Upper Arlington City Schools News Article

COVID-19 Updates for Upper Arlington Schools

 

 March 20, 2020 Update 

 
As the week draws to a close, we have several important updates for you.  Please take the time to read through this entire email and respond to any requests for information if they pertain to your family no later than Sunday, March 22. You can also view a video update here.

As a reminder, state officials have indicated that it is extremely likely our schools will continue to be closed to students beyond April 3.  We are planning as if students will be out of school for an extended period of time - possibly the remainder of the school year. 

Retrieving medications and ESSENTIAL items from school
We are planning opportunities for parents/guardians to retrieve essential items for their students. Any non-essential items will be returned to students at a later time. Please read below for additional information:
  • Student medication pickup:  The district will be holding a centralized drive-through pickup for student medications on Monday, March 23 in the parking lot of Hastings Middle School, 1850 Hastings Lane. Parents/guardians may arrive during their building’s scheduled pickup time and must show identification to receive their students’ medications. If you have students in multiple buildings, please select the pick-up time that works best for your family. Any medications that are not picked up will be returned to the assigned school at the end of the day. The schedule is as follows:
    • 9:30-10:30 a.m.: Upper Arlington High School and Burbank Early Childhood School
    • 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Barrington Elementary School and Jones Middle School
    • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Tremont Elementary School and Jones Middle School
    • 1:00-2:00 p.m.: Wickliffe Progressive Elementary School and Hastings Middle School
    • 2:00-3:00 p.m.: Windermere Elementary School and Hastings Middle School
    • 3:00-4:00 p.m.: Greensview Elementary School and Hastings Middle School 
  • Elementary schools - essential items pickup: Parents/guardians of elementary students will be receiving additional communications from their schools with information about scheduled curbside pickups of essential items such as student devices (K-3), workbooks/learning materials and instruments. We anticipate long lines of traffic for the scheduled curbside pickups at the elementary schools and will keep these lines moving as efficiently as possible.  Please come only during your scheduled time; we will not be able to serve you outside of your scheduled time.
  • Secondary schools - essential items pickup: Parents/guardians of middle school and high school students should complete this form if their student needs an essential item that was left at school such as music instruments or school iPads, if another device is not accessible within the home. Families will then receive an email to schedule a time to pick up the item(s) at the designated school. Only adults will be allowed to pick up these essential items. Based on the recommendations of health officials, no students will be permitted to enter the schools at this time.
  • Please note - Governor Mike DeWine has recommended that anyone who has traveled out of state should stay at home for 14 days to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Families who have traveled out of state for spring break should ask a friend or neighbor to assist them with the pickups described above.  Please contact your principal with questions.

Reminder - breakfast and lunch service
We are pleased to be able to offer a free boxed lunch (complete with a breakfast for the next day) to all school-aged children beginning Tuesday, March 24.  These meals will be available for pick-up outside the buildings listed below on all regularly scheduled school days for students.  The district calendar can be found at this link: 2019-2020 school year calendar.  Please note that students must be present to receive meals.

  • Tremont Elementary School - 10:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m.
  • Barrington Elementary School - 10:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m.
  • Greensview Elementary School - 10:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m.
  • Windermere Elementary School - noon until 12:45 p.m.
  • Wickliffe Progressive Elementary School - noon until 12:45 p.m.

Short surveys
In order to better prepare, we are asking parents to consider the following options and complete the survey(s) below if appropriate no later than Sunday, March 22.

  • Intention to use the free breakfast/lunch program - please fill out this short survey if one or more school-aged children in your home will be utilizing our free meal program.
  • Home WiFi survey - please complete this survey if you do not have home internet access.  You may also complete this form on behalf of a friend or neighbor.  In addition, families may call (614) 487-5000 to let the district know of an internet access issue.
  • Kindergarten iPad access - Please complete this survey if you have a kindergarten student and do not have a home device that can connect to the internet.  Kindergarten classrooms have a set of iPads that are shared between AM and PM classes, and therefore we are not able to send an iPad home with each kindergarten student.  All distance learning materials will be accessible on any internet-connected device (personal desktop, iPad, laptop, Chromebook, etc.).
  • Essential items survey - As a reminder, secondary families only (Hastings, Jones and UAHS) should complete this form if they have any essential items to retrieve for their students. Please refer to the section above for more details.

