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Perrysburg Schools News Article

Community Update 03/27/20

Dear Families, Employees and Community Leaders,

It is my hope that you and your families are all doing well. In the last week, Ohio residents have begun to comply with Governor DeWine’s “Stay-at-Home” Order. Also, late Wednesday, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill (HB) 197 that provides relief and changes necessary for the state to better respond to COVID-19. We are grateful to the Governor and the Ohio Senate and House for working together to respond. In the bill there were many K-12 education-related provisions that provide school districts with more flexibility. 
What does this mean to Perrysburg Schools?
There is a great deal of uncertainty in our own lives as well as in the schools. I wish there were much more we could plan for and share with our families. Like you, we are moving from day to day, adapting to each new change. As much as we have taken steps to cover as much as we can for students, families and employees, we are learning of those things that we can do better to help during this time. 

At this time, we are continuing to plan for online and home learning to continue through the end of the school year. House Bill 197 in many ways, like the waiving of state testing, clears the way to continue the closure of schools, though this has not been announced yet at this time. Faculty and staff members have made plans for lessons through April 6. As we look beyond that, faculty and staff members will be preparing for the next stretch of time. More communication will be forthcoming as the Governor continues to take action in the days and weeks to come.

For our faculty and staff members, we have adapted to this Stay-at-Home Order.

- Head custodians at each building will only perform building checks
- Tech department as needed to support network and to troubleshoot
- Limited kitchen staff at Toth Elementary to prepare meals for delivery/pick up
- Central Office staff as needed

Faculty and staff members have been working hard to strike the right balance between what is needed to maintain or further learning while respecting the challenges this creates for families.

Graduation - Class of 2020 & Next School Year
There is no doubt that the hardest hit class in all of this is the senior class, Class of 2020. The excitement, traditions and rite of passage events have all been put on hold. Dr. Short and the PHS counseling staff will begin to review each senior’s status and communicate to families about meeting the requirements for graduation. HB 197 gives principals and staff members a great deal of latitude on working with students to help with graduation.

Dr. Short has been in talks with BGSU and they have tentatively secured June 28, 29 and 30 as possible dates for the PHS Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony. We appreciate BGSU’s flexibility on moving the ceremony to one of those possible dates. Dr. Short hopes to share with families a specific date and time in the near future. 

Plans for next school year are under way. Yes, there will be a next school year and nearly every family and student would readily admit that this is something we all can look forward to. Student schedules, class assignments, creating bus routes and securing classroom supplies are all important steps that faculty and staff members are working on today.    

COVID-19 Wood County Health Department and PPE Donations
This past week, the Wood County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) requested that all Wood County school districts send them all Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves as well as cleaning supplies and paper products. Perrysburg Schools has complied with this request and sent these extras as requested. Each day, we are receiving requests directly from medical professionals for these items. If there is a need, please contact the Wood County EMA. We are grateful for the life-saving efforts of those who work in the medical field, the front lines, who are putting themselves and their families in harm's way. 

COVID-19 is in our state, our county and community. As the Wood County Health Department reveals general information about those who test positive for COVID-19, there may be questions or speculation about these individuals. Dr. Acton, Ohio Public Health Director, shared that she expects 40% to 70% of residents to contract COVID-19. Today, each diagnosis in the area is breaking news. This is understandable, but not sustainable. The Wood County Health Department, due to HIPAA, cannot release personally identifiable information. The department is not able to share this information with the school district. As a school district, we cannot release any information regarding our employees or students due to HIPAA and the Federal Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA).  There is no doubt that families and employees may be dealing with COVID-19. We hold them in our hearts. However, we cannot confirm or even comment about such matters. The health department reminds us that we should act as if every person outside our home may have it. 

This Week’s Thought
It was once said that if a person were to fall asleep for 100 years and wake up, the only thing he or she may recognize is school. Schools have always been a constant, something that can be counted upon and above all predictable. We issue school calendars a year to two years in advance. We print bus schedules to the minute. We have special schedules for fog delays and pep rallies. In the school world, because of the young people we serve, we plan by the day, week, month and year. In the late summer, kids go back to school. In the late spring, students get out for summer break. Seniors graduate in May and toss their graduation caps in the air and teenagers still get nervous when asking for a prom date. Most importantly, students sit in classes with teachers and learn. 

I was a student when the Blizzard of ‘78 hit and remember when school was closed for over a week. It was a historical moment.

Today, one of the most predictable and reliable institutions, schools, has closed indefinitely. There is no doubt that this is troubling and disruptive to our students, employees and families alike.

In the last few weeks we have learned so much about this virus and our health. From proper handwashing, to covering our coughs, to its symptoms and how the virus moves from person-to-person; we have been focused on the threat to our physical bodies.

But our physical health is not the only thing we need to be concerned about in the weeks and months ahead. We must take steps to care for the health of our minds. Students are faced with a world that has lost its predictable routine; a world that has come to a halt. But, at the same time, this world is speeding up with the fear and anxiety from every breaking newscast, press conference and post. We must challenge ourselves to take the same careful precautions that we are employing to protect our bodies from this virus and apply those same principles to protecting our minds.  

