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  • OTHS Students, Families, and Employees:

    I hope you all are enjoying your summer and are finding time to spend with family and friends. It is hard to believe school will be starting in less than four weeks.  Although last year was a challenging time for all, we did get through it together.  We are excited about the 2021-2022 school year, and we believe it will more closely resemble a traditional school year.

    Recently the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) revised guidance regarding COVID mitigations in schools.  In her brief to schools on Friday, State Superintendent, Dr. Carmen Ayala, made the following declaration for Illinois public schools:

    "Beginning with the 2021-22 school year, all schools must resume fully in-person learning for all student attendance days, provided that, pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/10-30 and 105 ILCS 5/34-18.66, remote instruction be made available for students who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or who are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, only while they are under quarantine consistent with guidance or requirements from a local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health."

    In addition, Dr. Ayala highlights the following regarding masks per the CDC:

    "Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.”

    We have heard the IDPH and ISBE will be sending out a Frequently Asked Questions document, as the new CDC/IDPH/ISBE guidance generated many questions concerning the manner in which implementation of COVID mitigations will occur in schools.

    At this time, OTHS school leaders are working through the details of the new language and will provide a finalized, board-approved plan to our students, families, and employees as soon as we can.  Until that time, or until further direction is provided by CDC/IDPH/ISBE, OTHS will operate under the following procedures:

    1. Masks will be optional in school buildings for fully vaccinated individuals. 
    2. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should wear masks at any time when in OTHS school buildings or when they are unable to appropriately social distance while on school grounds.
    3. Masks are still required on public transportation, thus on a school bus.
    4. OTHS will not be asking for proof of vaccinations at this time.
    5. Individuals who have symptoms of illness are asked to refrain from coming to OTHS.

    With the new guidance being released only late Friday afternoon, there are still many details to be worked out by school districts.  School officials have multiple meetings this week that should enable us to provide greater clarification to our families and employees in the near future.  Your patience and support as we work through the implementation details for the start of school is greatly appreciated.

    Please remember, safety is always our first priority at OTHS.  School officials will continue to monitor COVID data and review guidance as it changes and evolves.  Should OTHS experience a COVID outbreak traced to our buildings, safety mitigations such as universal mask wearing may have to be reinstated.  We need to be ready to shift into approriate mitigation strategies based upon the status of the pandemic in our community.

    Again, I know there are still many questions.   We wanted to inform you of the procedures we are currently following. We intend to provide more a detailed plan and to have answers to many of the questions as soon as wecan.  Your Board of Education and Administration are working diligently to provide a great educational experience for the students, families, and employees we serve.

    More information will be forthcoming.

    As always, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at benwayd@oths.us  

     

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

  • 6/15/21

    Good Afternoon, OTHS Families,

    We hope this e-mail finds you well and enjoying summer activities with friends and family.

    We are reaching out to share information on the two most commonly asked questions for next school year. 

    Will a remote option be available for the 2021-22 school year?

    No, there will be no remote learning option for academic year 2021-2022.  The Illinois State Board of Education unanimously approved a “Resolution to Support In Person Learning” in regards to school year 2021-22.   As communicated in the ISBE resolution, ISBE expects all Illinois school districts to return to full in-person instruction in the Fall.   A copy of the resolution is attached for your reference.

    According to the resolution, “Beginning with the 2021-22 school year, all schools must resume fully in-person learning for all student attendance days, provided that, pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/10-30 and 105 ILCS 5/34-18.66, remote instruction be made available for students who are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and are under a quarantine order by a local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health.” 

    OTHS will therefore not offer a remote option for the 2021-22 school year unless a student is both ineligible for a vaccine and is under a quarantine order. 

    Will OTHS return to full school days?

    Yes.  The school day will be from 7:30 AM – 2:25 PM at Milburn and 8:00 AM – 2:55 PM at Smiley.  We look forward to having our students on campus next year for full academic days.

    There are a number of unanswered questions regarding expectations for next year and we ask for your patience as we develop and plan for a very exciting 21-22 school year. 

    Wishing you all the joys of summer,

  • Good Afternoon,

    We hope this e-mail finds you well and enjoying summer.

    As we prepare for next year, we value the feedback of our families in the education of your students.  To support this endeavor, we will have our annual Parent Teacher Advisory Council (PTAC) meeting on Tuesday, July 6 at 6:30 PM in the Smiley IMC.  You are welcome to attend. 

    The forum of this meeting does not provide the opportunity to discuss individual student matters.  If there are matters of a personal nature that pertain to your student, please reach out to the school and we will be happy to work with you individually.   Also, this meeting is not designed to address COVID matters as the plan is to have next year aligned to a “regular’ academic year.  Details on next academic year will be forthcoming in future communications. 

    The PTAC meeting is expected to be 75 minutes in length.  We will seek your input in five areas:

    1. The Student Handbook
    2. Academic Programming
    3. Student Opportunities
    4. School Safety
    5. Other

    Please know, you do not need to contribute to all five areas.

    To ensure we have space, please RSVP to Mrs. Sara Lebert leberts@oths with your name, e-mail address, number of your children that are attending/have attended OTHS. 

    Our thanks for your partnership and community support,

    Martha Weld, Ph.D.


