Schools ready to teach during coronavirus break


By Scott Halasz - shalasz@xeniagazette.com



Seevers

Seevers


Mason


XENIA — A day after Gov. Mike DeWine closed schools for a few weeks, local districts rolled out plans to keep the learning process active.

Xenia is closing schools beginning Monday and will implement the at-home learning plans that were to be tested as an upcoming district safety exercise, according to Kristy Creel, coordinator of communications.

Students in grades K-5 on Friday were given home learning kits with lessons for next week. Students in grades 6-12 will complete online learning via Google Classroom, where teachers will assign lessons and students can submit work, as if they were still in the building. The first online lessons will be posted by the end of the day on Monday, March 16.

Spring break will take place as scheduled, March 23-27.

For the week of March 30-April 3, the district said current plans are to repeat the process from week one, with information to come on how families can pick up new home learning kits for that week and/or work with their student(s) at home to continue learning.

Additionally, for students who depend on XCS for breakfast and lunch, a grab-and-go option will be available for the duration of the three week closure, including the spring break week. DeWine said all schools will be able to continue to provide breakfast and lunch to all Ohio schools through a waiver from the Department of Agriculture.

Any XCS student can pick up a single food package each day, Monday-Friday (March 16-April 3) between 10-11 a.m. The package will include breakfast and lunch items. Food pick-ups will be available at Arrowood Elementary, Cox Elementary, McKinley Elementary, and Shawnee Elementary.

XCS will also begin an early implementation of the planned spring break intensive cleaning that was scheduled for the week of March 23.

“The district reminds families that this is a completely new process, and that changes may occur as it unfolds,” a release from the district said. “Information will be shared as it is available directly with families via email, online at XeniaSchools.org, and through Xenia Community Schools social media accounts.”

Greeneview Local Schools operated on a two-hour delay yesterday and will do so again Monday, March 16 to allow the district to plan for distance learning.

”This distance learning will look different for Elementary, Middle School, and High School students,” Superintendent Isaac Seevers said in a message to parents and staff posted on the district website. “We will work to provide resources and activities at an appropriate education and developmental level. Many of our secondary students have been completing work online for several years.”

Seevers also said that teachers will be available to respond to email, address student academic questions and serve as a resource for students and parents.

”Our goal with our non-traditional instruction/distance learning plan is to keep students connected to their academic studies,” Seevers wrote. “There is no replacement for face-to-face instruction and it is our hope that we will be permitted to return to school on the 6th of April.”

Greeneview staff has been asked to provide students with one learning activity through Google Classroom next week so officials can assess the learning management system and ease into the digital learning model. The district will not assign work for students during spring break. Following spring break, Seevers said staff will be asked to provide three days worth of learning activities to students through Google Classroom.

“This would translate to approximately two to three hours per day,” according to Seevers. “The work provided for students in some courses, particularly at the secondary level (AP courses), may be of a heavier nature. We do not want to put parents in a position to have to teach children content with which they may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable. This work is designed to reinforce previous instruction, be supplemental to current instruction, provide meaningful test preparation, or to provide skill intervention. It will be the responsibility of the students to log in and complete these learning activities.”

Cedar Cliff Local Schools are also prepping for distance learning. The district will dismiss at 1:15 p.m. Monday and will have non-instruction/calamity days March 17-March 20. Spring will take place as scheduled, March 23-27 and then March 30-April 3 will feature non-traditional instruction and/or take-home materials.

“As you can see from the list above, it has been a mild winter and the district has not used the allotted and customary five ‘snow’ days, therefore the first four days of this shutdown period will be categorized in that manner,” Superintendent Chad Mason said in a message to the district. “In essence, we treat those days the same as if there were a bad winter storm that shut down the building for the remainder of the week.”

Mason also told parents that while the district will not be providing lunches during the shutdown period, the district will have food items available for pickup for those in need. Cedar Cliff is also curtailing field trips through May 1 and will cancel most indoor school gatherings in April. No decision has been made regrading prom, Mason said.

Staff at the Greene County Career Center will report on Monday, March 16 and online learning for students will begin Tuesday, March 17. Students won’t be required to complete schoolwork during the originally scheduled spring break. Students will return Monday, April 6, unless circumstances change. The school’s website and Facebook page will continue to be updated.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria applauded districts for taking extra steps to continue to teach.

“We are especially grateful to schools that have proactively developed plans to keep learning going even if school buildings aren’t open,” DeMaria said. “There is a lot of momentum in Ohio’s schools right now and we would hate to see that momentum stalled, although we understand that today’s announcement does mean there will be disruptions.”

“We understand there are many questions,” he continued. “This is uncharted territory that we all are navigating together. We are working to provide answers but rest assured that we are committed to working with Governor DeWine, the legislature and other stakeholders to provide as much flexibility and latitude as necessary to accommodate these circumstances. Thank you for your patience.“

Seevers
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2020/03/web1_2014Seeverspic.jpgSeevers

Mason
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2020/03/web1_mason_sm.jpgMason

By Scott Halasz

shalasz@xeniagazette.com

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.