JB Westlake: Opening in 2021

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

We're coming to Westlake, Ohio! JB Westlake will open to grades K-4 in August, 2021. Schedule a visit or apply today.

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Campuses

Welcome to Julie Billiart Schools, a family of K-8 coeducational, independent day schools for children with learning differences.

Overview

Questions about Julie Billiart Schools? These FAQs are a great place to start. Don't see your question? Reach out to us, today!

Academic & General

For more information about our curriculum, click here.

What makes JB different from other schools?

The difference is in our rich, 65+ year history of educating children with learning differences, coupled with our transformative, whole-child approach, and accepting environment. Julie Billiart Schools are unique in the fact that our kids receive seven hours of direct intervention each day. All of our teachers are certified, intervention specialists. Included in the cost of tuition, our students receive onsite speech, occupational, music, and art therapies. All JB campuses feature a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst to guide and support faculty and parents.

What grades does JB serve?

Julie Billiart Schools are co-educational day schools for grades K-8. We accept applications on a rolling basis for all grades. Some JB schools have a waitlist for certain grades.

Are Julie Billiart Schools Catholic?

Yes. Julie Billiart Schools are deeply rooted in the Catholic faith and accept children from all faith backgrounds. Students are expected to participate in religion class, weekly prayer services, and mass when celebrated during the school day.

Does my child have to wear a uniform?

Yes. Julie Billiart Schools partners with Lands' End for comfortable uniforms. Many of our families participate in a uniform swap each year to exchange gently used uniforms as kids grow. Order your uniform, here.

Is transportation available?

Depending on where your family lives, bus transportation may be available. Certain public school districts provide free transportation to Julie Billiart Schools. Contact your home school district transportation department for more information. For families that wish to drive their children to school or coordinate carpool transportation with other families, our drop-off/pick-up procedures are both convenient and safe.

What curriculum does JB follow?

Julie Billiart Schools are accredited by the Ohio Catholic Schools Accrediting Association (OCSAA) as part of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland through the State of Ohio and follow the Cleveland Catholic Diocese and Ohio Department of Education course of studies. Course work includes language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, physical education, and religion. For more information about our curriculum and academics, click here.

Admissions

General Questions

For more information about our admissions process, click here.

How are admissions decisions made?

All completed applications are reviewed by our Administration Team. If eligible, your child will then be invited to the school for an individualized assessment and observation.

Admission decisions are based on your child’s readiness and potential to benefit from our program. The school principal will typically notify the family within 7-10 days of a decision.

Are scholarships available to help with the cost of tuition?

If your child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) from your home school district, he or she is qualified for one of two scholarships offered by the state of Ohio. Visit our Scholarships page for more information

What happens if space is not available at my child’s grade level?

If space is not available at your school of interest at the time of the admission decision, your child will be placed on a waitlist and notified when space becomes available. Because of our small class sizes, we encourage families to complete and return the admissions application as early as possible.

We also encourage families to explore potential openings at other JB campuses. Regardless of the location, families can expect the same exceptional education programs and services at all three schools.

Does my child need to be a practicing Catholic to attend JB?

No. Julie Billiart Schools welcome all faith traditions, however, students are expected to participate in religion class, weekly prayer services, and mass when celebrated during the school day.

Is there a fee to apply?

Typically, yes. There is a $50 nonrefundable fee to submit an application. This fee is a reduced processing fee that allows our team to thoughtfully review your application and helps to cover the cost of our secure application system.

However, we have currently waived this fee through October, 2020. Now is a great time to apply to Julie Billiart Schools.

Does a student need to have an official diagnosis to enroll at JB?

Almost every JB student has an official diagnosis that qualifies him or her to receive special education services. Diagnoses, and IEPS, are helpful because they communicate common language, issues and needs.

However, we do not require students to have an educational or medical diagnosis – although available scholarship funding is contingent upon an IEP.

Does JB serve 2e and gifted children?

We do have a small population of twice exceptional (2e) children who need extra emotional and social support. While we can differentiate and meet the needs of 2e, we don't have a specific gifted program.

Is there an application deadline?

No. Julie Billiart Schools offers rolling admissions, which means we can accept a student at any point in the school year if space is available. Tuition is prorated to the time of enrollment. Note that some campuses have a waitlist for certain grades.

