Dublin City Schools officials were prepared for a possible extension of school closures in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and online learning will continue uninterrupted, according to district spokesman Doug Baker.
Buildings were closed after Gov. Mike DeWine’s March 12 order to close schools statewide for three weeks to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. On March 30, DeWine announced schools would remain closed until at least May 1.
Baker said online learning would continue for as long as buildings remain closed. He said the district distributed Chromebook computers to students who needed the technology.
The district also has been working to turn its Wi-Fi signal outward at some of its buildings so families who might need internet access could pick up signals in parking lots.
The district has also been sharing information about internet service providers that are offering discounted or free service during the pandemic, he said.
The district’s meal distribution schedule will continue uninterrupted, he said.
Baker said the district is helping its at-risk students, such as those on individualized education programs or Section 504 plans, by checking in with students and families on a regular basis and providing special instruction.
Intervention specialists are working with classroom teachers to ensure classwork is adapted to meet the needs of learners with disabilities, he said.
“We are utilizing teletherapy for services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and social-work services, to name a few,” Baker said.
“Behavior analysts are supporting parents and children with structure and routine through phone calls, emails and video conferencing solutions.”
Dublin Board of Education President Chris Valentine said the pandemic is uncharted territory.
“Our daily routines have been turned upside down and disrupted,” Valentine said. “Many parents, including our own teachers, are working from home while attempting to care for their own children.”
Valentine said the district is committed to providing the best possible education through virtual and online teaching.
“This isn’t easy to implement in a short time period, but we have an amazing staff that is learning and adjusting on the fly,” he said.