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.

Sincerely,

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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Statement from Allen County schools on re-opening

ALLEN COUNTY SCHOOLS COMMON REOPENING AGREEMENT

Preface: All Ohio schools closed for the remainder of the school year in mid-March, by order of the Governor and Director of the Ohio Department of Health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This document is based on the most recent guidance available from the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Department of Health regarding guidelines for schools to reopen for the 2020-2021 school year. School district superintendents from each public school district in Allen County, along with the Allen County Educational Service Center, the Apollo Career Center, the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Allen County Public Health came together to draft common practices for school reopening in Allen County.

These general principles will guide each school district as they move forward with reopening schools throughout Allen County:

  1. Each school district will implement recommended safety protocols to the highest degree possible.
  2. Each school district will work closely with Allen County Public Health to promote safety in each school building.
  3. Each school district will be transparent with all stakeholders that some level of risk will always be present when students and school district employees occupy school district facilities.
  4. School districts recognize the need for consistency in areas of operations while recognizing that individual differences in classroom sizes, school facilities, and building operations may lead to some inconsistencies.
  5. School districts will strongly encourage daily symptom checks for staff, caregivers, and students. All staff and students who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will stay home and are strongly encouraged to be tested as soon as possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Allen County Public Health will inform school districts about current testing sites/availability.
  6. Each school district will cooperate with Allen County Public Health’s work in contact tracing.
  7. Hand sanitizer is to be made available in high traffic areas including entrances to buildings and classrooms. Sanitation wipes or disinfectants labeled for use against SARS-COV-2 are to be available in each room and common space.

These principles will be common to all Allen County public school districts:

When a student/staff member has been diagnosed with COVID-19 Communication will be developed by Allen County Public Health outlining the following actions to be taken by schools when someone is diagnosed with COVID-19.

NO INFORMATION WILL BE RELEASED BY SCHOOLS UNTIL CONTACTED BY ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH.

  • To be as transparent as possible, permissible information will be shared with parents and staff, while at the same time, maintaining required confidentiality, and countering potential stigma and discrimination. The communication will explain/define what is considered a close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) to someone with COVID-19 that will result in quarantine.
  • Any student or employee who is diagnosed with COVID-19 may not return until released by Allen County Public Health. The duration of the isolation for anyone sent home and/or diagnosed with COVID-19 will be based on the current CDC guidelines. As of June 2020, this includes absence of fever (under 100 degrees Fahrenheit) without the use of medication for 72 hours (three full days) AND improvement of all other symptoms for 72 hours AND at least ten days have passed since symptoms started. If the student or employee is positive with COVID-19 but has no symptoms, they will stay at home in isolation until after 10 days have passed since their positive test.
  • 14-day quarantine will be required for anyone who is determined to have “close contact” to someone who has COVID-19. “Close contact” is to be determined by Allen County Public Health.

NOTE: Schools will develop their own policies/procedures to support the above steps that will be taken. Student and staff health issues that are NOT related to COVID-19

  • Districts will follow their usual procedures for student and staff medical issues/illnesses.
  • Students or employees with a fever of 100 degrees or higher will be sent home. They may not return until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. If the individual has had contact with someone confirmed or probable to have COVID-19, he or she must complete isolation or quarantine procedures in coordination with Allen County Public Health.

Food Service

All districts will offer food service. Logistics will be determined by each district in compliance with Allen County Public Health and based on the Director of Health’s Dine Safe Ohio. Recommendations include but are not limited to:

  • Students at tables will be spread out as much as possible
  • Tables spaced 6 feet or as far apart as possible
  • No self-service foods or condiments
  • Individually packaged condiments or staff add before serving
  • Limiting capacity/occupancy of the school cafeteria
  • Students should wash or sanitize their hands prior to and after eating.
  • Cohort/assigned seating in the cafeteria is strongly encouraged to assist with contact tracing if needed.
  • Consider students eating in classrooms if need to reduce the number of students and/or mixing in the cafeteria.