We encourage you to apply as soon as you’re ready so that we can begin to process your application. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they’re received.

What if I can’t attend an Open House?

We believe that visiting our Schools is the best way for parents to find out if Julie Billiart Schools are the right place for their child. We recommend attending an Interested Parent Open House in the year prior to enrolling your child.

However, because we have a limited number of Open Houses each year, that’s not always possible. If you can’t attend an Open House at your campus of interest, please consider:

  • Attending an open house at a different JB campus. All schools offer the same onsite therapies, direct intervention, and small class sizes. Even if it’s not the campus you’ve applied to, any JB Open House will give you a feel for what to expect.
  • Scheduling a one-on-one visit by emailing admissions@jbschool.org
  • Watching a recorded JB Open House
How are applicants evaluated?

Julie Billiart Schools exist to serve students who have a learning difference that is not adequately being met in the student’s current school setting. Through our application and assessment process, students are evaluated to ensure they are a good fit with Julie Billiart Schools.

A “good fit” is a mutual decision by our Principals and parents of the applicant. We look for children who are willing to try a new school environment, who are open to flexibility and change, who strive to get along with their peers, and who remain open to the learning process.

We expect the same collaboration, openness, and flexibility from parents. Students must adhere to our student handbook and code of conduct

Is there an age requirement for Kindergarten applicants?

Yes. Applicants for Kindergarten must turn five on or before August 1 of the school year in which they will enter Julie Billiart Schools. All enrolled students must be able to use restroom facilities independently.

What behavioral considerations should I keep in mind?

Our certified intervention specials and onsite board certified behavior analysts are accustomed to a variety of behaviors and strategies that students bring to JB. We understand and have empathy for students who use the functions of behaviors to avoid or distract from situations in which they feel like they can’t succeed.

In many cases, when children are in an environment like JB, these behaviors can be reversed. Our BCBAs work closely with teachers and parents to provide behavioral supports that help students process emotions in a healthy way. However, we can’t adequately serve students whose behavior physically or emotionally threatens the learning process, or the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Our program is not designed to serve students with persistent or severe behavior problems. When your child comes to observe, we may invite our BCBA to the meeting to help identify what services we can offer your child. If you’re concerned about your child’s behavior and whether or not it would impact his or her success at JB, please reach out to us via email at admissions@jbschool.org.

Admissions

Financial Aid Questions

For more information about financial aid, click here.

What is the difference between scholarship and financial aid?

Julie Billiart Schools is a provider of two state scholarships - the Autism Scholarship and the Jon Peterson Scholarship. Depending on eligibility, families should first apply for one of these scholarships, as they often cover a large percentage of our tuition.

After completing a scholarship application, families can apply for additional financial aid as needed. Please know that financial aid is available to all families who demonstrate need, and that it is offered on a first-come basis.

When should I apply for financial aid?

New applicants should apply for financial aid when they begin the enrollment process, provided they are applying for the current year. For those applying a year ahead, the deadline is March 31 for Kindergarteners and February 28 for all others.

Families seeking financial aid will complete the online application available on FACTS. Julie Billiart Schools reviews completed financial aid applications in the order in which they are received and determines eligibility for aid.

For more information, click here.

When should I apply for a scholarship?

If this is your first time applying for a Jon Peterson or Autism Scholarship, you’ll want to apply in tandem with your Julie Billiart Schools admissions application.

For more information, click here.

Is there a fee to apply for financial aid?

Typically, yes. There is a $30 fee to submit a financial aid application. However, we have currently waived this fee through October, 2020.

I’m not sure if my child would qualify for financial aid. Should I still apply?

Yes. Each year, our Financial Aid Committee considers applicant’s income, assets, debts, and other financial responsibilities. After reviewing these items, many families are eligible to receive financial aid; therefore we strongly encourage everyone to apply for financial aid each year.

Is my financial information confidential?

Yes. All financial information is held in strict confidence by our third-party system, FACTS, and the Financial Aid Committee.

Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?

Yes. Each student's financial need will be recalculated annually. Therefore, parents are required to reapply each year. All financial aid awards are contingent upon payment in full of the prior year's account.

Does JB offer payment options?

