Students in Pickerington Schools will resume classwork through a variety of methods when instruction resumes in the district Monday, March 30.
“Pickerington Schools is positioned well for this closure as we were already a one-to-one (technology) district,” said Crystal Davis, Pickerington Schools public-relations director.
“We see the online-learning protocols for the closure as an extension of the blizzard bags/online learning that we were already utilizing.”
The district’s spring break originally was scheduled for March 23 through 27.
But, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered all schools in the state closed beginning March 16 in order to attempt to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
At that time Superintendent Chris Briggs said students would be required to keep up with classes either through “blizzard bags,” used during typical calamity days or through online instruction, and the district still would provide meals, but they would be in grab-and-go bags to be picked up at set locations.
He said students March 17 were given blizzard bag assignments to complete at home during the duration of the closure, which is expected to last at least through April 3, 2020.
“Students and staff will not be expected to work (or) complete assignments during the district’s normally scheduled spring break, March 23-27,” he said.
“Since students will be completing assignments at home, classes will not have to be extended into the summer. All school events, athletic practices and games, clubs, meetings, etc., are canceled until further notice. There will be no student events during the required school closure period.”
Students in grades K-4 were instructed to access blizzard-bag assignments through a link on the district’s website. Middle school and high school students were told to use laptop and tablet computers they already had been issued by the district to complete assignments via the Google Classroom app.
Davis said the district also has taken steps to ensure students who don’t have internet access at home can keep up with their school work.
“We provided hard copies of assignments (March 13) to students who needed them,” Davis said. “All other students have a device and will receive their assignments online for the duration of the closure.
“Students can also pick up hard copies of assignments at the district office (90 N. East St.) at any time, if needed, she said. “There is a bin just outside of the district office’s front door with hard copies of the assignments for all grade levels.”
District teachers also have been instructed to work from home, Davis said.
“Everyone will work from home except for a few essential personnel – some directors, some (internet technology) staff, custodians, maintenance, grounds, food services to serve school breakfast/lunches and the front desk receptionist.”
The district is continuing to provide meal options to students.
Briggs said the district’s food-services department is partnering with the transportation department to provide a grab-and-go meal program.
The meals were made available March 16 through 20 and would be again Monday, March 30, through April 3.
“Breakfast and lunch will be provided in one bag,” Briggs said. “The program is run by the (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and (Ohio Department of Education).
“Meals can be provided for anyone through the age 18, free of charge.
Pickup is available between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. weekdays at Tussing Elementary School, 7117 Tussing Road; Harmon Middle School, 12410 Harmon Road; and Ridgeview Junior High School, 130 Hill Road South, he said.
Briggs said the meals are not permitted to be consumed on school grounds.
“This will be a grab-and-go pickup,” he said. “If you are sick, please send a member of your household for pickup.”
Davis said the district continues to discuss how the three-week closure will affect annual standardized tests, as well as to assess the overall impact the governor’s order will have on the district and what the district is doing to prepare for the possibility of classes not being resumed at all this semester.