Schools in the Miami Valley are working out ways to continue educating and delivering food to students amid a forced three-week closure to stem the spread of coronavirus.
An order from Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton closed K-12 schools from March 17 to April 6. However, DeWine said the order may be extended as the state works to slow the spread of the virus.
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Districts say they plan to continue distributing breakfast and lunch to students — many students in low-income families wouldn’t eat otherwise. Dayton Public Schools needs volunteers to help deliver and pass out meals.
Each district is also grappling with coming up with ways to teach students remotely despite concerns about access to computers or internet.
Beavercreek City Schools
The district is working with Feed The Creek, a local non-profit food bank, to distribute food to families in need during designated dates and times, said Beavercreek schools spokesman Ryan Gilding. He did not provide other details.
As for academics, the district will provide online instructions, he said, adding that adding that additional details are forthcoming.
Centerville City Schools
Closing school buildings impacts families that rely on the district for free or reduced-price meals, said Sarah Swan, community relations specialist for Centerville City Schools. So Centerville schools’ nutrition services staff will prepare breakfasts and lunches for eligible students beginning Monday, and is in the process of determining distribution sites, she said.
The majority of students in the district will receive lessons and instruction via Google Classroom, Swan said, noting that the district is working on a plan to loan equipment to families who don’t have access to computers and the internet.
She said updates will be posted to the district’s website and social media platforms regularly.
Starting on March 13 and continuing through early the next week, 46 Dayton Public Schools teachers are taping videos of school lessons that students can watch on YouTube and the school district’s cable channel, DPS-TV.
The recordings are taking place at a studio at Ponitz Career Technology Center and the lessons follow the district’s “pacing guide” to try to help keep students on track with learning and testing, said Carolyn Mack, the school district’s chief of curriculum, instruction and staff development.
The tapings will continue on March 14, 16 and 17.
Also, lessons for every grade level will be available online at DPSOnlinelearning.com, though the website is still under construction, the district said.
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The goal is for students to continue learning while school is out of session for at least the next three weeks, though the second week students were going to be off for spring break anyway, district officials said.
“We want learning to take place,” Mack said. “The plus side is that our parents will get to see teachers — how they teach, how they deliver instruction and to interact with the lesson and continue to assist their students.”
There won’t be graded tests, but students will have opportunities to write down answers.
Multiple school board members said they are worried that some parents and households don’t have internet access or cable. They also recommended handing out reading and educational materials at school feeding sites.
Dayton Public Schools will distribute breakfast and lunches to students at school sites in every quadrant of the city for the next three weeks, including over the normal spring break period, said Gary Dickstein, the district’s business manager.
As of March 18, The district’s food sites will be open 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays. Students will receive five breakfast and five lunch meals.
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They include Kiser and Ruskin elementary schools in the northeast area; Edwin Joel Brown Middle School and Rosa Parks Early Learning Center in the northwest area; Belmont High School and Wright Brothers Middle School in the southeast; and Louise Troy and Westwood elementary schools in the southwest.
The district ideally needs about 10 volunteers per building to help pass out meals, and is asking the public for help, Dickstein said. People interested in volunteering should contact DPSSupt@daytonpublic.com.
DPS initially offered food delivery requests, but as of March 17 were no longer offering the service. Those who had already signed up for the service will have food delivered on Wednesdays. The student must be present for the food to be delivered.
Fairborn City Schools
The district will provide lunch and breakfast to students during the three-week hiatus, said Pam Gayheart, spokesperson for Fairborn City Schools. The meals will be distributed at six locations throughout the city between 10 a.m. and noon starting Tuesday until April 4, unless Gov. DeWine puts out another directive that will cause them to adjust the schedule. Schedule changes, updates and the like will be posted to the district’s website and social media platforms, Gayheart said.
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Meals will be distributed at the following location: Fairborn Primary School, Fairborn Intermediate School, Baker Middle School, Abiding Christ Lutheran Church at 326 E. Dayton Yellow Springs Road, Fairborn YMCA and The Mayer Law Office at the corner of Broad and Main streets. Parents can pick up the food in the parking lot at each location, and they must have their children with them to get the meals, Gayheart said.
