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Family Update on COVID-19 - April 13, 2020

Good afternoon,


I hope you are staying healthy and that you enjoyed the holiday with your families.  Today, I want to share information on voting absentee, free wi-fi access within the district, and remote learning grading.


VOTE ABSENTEE BY APRIL 28- Big Walnut Operating Levy is on the Ballot

Time is running out to cast your absentee ballot in the March 17 election.  You can visit the Delaware County Board of Elections website for more information, including instructions for obtaining an absentee ballot.  I strongly recommend requesting your ballot as soon as possible so you don’t encounter mail delays.  We have a 5.45-mill operational levy renewal on the ballot that represents 12% of our budget. These funds, which we are looking to make continuing, pay for teachers and other staff, classroom supplies, and utilities.  Please let me know if you have any questions by emailing angiehamberg@bwls.net.


IMPORTANT INFO FOR DELAWARE COUNTY VOTERS

For those filling out absentee ballot applications, you now have the option to physically drop them off instead of mailing them. You also have the option to drop off your completed absentee ballots if you prefer not to utilize the prepaid postage on the return envelope. The Delaware County Board Of Elections now has a 24-hour dropbox located behind their offices at 2079 US Highway 23 North, Delaware, 43015 – just look for the signage. This provides important peace of mind for any voters worried about utilizing mail service between now and the end of the month to complete the voting process.


FREE WI-FI ACCESS

With the generous support of Consolidated Electric, we are now able to provide free wi-fi access for any student or community member in the staff parking lot in front of Hylen Souders Elementary. If you need access and are able to drive to the school, the name of the wi-fi network is “Consolidated Free Wifi.” For students and parents in Sunbury, you can access free wi-fi in the Community Library parking lot. The district has previously made contact with all families and offered free hotspots at home. If you would like to borrow a free hotspot, please contact our technology department at bwit-support@bwls.net. We appreciate our Community Library for the support with these hotspots.  


GRADING DURING REMOTE LEARNING PERIOD

Our top priority is the safety and wellness of our students. We are focused on providing engaging remote learning at home, while prioritizing the care for students and staff.


We are cognizant of the variety of situations families are facing and believe the use of a traditional grading system during this time presents the possibility for inequalities. Our philosophy for the grading of remote learning is based on the premise that a student’s academic record will not be negatively impacted by remote learning. 


Remote Learning Grading

  • Elementary (Standards-Based Grading): Remote learning will not be incorporated into the final report card scores. Students will continue to receive feedback on completed assignments. Report card comments will include progress at the conclusion of the third quarter and overall engagement with remote learning.

  • 5th-12th: A student’s academic record will not be negatively impacted by remote learning. A student’s cumulative grade for a course (year-long or semester) will not be lower than their cumulative grade at the end of the third quarter (March 6). All learning from March 9 through the remote learning period is graded, but grades will be exempt at the end of the quarter if they do not improve a cumulative grade for any courses. Students will continue to receive feedback on completed assignments. 


In addition to ensuring that a student’s academic record is not negatively impacted by remote learning, we have adjusted our remote learning practices to offer more flexibility to families. Our teachers have removed hard deadlines for assignments and they will be posting all assignments at the beginning of the week. By moving to a weekly instructional update, this limits the amount of time that students have to be able to access the internet and allows more flexibility for our families to complete assignments at a time that makes sense for their situation. We want to support our families and make remote learning as trouble-free as possible. If there is any way we can support you during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out first to your child’s teacher or principal, or to anyone at the District Administrative Office.


Have a great week!

Angie Hamberg

Superintendent

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