• UPDATED AS OF 8/5/2020

    OTHS Students and Families:

    Please read this email thoroughly to the end, as there it contains very important information regarding the start of school.

    In light of the current spike in COVID-19 trend data in St. Clair County, the Board of Education and its teachers and other employees have agreed upon a school reopening plan that will promote student learning in the safest environment possible. Beginning with the third week of school students will be taught remotely.  For the first two weeks, students will attend school one day per week spread over 4 days. These attendance days will be used to provide students their books and other learning materials, meet their teachers and become oriented to the remote learning process. With only 25% of the students in attendance in school per day during the first two weeks, we feel confident that our students and staff will be safe.

    We understand that many parents and students will be disappointed that they will not be returning to school in a traditional manner. We feel the same.  However, we believe is the best plan, and one that protects the health and safety of our students, employees, and, ultimately, the community. We will all strive to make the remote learning process a rigorous one where students will flourish.  The District will continue to evaluate COVID-19 trend data to determine an appropriate time to shift to blended learning.  We are all excited to get back to instruction and learning with our students.

    A summary of the modified remote learning model to start the school year will be as follows:

    • Student Groups
      • Group A:  Last Names Beginning with A through D
      • Group B:  Last Names Beginning with E through K
      • Group C:  Last Names Beginning with L through R
      • Group D:  Last Names Beginning with S through Z
    • Return-to-Learn Bell Schedule:​​​​​​​
      •   SMILEY MILBURN
        EB   7:20 - 7:55  
        1st Hour   8:00 - 8:35   7:30 - 8:05
        2nd Hour   8:40 - 9:15   8:10 - 8:45
        3rd Hour   9:20 - 9:55   8:50 - 9:25
        4th Hour  10:00 - 10:35   9:30 - 10:05
        5th Hour  10:40 - 11:15  10:10 - 10:45
        6th Hour   11:20 - 11:55  10:50 - 11:25
        7th Hour  12:00 - 12:35  11:30 - 12:05

     

    • 25% blended learning schedule for the first two weeks of school
      • Student groups A, B, C, and D will alternate days of in-person instruction and remote instruction. This would allow for at least 1 days of in-person instruction for each student per week.  Group A would attend on Tuesday.  Group B would attend on Wednesdays.  Group C would attend on Thursdays.  Group D would attend on Fridays. Monday, August 17th will be a remote learning day for all groups.
      • Transportation will be provided during the first two weeks for students attending the in-person instruction.
      • Students who are remote learning on the blended learning days will be required to login to each class according to the Return-to-Learn bell schedule.
      • Please check the FAQ document for details regarding expectations for the first two weeks.
    • Remote Learning will begin on the third week of school for all groups.
      • Students will be required to login to each class according to the Return-to-Learn bell schedule.
    • Special education students in self-contained classrooms will attend in-person instruction five (5) days per week on the Return-to-Learn bell schedule.  Transportation will be provided.  Special education students in supported classrooms or in regular education classrooms will follow the blended/remote learning schedule per their assigned groups.
    • Sports will continue per the IHSA guidelines.
    • Clubs and Activities will continue remotely.

    Detailed information can be found within the attached FAQ document. ( FAQ 08-05-2020  )

    All students should bring their backpacks to school during the first two weeks as textbooks and other materials will be provided for students to take home in preparation of Remote Learning.

    Parents will be required to certify their students health using the certification form attached.  ( Student Health Screening Form  )

    Students needing to check out technology may do so upon their arrival to school using the technology form attached ( Tech Authorization Form  )

    Please direct additional questions to me at BenwayD@oths.us.

    Yours for Excellence in Education,

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

  • UPDATED AS OF 7/10/2020

    OTHS Students, Families, and Employees:

     

    I hope you all are staying safe and healthy, and can enjoy the beautiful weather predicted for the weekend. 

     

    I wanted to keep you informed on our progress on a plan for the fall semester of 2020.  The Education Committee of the Board of Education met this evening to review a tentative conceptual framework for learning in the fall.  Again, this is a tentative plan in draft form, and is likely to change as we gather more information and guidance.  Many of the details and logistics of the plan are still being developed.   We are releasing this document to keep our families informed as we continue to work through the process.  We know circumstances related to COVID-19 continues to evolve, and that guidance being provided to schools is changing daily.

     

    We also understand that the attached document may result in the desire for additional details.  Please bear with us.  We just don’t have all the details yet.  We are still working through many of the issues we face and the guidance provided for schools will likely change numerous times before August 10th.  OTHS has a high enrollment in our buildings (Smiley approaching 2,000 students) which makes implementing some of the safety protocols quite challenging. 

     

    Again, I ask for your patience and support as the district continues to develop its plans for the fall.

     

    We also welcome your input.  Please don’t hesitate to email me at benwayd@oths.us with any thoughts you may have. 

    I must mention again that the goal of our efforts is to provide the highest quality of academic instruction and extracurricular opportunities to our students during the COVID-19 pandemic, while prioritizing the safety, physical health, and mental health of our students and employees.  

    Finally, I wish to thank the teachers, social workers, counselors, administrators, and student support staff on the Committee that worked over the summer to develop this tentative framework for learning.  I also thank the many parents and students who provided input on remote learning and shared their experiences to help us improve.

     

    There will be additional information coming.  The Board of Education will be reviewing the framework during the July 23rd Board meeting.

     

    Yours for Excellence in Education.

     

    Dr. Benway

     

    ATTACHMENT: REMOTE BLENDED LEARNING SUMMARY FALL 2020 PLAN

  • UPDATE AS OF 7/7/2020

    OTHS Students, Families, & Employees,

    I hope your summer has been both enjoyable and safe. 

    I just wanted to drop you a brief note to let you know that OTHS educators have been collaborating with each other, and with other educators across the state, in an effort to plan for the upcoming school year.  Information and circumstances related to COVID-19 are changing daily.  OTHS is addressing each change as it comes our way, and OTHS educators continue to work diligently on behalf of our students. 

    The goal of our efforts is to provide the highest quality of academic instruction and extracurricular opportunities to our students during the COVID-19 pandemic, while prioritizing the safety, physical health, and mental health of our students and employees. 

    In consideration of those priorities, OTHS has developed plans that will allow for remote learning, in-person learning, and blended learning (a combination of remote and in-person learning).  We will be ready to provide high quality education and supports to our students under any circumstance or mandate.  It is intended that OTHS will release the specific plan for the start of the fall semester in mid to late July.   We are delaying the release of any specifics for starting the year until more information is known regarding any potential increase in the spread of the virus as a result of the movement to Phase 4 of Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan.  I can certainly understand the desire for families to begin preparing for fall.  We will get information out to you as soon as it is appropriate to do so given the rapidly changing information and requirements related to COVID-19.

