Back to School 2021: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we've announced back to school plans for the 2021-22 school year, Pickerington Schools wants to help student(s) get ready to return in the fall as quickly as possible! We have created this "One Stop Shop" with all the information you'll need to get your kids ready for school, including supply lists, district calendar, online forms, student handbooks, school menus, and easy ways to update your family's information online! Please note that August 16, 2021 is the first day of school for grades 1-12, and August 20 is the first day for Kindergarteners.

School-specific information (such as supply lists and information about back-to-school activities) is available by clicking on one of the links under the "Get School Supply Lists and Other Info From Your Child's School" heading below.

Pickerington Schools Back to School Information

General Information

At Pickerington Schools, we are constantly working to improve our customer service and be more cost efficient. To that end, we have created this online “one-stop shop” for most of the back-to-school information parents need each year.

This includes placing our student handbooks, school supply lists, transportation information, district calendar and other info online to reduce printing costs, as well as provide an online system to allow parents to easily fill out all those back-to-school forms.

We hope you find this approach to be convenient, and that you appreciate the cost savings of moving all these materials online. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact your child’s school.

What Info Do You Need In Hand Before Starting?

For some of the steps below, parents will need:

You also will need internet access for some of the online information referenced below. If you do not have internet in your home, free access is available at the Pickerington Public Library. Computers also are available for parent use during business hours at the District Office, allowing you to review and complete this information online.

Teacher/Team Assignments and JH/HS Schedules

Look at the back-to-school page for your child’s school below to find out how assignments and schedules are being disseminated.

Please remember that all back-to-school forms for students K-12 must be completed using our online forms system. Junior high and high school schedules will not be released until these forms are completed.

Step One: Complete Your Family's Required Forms Online

For custodial parents in the primary household of returning students in kindergarten through grade 12

In order to complete back to school and EMA forms, a parent/legal guardian in the primary household will need to submit an annual update for each returning student through the Infinite Campus Parent Portal.  Please follow the directions below for the online registration annual update:

  1. Login into your Infinite Campus Parent Portal, click on the 3 lines in the upper left corner and select “More.”
  2. Click on Online Registration on the bottom of the list.
  3. Click on Existing Student Registration

Infinite Campus pic showing buttons for existing student online registration annual update instructions

4. Click on Begin Registration at the bottom.

Infinite Campus Online Registration pic showing Begin Registration button

5. Follow the prompts to complete the Online Registration Annual Update.

New items to be added for a current student will be doctor, dentist, hospital information, etc.  Please review all other information, including emergency contacts, health conditions and medications.

If you have any questions, please see our Infinite Campus webpage for instructions regarding your Infinite Campus Parent Account and submitting an Infinite Campus help desk ticket.

Step Two: Get School Supply Lists and Other Info From Your Child's School

Virtual Learning Academy students

  • Supply lists are the same as listed for your student’s home school below. Students are still enrolled at their home school.  However, it is likely adjustments will be made to the supply lists by the VLA teacher to accommodate for the remote learning platform.

High Schools

Junior High Schools

Middle Schools

Elementary Schools

Preschool

Step Three: Review Handbooks and Policies

All handbooks are available for review online. The district will not be printing handbooks. Parents will be asked to confirm that they have reviewed the handbooks when filling out back-to-school forms. Students in grades 5-12 will sign a similar acknowledgment once school starts.

Step Four: Follow Us On Social Media

Be sure to follow the District and your children’s schools on your own Facebook and Twitter accounts. This is often the quickest way to be informed about what’s happening in Pickerington Schools.

District

High Schools

Junior High Schools

Middle Schools

Elementary Schools

Step Five: Pay Student Fees

Each year, the Pickerington School Board approves a schedule of fees for materials used in the course of instruction (ORC §3313.642).  The district assesses fees to students for supplies and consumable materials, including consumable subscriptions or licenses used as materials in the course of instruction. These fees are typically available on the Infinite Campus Parent Portal a few weeks after the start of school. (This delay allows for students to change courses at the junior high and high school levels.)  The District also offers an optional protection plan for student one-to-one devices.

