District sets a final push next week to collect completed assignments

Sherman Elementary School Principal Amy Bradley, left, and paraprofessional Karen Mabee look over records Monday at the school’s registration table where completed at-home school work can be returned. Mabee also was taking the temperature of mask wearers authorized to enter the building.

      Mansfield City Schools will make a final push next week to collect school work that has been sent home in three separate lesson packets since March 17.

      School personnel will be at all buildings from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, May 20 and 21, to accept completed assignments. At that same time students may pick up a final packet that will include resources for summer learning activities.

      “We have said many times – but it bears repeating – it is very important that assigned work be completed and returned,” said Stephen Rizzo, the district’s chief academic officer. “We have been shut out of our buildings since March 17, by the governor’s order, but school work done at home counts as classroom instruction.”

      Rizzo noted that assignments from any of the three packets also may be returned any time before the end of the school year by depositing them in outdoor collection boxes at each school.

      All assignments for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade have been in paper lesson packets. This month Senior High students switched to online instruction, using Chromebooks provided by the district.

      Sherman Elementary Principal Amy Bradley said Monday teachers are preparing the final packet, which will emphasize summer math and reading activities, as well as social and emotional learning. Similar packet preparations are underway at each school.

      “Anyone who thinks these last two months have been a vacation for teachers is absolutely wrong,” Bradley said. “Teachers miss their kids and are concerned about them. They have kept in touch with students through district email, Class Dojo, Google Meet and Google Voice. We also recorded a video for the kids to show how much we miss them.”

      Like teachers and administrators throughout Mansfield City Schools, Bradley said the Sherman staff is hopeful that classroom activity can resume for the start of the 2020-2021 year.

      “We’re all hopeful,” Bradley said, “but like everyone else we will just have to wait and see. Whatever happens, we will do our very best for all students.”

      Rizzo emphasized that the final packets which can be picked up on May 20 and 21 are designed to help students build and maintain academic skills during the summer. Activities and resources in the packets will emphasize reading, math and social and emotional skills.

      According to the Ohio Department of Education, “Social-emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.

      “Research demonstrates that students who receive support for social and emotional learning in schools do better academically, socially and behaviorally. Social-emotional learning has also been shown to positively impact economic mobility and mental health outcomes. Developing these skills in our students is an important part of meeting the needs of the whole child.”

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