GERMANTOWN, Ohio (WDTN) – Valley View Local Schools continue to be closed as a result of the COVID-19 related closures. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t work happening inside.
“Making sure that every single kid out there has some kind of connectivity through a device or through the internet is basically what we’ve been doing,” said Brian Lemke, technology coordinator at Valley View Local Schools.
The district spent spring break collecting information on which students need devices and who had internet access. On Monday, the district set up a drive-thru Chrome Book pick-up.
“The whole process takes maybe about a minute and we’re able to keep some social distancing that way, too,” said Lemke.
Lemke said the next step is getting free internet access to students who don’t have it. He said several providers are offering complimentary services to help students through the next few months.
“We’re still trying to figure out our rurul internet where a lot of providers don’t come and reach,” Lemke said.
Teachers had two weeks to build virtual lesson plans. While they’re focusing on education, they are also staying personally connected to students.
“It’s really incredible to see just some of the engagement and activity that’s already happening,” Lemke said.
Bryce Abner is a student at Valley View Local Schools. He’s the big brother at home. He told 2 NEWS that he and his mom and ensuring his younger sibling stay on top of their assignments.
“I’ll get my first message and when I get one, I know they already have like seven thousand,” Abner said.
That kind of team effort is key.
“If they feel connected to their teacher or the community or whatever else, they’re gonna do a whole lot better,” Lemke said.
While students remain off campus, cleaning crews disinfect every surface at the district. They are deep cleaning lockers, libraries, door handles, anything students may touch.
In the cafeteria, food workers prepared take home meals on Monday.
“It’s working a lot differently than we’re used to. Today is the first day we hit it really hard,” said Michelle Gephart, food service coordinator.
Thirteen cafeteria workers put together more than 1,000 meals in just a few hours. Twice a week, families can pick up breakfast and lunches to last a couple days.
“It’s tough. We just have to make sure we do hit all the food groups and make sure there are enough calories but not too many,” Gephart said.
Students can choose from 10 pick-up points across the Germantown and Farmersville area.
Abner was picking up meals for himself and his sibling. He said the process is much like going through a typical fast food drive-thru.
“That’s the main way we pick up any food that’s not from our house so we’re kind of used to it. It’s not that bad,” he said.
Gephart wants all students to know she’s thinking of them
“Once you’re a kid of a lunch lady. You’re they’re kid forever. What’s most important to us is making sure our kids are fed, they’re healthy and they’re safe,” Gephart said.
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