Dear Bulldog Families,
As you know, Governor DeWine has extended the closing of all schools in Ohio through at least Friday, May 1st. We cannot thank our students and families enough for the dedication and grit that you’ve shown to your children’s education. This is not easy as many of our parents are working from home alongside their children, while others are using child care while they perform essential services to our regional community. Thank you!
Our administrators, teachers and support staff anticipated an extension and have been working hard to plan for this longer period away from school, and I want to acknowledge all for their collaboration and sincere commitment to our students and families.
What Can Students and Families Expect Moving Forward?
We are moving into the 4th quarter and essentially phase two of the distance learning format. Our goal is to provide a consistent structure that helps students work as independently as possible, and one that helps parents in their supervision of learning. No matter what we do, we will never come close to emulating a typical school experience during this pandemic, however that will not deter our efforts to create a great virtual experience for our students. Moving forward, our students and families can expect the following:
- New instruction will begin next week.
- An online instructional plan that will have a common set of expectations for educators and students across the district.
- Contact hours between teachers and students that occur regularly in order to support learning. Please note that there will likely not be a uniform software application for student-teacher contact. Teachers will utilize applications such as Bloomz, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.
- Equal access to technology for all students so that when we switch to an online system as the primary methodology for instruction, everyone will be able to participate.
- An instructional focus on the most important learning standards by grade and subject coupled with a common assessment experience and collection of evidence for achievement so students have common experiences and teachers are able to evaluate student work in order to assign grades.
- Support from special education teachers and related service providers for students who are on special plans like an Individualized Educational Plan.
Parents and students should be aware that while there are common district expectations, there will be some autonomy at the building level. As a result, our building principals will be providing parents with a more detailed update by the end of this week. As we move into a completely electronic and virtual environment, any questions that students and parents have should be directed to the individual teacher and building administrators where the student attends school.
Closing Out 3rd Quarter for OFIS/OFMS/OFHS
While students at our Early Childhood Center and Falls-Lenox Primary School had already wrapped up their second trimester ahead of the initial closure announcement on March 12th, students at OFIS, OFMS and OFHS are on a quarter system and were still in the midst of the 3rd quarter. As principals shared in a previous communication to families, the decision was made to extend the 3rd grading period for our 4th - 12th grade students to April 9th. All work assigned by teachers and completed by students during the initial three weeks of the closure will apply to students’ third quarter grades. While new instruction begins on April 6th, students should utilize next week -- April 6th - 9th -- to turn in all completed work that has been assigned by their teachers since the beginning of the closure, along with any other assignments from earlier in the quarter that they may have still been working on at the time of closure. Building principals and teachers will be reaching out to remind students as well.
Third quarter grades are due by April 22, and report cards will be available on PowerSchool shortly after that date. Students in grades 4 to 12 with Individual Education Plans (IEP) will receive IEP Progress Reports soon after April 22nd as well.
Other Items / Reminders to Share
- There will be no distance learning activities during the district’s scheduled spring break, which begins this Friday, April 10th and runs through April 17th. Distance learning will resume on Monday, April 20th.
- The Free Student Breakfast/Lunch Program will continue during our spring break, April 10th - 17th, thanks to staff and community members volunteering their personal time. Any families needing to add their student(s) to the free breakfast/lunch program are encouraged to click HERE for additional information regarding how to sign up for meal deliveries. We understand that many families will have changing financial situations as the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact job security. Please know that we are here to assist families with students who may find themselves with limited food resources. For any families interested in making a formal application to enroll in the Federal Free/Reduced Breakfast/Lunch program, please click HERE for instructions on how to apply online or contact Julie Bartell in our food services department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Our buildings continue to work closely with our district technology department to ensure that all students have access to the internet and an appropriate device at home as we gear up to expand remote instruction next week. (Please note that IPads / tablets alone will not be adequate.) If your student is in need of a Chromebook device and/or if your household needs an internet connection, please click HERE to complete the request form as soon as possible.
- Please continue to refer to the Extended Closure Resource Page on our district’s website for a variety of useful information and links including: OFCS Online Learning Library, Building/District Contact Information, Technology Assistance, Student-to-Student Tutoring, Community Education & Engagement Opportunities, Student Wellness & Mental Health, Frequently Asked Questions, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and more.
These are strange times indeed, however together we will be able to rise above the difficulty and provide a schooling experience that we can be proud of given the circumstances that we are in. Our goal has been to continue the learning process, continue to connect with students and recognize that this is something that our families have not signed up for. We do not want to overwhelm our students or our families. We are here to support you and your children during this time. Remember, the entire world is going through the same thing that we are experiencing in Olmsted Falls. Hang in there...be kind to yourself and each other. We’ve got this!
Dr. Jim Lloyd
Superintendent for the Olmsted Falls City School District
26937 Bagley Rd.
Olmsted Township, OH 44138