By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester Schools are gearing up for a state-mandated shutdown from March 16 to at least April 3 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On March 13, Canal Winchester Schools Superintendent James Sotlar sent a district-wide letter outlining the response his staff is taking to ensure a continuum of education and communication. The district is also offering a means for students to obtain meals free of charge.
“I would like to begin by thanking you for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as we work through the challenges presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” wrote Sotlar. “Over the next three weeks, our district will continue to work to maintain essential operations and provide for our students.”
Beginning March 23, all students will be issued educational material to complete at home and those in grades 3-12 will be issued a Chromebook for home use. Hard copies of assignments will be distributed to students in grades kindergarten through second.
“If any students experience technical difficulties with their Chromebook or access to online educational platforms, please contact email@example.com,” said Sotlar.
Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and college students who do not already have a Spectrum subscription. Installation fees will be waived for new, student households. In addition, Charter will open its Wi-fi hotspots for public use. For information, call 844-488-8395.
Online enrichment resources will be presented online by teachers, who will be available to students and parents via their school email between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the regular school week. Allow 24 to 48 hours for a response and all teacher email address are posted at www.cwschools.org, which is the district’s primary source of information.
District office emails will continue to be monitored during the closure.
“Rumors will run rampant during this time,” said Sotlar. “Please do not believe information you hear second-hand in regard to the school district. Check our web page or email firstname.lastname@example.org for any information you may need.”
All district activities, including field trips, athletic practices, academic competitions and performing arts are cancelled. All district doors are shuttered to students and the community. District employees conducted a deep cleaning of the Indian Trail school and the auxiliary gym at 122 Washington St.
The school district will distribute breakfast and lunch free of charge to any Canal Winchester student age 18 or younger at Indian Trail, the high school, and from school buses at locations throughout the district.
There are 23 bus-based satellite locations, in addition to the two school locations, that will be open from 11 a.m. to noon on March 23, 25, 30, and April 1. The school district is not responsible for monitoring food allergies while serving meals during the closure. However, if peanut butter is packed with a meal item, a nut-free option will be available.
For a complete list of satellite locations, visit the district web site at cwschools.org.
(Editor’s note: The circumstances surrounding area governments’ response to the coronavirus pandemic is subject to change as the situation is ongoing.)