Walnut Township Local Schools Current Level 

Status updated on 8/3/2020 at 4:22 p.m.

WTLS Reopening Video

Good Afternoon,

I wanted to share updates on the fall reopening of the district with each of you. The district will open on the district designation of yellow which means we will be in a Blended Format. The students will be put into two groups: The Purple group will attend in person Monday and Tuesday and engage in virtual learning Wednesday – Friday. The Gold Group will engage in virtual learning Monday – Wednesday and attend in person Thursday and Friday. The district will stay on the Yellow Designation for Hybrid Learning from our first day on August 25 through at least Friday, September 18. The district will continue to evaluate the conditions and inform parents, students and staff the district color coded designation beyond September 18 by the end of the day on September 15. In making this decision, I have reviewed the county designation (currently level 3: Red), localized infection data and data related to staff and student infections. If orders or guidance from local health officials dictate the district to change from yellow to red prior to September 18, the district will communicate this change as quickly as possible to families., 

Facial Coverings are required for all staff and students both on district transportation and in buildings. The requirements for facial coverings is to protect students and staff to ensure we are able to continue to provide face-to-face instruction as safely possible. I highly suggest working with your student to find a facial covering such as a face mask or shield that they like and are able to wear for extended periods of time. This requirement is for K-12. Staff in grades K-2 will schedule non-mask time with students throughout the day. The district website at www.walnuttsd.org has the most up to date information. Click on the 2020-2021 Reopening Tab. Parents can purchase a Lakers face mask for students through the online order form on this page.

Thank you for your continued support and patience as we work through providing the safest educational environment to your family.

Will Kirby

Regarding Revised Local Health Update

Dear Walnut Township Local Schools Parents, Staff and Students,

The district received a letter from the Commissioner for the Fairfield Department of Health (FDH), Dr. Mark Aebi, on Thursday afternoon. The letter indicates that FDH is not recommending Fairfield County schools return to in-person classes for the fall. Further, the recommendation includes extra-curricular and co-curricular programs such as athletics, clubs and band also be canceled for the fall.

Walnut Township Local Schools is working with our liability insurance carrier, legal counsel and FDH to evaluate the recommendations and will continue to do so in the coming days. The district will continue to provide the community updates as we navigate new guidance from health officials and get further details. 

Thank you for your continued patience as we work through new guidance from our local health officials.

Will Kirby
Superintendent Designee  

A Message From The Superintendent

Dear Students, Staff and Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing my final superintendent message to you.  I came to the Walnut Township Local School District nine years ago as your athletic director/dean of students/math teacher.  Over those nine years I have developed a special place in my heart for your schools and community.

With my office being located directly beside the kindergarten rooms, I am able to meet our students right at the beginning of their school career.  That is a special benefit that very few superintendents experience.  The smallness of our district is another benefit that allows me to get to know ALL of our students and staff.

My career in education began in August 1982, and now 38 years later in the summer of 2020 it is time to bring that career to a close.  I have witnessed numerous changes in education, some good, some not so good.

What I will miss the most is the interaction with students.  The very first students I taught (1st period 9th grade Algebra I, in August 1982) are now 53 years old.  The amazing thing is I still stay in touch with many of those students!!

You have a wonderful small district, small only in numbers.  I consider it a hidden gem.  The quality of students being produced by our wonderful staff is second to none.  The future for the Walnut Twp. Local School District is bright.  

I will always hold a special place in my heart for the students, staff and community of the Walnut Twp. Local School District.


Randall J. Cotner, Superintendent

COVID-19 Update

May 27, 2020

Walnut Township Local Schools Community:

The leadership team at WTLSD is working to compile guidelines for reopening schools from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Ohio Department of Education to finalize the district plan for the education of children in the district for the 2020-2021 school year. The district will be working diligently to ensure that the health, safety and welfare of students, staff and our community are the driving force in the decision making process. The district will continue to engage with families, students, staff, board of education and community members as we continue to develop and adjust the reopening plan according to requirements. The district will be releasing its plan in the months to come. 

