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District Wide Broadcast Message

Ontario School District

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: How will information about the continuation of learning be shared?

 

Classroom teachers will communicate directly with families and students about the next steps, materials, and expectations. Each classroom will be customizing information for their students. All of the course work and expectations will be posted on our Remote Learning page on our website.

  

Q: Can I get all of my child’s supplemental materials now?

 

Teachers will be preparing their classroom materials, starting March 30 and 31. These materials will be made available to students, from their teachers, in short, manageable lessons and activities – not all at once.

 

Q: What if my child needs personal belongings or other materials from the school?

 

Each school is creating a plan on how to conduct the packaging and delivery of personal belongings. Please contact your child’s school to find out more information and check their Facebook pages as information is shared there as well.

 

Q: Is this online school?

 

This instruction will not be equivalent to online school. This is an opportunity for our staff to provide students and families support for continued learning until students can return to their classrooms, but is not an online school/program. Students will remain enrolled at their home school and will be offered supplemental materials.

 

Q: Is this work mandatory?

 

For students who complete assignments, teachers will provide appropriate feedback, not necessarily for a grade at the elementary level. Students who are not able to access or complete work will be given materials to complete hard-copies of the work recommended. If there are any barriers to completing work, please contact your teacher and/or the building principal to discuss a plan.

 

Q: What about high school students, especially seniors? How will they get the credits they need to graduate?

 

Please have your student check their Student Portal for information from Dr. Elizondo. Staff should be reaching out to seniors individually to let them how where they are at in their path to graduation. More information is available on the OHS website: https://ohs.ontario.k12.or.us/

 

Q: What about graduation ceremonies?

 

At this time, we have not made a determination regarding the graduation ceremony. If we have to, we will look into delaying the ceremony until it is safe to hold the celebration! We want to celebrate our 2020 graduating class! If you have any creative ideas, please call OHS or email them to tsmith@ontario.k12.or.us

 

Q: What will supplemental materials look like for young learners? Or those without access to a device?

 

Materials for K-6 students will be primarily paper packets and work facilitated through Imagine Learning, supplemented by teacher videos, etc. Materials for 7-12 students will be primarily digital with paper copies available if needed. If you are having difficulty accessing online materials, please contact your child’s principal to work out a plan for your student/family.

 

Q: Is a wireless connection needed to complete work?

 

For most students, a home internet connection will be important so they can access and complete assignments and stay connected with their teachers.

That said, we recognize that even with numerous technological supports, there are barriers to remote learning for some students at all levels, including different levels of home access to technology. We will work to remove these individual barriers as they arise. Please do contact your student's teacher and the building principal to work out a plan for your student/family. 

 

Q: What if I don't have the internet?

 

Access to learning for all students is a priority of ours. We encourage families to contact local cable and phone providers for possible no-cost options for internet connections as some providers are currently providing these services free to students! We are looking into the possibility of hotspot areas for students to access wifi and maintain social distancing.

Paper packets will also be utilized at the elementary level and for other students 6-12 who need it, and digital learning at the secondary level can be downloaded to Google Drive in order to provide access offline, if necessary. All teachers can be contacted by email and/or phone if they have provided a phone number for student contact.

 

Q: What message do you have for parents wondering how they will be able to handle working from home, educating their children, watching small children during the closure?

 

These are unprecedented times, to be sure. All of us will do the best that we can, recognizing none of it will be perfect. It’s important that we all give ourselves and each other some grace and flexibility. Our administrators and teachers are here to help make or suggest any accommodations to help.

 

Q: Will I still be able to connect with other school staff?

 

While classroom teachers will be the primary designers of instructional materials and activities, all our staff — counselors, specialists, speech pathologists, educational assistants, etc.—will be working to provide support and connections for students and families in different capacities, as well.

Classroom teachers, specialists, counselors, and others will be committed to regular outreach and personal communication with students. Google Classroom, Google Hangouts, emails, and phone calls are all tools that we may use to connect to promote communication. Each building will have a designee to answer phones at the buildings to help with questions. Our Remote Learning page has a question submission box that can be used to ask for homework help, questions, and comments. Please utilize this tool and we will direct your inquiry to the appropriate person.

 

Q: What if I have questions?

 

You're not alone in this, and we are here to support you! We appreciate you learning alongside us as we embark on this unique opportunity. Please contact your principal or teacher at any time with your questions. Additionally, our Remote Learning page has a question submission box that can be used to ask for homework help, questions, and comments. Please utilize this tool and we will direct your inquiry to the appropriate person.

 

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FAQs:

 

Q: Can you provide some tips for maintaining mental and emotional health during this crisis?

 

A: Health officials acknowledge that feelings of anxiety and stress are normal during times like these. Social distancing is critical to physical health, both for individuals and to protect the health of our community and our frontline responders. But mental health professionals suggest that it’s important to continue to make safe social connections at this time. Safe connections might include regular phone calls, group texts, FaceTime, email, going on walks with household family members, time with a family pet and more.

 

Q: Do you have tips for managing stress and anxiety?

 

A: The CDC offers helpful resources for families, students, and adults:

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in. People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use

 

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call

  • 911
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)

 

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

 

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSAexternal icon) website.

Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.

Things you can do to support yourself

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row. Reduce stress in yourself and others

 

Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful.

When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel less stressed and allow you to connect with them.

 

Q: How about tips for parents?

 

A: The CDC offers helpful resources for families, students, and adults:

Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.

 

Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include

  • Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
  • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
  • Poor school performance or avoiding school
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

 

There are many things you can do to support your child

  • Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
  • Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  • Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
  • Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
  • Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.
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