phase In Day (6th/7th grade at home learning)

Beginning Wednesday, September 2 - ALL 6th, 7th & 8th students attend.


High School Phase-in Schedule

  • Thurs 8/27: Freshmen only (grades 10-12 at home learning)
  • Fri 8/28: Sophomores only (grades 9, 11 & 12 at home learning)
  • Mon 8/31:Juniors only (grades 9 & 10, 12 at home learning)
  • Tues 9/1: Seniors only (grades 9-11 at home learning)

Beginning Wednesday September 2 - ALL high schoolers attend, full day schedule within cohorts


Elementary Phase-in Schedule

  • Thursday, August 27- Grades 1, 3, 5 (K, 2, 4 at home learning)
  • Friday, August 28- Grades K, 2, 4 (1,3 5 at home learning)
  • Monday, August 31- Grades 1, 3, 5 (K, 2, 4 at home learning)
  • Tuesday, September 1- Grades K, 2, 4 (1,3 5 at home learning)


Beginning Wednesday, September 2 - ALL elementary students attend.


What does an At-Home Wellness Check Include?

We need every parent to take an active role and responsibility in monitoring their child to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Students who feel ill, have temperatures of 100°or greater, or show symptoms of COVID-19, must stay home. Please use the attached document to complete the At-Home Daily Wellness Check each day to determine if your child is well enough to attend, and for information on when to return to school.


How will I know if I need to stay home from school? 

Students who show symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be sent home and may be expected to quarantine for up to 14 days. Staff will be required to have documentation from a doctor or health care provider. Based on the Hamilton County Health Department’s contact tracing process, individuals identified as close contacts of a COVID positive person may also be asked to quarantine for up to 14 days. Students will have the opportunity to complete their assignments online during this time. Staff and students MUST BE fever-free and symptom-free for 3 days, without the use of fever-reducing medication, before returning to school. 


My child might have been exposed to Covid-19, what do I do? 

Please view the STUDENT COVID 19 COLOR GUIDANCE for information on COVID preventative measures, heightened self-monitoring, and when it is appropriate to quarantine at home.


How do I ask for a mask accommodations? How will I know if my student is approved? 

Considerations for alternative accommodations will be made for special cases surrounding health and safety.




Do I need to contact my student's counselor to start figuring out which courses she needs to take in the Remote Learning Academy or will the counselor be contacting me within the next few weeks?

No. You do not need to contact your child’s counselor at this time but please do examine the available online courses and identify those that are of interest to your child. Each child will have the opportunity to take their four core academic courses. Check with your child’s individual building about additional elective offerings. 


Students and families in the remote learning academy will be contacted to confirm course selections/recommendations closer to the start of the school year. For middle school students we will attempt to maintain the course schedule that was selected by the student and recommended by our staff in the spring, recognizing that not all courses are available through Accelerate Education. 


High school students will be able to access their schedules in Progressbook starting August 21, 2020. 


Will my student be able to take a foreign language through this academy if they received a letter from their counselor last year that they were recommended to take it, but missed it because they were only accepting up to a certain number of students?

8th grade students who were recommended to take a foreign language course by their teachers/counselors will also have the opportunity to do so.


Are the furnaces fresh air or do they recycle the air inside the building? And if they recycle are there special filters being installed?

All heating and air units throughout our buildings will be programmed to supply the maximum amount of (fresh) outside air in excess of ASHRE requirements as well as extended run times in order to maximize air changes.


All air filtration has been upgraded to MERV-13 filters.


If I choose the Remote Learning Academy, will my child have an opportunity to engage with peers for academic or emotional support?


While the Remote Learning Academy is separate and independent from the in-person learning, students will still have an opportunity to engage with their teachers and other remote learners. Elementary Remote Learning students will have daily class meetings with their NWLSD teacher and other remote learners, that will include academic and social and emotional support. Middle school Remote Learning students will have weekly class meetings with their NWLSD teacher and other remote learners. High School students should check with individual teachers about scheduled live sessions and office hours for additional social emotional and academic support. 