Yes. Parents can choose from monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or one time up-front payments. They may choose a payment due date of the 5th or 20th of the month.

Where does financial aid come from?

As a whole, Julie Billiart Schools are funded through the generous support of donors and community partners. Julie Billiart Schools’ staffing model and highly-specialized environments and supports mean that more than 80 percent of our costs are fixed.

As a network, Julie Billiart Schools are deeply committed to keeping tuition and fees as low as possible by raising support and controlling our operating costs.

What is the cost of tuition?

Tuition for the 2020-2021 school year is $27,540 per student. This cost is offset by scholarship and/or financial aid dollars.

For more information, please click here.

What expenses are not covered in tuition?

An annual academic fee, uniforms, textbooks, some extracurricular costs, and Beyond Camp, Aftercare are not covered within JB tuition. For more information, please click here.

For more FAQs about school hours, transportation, curriculum and academics, visit our general FAQ page.

Giving Questions

For more information about supporting Julie Billiart Schools through a gift, click here.

What does Julie Billiart Schools do with my gift?

The generosity of our donors helps all areas of Julie Billiart Schools. Gifts help to support daily operations, programs, and tuition assistance to those families that would otherwise not be able to afford a Julie Billiart School education.

Can I designate which school campus will benefit from my gift?

Yes, you can designate which school benefits from your donation. Our easy, secure online form allows you to designate a campus. If sending a donation by mail, please send in a note indicating which school you would like to designate the gift or write in the memo line on the check.

How much should I give?

All gifts, regardless of size, are vital in helping Julie Billiart Schools meet its financial obligations and goals.

Why does Julie Billiart Schools need The Julie Fund?

Contributions to The Julie Fund are vital because they support the daily life of the School, funding a portion of our operating budget. Annual Fund gifts help us ensure the JB Way.

Who is asked to participate in The Julie Fund appeal?

Members of the Board of Directors, faculty and staff, current parents and parents of alumni, alumni, grandparents, and friends are all invited to participate with a gift that is meaningful to them.

Is my gift to Julie Billiart Schools tax deductible?

Yes! As a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, all monetary gifts to Julie Billiart Schools are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Upon receipt of your donation, the Advancement Office will send you an official acknowledgment of your gift.

Is my personal information safe with JB?

JB respects the privacy of its donors. We do not sell, trade, or share our donor list with any other organization. In addition, Julie Billiart School subscribes to the Donor Bill of Rights, which was created by the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel (AAFRC) and others. Our staff also subscribes to the AFP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards of Professional Practice. All credit card transactions are processed securely using Blackbaud Merchant Services. We do not store or save your credit card data on our servers.

COVID-19

These FAQS were last updated on August 5, 2020. This is a rapidly changing situation and our responses to these questions are subject to change. Families will be notified of any changes to these FAQs. *An asterisk denotes a question that was asked by a parent in one of our two Parent Forums on July 15, 2020.

For more information about Julie Billiart School's COVID-19 response, click here.

COVID-19

General Questions

Learning formats, regression, intervention, scholarships, general anxiety, etc.

What learning formats or options are available for the 2020-2021 school year?

Julie Billiart Schools strongly believes (and research supports) that children with learning differences benefit from an in-person, highly-personalized approach to education. In our 2020 End of Year Satisfaction Survey, nearly all of our parents reported that they wanted their kids in school five days a week. We couldn’t agree more, and we’ve painstakingly prepared for a safe and socially-distanced return to school for our kids. We are currently offering two options: Option One is an in-person, 5-day-a-week format and Option Two is a virtual 5-day-a-week format. Both options follow a structured full-day schedule. The virtual option will be available for one quarter at a time for qualified families. Julie Billiart Schools reserves the right to phase out this option as the COVID-19 crisis wanes.

Can students have access to both teaching models, or take a hybrid approach in which they’re in-person part-time and learning from home part-time?

No. We’re assessing this on a quarter-by-quarter basis. Whatever option you choose must be for the full quarter so that we assign staff appropriately. Keep in mind that while some public schools are offering hybrid approaches, they’re doing so to keep class sizes small. Julie Billiart Schools already operates at a maximum 8:1 student to teacher ratio with two classrooms per grade. We are able to safely social distance will ALL of our students in the school at the same time.

