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April 2020

April 2020
Dear Twinsburg Schools Family:
 
As we prepare to begin another week of remote teaching and learning, I have several updates to share with you.  

We await Governor Mike DeWine’s guidance regarding this period of school closure. He provides daily updates at 2:00 p.m. You can access Governor DeWine’s daily address on The Ohio Channel, www.ohiochannel.org. He is expected to share information about this period of school closure early this week.
  
On Saturday, we received formal notice from The University of Akron, that all events at EJ Thomas Hall have been cancelled through May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
This includes our Commencement on May 31st. We know how disappointed our Class of 2020 and their families are by this news.  We share in their disappointment.  The silver lining is the fact that alternate dates for Commencement are still being held by EJ Thomas Hall. Those alternate dates are June 28th and July 12th.
 
We realize how important May 31st is to our Class of 2020 and we want everyone to know that although we will not be able to hold Commencement on this date, we fully intend to celebrate graduation on this date, not with a ceremony at EJ Thomas Hall, but with something very special.  Plans are in the works and although it is premature to share the details, information will be sent along very soon…
 
Beginning this Tuesday, the Twinsburg City School District will host a new district-wide virtual activity known as #TigersTogetherOnTuesdays. We encourage our students, families and residents to consider engaging in activities to promote our Tiger Pride.  These activities are meant to be optional and we certainly hope you find them enjoyable. We are asking for our students, families and other residents of our school community to participate in the themes associated on Tuesdays and post photos of themselves participating in the selected activity/theme on their social media pages. The first theme will be celebrated this Tuesday, April 21st.  This Tuesday, consider representing YOUR graduating class:  The details are as follows: 
 
Represent Your Class
  • Using the year you graduate/graduated, represent your class!  Chalk your walk or driveway, decorate your door, put a sign in your yard, etc.  Create an awesome display to demonstrate the year of your graduation. Post a picture of you representing your class to your parent’s/guardian’s or personal social media pages.  Use the hashtag: #TigersTogetherOnTuesdays #TTT #RepMyClass

During this period of school closure, we continue to look for ways to celebrate with our students. #TigersTogetherOnTuesdays is an intentional devotion to things that are good in the Twinsburg City School District. Please consider joining in the fun! 

Also new this week is our Wellness Wednesday communications with our families.  Wellness Wednesday is designed to foster the development of healthy habits and assist our families and students in leading a balanced and healthy lifestyle during this period of school closure. The Twinsburg City School District is offering programming options that focus on healthy living and being well.  It is our hope that the information from Wellness Wednesdays will help students remain healthy, confident, and resilient individuals – especially during our time away. 

Wellness Wednesday communications will be forwarded to families weekly using Blackboard Connect and will consist of a wellness message and other useful tips. Also, using a simple form found in your child’s Google Classroom, students may check-in with their counselor weekly. Some of the most popular activities being requested right now are surrounding the topics of mindfulness.  Mindfulness encourages students to take the time out of their busy schedules to de-stress, refocus, and relax.  Videos developed by members of our counseling staff will be available to our families on Wellness Wednesdays.  We hope you find these optional activities beneficial.  They are another way of connecting with you and of providing information we hope you will find useful.

Last Tuesday, we were able to deliver 1,450 meals to eligible children in our school community who are participating in the TCSD COVID-19 Meal Drop Program.  If you already registered your child, you do not need to do that again. If you have not registered your child, and he/she is eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program, or if your family is experiencing financial hardship, you can register him/her at the following link: https://forms.gle/NzqvKhTZgdS8UVEZ6.  Our next delivery is on Tuesday, April 21st.  We kindly ask that you submit your application via the link or drop off an application in the mail slot at the Board of Education Office.  If your financial situation has changed, you can apply for your child’s eligibility in the Federal Meal Program by visiting this link:  FreeandReducedMealApplicationwithWaiverTwinsburg.pdf.  If you have questions, please email our Food Services Supervisor Mark Bindus at mbindus@twinsburgcsd.org.

Even though Kindergarten Screening has been postponed until further notice, parents/guardians with an incoming Kindergarten child are encouraged to pre-register their child by visiting the District website: www.twinsburg.k12.oh.us  Once there, click on the “For Parents” tab, scroll down to “Registration & Enrollment” and complete the requested information online.  We look forward to welcoming our incoming Class of 2033!

Finally, I would like to share information with you regarding grading during this period of school closure.  

  1. The most important thing for everyone to remember is that our #1 priority is the mental health and well being of our students.  Although measuring students' progress during the fourth grading period is important, especially as we make decisions regarding graduation as well as the successful completion of every grade level, our students will not learn and will not retain new information if their social/emotional needs are not met;

  2. We have to acknowledge that family life is not what it once was and that parents are being asked to support learning to a far greater degree than ever before.  Some parents can easily adapt to this new role and some parents cannot do so...for many reasons.  Further, the unknowns of COVID-19 are placing huge stresses on families.  Family members may become ill and may not be able to assist their children with school work;

  3. Once we can ensure that students' mental health and well being are addressed, and we acknowledge the stress that is being placed on family life (our students' families as well on our staff members’ families), we can support the expectation of the Twinsburg City School District that students will complete the work assigned to them during the period of school closure, however, we also need to recognize that the expectations we had for assignments given when students attended our brick and mortar schools need to be adjusted to this new remote learning environment.  We must also acknowledge that all students are not operating from the same leveled playing field, where all students may not have access to technology that supports online learning;

  4. In efforts to address students' needs and to provide intervention, school counselors and building administrators check in on students who have not been active in classes during the week.  We are committed to making these checks on a weekly basis, as needed;

  5. Quarters 1,2,3 will be used as a foundation/benchmark for the Quarter 4 grade and the Final Grade;

  6. Our TCSD students have found themselves in this situation, at no fault of their own.  Therefore, our students' grades will not be punitively impacted due to our quick transition to this new remote teaching and learning platform.  To that end, unless a student disengages from learning due to his/her own determination not to learn, meaning his/her disengagement is not caused by mental health concerns, illness, or other situations that are out of the student's control, the student will not earn grades for the fourth quarter that are less favorable than what he/she earned in the third quarter of this school year;

  7. The aforementioned position aligns with NCAA and OHSAA eligibility; and

  8. It is our belief that our position on grading during the fourth quarter of this unprecedented school year acknowledges the fact that teaching and learning are significantly different and with many more constraints than our educators and our students previously experienced.  At the same time, the instructional activities being planned by our educators are student-centered, standards-based, creative and exciting and it is our desire for our students to engage, to learn, and to succeed, to their highest possible levels.

Please contact your child’s teacher(s) and/or your school principal if you have questions about grading during this fourth quarter.

Thanks for your continued partnership with our school community.  We are #TigerStrong & #TigerProud and we will get through this together!

Stay well,

Kathi Powers, Superintendent

Superintendent:
Kathryn Powers
330.486.2000
 
Administrative Assistant:
Marianne Franko
330.486.2002
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11136 Ravenna Road | Twinsburg, OH 44087 | Phone: 330.486.2000 | Fax: 330.425.7216
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