Classroom Occupancy

  • Districts will inform parents that safety protocols are in place, but any student who attends school will incur some level of risk. Districts will decrease the likelihood of infection with hygiene, cleaning, and safety procedures, but being in a public place carries a certain level of risk that cannot be eliminated.
  • Classroom occupancy will be determined based on each individual circumstance with the maximum amount of safety considerations possible.
  • Students will be spaced as far apart as possible/feasible.
  • Cohort students and use seating assignments.

.· Face coverings are highly recommended for students in grades 3-12.

  • School employees will be required to use a face covering, with limited allowable exceptions documented in writing.

Remote learning

  • School districts will offer remote learning for parents who do not wish to send their child to school.
  • Parents may choose from the following two options: 1. Send their child to school (assume some level of risk), or 2. Agree to remote learning from home.
  • School districts will determine when and how often a student may switch from a traditional classroom to online and back.
  • School districts will determine what an online education system will encompass.

Visitors/Volunteers/Parties/Field Trips

There are different levels of school visitors. Therefore, each district will make decisions based on their particular situations. However, the following guidelines are recommended:

  • Visitors are generally discouraged from being in school district facilities
  • Safety protocols, such as taking temperatures, screening for symptoms, requiring face coverings, washing and/or sanitizing hands upon arrival will be implemented for all visitors.
  • Volunteers should be assigned one consistent work area rather than “floating” or rotating between classrooms or areas of the building.
  • No Food, other than pre-packaged, is to be provided to students outside of lunches. · Field trips will be severely limited.

 Transportation

  • Allen County School Districts will allow two students per seat and in some instances three students if the children are younger and therefore smaller.
  • Districts will attempt to seat siblings together.
  • Assigned seats/seating charts should be used to assist with contact tracing if that is needed.
  • Buses should be loaded back to front and unloaded front to back to reduce exposure to others.
  • Face coverings are required for drivers and highly recommended for students. If a district requires students to wear a face covering, the district may refuse to transport a student who refuses to wear one.
  • Windows may be slightly opened to allow for fresh air ventilation.
  • In the event State policies require school districts to use alternative schedules, districts may adopt minimum requirements for transportation to reduce the number of students who are eligible for school district transportation.
  • Plan for the least amount of mixing and/or bus transfers, especially when transporting students to other schools.
  • School districts will establish cleaning and sanitizing protocols for buses including frequently touched surfaces.

Recess

  • School districts will make every effort to maintain consistency with other safety procedures.
  • This may mean that districts limit student access to certain pieces of playground equipment and restrict activities that are “high touch” and difficult to clean or maintain social distancing.
  • All districts will work toward “structured” recess activities, such as nature walks that limit students’ physical contact with others.
  • Students must wash or sanitize their hands before and after recess.
  • Parents may “opt out” of recess.

During these challenging times, we encourage students and staff to talk with people they trust about their concerns and how they are feeling.

The Allen County School Joint Reopening Agreement is subject to change, without notice, throughout the school year and the duration of the pandemic.

Mr. Mel Rentschler, Superintendent, Allen East Local Schools Mr. Rich Dackin, Superintendent, Bath Local Schools Dr. Greg Denecker, Superintendent, Bluffton Exempted Village Schools Mr. Doug Westrick, Superintendent, Delphos City Schools Mr. Joel Mengerink, Superintendent, Elida Local Schools Mrs. Jill Ackerman, Superintendent, Lima City Schools Dr. Kelly Schooler, Superintendent, Perry Local Schools Mr. James Kanable, Superintendent, Shawnee Local Schools Mrs. Cindy Endsley, Superintendent, Spencerville Local Schools Mr. Keith Horner, Superintendent, Apollo Career Center Ms. Mindy Schulz, Superintendent, West Central Learning Academy Mrs. Theresa Schnipke, Superintendent, Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities Mr. Craig Kupferberg, Superintendent, Allen County Educational Service Center Mrs. Kathy Luhn, Commissioner, Allen County Public Health

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In-person school to begin Aug. 12

We have been working for several weeks to put together our reopening plan for the 20-21 school year. We know it has been difficult for our families to wait on this information and we thank you for your patience.