     

  • RETURN OF TECHNOLOGY

    • Students who checked out an OTHS Chromebook, laptop, hotspot, and their appropriate charger must return the device in good working order by Friday, May 21st.
    • If school devices/chargers are not returned by May 21 in working order, students will be charged the full replacement cost of the specific device.
    • Smiley Campus-Return to the South Gym.
    • Milburn Campus-Return to the Cafeteria.

    RETURN OF MATERIALS TO CLASSROOM TEACHERS

    • Teachers will accept the return of materials directly to their classrooms. 
    • Students should check with teachers regarding items that are required to be returned.

    RETURN OF IMC BOOKS & CALCULATORS 

    • Students who checked out books or calculators from the IMC this year must return them by Friday, May 21st. Students will be charged for books and calculators not returned by this date. 

    Here are the following times students can return their devices:

    DATE

    MILBURN

    SMILEY

    Monday, May 17

    11:30 a.m. – 2:25 p.m.

    12:00 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.

    Tuesday, May 18

    11:30 a.m. – 2:25 p.m.

    12:00 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.

    Wednesday, May 19

    10:00 a.m.– 6:30 p.m.

    10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

    Thursday, May 20

    7:00 a.m. – 2:25 p.m.

    7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

    Friday, May 21

    7:00 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.

    7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

  • Email from Dr. Weld - 4/21/2021

    Good Afternoon,

    Although the days are cold and we had snowfall yesterday, spring is here and with it is the end of the year.  

    Attached is the schedule for the final week of the semester. Similar to last semester, we will not have final exams but will have a Course Concluding Week instead.  

    We wish you all well and hope your students are enjoying our first ever Spring Homecoming Week.

    Have a wonderful night,

    Martha Weld, Assistant Superintendent

    Course Concluding Week Spring 2021.pdf 

  • OTHS Parents, Guardians, and Students: 

    I hope you are enjoying the spring-like temperatures and that this email finds you well.  As we continue through the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, OTHS is in need of your assistance. 

    WELLNESS SCREENINGS 

    As vaccinations are rolling out across the country and in our communities, it appears that some of the safety mitigations OTHS has in place are not being followed.  We are seeing more individuals arrive at school having completed the wellness screening, yet having symptoms associated with COVID-19.  It is important that we all continue to follow protocols to keep our campus community safe.  If your student has any COVID-19 related symptoms, your student must remain home and is encouraged to get tested. As we open up our school buildings, it is imperative that we take personal responsibility for our wellness, thus protecting the wellness of others.  It is hoped that the vaccinations will soon bring an end to some of the safety mitigations that we must currently implement in our battle against COVID-19, but that day is not upon us yet.  Again, if you are not feeling well or have any COVID-19 symptoms, you must not come to either OTHS campus. 

    REMOTE v. BLENDED/IN-PERSON LEARNING 

    As we near the start of the fourth quarter, we are again seeking your input as to the instructional delivery choice you have for your student.  Our ability to provide additional opportunity for in-person learners in our building will depend upon the number of students who select remote v. blended/in-person instruction.  We are again surveying our families.  There is no guarantee that OTHS will be able to accommodate your request to change status at this time.  This survey will provide the district with data that will be evaluated to consider options for fourth quarter which will begin on March 15, 2021.    

    Before completing the survey at the link below, it is essential that you read the following important information regarding your response: 

    ONLY COMPLETE THE SURVEY IF YOU ARE REQUESTING A CHANGE IN YOUR STUDENT'S CURRENT STATUS AS A REMOTE OR BLENDED/IN-PERSON LEARNER. (The survey will need to be completed for each student requesting a change in the delivery of instruction.)

    If you select the remote learning option: 

    1. You are requesting that your student remain in remote learning for the remainder of the school year. 

    If you select the blended/in-person learning option: 

    1. You are requesting that your student be given the opportunity to attend in-person to the extend possible under OTHS’s Return to Learn Framework.  OTHS’s Return to Learn Framework allows for the following in-person levels: 

      • 25% blended learning (1 day per week student attendance 

      • 50% blended learning (2 days per week student attendance 

      • 100% blended learning (4 or 5 days per week student attendance) 

    The level of blended/in-person instruction that OTHS can deliver will be determined based on circumstances and risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Any of these options may be implemented.  Your selection of blended/in-person indicates that your student will attend in-person under any of these potential options. 

    1. You understand that if your student chooses in-person/blended learning and receives three (3) unexcused absences from any single class period of in-person instruction, the student will be automatically reclassified to remote learning for all classes for the remainder of the semester. Medical documentation for absences will be required. Students who choose in-person instruction are expected to attend classes in-person for their instruction.  It is disruptive to the teachers and the class environment for students to bounce between remote and in-person when they are supposed to be in class every day. 

    Please complete the survey at the link below by 12:00 noon on Monday, March 8th.  Again, you only should complete the survey if you wish to change the current status of receiving instruction. 

    https://www.quia.com/sv/1152205.html

    I know this school year has been challenging.  The good news is there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Thank you for your support and patience as OTHS has worked to provide a high-quality education for our students. 

     

    Yours for Excellence in Education,

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

  • Hello OTHS Family,

     It is time for school picture day!  Reminder to parents and students, it is critical that each student gets their photo taken. If a student does not get their photo taken, that student may not be in the yearbook. 