Will students in remote learning be able to take Algebra and foreign language in 8th grade?

Yes, Algebra 1 is available to middle school students through Accelerate Education; both Spanish and French are courses available to students through Accelerate Education (we will have to figure out how we provide teacher support for students taking these courses online); Middle school students can take up to 6 courses per semester on Accelerate Education (4 core and 2 electives). Counselors will need to be involved with helping students in the remote learning academy select appropriate courses. Recommendations for these courses are required since these courses are for high school credit and included in high school G.P.A. We want to make sure that all middle school students taking courses for high school credit are prepared to be successful in these courses.


My High School student takes AP classes, will they access AP courses if they attend the Remote Learning Academy?


After listening to parents and teachers, it is clear that providing instruction by teachers who have prior content knowledge with our curriculum, knowledge of our students, and experience with other resources such as the College Board (for AP courses) is an important factor during this difficult time.  Remote Learning Academy High School students will now take AP courses and will be placed on their High School teachers’ rosters. NWLSD teachers will deliver their instruction and content via Google Classroom.  


My student is falling behind, will the curriculum offered through the Remote Learning Academy meet their needs?


The online curriculum will meet the needs of all of our students. NWLSD selected Accelerate Education as our digital platform for students in the Remote Learning Academy for grades K-8. Accelerate Education provides online education courses that meet the needs of all students, from at-risk students who had trouble succeeding in the traditional classroom to high achieving students seeking classes their schools cannot provide for them. Our teachers will review and refine this instruction based on student individual needs.


Are students that are enrolled in remote learning able to take band/chorus/orchestra?

Not during the school day if they are remote. We are not able to offer some remote and some in-person (blended) as an option except in special circumstances as approved by a building and district administrator.

Students in our remote learning academy are permitted to participate in extracurricular activities outside of the school day. Contact your child’s school about available music options. 


What types of electives will be offered to students enrolled in the Remote Learning Academy? 

Most students in the Remote Learning Academy will have the option to select 2 elective courses. 

    • K-2 students will have only 1 elective course through Accelerate Education
    • Buildings may create additional special area experiences for students in K-2 through Google Classroom.
    • PE is not available as an Accelerate Education course for Grades K-5
    • If you have not yet selected your elective courses please do so as soon as possible using this link:    https://bit.ly/NWLSD-RLA-Survey


What is the plan for Butler Tech?

Questions concerning Butler Tech can be sent to: 


 Matt King

Office and Butler Tech Recruitment & Retention

[email protected]



Will high school students change classes throughout the day? 

In order to limit exposure, NWLSD will limit the amount of travel from class to class throughout all levels of school, including high school. Per the guidance of Hamilton County Public Health, limiting travel by cohorting students in groups will help with contact tracing.

  • Students will stay with one teacher throughout the day
  • Students will not travel from class to class throughout the day but will stay within their groups/pods. 


What if a student starts out with in person learning and wants to change to remote?  Is this a full semester commitment like remote?


Students who start out in person MAY switch to the remote learning academy prior to the end of the first semester. We anticipate that concerns may arise as health conditions change or they have the opportunity to experience what is required with in-person attendance. They will need to submit a new letter of intent to [email protected] to do so. Students will not be allowed to switch back and forth during the semester and once they move to the remote learning academy they must remain in the academy for at least the first semester.


Students who elect to participate in the Remote Learning Academy may NOT change to in person until the end of the semester. The reason for this is that the District will be purchasing licenses for Accelerate Education and assigning and training staff based on indicated preferences for the Remote Learning Academy.


Students who are attending in-person and need to move to short-term remote due to documented illness/quarantine will not automatically join the academy but rather will engage in remote learning with their classroom teacher. They would be able to join the academy at the start of second semester (January 19th).


What is the first semester?

The first semester runs from August 27th through January 14th. The second semester will begin on January 19th.


Is there a Spanish version of our Letter of Intent?

