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Schools Reopen Under State Guidelines

On July 2, 2020 Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced guidelines for schools to follow when deciding how to open in August after a five month hiatus from classroom learning. As expected, a number of guidelines relate to reduced contact and social distancing among students and staff so it's no surprise that the Ohio Department of Health "recommends that schools should, as much as possible, prohibit visitors from entering school buildings."  Some schools have already told Good News Clubs that they cannot be there at least in the beginning of the year while other schools announced limitations on their websites. Some have done neither but it can be concluded that they are not likely to allow us in their buildings.
Schools are offering different learning options to families which will affect how we proceed with holding clubs. Here are the most recent updates for the school districts where we have Good News Clubs. 

On July 16 Cincinnati Public Schools announced their Blended Learning Groups model where students are divided into two groups. Each group will receive a minimum of two days per week in class, Tuesdays and Wednesdays or Thursdays and Fridays, and will alternate attending in-person on Mondays.  Remote learning will be done when not in class.
On July 23 the district published a "Return to School Letter for CPS Families" that stated "large school assemblies, parent and community volunteer opportunities, and in person field trips will be temporarily paused this year," so we are not allowed in the schools until further notice.
Fairfield City Schools also have a blended plan. During the July 28 school board meeting a four-to-one decision was made to use a "hybrid model" where half the students attend schools Mondays and Tuesdays while the other half attends Thursdays and Fridays. This school district also offers a totally remote learning option.
In June the Lebanon City School District alerted CEF that there will not be any after-school activities during the first semester. There are a number of non-school groups with after-school activities and the district hopes to have them back after the Christmas break.
Mason announced its plans for the upcoming school year mid June. Mason is offering  two options: five-day classroom learning or remote online learning. Families chose one of the two options. 
Princeton City School District is conducting a survey among families regarding their preferences. The plan is for traditional classroom learning if the governor allows, and change to a 50% classroom capacity model if need be. A totally remote learning option is also available. 
This district has also given families two options for the fall start - all remote learning or five-day classroom learning. The district will move to a 50% capacity learning situation if need be which is determined by Ohio state guidelines.
That is the million dollar question. There are options and these options are not completely new to CEF and Good News Club. Up until 2001 clubs were not held in public schools but primarily in homes and also community centers, backyards, churches, apartment complex clubhouses and other buildings. Those options are still available. Online options are also in the works utilizing Good News TV, Zoom meetings and possibly other means. 
The local CEF Committee is planning to hold a training in the near future that will discuss options and the how-to's for clubs not held inside public schools. One possibility is to hold clubs outside on the school grounds during the nice fall weather. If you are hoping to get school students off campus for club we will discuss transportation, as well. We will also cover permission slips, curriculum, COVID-19 safety protocols and other topics. We will let our clubs know the details of this meeting as soon as we have them.
Did You Know?
Over the summer CEF headquarters has been adding lesson videos to Good News TV on YouTube for kids to view at home.
Backyard Bible Party - "The Secret of the Watermelon"
A few members of the Donovan Elementary School Good News Club team held a party in one of the club member's backyard in Lebanon. Kofi and his parents hosted the party for kids in their neighborhood. Invitations were hand-delivered and ten children attended. The one hour party was structured similarly to a Good News Club and included songs, a lesson, memory verse and a review game. 
Miss Betsy tell "The Secret of the Watermelon" story that explains the gospel using colors of the watermelon. 
Team Fantastic and Team Amazing faced off in the review game in a socially distanced version of Steal the Bacon.
Backyard after-school Good News Clubs are a viable option for clubs during the fall semester when we cannot be in school buildings. Club leaders will hear more about this option in the upcoming meeting.
Copyright © 2020 CEF of Ohio, Inc. - Greater Cincinnati Chapter, All rights reserved.

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