      Portraits will be taken on the following dates for in-person students:  

    • During Advisory classes on Tuesday, February 23, 2021
    • During Advisory classes on Wednesday, February 24, 2021
    • During Advisory classes on Friday, February 26, 2021

     Portraits will be taken on the following dates for virtual students:

    ·       Please use the link below to request a time to have your students' photos taken. Time slots are from 12:40 to 5:30. 

    o   Virtual sign up for Smiley https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090E4CA5A92EAAFE3-ofallon

    o   Virtual sign up for Milburn https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090E4CA5A92EAAFE3-ofallon1

      Where will portraits be taken:

    • Milburn: Milburn Main Gym
    • Smiley: Smiley Auditorium 

     Ordering your students photos:

    • If you are wishing to buy your students portraits, then click the link below and enter the following code “57496R”
    • Order Link -> WWW.inter-state.com

     

     

     SMILEY Advisory Schedule

     

    Tuesday February 23rd
                     
      3rd Hour   4th Hour   5th hour
      Hasenstab 626   Grossmann 1013   Hackmann 709
      James 500   Henry 302   Holdener 702
      Kruep 608   Herrington 506   Hollenkamp 504
      Martin 801   Hitzemann 401   Johnson 800
      Pierce 305   Hudson 405   Kazmierczak 304
            Joggerst 1017   Koster 1011
            Mayberry 810   Kraft 1023
            Merriman 414   Matthews 802
                     
    Wednesday February 24th 
                     
      3rd Hour   4th Hour   5th hour
      Clark 109   Gibson 107   Maxwell 810
      Haislar 100   Hamilton 110   Mennerick 202
      Kassa 111   Paproth 113   Metzka 901
      Albers 1018   Stephens 103   K. Mister 102
      Bauer 1019   Popejoy 1007   Prindable 601
      Beck 212   Riddle 412   Spencer 614
            L. Muniz 805   Stamer 811
            Sanchez 310   Ahlvin 307
            Boggs 312   Barker 1009
            Brueggeman 903   Basler 900
            Busse 306   Brooks 613
            Causey 1015      
                     
    Friday February 26th 
                     
      3rd Hour   4th Hour   5th hour
      Riley 1011   Schieppe 628   Steinkamp 801
      Sahr 208   Seipp 1025   Stosberg 113
      Schultz 405   Sewell 1024   Teague 112
      Shook 907   Speaks 411   Thoman 812
      Flowers 200   Thurman 408   Turkington 1005
      Greene 701   Vance 400   VonDerLinden 808
      Becker Trans. House   Watson 1020   Walters 705
      S. Copelin Trans. House   Scott 624   wilkerson 210
            Caveny 507   Burnett 204
            Day 1021   Clement 703
            Exton 1103   B Copelin 814
            Feldmann 906   Gomric 902

     

     MILBURN Advisory Schedule:

     

    Wednesday Feburary 24th 
                   
        4th Hour   5th hour    
        Cadagin 2411   C. Becker 1414    
        Eddy 2506   M. Feldmann 2509    
        Elfrink 2412   Hampshire 1412    
        Engelage 1414   Hattan 1513    
        Foehrkalb 2415   Issacs 1514    
        Harms 1517   Lodes 1510    
        Isom 2514          
        Judisak 2409          
        Keller 2406          
                   
    Friday Feburary 26
                   
        4th Hour   5th hour    
        Mattmiller 1416   Laugeay 2410    
        Melzer 1413   Maki 1308    
        Muniz 1413   Niebregge 1306    
        Pilackas 2407   Schuhardt 1516    
        Shearman 1509   Walker 1304    
        Tallman 1515   Wolf 1415    
        Walters 1418   Walsh 1507    
        York 1410          

    Kind Regards,

    Justin Jones

    Yearbook Adviser

    O’Fallon Township High School 

    600 S Smiley St., O’Fallon IL 62269

     

    Phone: (618) 632-3507 Ex. 686

    Web: https://www.oths.us/domain/113

    Email: justin.jones@oths.us

     

  • EMAIL FROM DR. BENWAY ON 2/5/2021

    OTHS Students and Families:

    February has started with many changes, so I wanted to share some information with you.

    First: OTHS re-opened its campuses for blended learning.  It was wonderful to have some of our students back in our buildings.  So many positives about blended learning were shared with me from teachers, students, and parents.  It appears the transition to blended learning this week was very successful.  With that said, OTHS monitored the in-person attendance numbers closely, as our top priority remains safety.  We have received requests by some families to switch from remote to in-person.  If we are able to make adjustments in the future based on in-person attendance trends, we will consider options.  

    Second: COVID-19 restrictions in Region 4 were lifted by the Governor on Thursday.  Our region moved from Tier 2 safety mitigations to Phase 4 mitigations.  This will allow OTHS to provide greater opportunities for students to engage in athletics, activities, and events.  OTHS will remain focused on safety as we begin to increase options to participate in athletics and activities, and as we plan for OTHS events.  Students should check with coaches and sponsors on the specifics for their sports or activities.  The good news is that the COVID-19 metrics in our region are improving.  Vaccines are being administered.  We all need to continue our efforts to practice safety mitigations so that we can continue to move closer toward normalcy.

