Superintendent's Update-July 24, 2020

Superintendent's Message

MarkNeal

Mark Neal
Superintendent

 

                                    Superintendent's Update
                                            July 24, 2020

As indicated in our previous communication, Tri-Valley is offering a fully remote learning option as well as in class instruction at all grade levels. We have been busy planning and training for our teachers to be able to teach remotely and in-person simultaneously. We will be prepared to shut down in-person schooling on short notice and in 14 day increments. Parents should plan accordingly.

We will be following the Governors mandatory facial covering directive issued on July 22nd.

Our comprehensive re-opening plan will be available on August 10th.

Sincerely,
Mark K. Neal

 

 

                                                                                            Superintendent’s Update
                                                                                                   July 10, 2020

Dear Tri-Valley Families:

The Board of Education and Administration have been working since March of last school year to navigate the constantly changing facts pertaining to the re-opening of school in late August. Like all of our residents, we have dealt with continually changing data and recommendations from medical and health professionals as well as constant fluctuations in the number of new cases daily. At the end of the day, one basic tenet still remains on which all decisions are made… Parents are the ultimate decision makers when determining what is best for their children. We always have and will continue to respect and honor the authority of parents in making decisions for their children.

Because of that, we intend to open the new school year with a traditional five day week on our normal school calendar. We intend to provide normal bussing services and all other typical school operations with a few modifications in response to COVID-19. The following list is not exhaustive and will likely not answer all questions. We will continue to update residents as we move closer towards the start of the school year.

1.  We will be recommending that students wear masks while riding the school bus
2.  We will be recommending that students in grades 7-12 wear masks while changing classes or in the hallways
3.  All staff will be required to wear facial coverings, students may wear them at any time if they so choose.
4.  We are currently working on cafeteria procedures in order to comply with Health Department food service requirements
5.  We are in the process of installing hand sanitizing stations in every classroom and in multiple other locations
6.  We will be asking caregivers to monitor every student’s temperature each morning and to be vigilant about not sending them
     to school if they have any reason to believe they are ill or have been exposed to COVID-19
7.  We have purchased multiple mist sprayers to disinfect classrooms and busses as often as possible

We are communicating regularly with the health department and no options are off of the table in terms of responding to an outbreak within the Tri-Valley District. We are planning and training for our teachers to be able to teach remotely and in-person simultaneously. We will be prepared to shut down in-person schooling on short notice and in 14 day increments. Parents should plan accordingly. We have purchased new laptop computers for our staff with full capabilities for real-time on-line schooling from any location with a broadband connection. It is our intention that teachers will report to their classrooms and conduct classes at their normally scheduled time whether students are physically present or not. We will have some computers available for students who need them.

For those in our district who do not have broadband access, we have boosted the wireless signals at all of our buildings so that they can be accessed from parking lots or nearby locations. Daily lessons will be recorded and posted so that they may be accessed at any time by our students.

More information will be forthcoming as we continue to plan for the upcoming school year. We ask that our community be patient and flexible as we enter into the new school year. There will be multiple issues to resolve as we try to accommodate the needs of our students. We will work with you and we ask that you do the same.

Sincerely,
Mark K. Neal
                                                                                                   
                                                                                               Superintendent’s Update 
                                                                                                        April 22, 2020
                                                                                                
On Monday, Governor Dewine officially announced that Ohio’s school aged children will not be returning to school for the remainder of the academic year. This announcement helps clear up some of the unknowns that parents, teachers, administrators and especially children have been dealing with since early March.

I would like to recognize our staff for the outstanding job they have done educating our students from home, and our students for how quickly they have responded. I have witnessed some very creative instruction as staff and students alike have adapted to what has become the new normal in education.

Mr. Harris and the high school administration have been meeting with members of the senior class, and are currently in the process of meeting with class officers and advisors to discuss alternatives for our annual commencement ceremony. Many school districts around the state have begun posting alternative dates for prom and graduation that likely are unrealistic. Rather than add to the confusion of multiple cancellations and attempts to reschedule, Tri-Valley will not be scheduling alternative dates until we are confident those dates are feasible.

Arrangements are being made to formulate a plan for the safe pick-up and return of materials for all students as we get closer to the end of the school year. Parents are encouraged to reach out to teachers and principals to make sure their questions are answered pertaining to their child’s schoolwork.

