Communication from SWCSD
May 14, 2020
Dear South-WEstern Families,
No, that’s not a typo in the salutation of this letter. WE is the sentiment we wish to express in gratitude for all of your efforts and cooperation in helping us finish out the 2019-2020 school year strong for our students. The willingness of our families to learn new methods to help their children continue to learn remotely is why the South-Western City School District is such a great place of which to be a part.
In March we suddenly and unexpectedly found ourselves thrust into a completely virtual environment. Luckily we have spent the last several years working to integrate technology to accelerate learning. These efforts positioned us as well as possible for the new reality we are experiencing. We’re so very proud of our families and staff members for working together to help students focus on continuing their learning. We have seen amazing work over the past several weeks. While we are sure this was challenging on many levels, we appreciate you stepping up to this challenge. As we look to finish strong, we want to say thank you one more time.
We know there have been a lot of questions regarding the return of personal materials and district materials including the use of Chromebooks. Our plans are as follows:
Return of student personal materials/locker contents to students and families:
Your child’s school will be contacting you with the details of material pick up day(s), which are scheduled for the week of May 26. Each family will be assigned a block of time in which they should pick up their child’s belongings curbside. Times will be assigned between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Please follow the instructions your child’s school will be sending to you.
*If your child is in grade PK-11 and you believe you will be moving out of the district over the summer, please return your borrowed Chromebook to your child’s school.
Implementation of one-to-one (1:1) Chromebooks distribution:
It is our intent to move to a 1:1 Chromebook distribution system for students in grades 5-12 for the 2020-2021 school year. Those students currently in grades 5-11 will be allowed to keep the Chromebooks, loaned to them for remote learning, for use next school year. If you do not wish to keep the current device, you may turn it in to your child’s school during material pick up day. More details will be coming out over the next few months regarding our 1:1 initiative.
Dr. Bill Wise
April 30, 2020
Dear South-Western Parents,
We hope your household has settled into some sort of routine with remote learning, family time, work, and other activities. Please remember to take care of yourselves as you also take care of your families.
A few questions have arisen over the past week which we felt we should address with parents regarding exams, facilities, and food distribution.
Exams for grades 7-12: We will still be having semester exams for students in grades 7-12. Teachers will be providing a cumulative assessment with feedback for a semester exam so students have the opportunity to reflect on their learning for the year and earn quality points for credit. Teachers have been given wide latitude on what their exam format will be. Depending on the course content, the design of the course, and the projects assigned throughout the course, the format could vary significantly from a traditional exam. Our goal is to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the essential learning that has taken place, for teachers to reinforce the most significant learning for the course, and for students to be able to reflect on their mastery of various concepts.
Senior Exams: We will still allow Seniors ONLY to exempt out of exams based on the traditional criteria. Seniors who do have exams will take them on the originally scheduled dates.
Facilities: Our indoor and outdoor facilities will remain closed until at least June 30, 2020. We are currently assessing the potential for additional academic support after June 30 and will have further guidance as information from our Governor and health officials becomes available.
Food Distribution: We will continue to distribute multiple meals to children through the remainder of May on Mondays and Wednesdays ONLY from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 15 school locations and an additional 16 school bus sites. On Mondays, children will receive two breakfasts and two lunches. On Wednesdays, children will receive three breakfasts and three lunches. All of these sites are also listed on our main Website at https://www.swcsd.us. NOTE: Changes will be made for the week of Memorial Day with more information coming out closer to that date.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.
Dr. Bill Wise
Monday, April 20, 2020 - Today, Governor Mike DeWine announced that all schools in the State of Ohio will continue teaching remotely through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, in response to the spread of COVID-19. As adjustments and additional guidance become available, we will continue to communicate with our students, families, and staff to share what that means to the South-Western community.
Thursday, April 9, 2020; 2:00pm
April 9, 2020
Dear South-Western Families,
You are doing an awesome job! You are enough!
We support you and we miss you.
It is important to remember that changes around us create different levels of anxiety and stress. While this is normal, it may be a significant challenge for some more than others. Trying to balance work demands, supporting learning at home, financial challenges, social distancing, and safe hygiene practices can easily feel overwhelming. While we all do what we can to protect our children, they may experience similar emotions. Recognizing that nothing is perfect, breaking tasks into smaller pieces and celebrating completed tasks goes a long way to reinforce that you are doing an awesome job, you are enough, and you are loved unconditionally. Please remember that there is an entire community working to support each other. Our main Website and the Ohio Department of Health site have useful links for all of us to access.
As we return from our spring break, we want to update you on academics, food distribution, and Chromebook distribution and repair for the remainder of April.
Academics: The weeks leading up to spring break provided teachers an opportunity to learn best practices for delivering instruction remotely with your students and from peers. We anticipate some adjustments to the form, format, and quantity of instruction as we continue these practices. To help students remain safe and scholarly online, the district is using a service called GoGuardian, which filters student devices in a way that is very similar to when students are in our classrooms at school. All of these adjustments should help improve learning and enhance student safety as we continue to deliver content in an alternative format.
We have received guidance from the Ohio Department of Education on graduation requirements. While more specific information will be sent from your student’s home high school, the short version is that credit attainment should be your student’s priority. This is good advice for all students. Students should stay focused on their current work and do their best because that is within their control. With the potential that we could return to face-to-face instruction in early May, we are proceeding with plans as if this will happen. If it becomes clear that we will not be returning to face-to-face instruction, we will share information as to what this means to you and your students at that time.
Food Distribution: We’ve listened to our families and their needs, so our food distribution schedule will be changing for the remainder of April. Starting on Monday, April 13, we will be distributing multiple meals to children on Mondays and Wednesdays ONLY from 10:00 a.m. to noon at our current 15 school locations and an additional 16 school bus sites. On Mondays, children will receive two breakfasts and two lunches. On Wednesdays, children will receive three breakfasts and three lunches. All of these sites are also listed on our main Website at https://www.swcsd.us/coronavirus-covid-19/food-distribution
School Building Locations: Alton Hall ES, Harmon ES, Highland Park ES, Prairie Lincoln ES, Stiles ES, Franklin Woods IS, Galloway Ridge IS, Park Street IS, Brookpark MS, Norton MS, Pleasant View MS, Central Crossing HS, Franklin Heights HS, Grove City HS and Westland HS
School Bus Locations:
Darby Mart (360 Hubbard Road)
1600 Bierl Road (Kendrick and Norton Roads)
Emerald Glen Apartments (9300 Regentshire Drive at Hall Road)
Cameron Creek Apartments (Westlake Drive)
Stimmel Road Trailer Park (A & B. Streets at the shed)
Franklin Manor Apartments (Tracy Circle at the basketball court)
Urbancrest YMCA (3500 First Street)
Derrer Road at Fremont Street (corner parking lot)
Hope City House of God (3330 El Paso Drive)
Marlowe Court at Inah Avenue
Masjid Abu Bakr Temple (591 Industrial Mile Road)
Dyer Trailer Park (4715 Sullivant Avenue - front entrance)
River Point Apartments (Hilltop Lane at Country Brook Drive E)
Parkwick Drive at Bayclub Drive (bus will be on Parkwick Drive)
Oak Hills Trailer Park (Oak Hills Drive at Red Oak Drive)
Autozone (3833 West Broad Street)
The Mid-Ohio Food Bank will continue to provide prepackaged dinners FOR PICK UP ONLY at Westland High School on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. until further notice.
Chromebook and HotSpot Distribution and Exchanges: For those in need of borrowing a Chromebook or Internet HotSpot or have a borrowed Chromebook that needs repair, we will be distributing and exchanging devices during food distribution hours (10:00 a.m. - noon) on Mondays and Wednesdays at each of our four high schools. Please email email@example.com or call (614) 801-3014 if you need assistance to ensure that we have the appropriate devices and technicians available to help you.
Stay Safe. Stay Healthy.
Dr. Bill Wise
Thursday, April 2, 2020; 2:45pm
Dear South-Western Families,
Whether you’re safe at home balancing student remote learning and working from home or whether you’re just home and wondering how you’re going to make all of this work or whether you’re one of those people on the front lines of this crisis helping others, please know that we are all in this together. In fact, there is a hashtag to prove it - #InThisTogetherOhio. Our country has a history of coming together when faced with adversity and this time will be no different.
Our staff members continue to serve students in various capacities from helping serve breakfast and lunch to writing lesson plans to teach remotely to just lending an ear as someone wants to talk. We’ve all had to change the way we serve. We’re all searching for the ‘new normal’ as it’s called. If history repeats itself ingenuity and technology will lead this charge and we will be forever changed because of it.
On Monday, March 30, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine announced that all schools in the State of Ohio will remain closed through May 1, 2020, in response to the spread of COVID-19. Following the governor’s direction, we are canceling or postponing all extracurricular activities through that time period and await further guidance from him and the Ohio Director of Health, Dr. Amy Acton.