Ways to prepare for distance teaching and learning
Our teachers and administrators will spend the week of March 24 - 27 preparing for distance teaching and learning, and we know our families are eager to prepare, too.  Here are a few ways families can begin to make the transition.

  • Establish a routine - begin to think about how to best structure your family’s day in order to provide time for learning and well-being.  Here is one template for a daily schedule. When you click on the link, you will be prompted to make a copy of this document that you can then customize for your family.
  • Learning opportunities for families - this list includes online resources for students of all ages.  Families can use these to get back in the rhythm of learning as spring break comes to a close. 

Distance teaching and learning information
Upper Arlington’s approach to distance teaching and learning recognizes that the planned learning experiences our teachers develop when school is in regular session can never be replicated in the same manner, specifically in regard to social connection and community.  We want our teachers and students to give themselves permission to be creative, try new things and most importantly create new ways to connect through distance teaching and learning.

With this in mind, teachers will begin participating in online professional development and planning sessions on distance teaching and learning on Tuesday, March 24.  Distance teaching and learning for students will begin on Monday, March 30.  

This is a general suggestion of timeframes for what your child’s day might look like. These suggested guidelines will be flexible and allow students to complete activities and assignments throughout out a week, not at specific times each day. Please watch for more detailed communication from your teacher(s) regarding what this will look like for your child by the end of next week. 

  • Kindergarten students: should have the opportunity to engage in learning experiences approximately 1 hour total per day. 
  • Grades 1-2 students: should have the opportunity to engage in learning experiences approximately 2 hours total per day.
  • Grades 3-5 students: opportunity to engage in learning experiences approximately 2.5 hours total per day.
  • Grades 6-12: opportunity to engage in learning experiences approximately 3.5 hours total per day.

Student Services information
Families whose students on IEP, 504 and RTI plans may access this document to learn more about the continuation of services and related meetings through distance teaching and learning.

Thank you for taking the time to read through all of this important information.

 

March 18, 2020 Update 

 

Here is an update on our plans as they stand today.


Important health reminders for children from Franklin County Public Health

We have an important message to relay from officials with Franklin County Public Health.  They have encouraged all of us to remember that we need to take the same precautions with children as we do with adults to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

  • Outside of immediate family and household members, children shouldn’t be in gatherings larger than 10 people.  

  • When leaving the home, children should also maintain at least a six-foot distance from those who are not members of their immediate family.

  • Playdates and other gatherings (playing sports, etc.) that include close contact are not encouraged.  Children and adults should maintain social distancing of six feet.

  • Beware of using community playground equipment and other surfaces that may have been exposed to the virus by previous visitors.


Coming soon

By the end of this spring break week, we will share:

  • Building-specific plans for picking up necessities from your child’s school, such as district devices, medications and instruments;

  • A list of academic support resources parents/guardians can use with students as our teachers are preparing for distance teaching and learning to begin on March 30; and

  • More details on the types of distance teaching and learning experiences planned for students in different grade levels. 


Reminder - breakfast and lunch service

We are pleased to be able to offer students a free boxed lunch (complete with a breakfast for the next day) beginning Tuesday, March 24.  These meals will be available for pick-up on all regularly scheduled school days for students. The district calendar can be found at this link: 2019-2020 school year calendar.


We’ll start out with the schedule below, but this could change as the situation develops.  

  • Tremont Elementary School - 10:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m.

  • Barrington Elementary School - 10:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m.

  • Greensview Elementary School - 10:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m.

  • Windermere Elementary School - noon until 12:45 p.m.

  • Wickliffe Progressive Elementary School - noon until 12:45 p.m.


Well-being for children and adults

The quickly changing news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing precautions are creating stress and anxiety for children and adults alike.  We offer the links below as support for families who want to discuss these topics with children. Our school counselors will also be available for support when distance teaching and learning begins following spring break.


https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2020/03/covid-19


 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT PAUL IMHOFF, Ed.D 

 

 

March 16, 2020 Update

 

We continue to navigate through the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19.  