Below is a letter from Superintendent Jill Ackerman with the details of our plan. If you have questions, she can be reached at 419-996-3422 or jackerman@spartan.limacityschools.org.

 

Dear Spartan Family:

On July 9, 2020, Governor Dewine provided us with guidelines for the reopening of school for the 20-21 school year. The schools in Allen County have worked closely with the Allen County Department of Health to determine what is in the best interest of our staff, students and families.

The Lima City Schools has put together our plan for the opening of school on August 12. Please keep in mind that this plan could change at any time based on current conditions of the pandemic.

  • School will start on August 12, 2020, with in person instruction five days a week.
  • Staff and students will complete a daily health check, which will include temperature taking prior to coming to school in order to assess symptoms. Anyone with the following symptoms and/or a temperature over 100 degrees must stay home.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Strict sanitation measures will continue to be in place as well as processes to provide for hallway traffic flow that promotes social distancing.
  • All staff will be required to wear a mask or face shield. Students in grades 3-12 will be required to wear a mask or face shield in high traffic areas. This will include entering and exiting the building, passing time in the hallways, when in the lunch line and other times deemed appropriate(ie; working in partners..). Each student in the district will receive two washable masks at the beginning of the year.
  • All students will be required to wear a mask or face shield when riding on the school bus.
  • Students will be permitted to carry a water bottle.
  • We will continue to follow OHSAA Guidelines for the upcoming sports year.
  • We will continue to promote handwashing, the appropriate use of hand sanitizer and good hygiene practices.
  • All students K-12 will receive a Chromebook
  • Chromebooks will be treated like textbooks. Students/families assume financial responsibility for the care of the Chromebook.
  • Visitors to our buildings will be very limited, will be required to wear a mask and complete a symptom assessment.
  • There will be an online option for parents who are not comfortable sending their student(s) to school. An online application will be available on July 15 on our website www.limacityschools.org. The application will be due no later than August 7. Any application submitted after the start of the school year will be reviewed on an individual basis. The application will go directly to your child(s) building principal who will be in contact with you after August 2 to discuss the start date of the online instruction.

Daily online attendance will be mandatory. Chromebooks and meals will be provided. The online option will be evaluated each nine weeks.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions at 419-996-3422 or jackerman@spartan.limacityschools.org.

Sincerely,

Jill Ackerman, Superintendent

 

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LSH Class of 2020 Graduation

It wasn’t a typical end of the school year or graduation season, but we are so proud of the Lima Senior Class of 2020 and glad we could honor you in this way. Click here to view graduation video.

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Outstanding 11 staff named

The Lima City Schools has announced this year’s “Outstanding 11” award winners.

One teacher from each school building receives the honor each year. They are nominated by their peers. The winners are typically recognized at a Lima School Board meeting, but we are unable to this year because of the pandemic.

The district began the awards in 2011 after a visit from nationally-known educator Ron Clark, author of “The Excellent 11.”  The winners demonstrate Clark’s 11 qualities to motivate and educate children: enthusiasm, adventure, creativity, reflection, balance, compassion, confidence, humor, common sense, appreciation and resilience.

The following staff members are being recognized with the award:

Meredith Kjelland, Freedom Elementary School

Kayla Mull, Heritage Elementary School

Diana Schneider, Independence Elementary School

Laurie Eversole, Unity Elementary School

Stephanie Moran, Liberty Arts Magnet

Wendy Money, South Science and Technology Magnet

Kimberly Myers, North Middle School

Justin Gilmore, West Middle School

John Parent, Lima Senior High School

Rebecca Van Meter, Lima Senior Alternative School

Ruth Huffman, Adult Education, Aspire and ABLE-GED

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Summer Lunch Schedule

The Lima City Schools will again provide free lunches for children over the summer months through the Summer Food program.

