Coronavirus Closure / Pick Packs / Blizzard Bags / Calamity Days

***PARENTS: Since the district is getting set to begin the 2020-21 school year, some of the info on this page may be outdated because it is in the process of being updated! Many of the procedures below will be different for the 2020-21 school year. ****

This page contains information about the Coronavirus Closure (by executive order of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine) that began for Pickerington Local Schools on Monday, March 16, 2020, and continued for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. This page also contains information about how the district has historically handled other Calamity Day closures and delays.

About the Coronavirus Closure

Coronavirus Closure Details

Classes were canceled in Pickerington Schools beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020, as part of an extended closure which lasted through the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, as ordered by Gov. Mike DeWine due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, students were provided with Pick Packs/online learning assignments to complete at home during the duration of the closure.

Since students are completing assignments at home, classes will not have to be extended into the summer. All school events, athletic practices and games, clubs, meetings, etc. are canceled until further notice. There will be no student events during the required school closure period.

All of the latest district news, as it emerges, can be found listed by article on our District News webpage. The latest articles include (but are not limited to):

You may also find these articles posted on PLSD social media channels as they are published.

Pickerington Schools’ Welcome Center will be closed during the closure as well. We have moved to an online enrollment process. For more on this new process, please visit our Enrolling webpage.

Pickerington Schools’ District Office hours will be limited to Wednesdays only during the month of April from 2 PM – 4 PM. During this time, Technical Support will be available to help with student device issues.

Please use this link to register for service. Only devices that are unusable may be brought in during these times (e.g., broken display, won’t power up, dead battery, etc.).

Note: If you previously registered for morning service hours for this Wednesday, those times are no longer available. Please re-register for the afternoon times.

If you need assistance outside of these times, please contact a representative from the department you are seeking. Please leave a detailed message and someone will return your call.

Will Students Have to Make Up Days Due to the Coronavirus Closure?

Students will not need to make up school days due to the Coronavirus Closure because they will be doing their Pick Pack/online learning assignments at home each day during the duration of the closure.

Will School Breakfasts and Lunches Still Be Served During the Closure?

Yes. Pickerington Local Schools’ Food Service Department is partnering with the Transportation Department to provide a “grab and go” meal program once a week, on Mondays. Pickup times on Mondays are between the hours of noon and 1 p.m. at three sites:  Tussing Elementary School, Harmon Middle School and Ridgeview Jr. High School.

Breakfasts and lunches for the week will be provided in one bag. The program is run by the USDA and ODE. Meals can be provided for anyone through the age of 18, free of charge. You may receive one bag for each child in the car. We ask that you please stay in the car for pickup.

Please Note: Due to COVID-19, we cannot have people staying on the premises. This will be a “Grab and Go” pickup. If you are sick, please send a member of your household for pickup.

This institution is an equal opportunity employer.

How Do I Enroll My Student During the Closure?

All registration and enrollment has moved online. For more on this new process, please visit our Enrolling webpage. If you have additional questions regarding the online enrollment process, please call (614) 920-6180 or email welcome_center@plsd.us.

Will Kindergarten Assessments Still Be Held?

Due to the Stay at Home Order from Ohio Governor DeWine, all Kindergarten Screenings (Readiness Assessments) are cancelled until further notice.

How Will Board of Education Meetings Be Held?

The Pickerington Local Schools’ Board of Education will be replacing in-person meetings with virtual board meetings beginning on 3/30/2020 and for the duration of the Coronavirus closure. Meetings will be broadcast on the Zoom platform and streamed to Facebook Live as well. Please visit the Virtual Board Meeting webpage for more details including meeting agendas and Zoom links, the Request to Address the Board of Education form and more.

 

Useful Info and Resources for Families and Staff

The following list of links contains beneficial information for educators and the community about COVID-19.

