Schools begin looking ahead

By Tara Jones -

LIMA — Local school districts have started to close buildings and prepare for the potential of the three-week government-issued shutdown extending.

Thursday morning, Lima schools Superintendent Jill Ackerman announced the district will be closing all buildings and sending staff to work from home. It joins the list of schools including Delphos Jefferson, Elida, Shawnee, Spencerville, Ottawa-Glandorf and Kalida that shifted to this format following the announcement of additional business closures Wednesday.

“What we’re doing right now is we’re entering into really a second phase of this, and it’s unfortunate,” Ackerman said. “At this point, we were trying to have staff in here three days a week, and we are now going to have to cease doing that based upon the recommendations that came down from the governor and the Department of Health.”

The district will no longer be passing out hard copies of schoolwork and teachers are required to be online for student reachout from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Food pickups have also changed from three times a week to one. Five days’ worth of breakfasts and lunches will now be available every Monday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at each building.

“From this point going forward, we will have security on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Ackerman said. “We will assess in two weeks and we will make another decision and plan going forward from there. This will take us through the end of March.”

Other districts like Bluffton and Pandora-Gilboa have started to look forward in the event that DeWine extends the school closure.

In its district letter update, Bluffton Exempted Village Schools, Superintendent Greg Denecker wrote, “It is likely that this form of delivery will be in place for the rest of the school year,” in regard to the change to digital learning.

Meanwhile, Pandora-Gilboa schools announced on its website Wednesday that beginning Monday morning, additional school work and personal belongings will be delivered to the doorsteps of students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Students in grades six through 12 will have the opportunity to pick up their belongings at a later date that is to be announced.

“I have no new information regarding when school will re-open; at this time it is still scheduled to open on Monday, April 6th,” the message states. “We are delivering these items to be prepared in case the closure is extended by the Governor.”

By Tara Jones

Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.

Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.

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