Students, their families, the community, nation, and even the world are all being greatly impacted by COVID-19. It has caused them to change their daily routines and lives in ways that they never expected. It is in unprecedented times like these, that cause anxiety and fear within individuals. In order to help deal with this situation and feelings a person may be having, the Anthony Wayne Local Schools school guidance counselors have developed this page of resources to share ideas that others have found helpful when dealing with different situations associated with COVID -19. Please check the site often because new information will be shared frequently in order to deal with this ever revolving situation.
Also, if you feel that your child or you would like to talk to someone concerning the feelings your child is experiencing, do not hesitate to contact your child’s school counselor. You and your family are wished health and happiness during this difficult and trying time.
Please Click HERE for Coronavirus Resources
District Coronavirus Communications
I wanted to share information about the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds that have been discussed in recent social media posts and was brought up at the October Anthony Wayne Board of Education meeting.
Federal Government Funding for COVID-19 Relief in Schools
Since the spring of 2020, both the federal and state governments have provided additional funding to schools as a result of COVID-19. This past March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that authorized districts across the Nation to receive additional COVID-19 funding. Below is a description of that funding and how Anthony Wayne Local Schools is spending and plans to spend those funds.
What is ESSER and how did Districts qualify for these Relief Funds?
The Federal government approved the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding allocations for traditional public schools and community schools as a result of COVID-19. In doing so, specific funds were allocated to each public school district and community school based on the percentage of Title One funds each district receives. Title One funds are determined by the federal government based on the number of low-income families (defined by the Federal government) a school district has within its community. The ESSER funds were sent from the Federal government through the U.S. Department of Education to each state in the Nation. Each school district in Ohio will receive ESSER funds through the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) through their grants management system. The State of Ohio decided to allocate 90% of the funds directly to public schools and community schools. The other 10% has been dedicated by the state to support public schools and community schools through what they call “State activities” and/or emergency situations which will be determined by the Ohio Department of Education and state leaders.
What Requirements are there to Spend the Relief Money?
School districts are able to utilize and spend the ESSER funds through September of 2022 within specific areas. Each school district in Ohio was required to develop a plan on how to spend the ESSER funds and submit that plan to the ODE by August 20, 2021. Each school district was also required by ODE to submit an American Rescue Plan (ARP) so they could review and approve how each district plans to spend the ESSER funds within the specific allowable spending requirements. ODE asked each district to add a summary to the required Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan. This information is on the AWLS website and can be accessed here. The specific information starts on page nine of the document.
In what Specific Areas can Districts Spend these Relief Funds?
As mentioned above, school districts are required to spend ESSER funds within specific allowable areas. These areas include COVID-19 expenses, instructional support for students, intervention services for students, educational technology, mental and physical health support services for students, summer learning opportunities for students, improvement of facility conditions for students and staff, and maintenance of the current services provided to students.
The Anthony Wayne District has allocated the ESSER funds in these areas and is spending the funds in the above mentioned areas. For example, here are just some of the ways the District is spending the relief funds:
The District used the ESSER funds to provide several programs this summer to students that included STEAM activities, student academic intervention and enrichment, ACT study program, and a high school credit recovery program. Due to the success of these programs and the benefit to students, the District plans to use the ESSER funds for these services to be provided again in the summer of 2022.
The District will use these relief funds to continue mental and physical health services necessary during this time such as nurses, social workers, and other support services.
The District has purchased a significant amount of student technology to provide a one technology device to one student ratio in each school building.
Based on an independent review of the HVAC systems in each building and the work that was completed in the District’s last renovation and new construction projects, the District is in the planning stages of an approximate one million dollar HVAC improvement project that will improve air quality in specific identified school building areas.
The District hired additional staff (I.e intervention coaches and tutors) for the 2021-2022 school year to provide specific instructional services to meet the individual needs of identified students. In addition, the District has and plans to continue to provide additional staff professional development within these intervention areas to help our students with their academic achievement.