At this time, the district athletic facilities are closed until June 30, 2020. The district leadership is evaluating the guidelines to reopen some athletic facilities for students and coaches, but they remain closed until the district submits a plan to the Fairfield County Department of Health and it is approved. The district will announce any changes to this guidance through coaches, Laker Pride Page and the district website. 

In Service to Children,
Will Kirby

DISTRICT Sees improvement in 6 of 7 graded report card areas


Walnut Township Local Schools improved on six of the seven graded components on the local report card. The overall grade improved from a D to a C, Achievement improved from a D to a C, Academic Progress (value-added) improved from a D to a C, Gap Closing improved from an F to a B and the K-3 literacy component improved from a C to a B. The final area of the report card, Prepared for Success, stayed the same at a grade of an F.

WTLSD achievement was in the top three districts in Fairfield County in grades 3, 4, 5 and 10th ELA, grades 5, 6 and 8 mathematics, and grades 5, 8 and high school biology. The district improved in the number of academic indicators met from 3/24 in 2017-2018 to 8/24 in 2018-2019.

While the overall report card grade and five of the component grades improved, we are still focusing on improving in each component to improve outcomes for our students. Since 2014, despite increased standards and increases in cut-score thresholds, the district has improved its performance year over year and will continue to strive to ensure the local report card reflects the quality educational opportunities that the district is providing. 

The District’s Gap Closing grade which measures how well the district is closing the achievement gap between students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students with other students improved from an F to an A. Unfortunately, we missed a short term goal set by the State of Ohio and therefore were lowered to a B. The improvement from an F in 2017-2018 to a B in 2018-2019 demonstrates the commitment of the staff and quality of academics taking place daily in the district.

The Prepared for Success component of the local report card has been a D or F for the past five years. The district is targeting this component to ensure we are making gains in working with students in grades 9-12 to improve post-high school outcomes for students. The State of Ohio defines a student as prepared for success if they meet one or more of the following conditions: Remediation Free Score on the ACT or SAT; earn an Honors Diploma or earn an Industry Recognized Credential. The district is targeting ACT test prep, expansion of courses offered in Advanced Placement and College Credit Plus and working with students earlier to earn an honors diploma to enhance this component of the report card. 

The district is focusing improvement efforts during the 2019-2020 school year in serving all gifted students in the secondary building which has not occurred in the past, training secondary teachers to serve gifted students, increasing Advanced Placement and CCP courses, ACT test preparation, supporting more students to earn honors diplomas and continuing the focus on the district instructional model in the areas of rigorous learning experiences, fostering a positive school climate, engaging learners, and modernizing instructional programs and practices to meet the needs of today’s youth.

The district will continue to make changes to improve the outcomes for students and with the support of the administration, teachers, board of education and community, we can achieve making Walnut Township Local Schools the place to be in Fairfield County. You can check out the local report card presentation given to the board at the October 14, 2019 board of education meeting on the district website or Laker Pride Page.

To watch the slide show that was presented at the October 14, 2019 school board meeting please click on the image in this article.

Recent Announcements

  • July 27, 2020 Special Board Meeting The Walnut Township Local School Board will convene for a SPECIAL BOARD meeting on Monday, July 27, 2020. The meeting agenda will contain items regarding the reopening of schools ...
    Posted Jul 24, 2020, 7:10 AM by Joe Brownfield
  • Special Board Meeting Information To Participate If you would like to participate in the Special Board Meeting on Monday, July 20, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. via the Zoom Conference, please email Will ...
    Posted Jul 17, 2020, 9:17 AM by Joe Brownfield
  • July 13, 2020 Walnut Township Local Schools Board of Education Meeting Join the Zoom Meeting to Participate:  Time: Jul 13, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/97050640378?pwd=c3l6L3RYQTkvcEdJcnRjYUJRdkV1UT09 Meeting ID ...
    Posted Jul 13, 2020, 7:46 AM by Joe Brownfield
  • Upcoming Meetings Health & Safety Committee Meeting - 6/15/2020 @ 5:00 p.m. Join the Zoom Meeting to Participate: Topic: Health & Safety Committee Meeting Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/92196476397 ...
    Posted Jun 15, 2020, 7:20 AM by Joe Brownfield
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