    Third:  As the threat of inclement weather is in the forecast for next week, I wanted to share the district’s plans regarding snow days.  Should inclement weather cause unsafe travel conditions, OTHS will cancel school and have a snow day.  Many have inquired about the possibility of shifting to remote leaning when inclement weather occurs. I wanted to share with you the rationale why that is not the direction OTHS will be taking.

    • Not all teachers/paras have the ability to work remotely from home to instruct their students.  The District does not want teachers/paras driving to OTHS for their ability to delivery instruction in unsafe conditions.
    • Lesson plans may be disrupted for some classes whose in-person learning would be impacted.
    • Not all OTHS employees have duties that will allow them to work from home.  Some duties must be performed at OTHS.
    • ISBE requires lunches be provided on remote learning days, but not on snow days.  It would not be appropriate to ask Food Service workers to come into work to prepare lunches in unsafe conditions when other OTHS employees are not required to come to work due to safety concerns.  
    • A snow day may provide a nice break (day off) for both teachers and students during the stress of COVID-19. 
      • Just a side note:  I had one students ask me to please “not take away their snow days.”  She said she loves when she gets the call surprising her that she doesn’t have school.  She continued by saying that “COVID has ruined so many things, please don’t let it ruin snow days.”  I thought that was an interesting student perspective.
    • Districts build emergency days in the calendar for inclement weather.  OTHS has days in its calendar to accommodate a snow day.

    I know some schools may take a different approach for snow days.  I just wanted you to be prepared for OTHS plans to continue calling off school for snow days if appropriate.

    Thank you again for your support and partnership as we continue through this unusual school year. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. 

     

    Dr. Benway, OTHS Superintendent

  • EMAIL FROM DR. BENWAY 2/1/21

    OTHS Students and Families:

    Please note the following reminders as we begin blended learning tomorrow, Tuesday, February 2, 2021.  

    For In-Person Learners:

    • Parents/Guardians must certify the health status of their student(s) each day.  Students will not be allowed to board the school bus without a parent or guardian completing the health certification process.  Health certifications can be completed by parents/guardians online through Skyward, or by using the health certification form attached {form}.  Please see the tutorial to complete health certifications online through Skyward at https://www.oths.us/Page/8026.  Students should adhere to their in-person schedules unless ill and unable to meet the health screening requirements.
    • Students must wear their student IDs daily.
    • Masks must be worn.  Substitute face coverings such as gaiters or bandanas will not be allowed.  There is evidence to support double masking can further prevent spread of the virus and may provide an additional protective measure. 
    • Students must bring their electronic devices to school with them.   Devices should be fully charged and ready to use.  Students should also bring their charging cables.  The district is not able to provide devices to students who forget them and is not able to provide charging cables to students for their devices
    • Parking passes will not be required for the remainder of second semester.  Students will be required to park in the student parking lots in authorized spaces that are not reserved for faculty, handicapped, visitors and others as specified.

    For All students --- Remote and In-Person:

    • Please remember your teachers and other support service are available to assist you until 2:30 pm on the Milburn Campus and until 3:00 pm on the Smiley Campus.  
    • Meals will be available for pick up, from 12:00 to 1:30 at the Smiley main entrance every Monday and Thursday beginning February 1. On Mondays, students can pick up three lunches and three breakfasts. On Thursdays, students can pick up four breakfasts and four lunches.
    • Parents/Guardians are encouraged to log in to their student’s Skyward account to check their student’s attendance, grades, etc. https://skyward.oths.k12.il.us/scripts/wsisa.dll/WService=wsEAplus/seplog01.w.  Students that are absent from Remote and In-Person learning will be marked “Absent” in Skyward.  Students that log on as a Remote Learner will be marked “Remote Learning” in Skyward.  Parents/Guardians should contact the Attendance Office if their student will not be attending class in their designated manner.  In other words, if students are absent from their remote learning schedule, parents should contact the Attendance Office. Likewise, if students are scheduled to attend in-person, but are not attending in-person, parents should contact the Attendance Office (even if the student attends remotely). Students who are expected to be in-person learning but are consistently logging in remotely, may be permanently switched to 100% remote learning by the district. 

    As the situation with COVID-19 continues to change, we must be prepared for possible shifts in the delivery of instruction.  We are excited for tomorrow's transition to blended learning and the step closer to normalcy in our school buildings. 

    Have a great evening.

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

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  • EMAIL FROM DR.BENWAY - 1/13/2021

    OTHS Students and Families,

     As you are aware, prior to winter break, OTHS decided to remain in remote learning for the start of the second semester.  The plan was to continue to evaluate the COVID-19 metrics to determine when to open the doors to return to a level of in-person instruction.

    At this time, given the current spread of the virus in our community, it has been decided that OTHS will continue in remote learning until Monday, February 1st.  School leaders will continue to monitor the metrics.  The safety of our students and employees remains our top priority.

    We will continue to monitor Covid-19 metrics very closely and will keep you posted regarding if any changes in this plan become necessary. 

    Thank you for your partnership as we continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

     

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

  • Informational Email About Material Pick-Up for Spring 2021 Semester

    Good Afternoon,

    Happy New Year!  We are very excited for the start of a new semester and to once again connect with students.

    This e-mail is a reminder to all families about the material pick up for students tomorrow, January 5.