We are all about limiting our exposure to the virus. We must also limit our exposure to those things that can infect our psyche. In a time when there is less structure and fewer interactions, exposure to unfiltered information can be dangerous to our children. What can we offer as parents and families? I am reminded of a quote from Mr. Fred Rogers, of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, who said in response to the uncertainty and anxiety that followed in the days and months following 9/11 in 2001:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Today, there are so many helpers who are making a difference every day. They are our parents, siblings, neighbors and friends. We must remind ourselves that, in the bleakest of times, there are those helpers that we must look for. When we find them, take the time to talk about their actions, sacrifices and successes. We must strive to be the routine and the balance that our students need so desperately during this time. 

Today, there are still many things to celebrate. I hope this next week brings each of you only the best in physical and mental health.

Following please find some information that we hope you find useful. If there are questions or topics you would like us to address, please email them to thosler@perrysburgschools.net.

To your health!
Thomas L. Hosler
Perrysburg Schools

Food Bags, Breakfast and Lunches
Perrysburg Schools will be providing breakfast and lunch to students in need on Monday, March 30th. Students will receive a week’s worth of breakfast 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 RSVP for this service:
For more information, contact Lila Szoda at 419-874-9131, extension 2138 or lszozda@perrysburgschools.net.

The school district has also partnered with the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo and Perrysburg Heights Community Association to ensure the hunger needs of our students and families are met during this extended break.  Due to the shelter-in-place order, the Islamic Food Pantry of Toledo at the Perrysburg Heights Community Center modified hours and a new pick-up protocol. Please see the flyer linked here: 

*If families are not able to pick up meals during the time listed, please call Lila Szozda at 419-874-9131, extension 2138 or lszozda@perrysburgschools.net or the Perrysburg Heights Community Center at 419-874-4529 to make other arrangements. 

Student Services and Supports
During this time of uncertainty, children, adolescents and adults may experience an increase in anxiety, changes in our mood, trouble sleeping and other obstacles as our daily routines are disrupted. Our physical and mental well-being continue to be a priority so we can mitigate some of these factors and focus on the positive. The student services team is committed to sharing vetted articles, videos and tools with you that may aid in navigating this uncharted territory.

Legislative Update
This week, the General Assembly passed House Bill (HB) 197 in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to sign the bill into law, which will take immediate effect upon his signature.
The bill makes the following education-related changes:
• eliminates state and federal testing for the 2019-2020 school year;
• prohibits the issuance of State Report Cards for the 2019-2020 school year (individual student report cards may still be issued) and provides a one-year safe harbor from sanctions related to the report card;
• freezes EdChoice eligibility at the 2019-2020 list of 517 schools;
• permits students and their school-aged siblings who attended or would have attended a building on the 2019-2020 eligibility list to receive a voucher;
• waives the third-grade reading guarantee retention requirement;
• permits schools to grant high school diplomas to students on track to graduate and for whom the principal determines that the student has successfully completed the curriculum;
• permits schools not to conduct evaluations of district employees, including teachers, administrators or superintendents, for the 2019-2020 school year if determined impractical or impossible;
• prohibits the use of 2019-2020 value-added data for the purpose of teacher evaluations;
• permits certain state-licensed individuals to provide services electronically or via telehealth communication to students with special needs;
• delays all licensure deadlines so that expiring licenses must be renewed no later than 90 days after the emergency period ends or Dec. 1, 2020, whichever is sooner;
• sets April 28 as the final day of voting for the March 17 primary election and prohibits in-person voting for that election;
• authorizes the tax commissioner to extend school district income tax filing and payment deadlines for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency declaration;
• permits boards of education to use electronic communication for in-person meetings and hearings during the emergency period but not later than Dec. 1, 2020;
• permits the state director of agriculture to exempt school districts from registering as a food processing establishment overseen by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and from paying registration fees;
• permits the issuance of one-year, nonrenewable, provisional educator licenses provided certain conditions are met;
• permits schools to make up through distance learning any number of days or hours necessary to meet minimum instructional hour requirements.

Sharing Smiles!
Please help us highlight the wonderful work going on around us, such as students learning, families spending quality time outdoors and faculty and staff members working remotely. We encourage everyone to send photos to rzickar@perrysburgschools.net so that we may spread this positivity with the community and media. Please also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see the latest photos!

two girls with sidewalk art
Gretchen (5th grade HPI) & Bridgette (Kindergarten- Mrs. Mackett – Ft. Meigs) enjoying their art time outside!

two people working at sewing machine
Suzy and PHS Principal Mike Short making facemask covers for hospital workers. All three of Suzy's sister are nurses.
six students in a grid playing instruments
A group of HPI band and orchestra friends were missing eating lunch together. On their own they decided they should play their instruments together. They figured out they all knew Frere Jacques!
boy in rollerblades
Austin Laney, 2nd Grader at Fort Meigs Elementary School, getting some fresh air and exercise!

map with "Pburg" spelled out in a path
Chayse, a 7th grader, was challenged by Track Coach Mr. Murray to run on her own and create what is known as "Strava Art," where runners use an app to track their running while also creating a picture based on the GPS tracking of their route as they run. It took some careful planning to run the right pattern. She ran just shy of 5 miles and when she was finished, she spelled "Pburg" -- WOW! We are so proud of you! JACKET PRIDE! 

Posted Friday, March 27, 2020
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