Schools collecting toiletry items

The Lima City Schools will kick off a campaign to collect toiletry items for middle school students Nov. 30. There will be boxes/bins at each of our school buildings until Dec. 10. People can drop items off during school hours.

Supplies needed include toothpaste. toothbrush, soap/body wash, deodorant, shampoo, lotion, lip balm and comb/brush/pick.

The items will be put together in care packages to distribute to fifth through eighth-grade students before winter break. These are items that school officials see as a real need for many of our students.

Large quantity items can be dropped off at Central Services/Bus Garage, 600 E. Wayne St. The garage is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days.

Monetary donations will also be accepted. For information, cal 419-996-3411 or

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Breakfast program recognized

The Ohio School Breakfast Challenge has named eight school buildings in the Lima City Schools 2019-20 Breakfast Challenge All-Stars.

Lima City Schools started its Breakfast in the Classroom program in 2003. All students in the district receive free breakfast and lunch every day.

The district is one of 307 schools to receive this notable award of being Breakfast Challenge All-Stars.

Freedom Elementary, Liberty Arts Magnet and Unity Elementary were awarded Platinum Stars, meaning that at least 80 percent of student’s had breakfast each day.

Heritage Elementary, Independence Elementary, North Middle School and West Middle School earned Gold Stars, meaning that 70 to 79 percent of students ate breakfast each day.

South Science and Technology Magnet was awarded a Silver Star, meaning that 60 to 69 percent of students had breakfast each day.

Each school will get a Breakfast All-Star poster to be put up and display throughout the school year.

Ohio School Breakfast Partners include the American Dairy Association, Action for Healthy Kids, Children’s Hunger Alliance, the School Nutrition Association of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Education.

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LSH unveils Spartan Farm, Ag Program


Lima Senior High School recently unveiled its new Agricultural Education Program and Spartan Farm.

Supporters, school officials and FFA students attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the farm, located off of East Chapman Road.

The farm is on 30 acres of  land received from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. Students currently spend three days a week on the farm. Already they have planted apple trees and cover crops and learned tractor, skid loader and other skills.

“The Spartan Farm Agronomy Lab will be for students to learn about operational grain production and management of land and natural resources,’ said Instructor Danial Maltsbarger. “Opportunities to learn about and drive agricultural equipment as well as modern Ag technology will help shape and develop our students for success in the local agricultural industry.”

The program is also utilizing classrooms at Lima Senior and garden space being developed at the former Emerson School site. The two-year program will cover agriculture food and natural resources, soil, crops, animal systems, animal and plant sciences, animal nutrition and genetics and much more.

A FFA (Future Farmers of America) chapter has already started at the school. The group will be involved in the community and compete through the national organization. The chapter’s Fruit Sale — a FFA tradition — is happening now.

The Ag program is part of Lima Senior’s growing career tech offerings. It is available for juniors and seniors. It fits well into existing career tech programs like auto tech, welding and culinary.

“We had a lot of interest right away in the program from students already involved with 4-H and things like that,’ Superintendent Jill Ackerman said. “And now that we are up and running, we expect that interest to grow, including among students who may not have any farm experience. We are excited to introduce agriculture and all the opportunities it holds to all our students.”

The district already does a Farm Day event each spring to give elementary students the opportunity to experience life on a farm. It is currently held at one of the schools, but the farm will likely allow the district to expand the event.

Maltsbarger is a 2014 Upper Sandusky graduate who grew up on a farm and has experience with FFA and working with local farmers. He graduated with bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Agricultural Business from the University of Northwestern Ohio.

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DECA welcomes new members, installs officers

Lima Senior High School’s DECA program will induct new members and install this year’s officers at its annual breakfast Friday, Sept. 11.

The event will begin at 8 a.m. at the Old Barn Out Back, 3175 W. Elm St.

Lima Senior’s DECA chapter offers students hands-on learning as well as helps students become better prepared for life after high school. Students in DECA learn skills in vocational understanding, social intelligence, leadership development and civic consciousness.

Students who are involved in DECA develop skills in advertising/promotion, communication/display, E-Commerce, economics, fundamentals of selling, marketing applications, buying and merchandising, social media marketing, logistics/distribution and public speaking.

Lima Senior has a strong DECA tradition, with students doing a number of projects and competing at the national/international level each year.

