WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As school closures took effect Monday, West Carrollton schools started to implement their response plans.
Students were allowed to return to school to empty out their lockers but were asked to leave immediately after doing so.
“They just told me to pick up my stuff and clean up my whole locker,” one student told 2 NEWS.
Students will no longer be seen running in out of the doors. Instead, they’ll be seen trailing in for a grab-and-go lunch.
“A lot of our plans are day-by-day. We’re going to see what works, what doesn’t work, tweak things as we go along, but we’re doing the best we can,” Janine Corbett, West Carrollton Schools’ communications assistant, said.
As soon as Governor Mike DeWine announced school closures, the district started organizing. Corbett says it takes detailed planning.
“We do have FDA guidelines we have to follow and those will continue to be followed. There’s also allergy issues,” she said.
Meals are available at eight area apartment complexes and schools. Click here to see that list.
“Kids can just walk in anywhere from the neighborhood, pick up their lunch and breakfast to go,” Corbett said.
Students are allowed to pick up meals without an adult present. However, a child must be present to pick up their meal. No proof of attendance is necessary. Breakfast and lunch will be picked up together from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dayton Public Schools also starting their meal program today. Click here for information on that.
Parents are still processing what the closures mean for their families.
Tiffany Webb, a West Carrollton parent, said, “I don’t want (my son) to be scared or anything like that about whats going on around us.”
She works at a daycare where she’s fielding countless calls, emails and texts from parents of concerned little ones.
“(They’re) trying to figure out what they need to do to prepare themselves in the event that we shut down, or how long we may shut down. Nobody knows,” Webb said.
Another parent says she’s concerned about her oldest child with a compromised immune system.
“We were considering homeschooling her anyway, so this weirdly worked out for us.”
Schools and parents are focusing on keeping kids safe.
“We’re kind of all living in the unknown right now,” Webb said.
Meanwhile, school districts are trying to keep education at the forefront. West Carrollton schools are assigning homework. Unlike some other districts, they are requiring students to turn in those assignments for a grade. Parents are now charged with helping keep their child’s academics on track.
One parent told 2 NEWS, “Today all they wanted to do was play video games and I told them, you guys have got to be reading and everything else. She thinks she’s on some kind of break, I told her no, you still have to do your work.”
West Carrollton schools say they’ve done a lot of planning in a short amount of time.
“There’s a lot of parts, a lot of communication among the central office, among the administrators as far as getting this all organized, contacting our teachers,” said West Carrollton Middle School Principal Doug Mescher.
Homework can be picked up in-person or done online. These assignments will be graded.
“I’m just trying to make sure that my son knows that it’s just not a fun time but I want him to still stay in his academics,” Webb said.
Parents are still trying to explain to their children why this is all happening.
Webb said, “I let him know that everything’s okay. We’re gonna be okay.”
Principal Mescher saying parents will play a crucial role.
“They’re going to have to really be involved, making sure they’re with their kids and getting their homework done and getting it back to us,” Mescher said.
The old saying – ‘It takes a village’ – is taking on new meaning.
Mescher said, “Make sure you’re safe, doing your due diligence here as we go through this crisis and we’ll all move forward together.”
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