Julie Billiart Schools’ COVID-19 and Distance Learning FAQs
The safety of our students, faculty, and staff remains our top priority. Please note that COVID-19 is a changing situation, and we update these FAQs as the situation demands.
Can I come to my school to pick things up?
At this time, we’re drastically limiting access to our school buildings. If you need to visit a school building to pick up supplies or materials to close out the school year, please work with the Principal of your school on approved pick up dates. At this time, our Lyndhurst campus is open on Wednesdays and our Akron campus is open Monday, May 4. We will issue a specific drop off process for school equipment at the end of the school year. All visitors to the building will be required to review, sign, and comply with new safety protocols.
How will graduation be held?
The graduation of our eighth graders is one of our most treasured traditions. As a community, we love to celebrate the tremendous growth of our students as they prepare for high school. While graduation will look a little different this year, it’s still on! This year we’re celebrating our first graduate from JB Akron, along with our eighth grade class at JB Lyndhurst. Graduation will be held Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at 6 p.m. at JB Lyndhurst. We will practice social distancing and will hold the event outside. Graduation will be followed by a vehicle parade through the neighborhood.
Are you offering speech and occupational therapy?
Yes! We are still providing the therapy services that your child requires. While the actual delivery may look different, our speech, music, art, and occupational therapists have created online resources and are available for virtual sessions if therapy is part of your child’s IEP.
Will you still hold Beyond Camp?
Unless cancelled due to restrictions from the Governor, we plan to hold Beyond Camp as planned from July 6th to July 31st. If camp is cancelled due to social distancing restrictions, we will issue a full refund. We’re preparing for a number of new safety protocols that camp staff and students will need to follow to make camp safe and successful. We will communicate any changes to camp as we learn more from the Governor. Beyond Camp is strategically structured and staffed to help prevent summer learning loss and promote social skills and academics through community-based experiences. If you’re interested in Beyond Camp, please visit the webpage today.
Is there a change in tuition because of distance learning?
Tuition for distance learning is the same as standard tuition for Julie Billiart Schools. All families are expected to continue their tuition payments, as we are providing a full education through distance learning. All tuition payments should be received, in full, by May 29, 2020. Tuition payments for the 2020-2021 school year will begin in June. If you are having difficulty paying your tuition, please reach out to us.
Will we be back in the fall?
We’re planning on it! Our topmost goal is the health and safety of our JB family. We also understand that children, ours in particular, benefit from our social curriculum and the structure of an in-person school day. We miss our kids deeply and are actively planning for next school year so that we can be prepared for different possibilities. Governor DeWine made clear that he is encouraged by superintendents and principals in the state and is discussing what a return in the fall might look like. We will be surveying JB families about their preferences and attitudes toward potential blended learning models in the event we will need them. JB will be prepared for whatever comes.
What makes JB’s distance learning special?
The reason you first chose JB for your child is the exact reason JB’s distance learning is special. Our commitment to your child is unparalleled. JB’s distance learning is led by certified intervention specialists who understand and adapt to your child’s unique learning needs. We offer virtual therapy sessions and activities, as directed by your child’s IEP, as part of your tuition. Our BCBAs offer office hours and extra support for any behavioral challenges that may arise during distance learning. Not least, as a small school community, we’re able to offer increased collaboration and innovation during this time. We’re proud of our schools’ responsiveness and out-of-the box thinking when faced with a global pandemic, and we’re committed to always leading with resourcefulness, flexibility, expertise, and transparency. We believe that the relationship we have with families and students has allowed us to be flexible and transparent during this difficult time.
Please remember that COVID-19 is temporary. There’s no doubt that it has had a frustrating impact on education, but it will pass. Your child will receive an exceptional education during distance learning AND after distance learning. We are committed to our kids through this entire journey, and we know that this is a small bump in the rewarding road toward graduation, high school, college, or wherever your child’s future will take him or her.
Will my child’s scholarship be affected?
Right now, there is no reason for us to believe that the Autism Scholarship or the Jon Peterson Scholarship will be affected by COVID-19. We remain in close contact with the State of Ohio about how scholarship funds are issued. Our COVID-19 Response Team and Board of Directors are speaking with lobbyists in the unlikely event that we need to rally together to support the scholarships that are so vital to our kids. The accessibility of our unique education relies on these funds, and our JB families rely on these funds. We will keep our community updated if anything changes.
How will you keep my child safe when we return?
Beginning May 1, 2020, we implemented strong protocols to ensure the health and safety of all Julie Billiart Schools students, faculty, staff, and visitors. These protocols apply to the spring and summer of 2020 (including Beyond Camp). As we approach the 2020-2021 school year and the return of students, we will share additional protocols, as well as an outbreak response plan. Our COVID-19 Response Team meets daily to discuss how we can safely bring students, faculty, and staff into our buildings. This will certainly include, but is not limited to, daily health assessments, social distancing requirements, sanitizing stations, limitations on visitor access and events, and thorough, daily cleanings of all school buildings.
Should I submit an application for next year?
If you, or someone you know, is interested in Julie Billiart Schools, now is a great time to apply. We’ve waived our application fee and our financial aid application fee (an $80 value) through October, 2020. This has been an illuminating time for all of us. If you’ve been at home with your child during this time, you may notice ways that he or she learns. You may notice certain behaviors and social skills that need support. You may wonder if your child is getting everything he or she needs from his or her current school. We are here for you as you explore these questions. We’d love to connect with you on a call, or for a scheduled visit or virtual open house. Please contact us at [email protected] with questions.
Are you monitoring IEP goals during distance learning?
Yes. We are still monitoring and measuring both academic and social/non-academic IEP goals. Our teachers continue to put in place academic, social, and behavioral tasks and scenarios to support your child’s IEP goals and to assist in data collection. As we continue our collaborative approach to educating the whole child, we’re working with parents to include them in the data collection process during distance learning.
How will you address potential learning loss?
Our approach to distance learning is grounded in our general, proven approach to education. For that reason, we don’t expect unnatural amounts of regression or learning loss. However, if you’re concerned that your child has regressed, we are prepared to offer additional supports when we return to school including more breaks throughout the school day that address academic fatigue, more attention on social and classroom behavior, good hygiene, and general expectations. When we return to school, we will do so with the grace and understanding that our children may need additional social and academic supports and guidance to acclimate back into the classroom. Our full-time BCBAs will aid in support, and our teachers will be trained to handle a healthy, happy return to the classroom.We have always monitored not only “loss” of learning, but also the speed at which students can recoup that learning. We have measures in place to ensure that any progress students may have lost during a summer break or during distance learning is regained.