PREBLE COUNTY — All Preble County school districts were forced to close for the next three weeks due to the state-wide order.
•Eaton Community School district issued the following statement, “Together, we are facing an unprecedented health crisis in our community. In our response to COVID-19, we must depend on the wisdom of our health experts and elected officials and lean on the resolve of our strong community.
“We have been following the guidance of the Ohio Department of Health, the Preble County General Health District, and the Ohio Department of Education in implementing preventative and responsive strategies. However, on March 12, 2020, Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine, issued an order to close schools in Ohio for 3 weeks beginning at the end of the school day Monday, March 16, 2020.
“In response to Governor DeWine’s directive, Jeff Parker, Superintendent, and the Eaton Community School Board of Education will close Eaton Community Schools for a minimum of 3 weeks. This necessary action is an effective way to disrupt widespread infection. Students will attend school on Friday, March 13, 2020 in an effort to allow parents an additional day to secure childcare for the upcoming weeks. Additionally, this will allow teachers to finalize lessons, discuss educational resources to utilize during the closure, and what to expect in the coming weeks.
“Eaton Community Schools is dedicated to the education of our students and will be providing remote learning opportunities through various outlets. On Friday, teachers will be communicating with students as to items they should plan to take home with them to use as resources for remote learning.
“Beginning at the end of the school day Friday, March 13, 2020, all school building activities, including school day instruction, extra-curricular activities/events, athletics/sports, enrichment, etc. are canceled until at least April 4, 2020.
“We recognize that this process may not be perfect and there will be some bumps along the way. Our incredible school staff, school leaders and support staff have been unwavering in this commitment. We appreciate their service to our community, children, and families. We also appreciate our partnership with the Preble County General Health District and their continued assistance and guidance and commitment to our community. We are looking at this as a learning opportunity as we work together to continue educating our students during this global crisis.
“There are still a lot of unknowns about this disease and just how prevalent it is in Ohio and throughout the United States. As testing becomes more readily available, these cases will increase. While children appear to be more protected from extreme symptoms, adults, including our educators and employees, need support and protection as well.
“It is in times like these that our community values become visible. Please take care of each other. Reach out to neighbors and lend a hand to those in need. We will get through this, but it will take all of us thinking creatively and continuing to support our community’s children.
“We will continue to be in communication during the next few weeks. Updated information will be posted on the Eaton Community Schools website at www.eaton.k12.oh.us. Included are links to Governor DeWine’s daily press conferences.”
• National Trail School District Superintendent Bob Fischer issued the following public statements on the district’s Facebook page concerning the coronavirus.
“Friday, March 13th will be National Trail’s students LAST day of In-house Instruction through Friday, April 3 (Spring Break is scheduled from March 30 through April 3). Starting the week of March 16, National Trail Students will begin a non-traditional instruction model from home and more information will be sent over the weekend with additional details. We do ask that as students leave school tomorrow, that they take any needed class materials with them due to the fact that they will have limited to no access to the building from March 16 through April 3.
“As a result of the mandated closure, effective at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13th all Building activities and all Building rentals will be postponed until further notice. In addition, all spring sports practices are being postponed until we receive further directives from the OHSAA.
“As stated before, this is an ever-changing situation. However, the National Trail Local School District is promising to do our best to make sure we keep you informed. We ask for your patience as we continue to create some type of normalcy as we address this unprecedented action.
“Will be in contact soon and our hope is that students will return to campus by Monday, April 6.”
•Preble Shawnee Superintendent Matt Bishop issued the following statement on the district Facebook page, “The health and safety of our students and staff will always be a top priority and we are taking necessary precautions to keep our students and staff safe. We are working closely with Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Ohio Department of Health, and Preble County Public Health for updates and guidelines for the future (we will have COVID-19 informational links on our website www.psarrows.com).
“This afternoon, Governor DeWine announced that due to the current state of the outbreak, it would be necessary to take strong measures to stave off a potential spike in the number of cases, which would place serious strains on our health care system. To that end, the Governor has directed the closure of all schools in the state until April 6th.
