March 12, 2020
Dear Yellow Springs Families & Staff,
This letter is a follow-up to my letter from yesterday, March 11, 2020. As predicted, the situation surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to change. As of this afternoon, there are five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio. The fifth case is also a case of community spread.
Gov. DeWine, in a press conference this afternoon, closed ALL K-12 schools, both public and private, for three weeks. This date span runs from Tuesday, March 17, 2020, through Friday, April 3, 2020.
The last day for Yellow Springs students will be Friday, March 13, 2020. Students will return to school on Monday, April 6, 2020. The last day for Yellow Springs students who attend The Greene County Learning Center, The Academy of Greene County, and the Greene County Career Center will also be Friday, March 13, 2020.
Although the official closure as indicated by the governor is end-of-day Monday, Yellow Springs Schools will use Monday, March 16, 2020, for staff to finalize preparations for this three-week closure.
Beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Yellow Springs Schools will implement our non-traditional instruction/distance learning plan. As mentioned in yesterday’s communication, we have dedicated a space on the district website (https://ysschools.org) titled COVID-19. Go to the “menu” (for any building) and you will see a section called COVID-19. There you will find district letters, public health information, and relevant articles about the virus. Also in this section is a link titled Non-Traditional Instruction. It is here where you will find educational materials and instructions from each teacher.
During the three-week closure, teachers will be available to respond to email, address student academic questions and serve as a resource for students and parents. Our goal with our non-traditional instruction/distance learning plan is to keep students connected to their academic studies. This is not a replacement for face-to-face instruction. As one of these weeks would have been our spring break, teachers have been asked to provide approximately two weeks of “distance learning” work for students. This would translate to approximately two to three hours per day. The work provided for students in some courses, particularly at the secondary level (e.g. AP courses), may be of a heavier nature. This will not be new instruction. We do not want to put parents in a position to have to teach children content with which they may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable. This work is designed to reinforce previous instruction, be supplemental to current instruction, or to provide skill intervention.
Buildings will be open on Monday for parents and families to:
Talk to teachers if needed.
Pick up any medicines that are currently kept at school that would be needed at home for the next three weeks.
Get paper copies of work as needed.
Get necessary technology if there is a need.
Other important information that you need to know as we move forward:
Report cards will be distributed when we return the week of April 6.
Dates for the fourth quarter will be adjusted accordingly. As of today, we are not extending the academic year.
State testing is still unknown at this point. Gov. DeWine said today that the world would not end if schools are unable to complete testing this year. I thank him for that. Official word will still need to come from the Ohio Department of Education.
There will be no school activities, extra-curriculars, or athletics during this time.
District office staff and building principals will be in during the next three weeks and available for any questions or concerns.
For our families who utilize free and reduced lunch services, we are planning on having food assistance available during this time. Details are still being worked out, and I will communicate this information on Monday. I want to give a huge thank you to the Yellow Springs Community Food Pantry and The Nutrition Group who are assisting in this endeavor.
Parents and families, I know this is a very difficult time for you as you will no doubt be scrambling to arrange childcare. As I receive additional guidance from the governor or the Ohio Department of Education, I will communicate this to you. Together we will get through this. Patience, kindness and understanding will be much-needed.
Again, do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions. Thank you for your continued support in keeping our students, staff and community safe.
Dr. Terri L. Holden