With Ohio schools remaining closed until at least May 1 because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Canal Winchester and Groveport Madison school districts will stay the course with their online learning schedules.

Officials from both districts say they believe the extended break will not significantly affect their online learning environments.

"We don't see the extension of the break affecting our current plans," said Jeff Warner, Groveport Madison director of communications. "Our teaching-and-learning, special-education and student-services departments created a teaching-and-learning hub for our teachers. It has content for every grade level and in every subject area, as well as instructions for (English language learners) and special needs, links to all of our online learning platforms, resources and tips for teachers to consider, instructions on developing online lessons for students, etc."

Although the extended closures make certain aspects of education difficult, such as providing adequate attention to students following individualized education programs, both school districts are working to meet those needs.

James Sotlar, Canal Winchester superintendent, said teachers are in daily or weekly contact with IEP students and their families using Zoom, GoogleMeet and phone calls.

"They are doing their best to make sure we meet their accommodations," he said.

Likewise, Groveport Madison intervention specialists and therapists working with special-needs students provide targeted plans for each student and monitor progress through a variety of voice and video-chat applications.

For preschool students and those who aren't able to access those services online, the district has provided distance-learning packets, and staff members regularly check in with parents.

"While these students are not necessarily monitored online, as some of their peers, teachers, and therapists communicate with parents regularly to ensure we meet each student's individualized programming needs," Sotlar said.

Additionally, both districts will continue meal service for students.

"No change in our meal delivery for kids," Sotlar said. "We will continue on every Monday and Wednesday."

Canal Winchester serves students breakfasts and lunches at 23 locations; the meals may be taken home for the rest of the week. For a schedule and list of locations, go to cwschools.org and follow the "Updated Meals Delivery" link at the top of the page.

Likewise, Groveport Madison will continue its breakfast and lunch service to students between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.

"We know that many students and their families count on school-provided breakfast and lunch during the week," Warner said. "Groveport Madison Schools is committed to continuing this service during the extended break."

For a schedule and list of locations in the Groveport Madison district, go to gocruisers.org and follow the "Extended Break Information" link at the top of the page.

Graduation for both districts will not be affected by the extended closures if graduating seniors successfully finish their online coursework. According to Sotlar, Canal Winchester still plans to have a graduation ceremony, but the details have yet to be determined.

"We just don't know when, where or how it will look, but we will do something," he said.

Warner said Groveport still is planning for a physical graduation ceremony but looking into other options.

"At this point, graduation is still planned to take place on Friday, June 5, at 7 pm. We're looking at backup dates as options, as well," he said.