Children and teens between the ages of one and 18 qualify for the summer meals. Children do not have to attend the Lima City Schools to get the lunches.

This year’s program will be handled differently because of the pandemic.

Students will not be permitted inside the buildings. Lunches can be picked up and taken home or children can eat outside the school while maintaining social distancing.

Food will be distributed at the following locations from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays beginning June 1 and running through July 30.

Freedom Elementary:  Enter Service Lane off Calumet Avenue.

Heritage Elementary: Enter off Rice Avenue

Independence Elementary: Enter off Tremont Avenue

Liberty Arts Magnet: Enter off Circular Drive or South Shore to Town Alley

North Middle School: Enter off O’Conner Avenue

Unity Elementary:  Enter off Third Street in front of school

Lunches on Monday will be a hot & ready-to-eat boxed lunch with an additional sack lunch for Tuesday and two breakfast meals.

Lunches on Wednesday will be a hot & ready-to-eat boxed lunch with an additional sack lunch for Thursday and an Uncrustable PBJ for Friday, with shelf-stable juice and three shelf-stable breakfasts for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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Kiwanis clubs, advisers, officers honored

The following Lima City Schools’ Kiwanis student clubs and individuals have been recognized by Kiwanis International.

 

Builders Club of Liberty Arts Magnet: Distinguished Club

Builders Club of North Middle School: Honor Club

Builders Club at West Middle School: Distinguished Club.

K-Kids Club of Independence Elementary School: Distinguished Club

K-Kids Club of Heritage Elementary School: Distinguished Club

K-Kids Club of Freedom Elementary School: Distinguished Club

K-Kids Club of Unity Elementary School: Distinguished Club

 

Makenna Guthrie: Distinguished Officer, Builders Club of Liberty Arts Magnet

Somiala Johnson:  Distinguished Officer, Builders Club of Heritage Elementary

 

Angi Jolliff: Distinguished Faculty Adviser at West Middle School

Rachel Lesko: Distinguished Faculty Adviser at West Middle School

Janel Enberg: Distinguished Faculty Adviser at Liberty Arts Magnet

Erin Ridenour: Distinguished Faculty Adviser at Liberty Arts Magnet

Crystal Miller: Distinguished Faculty Adviser at Heritage Elementary School

Angie Meyer: Distinguished Faculty Adviser at Freedom Elementary School

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Register now for next school year

The Lima City Schools is now accepting online student registrations for next school year.

All registrations must be done online. Students must register each school year.

To register: Log onto www.limacityschools.org and click on “Enroll” in the menu at the top of the page. Or click here.

Parents will first need to create an account to register. Accounts created previously can still be accessed. Creating an account allows parents to save their work and come back and finish at a later time if needed. It will also make the process quicker in future years.

Parents need to register for their children, using their own emails. Students should not register with their emails. For additional information, parents should contact their child’s school.

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Note From Our School Nurses

Recent studies show that people can transmit COVID-19 even before they are showing symptoms of the virus. The virus is spread when infected persons speak, cough or sneeze around others who are in close proximity to them.

In light of this new evidence, the CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. These face coverings are recommended especially in areas of significant community-based transmission (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). Cloth face coverings can help to slow the spread of the virus from transmitting to others when people may not know they are carrying the virus.

It is important to remember these masks are protecting others around you, not protecting you from them. The masks can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

REMEMBER WEARING A MASK DOES NOT REPLACE THE SOCIAL DISTANCING. 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. The cloth face coverings recommended are NOT surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers.

**Cloth face coverings should be routinely washed in a washing machine. Launder items by using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.

**Do Not touch face, eyes, nose or mouth when removing the mask and WASH HANDS IMMEDIATELY after removing.

**Keep mask in place while talking and out in the public settings. Make sure it covers your nose and mouth.

**Do NOT use mask on children under 2.

**Remember to Stay Home.

#StayHomeOhio #InThisTogetherOhio

 

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