    Milburn will be open from 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM.  Smiley will be open from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.   Please note, parents or guardians must complete the Skyward Wellness check using the Skyward App or the COVID self-certification form.   A link to the paper copy of the Self-Certification form can be found here:  https://www.oths.us/Page/8026

    Students can drive to campus or use district provided transportation.  If driving, students are welcome to come anytime during the hours listed.  If riding a bus, students will be picked-up, spend one hour on campus, and return home at the times designated for your address.  Bus riders will be on the Milburn campus from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM and on the Smiley campus from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM.  However, bus pick up and drop off times vary by address.

    To find the bus times for your student, please click on the link below and type in your address and the grade level of your student.  You will be provided the location, bus number, pick-up and return time for your student. 

     https://ewa.edulogweb.com/ofallonil1web/webquery/

    Remote instruction for students will begin on Wednesday, January 6. 

    Wishing you all a wonderful semester and a safe and healthy 2021!

    Sincerely,

    Martha Weld, Assistant Superintendent

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Public Hearing - Annual Statement of Affairs Waiver

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  • EMAIL FROM DR. WELD ON 12/17/2020

     

    Good Afternoon,

    This is a reminder to all of our families to return instructional materials to OTHS on Friday, December 18th if your student has not yet done so.  Instructional materials include, but are not necessarily limited to novels, textbooks for semester only courses, and laptops to support business classes.  We are requesting your support as the return rate Tuesday – Thursday of this week has been very low and we need to distribute these instructional materials to students on January 5th.    An overview of the material return information and safety protocols has been pasted below for your reference.

    RETURN OF MATERIALS

    • Students are expected to return course materials at the conclusion of the semester.  Students should return materials to individual teacher classrooms.  Students should check with teachers regarding items that are required to be returned.
    • Students enrolled in business classes requiring laptops (not a Chromebook), must return those laptops to the IMC.
    • Materials can be returned to Milburn from 7:30 - 12:05 and Smiley from 8:00 - 12:35

    When students return materials, they must follow all COVID-19 safety protocols:

    1. PARENTS/GUARDIANS will be required to complete the health certification screening in order for their student to enter the building.  Parents/guardians may use electronic the screening tool in Skyward, or may complete a paper screening form.  Information regarding the use of the Skyward tool or a copy of the paper form can be accessed at COVID-19 Information and News / Student Wellness Certification Process (oths.us) .
    2. In order to keep the number of persons in the building to a minimum, parents/guardians will not be able to accompany their students into OTHS for material returns.  Parents and Guardians will not be allowed in the buildings unless a prior appointment has been made with district personnel.
    3. Masks are required and should be worn once students leave their vehicles and should not be removed until students are back in their vehicles.
    4. Social distancing is required at all times when in the building.
    5. Restrooms and drinking fountains will be closed.

    Have a wonderful break! 

    Stay Safe and Be Well,

    Martha Weld, Assistant Superintendent

  • EMAIL FROM DR. BENWAY 12/14/2020

    OTHS Students and Families:  

    Please review the End of First Semester document attached, as it has important information to close out the week.  The document contains information on the following:

    1. Schedule of class periods for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  
    2. Return of materials schedule for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

    When students return materials, they must follow all COVID-19 safety protocols:

    1. PARENTS/GUARDIANS will be required to complete the health certification screening in order for their student to enter the building.  Parents/guardians may use electronic the screening tool in Skyward, or may complete a paper screening form.  Information regarding the use of the Skyward tool or a copy of the paper form can be accessed at COVID-19 Information and News / Student Wellness Certification Process (oths.us) .
    2. In order to keep the number of persons in the building to a minimum, parents/guardians will not be able to accompany their students into OTHS for materials returns.  Parents and Guardians will not be allowed in the buildings unless a prior appointment has been made with district personnel.
    3. Masks are required and should be worn once students leave their vehicles and should not be removed until students are back in their vehicles.
    4. Social distancing is required at all times when in the building.
    5. Restrooms and drinking fountains will be closed.

    I hope you all have a great closure to first semester and that you are able to enjoy the holiday season.

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

  • EMAIL FROM DR. BENWAY 12/9/2020

    OTHS Students and Families:

    I hope you are all doing well and staying healthy.

    As we approach the end of the first semester, I wanted to share with you OTHS's plans for learning after winter break.   

    OTHS will begin the second semester in 100% remote learning.

    January 4th is scheduled to be an in-service workday for teachers.  A majority of the day will be available for teachers to prepare for classes to resume.

    January 5th will be a “planning day” and will NOT be a day of instruction.  It will be a day when students will be expected to come to OTHS to pick-up necessary materials.  Teachers will be in their classrooms and will issue textbooks and materials to students.  If students have technology needs or must exchange a device, a designated location to do so will be identified at each campus.  If students have questions regarding the start of a course for second semester, teachers will be able to address those questions.  Appointments to see guidance counselors or social workers can also be made for January 5th via their web pages.  If you have needs unique to your student to be addressed on January 5th, please contact your student's grade level assistant principal.

