In response to multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered the closure of Ohio’s K-12 schools, public and private, for at least three weeks, as well as the ban of mass gatherings of 100 people or more.
The school closure will begin at the end of the school day on Monday, March 16 and continue until April 3, the governor said during a press conference at the Statehouse on Thursday afternoon.
School districts in Jackson County and the sole school district in Vinton County have plans in place in terms of academic procedures.
In addition, on Friday, March 13, Vinton County's school district announced its procedure for meals. Starting Monday, March 16, hot meals and snack bags will be available for pick up between 11 a.m. and noon daily at the following locations: Vinton County Middle School (McArthur), South Elementary (Hamden), West Elementary (Allensville), the Wilkesville Community building and the Zaleski Fire Department.
Jackson City Schools
During the Jackson City School District Board of Education on Tuesday, March 10, Jackson City Schools Superintendent Phil Howard talked about three options in the event of a shutdown:
- Option 1: Chromebook Take-Home - In the event that school will be closed for an extended time, a Chromebook and charger would be sent home with the student to use during the closure. The student would access coursework via home internet connection or by going to a location with available WiFi. Plans are in place to make WiFi available in the parking area of each building so that you could park and let your students complete work from your car if needed.
- Option 2: Work online using your own technology (no Chromebook needed) - This option states that a parent would not want a Chromebook sent home with the student, but you have technology available at home such a PC, laptop, Chromebook, iPad or other device that the student can access online content.
- Option 3: Coursework in paper form - This option means that no technology will be sent home with the student and the parent would prefer that the student be given all coursework via paper to be completed and returned to the school when classes resume.
"Fortunately, our high school students have all previously been provided with a district issued Chromebook," explained Howard. "The majority of our high school teachers and staff are well versed in the use of technology, particularly as it relates to online learning opportunities."
Howard added, "Many of our K-9 teachers will plan to use technology to enhance the learning that can go on in your home during this time. We are providing three options listed below for grades K-8. Once again, as of this moment there is no plan to close school. However, it is important to understand that we could be directed by the Governor, Health Department, or Ohio Department of Education to close the schools at any time. We would be remiss to not have a plan in place in the event we have to close."
Wellston City Schools
Wellston City Schools will be on a 2-hour delay Friday, March 13. All staff are to report at normal time in order to prepare for the upcoming shut down.
Wellston City Schools will not be in session beginning Monday, March 16 for at least a 3-week period. It is important that all students are in attendance tomorrow in order to receive information and packets.
Wellston City Schools Karen Boch addressed the school district through a letter online on Wednesday, March 11, regarding COVID-19.
Boch said in her letter that the middle and high school staff can utilize Google Classroom to continue learning at home on a temporary basis. The district is exploring similar options for elementary students. She also announced WCS will use its robocall system, social media, email and website to provide parents with regular updates on this situation and any decisions make regarding school closures or remote schooling.
Oak Hill Union Local Schools
Oak Hill Union Local Schools has a waiver day on Monday, March 16, to prepare for school closures. Oak Hill Union Local Schools will be closed March 16 through April 3. The district is planning methods to provide learning opportunities to its students. More details will be announced in the future.
All activities and athletics are cancelled during the closure. Scheduled IEP meetings will still continue.
The district is working on formulating details for meal delivery carried out by the Oak Hill Union Local transportation team.
Christian Life Academy
The school closure will reportedly impact Christian Life Academy's Easter Break, which was scheduled for April 6-13. The school will now be closed only in observance of Good Friday, April 10.
Until the state mandate is lifted, CLA will not be able to provide any child care, preschool, or K-12 programming.
On Friday, March 13, CLA will still be open for regular session.
"We have prepared 15 days of work packets for students in K-12 and will be emailing those out tomorrow to parents," said Melissa Boogs, CLA Administrator. "We will also be printing paper copies of all work packets for students that will be available at pick up times for all programs. Packets will be with all homeroom teachers. Preschool staff will be preparing packets for their own classes, as well."
Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School
Sts. Peter and Paul School will be closed starting Monday, March 16. The schools advised on its Facebook page that parents and guardians should log in to SchoolSpeak for a more detailed announcement.
Buckeye Hills Career Center
School will tentatively resume on Monday, April 6, Superintendent Jamie Nash said. High School students will be provided packets to work on during the mandatory shutdown. Adult students will receive communications from their program instructors and coordinators. We will continue to provide information through social media, Nixle and their website: https://www.buckeyehills.net/.
Vinton County Local Schools
On Friday, March 13, Vinton County Local Schools operated on a 2-hour delay for students only. Staff reported on their regular schedule.
"It is extremely important that your child is in attendance tomorrow as we will be providing important academic resources to be used during their extended time off," Superintendent Rick Brooks said.
The schools also issued a call to families in the school district through SchoolMessenger Thursday.
Supt. Brooks noted that parents or guardians should listen to the entire message and complete the survey at the end of the call only if they have a child living in their home that is in grades 3 through 12. Parents should only complete the survey once, even if you receive multiple calls.
Supt. Brooks released a statement on Wednesday in regards to COVID-19. The district discussed alternative education plans “in the event of a closure”:
- Students in grades K-2 would receive a hard copy packet of resources with grade-level books
- State testing grades 3-8 would log into building/district approved software programs using their own devices or Chromebooks provided by the district
- Students in high school would use computer software and/or packets assigned by individual content teachers
If a student does not have access to the Internet, print copies of the school material will be sent home to him or her in a packet.
“Please understand that this alternative education plan is subject to change based on further developments and information we receive due to this unfortunate situation,” Brooks said.
This is a developing story. The Courier will provide updates as information becomes available.