Students were out of school Friday because of a previously planned teachers’ records day, she said, noting that the staff spent part of the day preparing lesson plans for the next three weeks. Schools will be in session Monday, and officially shut down at the end of the day for the three-week hiatus, she said.
Huber Heights schools will close after school Monday, March 16 and will stay closed through April 12 because of a previously scheduled spring break.
Teachers will be giving out work on Monday for students to complete while the buildings are closed, and additional instruction material and the latest information will be posted on a special page on the district’s website, according to district spokesman Zack Frink.
Meal bags will be available for families to pick up at the front entrance of Valley Forge and Wright Brothers Elementary Schools between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., Monday through Friday, beginning Tuesday, March 17.
Kettering City School District plans to give kids a two-week spring break and resume instruction online on March 30.
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Starting March 23, meals will be available for pick up daily from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for and Kettering child 18 years old and younger.
The district asked families to complete this form to help in planning the meals.
Food distribution sites will be at Fairmont High School, Kettering Middle School, Greenmont Elementary, John F. Kennedy Elementary and Southdale Elementary.
Northmont City Schools
On Friday, March 20, packaged food will be available for preK-12 students for pickup only. Food will be available from 7:45 to 9 a.m. at Northman High School. The student must be present to get food. Families are asked to use the drop off/pickup lane at the National Road entrance and use the main door.
Springboro Community City School District
The district will be closed from March 16 to April 13. This break includes the state’s three-week closure and Springboro Schools’ regularly scheduled spring break. Classes will resume on April 14.
At home learning for all students, preK-12, will begin Friday, March 20. Assignments will be posted on the district’s website or shared by the student’s teacher on Google Classroom, depending on the grade level.
Assignments for students in preK to fifth grade will be posted on the district website. Assignments for students in sixth through 12th grade will be on Google Classroom. Students should check their school email for messages from their teachers.
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Students who received free or reduced lunches or are part of the Boro Backpack Program will still be able to get food. The district will be in contact with those families and provide more details on pick up and distribution.
Springboro Community Assistance Center is working with Springboro Schools and the City of Springboro to help families and students while schools are closed.
The following is the food pick up schedule:
• Mondays (3-5 p.m.)
Springboro Community Assistance Center (SCAC)
1629 S. Main St., Springboro
Perishable and boxed food only
• Wednesdays (5-6 p.m.)
Springboro First United Methodist Church
60 E. North St., Springboro,
Non-perishable food only
• Fridays (6-7 p.m.)
125 E. Central Ave., Springboro
Non-perishable food only
Due to supplies, families can only pick up food one day per week.
For more details on the district's coronaviurs response, visit their website here.
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The Trotwood-Madison City School district will be open Monday and staff “will be working to ensure students can stay connected to us via the Google Classroom platform. We will be sending instructions home for parents on how to access this information as well,” said a statement from the district on March 13.
The district has 24 food distribution sites as of March 18.
Xenia Community Schools
Students in grades K-5 were given Home Learning Kits with lessons for the upcoming week on Friday, according to a Xenia Community Schools release. Students in grades 6-12 can access instruction and assignments via Google Classroom, where they’ll also be able to submit assignments for grading and the like, the release said.
The first lesson is scheduled to be posted at the end of the day Monday, the district said.
Spring break is scheduled for the following week — March 23-27 — and online instructions will resume for 6-12 grade students the following week vial Google Classroom. Learning Kits for K-5 students will be distributed for the final week of the hiatus, the district said, noting that school officials will give families information about how they can pick up the new Home Learning Kids for students.
Breakfast and lunch will be available for eligible students, the district said. Parents can pick up the meals at Arrowood Elementary, Cox Elementary, McKinley Elementary and Shawnee Elementary between 10 and 11 a.m. Monday to Friday.
While schools are closed, the district will post updates regularly on its website and other platforms, officials said.
While schools are closed during the three weeks, families should look for weekly reminder emails with updates about this plan via the Superintendent’s e-news; community members who do not currently receive those communications can opt in to this service at XeniaSchools.org.