2020-21 Return-to-School FAQ

At the August 11 Board of Education meeting, the school board approved the proposed calendar amendments that delays the start of the school year

  • for students until Tuesday, September 8, instead of August 19. 
  • School staff will still return on August 17.

The change gives our buildings the additional time they need to adjust student schedules, for both the Plan B-remote learning students and the Virtual Classroom students.

Also, it will provide time for additional training for staff as they prepare to implement our new safety procedures and learn to juggle teaching in-person and online simultaneously.

The following changes were made to the 2020-21 district calendar:

  • The last day of school will now be Thursday, June 3.
  • Graduation will be Sunday, May 30.
  • Thanksgiving break is November 25 through November 29.
  • Winter break is December 23 through through January 3.
  • Spring break is March 29 through April 4.
  • November 30, December 21 and 22, and February 15 were previously days school would not have been in session. Under the amended calendar, these are now remote learning days and students will receive independent assignments.
  • If makeup days are required, they will be Remote Learn days at the end of the school year.

After many long hours by the superintendent, administrators and local authorities, along with considering the survey results, the CDC recommendations and current public health information, the plan was developed with input from Academic Council, which is comprised of department chairs and who consulted with teachers. 

Given the anticipated number of students who would return for in-person learning and the parameters for social distancing, it was determined the schools could not safely accommodate everyone in our present buildings.

Yes, all three buildings are still hosting an orientation/Open House prior to the start of school, though they will be different from the past. Each building will be sharing information shortly directly with parents pertaining to how these will be conducted.

The information will be posted here, as well, as it becomes available. Please check back, as needed.

It will depend on the directives in Ohio, specifically in Ashland County as it relates to the Hillsdale district.

  • We are prepared with plans to cover a variety of potential circumstances.
  • If the state government requires Ohio schools to operate remotely again, we will move to Plan D.
    • In the instance of a directive, we will have no choice but to comply.
  • However, if the information is just "strongly suggested" or "recommended," then we believe we could potentially continue to operate safely under Plan B.
    • ​All decisions we make would include assessing the current conditions specific to our schools and community.
    • We will monitor the guidance of the Ashland County Health Department, state government and CDC recommendations when determining any changes to our current plan level. 

In addition we are continually exploring ways to safely bring our students back into the classroom. This remains our ultimate goal.



Yes, Governor DeWine announced on August 4 that Kindergarten through twelfth grade students will be required to wear a facial covering, both on buses and in school buildings. Our staff will also be required to wear a facial covering.

Every opportunity will be made throughout the day for students to remove their facial coverings.

The district will be providing two masks for every student. A limited number of face shields will be available for those who can't wear masks.

If it is a recommendation and not an order, we would not automatically move to Plan D.

  • Superintendent Dickerson is comfortable that Hillsdale could potentially still operate safely under Plan B,
  • The district would evaluate the situation as it specifically relates to Hillsdale School's status, while staying in direct communication with local authorities.
  • Every grade level will have a collective Google website where important due dates, newsletters and information will be posted.
  • All classrooms will use Google Classroom for delivery of activity and assignments.
  • For consistency in communication:
  • All K-8 teachers will utilize the class Dojo app to communicate directly with parents.
  • Grades 9-12 teachers will all communicate through the Remind app.
  • Parents are encouraged to check the Google website daily for updated information on all classes.
  • Students are expected to check their Google Classroom and email daily for new assignments and messages.
  • Students are responsible for all assignments and need to understand that grades will be given and the late work policy will be followed.
  • The material for the three remote days will vary depending on the course.
  • Teachers are encouraged to provide one to two instructional videos weekly.
  • Face-to-face or live classes will not be likely as teachers will be instructing the students who are in attendance in the buildings on those days.

For parents who do not wish for their child to return-to-school in-person, Hillsdale is offering the Virtual Classroom alternative, a 100% online curriculum for students in grades K-12.

  • Registration has been extended until August 28.
    • Please fill out the form to indicate your interest.
    • You will then receive a packet of information sent to the email you provided on the form from Curriculum Director Alyson Baker in order to gather some additional information and to confirm that your child is enrolled.
  • A school secretary or guidance counselor will contact you at a later date with schedule information as it becomes available.
  • You will be asked to attend an orientation meeting at a date yet to be determined.

To participate in the Virtual Classroom, students will need:

  • a computer that they can use on a regular basis. If families who are opting to use this alternative do not have a computer, the district can provide one.
  • reliable, daily internet is also required.
  • Grade- and course-specific supply lists are being compiled and will be shared in the very near future. 

Yes, students with IEPs will be monitored by a Hillsdale Intervention Specialist and modification can be made to meet the needs of each student.

Effective for the 2020-2021 school year, we are requiring that students be picked up at the same location Monday through Friday and dropped off at the same location Monday through Friday.

  • While a pick-up and drp-off may be different, they must stay consistent.
    • For example, a student may be picked up at his home address Monday through Friday and be dropped off at a different address Monday through Friday.
  • Student requests to ride home in the afternoon with another student or an alternate stop will no longer be allowed.

Bus drivers will be contacting families by the end of August with pickup times. We are trying to keep routes and times the same, as much as possible, for those who have been bus riders in past years. There could be some changes depending on how many riders there are compared to what is determined to be safe.

No. All students who have been dropped off or need picked up by a parent will need to do so at the student's assigned building.

We will have staff monitoring the buildings from 7:15 AM until 3:30 PM.

From August 25 through September 4, the district will provide transportation for Hillsdale students who need it directly from their homes to the Ashland-West Holmes Career Center. After that, students will be transported by their regular bus route.


We recognize there are connectivity issues and are working through multiple avenues for assistance. Details will be shared as available.

Currently, we are developing a Learning Center program through which we'll be offering on-campus work space.

  • Who: providing solutions for those K-6 students experiencing difficulties on opposite remote learn days (7-12 students: contact us if you are having difficulties)
  • When: Opposite Remote Learning days, as needed, i.e., a gold student who needs a place to go on blue days
  • Where: HHS gymnasium
  • What: structured study time, with activity breaks
  • Transportation is not provided.
    • drop-off between 7:15-8:30 AM
    • pick-up by 3:30 PM
    • pick-up and drop-off will be through the front doors
  • Breakfast and lunch will be available.
  • Further details are being finalized.

Computers will be availabe for those in need of one.