The District is appreciative of the COVID-19 relief funds that have been approved by the Federal and State governments. These relief funds, spent in the allowable areas, will provide additional services for students, physical and mental health services for students, academic intervention for students, additional technology for students, improvements in HVAC systems, and additional summer school opportunities. While the relief funds are temporary, the District does appreciate that we can use them to provide services to students at this time while making improvements in HVAC and technology.
Dr. Jim Fritz
Each September, I provide an enrollment report to the Board of Education. We will post this enrollment report to the District website on Tuesday morning for everyone to review. Here are just some of the highlights:
- At this time, the District enrollment is 4440 which is up 15 students from last year, but down 98 students from September of 2019.
- The highest class enrollment is 379 students which is the 10th grade.
- The average enrollment per class is 338.
- The average enrollment in grades 5-12 is 344.
- The average enrollment in grades K-4 is 312. Over the last several years, we have seen this number lower than the 5-12 enrollment. Part of the reason is the birth rate has significantly dropped during this same time.
COVID-19 Data Update
I will present a detailed update to the Board of Education on Monday night. The presentation will be placed on the AW website on Monday afternoon. Below is a summary of the data in the presentation. Data from the CDC and TLCHD can be found on their websites.
Lucas County Data (Per CDC and TLCHD data as of 9/9/21):
- Community Transmission: High (categories include low, medium, substantial, and high)
- Positivity Rate over the last 7 days: 14.39% (2.27% increase over last 7 days)
- Percent vaccinated that are eligible: 56.6%
- Number of positive cases per day over the last 14 days: 128/day
- Positive case for ages 0-19 for the last three months:
- June ‘21: 31 cases which was ~15% of the overall cases
- July ‘21: 46 cases which was ~15% of the overall cases
- Aug. ‘21: 577 cases which was ~26% of the overall cases
AW Community Data Per Zip Code (Per TLCHD as of 9/9/21):
- 134 positive cases in last 21 days
- 50 positive cases in last 7 days
- 67.67% vaccination rate
- 64 positive cases in last 21 days
- 12 positive cases in last 7 days
- 67.84% vaccination rate
- 34 positive cases in last 21 days
- 6 positive cases in last 7 days
- 62.51% vaccination rate
- 32 positive cases in last 21 days
- 12 positive cases in last 7 days
- 64.59% vaccination rate
- 13 positive cases in last 21 days
- 5 positive cases in last 7 days
- 22.92% vaccination rate
- 43551 (Wood County)
- 129 positive cases in last 14 days
- No other similar data reported
- AWLS Data (9/10/21):
- Student Positive Cases = 12
- Student Quarantines = 98
- Staff Positive Cases = 3
- Staff Quarantines = 0
Please remember that AWLS COVID-19 data can be found on the AWLS website at:
Every school day, AW students and staff leave their homes and come to school. Thousands of students come to school each day with a variety of backgrounds and beliefs. They enter school buildings with their own past experiences. While each day can be different, the normal experience is that students are provided learning opportunities where they use their learner’s mindset to collaborate, communicate, be adaptable, be flexible, use critical thinking, and demonstrate empathy with those around them. In addition to the academic work, the staff and students do an outstanding job of working each day to develop positive relationships that provide a solid foundation for learning to take place. Yes, while there are bumps along the road of each school year, our students and staff do incredible work together. The result of what happens each and every day can be seen in the success of our current students and recent graduates.
In my position as superintendent, I am privileged to hear so many success stories about our students and our recent graduates. If you are interested in reading about the success of these current and former students, The Mirror newspaper is a good source of information. The paper has done a great job of highlighting our current students and our graduates that have found success in their chosen fields that include the trades, agriculture, military, and several degreed occupations.
Our students and staff continue to show resilience and hope that they can be successful through their collaborative work together. The District is thankful to the AW community for the support that is given to do this important work with our youth. Thank you! Go Generals!!
