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Monroe Local Schools eNews - December 2020
Dear Hornet Country,
As we enter December, our team continues to monitor our COVID cases and quarantines daily, student and staff absenteeism, and staffing issues by building. We are working diligently to remain in person until winter break. If our staff and student quarantine numbers continue to rise, and substitutes cannot be secured, we may need to shift to a hybrid or remote learning model before the break. This could impact some or all of our buildings. Parents are encouraged to have a plan in place in the event the district needs to move to remote or hybrid learning. We will try to provide as much notice as possible if we need to transition learning models.
We appreciate our Monroe staff for their perseverance, resilience, and passion for keeping our students connected with in-person learning five days a week.
Thank you for your patience this school year. We value the trust you place in us. Wishing you and your family a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season. We look forward to the New Year!
Monroe Preschool Receives Top Rating from State
The State of Ohio has awarded Monroe Primary School’s Preschool program with its top five-star rating. The rating is based on the quality standard established by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Department of Education. The rating program, Step Up To Quality, is a five-star tiered quality rating and improvement system created to recognize and promote early learning and development programs that meet quality standards over and above the health and safety licensing requirements.
Monroe’s preschool currently serves 52 students ages 3-5. In non-COVID years, the preschool serves up to 64 students. Our preschool model is designed as an inclusion model that welcomes and supports the diverse academic, social, emotional, and communication needs of all students. Half of our students receive specially designed instruction and/or related services (i.e., speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy).
“We are proud to receive the 5-star rating. We know how critical it is to establish a strong foundation for our youngest learners. We are also so proud of our preschool teachers, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Fenton, Mrs. Marcum, Mrs. Sowder, and Mrs. Rouster, who work together every day as such a strong team!” shared Monroe Primary School Principal Melissa Giffen.
Calamity Days to Remain Non-School Days
Monroe's calamity day policy will remain the same this school year. If Monroe Schools are closed due to inclement weather, it will be considered a calamity day, and there will be no school for both in-person and VLA students.
Weather-related delays and closures will be communicated via our automated calling system, a separate system from the OneView parent portal. This automated calling system enables parents/guardians to select specific preferences for receiving robocalls. Click this link for information on using Monroe's automatic calling system. Please contact your child's school if you have any issues.
The district will also communicate weather delays or closures on social media, the district website, local TV news/radio.
Monroe Hosts Annual Holiday Food Drive
Monroe will host its 19th annual “Gifts from the Heart” food drive. Every year, the Monroe School community joins together to help those who need assistance during the holidays. Because of COVID, the district will be collecting money this year via EzPay. All money donated will go to buy the items that will be given to Monroe Local School families. The funds will be collected from November 23-December 11. Our Hands2Hope members will be delivering the donations throughout our community on December 15.
If your family would appreciate some additional help with food, please go to the link below, complete the form, and return it no later than Thursday, December 10. You may also email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MES Students Give Vets “A Million Thanks”
This Veterans Day, Monroe students wrote letters of gratitude to members of the U.S. Military. Todd Moore, a Monroe Elementary School teacher, became aware of the “A Million Thanks” organization through a neighbor who works for Progressive and is a veteran. Progressive is a business partner with “A Million Thanks,” a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the U.S. Military. Students were asked to write thank-you letters to the men and women in the military. Progressive provided the paper and mailed all the finished notes.
“I quickly realized what a blessing this would be to the people currently serving in our military. All of the teachers were touched by the heartfelt messages of appreciation our students shared in their letters,” Mr. Moore said.
More than 25 teachers participated, and almost 700 students wrote notes to our military. Next year, Mr. Moore’s goal is to expand “A Million Thanks” to the entire district.
Monroe's Virtual Learning Academy Students in Action
Third-grader Xavier Combs using area models to show his work for math.
MHS sophomore Alex Santoro getting a boost of motivation!
Fourth-grader Anabella Thomas working on a science experiment at home.