How quickly can a student obtain option two if they are sick or in quarantine?

This transition can happen immediately. Our Virtual Learning Specialist will work with the student and family to make a swift maneuver to option two.

How will you address potential learning loss?

Our spring of 2020 approach to distance learning was 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.

Will intervention specialists be available to help with student anxiety and regression?

Yes. We are extremely mindful of the anxiety and potential regression that can come from this situation. Not only our intervention specialists but also our therapists will be assisting in this process. Intervention specialists and speech therapists will work together to devise a plan and provide support and interventions to lower anxiety or bring a student back up to speed. We also have our art therapist, who can continue to provide one on one support to help students cope with what's going on and provide appropriate support so that anxiety doesn’t play a part in academic development.

Will the school calendar change at all?

August 25, 2020, is our targeted start date, regardless of the mode of education (in-person or distance). At this time, we have no plans to change the school calendar, as we do not anticipate a mandatory shut down. However, we understand the possibility of needed adjustments to the calendar to ensure continuity of learning. Our COVID-19 Response Team has modeled a few different calendar options that would be minimally disruptive to students, families, and faculty and staff, including added minutes of instructional time throughout the day and revised winter or spring breaks and holidays.

Why should I continue to send my child to JB during COVID-19?

First, please know that we support you in whatever decision you make during these challenging times. As teachers and parents of our own little ones, we have nothing but empathy for parents who are trying to make the best decision for their kids. We know from experience, regression data, and research that children with learning differences need individualized attention and social interaction to thrive. That’s why we’ve worked so hard to make sure we can safely operate with all students in the building during the 2020-2021 school year. While distance learning is not our ideal scenario, we have thoroughly researched, invested, and planned for a distance learning option that soars above the distance learning that is offered by public school districts. Though the delivery of our whole-child education is different, we have not compromised the quality.

We’re all struggling with questions about COVID-19, but one thing we do know for certain is that it’s temporary. Our alumni repeatedly share how well their JB education has served them in life. Remember that at JB, your child is supported by daily individualized academic, social, and emotional activities and lessons. This is a small bump in a very long and successful road. We encourage you to stay the course and reap the long term benefits.

It’s also important for us to let you know that removing your child from JB would open up his spot to a child on our waitlist. We already have new parents inquiring about a spot at JB next year, and expect more to come as public schools struggle to deliver individualized distance learning for kids like ours. Consider the possibility that, if you wanted to re-enroll your child later this year or next, we may not be able to immediately get him or her back into the school. This is ultimately your decision, but we wanted to make you aware.

Will my child’s scholarship be affected?

As budgets need to be cut, this is an area that could be changed by the Governor. However, right now, we do not anticipate any changes to the Autism Scholarship or the Jon Peterson Scholarship amounts in the 2020-2021 school year. 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.

Why is JB’s full tuition still in place?

Tuition remains the same because our educational services remain the same. Our certified intervention specialists, therapists, and staff are working harder than ever to make sure your child is receiving our award-winning education - whether you’ve selected our in-person or distance option. Your child’s tuition directly supports the salaries of our teachers. It is our staffing model that allows JB to continue to offer an outstanding education and supporting therapies, activities, and resources.

Unlike other schools that are offering distance learning, Julie Billiart Schools provide live webcam feeds for each classroom, a full course load of take-home materials, office hours with BCBAs and therapists, virtual speech, music, and art therapy sessions, and one-on-one support for students and their parents. During the school year, if you are having difficulty paying your tuition, please reach out to us.

How do you plan on presenting/explaining the difference in the atmosphere to the students without causing any anxiety?

As we go into the next school year, we know that there will be a number of concerns from students about the new environment. It’s new for them, and for all of us, to wear masks and keep six feet apart. However, this is no different from the many social situations our kids are faced with day-to-day and we will approach this new social challenge in the way we approach all social challenges. We recognize that we’ll need to dedicate time, energy, and intervention toward making students feel comfortable with social distancing and mask-wearing. Our therapists and intervention specialists will be working with kids to understand the procedures. We will be dedicating an enormous amount of time to supporting our kids through this.

What about PAC? Will that still exist and what will it look like?

