Learning at Home

Tips and tricks from Elyria City School District

Dear families ...

We've reached a critical juncture in the school year: fourth quarter.

This is typically the memory-making time of the year for children and teens, as they would normally engage in fun activities and plenty of outdoor play, field trips and special events.

As we all know, this season has been anything but typical.

Before I get into that, I want to point out that there is critical information toward the end of this message, speaking directly to the topic of school work and transitioning to the next grade level.

It has been exceedingly difficult for students to spend their days away from school—seniors missing out on activities that signal the closure of their formal K-12 education years, high schoolers and middle schoolers missing out on cherished extracurriculars, elementary-age students missing out on the routines and structure.

The COVID-19 virus has complicated life across the board these past few months, but it is incumbent on all of us—as parents, teachers, caregivers, community members—to never lose sight of the immense impact this crisis has on the student population.

Even as we work to maintain new normals amid great uncertainty, it's important to take stock of the immeasurable good that is done in difficult times.

Leaders in the community—locally and statewide—have steered Ohio across rough terrain.

Within Elyria Schools, we have prioritized our services to ensure foremost that each one of our students still has access to daily meals, including on weekends.

Our food service partner, Aramark, and transportation partner, First Student, are working hand in hand with Elyria Schools food service employees to package and serve 30,000 meals each week to hundreds of addresses throughout the city.

The meals (https://bit.ly/3c5ciRd) are distributed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with enough meals provided each time to last a student multiple days.

The abrupt cancellation of school has compelled us all—parents, teachers, administrators—to find new, innovative solutions to the learning process.

Starting Monday, April 13, students and parents will be provided a curriculum calendar containing week-by-week lesson plans and teaching ideas to keep students engaged in the learning process.

These plans are essentially maps tailored to each grade level from pre-K to eighth grade. From ninth grade to 12th grade, they are divided according to course subjects.

Teachers will be available every weekday to help parents navigate the content of these curriculum calendars, largely by email: last name first name @ elyria schools dot org. (For example, Ann Schloss would be reached at schlossann@elyriaschools.org). But teachers are also arranging video conferences via Zoom and other networking programs.

The curriculum calendars will be available online (beginning Mon. April 13) at Home Learning (https://www.elyriaschools.org/domain/289) at elyriaschools.org.

Families that do not have a computer or internet access will still have access to these calendars.

  • For students in pre-K through fifth grade, the calendars will be delivered by school bus to their home between Wednesday, April 15, and Friday, April 17. If you miss the delivery drop-off, the calendars will also be available for pickup at food distribution centers the week of April 20.

  • For grades six through eight, printed copies of the calendars are available on request. Please email your school's principal, and they will arrange to provide you a copy.

  • For high schoolers, the calendars are available entirely online.

Now, one of the most important things to understand about this process is that there will be some degree of evaluation applied to the work within these curriculum calendars.

We understand that these are strange, new times for parents and students. It's indeed a strange and new environment for teachers and school planners, too.

Each family is undergoing unique struggles, a reality that school officials must account for in designing an academic program for students at home.

Our guiding principle in these efforts: Students, not grades, come first.

As we set out to evaluate students on the completion of the work outlined in their curriculum calendars, we have to establish a baseline of sorts to indicate that students have engaged the learning process to an acceptable extent.

That said, for students in pre-K to 12th grade, the curriculum calendar work will be evaluated on a basis of "pass" or "incomplete."

(Students in College Credit Plus or Advanced Placement courses are the exception to this, as they are required to earn a grade, per state guidelines. Their teachers will work specifically with them on these matters.)

Each student is asked to complete a significant portion of their curriculum calendar.

Given the unique circumstances, we recognize it is unrealistic to expect every student to complete every component of the curriculum calendar.

We are asking that students—with as much guidance as possible from parents or caregivers—make every effort to complete as much as possible of the curriculum calendar, with the ultimate goal of presenting regular progress updates to the student's teacher. This can be done by providing photos, scans, emails and electronic status updates of the student's work.

This is essentially a six-week learn-at-home program.

Thus far, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has not indicated when or if students will return to school in the coming weeks.

We must then operate under the assumption that students will remain at home for the remainder of this school year. This could change, of course, but we cannot know for certain—so we must plan accordingly.

Finally, we hope you find great assurance in knowing that we at Elyria Schools are striving every day to be an asset to you and your family in this difficult time.

We are here foremost as a provider of educational resources for students, but with this comes a deep and unwavering commitment to the health, safety and welfare of our students and families.

If at any time you find yourself without resources or struggling to determine your next step, consider reaching out to your school’s principal or your student’s teacher—they can connect you to resources or people who may help.

Please continue checking the Home Learning (https://www.elyriaschools.org/domain/289) content at elyriaschools.org. Also, you can follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/elyriacityschools/,) Twitter (https://twitter.com/elyriaschools?lang=en) and Pioneer TV on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCde2sWwb6pSapK6xi371nJQ) for access to educational content.


Ann Schloss

Elyria Schools Superintendent

Third quarter report cards

Parents can access third quarter report cards online beginning Thursday, April 16.

Please note that report cards will not be sent home. In the coming week, Elyria Schools will send out an email with instructions on how to access the report cards through Powerschool.