“The last day for Preble Shawnee students will be Friday, March 13. At that time, staff members will send home Blizzard Bag Assignments one, two, and three with students. For the remaining days prior to our scheduled Spring Break, which is six school days, I will communicate the plan to students and parents that will go home tomorrow. Those details are still being finalized.
“In response to the Governor’s directive this afternoon, all activities will be cancelled beginning Friday, March 13. This includes all extra-curricular activities inside or outside our facilities. We hope to resume all activities on Monday, April 6.
“As I stated yesterday, this is an unprecedented situation and ever changing. I will continue to provide updates as we make decisions based on directives from Columbus or as circumstances require. I appreciate your patience during this unusual time. Again, more information will go home with students tomorrow and will be posted on our website www.psarrows.com.”
•Twin Valley Community Local School District Superintendent Scott Cottingim released the following statement, “In light of recent declarations from government officials and healthcare experts, I want to let you know how we are dealing with the COVID-19 virus, or coronavirus, at Twin Valley South.
“The health and safety of our students and staff will always be a top priority and we are taking the necessary precautions to keep our students and staff safe. We are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Ohio Department of Health, and Preble County Public Health for updates and guidelines for the future.
“At this time Governor DeWine has recommended that public schools close for an extended time. Twin Valley South is going to be closed Monday, March 16, 2020 and remain closed through Friday, April 3, 2020 with students returning to school Monday, April 6, 2020. Twin Valley South is currently finalizing the development of a long-term plan.
“Our school is a polling location. We have been cleared to continue using it as a polling location with some extra precautionary measures which we will employ. After reviewing guidance from Governor DeWine regarding school trips and after-school events that would have large gatherings of people, until further notice, no after school events/athletics, field trips, or facility rentals will be permitted.
“Twin Valley South is being extra diligent with the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces e.g., doorknobs, desks, light switches, and counter tops, and we are working with our students to review proper hygiene skills, in particular washing hands, and being proactive to ensure that we are doing our best to keep a clean environment.
“Finally, this is an unprecedented situation and is ever changing. We will continue to provide updates as we make decisions based on directives from Governor DeWine and the Department of Health.”
•Tri-County North Superintendent William Derringer released the following statement, “On March 12, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine issued an order that all schools in the State of Ohio are to have their students stay home for at least three weeks due to the Coronavirus.
“For this reason, Friday, March 13 will be the last day that our students will be physically in attendance until after spring break. Tri-County North Schools will be closed to students from Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 3. In an attempt to continue to provide instruction for our students, we will be using an online learning environment starting on Wednesday, March 18, until Spring Break which starts on Monday, March 30.
“Our teachers have been preparing how this will work with their students and will continue to do so today. We realize that not everyone has access to Wi-Fi at their homes and for those who do not, our teachers will copy their lessons and assignments which can be picked up in the office starting Wednesday, March 18. As each of our students in grades three through twelve will have access to take home a chromebook, we plan on most of their lessons and assignments to be accessed through an online platform.
“It is more difficult for grades kindergarten through second so we will attempt to do blended lessons using iPads or hard copies of the lessons. We will also provide hard copies of lessons and assignments to all students, regardless of grade, who do not have internet access. These lessons can also be picked up on Wednesday, March 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We realize that this type of education is new to most of us and there will be a learning curve as we progress through the next couple of weeks. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we all work together to make the best of this most difficult situation.
“The Governor also issued an order concerning ‘mass gatherings.’ For this reason most of our extra-curricular activities and events have been postponed until further notice. This includes all practices, games, concerts and performances.
“We are aware that there will be many questions and concerns over the next few weeks. Please feel free to call or email your children’s teachers concerning lessons and assignments. You can also call your building principal or myself if you have questions about our procedures.
“Lastly, I would like to remind each of you to continue to remind your children to wash their hands frequently, cough into their sleeve and stay home if they are feeling sick. These are the best ways to stop the spread of germs and viruses.
“Thanks again for your cooperation and support and please stay safe!”