Although Upper Arlington Schools remain closed following spring break, the district intends to provide ongoing instruction through "distance teaching and learning."
As ordered by Gov. Mike DeWine, UA Schools closed its buildings to students and visitors March 17. Per that order, the buildings are expected to remain closed through at least April 3, although he has said the closure could extend to the rest of the school year..
Upper Arlington students were on spring break March 16-23, and next week, they'll begin receiving instruction through online classes and instruction provided via district-issued laptop and tablem computers.
"Distance teaching and learning will begin Monday, March 30," said Karen Truett, UA Schools communications director. "We are working with the city of Upper Arlington to provide information on the free Wi-Fi available around Upper Arlington in safe places.
"Private vendors have also offered free internet services for families at this time."
Assistant Superintendent Andy Hatton said the district is using this week to "roll our distance-teaching and -learning plan to ensure we are well prepared to design distance-learning experiences for an extended period of time if needed."
In the meantime, Truett said, most district staff members are able to work remotely.
An exception has been the staff members still reporting to provide meals for students and to provide security at school buildings.
That food program was scheduled to begin March 24. Through it, the district is providing free boxed lunches, which also include a breakfast for the following day, to any school-age children in need during school days.
The schedule for the food program is:
* Tremont Elementary School -- 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
* Barrington Elementary School -- 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
* Greensview Elementary School -- 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
* Windermere Elementary School -- noon to 12:45 p.m.
* Wickliffe Progressive Elementary School -- noon to 12:45 p.m.
At this point, district officials don't know how the building closures will affect annual standardized testing, and they're not sure if the district will be required to make up any canceled school days.
"The situation has impacted every aspect of the district's operations, but we will maintain our focus on the well-being of our students and staff and ensure continued learning experiences for students," Hatton said.
Hatton said district officials have no reservations about DeWine's decision to close schools in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.