This year’s Senior Officers are

President: Dakota Miller

Vice President: Je’Niya Allen

Secretary/Treasurer: Nakiya Sigman

Spirit Shop CEO: Cecilia Suarez

Public Relations: Jourdyn Rawlins

Policy Advocate: Alex Engberg

Vice President of Finance: Ella Brayton

Vice President of Marketing: Ashley McGue

Vice President of Community Relations: Asani Browning

Vice President of Membership: Meghan Knuckles

Vice President of Leadership Development: Mike Snow


Teacher Chrissy Hood’s Junior Officers

Co-Presidents: Elsbeth Nelson & Marcus Brown

Vice President: Quintel Wilson

Secretary: Diante’ Griffin

Treasurer: Alexis Burns


Teacher Melissa Donald’s Junior Officers

President: Martrice Gaddy

Vice President: Isaiah Russell

Secretary: Honesty Brown

Treasurer: Evelyn Williams

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Spartan Football Week 3

Coach Townsend is joined this week by senior Offensive Lineman Kevin Binkley. They talk here about this week’s matchup with Fremont Ross and Kevin makes a bold prediction about the rest of the season!

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Spartan Football Week 2

Coach Townsend is looking forward to the Spartans’ first home game of the season. He talks here about getting ready for Oregon Clay and playing in front of the home crowd.

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Spartan Football Week 1

The Alphonso “Biggie” Townsend era begins Friday. We talk to our new coach here about his team, Friday’s game and his dream come true of leading the Spartans.

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Online lunch pick-up schedule

A few changes to online lunch pick-up starting Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Independence: 9 to 10 a.m.
Unity: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
North: 2 to 3 p.m.
LSH: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

There will be no meal pick-ups Oct. 28 and Nov. 25.

We can now include siblings that are not School Age for Free Meals with LCS Siblings.
Please bring your Lima City School Student ID Numbers and let us know ahead of time if there are Food Allergies.

A November menu for online students can be found under the food service page on this website. Look for “COVID-19 Online Lunch.”

If you have any questions, Please call the Food Service Office at 419-996-3441.

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Guidelines for spectators at fall athletics

Below is a letter from Superintendent Jill Ackerman regarding spectators at fall athletic contests. More specific ticket and spectator information will be coming home today with all fall athletes, cheerleaders and marching band members.


Dear Parents and Spartan Supporters,

First of all, let me say that we are so excited that our fall student athletes will be able to have a season this year. We know how important athletics are for our students and the role they play in their lives.

Our first goal as a school district and a community must be to keep our student athletes and coaches safe. Next, we need to do all we can to make sure their season does not get cut short.

This means following mandates put forward by the state at all times. This includes high school, middle school and youth athletics.

Spectators will be limited to four family members per student athlete, cheerleader or marching band member. Specifics of how this will work will be coming to these families directly from the Athletic Department.

There will be limited tickets available for families to attend away games. The Athletic Department will get that information to families as it receives it from our opponents.

Unfortunately we are not able to have other community members or our students and staff attend games. This is very difficult for us as we know how our students look forward to game days and how much our fans want to come support our athletes. But again, if we want to have a season, we all must follow these guidelines.

We are working on plans to livestream our home high school games. Fans will be able to purchase access to the livestream just as they would tickets to see the game in person. Details will be released as soon as we have them finalized. Keep an eye on our website and social media pages.

Other schools are working on similar plans and as we get those details about our away contests we will let the community know.

Family members who attend games must complete a health assessment and have temperatures taken at each event. There will be designated entrances and exits and assigned sections to sit in. Spectators must wear masks at all times.

I thank you for your support during these unprecedented times and I know you will be cheering on our Spartans no matter what!

If you have questions, please contact me or the Athletic Office.


Jill Ackerman, Superintendent

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Q&A on Reopening School

Q: Are we still starting school Aug. 12?

A: Yes. As of today. We have been advised by the Allen County Health Department and Infectious Disease Dr. Wilfred Ellis that we should get students in school as soon as possible.  We do not know what the future holds. There could be another wave and we are closed later this fall.

Q: Will we close if Allen County gets a purple designation? 

A: We will only close if we are directed to by the State/Local Health Department and/or the Governor.

Q: Will students be required to have their temperatures taken?

A: The district has purchased thermometers and staff will be taking the temperature of every student as he or she enters the building. 

Q: What happens if a student has a temperature or is sick?

A: Students will be sent directly to the nurse’s office, where an isolation space has been set up. The nurse will determine the next step. 

Q: What is the plan to keep buildings cleaned throughout the day?

A: We have developed custodial plans for each building. The building will be cleaned multiple times throughout the day. Teachers will clean surfaces in their classrooms before any new group of students come in. Playground equipment will be cleaned after each group of students leave. 