With the latest recommendations in mind, all of our facilities will be closed to visitors beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17.  If you have a question, please email your building secretary or principal.  We are working to have the phones answered remotely, but this is not yet in place.  For now, the best method of contact is email.


As I mentioned Friday, and as Governor Mike DeWine reinforced over the weekend, we are planning as if students will be out of school for an extended period of time - possibly the remainder of the school year.  


With that in mind, here are our latest updates.


Lunch and breakfast service

Beginning Tuesday, March 24, we will provide boxed lunches (complete with a breakfast for the next day) to any school-aged child in need during school days. We’ll start out with the schedule below, but this could change as the situation develops.

  • Tremont Elementary School - 10:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m.

  • Barrington Elementary School - 10:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m.

  • Greensview Elementary School - 10:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m.

  • Windermere Elementary School - noon until 12:45 p.m.

  • Wickliffe Progressive Elementary School - noon until 12:45 p.m.


Distance teaching and learning

Distance teaching and learning will begin on Monday, March 30.  More information will be shared later this week. Students will be able to access the needed tools and information online on any internet-connected device.   


Device and medication pick up

In the next few days, we will also provide information regarding device pick-up for families of students in kindergarten through grade 3 and pick-up of prescription medications for students in all grades.  Please keep in mind that device pick-up is optional - students will be able to access the needed tools and information online on any internet-connected device.   


I’d like to thank the City of Upper Arlington for their continued collaboration during these unprecedented times.  I’d also like to thank our amazing staff for their commitment to our students and community. Finally, I’d like to thank all of you for your continued patience and flexibility.  We are a strong community, and we will get through this together.


CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO MESSAGE from Superintendent Paul Imhoff, Ed.D.

 

 March 13, 2020 Update

 

We are learning more today about the direction Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton provided for K-12 schools yesterday.  


As we previously stated, we are working with our staff to prepare distance teaching and learning plans to maintain continuity of education during this public health crisis.  We plan to begin sharing more details early next week.  


Please understand the governor’s initial direction indicates a three-week time period before a reevaluation of the situation.  He has not guaranteed that students will be able to return to school in three weeks. Out of an abundance of caution, we are planning in case students will be home for longer than the initial three-week time period.  


Devices for students in kindergarten through grade 3

Following spring break, we will be contacting families of students in kindergarten through third grade to provide information about picking up their district devices, if they choose to do so.  All distance teaching and learning materials will be accessible on any device that can connect to the internet.  


Reduced price and free meal program

Following spring break, we will continue to provide meals for students in the reduced price and free meal program.  Families of students in this program will receive additional information next week.


Helping children understand COVID-19

We know that news of the pandemic and school closures may cause some of our students to feel stress or anxiety.  We offer the links below as support for families who want to discuss these topics with children. Our school counselors will also be available for support when distance teaching and learning begins following spring break.


https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2020/03/covid-19


 

 

March 12, 2020 Update

I know that many of you have questions and concerns about the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please understand the safety and well-being of our students and staff is always a top priority. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we continue to coordinate with state and local health department officials to plan for every contingency surrounding COVID-19, based on the facts as we know them.

As you know, the situation is incredibly fluid with new information and recommendations coming from state and local leaders each day.  Below are the latest updates.

  • Possible distance teaching and learning: At this time we ARE planning to have school as normal after spring break, with students returning on Tuesday, March 24.  As of Wednesday, March 11, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has said that currently there is not a need for K-12 schools to close.  He also cautioned that we could get to that point.  If there is a need to change our educational delivery method due to the pandemic, we will implement a plan for distance teaching and learning that continues education but in a different setting, with students at home and teachers having the option to work from home or come to school on their own schedule.   

    • Grades 4-12 devices: All students in grades 4-12 will be instructed to bring their district-issued devices and chargers home for spring break as a precaution. If your student is not in school today, or your student forgets their device, we will offer another opportunity to pick up their device if it becomes necessary.

    • K-3 devices: For students in K-3, we are putting together a plan for making district-issued devices accessible, if necessary, and will reach out to those families with additional information.

    • Students in the reduced price or free meal program:  In the event of a change to a distance teaching and learning plan, we would continue to provide meals for students who are a part of the reduced price or free meal program.  We will contact these families directly to share the plan to continue feeding our students who participate in this program. 

