It is often said that a crisis situation brings out the best in people. We have most certainly experienced this throughout Washington-Nile Local School District. Teachers are striving diligently to provide the best learning opportunities for students and students are quickly adapting to remote learning, our custodial staff is working intensely to thoroughly clean and disinfect our buildings, and the food service, transportation department and community partners are working together to provide meals to our children. Although the COVID-19 emergency is critical and stressful, there are many reasons to be very proud to be part of the Portsmouth West community.
The most important consideration during this crisis is the health, safety, and well-being of our students and community. During this time, we have had many questions concerning the district’s current and future plans, below are some our most frequently asked questions:
How long will schools be closed? On Saturday, March 14, 2020, Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health explained, “All school buildings that provide any kindergarten through grade twelve instruction in the State of Ohio are to be closed to students beginning at 12:01 a.m. on March 17 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on April 3, 2020.” Pre-school is also included in the school closure order.
Will extracurricular activities be cancelled? Yes – all extracurricular activities have been cancelled during the school closure including practices of athletic teams, musical productions, and all other club activities. Additionally, Jerry Snodgrass, Executive Director of the Ohio High School Athletic Association has declared a “no contact” period for all athletics.
Will meals be provided during school closure? Yes - In order to assist with nutrition for our students, beginning Tuesday March 17, 2020, WNLSD will be providing meals to any youth in our district that is under the age of eighteen (18). Due to state and federal guidelines, children must be present to receive the meal. You may “pick-up” meals at several locations throughout our district.
Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm
- Lett Terrace Community Center
- Washington Township Fire Department
- Old Town Methodist Church
- Nile Township Fire Department
- Buena Vista Fire Department
You may call between the hours of 9:00am and 2:00pm (740-858-1103) with any questions.
Will the school closure affect graduation? The Ohio Department of Education directly addresses this question by stating on the website: “Ensuring that the Class of 2020 is on track to graduate is an important priority. Schools should take this opportunity to review the status of each senior to determine the extent to which the student has met graduation requirements for the Class of 2020. There is significant flexibility in the graduation requirements for the Class of 2020. It is important that schools understand the needs of each of their students and have, to the extent possible, a plan to help each student complete these requirements during the remainder of the school year, both during the closure period (as practicable) and at such time as school may resume. Should the current situation change, the Department of Education will provide additional information. Our commitment is to provide reasonable flexibility in the interest of doing what is right for students.”
Portsmouth West will do everything that is possible to ensure that each and every student graduates on time.
Will there be a graduation ceremony? Currently, schools are closed until April 6th. If this remains in place, we plan to have a graduation ceremony. However, this is a very fluid situation and if the Governor closes for an extended period of time, we will need to re-evaluate our decisions. We will do everything possible to ensure that the Class of 2020 is recognized for their accomplishments.
Will there be a Prom? Currently, schools are closed until April 6th. If this remains in place, we plan to have the prom. However, this is a very fluid situation and if the Governor closes for an extended period of time, we will need to re-evaluate our decisions.
Will there be state testing this year? The Ohio Department of Education directly addresses this question by stating on the website: “No state testing will take place during the closure period. The Ohio Department of Education will take appropriate action to adjust the state’s testing schedule (both in terms of administration and reporting) to accommodate the three-week closure. The intention is to be as flexible as possible. We will be asking the U.S. Department of Education for the maximum flexibility in accommodating the current circumstance”.
How will students apply for “in-house” scholarships? Scholarships will be posted on our website and if we are closed beyond the submission deadline, we will develop a process for those scholarships to be submitted electronically.
How can the school be contacted for questions? While the school buildings are closed to the public, we will have personnel on site to answer your telephone calls from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Please call 740-858-1103. Teachers and administrators may be contacted by e-mail. E-mail addresses can be found on our website.
Be assured that we are working with health and government officials and continuously monitor guidance from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) in order to act in the best interests of our students and staff. Once again, our custodial staff is continuing to clean and disinfect our facilities daily.
We can help prevent the spread of a cold, influenza and other respiratory viruses by practicing healthy habits and following advice from the Centers on Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html):
We will continue to share information with our community as the situation develops through email, social media, and our website. Thank you for partnering with us to mitigate risk to our students, staff and community.