Columbiana to begin remote instruction

COLUMBIANA — After the school district used its calamity days from March 16-20 and blizzard bags from March 23-25, the schools will officially begin remote instruction today.

For the most part, the curriculum will be online, but there will also be take-home bags available for those without access to technology. Although Superintendent Don Mook said they’d like to cut down on the take-home bags to limit that contact, it is hard at the elementary level because elementary students rely on their guardians and have less technological capabilities.

The staff will be using various types of technology, like Google Classroom and Google Hangout, as a way for teachers to remain in contact with students to provide assistance.

“We’re strongly encouraging teachers to reach out by phone or by video to connect with the kids,” Mook said. “That’s really what has to happen. We are fortunate that a lot of our students have access and the opportunity to connect through technology.”

If possible, Mook is encouraging that paper and pencil assignments be turned in electronically. If not, there is a system in place to limit contact as much as possible. On Mondays, the staff is required to turn in any paper instruction that needs to go out to students. The assignments will be put into bins that will be placed at the main entrance of the high school. High school, middle school and elementary school bins will eventually all be placed near the entrance, where the assignments can be picked up on Thursdays.

“They say the virus can last up to a certain number of hours on these different surfaces,” Mook said. “We are going to spread the days out to avoid any possible contact with a potential virus. We also have wipes out front and are encouraging people to get in and out.”

The staff will still have the option to use the facilities if they need to access resources from their room.

In other business, through the help of the cafeteria staff, teacher volunteers and bus drivers, the school is providing meals for the students on Mondays. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., food will be delivered on bus routes to the homes of students. On Monday, there were over 500 meals delivered. Open enrollment students will need to pick up their meals from the school.

“I can’t tell you how important the feeding is,” Mook said. “I’ve heard amazing things from other districts about how many meals are going out. It’s pretty amazing.”