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COVID-19 District Update 3.16.2020

Family Update on Coronavirus/COVID-19 - March 16, 2020


Good afternoon,


I wanted to reach out with some updates and clarifications for you.  I apologize for the length, but I have lots of information to share.


First, everything coming from the governor and the CDC makes me think that our closure may last through this school year, so we will have to continually monitor what we are doing and be prepared to adjust.  I know many are hoping that this is truly just a few weeks, but I want to be very honest and tell you that I think it will be longer. Setting up routines will be really important to make it through the long haul.  This is something I am trying to tackle with my own kids, who think it is summer vacation already, so I do understand the challenge! I have seen lots of great schedules posted online, and we will continue to provide such resources through Schoology.


In the wake of hearing that all restaurants are closed for dining in, I want to urge you to support our local restaurants by getting take-out meals.  We are planning to put out a special edition of The Eagle Examiner soon with community resources and we want to include information in support of our local restaurants.  If we are not able to have it printed and delivered due to this situation, I will at least post the information on our site and social media channels.  I want to encourage all of the restaurant owners in the Big Walnut boundaries to reach out to my assistant, Tami Lee (tamilee@bwls.net), with your hours for take-out and any special information to share with the community.  Let’s support these folks who do so much for our community.


In the special edition of The Eagle Examiner, we will also include more details about the types of services and products that can be made available through Big Walnut Neighborhood Bridges.  If you know of any senior citizens who are in need of grocery shopping or need errands done for them, please reach out to Megan Truax at megantruax@bwls.net. Please visit this link for more information:  New Level Kindness.  Likewise, if you have any needs or would like to volunteer, please connect through that program.  If you would like to make a financial donation to help those in need, there is a button on their website to do so: Big Walnut Neighborhood Bridges


We just learned today that the election, scheduled for March 17, is potentially being postponed to June 2.  Early voting will continue, so you can use this time to request an absentee ballot online. While we understand that this is just one of many challenges we are all experiencing, this delay causes significant challenges for us as we try to plan staffing for next year without knowing if we will have 12% of our operating funds.  As always, please reach out if you have any questions on the levy.


Just a reminder that our remote learning does not start until March 30.  Our teachers are busy working to plan meaningful activities for your children.  In the meantime, focus on reading as much as you can. Schoology will be used to share lessons and activities.  Again, we will not be expecting kids to sit on a computer all day. We have talked with our teachers about flexibility during this time.  Once remote learning starts, if you need assistance or are feeling frustrated trying to keep up with schoolwork for your child, please reach out to your child’s teacher or principal to talk through your concerns.  Many of our staff members are dealing with this as parents, too, so we do understand that this situation is unique and will present unique challenges. We are all in this together!


For parents of students in grades 5-12, as you prepare for remote learning, if your student’s Chromebook is in need of repair or you need a replacement charging cord, please contact bwit-support@bwls.net.  Our awesome tech team is ready to help!


We are getting questions about prom and graduation.  While it is too early to postpone or cancel these events, we want you to know that if school building closures are extended, we are committed to holding these events in summer if necessary (if we are at all able to do so).  My heart goes out to the Class of 2020. Please know that we will do whatever we possibly can to still give you these important milestone events.


As a reminder for those students receiving free or reduced meal benefits, we will be providing breakfast and lunch during the period of March 17-March 20 and March 30-April 3.  Please contact Linda Klamfoth, either by email at lindaklamfoth@bwls.net or at 740.965.8958, to request meals (this helps us to make sure we have enough food) or if you have questions. The first pick up will be tomorrow at Souders and the HS from 4-6pm.  If you are unable to pick up food at that time, please call Linda to make arrangements.


Finally, in an effort to adhere to Governor DeWine’s call to work from home if possible, we are having most of our District Administration Office staff work from home beginning tomorrow.  If you need to reach anyone at the District office, please use the emails below to contact the appropriate department. Email is the preferred method, but you can also call 740.965.3010 and leave a voice message.  You should receive a return call or email within 24 hours during work days.


Superintendent - TamiLee@bwls.net

Enrollment / Registration - KamiMathews@bwls.net

HR / General Inquiries - ClairePaul@bwls.net

Students Receiving Special Education Services - LauraLawrence@bwls.net

Fiscal Services (Treasurer’s Office) - FiscalServices@bwls.net

Administrative Services (Transportation/Food Services) - LindaKlamfoth@bwls.net


Please communicate with your child’s teacher and principal for instructional and building issues.


We will continue to communicate as more information becomes available.  


Have a great night!

Angie Hamberg

Superintendent


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