We receive a tremendous amount of support for a number of different student activities and family activities from our Parent Action Committees. PAC will still play a major role, even if their support will look different. When school starts, we will be limiting parent and visitor access to the buildings. We will find creative ways for PAC to gather and support our kids and teachers.

Do you know if there have been any changes or cancellations with busses coming from the many different districts?

Right now, no. As of now, school districts do still have to provide transportation for non-public students. You will need to notify your district that you require transportation so that they can be sure to put you in their route and rotation. We are told that even if a school district closes but Julie Billiart Schools are in session, that district is still required to provide transportation.

How will parents, faculty, and staff learn if there is a COVID-19 case at the school or schools?

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at your school, all parents, faculty, and staff will receive a prompt general communication from administration and next steps. If your child has been identified as a close contact, you will receive additional communications from Julie Billiart Schools and the local Board of Health.

COVID-19

Health & Safety Questions

Sick days, temperature taking, when to keep a child home, etc.

Should I send my child to school if someone in my home has COVID-19?

No. If your child lives in the same home as someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, that is considered a close contact. Your child must quarantine for 14 days. Please let JB administration know immediately so that we can swiftly move your child into virtual learning. Do not send your child to school. Even if your child is not displaying symptoms, he or she could carry the virus to our other students, faculty, and staff.

How will you handle sick days?

Attendance will be taken daily regardless if your child is attending school face-to-face or virtually. The excused and unexcused absences policy in our Parent/Student Handbook will remain in effect. Any child out of school for a period of time will be expected to have a doctor's note. Any student quarantining without symptoms will be required to attend virtual learning daily. Students quarantining with symptoms will receive an excused absence.

How can we keep teachers safe? *

The best way for Julie Billiart Schools to keep faculty and staff safe is by implementing and enforcing health and safety protocols across all schools and by giving teachers the appropriate classroom resources, professional development, and genuine support that they need to stay healthy during this pandemic. The best way for our parents to help is by following all health and safety protocols, encouraging mask-wearing with your child, AND keeping your child home from school if he or she is ill.

Should I send my child to school if I suspect he or she is ill?

No. In general, we prefer that children stay home if exhibiting a fever or any respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath or persistent cough. Please use your best judgment. If you suspect your child has COVID-19, please get him or her tested. If your child has seasonal allergies and no symptoms related to COVID-19, you may want to send him or her to school. We’re encouraging all of our families, faculty, and staff to balance caution with research, practicality, and the best interests of our students.

How will sick symptoms vs. COVID-19 symptoms be identified and monitored?

Again, we will rely on both the school setting and the home setting to make this distinction. It starts in the home. Please do not send your child to school if he or she has a temperature of 100 degrees or more. Your child should be fever-free without the aid of fever-reducing medicines for at least 24 hours. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of overlap between cold and flu symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms. The CDC notes similarities between COVID-19 and the flu include fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle pain or body aches, and headaches. One known difference, according to the CDC, is that COVID-19 symptoms may include a change in or loss of taste or smell. View a list of COVID-19 symptoms from the Ohio Department of Health here.

How will you prevent parents from dropping sick kids off because they have to go to work?

We are asking parents to make sure kids are healthy (fever-free without fever-reducing meds for 24 hours). Teachers and the health aid at each school will be strict in looking for symptoms. We will send kids to the onsite clinic if they exhibit any symptoms during the day. If they have a fever, they’ll be moved to a special room with a faculty member so that parents can come and pick them up.

Do you plan on checking the temperatures of anyone in school?

Yes. It is the responsibility of parents to check kids’ temperatures before bringing children to school. To support this, we will offer random “spot check” temperature screenings throughout the day using touchless thermometers. Furthermore, if a student is feeling ill, acting lethargic, or giving faculty and staff cause for concern, we will take his or her temperature.

COVID-19

Social Distancing Questions

Spacing in classrooms, social distancing reinforcement, and expectations, etc.

Since K-2 are smaller classes, will they be split or kept together?

We are already a smaller environment in comparison to other schools. But to ensure the social distancing recommendations are met, we will continue to split our students into smaller groups. At the K-2 level, you’ll see a 6:1 ratio across the board through all academic parts of the day.

How will kids be grouped during the day?