    I wanted to also share that OTHS has been diligent in our efforts to sanitize and clean our buildings, and in the development of a systematic plan for sanitization as students have been allowed to return to our buildings for driver education and limited extracurricular activities.  We are strictly adhering to guidelines from the ISBE, IHSA, CDC and IDPH.

    Thank you for your continued support and patience. 

    We will continue to be PANTHER SAFE and PANTHER STRONG!

     

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

  • UPDATED AS OF 5/22/2020

    OTHS Students and Families:

    It is hard to believe the FY2020 school year is coming to a close.  This has been a challenging semester. 

    I want to thank all of the students who did their very best to engage in learning during the past nine weeks. I know that it was not easy.  Though difficult, your engagement efforts will be reflected in your future successes. 

    I also want to thank all parents and guardians who supported remote learning efforts.  It has been said, “It takes a village to raise a child.”   During these times of remote learning, that statement could not be more true.  Our teachers can only be effective in your homes with your support.  Thank you for your partnership in the education of your students.

    With that said, I just wanted to share with you some end-of-year information before summer is officially upon us.  Please make sure you read through the informational items at the end of this email.

    I wish you all a safe, healthy and happy summer.

    Dr. Benway

     

    INFORMATION

    1. SKYWARD GRADEBOOK NOTE - As grades are in the process of properly being reconciled to account for Remote Learning, the Skyward gradebook function will not be accessible in Family Access from May 22-27.  It is anticipated that grades will be reconciled and visible for families on May 28th.  
    1. GPA/CLASS RANK – GPA and Class Rank will be calculated and available on June 19, 2020.
    1. END-OF-YEAR PICK UP AND DROP OFF OF ITEMS – Please see the dates, times, and procedures for personal item pick-up and OTHS item return (5-22 Pick-Up & Return.docx )
    1. SUMMER FOOD DISTRIBUTION – Please see the attached flyer from Feed the Lambs regarding summer meal distribution (5-22 meals and food pantry.docx ).  I have also attached information regarding Pandemic EBT (PEBT) SNAP Benefits (5-22 SNAP Benefits.pdf )
    1. MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES – If you, or someone you know is in crisis, or in need of mental health supports, please click on the following link for resources: https://www.oths.us/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=10163&ModuleInstanceID=6910&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=13318&PageID=758
    1. JUNIOR STUDENTS / SAT –  SAT Prep Books will be available outside your Advisory Classroom during the end-of-year pick up and drop off dates.  Books will be in a box or on a desk outside the classroom door for you to take.  Books will be recycled if not claimed.  We know that the free SAT exam provided by the state is a great benefit to you.  College Board is working with the Illinois State Board of Education on developing options to allow current 11th grade students to take the SAT in the fall.  Once details are known, we will be sure to share the information with you.
  • UPDATED AS OF 4/22/2020

    OTHS Students and Families:

    I hope you are all well and are finding new ways to connect with each other during this time of social distancing.  I continue to believe that we are better together, even though we must be apart.

    I wanted to provide some information regarding the remainder of the semester.  I realize there will be additional questions as we work to finalize details, but we are trying to provide as much information as we have for you at this time.  Again, your patience is appreciated.  We will continue to provide additional information as it becomes known.

    REMOTE LEARNING

    Remote Learning will continue through May 22nd, the last instructional day of the semester.  Traditional final exams will not be administered; however, each teacher will have the autonomy to assess student academic understanding and performance as determined appropriate for the class. 

    DRIVER EDUCATION – BEHIND-THE-WHEEL

    The state has prohibited behind-the-wheel instruction during school closures.  OTHS recognizes this will cause delay in some students being able to receive their driver’s license.  Once behind-the-wheel instruction can resume, OTHS will work to provide students their behind-the-wheel instruction as expeditiously as it can be scheduled.  Parents wishing to pursue behind-the-wheel instruction from a private sources may do so and will receive a $200 refund of the driver education fee assessed (see refunds below). Parents taking this option must contact the driver education coordinator (muellerk@oths.us) to confirm behind the wheel has not started and to inform her to remove the student from the list.  Students should also contact their Guidance Counselor of their intended plans to withdraw from behind-the-wheel.  Should the student re-enroll in behind-the-wheel at a later date, he/she will be placed at the end of the driving list. 

    PROM

    Students will be receiving communications directly regarding prom activities. Due to COVID-19 and restrictions on gatherings, prom is unable to be held at the Gateway Center on May 2nd.  OTHS intends to uphold many traditions of an OTHS prom.  COVID-19 is a serious virus and school leaders feel strongly that it would be irresponsible to put our students and families at risk by attempting to postpone and by holding a large gathering during the summer.  OTHS has always maintained that safety is our top priority.

    • Voting- Seniors can vote for Senor Personalities and King and Queen via Blackboard now through April 27th.  To vote, log into Blackboard, go to ORGANIZATION, then SENIOR, then CONTENT. 
    • Photo Collage- Seniors can submit photos of themselves in their formal attire now through April 24th. Email photos to seippj@oths.us. Photos can be from last year's prom, homecoming, or even what you planned to wear to this year's prom! Don't have any photos? No problem! Get dressed up in something you already own and send us the photos. The photos will be compiled into a slideshow and shared online on prom night.
    • Look to the Sky- An airplane pulling a banner will fly around O'Fallon on May 2nd to honor our seniors between 5:30 and 6:00 pm (weather permitting).
    • Light up the Night - The building along Smiley Street will be lit up on prom night to show our seniors how much they mean to us. We ask that students remain in their cars as they safely drive by campus.
    • Awards Ceremony- Winners of Senior Personality Awards and Prom King and Queen will be announced online at 8:20 pm on prom night. Winners will be mailed certificates after prom.
    • Light a candle, string some twinkle lights, create a playlist, select your menu, get dressed up, take some photos, connect virtually with friends, and make this evening a night to remember.

    SENIOR HONORS RECOGNITION

    OTHS will have a virtual senior honors recognition.  In a note to senior families on April 17th seniors have been asked to submit scholarship information to Guidance for Senior Honors Recognitions.  At this time, all senior students are invited to self-report their post-secondary institutional scholarship awards, private scholarship awards, National Merit Scholarship commendations, ROTC scholarship awards and Military Academy Appointments. A link to the reporting survey is as follows: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HPJ2LQV.   This link is also available on the OTHS Guidance Department website under Senior Scholarship link.  Senior scholarship reporting may be cumulative of all scholarship offers; not just those offers from the college/university where you plan to attend. The information gathered in this reporting survey will be used to recognize senior students in the OTHS Virtual Awards Ceremony to take place in May.  NOTE: Individual scholarship award amounts will be kept confidential and NOT be made public. Scholarship totals will be used for the total scholarship earnings for the Class of 2020.

