Upper Arlington City Schools News Article

April 3, 2020 update on COVID-19 precautions and distance learning

Dear Upper Arlington families,
I want to start by thanking all of you for a great first week of digital learning.  Thank you for your support and flexibility, and thanks to our students and staff for all of their work.  

I have several updates to share today. You can keep reading, or you can watch a video update.

Announcements / Reminders

School closure update: As you know, the governor this week has extended the school closure as well as the stay-at-home order until May 1. We’ve been preparing for this, and we expect that the school closure will likely continue through the end of the school year. We know this brings up many questions for you, and we’re working to answer those.  Please continue to look for updates from your principals, updates from me and you can check the FAQ on our website, uaschools.org.

Class of 2020: One group with many questions right now is the class of 2020 - our high school seniors. We know this is a difficult time for you and your families.  We’re going to be working with our high school team over the next few weeks to discuss how we can either make up or remake some of those important events that make a senior year so special.  We are going to do everything in our power to commemorate and celebrate your senior year during these difficult circumstances.

Meal pickup changes: Beginning Monday, April 6, we will change our method of distributing lunch and breakfast boxes.  Instead of families having to come to the schools five times a week, we will have them come just twice.  On Monday they will get two lunches and two breakfasts.  On Wednesday they will get three lunches and three breakfasts.  This will allow us to feed our students in a more efficient way and reduce the number of trips our families have to make. You can access the Monday and Wednesday hours and locations here.

Closure of tracks and play fields: I’m sorry to say that we have been forced to close our tracks and play fields because some people continue to use those facilities in an unsafe manner.  To be blunt - the actions of a few have impacted all of us, and we have been forced to close off those facilities even to those who were using them safely and appropriately.  We will continue to prioritize safety for everyone.  This is real, and we will continue to follow the guidance from our state and health leaders.  I know I’ve said this before, but please, no sleepovers, no playdates and no games of pick-up basketball, soccer, lacrosse, etc.

Tech help information: Our Technology Department has put together this chart showing the tech support workflow that is continuing during distance teaching and learning.  Families should follow the usual practice when concerns arise, which is reaching out to the teacher first and our staff will help you from there.

No distance teaching and learning  - April 10: As we continue with the school closure, we will continue to follow the 2019-2020 school year calendar. Next Friday, April 10 is a no-school day. 

School/work-life balance:  As we wrap up our first week of distance learning, I want to remind everyone the importance of finding balance right now.  Many of you are facing different or difficult work situations along with finding the time and space to support your student in distance learning.  Know that we are all still finding our new normal, and we need to give ourselves that space right now.

Bright spots
This week, I want to highlight our entire Technology Department. They have risen to the challenge and done an amazing job in preparing and supporting our teachers, students and families in these extraordinary times. We cannot thank them enough for all they have done.

In addition, one of our great teachers shared this email with me and told me I could share it as long as I didn’t use her name - and I think it’s a great expression of how many of us are feeling. The email says:
Thank you so much for being you. Our son was more than excited to see you and his peers today. This is such a new and scary and unknown place we are all living in right now. Please know anything you do will be amazing, and just reminding our son that you care means more to us than any curriculum ever could. We feel so lucky to have you in our world.
I have said it before, and I will continue to say it - we are all fortunate to live in this community and be part of these schools.  We have amazing families, we have amazing students, and we have amazing staff members.  We are going to work through this together - I believe in all of us.  Please be safe and be healthy.  Find some time to enjoy this beautiful weekend, and as always - Go Bears!

Paul Imhoff, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Upper Arlington Schools 

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