Resources for school staff and leaders

National Association of School Nurses

COVID CareLine

Coronavirus: Multilingual Resources for Schools

ODE’s Coronavirus FAQ’s (Guidance for School Leaders)

Education Week — COVID-19 Repository of Info for Schools

Essential Employees Notice for Staff

 

Talking to kids about COVID-19

ABC Scrub with Me Activity

Brain Pop – Coronavirus – Help kids to understand COVID-19

Children’s Book Explaining Coronavirus

Elmo and Rosita – The Right Way to Sneeze

Germs/Handwashing with Daniel Tiger

Guidance from Child Mind Institute

Guidance from the National Association of School Psychologists

How to Help Your High School Senior Through COVID-19 Pandemic

Protecting Your Home

Talking to children about COVID-19

 

Food, Financial and Mental Health Assistance for Families

Harmon Middle School Counselor Ashley Halkum created a Counselor Connection website which details some resources available to help families with food, financial and mental health concerns during this difficult time. Please note: Some of the information is specific to Harmon Middle School.

Cap 4 Kids Community Resources

OhioGuidestone is continuing to offer behavioral health support.

FC OHCO Emergency Funds Flyer-English

FC OHCO Emergency Funds Flyer-Spanish

USDA “Meals for Kids” Site Finder

 

List of Pickerington businesses open for delivery, carry-out, curb-side pick-up, etc.

Restaurant List  (List provided by the Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce)

 

General info

211 Fairfield County Resource Update due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

ADAMH COVID-19 Community Resources

Fairfield Community Health Center Updates

Fairfield Department of Health Updates

Ohio Stay at Home Kit- Resources with activities for parents with kids of all ages for health and coping strategies

Ohio Updates Application Process for Energy Assistance Programs in response to COVID-19

World Health Organization

United States Dept. of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration

Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation Toolkit: Managing Isolation During COVID-19

Ohio Dept. of Health

How you can prevent and prepare for coronavirus

Center for Disease Control

CDC – What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDC – What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDC’s Handwashing website

CDC’s Guidance on Mass Gatherings

10TV Fact Sheets

What you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak

This interactive map shows all reported coronavirus cases in the world

Who is most at risk for severe coronavirus complications?

"Pick Packs"/Online Learning Assignments for Coronavirus Closure

"Pick Packs"/Online Learning Instructional Plan for All Grades

During the closure due to the coronavirus, district students are expected to complete Pick Packs/online learning assignments at home. Teachers will continue to add assignments each week so that the number of assignments will keep up with the number of days schools are closed. General information for all grades is provided below, followed by a separate section with Pick Packs/online learning homework assignments for each grade.

Preschool through 4th Grade Instructional Plan

These Pick Packs are in a choice board format. In each choice board, you will find daily expectations, must-dos for the week and can dos for the week. The minimum expectation for each Preschool through 4th grade student is to complete the daily expectations and the must-dos for the week. We would recommend that students also complete some or all of the can-dos. We understand that some of the can-dos require the use of technology and that some families may not have a device or WIFI available to them, so we will understand if some students cannot complete online assignments at the Preschool through 4th grade levels. 

If you have any questions about your student’s work, the Pick Packs, or any of the assignments, we are asking that you first email your student’s classroom teacher. Here is a link to the PLSD staff directory to locate teacher email addresses.

Grades 5-8 Instructional Plan

Since all students in grades 5-8 have PLSD One-to-One device, we will be utilizing Google Classroom for all classwork. Each week, teachers on each team will release choice boards of all assignments for the week. These assignments cover Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies and elective classes. The choice board is a way for students and parents to see all of the work for the week in one place. Also, this allows for the teams of teachers to plan together and create meaningful work while students are at home.

In addition, to the curriculum assignments, students in grades 5-8 must complete the check-in daily which is located on the top of the choice boards. This check-in serves as a way for teachers to connect with students daily in order to continue their strong teacher-student relationship.

If families do not have access to WIFI at home, PLSD does have the Every-1 connected program in which we loan out hotspots. We have a limited number of hotspots remaining. Please see further information about the Every-1 Connected Program here. Please return this form and pick up a hotspot to the Technology Department at the PLSD District Office (90 N. East Street, Pickerington, Ohio 43147).  