Yes. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RL33UQUcE-F93CuXWhdahVgmtPAVaquiU3Oaa4sTBs8/edit?usp=sharing


How will special education minutes be met with remote learning? Will IEP meetings be held virtually?

Intervention Specialists and related services staff will be assigned to work with students to provide IEP and related services during remote learning. Each student’s IEP will be reviewed and a remote learning plan will be developed in collaboration with the parents to outline how services will be provided. 


A hybrid model where students receive curriculum through remote learning, and in person related services may be an option to support the needs of students as outlined in their remote learning plans.


IEP meetings will be held virtually to allow participation for team members and parents during the no visitor period. 


Are staff and students required to wear a mask if they are wearing a face shield?

Staff and students are required to wear a face covering/mask. Students need to have a doctor’s note to be exempt or receive an accommodation for a face covering.  Staff who require exemptions as they apply to face coverings should notify Human Resources. A face shield is appropriate when worn for an instructional purpose.


Does the Accelerate Education online program offer ACCESS students instruction or will our ACCESS teachers be teaching that or will the online teachers be teaching that component?

The Accelerate Education program offers Honors and AP course options for secondary students. Our Gifted Intervention Specialists (grades 3-8) will be responsible for ensuring that instruction and support is provided consistent with each student’s Written Education Plan (WEP).


How many hours will remote learning students be expected to log?

  • Our remote learning plan shall include both teacher-led and self-directed learning experiences. Students will be required to log a minimum of 30 hours per week, 6 hours per day of work completion and participate in teacher-led virtual instruction and various other activities including independent work, workbook activities, assessments and projects.
    • Students are expected to log in and have live sessions with their teacher each day. Sessions will be recorded if students are unable to attend.



  • Daily class meeting with NWLSD teacher
  • Daily instruction with NWLSD teacher in ELA
  • Daily instruction with NWLSD teacher in Math


Middle School 

  • Weekly meeting with teacher for community building
  • Daily instruction with NWLSD in ELA
  • Daily instruction with NWLSD in Math
  • Daily instruction with NWLSD in Science or Social (alternating days)


Where can I find more information about remote learning school supplies? 


To learn view school supply lists, click here https://www.nwlsd.org/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=4UIYI&dasi=3G00


Also, NWLSD will be removing the independent reading and novel studies and activities that are listed in the Accelerate Education program. Accelerate Education does not provide the books and novels that are identified and we feel that purchasing these would be an unnecessary burden for our families. NWLSD has purchased online resources for independent reading that have been approved by the board of education and purchased for and are being used in classrooms and these will be made available to students in the Remote Learning Academy 


Where can I access the Weekly Learning Log? 

  • REMOTE LEARNING WEEKLY LEARNING LOG: Students will be expected to complete a weekly learning log. Parents can complete the weekly log  for younger students but must do so through the student email account. CLICK THIS LINK TO ACCESS THE WEEKLY LOG: https://bit.ly/NWLSDLearningLog (Link is case sensitive.)


In Remote Learning, parents are to assume the role of Learning coach. What is a Learning Coach?


Parents or guardians of students electing to participate in the Remote Learning Academy will assume the role of a "Learning Coach." The role of the Learning Coach is to: 

  • Guide the student through the lessons as needed
  • Discuss the concepts being taught
  • Assist with interactive tools and games
  • Help facilitate hands-on learning that may be in the course
  • Check for understanding of assignments
  • Keep the student on schedule and pace


If your child will be attending our upcoming Remote Learning Academy in the fall, you can visit this link to access our resource for parents/guardians regarding the role of "Learning Coach": http://learningcoach.accelerate.education/


Will my child need a Remote Learning Workbook? 

  • Accelerate Education offers printed workbooks for students in Grades K-5 for all four core subjects (Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science). Parents may purchase these workbooks independently at a cost of $17/subject for each semester. Workbooks for the first semester (two quarters) are labeled with an “A” and those for second semester with a “B”. Workbooks are not required to participate in the remote learning academy. All activities that are part of the workbook are included in the Accelerate Education digital platform as PDFs that can be downloaded and printed. 