Q: What is the mask policy for students?

A: Students in grades kindergarten through 12th must wear a mask or face covering at all times. Face shields are acceptable. Masks with holes are not acceptable. All students riding the bus must wear a mask. This is subject to change based on the Governor’s orders and the state-wide color alert system.

Q: Is the district providing masks for students?

A: Every student will receive two reusable cloth masks. Students can also bring their own mask or face covering. 

Q: Can students have any breaks from wearing the masks?

A: Five-minute mask breaks can be implemented by teachers. Students do not have to wear masks while outside for recess. 

Q: What if a student is unable to wear a mask for medical reasons?

A: The reason must be provided in writing from a health care provider and given to your teacher/principal. 

Q: Will students have to wear a mask during gym or recess?

A: No.

Q: What is the mask policy for staff?

A: All staff must wear a mask or face covering unless in an enclosed room alone.

Q: Are visitors permitted in the buildings?

A: Visitors are not permitted in the buildings, with the exception of parents, mail and other deliveries and student teachers and observers. All visitors over the age of 10 must wear a mask. All visitors, including parents, will complete a health check with temperature taken upon entry.

Q: What other protocols are being put in place to keep students and staff safe?

A: Hand sanitizers and hand sanitizing stations will be readily available throughout all buildings. Each school will have a number of portable tabletop shields to be used for things like conferences, student group work and one-on-one time with students. Restroom breaks will be spaced out and hallways organized for traffic flow to be one way or split down the middle. Locker breaks will either be scheduled or lockers will not be used (principals to decide). Students will not be permitted to share supplies. 

Q: How will lunches be handled?

A: Building principals will make decisions on how best to handle lunches. Each building will be different. Students will not eat lunch in their classrooms. We will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch for all students. You will be seeing more prepackaged food. Tables will be spread out and students will sit in assigned seats.

Q: Will drinking fountains be available? 

A: Water filling stations are being placed in every building. Students and staff are encouraged to carry water bottles and not use drinking fountains.

Q: Will students still use lockers?

A: This is being left up to the building principal. If lockers are used, there will be a schedule of when students can visit them. At this time, lockers will not be used at Lima Senior.  

Q: Will there be any outdoor classrooms/learning?

A: Teachers will be encouraged to take students outside when weather permits and it fits into the lesson. 

Q: What if someone tests positive for COVID-19 or is suspected to have been exposed?

A: Exposure and testing is not a district decision. The Allen County Health Department will contact you if they believe you or your child has been exposed. We will never disclose test results. The Health Department will only notify you when contact tracing occurs and they feel you need to quarantine or take a test. We will work with the Health Department if asked to assist in contact tracing and getting them contact information. Again, this information will be kept confidential. 

Q: Will students have to sit in certain seats in school and on the bus?

A: Yes. Seating charts in classrooms, buses and the cafeteria are imperative and mandatory. They must be kept up to date in case they are needed in the event that contact tracing occurs. 

Q: Are we using a prepackaged online curriculum?

A: No. Using Schoology, teachers will develop full lessons for online students. We encourage teachers to use videos, online chats and other resources to connect with students. All teachers will have an understanding of Schoology so we are prepared in case we are forced to go fully online in the future. 

Q: Can students still be in choir, band and orchestra if they are doing online school?

A: Yes, students will be able to come in for those classes. These teachers have researched and we have purchased supplies to help keep our students and staff safe during these types of classes. 

Q: Can students still be in the career tech program if they are doing online school?

A: Yes, students will be able to come in for those classes. More specifics will be coming from the high school. 

Q Can students still participate in sports if they are doing online school?

A: Yes, students can still participate in sports.

Q: Will Gifted Education still be offered?

A: Our Gifted program will continue for both in-school and online students.

Q: Will students be able to share school supplies?

A: No, students should not share any supplies with others. We will have extra supplies in the classroom in case there is a need. 

Q: What if students are not doing their online work?

A: School officials will contact parents. We will assess at the end of nine weeks and those students who are not doing the work will be asked to return to the classroom. We will be open to working with families during these first nine weeks if their circumstances change. 

Q: Are all students getting Chromebooks?

A: Every kindergarten through 12th-grade student will receive a Chromebook for the school year. Distribution of the Chromebooks and how they will be used will be decided at the building level. 


***Please remember things are very fluid right now and changes occur quickly. We will do our best to keep families up to date when changes come. We will share information on our website, social media, local news media and a new alert system. Please be sure the phone number and email we have on file are both current. 

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