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Perrysburg Schools News Article

Community Update 05/01/20

Greetings Families, Employees and Community Leaders,

It is so encouraging to see weather forecasts that include sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s. There is something very powerful about the those first sunny and warm days in spring. The long winter filled with gray skies and cold temperatures is difficult to endure. Those first truly spring days feed each of us with hope and excitement for better things to come as we get closer to the summer.

This weekend, as we experience the first true stretch of spring, let’s remember that there will be better days ahead for all of us. The excitement of what is to come lives in each of us and gives us hope. Speaking of weather, there will some nice days and of course our share of unseasonably cold or stormy days. Much like our battle with the virus, we know that not every day will be sunny. Some of our neighbors, friends and loved ones are continuing to suffer. Sadly, this will not change in the near future. But we hope and know we will be able to enjoy those sunny days again.

Today, the new “Stay Safe Ohio” order goes into effect. As a result, on Monday, May 4, additional businesses and services will open under specific conditions defined by Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health. Governor DeWine said: “Our new order goes into effect today… But I do want to indicate the name: Stay Safe Ohio. It’s not a stay-at-home order. We have reached a new stage. But – it doesn’t mean the virus has gone away.”

Also new this week, Dr. Acton amended the order for the closure of all K-12 school facilities in the State of Ohio. Dr. Acton ordered that all school buildings will be closed through June 30, 2020. This extends to all school facilities and includes stadiums, baseball/softball diamonds and tracks. This clearly prohibits schools from making their facilities available to club/travel/non-interscholastic sports during this mandatory shut-down.

What does this mean to Perrysburg Schools?
While the school buildings are closed for educational purposes as they have been since March, it does not mean that essential and needed staff members cannot return to those buildings. Also, students may be permitted to return to the buildings, under certain circumstances while respecting social distancing, to return books and/or clean out lockers. Each building will be sharing a schedule of when these activities may occur and the process that families will need to follow if scheduling to enter the building.

The school district is now bringing more staff members back as we must work to close up this school year and prepare for next school year. Custodians, maintenance, grounds, secretaries, counselors and administrators will begin to work ranging from full time in the buildings to rotating days during this extended closure.

The Perrysburg Board of Education will be holding a Board Meeting on May 6 at 5:30 p.m. via Facebook Live. Directions to access the meeting may be found on the school district’s web site. One of the agenda items is a presentation about what next school year may look like. District leaders have been busy planning for the return of students, faculty and staff members for the 2020-2021 school year. There has been considerable discussion nationwide about if and how school will resume. There are three basic options being planned based on the information we have today.

The first is to return under a traditional schedule that would occur if there are no significant restrictions on the school district, students or the population. This first option would, more or less, look like any other school year.

The second option we are planning for is that the school year would begin as this current year has ended, with students learning from home. The school district is exploring what supports we can put in place for students, families and educators to start the school year online.

The third option being planned would be the start of the school year where social distancing and various restrictions would be in place. For example, face-to-face learning could occur but school districts would need to design the school day to respect social distancing. This option has required the most internal discussion and planning. Without much guidance, we have begun to design how to accomplish this.

If class sizes had to be reduced by 50% at a time, or social distancing would need to be implemented on school buses, how could we could deliver instruction? This important exercise has resulted in more questions than answers. However, we owe it to the Board and families to begin to share our work so we may refine the plan and give a glimpse of what may come and how these plans may impact students, families and employees.

Our crystal ball is no more powerful than anyone else’s who is reading this. The steps we are taking to consider “what if” are not the final word or what we are advocating for. It is, however, our responsibility to face the unknown and ask how can we succeed in our mission.

I can share that the planning for this has been painful as two of the three options are not what any of us wants and more importantly is not as beneficial to our students’ educational journey. We must have the difficult conversations now and begin to look towards to the future if we are to make the best of whatever option is given to us.

We understand that in each scenario we will have students unable to return for face-to-face instruction until there is a treatment or vaccine. We are busy planning for that reality as well.

If it comes to making a significant change in how we must deliver instruction, we will work closely with employees and families to communicate the how’s and why’s in the changes needed.

We need from our state leaders time to plan. Figuring out how an 84-passenger bus can be a space that respects social distancing and maybe can only transport 28 students (one per seat) or less can get all of our students to school is just one practical example of what is needed to plan for the future under Option 3.

The presentation on Wednesday will begin to frame the conversation. We can only count on that there will be changes in the guidance we are given right up to the day schools will open in August.

Student Services and Supports
Please visit this link to view the many student services and supports available to families during this crisis, from food assistance to mental health. It is updated weekly.

Food Bags, Breakfasts and Lunches
Perrysburg Schools are providing breakfast and lunch to students in need every Monday through May 18, 2020. Students will receive a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches and can pick up via a car line at Toth Elementary School (200 East Seventh St.). A-L pickup is 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and M-Z pick up is 12:30-1:30 p.m., however this is flexible. Safety precautions will be in place for social distancing and will be explained when you arrive. Please click the link below to sign up for this service by Sunday of each week.

If there are questions or topics you would like us to address, please email them to thosler@perrysburgschools.net.

Tom H.

Thomas L. Hosler
Perrysburg Schools
419-874-9131 ext. 2103

Posted Friday, May 1, 2020
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