Monday, March 16th, 2020

Virus Crisis

School districts devise breakfast-lunch plan

From staff reports

Local school districts are making plans to handle classroom assignments and to help feed students who depend upon their school cafeterias for healthy food.

Celina City Schools 

Starting Tuesday, free breakfast and lunch will be provided in carryout containers for all students. These meals can be picked up at Celina High School and at Celina Intermediate School. Carryout breakfasts can be picked up at either location from 8-9 a.m. Carryout lunches can be picked up from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The services will continue through April 3.

UPDATE 2020-03-21:

Celina City Schools officials are making changes to the meal distribution program, according to a news release. The moves are aimed at reducing the chances for exposure to others and to adhere to social distancing recommendations.

Beginning Monday, school officials will pass out breakfast and lunch grab-and-go bags only from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Tuesdays each student will receive two breakfasts and two lunches. On Thursdays each student will receive three breakfasts and three lunches.

The meals will be distributed at Celina High School, Celina Intermediate School, Michel Tire and Meadowview Apartments parking lots, former Peterman garage parking lot at Windy Point and State Route 219, I.C. Schools parking lot, Nazarene Church on Fairground Road, American Legion on State Route 703 and Williamsburg Apartments.

UPDATE 2020-03-18:

Schmiesing noted revisions have been made to the free food service plan for students while school is not in session. Celina City Schools will now pass out both breakfast and lunch grab-and-go bags at a new time: 10:30-11:30 a.m. Monday-Friday. Pick-up will be available at eight locations: Celina High School; Celina Intermediate School; Michel Tire, 1109 N. Main St.; Windy Point on State Route 219 at the former Peterman garage parking lot; Immaculate Conception School, 200 W. Wayne St.; Celina Church of the Nazarene, 900 Fairground Road; American Legion Post 210, 2510 State Route 703; and Lake Shore Drive near the new playground and amphitheater.

(end updated info)

At this point children must be present to pick up meals for accounting purposes, Superintendent Ken Schmiesing said at a special school board meeting on Saturday.

"Cafeteria supervisor Deb Schroyer did complete the waiver yesterday … so that we will receive funds to continue to provide those food services," he said.

More than 40 percent of the district's roughly 2,700 students are on free or reduced lunches, Schmiesing pointed out. The breakfasts and lunches being distributed will be available for all students.

Board member Deb Guingrich expressed concern about very young students not being able to get a meal because their parents work.

"I think we need to really come up with a plan to try and reach out to especially the ones that we know don't get that food at home and try to get that food to them," she said.

Schmiesing said officials did not request the federal waiver seeking permission to deliver food to students. Officials moved to request carryout meals, thinking that option would allow them to serve the most students.

With classified staff - custodians, bus drivers, teaching assistants, others - vowing to deliver food if need be, Schmiesing said officials will seek permission to deliver the meals.

St. Marys City Schools 

Beginning Tuesday, St. Marys City Schools will provide free lunches to children at several locations. Each child must be present to receive a meal. The meals will be prepared as a pack-and-go lunch that children can take home. Lunches will be available at both elementary buildings and school buses parked in the designated locations listed below:

• West Intermediate Bus loop, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

• Dave's Bar-BQ, 1712 Celina Road, 11-11:30 a.m.

• 2100 Celina Road, 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m

• Second Shelter House, 12:30-1 p.m

• East Primary bus loop, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

• Corner of Columbia Street and Knoxville Avenue, 11-11:30 a.m.

• Corner of Beech and Weston Streets, 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

• Corner of Townview Drive and Greenville Road, 12:30-1 p.m.

Marion Local Schools

Marion Local officials encouraged parents to help their children learn during the three weeks off school.

"During this 3 week period our teachers will instruct students through distance learning. Our goal is to offer meaningful assignments so your child can still receive a quality education," according to news release. "This type of learning requires better time management and devotion from your child. These assignments will offer more flexibility for your child in regards to the time of day when they are completed, but encouragement from parents will help your child progress."

According to the release,

• teachers will still report to school and create and grade completed assignments.

• students in grades 3-12 will use Google classroom and will be asked to check for instructions from teachers.

• students in grades K-2 will be given workbooks, worksheets, etc. with instructions from their teachers.

OHSAA has canceled all sports practices. All indoor and outdoor school-related, youth and adult activities located at Marion Local have been canceled, according to the release. This includes sports, band, school play, etc.

All students in grades 3-12 will be sent home with their school-issued Chromebook. Families without reliable access to the internet will use an alternative method. Report cards will be available electronically via Progressbook on March 23 for the third nine weeks grading period for grades 1-12. Kindergarten report cards will be mailed home.

"If this is a problem, please contact the office," the release from Superintendent Michael Pohlman read. "We realize situations will arise and please do not hesitate to remain in communication with your child's teacher or building principal. This situation is not ideal, and I appreciate your understanding. This plan may be subject to change, and we will work to keep good lines of communication. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us."

Parkway Local School District 

Parkway officials will provide meals and deliver them to the communities. Officials were working out the details at press time.

Families can sign up for meals on the district website, return it on Monday or email the school. A copy of the letter/form that was sent home is available on our website.

Coldwater Exempted Village Schools 

Starting Tuesday, Coldwater schools cafeteria will make hot meals available to any free- and reduced-cost student in the district, according to a news release.

Students can come in to the commons from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. to pick up a to-go container of an entrée, vegetable, fruit, side item and a milk or juice. Plastic utensils and napkins will be available for those who need it. Condiments will not be provided.

Meals cannot be eaten on site. Students must take the food to go.

Students will verbally state their lunch pin number for the cashier as they go through the line. Reduced lunches will be charged the usual 40 cents.

As this situation develops, Coldwater Schools cafeteria employees will work to understand and use possible options for food service, following guidance from the Ohio Department of Education.

Parents should check the district's website, twitter and Facebook periodically for any changes.

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