Following Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s mandate that all school districts in Ohio close for a period of three weeks to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Gahanna-Jefferson schools announced March 12 it would close starting on Monday, March 16 with classes scheduled to resume April 6.

“While schools are closed, our district will transition to a distance learning environment and teachers will work to continue instruction with students,” Superintendent Steve Barrett wrote in a letter to district families. “Students in grades 2-12 will take their Chromebooks home (March 13) for use while completing class activities and assignments. Students that do not have access to Wi-Fi or the internet will receive accommodations.”

Barrett said teachers would report to school early next week for professional development and to prepare for distance learning delivery.

Distance learning is scheduled March 18 to March 20 and March 30 through April 3 with March 23 to March 27 being days off for spring break, he said.

“Please note that distance learning does not mirror an in-school day and coursework may be adjusted to be better suited for at-home learning,” Barrett said. “Though students will not be constrained by traditional learning hours, they will be required to complete activities and assignments.”

He said the district would use email, social media and its website, gahannaschools.org, to provide the most up-to-date, accurate information as it becomes available.

“We understand the closing of school causes challenges for everyone in our community and we are committed to making the transition to distance learning as smooth as possible,” Barrett said. “Our goal is to keep learning going during this time and we appreciate your understanding as we navigate through these unprecedented circumstances.”

Following DeWine’s announcement regarding school closures, Gahanna Residents In Need and Neighborhood Bridges announced a partnership to collect nonperishable food for school district families from 3 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday starting March 17 in the parking lot at Gahanna Lincoln High School, 140 S. Hamilton Road.

Brenda Johnston, executive director of GRIN, said the purpose is to help the community through the closure.

Specific items are requested for each Tuesday:

March 17 – protein such as canned meats/fish, peanut butter

March 24 – cereal and oatmeal

March 31 – pasta and pasta sauce

Check grin4gahanna.org for updates.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla