CUYAHOGA FALLS — Both the Cuyahoga Falls and Woodridge school districts have been working to formulate online lessons, coming up with a system to provide meals, and more as they and other districts throughout Ohio adjust to continuing education remotely.
Due to concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered the shutdown of schools through April 4, meaning that school teachers and administrators have had to find new and remote ways to keep students learning through the extended time away from their school buildings.
In Cuyahoga Falls, Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols said families can visit the district’s website at https://www.cfalls.org/ to access the links to the students’ school work assignments. For students who do not have access to technology and/or the Internet, paper and pencil lessons will be passed out at each school building from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. March 30 through April 3. Nicholas added that Chromebooks will be distributed to students who do not have access to technology during that same time frame.
Families with students who need paper and pencil assignments and technology should fill out the forms at https://www.cfalls.org/.
For students who do not have access to the internet, Nichols said Charter-Spectrum has announced it will offer free access for 60 days. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8935.
Nichols added the district is distributing free grab and go breakfasts and lunches to any student who wants them. Meals will be distributed at each building from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 30 through April 3. Families need to access a form at https://www.cfalls.org/ to sign up for the meals.
The Cuyahoga Falls superintendent praised his administrative team for doing "yeoman's work" in response to all of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak during the school board’s March 18 meeting, which was live streamed.
"I feel bad for our kids, especially for our seniors," said Board member Dave Martin. "This is an unprecedented time."
Board member Patrice White agreed, saying it was "very, very difficult to see our schools closed."
Board President Karen Schofield shared an optimistic thought: "We'll get through this."
The board decided to cancel its regularly scheduled meeting on April 1, with the understanding that they could call a special meeting if an issue needed to be addressed immediately.
Woodridge Local Schools
Woodridge Superintendent Walter Davis said the district is working on providing educational resources that students can access during the closure.
"The work that we have provided for the kids initially is meant to serve as a review, practice and skill enhancement," Davis said in a written correspondence March 18. "As we move forward, we will be adding more with some new concepts being introduced as well. The work the kids do will only benefit them from a grading standpoint. We will not penalize kids, but will use our assessment of what they complete to boost their grade and enhance their scores."
For homes that do not have Internet access, Davis said parents should contact their building principal for assistance in accessing the resources.
So far, Davis said, the school’s food distribution program has gone well. The Woodridge Local School District will make free breakfast and lunch available while the district buildings are closed. As of now, the buildings are scheduled to reopen April 6. The first distribution, which takes place at Woodridge Elementary School, was Wednesday.
"We distributed food to about 600 kids," Davis said of the first food distribution. "We had a team of nearly 40 volunteers in addition to our food service department staff and administrators. We started the process at 8:30 a.m. and by 12:30 p.m.- it was complete. Our delivery teams shared stories of gratitude and appreciation - some even in tears. We will be doing it all again next week - with distribution on Tuesday. We are doing weekly distribution - a week's worth of food - breakfasts and lunches."
Davis said the district will have events such as prom and graduation, although dates may have to be moved depending on the status of the pandemic.
"There will definitely be graduation, a prom and our other end of year celebrations — regardless of how late into the year we have to plan them," Davis said. "We are working with Blossom Music Center, the site of our graduation ceremony, to secure some alternative dates as well as the other venues we use for our events. We will share information about those calendar changes when they are finalized."
For details and updates, visit https://www.woodridge.k12.oh.us/.