    GRADUATION

    OTHS will hold its 2020 commencement ceremony virtually.  Graduation will remain as scheduled for 10:00 am on Saturday, May 30th.  Details of the virtual graduation will be forthcoming.  Please note, OTHS considered re-scheduling an in-person graduation to a late summer date.  Our primary concern is for the health and well-being of our students and our community.  COVID-19 is a serious virus and school leaders feel strongly that it would be irresponsible to put our students and families at risk by holding a large gathering.  OTHS has always maintained that safety is our top priority.  We recognize that state leaders are considering options to systematically re-open normal operations in Illinois.  We have no idea what that will look like in the coming months.  School leaders believe it will be more detrimental to seniors to create hope for a postponed, in-person graduation late in the summer, only to be disappointed again if it must be cancelled.  School leaders also considered that some seniors may not be available to participate if graduation activities were postponed, and we believed it would not be fair to those students and their families to change the date of commencement.  Again, OTHS is in the process of planning for the virtual graduation.  We are all working diligently to plan a great virtual commencement ceremony that will properly honor the Class of 2020.

    TEXTBOOK/TECHNOLOGY RETURN

    OTHS is in the process of scheduling textbook and technology return dates.  Students will be responsible for turning in all textbooks and technology issued to them.  More information will be forthcoming.

    PERSONAL BELONGING PICK-UP

    OTHS is in the process of scheduling personal item pick up dates.   Students having personal belongings at the school, including medications, will be able to retrieve those items from lockers and the nurses’ offices.  If students have an immediate need for a personal item, please contact your grade level assistant principal to make arrangements.

    SUMMER SCHOOL

    OTHS is awaiting guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education regarding the ability to hold summer school online.  More information regarding the options available for summer school will be forthcoming in the upcoming weeks.

    SPRING/SUMMER EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

    In-person spring sports and extracurricular activities have been cancelled as a result of school building closures for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  Per the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) which governs our athletics and which we apply to all extracurricular activities, summer student contact days have been suspended.  This suspension will include any summer camps and youth camps.  During the suspension of contact days with students, OTHS facilities will be closed to outside groups or camps.   We will continue to monitor guidance from the state and the IHSA, and will communicate any additional information as it becomes available.

    Coaches/Sponsors will be directly contacting students regarding uniform return, cleaning out of sports lockers, and equipment return.

    REFUNDS

    • Students who choose not to take the behind-the-wheel portion of the Driver Education class from OTHS will receive a refund of $200.  You must notify your guidance counselor and the driver education coordinator (muellerk@oths.us) of your intent to withdraw from behind-the-wheel driving and then contact Dr. Shackelford to request a refund at shackelfordb@oths.us.
    • Athletic and Activity fees paid to OTHS for spring will be refunded to families from the District Business Office by May 15th.
    • Senior students with lunch account balances will have those refunded from the Business Office by May 15th.  Freshman, sophomore, and junior lunch balances will be rolled over for next year.  If you are a freshman, sophomore, or junior who will not be returning next year, your refund will be processed at the time you withdraw from OTHS.
    • Coaches/Sponsors will be contacting families regarding fees collected for booster or activity accounts for spring athletics or activities.  Any refunds will be issued to families from the District Business Office by May 15th.

    REGISTRATION FY2020-2021

    OTHS is in the early planning stages for school registration for the 2020-2021 school year.  School leaders are working on a plan that will allow for most, if not all, of registration to be done online.  More information will be forthcoming as we get closer to registration.

    Stay well Panthers!

    Dr. Benway

  • UPDATED AS OF 4/17/2020

    OTHS Students, Families, and Employees:

    Today Governor Pritzker announced that Illinois Public School buildings will be closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  School is still in session and Remote Learning will continue at this time.

    To our students:  We are so disappointed that we will not see you in person for the remainder of this school year.  We sincerely miss you and are thinking about you.  Keep up the great work on your lessons, as that effort will benefit you in the future.  I know you may have questions regarding what will occur for the rest of the year, including plans for final exams.  Your patience is appreciated as we determine our path forward.

    To our seniors:  We are heartbroken that celebratory events and activities to close out your senior year will have to be altered.  We are also distraught that we will not be able to say our good-byes to you in person as you continue your journey to the next steps in your life.  I am sure this announcement has created questions regarding the fate of events related to the close out of the school year.   School leaders are focusing their efforts to consider options to recognize your accomplishments and to celebrate the Class of 2020. 

    To our families:  Thank you for your support during this time of remote learning. As we close out the school year, your partnership is instrumental in the success of our students and our efforts to serve them.  I know there are questions regarding the refund of fees paid for spring sports that have not occurred, and questions related to grades, summer school, and learning moving forward.  Your patience is appreciated as we work through each issue. 

    To our employees:  Thank you for all of your efforts to take care of our students, and to take care of each other.  You continue to provide excellence in education under very difficult circumstances.  You are the backbone of all that makes OTHS the great school that it is.

    During the Governor’s press conference today, State Superintendent, Dr. Carmen Ayala, noted that the Illinois State Board of Education will be providing guidance to school districts in the near future.  This guidance is anticipated to address some of the questions related to today’s announcement on closures.  Once any definitive plans and/or decisions have been formulated, OTHS will immediately share that information with our students and families.

    Please keep in mind, the final chapter of this school year hasn’t been written yet. These past few weeks have proven our school community is more resilient, more capable and more compassionate than maybe what we previously realized. I’m confident our collective strength will shine through during the remainder of the school year, and we will emerge even stronger.

    Thank you again for your patience, support, and partnership.  I can't thank you enough for all that you are doing as we all work together through this. 

    Dr. Benway

  • Updated as of 4/16/2020

    OTHS Students and Families,

    I hope you all are healthy and well, and are finding a positive routine with regard to Remote Learning.

    We understand that transitioning from traditional instruction to Remote Learning was not an easy task for our students and families, and the new learning process may be overwhelming at times.  I want to applaud our students for taking responsibility for their learning and for their efforts in each of their classes.  So many of our students are doing great work during this time.  Way to go Panthers!

    As OTHS has reflected on the past few weeks of Remote Learning, teachers and administrators realize there are areas where we all can improve.  OTHS has listened to concerns raised about student confusion with regard to assignments that are due, and the manner in which each individual teacher communicates those assignments. 