    Freshman              Ms. Dollison        dollisont@oths.us

    Sophomore            Mr. Patton           pattonc@oths.us

    Junior                     Mr. Howe            howed@oths.us

    Senior                     Mr. Wallis           wallisc@oths.us

    Transportation will be provided for students to both campuses on January 5th if needed.  Transportation pick-up and drop-off times will be sent out to our families later this week.  Students using district transportation will have an hour to get their materials before the bus will depart from OTHS for the return trip home.  Students not needing district transportation will be able to come to OTHS for material pick-up at any time throughout the day on January 5th.  Transportation schedules will be sent to students and families later this week.

    PARENTS/GUARDIANS will be required to complete the health certification screening in order for their student to enter the buildings.  Parents/guardians may use electronic the screening tool in Skyward, or may complete a paper screening form.  Information regarding the use of the Skyward tool or a copy of the paper form can be accessed at COVID-19 Information and News / Student Wellness Certification Process (oths.us).

    Students will be required to wear masks upon entry into OTHS and must practice social distancing.  Restrooms and drinking fountains will not be available for students on January 5th. 

    School leaders will continue to monitor COVID-19 metrics in early January.  The plan, at this time, is to return to some level of hybrid learning on January 19th if we are able to do so.  If not, we will push back the return to hybrid learning until appropriate.  It is hoped that any exposures or transmissions that occur over the holidays requiring quarantine will be completed by January 19th and will allow for a safe return to school.

    We wanted to get this information out to our students and families as soon as possible.  Additional details and information regarding the start of second semester will be forthcoming.

    Finally, I just wanted to remind you to complete the remote learning survey that was sent out in an email on Monday.  A survey for each OTHS student must be completed by 10:00 am on Friday, December 11th. You may access the survey at:

              http://www.quia.com/sv/1147504.html.  

    Have a great evening.

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

  • EMAIL FROM DR. BENWAY 12/7/2020

    OTHS Parents and Guardians,

    I hope you are enjoying the holiday season and that all the members of your family are staying healthy. 

    This email includes a link to a survey where you will be asked to identify the instructional preference you have for your OTHS student(s) for second semester – 100% remote learning, or some level of in-person learning.  If you choose 100% remote for your student(s), we ask that you make that choice with the intention of remaining in remote learning for the semester.  However, OTHS will continue to review metrics and will consider if it is appropriate to allow for changes from remote to in-person at the end of the quarter.  Students who are 18-years old may complete the survey on their own behalf.

    At this time, we do not know what level of in-person instruction will be appropriate in January and beyond.  OTHS’s Return to Learn Framework allows for the following in-person levels:

    • 25% blended learning (1 day per week student attendance)
    • 50% blended learning (2 days per week student attendance)
    • 100% blended learning (4 or 5 days per week student attendance)

    OTHS will monitor COVID-19 metrics, recommendations of the CDC, IDPH and ISBE, and staffing availability to determine appropriate in-person levels that may be implemented.  At this time, we do not know what level of in-person instruction, if any, will be implemented for the second semester.  The situation with COVID-19 spread is constantly changing and OTHS will continue to follow what health departments and governing agencies advise.

    The due date for the survey is 10:00 am on Friday, December 11th.  To access the survey, please click on the link below:

         http://www.quia.com/sv/1147504.html

    Special Education students in self-contained class rooms will continue to attend in-person under the same schedule as first semester. 

    Regarding the final two weeks of first semester, I have attached the same information that was sent last week which explains that the traditional “finals week” has been replaced by “course concluding periods”.  The schedule for the remainder of first semester and when to turn in course materials is also provided in the document. (End of First Semester Info)  Information on the process to receive course materials for second semester will be forthcoming.

    Please encourage your student to finish up the semester with strong efforts to complete any missing assignments and to stay focused through the course completion activities.

    Thank you for your continued support and partnership during this most unprecedented school year.

     

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

  • Email From Dr. Benway to OTHS Students and Families 11/30/2020

    OTHS Students and Families,

    It is hard to believe that December is here and that we are nearing the end of the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year.

    Please thoroughly review the attached document as it contains important information regarding the close-out of first semester, and also some brief information regarding second semester.

              End of 1st Semester Information 

    I hope you all keep warm as the December chill descends upon us.  Thank you for your continued support of OTHS.

    Panther Safe! Panther Strong!

     

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

  • Email from Dr. Benway on 11/20/2020

    Good Afternoon, OTHS Families,

    The following e-mail contains information about meal deliveries and meal pick up times that will begin the week of November 30.  We recognize food insecurity is a challenge for many of our families and OTHS is working to minimize that concern. 

    Meal Pick Up Dates and Times

    Meals will be available for pick up, from 12:00 to 1:30 at the Smiley main entrance.  On Mondays, students can pick up three lunches and three breakfasts.  On Thursdays, students can pick up four breakfasts and four lunches.   The dates for pick up will be:

    • Monday, November 30
    • Thursday, December 3
    • Monday, December 7
    • Thursday, December 10
    • Monday, December 14
    • Thursday, December 17
    • Monday, December 21 - additional meals will be provided as pick up is limited to one day this week
    • Monday, December 28 - additional meals will be provided as pick up is limited to one day this week

    Beginning the week of November 30, 2020

    Meal delivery will be on Mondays and Thursdays from November 30 - December 17.  On Mondays, 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches, and on Thursdays, 4 breakfasts and 4 lunches, will be provided to each student. Students must have on a mask when they approach the OTHS white busses or OTHS Suburbans.  Students do not need to have on their ID.  I f a student is ill and unable to pick up their meals, a parent or sibling can pick it up for them.  To maximize everyone's safety, meal delivery will be contactless.   