If you have any questions about your student’s work, using Google Classroom, or any of the assignments, we are asking that you first email your student’s teacher. Here is a link to the PLSD staff directory to locate teacher email addresses.

Grades 9-12 Instructional Plan

Since all students in grades 9-12 have PLSD One-to-One devices, we will be utilizing Google Classroom for all classwork. Teachers will release all work for each subject on different days throughout the week. Students will have a week to complete the assignments for each subject:

    • Mondays – Math content for the week will be released
    • Tuesdays – Science and Technical subjects content for the week will be released
    • Wednesdays – ELA content for the week will be released
    • Thursdays – Social Studies content for the week will be released
    • Fridays – Foreign Languages and Electives content for the week will be released

Additionally, we will be creating optional enrichment opportunities for all students, including opportunities for the Ohio State’s Tests Prep (formerly called AIR testing). 

If families do not have access to WIFI at home, PLSD does have the Every-1 connected program in which we loan out hotspots.  We have a limited number of hotspots remaining. Please see further information about the Every-1 Connected Program here. Please return this form and pick up a hotspot to the Technology Department at the PLSD District Office (90 N East Street, Pickerington, Ohio 43147).  

If you have any questions about your student’s work, using Google Classroom, or any of the assignments, we are asking that you first email your student’s teacher. Here is a link to the PLSD staff directory to locate teacher email addresses.

 

 

 

 

Chromebooks, Hotspots, Printing Pick Packs and More IT Info

Chromebooks 

We will only be replacing completely non-functional Chromebooks at this time. That means we will only swap out Chromebooks for loaners if the original Chromebook will completely not work. 

Every-1 Connected Program (Hotspots)

Pickerington Schools is now offering a limited number of free wireless hotspot devices to students who have limited or no internet access at home. 

Every-1-Connected is a program sponsored by Pickerington Schools. It gives students with the greatest need the opportunity to borrow a free hotspot from the District Office. Hotspot forms and pickups can be done only during the times listed above at the PLSD District Office (90 N. East Street, Pickerington, Ohio, 43147)

Mobile hotspots allow free access to the internet. The devices are helpful when students know they will be working on a big assignment over a weekend or for a few days when Wi-Fi is required for completion. Multiple students can sign on to a single hotspot, so students are asked to coordinate use for group projects. 

Both the device and monthly service fees are fully paid by the district and through a grant. The program is intended to help district students access online resources at home to help bridge the digital divide and ensure educational equity.

To ensure peace of mind for parents, these devices use internet content filtering and browsing history is recorded. Only one device may be borrowed per household, but these devices can be signed out repeatedly throughout the year, based on availability.

For students to participate in this program, parents must complete this Hotspot application. By signing this form, the parent agrees to assume all responsibility for equipment checked out to the student. A replacement fee of $150 will be charged if the device is lost, damaged or not returned. The existing district Technology Protection Plan can cover the cost of any damaged hotspot devices, but damage(s) due to intentional reckless, willful, wanton and/or malicious conduct is not covered.

Steps for Obtaining a Hotspot

  1. Complete the Hotspot application and return it to your child’s media center.
  2. Applications will be approved by district Technology staff at the District Office.
  3. Students bring the device home and connect to their device.
  4. All devices must be returned before the end of the school year.

Who is eligible to participate

This program is open to Pickerington School students who are fully enrolled in one of the 15 district buildings. Priority will be given to students on the free/reduced lunch list and who have little to no household internet access. The district reserves the right to loan devices to any student who shows a need.

Is there a cost?

Borrowing a hotspot is free. There are no fees for the device or the service. If the device is lost, stolen, or damaged, a $150 fee will be charged to parents. The district Technology Protection Plan can cover any possible damages, but it will not cover the cost if the device is lost or stolen and will not cover damage(s) due to intentional reckless, willful, wanton and/or malicious conduct.

