Dear Norwood Students, Staff, and Families,
It is hard to believe that August is already here. The first day of school for K-12th grade students is right around the corner on Wednesday, August 25th! I truly hope that you have had time to relax, spend quality time with family, and that our students are ready and eager to return for the upcoming school year. Our staff has been hard at work preparing for the weeks ahead. We look forward to seeing our students back in the classrooms August 25th. Preschool students will return on September 7th.
The summer is a great time to reflect on the past year and to plan for new ways to make Norwood City School District an even better place for students. Our 2021-2022 District Priorities are:
- Accelerating academic achievement with full-time, in-person instruction supplemented with after school tutoring for learning recovery
- Supporting students’ social, emotional and mental health needs
- Supporting the health, safety, and wellness of students and staff
As we open the 2021-2022 school year, there are several new initiatives that we're excited to be implementing. Here's a sneak peek at some of the items you'll be hearing more about over the next several weeks and throughout the school year:
Technology to Amplify and Enhance Student Learning - As part of our K-12 comprehensive technology plan, our Chromebook technology will continue to be provided to all students K-12 in conjunction with classroom instruction. All classrooms have been updated with interactive display boards that allow teachers and students to share their learning and interact with one another in the classrooms.
Facility Improvements - We are excited to be nearing the completion of the renovation plans. Norwood View Elementary has been beautifully remodeled and is reopening this year. A tour of the building will be scheduled for August 24th from 4:00 to 5:30 pm.
Norwood High School renovation is still underway and will not be completed until the summer of 2022.
Williams Avenue Elementary is under construction and renovations will be completed in the summer of 2022. Williams Avenue Elementary students PK-5 have been temporarily relocated to the East Wing of Norwood Middle School.
Along with these upgrades, all students will have great air-conditioned learning environments when they come back to school on August 25th.We are not holding Open Houses this year due to COVID-19.
Social and Emotional Back-to-School Information - As a district, we recognize the importance of social-emotional health and look forward to partnering with you around the needs of your child(ren). The Norwood City School District has full-time school counselors in each building and two social workers district-wide to support the needs of all students. Additionally, we have mental health therapists in each building available through Talbert House.
We are very excited to announce the opening of our school based health center, Centerpoint Health, located at Norwood High School. Centerpoint Health is staffed with a nurse practitioner, a mental health nurse practitioner, and a dentist to meet students’ emotional and physical health needs.
Lastly, we have a full-time registered nurse, Jackie Fiora, and six health aides.
Food Service/Student Nutrition - Norwood has partnered with several other districts to provide delicious, yet nutritious, meals for our students. The partnership allows us to expand our menu and current offerings at lunchtime. If your child wishes to order any extra items at lunch Milford Nutrition Services will be coordinating our food service pre-payment plans. Several pages of information will be sent in a different email to explain how to set up a new account. Any money on accounts from last year have already been transferred to your Milford account. There are directions attached and numbers to call if you need assistance in setting up your account.
2021-2022 School Safety Handbooks & Plan - We shared our current plan for the 2021-2022 school year through email and on our website. As you have probably seen this summer, public health guidance around masking in schools continues to shift, and we are watching to see how our state and local public health organizations localize this guidance. As we continue to navigate through the pandemic, our goal is to keep students learning in our classrooms five days a week, provide the safest environments possible for students and staff, and to care for the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students during these changing times. We are updating the safely handbooks and will have them available by the end of the week.
Our Board of Education has aligned our guidance with the Ohio Department of Health which strongly recommends masks for staff and students preschool-12th grade. Our district strongly recommends mask wearing to keep your student from being quarantined this year, according to the revised guidance from the Ohio Department of Health. According to new quarantine guidance, if your child is wearing a mask and is exposed to a positive person, he/she will most likely not need to quarantine. This will allow him/her to stay in school and participate in extracurricular activities/athletics.
Please note that our DART team meets every Friday to track both the data from the district and the City. There will be times during the year, especially as we head into fall and winter, where Covid-19 spread develops and we will have to mandate masks in that classroom, building or the entire district. We will immediately communicate this to families and have masks available for students.
For back-to-school events taking place this week and next, students, staff, and families are strongly encouraged to wear a mask when inside our school buildings. We will communicate any changes to our 2021-2022 school year plan, if necessary. Thank you for your flexibility as we continue to create the best possible learning opportunities and environments for students.
Lastly, I will continue to provide updates on these initiatives as well, as other exciting news, as the school year begins. Enjoy the rest of your summer with family. We look forward to welcoming our students back to the classrooms on August 25th!
Mary A. Ronan