Next week is our spring break. The Mid-Ohio Food Bank, in cooperation with some of our wonderful community partners, will be offering free dinners to students on Monday, April 6 and Wednesday, April 8 and Friday, April 10 at Westland High School from 3:30-4:30 p.m. We will not be offering breakfast and lunch during spring break. We will send another communication out next week to let you know the plans for the remainder of April. We also have a list of food distribution sites in the area on our main Website at www.swcsd.us.
Please remember that all of our playgrounds are closed due to public health concerns. This includes playground equipment, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, and stadiums. While playgrounds are closed, many walking trails and bike paths are open for hiking or cycling.
We wish we had answers to all the questions you have been asking. The information coming from various agencies is allowing us to answer more questions every day. Answers to other questions would be speculative at this time. The best advice we can offer today is to stay focused on what matters most, what we know, and what we can control over the next few weeks.
We’ve seen some very creative teaching styles over the past couple of weeks. For many of us, this forced us to learn new skills and look at the way we educate our children - evaluating what works and what needs work. We’re sure we will see even more exciting teaching moments when we return from break.
Until next week - Stay safe. Practice social distancing. Stay healthy.
Dr. Bill Wise
Friday, March 27, 2020; 11:30am
March 27, 2020
Dear South-Western Families,
We hope you are being safe and taking care of yourself and your family.
A lot has happened to change the way we educate and care for our children and families over the past couple of weeks. We know you have been receiving information from your child’s teachers, building administration, and the district. We are very proud of the way our staff members have found new and creative ways to educate and help feed our children, working with community groups and other education groups.
We have been taking our lead from both Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton as they update everyone daily on the status of the Coronavirus in Ohio. Our plans may require adjustment, based on their continued guidance. As adjustments and additional guidance are available, we will share what that means to the South-Western community as quickly as possible. We’d like to take this opportunity to update you on all of the areas that may assist you in helping us continue to educate and care for students based on our current understandings:
Our buildings are making every effort to get Chromebooks and Internet HotSpots into the hands of students who need these tools. If your student is in need of a borrowed device or temporary Internet HotSpot to use for remote learning and you have not been able to secure one, please contact the school’s attendance line at your child’s school and leave your name, your child's name, grade, a call-back number, and whether you need a device or HotSpot. Someone will contact you with a time and location to pick up a Chromebook and/or HotSpot. Please know that the temporary HotSpots are in short supply, but we will try our best to meet your needs starting with high school students.
We will follow this same process for any borrowed Chromebook that has technical difficulties (device breaks, needs repair, or needs to be replaced) or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (614) 801-3014.
Please remember that the devices on loan from the district have limited filtering capabilities while students are working remotely. While the district acceptable use policy (Board Policy 7540.03) and bullying, harassment and intimidation policy (Board Policy 5517.01) remain in full effect, we are counting on caregivers to help monitor the use, search activity, and social interactions in which students engage through these devices.
Student Food Distribution
We are distributing "Grab-n-Go" style breakfast and lunch packages to students at 15 school locations throughout the district. Per federal regulations, children 18 and under must be in attendance in order to pick up food. Children may pick up food from any one of the sites listed on our Website Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. - noon. This service will be suspended during our normally scheduled Spring Break of April 6-10.
On Monday, March 30 AND Wednesday, April 1 AND Friday, April 3, the Mid-Ohio Food Bank will continue to provide prepackaged dinners to any South-Western student starting at 3:30 p.m. at Westland High School, 146 Galloway Road. As this is also a federal program, students must be in attendance in order to pick up the food.
All staff members have email addresses. The format of email addresses in our district is email@example.com. Please be patient as our staff members work through their email messages. Between student and parent communication, creating lessons in a new way, providing students with feedback on their work, and taking care of their own families, they will be stretched very thin while working remotely from home.
Telephones and Voicemail Extensions
All teachers have voicemail extensions on which students and parents can leave messages regarding classwork. All extensions and the directions for leaving a message can be found on your child’s school Website.
As many of our staff members are working from home, we have set up voicemail on each building's attendance telephone line. Please leave your name, phone number, and a brief message and we will return your call as quickly as we can. Please also be patient as our staff members work through their voicemail messages.
Web Resources ( www.swcsd.us)
Our main Website has a variety of resources for parents to use while assisting their children adapt to home learning. Teachers are sending home resources, buildings are posting resources, and the district is sharing additional activities on its social media accounts.
Thank you for your patience. Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. And we look forward to seeing you in the future.