While it is an unfortunate situation for The Class of 2020, there are many positives for our community that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Community groups have responded to those in need and neighbors have stepped up to help one another through these difficult times. I am very proud of our school district and our community for the way they have handled this latest round of adversity.

 

Superintendent Update
March 31, 2020

As we navigate our way through these unprecedented circumstances for Ohio School Districts, yesterday’s announcement from Governor Dewine has added yet another twist for Ohio School Districts and Ohio families. In a situation as serious as COVID-19, our first priority as a school district is the health and welfare of our students and their families.

Now that schools are shut down until at least May 1st, some serious and difficult decisions will need to be made for completing the school year. For many of our families and teachers, on-line education is going quite well. For others who are not as tech savvy or do not have broadband access at their homes, it has proven to be quite challenging.

At the end of the day, our goal is to be able to finish the school year providing the best education possible to our students. I have been hearing from some parents that lessons are too easy while others maintain they are too challenging. This is completely understandable for several reasons and it really is no different than when education occurs in a typical classroom. The key to making the most of this situation is to recognize that communicating with teachers is of the utmost importance. If parents or students are having trouble accessing lessons or maintaining communication with their teachers, please email your building administrators immediately and let them know that is the case.

I have witnessed some extraordinary efforts by many of our educators to provide amazing opportunities to their students. I am very proud of our staff and our students for how they have responded to this crisis. It is not the goal of the school district to punish students academically for a situation beyond their control. Similarly, it is not acceptable for students to take advantage of this current situation and not do their part towards making the next seven weeks meaningful. This truly is a time to recognize the value and the benefits of real learning and to embrace the opportunity to be self-motivated. It is a great time to read, to exercise, and to be of help to others.

I would ask that we extend a little grace to our teachers as they will likewise extend grace to our students.  Let’s all work together to make the best of this difficult situation. I wish the entire Tri-Valley community health, grace and peace, as we work our way through this crisis.

 

Superintendent’s Message Update

March 23, 2020

I hope this update finds our TV families safe and well. We have entered into a completely different situation in terms of educating young people that has changed the way schools educate students overnight. The fact that we already had CLA's in place left Tri-Valley in more of a position to take a "wait and see" approach on exactly what this Coronavirus might eventually force upon our community. In these unprecedented times, the last thing we want to do is put forward inaccurate information. Now that this picture is a little clearer and we now know a little more about what the immediate future entails, our teachers have been given a little more direction about how to proceed with instruction.

CLA’s were never intended to be a long -term alternative for educating our students. They were designed as a short term immediate option in the event of a crisis or calamity. I believe you will notice a much more ramped-up approach moving forward this week.

We realize that many of our families do not have broadband Internet access at their homes, but it is vitally important that students keep up with their classwork during this time as they will need to move forward in their studies in order to be prepared for next school year. Our teachers will be as flexible as possible, but parents and students will need to fully engage in making school work a priority during this time. Our teachers have access to a multitude of online tools including Zoom and Google Classroom to make the best of this difficult situation. Our buildings have remained open for staff to access their materials and other district resources.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the remainder of the school year, but I believe there is a strong possibility that we will not return until fall. Our families should prepare for this possibility and begin utilizing the many resources available to our students online. In addition to what I previously mentioned above, I have listed several resources below for parents from a list that was compiled by one of our building administrators.

Language Arts:

  1. Renaissance Learning:  Students may now take AR quizzes at home!  They will need to use the link on our school web site and log in as usual.  AR quizzes will be open, STAR tests will not be available.  The password that was previously required for STAR tests has been changed to block this.  You will be notified of the new password when we return to classes.
  2. https://www.storylineonline.net/
  3. https://www.storynory.com/
  4. Parents will need to set up a free account: https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/
  5. Tumblebooks through the Muskingum County Library web site
  6. Into the Book- practicing reading strategies- parents will sign in to get a key: https://reading.ecb.org/
  7. Squiggle Park or Dreamscape: https://www.squigglepark.com/https://www.squigglepark.com/
  8. Big Universe
  9. Study Island
  10. RAZ Kids
  11. Reading Eggs:

Science Resources:

  1. Generation Genius (www.GenerationGenius.com), is an online science resource for elementary teachers and students accessible from anywhere that covers 94% of the science standards in Ohio. Our website contains fun & educational videos made in partnership with the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) with each lesson supported by reading material, vocabulary, quizzes, DIY activities, lesson plans, teacher guides, discussion questions and more.  We have made full-access completely free for one month during this challenging time.
  2. Mystery Science: https://mysteryscience.com/school-closure-planning
  3. National Geographic: https://ngexplorer.cengage.com/ngyoungexplorer/index.html
  4. Study Island

