Coronavirus Community Update
Sunday, March 29, 2020/9:00 pm
After two weeks of our new school plan, I wanted to take the time to share some updates and some highlights that have come about through this process. I would like to say thank you to all of you for working through this adjustment with your student’s at home. It is still very important that we continue the educational process for the duration of the school year. The rest of this update will be broken down into separate areas to provide as much information as we can at this time.
The past several weeks have caused us to work through learning in different manners. You should have received an email earlier in the week that described a turn in process for paper-pencil activities. Students need to make sure that they have their names and teacher on their materials. They will be able to drop these materials off at the main entrances of their building between 7:00 am -7:00 pm, Tuesday-Thursday. You will not be able to access the remainder of the building. We ask that you think of social distancing while dropping assignments off at the buildings.
This past Friday was the end of the third quarter. I cannot stress enough the significance of making sure that your student is completing the assignments they receive. These assignments are for a grade. As we all know we are scheduled to be out of school until April 6th. However, in all likelihood this closure is going to extend beyond that date. There will be important information coming from teachers in the near future about office hours, and required instructional times for students to be on their devices and completing work. We will get more information out this week in regards to this process.
You also should have been receiving several emails about resources that can supplement activities for your child as well. Please use them to keep your students engaged if they are completing assignments that have already been sent home.
Over the past two weeks staff and students along with parents have entered our virtual world of school and there have been many great activities going on. We have a community bear hunt going on, we celebrated kindergarten students hitting their WIG in a virtual WIG Wednesday, conversations, as well as group activities, therapy, and many other activities. While these activities are happening away from one another, it is great to see and hear the efforts around the district. I look forward to this work continuing in the uncertain time period of our future.
All state tests have been cancelled for this year. There are still details being worked out by the Ohio Department of Education on situations such as graduation and the third-grade reading guarantee. Everything that has been shared shows that the local district is going to have final judgment on these issues. As we move into the final quarter of the year your student’s teachers and building administrators will be following up on these issues.
Parents, I want to encourage you now more than ever to remember to check ProgressBook to monitor your child’s progress on activities. It is important that we all support one another to have a successful end to our school year.
The district is continuing its meal program on Monday and Thursday at all three locations, the elementary building, the bus garage, and the Townhouses. Meals can be picked up at those locations between 11:00 am -1:00 pm. If you have not signed up and are in need of assistance please fill out the survey on the front page of our website. This will help us in making sure that we have enough meals to provide for students. We will continue to do this as long as we can. If there becomes a situation, where it is not ok to go out to a restaurant and get take out we will have to re-evaluate whether or not to continue the program, for the safety of everyone involved.
At this time all district events are postponed. We will continue to monitor the situation and will adjust schedules accordingly. As I have said we want to do our very best to save as many opportunities for our seniors as possible. We are entering a memorable time for these students and want to give them every opportunity possible. To that extent I will say that we will have a graduation ceremony, a senior awards night, and will do our best to schedule a prom as well for these students.
The district is working on a prioritized list of events and will begin rescheduling events as we learn more about when we are able to have groups of people together. Obviously, if there is an event such as kindergarten registration, 6th grade camp, athletic contests, and our performances that fill up the calendar at this time of year we will keep everyone informed of dates and any changes that are made. We truly understand the significance of these events for our students, families, staff, and community.
To conclude, I want to say that we cannot accomplish anything that we have in the past few weeks, or that we will do in the weeks to come without everyone working together. Everyone is giving a remarkable effort and has had to deal with change on the fly. As a school district we will continue to share information as it becomes available and will do our best to support the many needs for our students and families in this difficult time. I will work to provide an update like this at least one time a week moving forward.
Sunday, March 22, 2020/4:30 pm
After Governor Dewine’s update today I want to share what the district will be doing. We will be continuing our meal distribution on Monday and Thursday. At this point in time we are covered under the order as providing an essential function. Therefore, we will maintain our distribution between 11-1 at the established locations.
Another topic to be addressed is the Chromebook distribution for our students in grades K-4. Since the Governor’s order does not take effect until the end of the day tomorrow, we are going to go ahead with our distribution of devices at the Elementary building between 11-1. If you need to pick up a device please use the north parking lot. I would also like to remind everyone that these devices are being provided to families that do not have technology at home already. Also, if you have multiple students we will be asking that you share the device that we provide.
A third topic that I would like to address would be the playground at the elementary building. As Governor Dewine mentioned today playgrounds need to be closed. I am asking that we all work together and do not use the playground on school property until further notice.
I wish you all continued safety and please know that we will do everything that we can to support our families in this challenging time. Hopefully, all of the measures being taken now will allow us to be back to our normal activities sooner rather than later.
Friday, March 13, 2020/12:20 pm
At this time, I would like to share an update in regard to instruction for our students. Today, March 13th will be our last day with students in session. When your students come home today, they should be bringing activities, supplies, and materials home with them today. As it has been mentioned this is an unchartered time for all of us. The staff has been working throughout the day to prepare these materials. It is important to note that these activities will contribute to your student’s overall grade for the grading period. The goal with the instruction that will be coming home is to review already introduced concepts, spend time on units or activities that a deeper understanding of skills could be acquired, and then to potentially introduce some new skills. With the new skills, this information will be primarily used as a pre-assessment for when we are able to return to regular class activities. I stress again that it is very important for your child to complete this work. Obviously, it is difficult to have everything prepared all at once. If there are more materials that need to be distributed over the coming weeks we will communicate that as we go and will schedule times for pick up. I know that we have absences in the district today, we will be working to establish pick up times for materials similar to any future activities as described.
In other district information, I want to share that all activities, events are postponed until further notice. This is an ever-changing situation and we will be providing updates on an as-needed basis over the weekend. We will continue to utilize our all call system as well as the district website and social media platforms.
I want to conclude by once again stating that students should not report to school on Monday, March 16th.
March 12, 2020/9:00 pm
As we all know, today Governor DeWine announced that schools will be closed for three weeks at the end of the day Monday. This is going to cause all of us to look at school functions, learning, and general day to day experiences in a very different lens for the next few weeks. There are many factors that the district has been considering throughout the evening to reach the announcement that I am prepared to deliver at this time. Starting tomorrow Fostoria City Schools will operate on a two- hour delay schedule for Friday, March 13, and as well as Monday, March 16. Staff will be asked to report on time for an emergency staff meeting and time to continue preparing for the pending shut down of our district. The goal is to continue providing educational options for students to continue to work on skills. There are still issues to work through in order to make this process work. Another consideration is the meals for our students. We understand the service that we provide with serving meals to our students and we are very close to having an option available to make this happen during the time that school is not in session. We understand that childcare is going to be an issue for families to work through. If we can help on these other issues then hopefully, we can ease some of the overall burdens that this crisis has created for our community, our state, and our nation.
The next few weeks are going to be trying for all and we have no definite end in sight at this point in time. As we were working on plans this morning, they were changed dramatically by the timetables that were announced this afternoon. I ask that everyone be patient and stay tuned for updates in the coming days. As we have more details finalized, we will share this information. At the end of this closure and unique event, we look forward to resuming normal operations for the remainder of our school year. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last that we in Fostoria have had to persevere through difficult times. As we have done in the past, I am sure that we can be successful again.
Governor DeWine has Closed schools for three weeks - starting the end of the day Monday, March 16, 2020. FCS will close at the end of the day Monday, March 16th. Information is changing rapidly and the District will provide information as it is prepared.