    Moving forward, teachers will use BlackBoard “announcements” to identify assignments, even if the announcement itself directs students to another program/platform to complete the assignment.  Teachers have been encouraged to prepare a weekly plan to distribute to students each Monday that identifies the activities/assignments for the week.  This will assist students in their preparation on how to plan for the week.  Please note that all teachers may not have a weekly plan, so you may not be receiving a weekly plan for every class. 

    To be successful and to not miss any information, students are directed to do the following moving forward.  We want to ensure students are receiving assignments, content, and other important information for their classes:

    STUDENTS:

    1.       Click on the BlackBoard “content” tab every day

    2.      Click on the BlackBoard “announcements” every day

    3.       Check your OTHS email throughout the day

    4.       To the extent possible, use electronic devices other than your phone, as the application of the phone may be more difficult to follow.

    Students, make sure you are submitting your work in the manner prescribed by your teachers.  Otherwise, it may appear that you have submitted the work on your end, but the work may not be received by the teacher, and will need to be resubmitted.  Also, if you have received zeros for work that was missed in the past, please contact your teacher for direction on how you can make up that work. 

    As a resource to students and parents, I have attached a document called “Weekly Student Agenda – Remote Learning.docx”. (Weekly Student Agenda - Remote Learning.docx) This document can be used to assist in the organization of assignments due by class period each week.  I encourage students to consider using this template moving forward to keep organized during Remote Learning.

    Please note that next Wednesday, April 22nd, is a Remote Learning Planning Day for OTHS educators.  .  Remote Learning Planning days are days for educators to work collaboratively on the creation of lessons, free from direct instruction --- similar to a teacher in-service day.  This is a no-school day for students.  This day would be a great opportunity for students to catch up on any missing assignments they may have. In addition to next Wednesday, we will have two additional Remote Learning Planning Days scheduled --- April 29th and May 13th

    Finally, OTHS is implementing changes to meal distribution beginning April 20th.  Starting next Monday, two days of meals will be distributed with each meal delivery.  Meal deliveries will be made on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only.  So on Mondays, students will receive meals for Monday and Tuesday.  On Wednesdays, students will receive meals for Wednesday and Thursday.  On Fridays, students will receive meals for Friday and Saturday.  The delivery schedule for meals can be found at the end of this email.

    Hang in there Panthers!  We are all in this together. 

    Panther safe!  Panther strong!

    Dr. Benway

  • UPDATED AS OF 4/3/2020

    OTHS Families and Students:

    I hope all is well as you continue your efforts to support the Stay-Home mandate in Illinois.  Hopefully, as we continue to be diligent in our adherence to the guidelines provided to “stop the spread” of COVID-19, we will move expeditiously to the other side of this crisis.  I miss seeing our students and staff, and look forward to the day our OTHS buildings reopen.

    As you are aware, we are now in the era of Remote Learning.  I hope your student’s experience has been both positive and meaningful.  Our goal at OTHS is to continue to provide the best education possible so that our students are academically prepared for their next step, whatever that step may be.  We also strive to support our student’s socio-emotional needs, as the stress of our current situation can be daunting.  Hang in there, OTHS.  We will get through this, and will likely be better and stronger for having survived this challenging time.

    GRADING DURING REMOTE LEARNING:

    I wanted to share some information with you regarding grading and expectations.  If you check grades in Skyward after April 13th, the grade under Q3 will represent the student’s grade prior to the closure of school buildings.  This is the student’s base grade.  Per guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education, a student’s grades must not be negatively impacted during Remote Learning. 

    Teachers will be recording all grades earned during Remote Learning to show proficiency on the lessons assigned.  Therefore, during the interim, it may appear that a student’s semester grade may have been lowered because of a lesser academic performance during the Remote Learning period.  If students are fully engaged in Remote Learning, teachers will make the necessary reconciliation in grades once the Remote Learning period has ended.  If students improve their semester grade due to their engagement in Remote Learning efforts, students will receive the better grade.  If students maintain their grade during Remote Learning, their grade will remain the same.  If a student still engages in the work and their grade lowers during Remote Learning, the teacher will reconcile the student’s academic standing back to the March 13th grade. 

    Students who do not engage in Remote Learning during Remote Learning Days may be given a grade of Incomplete per ISBE guidance.  OTHS may provide a remediation opportunity for students having an incomplete to turn in all work and lessons assigned during the Remote Learning Days.  The remediation period is still under development by OTHS.  It is anticipated that time will be provided over the summer and/or during the first part of the 2020-2021 school year that will enable the student to turn in all missing assignments to remove the incomplete from their transcript and receive credit for the course.  OTHS anticipates additional guidance from ISBE will be provided regarding the final determination of grades, impact to GPA and/or class rank for students, and other matters yet to be identified.

    We encourage students and their families to monitor grades during the Remote Learning period to note progress toward completion and proficiency on understanding.  We do not want grades to create an overly stressful time for students and families, but do want to provide meaningful learning and feedback for academic growth and development.

    Stay strong Panther families.  Remember, all of us at OTHS are ready to support you during this time.

    Dr. Benway

  • UPDATED AS OF 4/1/2020

    Good Morning OTHS Families,

    OTHS released it's Remote Learning Plan yesterday.  Remote Learning Days for OTHS begin tomorrow.  Students are expected to engage in the lessons, assignments, and/or discussions as developed by each individual teacher.    Each teacher has the autonomy to determine how instruction will be provided for his/her specific class.  Some teacher may provide "live" lessons during the times outlined in the Remote Learning Plan, while others may post videos or lessons online.  Expectations will be communicated to students directly from their teachers via their OTHS email or BlackBoard.   Please make sure your student is checking their OTHS email account and BlackBoard account daily

    If your student is in need of technology to complete required work, please contact your student's grade level Assistant Principal or call the OTHS main office at 618-632-3507.

    Our buildings may be closed, but school is in session.  All of us at OTHS are available to support our students while we are apart. Please reach out to us if you have any needs or concerns -- academic or other student supports.  I have included contact information at the bottom of this email.