Social Studies/History:

  1. National Geographic: https://ngexplorer.cengage.com/ngyoungexplorer/index.html
  2. History for Kids: https://www.historyforkids.net/
  3. Study Island
  4. This link has a lot of great history resources: https://www.weareteachers.com/social-studies-websites/

Math Resources:

  1. Check Math for IOS.  This app helps students check their work.  http://www.checkmath.eu/
  2. Reflex Math
  3. ALEKS
  4. Kahn Academy
  5. Study Island
  6. MathSeeds:
  7. ZEARN- choose the link that says affect by school closures to create accounts for your students: https://www.zearn.org/

General Online Resources:

  1. Moby Max Parent Guide: https://data.mobymax.com/mc/share/Using_MobyMax_From_Home.pdfhttps://data.mobymax.com/mc/share/Using_MobyMax_From_Home.pdf
  2. Scholastic Learn at Home: https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html?caching
  3. ABC Mouse- Teachers must sign up for students to have access: https://www.ageoflearning.com/schools


Superintendent’s Message
March 16, 2020
 

School has been cancelled effective Monday, March 16 until further notice. Because Tri-Valley had scheduled days off on March 11th and 12th, students will not be required to return for one day On March 16th as the Governor stated in his announcement to close schools. In the best interest of the health of our students and community, it simply does not make sense to expose students to potential contamination for one day prior to a three week hiatus designed to limit exposure.

Due to the Governors order to close all public schools in Ohio, Tri-Valley Schools will be utilizing Continuous Learning Assignments (CLA’s) for the week of March 16th thru 20th.  Please check teacher webpages for details.  The school district is awaiting further guidance from the Ohio Department of Education before making plans beyond March 20th.

All athletics and extra-curricular activities have been cancelled until further notice. Parents should check the school district website frequently and sign up for email and text alerts in order to stay informed during this unprecedented shutdown.

The school district’s foremost consideration is the health and wellness of our students and community. All decisions regarding school will be based on this premise.


An Important Message Regarding Coronavirus

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2020 at 10:35 AM
 

Dear TV Community,

As our nation and the world wrestle with the Coronavirus, please read the following update:

Our first priority is the safety and wellbeing of our community, and we continue to stay alert as this situation evolves. At this point, we have no reason to believe there is an immediate threat to our students, but we are determined to be proactive in being ready to respond should it be necessary. There have been no cases reported on our campus or within our local region or community. The first three cases of COVID-19 in Ohio have, however, been confirmed in Cuyahoga County. These cases are unrelated, attributed to direct exposure, and as of today, there is no evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in Ohio. Nevertheless, we are preparing contingency plans to respond, should it become necessary. Here are a few things we would like you to know:

  1. We have assembled a team to monitor the COVID-19 crisis. This team has developed a response plan and will continue to refine it in response to the guidance received from the CDC, Ohio Heath Department and others. This team will report directly to the superintendent with updates and direction on the steps needed as the situation unfolds.
  2. One of these steps will be having our staff continually disinfect high-traffic areas.
  3. Please plan to use sanitizer frequently and follow the directives provide by the CDC, including frequent hand washing.
  4. Students with current "flu-like symptoms” are encouraged to stay home and get well before returning to school.
  5. We have a defined contingency plan in place for maintaining our commitment to academic excellence.
  6. There is no plan to cancel classes unless the situation dramatically worsens.
  7. Ultimately, parents know what is best for their children and hold the ultimate decision making authority on whether or not to send a student to school. Tri-Valley fully endorses and respects the authority of parents.

To prevent the spread of this and most other viruses, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds or more under warm water with soap.
  • Use alcohol-based sanitizer if unable to wash hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, face and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you cough, sneeze or have a runny nose, always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.
  • Throw used tissues into a trash can immediately and wash your hands thoroughly before touching anything or anyone.
  • Do not share food, drink, utensils or dishes with others, and wash dishes, cups and silverware after use to prevent someone else from using contaminated items.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will implement protocols in accordance with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if needed. We are also working closely with the Ohio Department of Health and will continue to communicate any updates and/or best practices for prevention so as to assure the wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff.

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Sincerely,
Mark K. Neal
Superintendent




7/24/2020


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