  • The District will print the Language Arts and Math workbooks for families who have indicated a need. Families will be offered an opportunity to pick up printed workbooks from their child’s school along with additional fee items. Schools will communicate a pick up date and process for these items. It will occur after the start of the school year.


Where can I order the Remote Learning Workbook? 

Ordering online workbooks for Accelerate Education (grades K-5) is optional, however parents can still order them online. Click the link below to get started: 



What type of school supplies will my child need if they are a remote learner? 


*NWLSD has purchased and will provide headphones for students in grades K-5 to assist with concentration. Headphones are a board approved instructional fee item and a $8.00 fee will be assigned for students in the Remote Learning Academy. The district Technology Fee will also be assigned.


How do I obtain a Chromebook for my remote learning student? 

  • REMOTE LEARNING CHROMEBOOKS: A District Device (Chromebook) will be provided for all students in the Remote Learning Academy
    • Please visit nwlsd.org/technology for support on technology (i.e- to access the technology FAQ, to submit a support ticket, to gain assistance with login information. 


Devices will be picked up between 12:00 (noon) and 6:00 p.m. on August 24th, 25th, or 26th as follows:


  • Students who are scheduled to attend HELC, CE, CMS, CHS, MHE, SE and WOMS will pick up their device from COLERAIN HIGH SCHOOL (8801 Cheviot Road). 
  • Students who are scheduled to attend PRE, TE, PRMS, NWHS will pick up their device from PLEASANT RUN ELEMENTARY (11780 Pippin Road).


How do you plan to handle special education this year? 

As we develop and establish our plan, we are keeping the well-being and safety of our staff and students at the forefront of our thoughts. We understand that our staff, students and their families have various health needs and concerns. We have been careful to listen to the feedback that we have received from our community and our stakeholders. As we planned, we sent out multiple surveys to understand the needs of our staff and students. Based on your feedback, we have decided to offer two options for parents to choose from for the upcoming year. Students will have the opportunity to return to school full-time for five (5) days a week in the fall or have the opportunity to engage in our virtual Remote Learning Academy, which will give students access to a structured online curriculum with educational support from our NWLSD teachers who have been trained to teach online instruction. 


Students with disabilities continue to need access to specially designed instruction and related services during the pandemic regardless of selection of in-person or remote learning options.


How will you handle special education for students who select remote learning?

If you have selected this option for your child, the Case Manager will be in contact with you to set up a team meeting to review your child’s IEP and develop a remote learning plan within the first few weeks of school.


If your child receives services such as speech, occupational therapy or physical therapy, the team may consider having your child come into school to receive direct services. 


You should receive copies of your child’s remote learning plan and prior written notice within  a few days of the meeting. The District continues to offer FAPE (free, appropriate public education) in the least restrictive environment as outlined in each student’s current IEP. If you have additional questions or concerns, you can contact the child’s Case Manager and or request a meeting to review the remote learning plan.


How will you handle special education for students who select in-person?

Students who attend in person will be provided specially designed instruction and related services while in school. In order to reduce the cross contamination of students and staff, students with similar needs may be grouped together to increase safety and support as well as assure access to specially designed instruction and related services. Due to safety protocols students movements will be limited across cohorts. Access to different learning environments/classrooms, equipment, or specific areas of the building may be limited or unavailable. 

The goal of classroom assignments and schedule is to allow for the most access to specially designed instruction and related services with the least amount of cross contamination between staff and students. In some circumstances, consultation with the parent and team will need to occur documenting the provision of services.


In anticipation of an extended school closure, any students with a current IEP selecting in-person learning will have a Remote Learning Plan developed by the IEP team in collaboration with the parent/guardian to plan for what/how services will be provided. 


How will ETRs and IEPs be handled?


All ETRs and IEPs must be kept in compliance with Ohio Department of Education and Federal guidelines. Students who are participating in remote learning who are due for a reevaluation, or students who are being recommended for an initial evaluation may be offered the opportunity to enter the building for the purposes of assessment and evaluation. The team may consider a record review if the student is not available, or if the child is not available for testing/assessment. 