Dr. Jim Fritz
I would like to share the following information with you and wish you and your families an enjoyable long Labor Day weekend that is filled with relaxation and enjoyment.
AWesome start to the school year!
I want to thank all of the parents, students, and staff for a great start to the school year! There are many outstanding learning opportunities happening everyday in our schools. We look forward to each and every school day to have our students in the buildings learning with their fellow peers.
COVID-19 Data (as of Friday Morning)
Number of Positive Students - 21
Number of Students in Quarantine - *282
Number of Positive Staff Members - 6
Number of Staff Members in Quarantine - 3
*The number of students in quarantine from exposure at school will go down with students and staff wearing masks.
District data can also be found on our website at: https://www.anthonywayneschools.org/Coronavirus
Collaboration between area schools
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, school systems across our country, state and county have taken steps to help control the spread of the virus. Our shared goal has been to keep our students in school while ensuring the safety of our children, staff, and communities. We recognize the best way to accomplish this goal is to have multiple COVID-19 safety measures in place.
As Districts, we rely on the guidance of state and local health officials and professionals, as well as state and national experts for their advice in addition to constantly examining our own internal data. After having the health department quarantined many students last year and this school year, we know how unlikely it is that a student quarantined due to a COVID-19 school exposure develops into a COVID-19 positive case. As a result, District’s shared this information with the health department and changes will be made to our procedures for excluding students from school. You can find additional information HERE.
All of us appreciate the support, patience, and understanding our community members have shown throughout the pandemic. We all continue to look forward to the day when the pandemic is behind us and together we will get there.
Here are answers to common questions related to COVID-19 items:
Why did the school district implement a mask requirement for students and staff?
This requirement was put in place to reduce the number of students that would be placed into quarantine by the health department from exposure to a positive person. The goal of the District with this change is to have as many students and staff inside of the school buildings each and every school day.
How can I share my thoughts about masks, health department quarantine requirements, and other COVID-19 related safety precautions?
Many people in our school district have shared their thoughts about mask, health department quarantine requirements, and other COVID-19 related safety precautions with the school district and school board. We continue to respond to these communications. In these communications sometimes I’m asked who to contact about laws the District has to follow. Here is the contact information for the health departments, our State representatives, and the Governor’s office.
Toledo Lucas County Health Department (https://lucascountyhealth.com/contact-us/)
Ohio Department of Health (https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/about-us/contact-us)
Senator Gaverone (https://ohiosenate.gov/senators/gavarone/contact)
Representative Merrin (https://ohiohouse.gov/members/derek-merrin/contact)
Governor DeWine (https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/contact)
Why is the AWLS COVID-19 data on the Ohio Department of Health website different from what is being reported by the District?
The District is required to provide COVID-19 positive cases for staff and students each Monday to the Toledo Lucas County Health Department. This data is collected for all Lucas County schools by the health department and shared with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). The ODH is responsible for updating their website with the information submitted by the local health departments. Based on media reports, ODH reporting of this data on their website has been delayed.
Thank you and Go Generals!!
Dr. Jim Fritz
I wanted to share the following information with you at this time.
AWLS COVID-19 Data - 8/27/21
The following data is from Friday, August 27th, at 7:00am:
- The number of AWLS students that were positive for COVID-19 was nine.
- The number of AWLS students that were in quarantine was 147. Last Friday, the number of students in quarantine was 31; this morning it was 147. Last year, in the month of August, the District’s highest number of cumulative quarantines for one day was 23.
The Anthony Wayne Local School District continues to review COVID-19 data on a daily basis in order to determine the appropriate safety precautions necessary to keep students and staff safe. The District determines these precautions based on the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and the Toledo Lucas County Health Department (TLCHD). The goal of the District is to have a safe environment for all students and staff while maintaining in-person learning in our schools.
