Ridgeview STEM Junior High School
March 27, 2020
Update from Mr. Koch
We hope after your first week of online learning in the books, you were able to have a restful and healthy spring break. Please realize that teachers were also on spring break. It is likely that if you emailed them during this week, you may not have heard back. Just like your student, after a week of being at their computer all day, many of them just needed a break from it. They will again be available next Monday-Friday from 7:00-3:00.
It is simply amazing what our teachers and students have made happen with very little notice or pre-planning. On Wednesday, March 11, during the two-hour late start, the very first information was shared with staff regarding the POSSIBILITY of a school closure and by Monday, only 5 days later, staff were teaching from their homes while many were also managing children of their own that were suddenly without a place to go as well. Although it was a MAJOR transition, it truly felt that no one missed a beat.
Yes, it's different, very different for all of us. Teachers, like many junior high students, are social in nature and do not desire to teach behind a computer all day, but it is what it is, and I can assure that we will make the best of it. Teachers are learning new things every day to improve how they are reaching students and providing instruction and feedback, so I can only imagine that week two will be even better. We are ALL learning and adjusting to provide not only learning support during this time but also support emotionally.
If your student has not completed their work from last week, even if it's marked missing or late in Infinite Campus, we still want for them to complete the work, and they should receive full credit. We know that as we adjust to things, we need to be flexible, but we also need to make sure students are staying on top of things as best as they can so that they don't try to do everything at once and fall 3 weeks behind. Marking things in Infinite Campus as missing or late is simply a way to communicate with students that there is something they need to do and they haven't turned it in at this point.
I know that things right now are very different and some people adapt to change better than others. However, routine is something essential for most of us. Please encourage your student to set a routine, at least on week days, so that they can work on their school work, reach out to teachers during their work day (7-3) if they have questions and then walk away from their device when they are done.
Our counselors are available during this time as well. Don't hesitate to contact them with any concerns about your child's well-being or schooling. Doug Rittmeyer is our 7th grade counselor Doug_Rittmeyer@plsd.us and Kris Owen is our 8th grade counselor Kris_Owen@plsd.us.
Tigers, we are in this together and will get through this together. Enjoy your weekend and be ready for our second week of online learning!
Finally, in a time when things are anything but normal, let's have a little bit of fun with PLSD's virtual Spirit week. See below!
Check the PLSD Closure Page Often
Emotional Support During This Time
We understand that the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19 is a stressful time for many students, teachers, and families. Emotions can vary for all, including fear, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, and stress. We would like to provide resources to help support your student and yourself during this difficult time. We have included some resources below to help address maintaining stress and anxiety during this time:
Some helpful things to help manage these emotions:
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include
Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
Excessive worry or sadness
Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
Poor school performance or avoiding school
Difficulty with attention and concentration
Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
Unexplained headaches or body pain
Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
What should I do to stay safe?
Wash your hands often and before you eat. Wash them for at least 20
seconds and make sure you get the space in between your fingers and the backs of your hands clean!
Try to avoid touching your nose, mouth, eyes, and whole face with unwashed hands.
Practice healthy habits! Eat healthy foods, drink lots of water, get some exercise, and get plenty of sleep
If you need to sneeze or cough, sneeze into a tissue
or the inside of your elbow.
Follow directions from the trusted adults in your life.
Circle of Support
Talk about how you are feeling with the people you trust at home.
If you have questions, ask the people you trust to help you understand.
Keep in touch with friends, even if you're not seeing them at school
Video chat or call loved ones who don't live near you.
Breathe it out
If your body is feeling restless or keyed up, take some time to sit and slow your breathing. Try these easy exercises by tracing your finger over the lines and breathing along with them. Repeat at least 5 times!
Set Small, Daily Goals
Keep your focus on real things you can do! Set small, daily goals for yourself and keep track of your goals. Set a goal about how much you will read each day, how long you'll practice your free throws each day, how many nice things you'll say to family members each day, or something else that's important to you!
Look for the Fun
Shift your focus away from the worries and do something fun!
Play a board game with your family.
Have a dance party.
Paint, draw, write, or create!
Let the Worries Go
Having trouble letting go of the worries? Try these strategies:
Set a 3-minute timer. During those 3 minutes, think about the worries all you want.
When the timer goes off, worry time is over! Get up, move to a new space, and
think of something else!
Write your worries on a piece of paper. Tear or wad it up and toss it in the trash can.
Remember, it's okay to have worries. Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling!
Panorama Survey-Deadline is April 10
Face-to-Face Tech Support Schedule
Pickerington Schools will continue to support student’s Chromebooks and the Every-1 Connected Program throughout the closure of our schools.
Tuesday, March 31st - 8 AM - 10 AM
Thursday, April 2nd - 2 PM - 4 PM
Locked Out of Device
If your student has issues logging into their device, please have them email their teacher, admin, or counselor and they can put in a help desk ticket for a password change. If students do not change their password when prompted to do so by the device, their password will eventually stop working and they will be locked out. Obviously, they will need to use another device to email or have someone email for them.
Free School Meals Being Served Monday, March 30 for the Week
Pickerington Schools’ “grab and go” meal program will resume on Monday, March 30 — school breakfast and lunches will be distributed for the week on MONDAY ONLY.
Anyone 18 years old and younger may come pick up the free meals (all in one bag) from noon to 1 p.m. at Tussing Elementary School.
Thank you TONS to our Pickerington Schools Food Services and Transportation Departments for taking care of our students during this difficult time!
Resources for Families During This Time
Amazon is hiring. If you are interested, you can apply at www.amazon.com/jobsnow.
Kroger is also hiring. They are looking to hire 10,000 people right now. www.jobs.kroger.com
Here is another list of companies hiring thousands at this time: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/23/business/coronavirus-companies-hiring/index.html
Ohio has two ways to file for unemployment benefits.
The fastest and easiest way is to file online at unemployment.ohio.gov. You can file 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don’t have access to a computer, visit your local library or OhioMeansJobs center, where computers are available for public use.
Please note that your local library may be closed or have reduced hours due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). A list of OhioMeansJobs centers can be found at: http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/wioa/map.stm or call (888) 296-7541.
OR you can file for unemployment benefits by phone Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. by calling (877) 644-6562 or TTY (614) 387-8408.
For more information, see page 5 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment.
For step-by-step instructions on how to apply for benefits online, see the How-To Videos.
Need to Print Something?
Mobile Clinic at Tussing Elementary
Nationwide Children's Hospital Mobile clinic will be at Tussing Elementary on April 1 from 9:00- 3:00. Consents will be on the bus.
No appointment necessary.
Need an Administrator?
Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. We know this is new to all of us.
We encourage you to always start with the teacher regarding course material or content, but we are happy to help as best as we can.
Eric Koch, Principal: firstname.lastname@example.org 614-548-1711
Beth Richardson, Lead Assistant Principal: email@example.com 614-548-1706
Kevin Smith, Assistant Principal: firstname.lastname@example.org 614-548-1707--