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Perrysburg Schools News Article

Community Update 04/10/20

Good Evening Families, Employees and Community Leaders,

I hope that this message finds each of you and your loved ones well.

On Thursday, April 9, during Governor Mike DeWine’s daily 2:00 p.m. press conference on the state’s COVID-19 response, the Governor responded to a question regarding if students will be returning to school after May 1. Gov. DeWine said he’s not prepared to say when or if schools might reopen this school year. The Governor said it was wise for schools and organizations like the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) to make plans in the event schools are to open after May 1. But, he made it clear that there are no plans at this time for schools to open after May 1, when his “stay at home” order expires. 

The Governor explained his answer: “As we get closer to May 1st, we’re going to evaluate it, we’re going to be open as soon as we can get open. But that will be a gradual opening, this is not going to be turn the switch on and everything goes back to where it was.”

What this means to Perrysburg Schools is that we will continue to focus on online and home learning through May 1. We are, however, preparing for this order to be continued through the end of the school year. The transition to Schoology, a learning platform that provides two-way communication and sharing between students and teachers, in grades K-4 is part of this preparation. 

Upon hearing the Governor’s response on a “gradual” opening, we have since begun conversations as to what that may mean for this school year and, frankly, what starting the 2020-2021 school may look like under a gradual opening. 

We will keep families, employees and community leaders apprised of any further developments. We are grateful for Governor DeWine’s and Ohio Public Health Director Dr. Amy Acton’s leadership during this crisis. 

My Thoughts
Perhaps no other class is feeling the full ramification of chaos that COVID-19 has caused more than the senior class, the class of 2020. In speaking with seniors, safely through my son and his friends, who are members of the class of 2020, it is clear that the sense of loss is settling in among them. Many of the “rite of passage” events like prom, college decision day, awards programs, spring musical, final concerts, spring sports, senior skip day, finals, graduation and graduation parties are just some of the losses they are facing. 

As the conversation moves away from this, it is interesting to hear these students talk about what they had taken for granted. While these milestone events are significant to them and their families, it is the little things that they are really missing.

These seniors are missing the routine. Waking up and fighting the traffic to get to school. Rushing to their lockers and seeing friends at lunch. Experiencing the grind of going class-to-class. Going to rehearsals, practices or meetings and then braving the student parking lot at the day’s end. Seniors are complaining about not being able to complain about things. No more going on and on about their jobs, a mean store clerk or having to get gas for their car. These seemingly mindless tasks are now the things that students miss the most. Perhaps, it is not the specific “things” (who would miss the student parking lot) but rather, they miss “normalcy.” 

There has been great concern raised about what students are missing during this closure. The impact of missing two months of traditional school, a lack of testing and students falling behind have dominated many of the discussions in educational circles. But, the lessons that these seniors and other students are learning today in their “stay-at-home” world may be even more valuable than the lessons not being covered in a traditional sense. As one posted to social media, what if we looked at what these students were getting while being off – learning empathy, compassion, interpersonal skills, connecting in a new way to family and appreciating what must go into keeping a home running smoothly. What if these students began to value the simple tasks of planning to go to the store or stretching a dollar as far as it can go. What if these students learn what it means to put others first and how in the blink of an eye, everything you believed and knew can change. Finally, due to COVID-19, these students have begun to learn what it means to take things for granted – even the smallest of things.  

If this is the case, and these are the lessons being taught, then I would argue that these students are not falling behind. I would contend that these students are actually “advanced” and “accelerated” compared to what other graduating classes learned in this area. As these seniors move on to college, military or the workforce, I believe that this lesson that they are being taught now will prove to be invaluable.    

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 will be providing breakfast and lunch to students in need every Monday through May 1, 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.

K-4 Transition to Schoology
As I shared last week, students in our elementary schools have been using a web site called ClassTag for remote learning. In the short window we had to plan for the initial school closure period, this platform served as an excellent one-way communication tool. That stated, it did present limitations. Because of Governor Mike DeWine’s order to extend our school closure period, we knew that we needed a more powerful learning management system. As a result, we are working to transition over the next two weeks from ClassTag to Schoology. Schoology is one of the top Learning Management Systems (LMS) in the United States and is used throughout the world. Our students in grades five through twelve have been using this platform for the past seven years.