    • BECS and SACC families: In the event of a change to a distance teaching and learning plan, students in the tuition-based Burbank Early Childhood Program and School-Age Child Care program will also receive additional information.

  • Cleaning regimen for schools and buses: All buildings are cleaned and disinfected regularly with hospital-grade disinfectants as a standard practice in the district. Out of an abundance of caution, buildings will be cleaned and disinfected more often, and frequently-touched surfaces such as door handles, desks, water fountains, etc. will be cleaned daily. Custodians are also checking restrooms more frequently throughout the school day to ensure that soap dispensers are staying filled, and during spring break they will be doing a thorough deep-cleaning of our buildings.  In addition, all buses will be disinfected daily, and the Nutritional Services Department will continue to follow food safety practices and use approved disinfectants.

  • School-sponsored spring break travel: All international school-sponsored trips scheduled in the coming months are postponed or canceled. At this time, any school-sponsored trips within the United States will be allowed to proceed during spring break. We will continue to monitor the situation within the United States for any new travel advisories, guidelines or cancelations.

  • Indoor gatherings/events: Based on the governor’s recommendations, we are re-evaluating or canceling nonessential indoor gatherings of a large number of people in excess of 250 people, pending further guidance from the governor. We will be working with the principals on any necessary communications regarding any such events that are already scheduled. All outdoor activities, including spring athletics, will continue as scheduled.

  • Facility rentals: We are placing a moratorium on any facility rental requests and approvals of any requests currently in the system, effective until further notice. Any existing facility rentals that are already on the calendar and do not exceed 250 people will proceed as scheduled at this time, but we do reserve the right to cancel any facility rental at any time and will notify the renters. 

  • Visitors and field trips: During spring break, we will be evaluating our policies regarding visitors to our school buildings, including volunteers, and field trips and will be offering further guidance after break.

As a reminder, we ask that you keep in mind these everyday preventive measures that are our primary line of defense against both COVID-19 and the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands; 

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care; and 

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We encourage you to consult these resources for additional information about COVID-19.


Most important, we want you to know that we are working diligently to keep our students and staff healthy and safe. We will continue to share updates with you during and after spring break, as needed.

 

 

March 6, 2020 Update 

 

I wanted to provide an update on the district’s efforts to ensure the health and safety of all of our students, staff and families in regard to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

 

UA Schools is working closely with Franklin County Public Health, the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and other local school districts to monitor the situation and develop a coordinated and comprehensive public health plan to ensure we are prepared if cases arise in our community or the surrounding area. We will be prepared to implement public health recommendations as required. Updated information will be shared with students, staff and families as it becomes available.

 

We have received several questions regarding travel plans during our upcoming spring break.  When it comes to family trips, we encourage everyone to be aware of the information on the CDC Travel Advisory page prior to departure, as there is community spread of COVID-19 in other countries and areas of the U.S.  In addition, we ask that you keep in mind these everyday preventive measures that are our primary line of defense against both COVID-19 and the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands; 

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care; and 

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

In light of the rapidly developing situation around the globe, we have made the difficult decision to suspend all school-sponsored overseas travel planned for spring break.  We do not want to take students overseas, without their parents or guardians, during a time of unpredictable and ever-changing travel restrictions and quarantine situations. We are working to find alternate opportunities for these students in the future.


We encourage you to consult these resources for additional information about COVID-19 and travel information.

 
February 26, 2020 Update
 

Safety is paramount in Upper Arlington Schools, and we continue to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus) and follow the guidance provided by local and federal health officials. 


While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio at this time, health officials have recommended reviewing and refining emergency operation plans that could be used in the event of an infectious disease outbreak.  This includes providing educational continuity in the event of school closures. Upper Arlington Schools is working with other local school districts and the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio to proactively review these plans and their coordination with local and state health agencies. 


As always, we remain committed to ensuring the safety of students, staff and visitors to all of our schools.  We remind everyone to be diligent about the usual preventative measures such as frequent and thorough hand washing and staying home when feeling ill.  Additional information can be found at the following links:


Thank you for your partnership and support.  We will continue to provide updates as more information is available.


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