Rules of use

  • Hotspots are provided and maintained by Pickerington Schools. If problems occur while using the hotspot, contact the school’s media center for technical support.
  • The borrower is responsible for ensuring the hotspot is not damaged, lost, or stolen. The replacement cost for the hotspot is $150. The school media center specialist/aide should be notified immediately of any damaged, lost, or stolen hotspot.
  • Hotspots are provided for educational use. Users must adhere to the rules listed here, as well as those included in the district Acceptable Use Policy and the district Student Handbook.
  • Hotspots must be returned to Pickerington Schools at the end of the renewal period, upon the request of district administration, or upon withdrawal from the district.
  • Hotspots are for use by students enrolled in Pickerington Schools only and should only be used on school-issued devices.
  • Bypassing the internet filter, resetting the hotspot, or reconfiguring the hotspot is strictly prohibited and cause for immediate removal from the district’s Every-1-Connected program. This behavior also will be subject to possible school discipline.

Printing of Pick Packs (K-4) or Other Needed Work

From the General Manager of Staples – Just wanted to offer support for any students who do not have access to a printer at home, they can stop in their local Staples in Reynoldsburg to print any hard copy assignments they may need during the school/library closures. My team is working on setting up a station to access google classrooms to allow students to print off their work in the coming weeks. We hope to take some burden off our teachers and administrators during this time in any way we can. As a parent who has students in the district, I know this is a trying time for all of us. We are here to help. There will be no charge for this service.

WIFI Assistance for Families without WIFI at Their Home

To help ease this transition and make it possible for all students to have access to WiFi, Spectrum and Comcast are now offering internet services for free or at a discounted rate for 60 days to any K-12 or College student. 

Charter-Spectrum’s Free WiFi Deal

Charter-Spectrum is offering free access to broadband and WiFi services to households with students who do not already have the services. The WiFi access will be available for 60 days to households with students from kindergarten to college who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll in the service you can call 1-844-488-8395 or click the link above to learn more. 

Comcast “Internet Essentials” Program

Comcast says applicants who qualify will get a 25 Mbps connection for free for two months. All new customers in this program will receive a free self-install kit that includes a cable modem and WiFi router. There is no term contract. Click the link above to learn more. 

PLSD Has a Digital Library for all Students

Pickerington Schools use Overdrive/Sora to extend our media centers to the digital world.  Since our schools and most public libraries are closed, we encourage our students to access the PLSD Overdrive/Sora through their Classlink page to check digital books and audiobooks. We are currently working with our media center staff to add more books to our digital library. This is available for all students grade K-12.

Hints for Getting on Classlink

Click here to sign into Classlink

Students will need to log in with their PLSD Google Account, make sure no one else is logged into Google on that browser. If you get a red Not-Connected error message that is probably the issue.  Remember students login is their PLSD email address which is firstname_lastname lastthreedigitsofID#@students.plsd.us (example: john_smith123@students.plsd.us) and their password is their student ID# + 00

If you are using an iPad you will need to download the appropriate apps:

Classlink iPad App

i-Ready iPad App

ST Math iPad App

Basic Overview about Google Classroom for Parents

Click here to view a “Parents’ Guide to Google Classroom” slide show presentation.

What Does Distance Learning Look Like for Special Education Students?
Learning during the Coronavirus Closure will look different from instruction and services inside the classroom:
● Intervention Specialists will provide support in a variety of ways.
● Special education services will support distance learning.
● Your child’s teacher of record will be your point of contact for questions related to special education services.
● Our goal is to support the accessibility for remote learning opportunities your child will experience through distance learning, and not to overwhelm them with excessive additional work.

About Snow Days and Other Calamity Days

Snow Days and Other Calamity Days

A calamity day is any day in which a school cancels instruction for any of the following reasons.