    Dr. Benway

    Questions regarding assignments/lessons:
    Directly contact the teacher

    Technical Assistance
    OTHS Tech Help Desk:  computerdepartment@oths.us 618-632-3507 x390
    You may also click on the Tech Assistance button below the
    photo on the home page of the OTHS web site ( www.oths.us )

    For Grade Level Questions or Technology Check-Out
    9th Grade - Mrs. Dollison dollisont@oths.us 618-632-3507 x550
    10th Grade - Mr. Patton pattonc@oths.us 618-632-3507 x553
    11th Grade - Mr. Howe howed@oths.us 618-632-3507 x221
    12th Grade - Mr. Wallis wallisc@oths.us 618-632-3507 x217

    Questions regarding curriculum in general or meal service delivery:
    Dr. Weld weldm@oths.us 618-632-3507 x598

    Questions regarding special education services:
    Mrs. Blackburn blackburnm@oths.us 618-632-3507 x639

    Questions regarding OTHS Athletics:
    Directly contact the coach
    Mr. Moeller moellert@oths.us 618-632-3507 x274

    Questions regarding OTHS Clubs/Activities:
    Directly contact the sponsor
    Mr. Dickenson dickensonr@oths.us 618-632-3507 x223

    General Questions:
    Superintendent - Dr. Benway benwayd@oths.us 618-632-3507 x220
    Principal - Mr. Bickel bickelr@oths.us 618-632-3507 x585

    Social Work Services:
    Social Work Dept Chair - Mike Engel  engelm@oths.us 618-632-3507 x250
    You may also find resources on the Social Work web page at https://www.oths.us/domain/10163

    Support for Military Students:
    SAFB Family Life Counselor - Michelle Kessler - mkessler@jcsmilitary.net 

  • UPDATED AS OF 3/31/2020

    VERY IMPORTANT REMOTE LEARNING PLAN INCLUDED!!!

    OTHS Students and Families,

    I hope you all continue to stay healthy and well during this time.  All of us at OTHS are missing our students and are hopeful we will be together again soon.

    This afternoon, Governor Pritzker announced that the Stay-Home Order will be extended via an Executive Order until April 30, 2020.   Therefore, our school buildings will remain closed until at least that time. 

    With that said, public schools are transitioning from Act of God Days (March 17th  though March 30th) to Remote Learning Days (March 31st until school buildings can reopen).  On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Illinois State Board of Education provided recommendations to schools on Remote Learning.  Since the release of that document, schools across the state have been working to comply with the recommendations, the first step of which is to develop, and post, a Remote Learning Plan or eLearning Plan to the District’s web site.

    Attached please find the Remote Learning Plan developed for OTHS. (OTHS Remote Learning Plan)   I encourage you to read through the document thoroughly, as it provides guidance and information regarding Remote Learning.  Although our school buildings must remain closed at this time, school is in session online.  OTHS teachers, administrators, and support staff are available to support your student both academically, and socio-emotionally.  We understand that we are all in a new era of high school teaching and learning, and we must all work together to make it successful.

    On Remote Learning Days:  Students are expected to engage in their course work and will be accountable for their assignments and learning.  Students who do not engage in their course work may receive an “incomplete” and may be required to remediate once OTHS is able to return to traditional in-person learning.  Students should be checking both their OTHS email account and BlackBoard daily.  

    Any concerns regarding assignments or a student’s understanding of them should be directed to the course teacher.  If students do not have access to technology, they should contact their grade-level Assistant Principal to develop a plan moving forward.

    Thank you for your partnership as we work to continue to promote excellence in education – whether it is online or in a classroom.

    Stay healthy and well!

    Dr. Benway

  • 3/28/20

    Good Afternoon,

    I have been asked by community leaders to share their concerns regarding the practice of social distancing in outdoor spaces.  Several students and adults have been observed gathering at area parks.  It is understandable to desire to get out in the fresh air during the Stay Home Order to enjoy the nice temperatures.  However, social distancing practices must still be continued, even in parks and other outdoor areas.  Community leaders have requested that a communication be sent by school districts to families and employees reminding them of the importance of social distancing, and requesting that parents please speak with their children to provide guidance on social distancing practices.

    Thank you for your part in efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

    Stay safe and healthy.

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

  • 3/27/20

    OTHS Students, Families, and Employees,

    First and foremost, I hope you are all staying healthy and well.  We are all likely taking the time to adjust to the stay home order --- our new normal.  During the stay home order for Illinois, the media has been focused on avoiding the Coronavirus.  It is important that we also pay attention to other health needs such as physical exercise and mental health.

    If you or someone you know has mental health concerns, please access the OTHS Mental Health Resource web page at: https://www.oths.us/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=10163&ModuleInstanceID=6910&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=13318&PageID=758

    The Mental Health Resource page also has resources and links for free online exercise programs.  Again, staying healthy is more than just avoiding the virus.  I hope you all will pay attention to all aspects of good health --- mind, body and spirit.  The best path through this national crisis is to keep ourselves well.

    With that being said, school leaders have been told that public schools will be receiving additional guidance regarding educational requirements for March 31st and beyond from the Illinois State Board of Education later today.  It is our understanding that the document to be disseminated is quite extensive.  Once OTHS is able to review ISBE’s guidance and requirements, we will share our plan moving forward with you. 

    The OTHS administration, faculty, and staff have been diligent in our efforts to procure the necessary software, technology, and training to prepare for enhanced remote educational learning and any change in the requirements for remote learning that will be mandated under the new ISBE guidance.  Our priority has been, and always will be, to remain student focused – making sure to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students to the extent possible under these circumstances.

    Please communicate with us if you have questions or concerns as we continue moving forward.  A list of most commonly used contact numbers are listed at the end of this email.

    Thank you all for your continued support and patience.

     

    Dr. Benway

     

    CONTACT INFORMATION

         Questions regarding assignments/lessons                                                                    

    Directly contact the teacher

         Questions regarding curriculum (if not answered through direct contact with the teacher)    

    Assistant Superintendent - Dr. Weld   weldm@oths.us            618-632-3507 x598

         Questions regarding special education services

    Mrs. Blackburn                                        blackburnm@oths.us      618-632-3507 x639

         Students having technology needs, contact their grade level Assistant Principal:

       9th   Grade - Mrs. Dollison                  dollisont@oths.us                  618-632-3507 x550

       10th Grade - Mr. Patton                      pattonc@oths.us                   618-632-3507 x553

       11th Grade - Mr. Howe                        howed@oths.us                     618-632-3507 x221

       12th Grade - Mr. Wallis                        wallisc@oths.us                      618-632-3507 x217  

    General Questions               

    Superintendent - Dr. Benway               benwayd@oths.us                618-632-3507 x220

    Principal -  Mr. Bickel                            bickelr@oths.us                    618-632-3507 x585

         Technical Assistance

    OTHS Tech Help Desk                         computerdepartment@oths.us       618-632-3507 x390

    You may also click on the Tech Assistance button below the photo on the home page of the OTHS web site ( www.oths.us )

  • Update as of 3/23/2020

    OTHS Students and Families:

    I hope you all are staying safe and healthy as we engage in the “stay home” mandate implemented by Governor Pritzker.

