Students to continue Remote Schooling for Remainder of School Year
Dear Families, Employees and Community Members,
Today, Governor Mike DeWine announced that for the remainder of the school year, students will continue to go to school remotely. This means that students will not physically return to school for the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year but instead will continue with the current home/online learning.
Perrysburg Schools’ calendar for the 2019-2020 school year will continue to be followed, with the last day of instruction being scheduled for students in grades K-11 on Thursday, May 21. Seniors’ last day is tentatively set for Friday, May 15. While the physical buildings are now closed, schools in Ohio are still required to meet a minimum number of instructional hours required by the state. We will review our current hours, the impact of no spring state testing that requires several days to administer and communicate any adjustments that the Board of Education may make to the current calendar.
The Governor stated today his rationale for making this decision: “We've flattened the curve, but the virus remains. Also, to go back to school now with a relatively small amount of time left – many educators have expressed to me that this wouldn't be a good idea even if the health situation were resolved.”
For Perrysburg Schools, we will continue to communicate with families about end-of-the-year protocols, including the return of books, medication pickup, locker clean out, yearbook deliveries and other steps that will need to be completed. In doing so, we will make sure we are following the social distancing guidelines in place for all Ohioans.
Governor DeWine also provided a glimpse into what may come as we look forward to returning to school for the 2020-2021 school year. He said: “I know that schools and superintendents and educators across Ohio are working on some very innovative solutions as they continue to plan for next year. I encourage schools to continue to do this planning.” He then added: “As we move forward, we've made no decision about the fall. I know parents, teachers and administrators are anxious about an answer about the fall, but we're not in the position to make that decision yet.”
We are hoping that when students return to school in August, we will return to a “traditional” and “normal” school year. Listening to the Governor and health officials like Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, we know that this is not likely. As a result, we are busy preparing for a return to school that may reflect social distancing, no large gatherings, wearing masks and other safeguards in place when students and employees return, as prescribed by the Governor.
Families should begin to consider what steps they may need to take if we begin the school year with a “split schedule,” where students attend just part of the day or on alternating days. Why would this happen? If we are charged with reducing the number of students in any given space, for example, we may need to split classes to reduce class size to accommodate social distancing and create a transportation schedule that would reduce the number of students on the bus to one student per seat. These steps would also reduce the number of students in hallways and in the lunchroom. We will work on developing an alternative schedule between now and then with the hopes that it will never be used.
We also understand that there are students and employees who are themselves medically fragile or have family members who are and who, despite our best efforts, may not be safe or comfortable in any public setting. We will advocate for those individuals as well.
As more information becomes available to us, we will continue to share with families, employees and the community how this information may factor into our planning for the 2020-2021 school year.
I appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.
Thomas L. Hosler
Posted Monday, April 20, 2020