7571 North Elyria Road, West Salem, OH 44287
Phone: (419) 846-3151
Fax: (419) 846-3361
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*UPDATED* Coronavirus Information


2020-03-12 Letter to Northwestern Community on Closures 


Northwestern Community:

There are ALWAYS new “firsts” when working in the education field!  

Our governor is very concerned with the spread of Coronavirus and risk to people.  With lives at risk – especially our elderly and ill – he wants to inhibit the spread of the virus and save lives.

I have been in meetings the past two days almost continuously regarding the topics of Coronavirus and PreK-12 school closures.  I was on a conference call with the governor, his staff, ODE, our state school superintendent, and other superintendents most of the day today.  I have pages of information we discussed and have recommended to the governor for consideration from various aspects of this situation.

Our administrators and staff have been meeting this afternoon on this topic and will continue meeting in the coming days.

I applaud Governor DeWine’s focus on people and lives, in spite of the challenges this presents and difficulties for student learning and educational institutions.  Beyond previous proactive steps and planning we had begun weeks ago Northwestern has also taken the following steps as part of our response in our efforts to protect the health, safety, and learning needs of our students and community.

Here is a brief run-down of the immediate actions:

  • PreK-12 is shut down state-wide March 16th - April 3rd 
  • It is recommended that schools provide on-line education (or hard copies in the event of lack of internet or adequate device)
  • Teachers plan for online lessons and materials for students from March 16th - April 3rd.  This will likely be developed by teachers and “chunked” into weekly assignments
  • As of this time all staff will report Monday and Tuesday.  A lot of logistics will be determined Monday & Tuesday.  Beyond this schedules will be determined
  • April 6th – 10th will remain previously scheduled Easter Vacation
  • The Governor is expected to make a decision after the three weeks whether to continue the school closure or have students return after what is our Easter Vacation
  • As things stand HS BB, SB, and Track are tentatively continuing – practices and competitions.  However, I expect OHSAA to make a decision within the next couple of days to delay spring sports until after this 3-weeks and perhaps even to the summer.  This will be communicated to athletes and parents when/if this occurs
  • As of March 16th (through April 3rd) no trips at all or school student related activities during or after school and no trips with students will occur (I expect FFA to announce this as well soon, but have not heard this from the state office yet)
  • The late April - May events such as Choir, Band Concerts, Washington, D.C. Trip, Reading Under the Lights, etc. remain tentatively scheduled.  Any change will be communicated at an appropriate time
  • The Saturday Ruritan Sausage-Pancake Day, Washington, D.C. Auction, and HS Gym Craft Fair remain on for Saturday. This will be the last event until after April 3rd.
  • The governor’s office and ODE have stated they would be working to cancel spring testing.  They are soliciting federal approval to do this 
  • ODE is working on decisions relative to some graduation requirements such as end of course exams, etc. so this school closure will not impact student graduation
  • There have been discussions about providing bagged lunches to free & reduced lunch students – by request.  There is little clarity on this thus far, but we have discussed possibly delivering via van
  • We have discussed possible child care in our elementary, but no direction from the state.  It might be more feasible or permitted by the state to do in smaller groups in area churches or other smaller group settings and not allowed at the schools.  This is an unknown at this time
  • We can be flexible, so ask if you need any flexibility or have any questions so we can work to resolve problems and handle this difficult situation as best we can while supporting our kids and protecting and serving our parents and community
  • We need clarity regarding special education meetings, education requirements, etc. our governor has been meeting with the federal government in an effort to get some clarity to handling these requirements
  • We are working on hourly schedules, structures, communications channels, and coordination and will move forward with these and communicate as the situation evolves 

Moving forward we will communicate details as we learn of them or determine them from the governor’s office and the Dept. of Education, as well as those we are able to determine locally.  I am open to suggestions and questions.  Please ask and share your perspectives as we move forward.

I am glad I am in this with our extraordinary Northwestern staff, administrators, board members, and central office people – as a team – along with our community - we will get through this for our kids and help protect our community from the spread of this virus.  I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we move forward through this rapidly evolving situation.  God bless.

Jeffrey N. Layton, Ed.D.
Northwestern Local Schools
Office: 419-846-3151
Mobile: 330-317-5175

2020-03 Letter to Parents about Coronavirus


Attached above is a letter regarding the Coronavirus. 

As a school district we are working together to prepare for this new illness and protect our students, staff, and community as best we can.

Last week Nurse Bowers, our administrators, and I as superintendent met with one of our parents and friend who is Director of Safety and Compliance at OSU College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.  He shared information and we discussed protocols and will continue monitoring the spread of Coronavirus closely. 

He also shared with us insight from a world-renown communicable disease expert, also employed at the OSU College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

There is a meeting this Friday being held by the Wayne County Health Dept. that should include all area school districts, which we will also have a representative participate. 

The district continues following protocol (similar as in regard to influenza).  Cleaning and disinfecting, as well as practicing good habits ourselves and reminding our children  regarding good coughing & sneezing practices, washing hands, not touching your face, eyes, and mouth are the best prevention with this as with most illnesses.  Indications are that alcohol-based disinfectants and Lysol have been effective thus far. 

We will continue our best efforts at prevention, control, and communication with this situation as we continue to monitor the progression of this disease in the United States.

Update:  The CDC and WHO is saying the virus is thought to "spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs."

Jeffrey N. Layton, Ed.D.


Northwestern Local Schools

Office: 419-846-3151

Mobile: 330-317-5175

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7571 North Elyria Road, West Salem, OH 44287 | Phone: (419) 846-3151 | Fax: (419) 846-3361
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