May 1, 2020 Coronavirus Update
Dear parents and guardians,
I hope that this communication finds you well. It is my hope that everyone continues to follow the Governor’s guidance and we can slow this virus. By slowing the virus from spreading will help us get back to a normal routine and get students and staff back to the buildings. We continue to speculate and plan for all possible scenarios. What we do know is if we are back in school buildings in the fall, it will definitely not look like what we have all come to know schools to be. Masks could be a part of the dress code and social distancing will continue to be part of our vocabulary but we will do everything we can to deliver the best instruction possible. I certainly hope we will do this in our schools and not our homes. I want to again thank you for your continued support. We have been in this together and we will get through this together.
This communication is going to include important information. I will try to answer some of the most common concerns and share additional information.
Our administrative team meets two times per week to make sure we are doing everything we can for our staff, students, and families. We are not only working on things for this year but also are planning for any scenario we may face next year. We have spent much time discussing grading during this pandemic as to what best serves our staff and students.
We came to a consensus that the best method for our district to follow was to stay with traditional A-F grading. We have had some questions as to why we have chosen as an administrative team traditional grades over pass/fail. Below are some of the primary factors that went into our decision-making process that led us to maintaining the A-F grading process:
- Students who rely on GPA for scholarships and application to colleges and universities.
- Honor students who lose the opportunity to receive a weighted grade if we would move to pass/fail.
- Our teacher’s ability and understanding of which of their students need additional support because of their current home situation which may be lacking.
- Students who have passed the first three quarters in a course will not fail the course if they are completing work and being engaged during the 4th nine week period.
- Students on IEP’s will be graded individually and based on their accommodations.
- We actively work individually with the families who may have difficulties with the lack of connectivity or other barriers.
- No student will be penalized for the lack of resources available in the home.
- The last due date for assignments in the 4th quarter will be May 21.
- No new instruction will happen on or after May 21.
- Students will have May 22-29 to complete and submit all outstanding work to improve their grade.
As a district we have decided to assign grades but we are well aware that we are not grading in the same way we would if students would be in the physical classroom. Our administrative team continues to weigh decisions carefully during this difficult time to fairly and compassionately meet the needs of all our students. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact your guidance counselor or principal.
A reminder to all students who participate in extra-curricular activities, that eligibility is determined by the fourth nine week grading period. A student must pass 5 credits (PE is a .5 credit). There will be no exceptions and we need to encourage those students to complete assignments before then end of May 2020.
CAPS AND GOWNS AND GRADUATION:
First, I would like to share that we certainly understand how you as senior parents feel as we all share in the disappointment of how much our senior class has lost due to the coronavirus outbreak. I cannot tell you how disappointed we all are that the Class of 2020 will not walk across a stage in front of families and friends and receive their diploma as they would in a typical year.As we all know this has been everything but a typical year.However, we believe we will make this as special of a ceremony as we can while keeping everyone safe in a year that we will remember for all the wrong reasons.Unfortunately, sometimes in life things are out of our control.
Governor DeWine on Wednesday this week outlined his recommendations for commencement. We were thrilled to hear his top two most recommended options for schools are exactly what we had been planning.He recommends schools to have a virtual commencement and drive thru or drive by diploma presentation.
- On Wednesday, April 29, 2020 caps, gowns, and graduation announcements were distributed at the high school. For the students unable to pick up those items, they can do so next week from 8:00am-2:30pm during locker clean-up.
- Senior students have until May 14, 2020 at 3:00pm to submit a video class address to Mr. Dever for consideration to be included in the Virtual Commencement on May 31.
- The virtual commencement will be broadcast on May 31, 2020 beginning at 11:00 am (details where to view will be forthcoming later this month). The virtual commencement will include addresses from the Principal, Board President, Superintendent, and 3 or 4 senior students selected to have their video address. Each member of the graduating class will be announced by Dr. JoBeth Gonzalez and their senior picture will be displayed. (If you have not submitted a senior picture to Mrs. Sexton for the Yearbook, please forward a picture as soon as possible.
- Following the conclusion of the virtual commencement students and their parents are invited to take part in the graduation parade that will begin at 2:00pm beginning at Bowling Green High School. We will have a police escort along the route that will include fire trucks. Community members will be invited to line the route practicing social distancing and celebrating our Class of 2020.
- The route will begin in the high school parking lot. We will begin by turning right on Poe; left on Haskins; left on Wooster; Left on Main; Left back on Poe; right on Fairview; left into the MS Drive; each car will stop under the awning of the PAC where Dr. Gonzalez will call each graduates name. The car driving the graduate will then drive to the Bobcat where Mr. Dever will hand the diploma cover to the graduate in that vehicle. We then ask the car to exit the parking lot to avoid large gatherings.
- We encourage the graduate be driven rather than be a distracted driver along the parade route.
- We also encourage that the graduate decorate their vehicles with their name for everyone to know on that day.
- Mr. Dever will continue to update you with pertinent information.
While this is not exactly what we all envisioned a commencement exercise to look like we believe that it is unique and allows the entire community to join in and help us celebrate a class that experienced an unprecedented situation. The responsibility that I have as superintendent is to make decisions that keep our students, staff, and families healthy. As I stated in the last parent update, I would rather be criticized for being conservative to keep students, staff, and families healthy and safe than to take a risk and be partially responsible for someone being infected.
If you were given a Chrome book during the pandemic, we ask that you return those with the power cords to your student’s school building during May 26-29.
Money that is on account for breakfast or lunch will be handled in the same manner as pay to participate. Money on account for a senior student will be refunded. Money on account for students in K-11 grade will be credited for the student’s account next year. However, if you are experiencing a financial hardship and need the money refunded, please contact Mrs. Abby Forschner, Food Service Director. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
LEVY RENEWAL OUTCOME:
On behalf of the Board of Education, administration, and staff I want to thank you for the support on approving the operating renewals that were on the ballot. These operating funds will allow us to continue to operate our schools with the quality education that you have come to expect. We are grateful for the wonderful community that Bowling Green is. Thanks again for your continued support and giving us a vote of confidence that we are doing a good job for your sons and daughters.
Again, thank you for walking together with us as partners as we navigate the uncertain times. We are in this together and together we will overcome.
Superintendent Francis Scruci