    Dates for Meal Deliveries:

    • Monday, November 30
    • Thursday, December 3
    • Monday, December 7
    • Thursday, December 10
    • Monday, December 14
    • Thursday, December 17

    Times and Locations for Deliveries are as Follows:

    ROUTE 1

    TIME

    LOCATION

    12:28

    1100 Eastgate Drive

    12:34

    Markus Drive and Tobias Drive (Playground)

    12:45

    Lake Suzanne MHP and 301 N Main street (office) road.

    12:55

    Linwood Drive and Linden Drive

    1:03

    Eagles Landing Drive and Sky Hawk Drive

    1:16

    Ponderosa Ave and Bristlecone Drive

    1:27

    Donna Drive and Georgetowne Drive

    1:37

    Park Entrance Place and N. Yale Drive

    1:48

    Lee Drive and Estate Drive

    1:56

    Estate Drive and E. Jefferson Street

    ROUTE 2

    TIME

    LOCATION

    12:40

    1106 Woodleaf Drive

    12:45

    White Oak Drive and Maces Grove Rd

    12:53

    White Oak Drive and N. Cherry Street

    1:04

    Juniper Drive and Persimmon Drive

    1:14

    Countryside Lane and Center Grove Drive

    1:25

    Cottage Hill Drive and Renee Drive

    1:37

    Meadowbrook Drive and Blackhills Drive

    1:50

    Old Collinsville Road and Autumn Pine Drive

    1:58

    Crestview Drive and Creekview Drive

    2:09

    45 Ludwig Drive

    2:14

    Castle Acres Dr (at the playground)

     

    Wishing you all a safe and wonderful holiday. 

  • Email from Dr. Benway to OTHS Families 11/17/2020

    OTHS Students, Families, and Employees,

    COVID-19 has been difficult for all of us to maneuver through this fall, and it has certainly taxed our educational systems.

    The Board of Education has been in collaborative discussions with the O’Fallon Federation of Teachers regarding the changing working conditions occurring during this COVID-19 pandemic.  We are all aware that St. Clair County and our local communities have experienced a significant spike in the incidents of COVID-19.  While there has not been a confirmed transmission at OTHS, related quarantines are impacting OTHS’s ability to operate effectively.  Staffing classrooms during days when students are in attendance is becoming increasingly difficult.

    The number of positive COVID-19 cases impacting our OTHS school community has been increasing.  OTHS had 1 active case at the beginning of November, then 6 cases after the first week, to 9 cases after the second week, and now, today, 18 active cases. 

    This afternoon, Governor Pritzker placed the entire state of Illinois under Tier 3 mitigations effective Friday, November 20th.

    In determining the Board’s course of action related to in-person learning for the remainder of the semester, the board and administration considered the Governor’s action, staffing difficulties, decreasing student attendance for in-person instruction, increasing incidents of COVID-19 related to OTHS, the input from our union, the input of our attorney, and metrics from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Based on all of this information, the administration recommended that the appropriate course of action would be to shift back to remote learning through the end of first semester.  The Board of Education voted tonight in support of that recommendation.  OTHS will shift back to remote learning effective Monday, November 23, 2020, under the OTHS Return to Learn Framework that was adopted this summer.  

    OTHS will continue its efforts to support students academically and in the areas of social/emotional health.

    We all understand the disappointment of our families and students who are wanting in-person instruction at this time.  We are disappointed, too.  Our goal is to take the action today to shift into remote learning now, in the hope that we can return to full in-person instruction in the near future.

    Panther Safe!  Panther Strong!

    Dr. Benway

  • 10/14/20 - Email from Dr. Benway to OTHS Students and Families

    OTHS Students and Families:

    Blended learning begins tomorrow, October 15th!  We are so excited to see many of our students that have chosen to attend school in-person as assigned under the 50% blended learning model.  As we open our school buildings tomorrow, I am again attaching the FAQ document for your review.  Please refer to the FAQ document for the schedule regarding which groups attend on each day and other detailed information. (FAQs Blended Learning

    As OTHS has prepared for our students to return, I encourage families to review the safety video and documentation prepared by Mr. Wallis, member of the OTHS Safety Committee (https://www.oths.us/Page/8029).  Members of the faculty, staff, and administration have worked diligently to implement protocols to support the safe return to partial in-person instruction.  

    OTHS doors will be open as follows:

                    7:00 am for Smiley Early-Bird students

                    7:30 am for all other Smiley students

                    7:00 am for Milburn students

    In addition, please note the important reminders below for those students who will be attending in-person:

    • Masks must be worn.  Substitute face coverings such as gaiters or bandanas will not be allowed (FAQ 2.2).
    • Students must bring their electronic devices to school with them (FAQ 1.11).   Devices should be fully charged and ready to use.  Students should also bring their charging cables.  The district is not able to provide devices to students who forget them and is not able to provide charging cables to students for their devices
    • Parents/Guardians must certify the health status of their student(s) each day.  Students will not be allowed to board the school bus without a parent or guardian completing the health certification process (FAQ 2.1).  Health certifications can be completed by parents/guardians online through Skyward, or by using the health certification form attached {form}.  Please see the tutorial to complete health certifications online through Skyward at https://www.oths.us/Page/8026.
    • Attendance will be taken for in-person and remote learners (FAQ 1.24)
    • Parking passes will not be required for the remainder of first semester (FAQ 3.5).  Students will be required to park in the student parking lots in authorized spaces that are not reserved for faculty, handicapped, visitors and others as specified.
    • Meals will be available to students both in remote and in-person learning (FAQ 3.3).