    STUDENTS:  It is important that you continue to check BlackBoard and your OTHS email daily.  I truly hope you will take advantage of the learning opportunities that are being provided to you.  This is your time to shine and to demonstrate that you are ready to take responsibility for your learning as a young adult.  Your teachers, counselors, social workers, support staff and administrators are ready to assist you… but you have to take the first step and engage.  We believe in you. 

    Please check out the new OTHS Instagram page: @oths_district_203.

    PARENTS:  The meal schedule will be changing beginning on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25th.  The new student meal delivery locations and times are shown below.  In addition, student meals can be picked up at OTHS Smiley from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.

    OTHS/Carriel Lunch Bus

    11:00 AM    School: CARRIEL JH – BUS CIRCLE

    11:16 AM    ESTATE DR & E JEFFERSON ST

    11:31 AM    PARK ENTRANCE PL & N YALE DR

    11:46 AM    PONDEROSA AVE & BRISTLECONE DR

    OTHS/Fulton Lunch Bus

    11:00 AM    School:  FULTON JH SPED  - BEHIND SCHOOL (will be eliminated)

    11:18 AM    WHITE OAK DR & N CHERRY ST

    11:33 AM    JUNIPER DR & PERSIMMON DR

    11:48 AM    COUNTRYSIDE LN & CENTER GROVE DR (will be eliminated)

    OTHS/JAMS Lunch Bus

    11:00 AM    SCHOOL: JAMS

    11:18 AM    CASTLE ACRES (PLAYGROUND)

    11:33 AM    COTTAGE HILL DR & RENEE DR

    11:49 AM    MEADOWBROOK DR & BLACKHILLS DR

    12:06 PM    OLD COLLINSVILLE RD & AUTUMN PINE DR

    12:19 PM    CRESTVIEW DR & CREEKVIEW DR

    OTHS/Shiloh Lunch Bus:

    11:00 AM    SCHOOL:  SHILOH MIDDLE SCHOOL

    11:16 AM    SHILOH VILLAGE PARK PLAYGROUND (WATER TOWER)

    11:32 AM    VALLEY VIEW MOBILE HOME PARK PLAYGROUND ON TOBIAS DR

    11:48 AM    LAKE SUZANNE MOBILE HOME PARK OFFICE

    12:03 PM    SIR LAWRENCE DRIVE & LEBANON AVENUE

    12:19 PM    CHIPPEWA DR & BARTON DR

    We understand that this is a time filled with uncertainty and anxiety.  Your OTHS faculty and staff are ready to assist you.

    As additional information becomes available from the Illinois State Board of Education regarding the school closures, we will share it with you.

    Stay safe and healthy.

     

    Dr. Benway

  • Update 3/22/2020

    OTHS Students and Families:

    This email serves to clarify information regarding the learning opportunities that are being provided to your students during the school closure.  Please understand that any clarifying information in this email may be subject to change next week when the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is expected to provide school districts with additional guidance now that school closures have been extended through April 7th.

    Teachers should be reaching out to students and providing continued learning opportunities for them during the closure.  If your student has not received any communication from his/her teacher by the end of the day tomorrow, March 23rd, I would encourage your student to email the teacher for guidance.

    With regard to the grading of continued learning opportunities:

    On March 16th, school districts were provided the following guidance from ISBE:

    On March 18th, the guidance was updated as follows:

    The guidance from ISBE may be updated again in the next few days due to the extension of the closure.  Everyone is making necessary adjustments to plans as a result of the Governor’s “Stay Home” mandate announced last Friday.

    At this time, per the March 18th guidance, continued learning opportunities may be graded, as long as they do not negatively impact a student’s grades.  Due to the uniqueness of each class, teachers will have the autonomy to determine how to implement the guidance from the state as is appropriate in their class.  Just as there are different instructional methodologies used in a physical classroom when students are present at school, there will be different instructional methodologies used for online learning opportunities, as well.   If your student has questions or concerns, he/she should contact the teacher.

    Information continues to be disseminated to you from OTHS as it becomes available.  We are in unchartered territory, so we must be patient as we work through a new learning environment for our students.  We must also be flexible, as mandates and guidance from the state may also change.  The OTHS faculty, staff, and administration continue to work diligently to meet the needs of our students --- providing meals, social/emotional support, and/or academic opportunities.

    Panther safe!  Panther strong!

    Dr. Benway

  • Update - 3/20/2020

    OTHS Parents and Guardians:

    The following email was sent to directly to OTHS students today via their school email.  The email includes important information.  Please review this email with your student.  

    OTHS Students:

    OTHS is an integral part of our community and has been a significant part of your day-to-day lives.  I want you to know that your teachers, librarians, social workers, guidance counselors, administrators and support staff are still available to assist you. 

    Governor Pritzker announced this afternoon that the school closure will be extended through Tuesday, April 7th.  OTHS is currently scheduled to be on Spring Break Wednesday, April 8th, Thursday, April 9th, and Friday, April 10th.  In addition, he has issued a “stay home order” beginning tomorrow at 5:00 pm.  I am sure the Illinois State Board of Education will be sending guidance to schools regarding the extension of the school closure, and how those days are to be counted in our school calendars.  We will provide information to you as soon as it becomes available.  I have attached a STAY HOME FAQ that was emailed to me by O’Fallon Police Chief, Eric Van Hook.  (STAY HOME FAQ)

    As I said in a previous email, I am truly saddened that some of your high school experiences may be lost.  I know that it is disheartening that you are being asked to sacrifice competitions, practices, programs, performances, and other events for which you have worked so hard due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  I am sorry this is happening to you.  I am sorry that some of the spring celebratory events such as prom and honors night have been cancelled or postponed.  All of us at OTHS share in your disappointment.  OTHS faculty and staff will continue to consider options available in an effort for these important events in your life to be addressed or recognized in some manner.

    Because schools will be closed for an extended period of time, it is important for you to check your OTHS student email accounts daily and to check Blackboard for any of your classes using that platform.  Your education is so very important.  We expect you to rise up and take responsibility for your learning during this time away from school.  If you have not already received communications from your teachers, you should be receiving them shortly.  Your teachers will provide you with directions for your learning during this time of school closure.  If you have questions or need clarity on any learning activity, directly contact your teachers.  You can do this.  We are always available for you. 

