GCS talks ongoing COVID-19 plans


By Dean Wright - deanwright@aimmediamidwest.com



GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis City Schools Superintendent Craig Wright addressed student family concerns in a digital video on social media Thursday surrounding food and end-of-school-year issues.

“There are so many different aspects to education today and with the changes and the crisis we’re in, it’s very hard to keep up with,” said Wright. “Like you, we get our information from the governor when he speaks at two o’clock. We don’t get anything in advance. It’s hard to prepare for. We listen like you do and make the appropriate changes that we feel are needed. The safety and the health and welfare of our students is our first priority. Also, meeting that educational need has been stressful for all of us.”

Wright said that school administrators were working around the clock and often on the weekends to tackle the challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak speaking with attorneys, other school districts and support teams.

General education teachers are putting out assignments and making phone calls. Wright said he understood that internet connections and the overall circumstance surrounding the outbreak were difficult for everyone but that “we (school faculty and administrators) are here to help.”

Intervention specialists and teachers are in the midst of reaching out to families, said Wright.

“We serve 2,200 kids in our district and so those contacts and efforts are being made,” said Wright. “We just ask that you’re patient through the process. The most important thing is being able to access that education so that we can provide that for families at home. I realize there’s a lot going on and families are going through a lot right now. We understand that and we want to work with you.”

The schools are reaching out to students to make up some assignments for third, nine weeks assignments as those grades will count.

“Moving forward, we are a resource to families and parents,” Wright said. “We’re here to help you provide that extension of education. We realize that other families have too much going on right now and it’s a difficult time. What we would like to do is provide direct instruction for all our students. Essentially, we’d love to have our students back in our buildings… So, when we talk about grade accountability for the fourth, nine weeks, we’re not going to hold students accountable that way. Our role now is a facilitator providing those resources that are necessary for those families who are interested in continuing that education.”

Wright said that teachers had created videos and there were links and websites for families to access.

Wright lauded the efforts of teachers, staff and volunteers. He thanked parents for their work.

The superintendent said that school administrators would do “everything on our part” to ensure that graduation and prom do happen and are exploring options and will hold such activities in the summer, if need be. He said the schools were open to suggestions.

Caps and gowns have not been delivered yet but the school would be in contact with families regarding them.

School buildings are still being maintained by employees. Meals will still be available for pickup at Gallia Academy Middle School on Friday and delivery. Pickup and deliveries will be held on Fridays at 11 a.m through 12:30 p.m.

Since the meal deliveries and pickup started, Gallipolis City Schools have provided around 4,870 with assistance from bus drivers and volunteers.

Wright said further updates would be provided next week. Those with questions are encouraged to contact the school. The school’s video can be viewed on the Gallipolis City Schools District Facebook page.

Dean Wright is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing and can be reached at 740-446-2342.

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By Dean Wright

deanwright@aimmediamidwest.com