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COVID-19 RESPONSE

Howland Local Schools began using alternative delivery models for teaching and assessing students when Governor DeWine announced his directive to close schools in March of 2020. The district's remained focused on keeping its students engaged and learning while ensuring that all students who were on track to graduate were not negatively impacted by this unfortunate and challenging situation.  Students who were not eligible for graduation by May 27, 2020, will continue to be on the district's radar and assisted to gain graduation eligibility under the extension granted by the state.

Throughout the school building closure, we worked to implement measures to ensure students remain engaged with teachers and curriculum including at-risk and special needs students, who may have additional challenges accessing curriculum. We were appreciative of the announcement by Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly that allowed us to award diplomas to students who had successfully completed curriculum requirements, while foregoing customary assessments, capstone projects, and work/community service experiences. This same understanding and leniency from the Governor's office applied to all grade levels and students. Each student was to be held harmless academically for this challenging situation. This did not mean that accountability and grades were not accounted for; however, it does mean that each scenario was examined with appropriate criteria to ensure students were not being penalized for working hard. Students who performed better in the final term were rewarded, while students who experienced difficulty, regardless of the challenges, were not penalized.

This has been an unprecedented and difficult time for students and families and our efforts to make things as normal as possible have been a significant challenge. We will continue to share information with students, families, and staff as we work to reopen our schools in the fall.

2020-2021 Planning

Howland Local Schools is working on its return-to-school plan that offers the most effective social, emotional, and educational needs for our kids and families, while remaining compliant with state and local health department direction and guidance.  We have been gathering input from our parents, staff and community.  We solicited feedback through our online survey. We are currently evaluating that feedback and will take it, along with the guidance and recommendations from our state and local health officials, and begin to develop our preliminary return-to-school plans. We are very much aware of how our school planning impacts our families and we are committed to sharing our tentative plans as soon as possible.

ACTIVITIES AND ATHLETICS

Any questions regarding activities and athletics, please contact the Activities Office, andrea.ferenac@howlandschools.org

Recommendations

Howland Local Schools encourage all students and staff to follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Wash your hands often
    Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.  If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact
    Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members. Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home. Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus. Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people. Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
    You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Do NOT use a face mask meant for a healthcare worker. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
    If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect
    Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
  • Monitor Your Health
    Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet. Take your temperature if symptoms develop. Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen. Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.