We’re going to use both classrooms (two for each grade) and group kids in small cohorts of 10 or less. We will work to reduce any switching of classrooms and may choose to have teachers switch rooms rather than kids. We’ll be grouping kids based on ability over anything else (like mask-wearing, gender, etc.) to stay in line with our educational model. Just like every school year, at the beginning of the year, we do some reteaching and reassessments to determine where students are at. We will continue to do that this year and split students into small groups based on where they need to be for their ability.

How will you handle social distancing in the classroom?

Our small student-teacher ratios (1:8 at maximum) and two-classrooms per grade, allow us to follow all social distancing recommendations provided by the CDC and the State of Ohio. Based on grade level and current academic level or ability, students will be grouped in a small cohort of 10 or less. Student desks will be spaced six feet apart. A designated intervention specialist will remain with each cohort throughout the day, including lunch and recess, to minimize unnecessary breaches in social distancing. Students will stay in one room for most of the day, rather than switching classrooms for various subjects. We know that with younger kids it will take more effort to help demonstrate what this looks like. We will use explicit visuals to help kids understand where their bodies should be in space. Lunch will be held in classrooms until otherwise noted. Our school buildings and surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized throughout the day, and we will enforce our JB Mask Policy, as well as social distancing guidelines. Teachers and students will be required to wear masks, face shields, or approved facial coverings throughout the day. Bathroom breaks will be reduced to one student at a time. We’ll strongly encourage social distancing practices during recess.

What do you have in place to enforce the new rules and regulations so that the students fully understand the concept of social distancing and safety?

When we get into the upcoming school year, there will be a number of new expectations of them, including solo bathroom breaks, socially distanced recess, etc. We understand, especially for our younger kids, that these new procedures and expectations will take constant reinforcement. We will use morning reminders, visual aids, and positive reinforcements throughout the day to make new procedures feel as “normal” as possible. We also expect parents to help reinforce social distancing and school expectations at home. If you’re choosing to send your child in a mask, for example, please practice mask-wearing at home so that they are as ready as possible for a full day of mask-wearing.

COVID-19

Sanitation & Mask Questions

Sterilization, cleaning policies, sanitation, masks, etc.

How will you keep the school clean and sanitized during the day?

We will continue to sanitize high touch surfaces like desks, doorknobs, faucets, tables, railings, and more, twice daily. Classroom surfaces will be sanitized between any break in activities. Playground equipment is sanitized daily. Thorough nightly cleanings will continue at all campuses and include high touch surfaces, classrooms, restrooms, common areas, and more. Read more.

Will my child be required to wear a mask?

Yes. On August 4, 2020, Governor DeWine, in collaboration with Ohio Children's Hospital Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, issued a mandate that requires K-12 students returning to school to wear masks. We promise to do our part to make mask-wearing as comfortable, accepted, and free of distraction as possible. Unless your child’s doctor provides documentation of an exemption as outlined in the mandate, we will provide a mask for all children who don’t come to school with one. See our mask policy for further details.

Do students need to wear masks that are school uniform colors?

No. Your child is welcome to wear any school appropriate mask that is comfortable for him or her. We will be offering JB masks for purchase in our spirit wear store. The Lands End uniform catalog also offers school masks for purchase.

Will faculty and staff be required to wear masks?

Wearing masks or facial coverings is currently required for all school faculty and staff in the state of Ohio. Until further notice, all faculty, staff, and adult visitors to Julie Billiart Schools must wear a mask or facial covering while interacting with one or more people at a distance of fewer than 6 ft away, and/or using school common areas like hallways, classrooms, entrances, and restrooms. Please see our mask policy for full details and recommendations.

How will you address air circulation throughout the classrooms?

Both Akron and Lyndhurst use boiler systems. Hot water provides heat throughout the whole building. There is no additional airflow traveling from classroom to classroom. When it comes to AC inside the classrooms, most have their own AC unit, so there is no airflow from classroom to classroom. If it’s a shared system, air filters are cleaned and replaced frequently. We will be opening windows and doors as weather permits. We will keep up to date and compliant with local health and CDC recommendations.

Will water fountains be utilized? If so, do you have a plan in place regarding the upkeep of sterilization?

