March 16, 2020
Dear Yellow Springs Families & Staff,
This letter is a follow-up to my letter dated Thursday, March 12, 2020. We are continuing to see the situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19) change swiftly. As of this afternoon, there are 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio.
Given that cases in Ohio are now increasing due to community spread, as Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, discusses every day in the governor’s daily press conference, it may just be a matter of time before we see a positive case in Yellow Springs. Please know that even though we do not have students physically present now, Yellow Springs Schools will continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and Greene County Public Health (GCPH) regarding recommendations for the prevention of COVID-19. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19, you may visit www.coronavirus.ohio.gov or contact the Ohio Department of Health call center at 1-8334-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
We will begin our non-traditional instruction (NTI)/distance learning plan starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Teachers will be available to respond to email, address student academic questions and serve as a resource for students and parents this Tuesday, March 17 through Thursday, March 19, 2020, and then again the week of Monday, March 30 through Friday, April 3, 2020. We will honor our regularly scheduled Spring Break time of Friday, March 20 through Friday, March 27, 2020.
As previously mentioned, our goal with our non-traditional instruction/distance learning plan is to keep students connected to their academic studies. 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.
If your child is struggling or you have any questions, please email your student’s teacher or building principal. Our email format is the first initial of the teacher’s first name and the last firstname.lastname@example.org. If a student has a technology issue with their Chromebook, please send an email to Thomas Young at email@example.com.
For our families who utilize free and reduced lunch services, we are planning on having food assistance available during this time. Meals will be available for pickup at McKinney Middle School/Yellow Springs High School (kitchen door that opens onto the circle drive), from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., on the following dates:
Wednesday, March 18
Friday, March 20
Tuesday, March 24
Friday, March 27
Tuesday, March 31
Friday, April 3
For circumstances where a family is unable to pick up during the allotted times, please contact Steffanie Stratton at (937) 767-7381 or firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can arrange for food delivery on those dates. Please know that ANY student seeking food assistance will not be turned away.
What happens next? The Ohio Department of Education pushed out an FAQ document on Saturday. Significant concerns, like testing and graduation, have not been addressed yet. In fact, Governor DeWine was on CNN on Sunday saying that schools in Ohio may not open until fall. This situation continues to be fluid and changes rapidly. It is my continued commitment to keep communicating regularly and keep you informed as we receive guidance from ODE.
Thank you again for your patience, understanding, and support as we navigate through these unique times with the health and wellness of our students, staff, and community at the forefront.
Dr. Terri L. Holden