  • The Technology Protection Fee for student one-to-one devices is $40 for all grades. This is an optional fee, but highly recommended. Once fees are assigned, the Treasurer’s Office will send an email alerting parents of activities on a student’s account.
  • Student fees for students in grades K-6 will be on IC as information becomes available.
  • Student fees for grades 7-12 will be on IC after the add-drop period (about two weeks after the start of classes.)
  • Athletic/pay-to-participate fees will be on IC as they become available from coaches.

The preferred method of payment is by logging into the Parent Portal on Infinite Campus. While schools will accept a check or cash, paying via the Parent Portal ensures there is a record of payment (and that students do not misplace a check or cash.)

Where applicable, the cost of student planners is included in school fees. Families who are financially unable to pay for necessary materials should refer to Board Policy 6152.01 regarding fee waivers. Applications are available in the school office. Failure to pay school fees will result in grades and transcripts being held until payment is received.

Please note that specific technologies and consumable resources may vary slightly by school. 

Kindergarten (Total: $19.00)

  • Communication folder: $1.50
  • Online learning: $5.00
  • Consumable supplies: $12.50

First grade (Total: $17.00)

  • Communication folder: $1.50
  • Language arts consumable: $7.50
  • Online learning: $5.00
  • ­STEM learning: $3.00  ­

Second grade (Total: $17.50)

  • Communication folder: $1.50
  • Language arts consumable: $8.00
  • Online learning: $5.00
  • ­STEM learning: $3.00

Third grade (Total: $22.00)

  • Communication folder: $1.50
  • Online learning: $5.00
  • Data/assignment notebook: $4.00
  • Language arts consumable: $6.50
  • ­STEM learning: $5.00

Fourth grade (Total: $23.50)

  • Communication folder: $1.50
  • Online learning: $5.00
  • Data/assignment notebook: $4.00
  • Language arts consumable: $8.00
  • ­STEM learning: $5.00

Fifth grade (Total: $36.00)

  • Science supplies: $6.00
  • Literacy consumable: $10.00
  • Digital learning: $5.00
  • Hands on Science Fee: $15.00

Sixth grade (Total: $83.00)

  • Science supplies: $6.00
  • Springboard: $17.00
  • Digital learning: $5.00
  • Outdoor Science Trip: $55.00

Gateway Fourth grade (Total: $20.00)

  • Digital learning: $5.00
  • Science fee: $5.00
  • Story Works: $10.00

Gateway Fifth grade (Total: 36.00)

  • Digital learning: $5.00
  • Science fee: $6.00
  • Story Works: $10.00
  • Hands on Science Fee: $15.00

Gateway Sixth grade (Total: $71.00)

  • Digital learning: $5.00
  • Science fee: $6.00
  • STEM/Design Challenge fee: $5.00
  • Outdoor Science Trip: $55

Grades 7-12

Student fees in grades seven through twelve are based on individual class schedules. Fees for courses were listed in the Program of Studies when students register for classes in the spring. The Program of Studies can be found on the high school and junior high school websites under “Academics” and then “Courses and Class Registration.”

Pickerington Virtual Learning Academy

Pickerington Schools anticipates that it will be offering a Virtual Learning Academy for the 2021-2022 school year. While we do not have full details about the VLA at this time, fees for supplies and equipment will not exceed $100. More details will be forthcoming.

Step Six: Check Your Child's Bus Route

Parents seeking information about their child’s bus pick-up and drop-off may use our interactive online systemAfter clicking this link:

  • You will be asked to enter your username and password. Both of those are your child’s Student ID number (the same number used for lunch accounts.) If you don’t know your child’s student ID number you can get that information through Infinite Campus.
  • Click “Log-In.”
  • Click “Work with Students.”
  • Click “View My Students.”
  • Click a student’s name to be taken to their transportation information page. Read this page carefully as it explains the morning and afternoon transportation information for your student.