We’re currently adding touchless water bottle filling stations to minimize any spread of germs at water foundations. Regardless, we will be cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces, including water fountains and water bottle filling stations multiple times each day.

What about the sterilization of returned library books and other communal items?

For the library, we’ll be using a hands-off system where kids can return books to a bin where they will be thoroughly sanitized before being returned to shelves. In general, we will be minimizing communal objects in classrooms, specials, and the playground as much as possible. An electromagnetic cleaner will be used once a day and surfaces and items will be wiped down multiple times each day.

COVID-19

In-Person Learning Questions

Arrival and dismissal, recess, specials, academics, after school activities.

How will arrival and dismissal times be determined? Will preference or priority be given to parents who have to get to work?

Please know that when we talk about staggering times, the start time will not be drastically different than you’re used to. As already small schools, we don’t have an influx of students who are coming in at the same time. When we talk about staggering arrival and dismissal times, you can expect it to be within the same 20 minute time window as before. Specific instructions will be released by your school prior to the start of school.

Will my child still have field trips and after-school activities?

At this time, field trips to outside locations have been suspended. However, on campus activities and after school events and activities will continue provided we can meet the same health and safety protocols that apply to the school day. These activities may look different during the 2020-2021 school year. Contact your campus with questions or concerns about specific activities.

Is aftercare still available?

Yes. Beforecare and Aftercare will still be available to families and will follow all health and safety protocols. We will stagger the arrival of our faculty and staff, limit the number of students at each table, offer pre-packaged snacks, and enforce social distancing and hand washing. Aftercare will still be available from 3 to 6 p.m. each day.

How will bathroom breaks work?

Students will take bathroom breaks one at a time. Throughout the course of the school day, each bathroom will have a regular cleaning schedule. We will sanitize throughout the school day.

How will recess, gym, and specials look?

Depending on the number of students, we may make recess one grade at a time rather than in grade bands. We are using a spray disinfectant on all recess equipment between recesses. We are helping kids understand social distancing on the playground by using hula hoops as visual aids. Gym, as well as music and art will continue to be offered in small groups. In art they may not share supplies - in music we may not use certain instruments. Gym may not use certain equipment. But the actual content and the social aspect will remain the same.

Will afterschool clubs continue to be offered?

All after school clubs and activities will continue IF social distancing and our safety procedures can remain in place during that activity. If it’s an activity that cannot easily follow our procedures, it will be postponed. Please reach out to your school principal about specific activities.

If a student doing in-person learning contracts COVID, are they required to do distance learning for the rest of the quarter or can they return to school once well?

Our understanding in our communications with the board of health is that the board of health will contact a person directly who has either been exposed or who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and learn when the symptoms started and/or when the test came back positive. The board of health will determine quarantine or isolation timelines, which would dictate when a child could return to school. Once safely out of quarantine, option one children are permitted to return to school.

COVID-19

Virtual Learning Questions

Academics, expectations, technology, socialization, etc.

If I opt into virtual learning, what are the requirements?

Standard attendance and participation requirements apply. See our website for a full list. JB administration reserves the right to assess the situation and make a determination that a child has to move in-person if the family isn't upholding the requirements.

If we participate in virtual learning, will the teachers be calling on the kids or will the students be more like observers?

At this point, students engaging in virtual learning will function more as observers of lessons. We expect them to follow along with live streaming lessons, but there won’t be as many opportunities to engage with the class or their teacher during the lesson. That’s why we’ve hired a virtual learning specialist who will reach out to Option two students daily to provide extra support and teaching. Students will receive the same accommodations and support that in-school kids will receive, but by nature, it will be less active.

Will the grading criteria be different for virtual learning?

When we evaluate how our students are performing in both formats, there is a participation component. We are going to tie that into grading for virtual learning. Aside from participation, it will be critical that students turn in classwork and homework as expected.

Will kids be able to take home their Chromebooks?

Yes. We will schedule pickups and drop-offs for Chromebooks and other technology and materials needed at each campus if students choose option two or if we need to shift to virtual learning. All tech that we require families and students to use will be provided. These details will come from your school.

Will my child still get the social interaction and activities he or she needs?

