Herald Staff Writer
Following Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine’s decision to cancel schooling for the next three weeks, Norton schools closed their doors to students at the end of the March 12 school day.
Since then, the district has been working to remain as transparent as possible with students and their families as they plan out the next few weeks. “The district will be in contact with each of our families regarding home instruction during the closure,” said Superintendent Dana Addis in a written statement to parents. Because the district’s spring break is scheduled at the end of the three-week closure, he explains students will not return to classes until Tuesday, April 14. Extracurricular activities could resume as early as Monday, April 6 if the three-week closure is not extended, and the district plans to update parents and students about all relevant dates as the response to COVID-19 progresses.
While the school buildings themselves may be closed, students will not be experiencing a complete break from their classwork. Teachers and staff members from each building have created home instructional learning plans for each grade level and will communicate with students through a combination of Google classroom, email communication, online learning and/or physical packets. All instructional materials were scheduled to be delivered by March 18 and the district will be available to answer any questions regarding at home learning. “During the course of the academic days, all of us are planning on working for your students through emails and other connected academic experiences,” says Addis, who asks that students and parents email their question to the appropriate teacher and/or teaching team, “you can expect emails to be returned and questions answered.”
The district is also doing what it can to support families in need and has established a breakfast and lunch pickup for Norton students as of March 16. Students and their families can pick up these meals every week day between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m from the middle school, where a staff member will deliver the meals directly to cars. Students will be required to provide their Norton School ID number in order to participate. Akron Schools will also have open lunches available to Norton students and a list of locations and complete program information can be found at akronschools.com.
Addis explains the district is working with all other area schools as well as the Ohio Department of Education, the Summit County Health Department, the Ohio Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control in its response to COVID-19 and will continue to keep parents and community members updated as the situation evolves. “Our district is committed to staying connected with our students during this closure,” says Addis, “and that includes work related to IEPs and counseling.”