Students with the same home phone number will be grouped together on the “View My Students” page. If, for some reason, you do not see all the students in your household, try logging in again using one of your other children’s information.

If you wish to request a change regarding your student’s pick-up or drop-off sites, please log in to the online system and click on the “Parent Communication” link.

All requests for a stop location change will be determined using Board Policy, State and Local ordinances, and Pupil Transportation Guidelines provided by the Ohio Department of Education.

If the change involves an alternative address other than the home, such as a babysitter’s address, it must be in the attendance boundary that corresponds with the home address.

PLSD does not give transportation services to private day care businesses.

Transportation is a tax supported program. Therefore, demands for individualized service beyond any legal requirements cannot be met.

The purpose of bus scheduling and routing is to achieve efficient service with a minimum fleet of buses consistent with rendering service to all students who are eligible for transportation services.

Use your child’s six-digit student ID for both the username AND password. Once you have logged in, select “Parent Communication” and choose “Babysitter Bus Stop Request” in the drop-down menu. Copy and paste the message text to complete the submission.

If you have any questions, please call Petermann Pickerington at 614-837-8525.

Step Seven: Download Versatrans My Stop App

How long until your child’s bus arrives to pick him up? How long until her bus gets her home from school?

A mobile application can tell Pickerington School parents approximately where their child’s bus is in the morning and afternoon. Parents must download the app to receive text notifications in case of bus delays and other information. You can download the “Versatrans My Stop App” from Tyler Technologies at the Google Play or the App Store.

The Petermann Bus Tracker will remain active for a short period of time, but route status notifications will be communicated via the My Stop App.

Parents will need their children’s student ID numbers to set up the app.

Parents should not use the system to wait until the very last minute to send their children to the bus stop. Students must be at their designated stop by the scheduled bus arrival time, and waiting until the last minute can be dangerous if children are running to meet their bus.

Plus, the system operates by tracking the GPS units in each bus, so it operates on a lag that can be up to two minutes. During that time, the bus may have made progress on its route, so GPS locations are only approximate.

Parents who will likely see the greatest benefit from the application are those who live in the more rural parts of the district and parents of children with special needs.

Step Eight: View the 2021-22 School Calendar

The revised version of the 2021-22 School Calendar is now available. Please note that Preschool classes begin on August 23.

Step Nine: Publicizing Great Things About Your Child

The district frequently has the opportunity to celebrate accomplishments of our students, including award recipients, participants in unique classroom projects, involvement in fine arts programs, and other activities worth recognizing and promoting.

Sometimes, this recognition appears on district and school websites, in print publications, and in district-controlled social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. This recognition may include photos of students, as well as their names, school, grade and teacher’s name. It also may include pictures or other representations of students’ artistic work, including visual and written pieces.

We also occasionally will have members of the local media visiting our buildings to cover special events and unique approaches to education being offered by our teachers. Media access to students does not happen within our schools without district knowledge and supervision, and we do not provide direct access to students when the media is covering stories or topics that might be considered controversial or negative.

Most parents enjoy seeing their children included in the day-to-day celebration of all the great things happening in our schools. For that reason, default consent and release for this type of recognition is granted to the district. However, we know there are a few parents who prefer that their children not be included in such photographs and online stories. Action is only required by parents who wish to deny this consent. Please note that photos of students with their names, school, grade and teacher’s name will be included in school yearbooks by default. Parents who wish to deny consent for inclusion in school yearbooks must take action to deny consent as well.

We require those parents to inform us, in writing, of their desire to have their children excluded from district-managed recognition and/or school yearbook pictures by downloading this opt-out form (PDF) | opt-out form (RTF version), filling it out, and returning it to their child’s school. Parents are asked to do this by Sept. 1 each fall to ensure we have a current list of students whose activities should not be publicly acknowledged by the district on the website, on social media, in school yearbooks, or in other public forums.

