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March 20 update: OUSD provides meals, computers, counseling to students

3 20 OUSDOjai Unified School District Superintendent Tiffany Morse and Nordhoff High School Principal David Monson emailed and texted messages to OUSD families on Friday, March 20, as the community adjusts to the schools’ shutdown and state and local stay-at-home orders as a result of COVID-19.

 

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OUSD provided provide bagged lunches and breakfasts, books, computers and mental health counseling March 17 to 20.

The to-go meals will be available at all the school sites on Monday, March 23, Wednesday, March 25, and Friday, March 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Staff at each site will be preparing two meal packets for students distributed on Monday and Wednesday, and one meal packet for Friday, so five meals will be provided during the week.
All meals are free for all children, even if they do not attend OUSD schools. Children need not be present to receive a meal. 
“Meal services will be closely monitored to ensure compliance with sanitation and social-distancing protocols, just like in the restaurants that are continuing to serve our community,” Morse stated in her message.
The district is also providing online mental health counseling for students. The OUSD website — https://www.ojaiusd.org/o/Ojai%20Unified%20School%20District/page/mental-health-and-wellness — has a link to a page on “mental health and wellness,” providing a way for students to schedule online mental health counseling. 
“Monson explained in his note to families: “These are stressful, uncertain times, and we want to make sure our students have support beyond the academic needs. We have set up a site where students can schedule a time to talk to a counselor in a friendly video chat. All meetings are confidential and provided by our school psychologists, our district mental health clinician, and our high school counselors.”
The OUSD website reads: “If you or your student are experiencing anxiety during this time, we want our OUSD families to know you are not alone in this. To ensure you have the mental health resources you need, we’ve developed a tool for online mental health services, allowing students to schedule a time to connect with one of our counselors vis Zoom (an online interactive program). We are providing this tool free for families.”
Families are asked to schedule a time by visiting: https://www.picktime.com/ojaiusd.
Also on the OUSD website: “We understand these are challenging times for our families. We know that some of our students and their family members may need resources for mental health, emergency information, homeless/financial hardship, food banks and tutoring services.
"These documents can help our families connect to the resources they need:"
— COVID-19 Parent Handout — English: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uNdMWEI6ZEydhXK9y1K0rfRAJTkq2Xkn/view
— Hable con sus hijos sobre el COVID-19:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1guzrXFm1oP3b7tGlkQ2EVtvCTSaGMN3_/view
— Mental Health Resources/recursos de salad mental (links in English/enlaces en Español:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z9SDs_7sLCtkkptjg_HZEL59R29pRLGF/view
Morse’s note Friday concluded: “OUSD will continue to do our best to serve our students and families and while protecting health and safety. We are in this together and will make it through together.”
— District help form: 
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ABq1NOkS_C_lXB9MbNUqxSIwlarZabJGFEwwa94wHgk/viewform?edit_requested=true

Distance learning plans

On March 19, the OUSD superintendent explained that while school is out — through at least May 1, due to COVID-19 — the district is developing a phased plan for distance learning:

— Phase 1 Enrichment Activities will allow for educational opportunities for students without assignments while OUSD helps families get electronic devices and Internet access and while staff are trained on distance-learning platforms for online work.
Enrichment activities by grade level are available on the OUSD website or by visiting 
https://www.ojaiusd.org/o/ojai-unified-school-district/page/distance-learning--19
— Phase 2 Extension Learning will connect students with their current curriculum, learning platforms and assignments. This is an optional, but highly recommended resource.
— Phase 3 Distance Learning is online teaching and learning with modifications for grades K-3. This is a required activity.

The Ojai Valley News is providing all its reporting online about COVID-19 at no cost. If this information is valuable to you, please support local journalism and subscribe to your local news source. To subscribe, please call 805-646-1476 or visit https://www.ojaivalleynews.com/contact-us/subscriptions. Thank you for your support!