    If you need…

    • access to technology, contact your grade level assistant principal.
    • technical support, contact the OTHS Tech Department at computerdepartment@oths.us or click the Tech Assistants button below the picture on the OTHS home page
    • information regarding spring sports, you may find updated information on the Illinois High School Association website www.ihsa.org

    Additionally, the IMC also has many resources to offer you a myriad of opportunities for personal and educational growth:

    • The world of fiction and nonfiction resources awaits in Destiny Discover! Access both audio and eBooks after logging into Destiny Discover: Smiley (Smiley Campus Students) or Destiny Discover: Milburn (Milburn Campus Students). Students should log in using the same username and password used for school computers. 
    • Want even more eBook and audiobook options? Try Axis 360 (also available as an app). Use the following to login:
      • Library Card ID: oths203 + your OTHS username (Example: oths203john222000)
      • PIN: Your OTHS computer password 
      • NOTE: On the first login, you will need to follow the prompts to register your account.
    • If you are looking for digital graphic novels, enhanced eBooks, or more audiobook options, try TeenBookCloud. This collection supports developing readers with tools for reading assistance. 
    • For diverse educational interests, Newsela provides high-interest nonfiction scalable for all reading levels. Don't have a Newsela account? Students can select "Join Now" and follow the prompts to set up an account. Select "Sign up with Microsoft" and use one's OTHS email. 

    Access information for resources described above is available here. Log in using one's school email and password to access the information. 

    For assistance with any of these resources, please email imc@oths.us. The IMC staff is monitoring email and is happy to assist you. 

    Nothing brings me more joy as a superintendent than to see you excel in academics, activities, and athletics.  The reason I became a superintendent was because of my passion to help students succeed.  You are PANTHER STRONG and we all will get through this difficult time together. 

     

    Dr. Benway

  • Update - 3/18/2020

    OTHS Students, Families, and Employees:

    I know this is a very anxious time for all of us.  During the last few days I have tried to think of the right words to say to our students, families and employees.  The appropriate words are sometimes difficult to find.  I am truly heartbroken that we were forced to close school; and yet, I truly support and understand the measures that are being taken to keep our families safe.  Safety must always be the top priority.  I just wanted to briefly share some of my personal thoughts with you.

    First, to OTHS students --- especially our senior students:  I am truly saddened that some of your high school experiences may be lost.  I know that it is disheartening that you are being asked to sacrifice competitions, practices, programs, performances, and other events for which you have worked so hard due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  I am sorry this is happening to you.  I am sorry that some of the spring celebratory events such as prom and honors night have been cancelled or postponed.  All of us at OTHS share in your disappointment.  Nothing brings me more joy as a superintendent than to see OTHS students excel in the activities and athletics they love to do.  The reason I became a superintendent was because of my passion to help students succeed.  You are PANTHER STRONG and we all will get through this difficult time together.

    To our OTHS families:  At OTHS we are committed to doing our very best to support your students during this difficult time.  Our teachers have been designing learning opportunities for students to keep their minds engaged during the closure.  Social workers are may be contacted to support students with social and emotional needs.  Counselors have been working to ensure the college application process, course scheduling and other spring needs of our students are being addressed.  The administration continues its efforts to plan and prepare for possible next steps.  Staff members and educational support personnel are continuing their work at home to the extent practical.  Service workers will have the buildings cleaned and ready for when students return.  Although you may not be able to see us in action, we are still working diligently on behalf of our OTHS families and students. 

    To our faculty and staff:  Thank you!  OTHS is the great place that it is because of you.  Everyone has been so professional and eager to find ways to support our students and the operations of OTHS.  It would be easy to become discouraged or frustrated when adversity like this presents itself.  But not OTHS --- You all rise in the face of adversity and find the path through it.  Again, thank you! 

    In closing, I encourage all to monitor the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html for updates and information on COVID-19.  I will continue to provide updated information as it becomes known from the Illinois State Board of Education.

    Thank you for your support and patience as we travel in these uncharted waters together.

    Remember:  PANTHER SAFE!  PANTHER STRONG!

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

     

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

    BOARD MEETING MARCH 19th @ 7:00 PM – Due to the closure of schools from the COVID-19 pandemic, public participation at tomorrow’s Board Meeting may participate through audio conferencing as shown below.  Unfortunately, it is being reported that teleconferencing services are experiencing extremely high call volumes and lines have been unavailable. The district cannot guarantee that the dial-in option will work. It is all dependent on call volume at the time of the meeting.

    PUBLIC PARTICIPATION for 7:00 PM OPEN SESSION

    Dial-In Number (425) 436-6356

    Access code: 787380

    FREE WiFi – Spectrum is offering free broadband WiFi for new customers for families with K-12 and/or college students that don’t have an existing Spectrum service level up to 100 mbps.  Installation fees will be waived for new student households.  1-844-488-8395  In addition, low Income families may qualify for free or discounted Internet through the Lifeline Program.  Go to this link https://nationalverifier.service-now.com/lifeline to see whether the family will qualify.

    MEALS FOR FREE/REDUCED LUNCH STUDENTS – OTHS has been working in collaboration with our feeder districts, food service providers (Aramark, Sodexo, District 118), Illinois Central Bus Company, and Feed the Lambs to provide meals to students attending O’Fallon/Shiloh schools.  It is amazing how our community and school partners come together to meet the needs of our students.

    Beginning THURSDAY (March 19th) - Breakfasts/Lunches will be delivered by school bus and can be picked up at the following places/times:

                    NEW LOCATION:  OTHS SMILEY CAMPUS MAIN ENTRANCE from 11:00 AM to 12:00 NOON

     

    OTHS/Carriel Lunch Bus

    11:00 AM    School: CARRIEL JH – BUS CIRCLE

    11:16 AM    ESTATE DR & E JEFFERSON ST

    11:31 AM    PARK ENTRANCE PL & N YALE DR

    11:46 AM    PONDEROSA AVE & BRISTLECONE DR

     

    OTHS/Fulton Lunch Bus

    11:00 AM    School:  FULTON JH SPED  - BEHIND SCHOOL

    11:18 AM    WHITE OAK DR & N CHERRY ST

    11:33 AM    JUNIPER DR & PERSIMMON DR

    11:48 AM    COUNTRYSIDE LN & CENTER GROVE DR

     

    OTHS/JAMS Lunch Bus

    11:00 AM    SCHOOL: JAMS

    11:18 AM    CASTLE ACRES (PLAYGROUND)

    11:33 AM    COTTAGE HILL DR & RENEE DR

    11:49 AM    MEADOWBROOK DR & BLACKHILLS DR

    12:06 PM    OLD COLLINSVILLE RD & AUTUMN PINE DR

    12:19 PM    CRESTVIEW DR & CREEKVIEW DR

     

    OTHS/Shiloh Lunch Bus:

    11:00 AM    SCHOOL:  SHILOH MIDDLE SCHOOL

    11:16 AM    SHILOH VILLAGE PARK PLAYGROUND (WATER TOWER)

    11:32 AM    VALLEY VIEW MOBILE HOME PARK PLAYGROUND ON TOBIAS DR

    11:48 AM    LAKE SUZANNE MOBILE HOME PARK OFFICE

    12:03 PM    SIR LAWRENCE DRIVE & LEBANON AVENUE

    12:19 PM    CHIPPEWA DR & BARTON DR

  • OUTDATED INFORMATION 

    OTHS Students and Families:

    We had a great turnout this afternoon and evening of students and families who came by OTHS to pick up their personal belongings, medications, textbooks, etc.  Unfortunately, there were some families who may not have been able to get to OTHS today.  Therefore, both campuses will be open tomorrow from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm for students to pick up any needed items. 