Step 10: Review Info on Safety and Security Drills

The safety and security of our students is our top priority. That’s why every Pickerington School is required by law to perform annual drills designed to ensure our students and staff are prepared in the event of emergencies.

Such drills are part of every building’s emergency plan. Plans for these drills are developed in cooperation with and assistance of local law enforcement, fire departments, and the Department of Homeland Security. The purpose of these drills is to train and improve.

Safety and security drills

Fire drills: We hold six fire drills between August and May for our buildings that have a sprinkler system, and nine fire drills per school year for the buildings without sprinklers. These drills require a complete building evacuation. One drill must be held within the first 10 days of school.

Tornado drills (Per Ohio Revised Code): Schools will hold drills once a month when school is in session during tornado season (April 1 – July 31). Additionally, schools will hold one drill within the 1st 90 days of school and two additional drills between March and the end of the school year.

Three lockdown drills: Each school performs three lockdown/intruder drills between the months of August and May. The first drill must occur before December. These drills may include either a building evacuation or a lockdown (sometimes known as “shelter in place.”) Local law enforcement agents are often on site and participate in these drills. At the junior high school and high school levels, some of these drills are unannounced, which provides a more realistic opportunity to test our preparedness. Unannounced exercises occur toward the end of the school year after students have gone through training during announced drills. For “unannounced” drills, teachers are notified in advance. Our experience is that some students will text parents when an unannounced drill occurs, so schools typically use Infinite Campus to email parents about shortly before such a drill occurs. Please ensure your contact information and preferences are current in Infinite Campus at www.pickerington.k12.oh.us/parent-portal/

Medical drills: Schools complete two drills each year to prepare for a possible medical emergency. During these drills, all available staff members report to the area where the medical need is occurring. Students are kept in their classrooms, clear of the area until the emergency is over.

Parents should not call the district or come to/call their child’s during drills or actual emergencies. This distracts district staff and law enforcement, which creates additional risks to the safety and security of our children.

If you have any questions about these drills, please contact your school.

Step 11: Technology and Your Child's One-to-One Device

Visit PLSD's Technology Website for the Latest Device Information

Information about device pickup, login, the Device Technology Protection Plan, the One-to-One Program, the Every-1 Connected Program (Free hotspots), and Chromebook care can all be found on the Instructional Technology webpage.

Step 12: Review Information From Your School Nurse

Medical Forms

In addition to the emergency medical form which should be filled out using our online system, there are several other important medical forms that can be downloaded from the district website:

Please fill out all information forms carefully and completely. Please provide cell phone numbers, additional contact names, and phone numbers on a separate sheet of paper if needed. Please provide all appropriate health information pertaining to your child. Information will be shared with staff members in order to safely care for your child. Be sure to include information such as diabetes, asthma, seizures, severe allergies, as well as any medication information.

Please note that if your Junior High or High School student has not received their required vaccines for this school year, they will not receive their schedule.

Junior High and High School Vaccinations

Please note that if your Junior High or High School student has not received their required vaccines for this school year, they will not receive their schedule.

Early August Immunization Clinics

PLSD’s health team is hosting immunization clinics with Nationwide Children’s Hospital at Harmon Middle School on August 5 and 6. Please see the flyers at the links below for more details.

Vaccine flyer August 5

Vaccine flyer August 6

 

Medications (Prescription and Nonprescription)

In the event your child needs to take prescription medication while at school, please be sure to have the Request for administration of prescription medication by school personnel (pdf) form or completed by the child’s physician and parents. Forms are available in the school office and on the website.

Nonprescription medication such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and cough drops may be administered to students if the parent/guardian sends in the medication (in original container) along with written permission for the medication to be given. Dosages cannot exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations for age and weight. (i.e., We cannot administer medication to children under 12 if the label says: “Do not administer to children under 12, except under the direction of a physician.” We need to have a note from the doctor in order to give a dose of medication that is different than the dose stated on the bottle.) All medications, prescription and non-prescription, must be sent in the original container.