Hazardous weather conditions
  • Information on road conditions from transportation staff, law enforcement and road crews. The district gives careful consideration to the most dangerous roads in the district. They can be treacherous, even if your street looks clear.
  • Accumulated snow and ice.
  • Temperature and wind chill.
  • Impact on transportation services. School bus diesel fuel begins to gel at temperatures of zero degrees or below.
  • Weather predictions (including those from a weather alert service).
  • Building conditions (e.g., electricity, heat, water)
Other conditions
  • Disease epidemic (such as the coronavirus — for more on the Coronavirus Closure see the separate sections higher on this page)
  • Inoperability of school buses or equipment necessary to the school’s operation.
  • Damage to a school building.
  • Temporary utility failure rendering the building unsuitable for school use.
Establish a Family Emergency Plan

We understand that these decisions have a big effect on families as they plan their day, and now is an excellent time to establish your family emergency plan for such potential closings.

Where Does the District Announce Closings and Delays?

Phone and email alerts

Pickerington Schools will announce emergency closing and delay information through pre-recorded telephone calls to current parents/guardians telephone numbers on file with the district.

The district also sends email messages about any delays or closures via this notification system.

It is important to keep student contact information and contact preferences current by logging into the Infinite Campus Parent Portal and updating your contact information.

District website and social media

Information about school closures or delays will be posted on the home page of the district’s website, on our Facebook page, and on Twitter.

Television and Radio Stations

Pickerington Schools shares any school delay or closure information with local television and radio stations. However, we recommend that parents and students confirm any closure information received from media outlets on the district’s social media sites or website. 

Each local television station offers a school closing/delays text message program that sends closure/delay information directly to your phone.

Channel 4/WCMH (NBC)

Channel 6/WSYX (ABC)

Channel 10/WBNS (CBS)

Channel 28/WTTE (Fox)

Daily Schedules During Two-hour Delays

School schedules for days with two-hour delays can be found under Calendars and School Schedules.

How Does the District Make up Other Calamity Days (not Coronavirus related)

The following plan has been approved by the Board of Education:

  • If the district takes any calamity days before Feb. 17, 2020, (Presidents Day) we will use that day as a make-up day.
  • Days 2-4 will be identified as “Blizzard Bag” days. Teachers will provide these work-at-home lessons for students to complete when not in class. Information on Blizzard Bags can be found below.
  • Additional days: Students are excused from attendance.

 

Who Makes the Decision Regarding Snow Day Closures?

The superintendent makes the final decision, based upon various factors and recommendations from the transportation and facilities teams.

Pickerington Schools is a large and geographically diverse district. Weather and road conditions may be fine in one portion of the district, but not in another. In such instances, we must close school or modify the school day for the entire district.

When is the Decision Made on Snow Days?

We strive to make the decision to delay or close by 5:30 a.m. or earlier so we can notify radio and TV stations, post to the district website, and send electronic notices to emergency announcement subscribers.

Unusual weather conditions may force us to make the decision after this time. For that reason, parents and students are advised to stay tuned to major television and radio stations, as well as our website and e-communications notices, for updates.

Once a decision is made to delay or close school, the information will be shared with parents as quickly as possible.

Blizzard Bags for Other Calamity Days (not Coronavirus related)

Blizzard Bags on Snow and Inclement Weather Days (this is a different protocol than with Blizzard Bags for Coronavirus Closure Days mentioned above)

If the district takes any calamity days before Feb. 17, 2020, (Presidents Day) we will use that day as a make-up day, regardless of whether the district has reached the five-day limit of excusable days.

Days 2-4 will be identified as “Blizzard Bag” days. Teachers will provide these work-at-home lessons for students to complete when not in class.

Blizzard bags are at-home assignments students are required to do in place of attending school on certain snow/calamity days. Blizzard Bag assignments take the place of the work students would have performed had school been in session. Students who fail to complete their Blizzard Bag assignments and turn them in within 10 school days will be marked with an unexcused absence for that day.

Assignments for Preschool through Grade 4 will be posted on this page.

Teachers in grades 5-12 will place their assignments on Google Classroom by 9 a.m. on the calamity day.

Students with questions about using Google Classroom are encouraged to talk to their teachers before they need to access their Blizzard Bag assignments.