All special education meetings including, but not limited to IEPs, ETRs and BIPs will be held virtually to allow all team members to participate during the No Visitor Period.


Other Special Education Information and Updates

If your child participated in classroom or community outings, those activities have been suspended until further notice. Work study and job coaching opportunities will be limited to tasks that can be done in the classroom and require protocol to assure student and staff safety. 


If your child is unable to wear a mask due to their disability, contact your child’s Case Manager to discuss options and next steps.


If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Special Education Supervisor assigned to your child’s school.  The contact information is below:






Houston Early Learning Center

 Heidi Stickney

(513) 741-6892

[email protected]

Colerain Elementary

Sandy Blanck

(513) 648-5248

[email protected]


Sandy Blanck

(513) 648-5248

[email protected]

Monfort Heights Elementary

Lindsey Giesting 

(513) 741-6875

[email protected]

Pleasant Run Elementary

Mary Barnaclo 

 (513) 741-6877 

[email protected]

Struble Elementary

Lindsey Giesting 

(513) 741-6875

[email protected]

Taylor Elementary

Mary Barnaclo 

 (513) 741-6877 

[email protected]

Colerain Middle School

Chevonne Neal

(513) 741-6879

[email protected]

Pleasant Run Middle School

Mary Barnaclo 

 (513) 741-6877 

[email protected]

White Oak Middle School

Lindsey Giesting 

(513) 741-6875

[email protected]

Colerain High School

Chevonne Neal

(513) 741-6879

[email protected]

Northwest High School

Chevonne Neal

(513) 741-6879

[email protected]



How do I pay for lunch and breakfast for my child this year? 

Due to the health and safety protocols that we have in place, we want to inform our families that all of our cafeterias will be going cashless this year. Parents will need to apply money to their PaySchools account in order to pay for student meals. All money MUST be in account prior to purchasing meals, snacks, drinks, etc. In the past, parents were able to add money to meal accounts in-person. In person visits to our buildings will be limited in order to maintain the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students. Parents can add money to the meal account using debit and credit cards or by electronic check via PaySchools Central.


How will food distribution be handled for remote learners?  

As we gear up for the year to begin, we are excited to announce we will offer Virtual Learner Meals To Go for those who have chosen to learn virtually.  Meal pickup is scheduled for Fridays from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Taylor Elementary School beginning 9/4/20. (If Friday is a non-school day, the pick up will be bumped to the Thursday before).  


Parents are asked to complete the NWLSD Virtual Learner Meal Service Form by Wednesday at 12:00 pm EVERY WEEK, if you are interested in picking up meals to take home. In order to receive the meals, you will need to provide the student’s name & digital ID (located on the PaySchools app) or temporary ID issued by the school in order for us to scan the barcode & issue the meals. Virtual Learners will have the same Lunch menu as in-person learners.  The menus can be found by clicking here My School Menus.  Each weekly package will include: 


  • 5 breakfasts including fruit and/or fruit juice 
  • 5 lunches including milk, fruit and/or vegetable 
  • Heating, Prep and Storage instructions 


Packaged meals will not be prepared if a Meal Service Form is not submitted


Unlike the Summer Lunch Program, these meals will be charged to your student’s meal account according to their free, reduced, or full pay status. Our cafeterias will be going cashless this year.  All money MUST be in each account prior to submitting the Meal Service Order Form each Wednesday. At this time, we do not expect a waiver from USDA as we had in the spring, which allowed all meals to be served free of charge. Meals will be priced as shown below:

  • Breakfast: $1.50/day or $0.30 reduced ($7.50/week or $1.50/week reduced)
  • HS/MS Lunch: $2.85 or $0.40 reduced ($14.25/week or $2.00/week reduced)
  • Elementary Lunch: $2.60 or $0.40 reduced ($13.00/week or $2.00/week reduced)


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