Immunizations

State law and district policy require written proof of every student’s immunization status. Any student who does not meet the minimum state-required immunizations or exemptions within the first 14 days of school attendance may be excluded. The current requirements for immunizations can be found on the Ohio Department of Health’s website under “Immunization Summary – School.”

Franklin County Health Department offers several immunization clinics every month. Visit the Franklin County Health Department website for more information.

Fairfield County clinics can be found on the Fairfield Department of Health website.

Health Concerns

Be sure to contact the school nurse and your child’s teacher to discuss any health concerns your child has, including severe allergies, seizures, diabetes, asthma and any current medications. During the school year, please be sure to update the school nurse and your child’s teacher(s) of any new medical conditions your child is diagnosed with or any new medications your child is taking. This would include changes to a current medical condition or medication dosage as well.

Illness and Injury

Any student with a temperature of 100° or higher, vomiting, diarrhea, or signs and symptoms of a possible communicable disease will be sent home. Please keep students home until they remain fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of medication and free of vomiting or diarrhea symptoms for 24 hours prior to returning to school. All children with suspicious rashes must be excluded from school until the rash has been determined to be noncontagious by a doctor.

Students who appear to need stitches, x-rays, or extended observation for an illness or injury will be sent home for possible medical evaluation. If your child appears to have a life-threatening or serious illness or injury, the emergency squad will be called. Every effort will be made to notify you of this necessity, so please be sure all phone numbers and healthcare information on the emergency form are kept current.

In the event the school is unable to reach a parent/legal guardian when a student is ill or injured, the clinic will contact those persons so designated by the parent/legal guardian on the student’s emergency medical form. Only those designated individuals on the form will be permitted to pick up or release the student from school. Also, if parents will be out of town for an extended stay, they must provide the school, in writing, with the name(s) and phone numbers of those individuals responsible for the student’s care in their absence.

Health Screenings

State-mandated health screenings (such as vision and hearing) will be completed during the school year. Please contact the school nurse if you have any concerns regarding your child and the screening process.

Nurse’s Schedule

Please note that there will not be a nurse in the school building every day; however, a school nurse can always be reached by phone in case of emergency.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s health, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school nurse. A list of school nurses is available on our website.

Questions?

Please contact your student’s school nurse or the Health Services Coordinator, Dr. Jodi Smelko-Schneider, DNP, RN, LSN, (614) 835-2017, with any questions or concerns about your students health.

Step 13: Review Food Services Info and Add Money to My Payments Plus

Food Services Website (including menus)

Information about Food Services, including menus and links to applications for free and reduced-price meals, can be found on the Food Service department’s website.

Set Up Your My Payments Plus Account and Place Funds in Your Account

Please note that the My Payments Plus system will be activated in early August each school year.

If you don’t have an account yet, we ask that you take a moment and create a free account at MyPaymentsPlus. Obtaining a free parent account will give you 24/7 access to information such as the balance in your student’s school meal account and record of what they have purchased in the cafeteria.

Place money on your “MYPaymentsPlus” account

Go online or call 1-866-711-7341. For a $2 fee, through MyPaymentsPlus, you are able to deposit funds directly into your student’s cafeteria account. Deposits can take place both on the MyPaymentsPlus website and via the mobile app. You may also add money to your student’s account on the phone by calling 866-711-7341.

If you prefer auto-payments, you have that ability as well. The system will even allow you to set the parameters for when you would like an auto-payment to take place.

Parent help line

The MyPaymentsPlus Support Team can be reached Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. EST at (877) 237-0946 or via email at: support@mypaymentsplus.com if you require assistance.

We also accept checks for meal payments

Pickerington Schools also accepts checks for payment of meals. Make checks payable to Pickerington Food Service Department. Please include child’s name and ID# on the check.

For more information, visit the Food Services web pages.