In recent days, the number of quarantined students throughout the nation’s schools has significantly increased. This increase is caused by individuals being exposed to positive individuals at home, at school, and in the community. This increase can also be seen in Lucas County and the State of Ohio. The positivity rate and the spread of the virus continue to rise; the state’s positivity rate hasn’t been this high since January 2021. As you can see from the COVID-19 data above, the number of quarantined students in the District from the beginning of the school year has significantly increased; it has not been at this level since November of 2020. If you remember, in November of 2020, the TLCHD required schools to use remote learning.
The TLCHD has established quarantine requirements for all students in Lucas County. The quarantine requirements that are followed can be found on the District website HERE. The CDC, ODH, and TLCHD have shared that the most significant action that can be taken to avoid quarantine is for students and staff to wear masks and those that are eligible for the vaccine to be vaccinated. It is understood that there is significant debate about the use of masks and many believe they should be worn and many do not; however, no matter what side of the debate an individual is on, it is known that wearing masks would reduce the number of students and staff needing to be quarantined and allow for individuals to continue learning and teaching in-person, and permits all to participate in extracurricular activities, especially during this period of rising positive cases.
As stated in the COVID-19 Plan for In-Person for 2021-22 on the AWLS website, there will be times when the plan needs to be modified to adjust to the current data. As a result of the current data, AWLS will change the mask recommendation to a mask requirement for all PreK-12 staff, students, and visitors inside of the indoor school facilities starting on Monday, August 30, 2021.
This change is necessary to prevent as many students and staff as possible from being placed into the number quarantined by the health department. The mask debate will continue in all communities across our nation whether or not it is a mask requirement or a recommendation. Yes, we have received, and most likely will continue to receive, many calls and emails for and against masks. In almost all communications, there is evidence provided to support the individual's stance. You can continue to send your thoughts and opinions to the District’s Board of Education and administration. Please understand that the decision to move to a mask requirement is based on the goal to keep students and staff safe in the school environment and to prevent as many students from being quarantined.
Like Anthony Wayne, many districts in the state have made adjustments to their safety procedures based on the rising cases and have required masks versus just recommending them. In neighboring districts and other districts in our area, we have seen schools cancel events, employers change safety protocols, and hospital workers going back to being required to wear masks throughout their day. Due to the current quarantine requirements, the District believes that changing to a mask requirement at this time allows more students and staff to stay in school and keeps them safer at a time of rising positive cases in our community.
Dr. Jim Fritz
School Bus Reminder:
You can view a visual reminder of when to stop for a school bus here. AWLS school buses travel over 3,000 miles a day to pick up and drop off students. Please be safe when you see one of the buses out on the road or in the parking lot of one of our school buildings. Also, if you know someone who is interested in becoming a bus driver please have them contact Kevin Herman at (419) 877-5377.
As of today (8/24/21) the District has 3 staff members that are positive, 3 staff members in quarantine, 5 students that are positive, and 81 students in quarantine. You can view COVID-19 data on the AWLS website HERE.
Toledo Lucas County Health Department Quarantine Rules
The Toledo Lucas County Health Department (TLCHD) has established COVID-19 quarantine rules for the 2021-22 school year. The District has posted the TLCHD quarantine information on our website and it can be found HERE. The District has consolidated this information into a one page sheet which can be found on our website HERE. As you will see in the quarantine information, the District is required to report positive cases to the health department. The District will contact individuals that are positive and complete contact trace to determine exposure based on the TLCHD regulations. The TLCHD works with a company, based on requirements from the Ohio Department of Health, called PCG. The health department has shared with Districts that representatives from PCG will contact positive individuals and those that are exposed to this positive person. The TLCHD is the organization that places individuals into isolation or quarantine and is the organization that established the requirements for quarantine and isolation. If you have questions about quarantine please contact the TLCHD at (419) 213-4100 or https://lucascountyhealth.com/contact-us/.