    To continue our efforts regarding mental/emotional health, OTHS has implemented a new process for scheduling social work services.  Students may schedule an appointment with a social worker by simply using their cell phone to scan the QR code on the attached document. (Social Work QR Codes)  The document with QR codes will be displayed throughout both campuses. 

    As shared previously, the goal of our Return to Learn Framework is to provide the highest quality of academic instruction and extracurricular opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, while prioritizing the safety, mental health, and physical health of our students and employees.  We all have a responsibility to do all that we can to endure the safety of the OTHS community.

    Again, I ask parents and students to be patient during the transition.  Blended learning under the 50% model will be new to all of us.  As with anything new, there may be some glitches to be worked through, and some adjustments required as we get underway.  We must be mindful that this is a new way of teaching and learning, and education will be delivered under a new environment with masks, technology, and needed safety protocols.  Patience and grace will be very important as we work through this transition.  We have amazing students and educators at OTHS.  We must work together in a positive manner as we create, and eventually master, the blended learning experience for both the remote and in-person learners.

    Be well.

    Dr. Benway

  • 10/9/20 - Email from Dr. Benway to OTHS Students and Families

    OTHS Students and Families,

    I hope all is well with you as we look ahead to fall weather and the start of second quarter.  As we move into second quarter and the transition to blended learning, we wanted to provide you with some updated information.  We have updated our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document and encourage all students and families to read through it.  The FAQ document is attached here:  FAQ 10/09/20 

    We ask parents and students to be patient during the transition.  Blended learning under the 50% model will be new to all of us.  As with anything new, there may be some glitches to be worked through, and some adjustments required as we get underway.  We must be mindful that this is a new way of teaching and learning, and education will be delivered under a new environment with masks, technology, and needed safety protocols.  Patience and grace will be very important as we work through this transition.  We have amazing students and educators at OTHS.  We must work together in a positive manner as we create, and eventually master, the blended learning experience for both the remote and in-person learners. 

    Important items to note:

    • Masks must be worn.  Substitute face coverings such as gaiters or bandanas will not be allowed (FAQ 2.2).
    • Students must bring their technology device to use when at school (FAQ 1.11).
    • Parents/Guardians must certify the health status of their student(s) each day.  Students will not be allowed to board the school bus without a parent or guardian completing the health certification process (FAQ 2.1).
    • Attendance will be taken for in-person and remote learners (FAQ 1.24)
    • Parking passes will not be required for the remainder of first semester (FAQ 3.5).

    Important dates for next week:

    • No school Monday, October 12th and Tuesday, October 13th.  These are planning days for educators.
    • Wednesday, October 14th will be a testing day for juniors and seniors who signed up for the SAT/PSAT/NMSQT.  Not school for those not testing.

    We look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead as we transition to blended learning.   We will continue efforts toward our goal of providing high quality educational and extracurricular opportunities for our students while maintaining safety as the top priority.

    Panther Safe! Panther Strong.

    Dr. Benway

  • 9/29/2020 - Email From Dr. Benway to OTHS Families and Students

    OTHS Students and Families,

    OTHS has created a calendar for the months of October, November, and December that includes the transition to blended learning.  The calendar is attached here: Blended Calendar.  It will also be posted on the OTHS website at www.oths.us.

    Important dates to note in the calendar:

    • October 9th - Teacher In-Service on Employee Wellness - No Student Attendance (remote or in-person)
    • October 12th - Remote/Blended Planning Day - No Student Attendance (remote or in-person)
    • October 13th - Remote/Blended Planning Day - No Student Attendance (remote or in-person)
    • October 14th - SAT/PSAT/NMSQT Testing - Only Juniors/Seniors who are testing should report to school
    • October 15th - Blended learning begins

    Reminder regarding the assignment of learning groups:

    • Group A:  Last Names Beginning with A through D
    • Group B:  Last Names Beginning with E through K
    • Group C:  Last Names Beginning with L through R
    • Group D:  Last Names Beginning with S through Z

    Remember that we must all be flexible and able to adapt as circumstances surrounding COVID-19 change.  OTHS will continue to monitor metrics, OTHS incidents, and other items related to COVID-19 and will adjust plans if appropriate to do so.  

     

    On another note, I am very excited to announce the OTHS Virtual Open House.  You may access the open house at the following link ( www.oths.us/openhouse ) or on the OTHS web site.  Our faculty and staff have worked very hard to provide our families access to information regarding their student's classes, support services, athletics, clubs and activities, etc.  We hope families will take the time to see all of the great things OTHS has to offer our students.

     

    Thank you, again, for your support and partnership throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

     

    Stay well.  

     

    Panther Safe.  Panther Strong.

     

    Dr. Benway