Please review these Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the 2020-21 School Year. The District will continue to update this page as necessary. Updated 8/7/2020.
First Day of School
- When will students start school?
All students will begin school remotely on Monday, August 31.
Remote Start Plan & Virtual Academy
- Why are we opening remotely?
The Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) has recommended that schools within its health jurisdiction (which includes Shaker Heights) begin school remotely due to the elevated health risk. The CCBH has also recommended that districts discontinue extracurriculars such as sports and other activities during the remote learning period.
- Is this official? Does the Board of Education have to approve this plan?
Yes, this remote start on August 31 for all students is official. Under state law, the Board is required to approve any remote learning plan. The Board will vote on Tuesday, August 11 to ensure that our remote learning plan is in compliance with state policies and regulations.
- What about the Shaker Virtual Academy?
The Shaker Virtual Academy, which was designed as an alternative to the hybrid model, is no longer a necessity because all students will be in a remote learning environment. However, if and when we return to in-person classes, we will ensure that students have the option of continuing remote learning.
- If I previously enrolled my student in the Shaker Virtual Academy do I need to cancel?
No. Parents who enrolled their students in SVA do not need to take any action. All students who were enrolled in SVA automatically will be returned to their schools.
Returning to School
- Will we return to the classroom this year?
The goal of getting our students back into our schools has always been implicit in our plan to open remotely. We expect to be in a remote learning environment for at least a quarter. However, based on conversations with local and state health officials and from a realistic planning perspective, we understand that remote learning may continue for a longer period of time.
- How will we know it is safe to return?
As we have stated in the past, we will continue to follow local, state and national guidance and the state’s health advisory level for Cuyahoga County to determine when it is safe to do so. For example, if and when guidance changes and the Cuyahoga County health advisory level is downgraded, we will work to get students back into our buildings.
Remote Learning in 2020-21
How will this be different than the extended closure in the spring?
We’ve learned a lot from our experience and the feedback we received in the spring. Remote learning this fall will be characterized by robust, engaging synchronous learning in whole class and smaller groups. This will allow for more meaningful and authentic student learning and engagement.
- How will students with 504 and IEPs receive necessary supports and interventions?
Services for students with disabilities and 504 plans will continue to be individualized based upon each student's needs. IEPs and 504 plans will be fully implemented in the remote learning setting. We are exploring the option of bringing in students with the highest level of need for individualized in-person specially designed instruction sessions. Additionally, we will meet all compliance deadlines required by the Ohio Department of Education for Evaluation Team Reports (ETRs) and Individual Education Plans (IEPs) using our current technology options. We will be working collaboratively to provide optimal support to our students and to meet all students’ diverse needs.
- What will the typical remote school day look like?
Each day, students can expect a mixture of synchronous, asynchronous and small group/independent work time. Screen time will be age-appropriate and balanced with opportunities for movement breaks, independent work and small group discussions. Teachers will take attendance and students will be expected to attend synchronous learning on time, as they do during a typical school day. Teachers in grades 5-12 no longer will offer “office hours.” Instead, students in Grades 5-12 will have structured opportunities to meet with teachers both during the school day at Advisory Periods and immediately following the end of the school day, similar to daily student-teacher conferences/Raider Time. We will share sample schedules for students in all grade levels as they become available.
- Will PreK be available remotely?
Yes. Our PreK students also will start remotely. We will offer a prorated tuition discount for tuition-paying families. The District’s PreK team will share more information with PreK families when it becomes available.
Technology, Meals and Supplies
- Will my child have the technology and supplies they need to succeed?
The majority of our students already have Chromebooks from last year. We are developing a plan to distribute supplies to all students and Chromebooks to students who do not have them. The District has ordered additional hotspots to ensure that families without Internet access have connectivity. Distribution plans for Chromebooks and supplies will be shared by buildings closer to the start of school.
- Will my student still have access to food service during remote learning?
The District will continue to provide meals to students during remote learning. Delivery times and methods may change to accommodate student schedules. Additional information will be provided soon.
Childcare for Younger Students
- I work outside the home. What about child care during the school day?
We would like to clarify our previous statements regarding supervised remote learning centers for students engaged in remote learning during the school day this fall. There are still many complex details that have to be addressed and we are in the initial phases of developing these plans. However, the District and the City of Shaker Heights are committed to exploring a variety of potential options aimed at easing the childcare challenges for Shaker Heights families. These options may include discussions with private vendors. We will keep you apprised of the availability of these services.
Social Emotional Learning and Extracurricular Activities
- I heard that the Cuyahoga County Board of Health recommended suspending extracurriculars such as band, choir, theatre, etc. Does that mean that my student won’t have those classes?
Band, orchestra and other music and performing arts classroom instruction will continue remotely.
- What about athletics and extracurricular activities?
The Shaker Heights City School District and the Shaker Heights High School Athletic Department is planning to resume optional small-group skills training for High School student-athletes on Monday, August 10. Read more.
- What engagement and social-emotional learning opportunities will students have?
While students are physically distant, we know that they must remain socially connected for their social-emotional health and well-being. The District will continue incorporating Caring School Community will explore more ways that students can be engaged in positive relationship building with each other. The District will also continue to use staff such as school counselors, school psychologists and community partners to provide individual and group support to students who need it.
- Why are we deleveling courses for students in Grades 5-12?
Educational equity remains our priority. Students in Grades 5-12 will no longer be grouped by class level (core, enriched, honors). At the High School, courses that were previously split by Core and Honors will be combined. AP and IB classes will continue to be offered for those students who have selected those courses. This approach to instruction dismantles our current tracking system and expands opportunities for all students.
We will continue to provide targeted enrichment, support and instruction to individuals and groups of students.