    At 1:00 tomorrow, both campuses will be closed to students and visitors.  This closure will remain in effect until Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

    If students or parents have needs during the closure, please email your teacher/administrator/coach, or contact the Smiley Campus Main Office at (618) 632-3507.

    Students and parents will receive information later this week on continued learning opportunities that will be available to students.  We encourage families to support their student(s) as they engage in learning outside of school.  The school closure also provides a great opportunity for students to complete missing assignments and to get caught up if they are behind in classwork. 

    We also encourage our families to follow the recommendation of our federal, state, and local leaders and the health departments during the COVID-19 outbreak to minimize your, and others’, exposure. 

    Thank you, again, for your support and partnership as we work though this pandemic crisis.

     

    Please note the following informational items:

    JOSTENS (Seniors Only) – Seniors wanting to pick up their Jostens order during the school closure may do so directly from Jostens on Wednesday, March 18th from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm located at 1721 Lindenthal Avenue, Highland, IL.  Otherwise, a new pick up date will be scheduled once school reopens. If you have questions regarding your order, you may call Jostens at (618) 654-1001.

    EVENT CANCELLATIONS – CDC guidance issued 3/15/20, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals), cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.  Accordingly, OTHS events listed below have been cancelled or postponed.  Should events be rescheduled for a future date, we will share information with our families as it becomes known.

    • Spring Musical
    • Mr. Irresistible
    • Blizzard
    • Honors Night
    • Prom

    At this time, athletic practices and competitions, and other school activities have been cancelled during the school closure through and including March 30th.  The District is awaiting guidance from IHSA as to when, or if, athletics/activities can resume.  All of us at OTHS are saddened by any loss of experiences or opportunities for our students. 

    FREE WiFi – Spectrum is offering free broadband WiFi for new customers for families with K-12 and/or college students that don’t have an existing Spectrum service level up to 100 mbps.  Installation fees will be waived for new student households.  1-844-488-8395

    MEALS FOR FREE/REDUCED LUNCH STUDENTS – OTHS has been working in collaboration with our feeder districts, food service providers (Aramark, Sodexo, District 118), Illinois Central Bus Company, and Feed the Lambs to provide meals to students attending O’Fallon/Shiloh schools.  It is amazing how our community and school partners come together to meet the needs of our students.

    TUESDAY (March 17th) and WEDNESDAY (March 18th) - Breakfasts/Lunches will be delivered by school bus and can be picked up at the following places around 12:00 noon on both days:

     

    O’Fallon Locations:

    Persimmon Drive and Juniper Drive                                  

    N. Lincoln Ave and W. Wesley   

    Castle Acres Mobile Home Park Playground

    Crestview Drive and Creekview Drive

    Black Hills Drive and Meadowbrook Drive

     East Jefferson and Estate Drive

    Autumn Pine (Old Collinsville and Autumn Pine

    Cottage Hills Drive and Renee Drive

     

    Shiloh Locations:

    Lake Suzanne Mobile Home Park Office

    Valley View Mobile Home Park Playground

    Water Tower in Shiloh   

     

    Beginning THURSDAY (March 19th) - Breakfasts/Lunches will be delivered by school bus and can be picked up at the following places/times:

     

    OTHS/Carriel Lunch Bus

    11:00 AM    School: CARRIEL JH – BUS CIRCLE

    11:16 AM    ESTATE DR & E JEFFERSON ST

    11:31 AM    PARK ENTRANCE PL & N YALE DR

    11:46 AM    PONDEROSA AVE & BRISTLECONE DR

     

    OTHS/Fulton Lunch Bus

    11:00 AM    School:  FULTON JH SPED  - BEHIND SCHOOL

    11:18 AM    WHITE OAK DR & N CHERRY ST

    11:33 AM    JUNIPER DR & PERSIMMON DR

    11:48 AM    COUNTRYSIDE LN & CENTER GROVE DR

     

    OTHS/JAMS Lunch Bus

    11:00 AM    SCHOOL: JAMS

    11:18 AM    CASTLE ACRES (PLAYGROUND)

    11:33 AM    COTTAGE HILL DR & RENEE DR

    11:49 AM    MEADOWBROOK DR & BLACKHILLS DR

    12:06 PM    OLD COLLINSVILLE RD & AUTUMN PINE DR

    12:19 PM    CRESTVIEW DR & CREEKVIEW DR

     

    OTHS/Shiloh Lunch Bus:

    11:00 AM    SCHOOL:  SHILOH MIDDLE SCHOOL

    11:16 AM    SHILOH VILLAGE PARK PLAYGROUND (WATER TOWER)

    11:32 AM    VALLEY VIEW MOBILE HOME PARK PLAYGROUND ON TOBIAS DR

    11:48 AM    LAKE SUZANNE MOBILE HOME PARK OFFICE

    12:03 PM    SIR LAWRENCE DRIVE & LEBANON AVENUE

    12:19 PM    CHIPPEWA DR & BARTON DR

  • OUTDATED Information as of 3/15/2020

     

    OTHS Students and Families:

    As you are aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has created circumstances for our society that are evolving on a moment to moment basis.  As those circumstances have been evolving, our school’s response and planning have been evolving with them. 

    OTHS administrators and teacher leaders have met this weekend to try to put our best plan forward for voluntary continued student learning opportunities based on the very latest circumstances known to us at this juncture.  Our aim will be to provide voluntary continued student learning opportunities to students during the period of mandated school closure. 

    Important Information:

    OTHS WILL BE CLOSED FOR STUDENTS TOMORROW, MARCH 16, 2020.   Please note that Shiloh 85, O’Fallon 90 and Central 104 will still be in session due to their unique needs and grade levels of their students.  If you have students in one of those districts, please check their website for information regarding their school day tomorrow.

    1. Students will be allowed to access the building tomorrow (March 16th) from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm. to get their personal belongings, textbooks, needed medication from the nurse’s office, and to check out technology.
    1. Teachers have been working and will continue to work through March 20th to prepare continued learning opportunities for their classes. 
    1. