Walnut Township Local Schools Current Level 

Green Status

Status updated on 2/25/2021 at 6:40 p.m.

Subject: Vaccine Update & Status Update

Monday, February 1, 2021

Walnut Township Local Schools Community,

Vaccine Update

On Friday, January 29, 2021, Governor DeWine’s office released the weeks that each county in Ohio would vaccinate school personnel. Fairfield County is in week four (February 22). The vaccines will be delivered directly to Fairfield Medical Center on February 22-24. Districts will be informed of their date for vaccination which will occur February 22 or after. It will take approximately one week to vaccinate school personnel in Fairfield County.  Once FMC has outlined the process and determined the date and times our district will be vaccinated, I will share this information with our community.

Status Update

Early in January, I made a determination to maintain the hybrid schedule through February 26, 2021 with the concern of post-holiday impacts on COVID-19 infection rate in the county, locally and in the district. Over the past three weeks, the district has observed a significant decline in infection rate in the county as well as locally in the zip codes our district primarily serves (2.1 cases per day). Additionally, the number of students and staff impacted by COVID-19 since returning from the holiday break has had a steep decline. The change in county and local data has informed a change in my decision. I have determined it is in the best interest of our students to adjust to being fully open beginning Monday, February 8, 2021.

Additionally, I will be submitting revised quarantine guidelines to the Board of Education at the next regular meeting. The revised guidelines take into account that as long as schools are maintaining full compliance with masks, three to six feet of social distancing and extensive cleaning procedures, students and staff quarantines will be adjusted to account for new guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health and the Fairfield Department of Health. The revised quarantine guidelines only apply to classrooms and district transportation and does not apply to the lunchroom or extra-curricular activities.

I want to thank our community for your continued support.


Kirby Signature

Food Service Update: Free Meal Extension

October 20, 2020

Laker Families,

The US Department of Agriculture has announced that ALL students enrolled at Walnut Township Local Schools will receive FREE Breakfast and FREE Lunch regardless of income status through the entire 2020-2021 school year.

On October 9, 2020, the USDA extended no cost meals to all children through the entire 2020-2021 school year. This benefit has been made possible through the US Department of Agriculture Waiver. As a result, ALL students enrolled at Walnut Township Local Schools, regardless of income status, will receive one FREE breakfast and one FREE lunch daily.

Laker Virtual Academy students can sign up to pick up their breakfast and lunches on the district website at www.walnuttsd.org.

Students will still need to purchase ala carte items. Families will still need to complete free and reduced meal application paperwork to be eligible for 2021-2022 carryover benefits after waiver ends and for instruction fee waiver. Please contact Karen Reedy at kreedy@walnuttsd.org or by calling 740-467-1144 with any questions. 

Laker Virtual Academy Students - Meal Sign up

WTLS Update

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Good Afternoon Walnut Township Local School’s Community,

I know the hybrid instructional model that the district has been engaged in since our first student day on August 25 has not been easy for many families we serve. I am very aware of many of your concerns related to hybrid learning and the desire to return to a fully reopened educational experience for students as quickly as possible. The staff of the district, including myself, are laser focused on how to ensure we are able to safely reopen school fully while ensuring we are maintaining the health, safety and welfare of students and staff.

I would like to thank all of you for your continued support as we continue to be as flexible as we can be to serve our students. The way our community members have come together to support each other and our young people makes be even more proud to be leading the district.

The district has been fortunate enough that we have ZERO students testing positive for COVID19, ZERO staff members testing positive for COVID-19 as of today, September 15. I have been reviewing county level data, data by zip code of our local zip code and those around Millersport, trend data for our area as well as observing mask compliance among students and staff, and reviewing enrollment for each instructional period in grades K-12 and simulating what a full reopening would look like in each classroom and each instructional period.

I have determined that our district is able to reopen fully for those students attending face-to-face school five days per week beginning Tuesday, September 29. Purple Gold day students will all report to school beginning on Tuesday, September 29. Laker Virtual Academy students will continue to engage in school remotely.

In my observations over the past week, I have found that most of our classrooms are able to withstand a full reopening with all students while maintaining some social distancing based on class enrollment. We have a handful of classrooms that raise concerns among myself and the building leadership. In order to address the concerns, we have observed in spacing, the building principal’s will be working with our custodial and maintenance staff to address those specific issues and ensure that we have desks and tables moved to locations where they are needed. In some situations, the district will need to relocate an entire classroom for the safety of students and staff to larger areas to maximize social distancing.

As many around me know, I do not take this decision lightly and have spent a great deal of time speaking with many of my staff members, health professionals internally and externally and reviewed a significant amount of data to make the most informed decision for our students, staff and community. I must reiterate that things change very quickly with this virus and between today and Tuesday, September 29, the data that I have used to make my decision may change which would force me to decide to stay hybrid longer. I want to make sure each and every one of you are aware that as the circumstances change daily, the district may need to adjust as well. I am committed to giving our staff, students and families we serve as much notice of changes to our schedule as possible to assist in making arrangements for childcare. During a full reopening, we may have to switch back to hybrid or fully remote learning if the data indicates it is what is in the best interest of our students and staff with little to no notice. I cannot emphasize enough to be sure you have your plans in place for hybrid learning and full remote learning if the situation merits moving back to one of these two models.

In making this transition, the district is asking the community we serve to support us in keeping our schools fully reopened by doing the following: Tuesday, September 15, 2020

1. Check your students at home for the following symptoms:

a. Fever of 100 degrees or higher

b. Chills

c. Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

d. Fatigue

e. Muscle or body aches

f. Headaches

g. New loss of taste or smell

h. Sore throat

i. Congestion or runny nose

j. Nausea or vomiting

k. Diarrhea

l. Cough

2. DO NOT SEND your student to school with the above symptoms as we will need to send them back home.

3. Wearing masks

4. Washing hands or using hand sanitizer when you are not able to wash your hands

5. Avoid others that are sick

6. Limit gatherings

If we all continue to take the steps I mentioned, the district will be able to keep serving students face-to-face in a full reopen or in a hybrid format.

I want to reiterate that local data over the coming 13 days will impact whether or not the district will be able to fully reopen on September 29.

Thank you for your continued support,

Will Kirby


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