Dr. Bill Wise
Wednesday, March 25, 2020; 1:15pm
On Wednesday, March 25th and Thursday, March 26th and Friday, March 27th, the Mid-Ohio Food Bank will be providing prepackaged dinners to all SWCSD students for pick up only from 3:30 to 4:30pm at Westland High School, 146 Galloway Road in Galloway. Thank you to the food bank for providing this additional food resource to our families.
Friday, March 13, 2020; 12:55pm
Dear South-Western City School District Family:
Keeping our students and staff safe and assuring our schools provide a healthy learning environment is a priority in the South-Western City School District. As you may be aware, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has been holding frequent news conferences to update the state's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The announcements have included comments from Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). At yesterday's press conference, Governor DeWine directed all K-12 schools to close for students for an extended period of time.
The South-Western City School District will be closing all of its schools at the end of the school day on Friday, March 13, 2020 to prepare for compliance with the Governor's direction. All indoor extracurricular events and activities are postponed or cancelled through April 2, 2020. (Guidance will be forthcoming for outdoor activities through individual coaches.)
The South-Western City School District has made plans to address the need for remote learning options for students. We are closely monitoring updates from the Ohio Department of Health, Franklin County Public Health, the CDC and other government agencies.
The South-Western City School District's current plan is as follows:
- The first several days of closure will be treated as calamity days. Students will follow all regular calamity/snow day practices and procedures.
- March 24 through April 3 will be considered school days with content being delivered and shared electronically. Students should be able to expect content (learning activities) lasting approximately a traditional class period in length for each subject area everyday. Many of the learning activities will require students to create products/documents to be submitted for teacher feedback. The feedback will most commonly take the form of a graded activity, but not always.
- April 6-10 is our scheduled spring break per the master calendar. This will continue to remain in place.
- It is our intent to evaluate the implementation of our electronic teaching and learning efforts before committing to continue this practice. We will share this information on April 2. There is the potential that we would begin to schedule make-up days for the end of the school year should continued closure be required.
Please note that electronic teaching and learning does not mirror an in-school day and coursework may be adjusted to be better suited for at-home learning. Though students will not be constrained by traditional learning hours, they will be required to complete activities and assignments.
Please review your connectivity to support at-home learning and identify any childcare arrangements that may be necessary. While resources are limited, we are working on a system to assist families that need support with technology. For example, a Chromebook was offered to households as needed on March 13. If your household did not receive a Chromebook for your student's school work and is in need of one, please call your school's attendance line to make arrangements to obtain one. For families with significant financial need, we are working to secure temporary internet access for the time of school closures. For others, please remember that there are public access points and the ability to access the district WiFi system from common areas surrounding school buildings.
This situation has left us in uncharted territory. It is important for you to know we are acting quickly as situations arise. Plans may need adjustment and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding. We have developed a Web page ( SWCSD-COVID-19) with more information and links on the COVID-19 Coronavirus to help you stay informed on the latest information available.
As always, the most important preventative measures are the ones we can take in our own homes. Please practice appropriate health and safety measures in your homes, working with us to teach children proper habits to prevent the spread of germs and illness such as frequent hand-washing, social distancing, and staying home when sick.
Thank you for your patience as we navigate this uncharted territory together.
Dr. Bill Wise
Thursday, March 12, 2020; 6:15pm
Please hold for an important message from the South-Western City School District.
Following Governor DeWine’s direction today, the South-Western City School District has cancelled school for all students beginning Saturday, March 14, through Sunday, April 12, 2020. SWCSD will remain open on Friday, March 13. South-Western City School District officials will continue to monitor the development of COVID-19 and will plan accordingly, in partnership with local, state, and federal health and government officials. Stay up-to-date regarding COVID-19 on the SWCSD Website, where we continue to add resources and post updates as we learn more. More information regarding learning activities and other plans will be coming soon. We appreciate your patience as we work through this process.
Wednesday, March 11, 5:00pm
Effective March 12, 2020, all South-Western City School District after-school events that involve participation or attendance by anyone other than SWCSD students will be postponed. Additionally, we will be suspending all field trips during the school day as well as other extracurricular trips in the evening until further notice.
This decision will be re-evaluated after March 23, 2020 and periodically after that time.
As long as schools are open, “student only” events and activities (club meetings, choir rehearsals, play rehearsals, athletic practices) remain as scheduled. If schools are closed, you will receive additional communication regarding events and activities.
We are currently compiling a list of student organizations that have overnight and/or out-of-state travel planned in the coming weeks/months and will be issuing guidance on these trips soon.