School District Begins to take steps in preparation for Reduction in Funding
The ripple effect of COVID-19 will be felt around the world, in our state and in our community. Virtually every aspect of life has been impacted in some way. We understand that there will be a reduction in state and local school funding. As a result, the school district has taken immediate steps to freeze all current building and department budgets and, for the 2020-2021 school year, allocate 50% of the budgeted amounts from fall 2018 to begin the year. Plans are being made to make necessary adjustments to hiring, personnel and all other school district operations moving forward.  

In terms of revenue, approximately 62% of our funds are collected locally while 28% comes from the state and 10% of the remaining revenue comes from federal and other sources. There is no doubt that each of these areas will see a reduction. The last financial crisis in the state was the great recession from December 2007 - June 2009. From October 2009 to March 2010, the school district saw a decrease of $2,171,889 in its combined federal, state and local revenue. By the fall of 2010, our school district made $3.1 million worth of reductions to balance our budget.  There is no way to know exactly what to expect at this time and taking a defensive position to be able to react to the anticipated changes is required.

Following, please find some additional 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.

Be healthy,
Thomas L. Hosler
Perrysburg Schools

Band on the Run goes Virtual!
The Band on the Run 5K, the largest annual fundraiser for the Hull Prairie Intermediate School and Perrysburg Junior High School bands, that had been scheduled for May 2, 2020 has been converted to a Virtual Band on the Run 5-Whatever Challenge! 

Those who register for the race (a $25 donation) are asked to register then do 5 of something before May 3. Maybe it is running the originally planned 5K route or running around your house 5 times or 5 push-ups for 5 days. The organizers encourage participants to be creative and share what they did with photos, videos, STRAVA Art, etc. to provide some good cheer for our community. You may register for this virtual race using this link:

You may also register for this year and get a jumpstart on 2021 with a $40 registration, which will also cover the registration fee for the race to be held in the spring of 2021. If you would like to make a donation to the band program, you may do so through the link above.

Emergency Preparedness Beyond COVID-19
With this week’s severe weather, we are reminded that even though we are in an unprecedented time, it’s still our regular time of year to be especially aware of severe weather and to make sure your family is prepared. The Wood County Emergency Management Agency reminds us that now is the time to make sure your NOAA Weather Radio is working, your flashlights have fresh batteries, your cell phone is charged and that you have weather apps active. The Wood County EMA does a fantastic job of monitoring severe weather and they provide updates as they are available. Please consider following them on social media:

You may also sign up to receive Wood County CodeRED Alerts and CodeRED Weather Warnings by clicking the link below. CodeRED Alerts and CodeRED Weather Warnings send notification to those who are in the path of incoming severe weather or may be affected by some other emergency situation.

From the Wood County Health Department
CDC and the Ohio Department of Health strongly recommend that people begin wearing cloth face masks or coverings in public settings, where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and parks. In addition, you should:
? Maintain 6 feet of distance whenever possible, even if you are wearing a face covering.
? Not place cloth face coverings on children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
? Not use medical supply masks, which must be reserved for health care workers, first responders and people who are sick.
? Make cloth face coverings from household items or common materials. Use multiple layers of a fabric that does not damage or lose shape when laundered or machine dried.
? Support small businesses selling fabric masks at a reasonable price, but watch out for scammers offering high-priced or so-called superior masks.
? Use coverings that fit snugly but comfortably and allow for breathing without restriction. Secure with ties or ear loops.
? Not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the face covering, and wash your hands immediately after removing it.
? Launder coverings after each use. Avoid wearing when wet from laundering or from saliva or mucus.
CDC has information about using cloth face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19: how to wear them, how to make them, how to clean them and more. Go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html?fbclid=IwAR3HbZArGobL30gzdos_D5zb41b9zPKXg4XPdgwXy9f0Gbd5UN6Mn4_80aw.

Posted Friday, April 10, 2020
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