One way to help reduce exposure is for each student to go through a symptom check prior to coming to school. Please do not send your student to school if they have COVID-19 symptoms. The common COVID-19 symptoms are fever (100 degrees or more), cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea. If your student has seasonal allergies please consult with your physician to determine appropriate steps to take with your student. Please understand that if your student is sent to school and exhibiting symptoms they will be sent home and may be placed into quarantine per the TLCHD quarantine requirements.
The District continues, along with the CDC, ODH, and TLCHD, to recommend that students and staff wear masks regardless of vaccination status inside school buildings and crowded spaces outdoors. In addition, the District and these same agencies, recommend that students and staff eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination please consider getting one as soon as possible.
Please know that the TLCHD has stated in their quarantine rules that if a student has a mask on and is vaccinated that is exposed to a positive COVID-19 person, they can stay in school and participate in activities as long as they don’t have symptoms.
Coronavirus Resources on AWLS Website
If you are interested in reviewing resources, the AW COVID-19 In-person school plan, COVID-19 school data, or other COVID-19 items you can find them on the coronavirus section of the AWLS website. You can access this information HERE.
We want to thank all of the parents, students, and staff for a great start to the school year! As I walk through the buildings I am excited to see our students and staff back in the classrooms and buildings interacting and learning together.
Dr. Jim Fritz
The summer break has quickly come to an end and we will be welcoming students to the building this Wednesday for the start of the 2021-22 school year. I’m really excited to have everyone back and look forward to the awesome educational experiences that will be provided to our students. As we start this year, we will all need patience, flexibility, and grace. Before the school year begins, I would like to share the below information with you.
Wednesday is the day!
Eighty days ago AW students left the District classrooms for the summer break. I’m hoping that you and your families were able to enjoy your summer and had time to relax. The staff have done a great job of getting the building ready and we are looking forward to having the students back in the buildings! I wish all of the students a great start to this new school year!
Traffic around school buildings and school buses
As we start this school year, the traffic around all six school buildings will start to increase on Wednesday. If you will be traveling near or into the school building parking lots please use patience and take your time so we can have a safe environment for everyone. Also, as you are traveling throughout the District please use caution as you see our 40 school buses out completing their routes to safely pick up and drop off students.
Yes, COVID-19 is still an issue of passionate debate in our school district and across the Nation. I would like to thank all of you for your patience, flexibility, and grace as we continue to deal with this virus while educating students. Many of you have shared your thoughts and opinions with the Board of Education, administrators in the District, or I about the use of, or the potential use of, safety precautions in the District. We respect each side of the debate on these safety measures. Please understand that the District will continue to monitor data within the Center of Disease and Prevention (CDC) indicators for safe in-person learning in schools to determine the specific safety precautions in the District.
Currently, the CDC, the Ohio Department of Health, the Toledo Lucas County Health Department, and the school district recommend that all individuals wear a mask in the school buildings to prevent the spread of the virus. As these health agencies have indicated, wearing a mask provides another layer of protection against contracting this virus. The District clearly understands that some individuals, because it’s a recommendation, will choose to wear a mask and some will not; we ask everyone to please respect the rights of each individual in making this decision. This recommendation is subject to change based on the data mentioned above.
COVID-19 Information on the AWLS Website
There are various resources on the AWLS website that provide information about COVID-19. You can view the website here. For example, we have added this month Mitigation Strategies, the current Ohio Department of Health quarantine information, and the COVID-19 In-Person Plan for 2021-22.
I want to thank all the parents and staff members for all that you do for the students and this school district. We are looking forward to a great school year!
Dr. Jim Fritz
At this time, I want to share a quick update on COVID-19 information with you.
Update on the County COVID-19 Data
According to information from the Toledo Lucas County Health Department website, as of this past July 31st, the county was averaging 12.86 cases per day over the previous 14 days . This average is higher than it was at the beginning of July when it was 5.64 cases per day. There was no update on the website about the percentage of Lucas County residents that were vaccinated, but as you may recall, I shared with you that according to previous Health Department data, approximately 60% of the AW residents eligible were vaccinated.
