March 11, 2020
Mentor Schools families:
I want you to know we’re continuing to be mindful about concerns surrounding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and how it may affect our community. Our approach to this unprecedented situation remains proactive and vigilant. As many of you probably know, there are now confirmed cases of coronavirus in Northeast Ohio, but we are not aware of any connection to Mentor Schools at this time. Regardless, our team is working diligently to ensure we’re in a state of readiness should the need to close schools be in our future.
As of the time of this writing, this is the recommendation from the Ohio Governor’s office: Governor Mike DeWine is not currently recommending the closure of elementary, middle, and high schools, however, school administrators should begin planning for that possibility. Parents should also begin planning for the potential that they may need to stay home with their children or find alternate child care solutions.
In the event of a prolonged closure across Mentor Schools, online lessons would be essential to keep children engaged in learning. Please assist us with the following:
- Students in grades 6-12 need to bring their school-issued devices and chargers home over spring break.
- At the elementary level, we are hopeful students would be able to use a home device to access lessons, much like what has been done in previous years on calamity days.
- If K-5 students need access to a district-owned device, please fill out this form as soon as possible. (One form needed per child.)
- Parents of preschool and CARES students, please look for information directly from your child’s school.
The safety of our students and staff is always our number one priority and decisions about school are always made within that most important framework of considerations. In a perfect world, it would certainly be our choice to remain open. Thanks to technology, though, we are able to keep the learning going when school can’t be in session. And while this is a fluid and somewhat unpredictable situation, we will do our best to provide meaningful lessons should a prolonged closure of our schools occur.
Here is important information we have already shared with our community:
- Previous email, which includes information about disinfecting procedures in our schools
- Video update, which includes video of electrostatic sprayer machines
- Along with staff members consistently sharing common sense precautions that can help stop the spread of illness, such as proper hand-washing, not touching one’s face, disinfecting personal items such as phones, devices and keys and more, we also produced age appropriate video messages for students:
- Posters from the CDC are posted in all of our schools
We have continued to remain in contact with the Lake County General Health District and are staying on top of information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for advice and guidance. We are also collaborating with many other local school districts.
We are beginning to see cancellations and modifications for events and extracurricular activities and we will help communicate those as decisions are made. This includes the cancellation of all mass gathering (non-student) events that we emailed you about earlier this afternoon. Decisions have not been made for many other trips and extracurricular activities that are currently scheduled from now until the end of the school year. The status of trips and activities will continuously be revisited as information about coronavirus continues to develop.
Additionally, please continue to keep sick children home from school. This is an absolute must. Our staff members have also been instructed to stay home from work if they are feeling ill. We need to all work together to promote health and wellness in our community and staying away from non-medical public places when sick is one of the best ways we can protect each other.
I hope you have a restful spring break with your children and if you plan to travel, please consider taking appropriate precautions upon returning home. Our team will be working hard over break to ensure all of our schools are clean and safe for when students return to school.
We will continue to communicate with you as this situation unfolds. Thank you for your continued support.
Mentor Public Schools
Previous Communication on March 11, 2020:
In response to the anticipated order regarding mass gatherings that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced in a press conference this afternoon, Mentor Schools will be cancelling all gatherings that involve large groups of people other than students coming into any of our buildings until further notice. This includes performances at the Fine Arts Center or planned school family nights, for example.
School will continue to be in session. As of the time of this writing, this is the recommendation from the Ohio Governor’s office regarding K-12 education: Governor Mike DeWine is not currently recommending the closure of elementary, middle, and high schools, however, school administrators should begin planning for that possibility. Parents should also begin planning for the potential that they may need to stay home with their children or find alternate child care solutions.
An update about our efforts surrounding the Coronavirus is being sent shortly, but we wanted to share this information as quickly as possible as tonight’s Mentor High School choir concert as well as several other events across the district are cancelled.