ViewNEW PHILADELPHIA CITY SCHOOLS
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Address: 248 Front Ave SW | New Philadelphia, OH 44663
Phone: 330-364-0600
Fax: 330-364-9310
March 15, 2020 COVID-19/Coronavirus Update
Dear Quaker Nation

On March 12, Governor DeWine closed schools in Ohio to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. While unprecedented and challenging, we applaud the Governor’s swift actions. The safety and well-being of our students, staff, families, and our community are our first priority. The situation is evolving and new information comes out every day. We want to provide an update regarding what we are doing at this time.

We are closely following direction from the State of Ohio and healthcare experts to help minimize the spread of coronavirus. We also must continue educating our children and helping our families cope with the current realities. Governor DeWine’s directive stated in part that “During this extended period of closure, schools should work to provide education through alternative means” and to make a good faith effort within available capabilities to support continued learning outside of school. The directive recognizes that Ohio’s schools provide important whole child supports including behavioral and mental health services, healthcare services, supports for students with disabilities and meals to many students. The Governor urges local communities to continue these services as much as practicable and instructs local school districts to exercise creativity and flexibility to work together, engage community partners, and to make decisions that are best for their local community.

The New Philadelphia City Schools have benefited from a supportive community who steps up to help when needed - and this situation is no different. Simply put, consistent with the Governor’s directive, our schools need our community to rally around our kids and our families to minimize disruptions and ensure that our children’s needs are met. Many of our children face barriers to learning from home that we must address to ensure all our students can continue their educations. Thankfully, our community has already again started stepping up to help with this monumental and important task.

The Schools have been in close contact with community partners such as County Commissioner Joe Sciarretti, Tuscarawas County Director of Health Katie Seward, City Officials, Sheriff Campbell, other county superintendents, and community philanthropic leaders.

Tomorrow, Monday, March 16th, we will have our first conference call to organize a Community Task Force to help our children stay safe, stay nourished, and continue learning while facing the realities of the coronavirus threat. Together, we will identify and plan for helping close any gaps that our families may face during this crisis. While we know that the unknown can be scary, we assure New Philadelphia residents that we are working diligently to plan our collective response. Thank you to those who have already stepped up to help our schools.

Our priorities are:

1. Health & safety of all students, staff, families, and community.

2. Getting food & other necessities to all families ASAP

3. Assessing educational needs.

4. Assessing student internet access.

5. Developing & deploying our alternative learning plan for education to continue in a non-face-to-face manner by Monday, March 23, 2020.

Monday March 16th through Wednesday March 18th, our schools will be considered closed as calamity days, meaning no one will report to school, including our staff. In the coming days, the school leadership will work with NPEA leadership and OAPSE leadership to develop a plan for continued learning. We will announce our alternative learning plan once completed. Currently we anticipate that we will announce our plan Monday, March 23rd. We are following guidance from the Ohio Department of Education and in close contact with other school districts to learn best practices for our situation. To our valued students and families, we understand that uncertainty can be frustrating, but please be patient as we navigate these unchartered waters and work to keep everyone safe but also learning.

During our Community Task Force call, we will identify ways that our community partners can help meet the needs of our families during this time. We expect that will include a discussion about access to the internet, access to computers for those students who do not have internet access or a device at home, and a discussion about how to continue providing meal services to those in need.

If your company would like to help please email [email protected]

Thank you for your understanding and support as we go through this as one community!

Dave Brand
Superintendent/CEO

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New Philadelphia City Schools
248 Front Ave SW
New Philadelphia, OH 44663
Phone  P: 330-364-0600
Fax  F: 330-364-9310
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