Update on Masks on Buses/Vans
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has shared with school districts that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Federal order requires that those individuals that ride or drive a school bus/van must wear a mask. Thus, all students and staff on school buses and vans are required to wear a mask until further notice.
CDC Changes Its Initial Mask Recommendation
As you may have heard, the CDC revised its recommendation for masks within school buildings. At this time, the CDC is not requiring, but is recommending, that all individuals regardless of vaccination status wear a mask. The school district is not requiring, but is recommending, all individuals regardless of vaccination status wear a mask.
Update on other Items Related to COVID-19 Safety Procedures
On Tuesday, August 3rd, the District will share additional safety procedures that will be in place as the students’ school year starts on August 18. Many of these safety procedures, such as the use of hand sanitizer, cleaning school facilities, use of social distancing in allowable areas, etc., were in place at the end of last school year and will continue to be per the recommendations of the CDC and ODH.
Start of the School Year
A reporter asked me this morning to share what I’m excited about as we prepare to begin the school year. I replied that I always enjoy the month of August when we start to see students and staff beginning their new school year activities. As a parent and superintendent, I am really looking forward to the start of this school year and everyone beginning a new experience together.
Dr. Jim Fritz
Over the last couple of days, the media has shared information about the COVID-19 virus, increased positive cases in specific areas of the nation, concerns about the Delta variant of the virus, and how all of this may affect the upcoming school year. Health officials at the federal, state, and local levels across the nation have different ideas on what should be done in response to the above concerns. The good news is that the current cases in Lucas County are extremely low as compared to the spring cases.
Over the last couple of days, the Lucas County Health Department has shared data with the area school districts. As of Thursday of last week, we were informed that the county was averaging eight new cases per day. Over the last month, there have been 15 positive cases within the ages of 5-18 in the county. In addition, the Health Department shared the current vaccination percentages per zip code. Based on the Health Department’s zip code data in our school district, approximately 61% of the population has been vaccinated. Information on available vaccination clinics can be found on the Health Department website (https://lucascountyhealth.com/covidvaccine/) or by contacting your healthcare provider or area retail locations (Kroger, RiteAid, Meijer, etc.).
Over the summer, the District has been monitoring the available data, legislative actions of our State Government, and recommendations/orders from the State and Federal Government. While there are many COVID-19 safety precautions that a school district can take, the conversation by the media has been centered around masks. At this time, there are no state or federal orders for masks to be worn in school buildings or on school grounds. Districts were informed last week by the Health Department that the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has a federal order that masks be worn by all individuals riding a school bus unless there is a medical exception. Districts across the state have asked for specific guidance from state officials in reference to this federal order. The Governor shared late last week that he will be sharing K-12 school guidance soon.
What is the mask plan at AWLS? Based on the above information and data, the District plans to have masks optional for students and staff in the school buildings and on school grounds at the start of the upcoming school year. The District is hoping to have masks be optional on school buses as well but will need to wait on the specific legal guidance from State officials about the Federal CDC mask order. Please know that the CDC does recommend that students and staff that are not vaccinated wear a mask while at school and on the bus. If you have specific concerns about masks, I would suggest that you share them with legislators and the Governor’s office. There are proposed legislative bills that have specific language on masks requirements within schools.
In an effort to keep the virus from spreading while at school, the District does plan to utilize some of the safety precautions from this past year. For example, cleaning procedures of facilities and buses will remain, physical distancing of 3 feet or more when allowable, hand sanitizer use as needed, etc. The District will have additional details on these safety precautions after the Governor shares the specific guidance for the upcoming school year that is expected in the next two weeks.
The great news is that we are planning for a school year that will hopefully feel more like it did prior to COVID-19. The District is looking forward to seeing all the students come back to school in person on August 18 and can’t wait for this school year to get started! In the meantime, please take time to relax and enjoy the rest of the summer! Go Generals!!
Dr. Jim Fritz