About My Payments Plus

Pickerington Schools uses the online payment system My Payments Plus as a safe, secure and convenient way to allow parents to pay for their children’s meals. With a My Payments Plus account, you can take advantage of other free benefits of the site, such as low-balance e-mail notifications and even the ability to download the free MyPaymentsPlus mobile app, which is available for all iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android devices. The mobile app will also allow for you to set up push notifications regarding your student’s balance.

Through the system, parents can check their children’s cafeteria balances and purchase histories, make prepayments for breakfast and lunch with auto-pay capability, and receive email reminders if account balances get low.

We highly encourage you to at least set up an account so you can be included in any direct messaging from our nutrition department.

Thank you for partnering with us in an effort to make managing your student’s account easy and the fall transition a smooth one.

Helpful Tips for My Payments Plus Student Meal Account

Setting up low-balance email notifications and auto payments online

Step one: Log-in to your account at: MyPaymentsPlus

Step two: Each of the customized settings have a button pertaining to that setting. Those buttons are “Low Balance Notifications,” “Auto Pay,” “Online Payment History,” and “Purchase History.”

Step three: By clicking either the “Low-Balance Notifications” button or the “Auto-Pay button,” you will then enter the dollar amount that you want to outline as the “lowest amount” your student’s account will hit before a low-balance e-mail notification or auto-payment is processed.

Step four: Be sure to click “Save Changes” when you are finished.

Forgot your password?

Click “Forgot username or password?” and enter your email address in the location provided for a link to be sent to that email. (Please note: you must use the email you registered with).

Need help?

The MyPaymentsPlus Support Team can be reached Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. EST at (877) 237-0946 or via email at: support@mypaymentsplus.com if you require assistance.

Free and Reduced Meals Information

All school meals are free for the 2021- 2022 school year

The USDA has granted free and reduced application status carryover from both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school year.

Free and reduced applications should only be submitted for students new to the district or if a family has a change in circumstance.  A change in circumstance would be such things as an additional household member, a decrease in salary, or newly receiving SNAP or OWF benefits.  Approval of the application may be used to receive benefits such as P-EBT and fee waivers.

Applications will be available in early August on the food service website.

Check Our Our Parent University

Parent University Website

We are proud to release the first version of the PLSD Parent University website. This website will be geared towards helping parents with technology and instructional issues that they may have while at home.  We will continue to add material on this site throughout the school year. Additionally, we will be hosting live events on Facebook to help parents with working with iPad/Chromebooks and the software we will be using in the Flexible Learning 2.0 models. 

https://tinyurl.com/PLSDparentU

We're Looking for a Few Great Substitute Employees

Apply to Work for Pickerington Schools

Pickerington Schools is currently seeking support position substitute employees to work in our schools.

Positions are available for the 2021-22 school year in positions that include duty aides, secretaries, office assistants, paraprofessionals, library/media aides, kindergarten aides, healthcare assistants, food service, and custodial/maintenance.

Interested? Start by filling out the district’s online application through Applitrak. (Click on the “Start an application for employment” link.) Once completed, contact our Human Resources Department at 614.834.2162.

Of course, we’re always looking for qualified substitute teachers, too!

Safer Schools Hotline

Helping to Make Our Schools Safer: SaferOH Tipline

The Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Public Safety have launched the SaferOH tip line that will accept both calls and texts 24 hours a day.

This tip line allows students and adults to anonymously share information with school officials and law enforcement about threats to student safety—whether that involves a threatened mass incident or harm to a single student.

Every tip can remain anonymous. School safety analysts may ask for additional information, but the caller can remain secret or leave his or her contact information for later follow-up.

Calls or texts to 844-SaferOH (844-723-3764) are answered by analysts in the Ohio Homeland Security’s Threat Assessment and Prevention (TAP) Unit. When action is needed, the TAP Unit immediately forwards information to Pickerington Schools, local law enforcement agencies, and others, if necessary.