Every school year is an adventure. It’s full of twists and turns and no two years present the same challenges. Even with that in mind, in a million years, I couldn’t have predicted in Week 32 of this school year we’d all be working from home, attempting to educate 10,600 students who were also at home and with no end in sight to this arrangement. Crazy times! I hope you’re hanging in there.
In Worthington we began remote learning last week. As I looked around the school district, I saw one small great thing happen after another. We had so many teachers, principals and support staff finding creative ways to reach out and connect with students. I personally started each day watching the KMS morning announcements on YouTube. We had several music collaborations put together by band and general music teachers that were really special to see and hear. We had physical education teachers on video providing instruction in how students can stay active at home. We had Worthington Hills teacher Greg Ross attempt to break the internet with his rap music and several young teachers singing and dancing on video that made my family smile. We had a two principal parade and class meeting after class meeting where students could connect, laugh and engage with peers on Zoom. I’ve never been prouder of our staff than I was last week in the way they worked to engage students. We’re not where we will be with our remote learning as this is all new for us. But, our Worthington team is making the best of a difficult situation. So many small great things!
As you know our schools have been greatly impacted by the response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and have already transitioned in many ways to accommodate the directives from Governor Mike DeWine and his team.
Last Friday we received additional guidance – by the governor’s signing of House Bill 197 – on other areas affecting our students of which you should be aware.
- All K-12 standardized testing and state report card requirements are waived for this school year.
- Our local schools were granted the authority to graduate any student who is on track to graduate. This permits schools to grant a diploma to any student that the school district has determined is on track to graduate. We will continue to communicate with our senior students and their parents. Our guidance counselors are available to answer any questions about whether your student is currently on track to graduate.
- All districts are permitted to continue providing students with lunch.Worthington Schools Food Service is providing breakfast/lunch pick up at three locations on weekdays. Families can pick up meals between 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the following locations: Thomas Worthington High School, Worthington Kilbourne High School, Slate Hill Elementary.
- Our local governments – including our school board – may now opt to hold remote/virtual meetings but the public must still have access. While we have the option, we may also meet in person. Regardless, we will notify the public (as always) as to how we will proceed.
- Voting in the March 17, 2020 election was extended to April 28, 2020. Voting will occur by mail only. To obtain a vote by mail application, you can call our county board of election office at 614.525.3100 and have one sent to you or you can visit their website and print an application https://vote.franklincountyohio.gov/
Finally, I know these times are tough. They are tough in many ways. We see that. We have families with loved ones on the front lines taking care of those who are sick. We have families with lost income. Changes are happening so quickly and with such a big impact. While we cannot take that hardship away, we can support each other throughout all of this. Know that we are here to support you and your child.
We heard this afternoon from Governor DeWine that Ohio schools will remain closed until at least May 1st. We will do our best to keep you informed and to work through the changes as they come our way. The most up-to-date information can always be found on our website at www.worthington.k12.oh.us
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent