Lakota Update: Pulse Journal (April 5, 2020)

Lakota Remote Learning Update: Pulse Journal (April 5, 2020)
Posted on 04/06/2020
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As published in the Pulse Journal on April 5, 2020: Our fourth quarter has begun unlike any I’ve experienced during my 25 years in education. I am incredibly proud of the way our teachers, administrators, staff and students have made the transition to remote learning.

We are committed to continuing to educate our students throughout this state-mandated shutdown, should that end on May 1 or extend through the end of the school year. We understand that this extension is challenging, and we will continue to work with our families as we all navigate through these unprecedented times.

Our Child Nutrition department continues to provide breakfast and lunch for children ages one - 18. Distribution takes place at 11 sites throughout our community on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Specific times and locations can be found on our website, I also encourage you to visit our website for up-to-date information about resources for our families and ways to help. 

The well-being of our students, including their mental health, is of great concern for us. Our mental health professionals continue to reach out to our families to ensure open lines of communication during this closure. Our school counselors are also available via email for anyone needing non-emergency assistance.

With this extended closing, we are having to press pause on scheduled events. Our district originally made the decision to cancel or postpone events through April 13. With the governor’s recent extension, our events will now be postponed or canceled through May 1. Some are easier than others to adjust. For example, our monthly coffee chats will now be held live on my Facebook page, Matt Miller - Lakota Local Schools Superintendent. For some events, such as our annual Military Commitment Ceremony, we are looking at ways to do things differently in order to honor our seniors. For spring sports, we will follow the guidance of the OHSAA. More information about events will be shared with our community in the coming days and weeks.

Lakota Local Schools was in the middle of building our new master facilities plan when the novel Coronavirus struck our country and our state. We have pressed pause on this project. While the creation of this plan is important, our attention must be focused on continuing to educate and support our students during these challenging times. We will continue building the facilities plan once we are through this crisis.

One-and-a-half weeks into remote learning at Lakota Local Schools, we have learned some valuable lessons. Our teachers and students are resilient. They have jumped into remote learning with gusto. From video lessons to Zoom calls to car parades through neighborhoods, it has been amazing to see the lengths at which our teachers are going to maintain and continue to build relationships with their students. 

I would also like to thank you, our community members, who have shown such great support for our school district. It is deeply appreciated. Together, we will get through this. 

Matthew Miller is the superintendent of Lakota Local Schools. Follow him on Twitter (@LakotaSuper), Facebook (Matt Miller – Lakota Local Schools Superintendent) and Instagram (lakotasuper).