What's the Buzz?

Monroe Local Schools eNews - October 2020

Introducing Monroe's New eNewsletter

In an ongoing effort to improve communications with our parents and community, Monroe Schools is introducing this monthly electronic newsletter called "What's the Buzz?" The district will be sending this eNews to parents and subscribers on the first Friday of the month. In order to reach our entire Monroe community, the district will continue to mail a "What's the Buzz?" printed newsletter on a quarterly basis.

Monroe Schools Plan for Full Return in Second Quarter

Monroe Schools is transitioning from the hybrid model to a full return for the second quarter. All students, except those enrolled in Monroe’s Virtual Learning Academy, will return to school in person five days a week starting on Tuesday, October 20. There will be no school for students on Monday, October 19, to allow Monroe’s team to prepare for the transition from the hybrid model to a full return.

“Monroe Local School District’s leadership team looked at several state and local resources for health data and considerations, consultation with other school districts, and feedback on our academic progress before making this decision. We believe the protocols we have implemented will continue to provide a safe and healthy environment and improve our students’ learning opportunities,” said Monroe Superintendent Kathy Demers.

Students who are currently attending in-person and students who are enrolled in the Virtual Learning Academy have the opportunity to change their instruction model for the second quarter. Parents who wish to make a change must complete the Monroe Change of Placement Form by 11:59 pm on Friday, October 2.

With a full-return, there may be times the district must transition to remote learning if health data changes and a significant number of staff or students need to be quarantined. With limited availability of substitute bus drivers, teachers, and food service workers and potential staffing issues, the district may have to shift to remote learning with little notice.

“We could not be more appreciative of our staff and families for their support of Monroe Schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community. Our staff, families, and students have been tremendous through these challenging times. We appreciate everyone's flexibility, patience, and understanding,” Demers added.

Guidelines for Athletics and Gatherings to Remain

Although Monroe Schools will be returning five days a week, the district must still follow the Ohio Department of Health's operational guidelines for extracurricular activities, athletics, and mass gatherings. For athletic events, this includes the continued use of facial coverings, social distancing, and capacity limitations for spectators among other guidelines. In our schools, restrictions on classroom or lunchroom visits and volunteers in our buildings will continue. In-person gatherings will still be limited by ODH guidelines with events being held virtually when possible. We appreciate your cooperation as we work together to keep our community safe and healthy.

Transportation Update for Second Quarter

Monroe's Transportation Department is planning bus routes for the second quarter. If your child's transportation needs are changing, you must fill out a Transportation Form on OneView by the end of the day on Thursday, October 8. The district needs to know if you no longer need transportation or if you do need transportation starting on October 20.

"Due to the extremely short time frame we have in which to make the necessary routing changes, it is very important to have the forms in by the deadline. If the forms are not in by the deadline, transportation may not be available for your child until October 23," shared Monroe's Director of Operations, Jesse Catanzaro.

If your child is currently in the hybrid model and will continue to ride the bus, you do not need to complete a form but know that your child's bus number or route will likely change. With the switch to full return, many bus numbers and routes will be different.

The Petermann Bus Tracker app is free on the Google play store or the Apple store and linked on the Monroe website. Your child's student ID number is required to access their bus route. If you do not remember your child's ID number, you can retrieve it on ProgressBook. The bus tracker app will reflect the wrong information while we are re-routing between October 12-15. It will not reflect the updated routes until after 3 p.m. on October 15.

If you have any questions, please email Amy Thorpe, General Manager, Transportation Department at athorpe@petermannbus.com.

Monroe Senior Named National Merit Commended Student

Monroe High School is proud to announce that senior Austin Rilling has been named a Commended Student in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The National Merit Scholarship Program recognizes students who demonstrate exceptional academic ability based on their performance on the PSAT taken during the junior year. Austin placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2021 competition by taking the PSAT his junior year.

"We are proud of Austin for his academic success and earning this honor from the National Merit program. We look forward to watching him continue to excel at Monroe High School and beyond," said Tom Prohaska, Monroe High School Principal.

Sharing Music Mindfulness During a Complex Year

Monroe Schools have implemented Mindful Music Moments into our school day. On a typical school day, pre-pandemic, students and teachers would gather together to pause and focus with a Mindful Music Moment heard over the morning announcements.

According to Elizabeth Barger, MJHS Counselor, since students have not had the chance to participate in Mindful Music five days a week at school, links have been posted into Google classroom as a daily assignment.

"By continuing the program on the two virtual days, students are able to feel a continuity amidst the split in-person and virtual schedule," Barger shared.

Monroe Junior High School was featured on the Mindful Music website. To read the article, click here.

Monroe to Distribute Free Food to Families Through USDA Program

Through the work of the USDA and local organizations, Monroe School District is giving away 20lb boxes of food from the USDA’s Farmers to Families program. Food boxes will be distributed on Wednesday, October 14, between 5:30-7 p.m. at Monroe Elementary School (next to the Monroe High/Jr High School). In addition to the food distribution, there will be grilled hot dogs and bags of chips for families to take home.

“We would love for our families to receive 1 or 2 of the food boxes. All of these items are free for our families with no signup required,” shared Lindsay Henrriquez, Community Success Liaison for Monroe Local Schools.

When you arrive at Monroe Elementary School, volunteers will ask you how many are in your family and then will load the pre-boxed food from the USDA and deliver the grilled hot dogs, etc. to your car so you will not have to leave your vehicle.

Monroe Schools are participating in the WLWT Day of Giving on Thursday, October 8. Lindsay Henrriquez, Community Success Liaison for Monroe Local Schools, will be set up at the Monroe Church of the Nazarene from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. accepting donations of gift cards for groceries and gas. The donations will stay within the Monroe community to help our families in this time of need.

"We are happy to accept any donations of non-perishable food items and cleaning supplies but most needed are gift cards at this time," Henrriquez said.

The Monroe community has always been so generous. Please consider donating on October 8. Thank you in advance!

Monroe's VLA in Action

Monroe's Virtual Learning Academy students do not have to worry about wearing face masks when they are working at home, but they had the opportunity to create their own special masks for their online school day. This is just one of the many ways our teachers are connecting and engaging with our virtual learners.
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Students to Receive Free Lunches Through End of 2020

Through a USDA program, all Monroe students are now eligible for free lunches and free breakfasts through December 31, 2020. Students who are attending in person or remotely can receive one free breakfast and one free lunch daily.

Students in all buildings have been offered school breakfast and school lunch at no charge since the program became effective on September 8. Menus can be found on the district website at the following page: https://monroelocalsd.sodexomyway.com/landing/

For remote learners, free meal packages will be available each Wednesday which includes three breakfasts and three lunches. Meals are available for delivery or pick up at Monroe Elementary between 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. each Wednesday. To sign up for the Wednesday meals, please click here.

The program is scheduled to end on December 31, 2020. For students who currently receive free and reduced lunch benefits, parents/guardians must complete a current free and reduced lunch application in order to be eligible for free meals after this date. Applications can be found here: https://monroe.esvportal.com/Login.aspx.

Upcoming District Events

  • Monday, October 5: No School - Teacher In-Service Day
  • Monday, October 19: No School - Teacher In-Service Day
  • Tuesday, October 20: 5-day Return for Students Begins
  • Monday, October 26: Regular Board Meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Monroe Elementary School (Open to the public but limited to 20 with current ODH guidelines)
  • Tuesday, November 3: No School - Teacher In-service Day
  • Monday, November 23: Regular Board Meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Monroe Elementary School (Open to the public but limited to 20 with current ODH guidelines)
  • Wednesday, November 25, 26, 27: No School-Thanksgiving Break