Things seem to be changing minute by minute when it comes to what schools need to do during their three weeks out and both Minford and Wheelersburg have been working diligently to keep up with the changes and make the best of it for their staffs, families and especially the students.
Superintendent of Minford Local Schools, Jeremy Litteral, said the school district had changed the plan about 50 times.
“My administrative team has been phenomenal, the staff has been phenomenal, and I think we’re doing a great job, but with what information they have, they are making the most of it,” Litteral said. “Right now, our biggest plan is just figuring out the feeding of children and things like that, right now that’s what I’m working on, to determine who needs food brought to their house and what children we are serving.”
As for schoolwork, Litteral shared PreK-third grade children are working out of workbooks and packets.
“No technology for them and it was sent home with them Friday, or parents are picking them up today and we will mail the ones that are not picked up,” Litteral said.
In grades 4-12, the district is using the online Google platform for work for those instructional lessons.
“We did a survey with every kid Friday if they had technology at home or access, and we have that list and the teachers are sending paper copies to those children and we may mail those, or drop them off when we deliver food as we go through this week,” Litteral said.
“What we are doing, our staff is not reporting after today (Monday), unless they need in the building to do something, but we did ask for volunteers to help serve for the week and I probably have 50 volunteers including drivers and teaching staff, everybody’s pitching in to run bus routes, to help take the food to the children.
Litteral explained the plan is to run bus routes with people helping the bus drivers get the food to the children; the buses will pull up and honk the horn and someone will come out to get the food and keep on going.
“We’re kind of playing it day by day because at this point, we’re not sure how long the closure will be in effect, so as information is released, we are reacting as we need to,” Litteral said.
He says that there will not be people in the buildings at all times, but there will be signs posted as need be.
Posted on social media and the Minford website, there is a note: “Parents…as we transition to a “Nontraditional” learning model, please keep in mind that the new Minford Online Learning Portal will be the home base for all information about online learning. Tuesday, March 17, will be the first official day for online learning for grades 4-12. Our staff will be trained tomorrow morning (Monday) and will begin to update their Google Classrooms. By Tuesday morning, there should be enough there for students to get started. Please note that we completely understand this is going to be a difficult transition for everyone involved. The keywords for everyone are patience and understanding. We do not expect your children to be glued to a computer screen for eight hours per day doing schoolwork. We want them outside, playing, working, helping their neighbors, etc. A positive feature of online learning is flexibility. Our goal is to continue to provide them with a quality education with whatever means necessary https://sites.google.com/minfordfalcons.net/onlineportal.”
Superintendent of Wheelersburg Local Schools, Mark Knapp, on Monday, said, “We planned to be in session today and to distribute work and plans then for the next three weeks of closure. However, things evolved rapidly over the weekend to the point where we got together yesterday afternoon as an administrative team, changed our plans and announced our closure yesterday evening for students. Staff reported today (Monday), they are doing planning and preparation. We’ve invited students and parents in today between 10 and 4 today to pick up personal items to receive any assignments or technology they might need for the next three weeks.”
Knapp continued, “We’ve met with our staff today(Monday) to continue to make plans for the next three weeks.”
When asked about those who may not have technology at home, he said, “We’ll make it available for whatever the parent needs and the child. We understand that some folks do not have internet access, we’ll make alternate assignments or alternate ways for them to work during this time; most of our students have access to internet services.
Knapp explained the school parking lots could be used as hot spots; some of the local businesses have contacted them and stated that people are welcome to use their parking lots for Wi-Fi. “
We are really happy about that; I know McDonald’s was very happy to help us with that,” Knapp said.
Knapp concluded, “Currently, our students, eighth grade through 12th grades, have Chromebooks available to them and they take them back and forth to home. We now have a request form on our website that parents can request a Chromebook for fourth through 7th-grade students and we also have a link on our website organizing a meal delivery for students they choose a location and let us know how many meals they need at that location; our bus drivers are going to assist with that, so we’ll be driving out on the school buses to deliver meals. We’re trying to do everything we can to help our families and students during this time. I can’t brag about our staff enough, pitching in to help, volunteering to help however they can.”
The Daily Times reached out to other districts in Scioto County but have not received a call before press time. Stay up to date with the Portsmouth Daily Times as we continue to report on information from local schools.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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