In response to Gov. Mike DeWine extending school closures until May 1 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Bexley City Schools will continue to provide online instruction and distributrion of meals to students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, according to district leaders.

The district prepared a distance-learning plan for students that began March 30, district spokesman Tyler Trill said.

"Based on comments made by Gov. DeWine during previous press conferences and media appearances, the district has been preparing for an extended closure," Trill said. "We will continue distance learning through May 1."

In accordance with the governor signing Ohio House Bill 197 into law, all kindergarten through 12th-grade standardized testing and state report-card requirements have been waived for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, according to the district's website, bexleyschools.org.

"This permits schools to grant a diploma to any student that the school district has determined is on track to graduate," the website said.

The district is holding virtual meetings for students who have individualized education programs and other special needs, Trill said.

"We are doing the best we can to provide support while following educational and health-and-safety guidelines," he said.

High school and middle school students will use Canvas, while elementary students will use Google Sites for distance learning, according to the district's website, with expectations for daily schoolwork based on grade levels. The guidelines are three to four hours per day for high school students, 2.5 to 3.5 hours per day for middle school students and 1.5 to 2.5 hours per day for elementary students.

The website said children who could not access learning materials March 30 due to a lack of computer or internet access would not face a penalty and that teachers would work with students to get them caught up.

Meanwhile, students who receive free and reduced-price lunches have been notified on procedures to pick up meals. 

"In order to best follow Ohio's stay-at-home order, our food-service team filled bags with enough food to last a child over two weeks," Trill said. "With the closure extending to May 1, the district will now distribute food weekly. We are also collaborating with the Bexley COVID-19 Task Force to make sure those families in need have enough food."

For more information, go to bexleyschools.org.

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