Support Needed for Fair School Funding Plan
Ohio legislators have recently introduced a Fair School Funding Plan to provide a constitutional solution to Ohio’s school funding. It is designed to provide more adequate and equitable funding for all public-school students across the state. On December 3, the Ohio House passed the new funding plan. The plan now goes to the Ohio senate. If it passes there, the bill would then go to Gov. Mike DeWine to be signed.
Over the past several years, Monroe’s Board of Education and administrative team have been working to make the current school funding model more equitable. Monroe School District is capped by the State in funding, meaning the District should receive $14,000,000 from the State but only receives $7,000,000. In fact, Monroe is one of the top ten of the most capped districts in the State, which adds a financial burden to our local taxpayers.
Monroe’s Board of Education passed the Fair School Funding Plan resolution at its last Board of Education meeting to show our support for this new funding plan. The district is also looking for community support to pass this plan.
“The Fair School Funding plan would increase State funding for Monroe Local Schools. It would also eliminate the cap in funding, which causes Monroe LSD to be funded significantly less than other schools in similar communities. It is a major push to be fair to taxpayers in our school community,” said Monroe Treasurer/CFO Holly Cahall.
We encourage you to call or send messages of support to our elected leaders to expedite the bill's passage. To assist you with your letter, talking points about the Fair School Funding Plan is linked below. Names and contact information for our state legislators are listed below. We appreciate your support of this important funding plan.
Senator Steve Wilson
Senator William P. Coley, II
Representative Candice Keller
Phone (614) 644-5094
Fax (614) 719-6953
Representative George F. Lang
Phone (614) 466-8550
Fax (614) 719-6955
Representative Paul Zeltwanger
Phone (614) 644-6027
Fax (614) 719-3967
Thrive in the Hive-Mental Health Resources for Families
Thrive in the Hive is a monthly mental health newsletter produced by Access Counseling Services. The goal of this newsletter is to provide Monroe families with education, interventions, and self-care tips for you and your children to take care of your mental health.
Expectations for Students in Quarantine
If your student has been quarantined and is not feeling well, please follow the building procedure for reporting your student’s absence.
If your student has been quarantined but does not have any symptoms, they are expected to attend to their schoolwork each school day. We realize this may cause issues for younger students in childcare who cannot access technology or the internet. *We ask that parents/guardians make the teachers aware of any issues with their students attending to their school work during the school day, so accommodations can be made to ensure they receive the instruction and due dates are adjusted accordingly.
Students will check email in the morning and at the end of the school day and respond to any communication from the school as needed. Parents with students in Preschool-6th grade, please check your email for teacher communication as students do not regularly check email.
Students will log into all Google Classrooms that are in their daily schedule.
Students will work on school work and complete work by the due date unless other arrangements have been made (*see above).
Students not completing work without prior communication (*see above) will receive credit based on that teacher’s late work policy.
Students not responding to emails or phone calls and completing no work for the day will be reported as an unexcused absence. Ongoing unexcused absences could result in truancy and an attendance meeting for multiple hours of non-attendance.
*Due to the numbers of students in quarantine at any point and teachers being with students during the day, there will be a delay in their response to email and phone calls. We encourage you to visit your student’s Google Classroom first for all directions and work. After visiting Google Classroom, if you still have questions, feel free to contact your student’s teacher.
We will be live streaming our boys and girls high school and junior high home basketball and wrestling events this season. Links are posted on our athletic website.
Free Breakfast/Lunch Continues to End of School Year
A reminder to all families that the USDA announced earlier this fall that all school meals are free to all Monroe Local School Students through the end of May 2021. Students must select all components of a “Class A” lunch in order to have the meal charge waived.
Students can still purchase a la carte items which are not free under the current plan from the USDA. As a reminder, you can add money to your account on EZPay online.
If you think you qualify for free and reduced lunch, please fill out the free and reduced lunch form on the OneView parent portal or request a paper copy from your office or cafeteria. Qualification for free and reduced lunch could provide a waiver of school fees.
Monroe Local School District is looking to fill a variety of positions from substitute teachers to custodial help.
All job listings are posted here:
If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher, please apply through the Bulter County Education Service Center at https://www.bcesc.org