Yes. We prefer that our children are in the school building because we know from experience, regression data, and research that children with learning differences need individualized attention and social interaction to thrive. For this reason, we will offer a full 5-day in-person option for our families. Though social distancing requires us to maintain a distance of six feet as much as possible, children will still participate in social activities and lessons that rely on interaction, collaboration, and communication. Because some families have extenuating health and safety circumstances, we will also offer a virtual learning option to qualified families. We’re committed to making that option as academically rigorous and socially engaging as possible. Children will receive the full support of our intervention specialists and onsite therapists, as well as specially designed social activities to be held virtually.

Do you monitor 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.

What will the homework requirements be for virtual learning?

Students in options one and two will be responsible for completing the same number of tasks, including classwork and homework. This is because everything that we do is tied to the standards that we are trying to teach and the curriculum we are addressing. You can expect a similar amount of homework to what your child would bring home while in-person.

Where are you receiving the information on which to base your virtual curriculum?

Our virtual curriculum is based completely on our award-winning, in-person curriculum, and approach. Students who are learning virtually will cover the same topics, tasks, and assignments that our in-person group will. As far as the technology and structure of virtual education, our principals meet weekly with the Diocesan Schools to discuss best practices. Julie Billiart Schools are working closely with local boards of health and are closely following the CDC’s expectations and requirements for opening.

COVID-19

Outbreak, Cases, & Shutdown Questions

COVID-19 outbreaks, school outbreak plans, confirmed cases, etc.

What will happen if the Governor enacts another mandatory shut down?

We are more prepared than ever to quickly pivot into distance learning as we did in the spring of 2020. We have invested in new professional development, technology, personnel, and other resources that give us a deeper understanding of virtual learning and its application for our students. Please note that even during a mandatory shutdown, Julie Billiart Schools would adhere to the master school calendar and provide synchronized learning opportunities for the planned learning experiences.

What happens if there are one or more reported COVID cases at the school?

If a COVID-19 infection is identified among faculty, staff, students, students’ immediate families, or anyone who has visited the school within the previous two weeks, individuals must immediately report the infection to JB Administration, who will report the infection to the local health district. If a COVID-19 infection is identified and reported to JB Administration, we will

1. Immediately report the infection to the local health district.

2. Work with the local health department to identify potentially exposed individuals to help facilitate appropriate communication/contact tracing.

3. As necessary, JB Administration will shut down the school building and professionally clean and sanitize the building. According to the Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools and Child Care Programs, issued by the CDC, local health officials’ recommendations for the scope (e.g., a single school, multiple schools, the full district) and duration of school dismissals will be made on a case-by-case basis using the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the specific cases in the community. A recommended short-term dismissal for students and most staff is 2-5 days.

4. As necessary, JB Administration will reopen the school building in consultation with the local health department.

What happens if a teacher is exposed/tests positive to COVID? Will the entire school close?

We have been working closely with the health department on this. If there is a case at the school, the health department will decide who needs to quarantine or isolate and for how long. The department will communicate with JB if there is a confirmed case and if we need to close the school for any length of time.

Will you be following Governor DeWine's Alert Status?

Yes. At this time, Ohio is taking a county by county approach to evaluating the changing COVID-19 situation. We will be paying very close attention to the alerts to determine specifically what each alert means for our schools.

Do you have a shutdown plan in place?

We do have a shutdown plan in place - we know that we’re able to quickly turn to an all-virtual learning experience and have plans in place to do this. However, we must take direction from the local board of health at the time of infection or spread to determine what the shut down will look like. In our conversations with the board of health, they do not expect shutdowns. If we do have to close at any point, we will turn to a full virtual experience for all kids.

If the school does shut down again and we move to distance/virtual/online learning, will the expectation be a full day of computer time just like option 2?

If the entire school is mandated to go into distance learning, the format does change because of staffing purposes. When we start the school year, we will have staffing in place to support both groups. But if we’re forced to close, that means all of our staff and teachers will be focused on distance learning. You could expect more live, interactive lessons. Regardless, we will keep the schedule as close as possible to a regular school day with a traditional, set schedule. This scheduled day of computer time helps our kids with structure, executive functioning, and assignments.

Will there be a notification to parents if any COVID-19 cases are reported at JB?

If there is a confirmed case of COVID19 at Julie Billiart Schools, you will receive a notification.

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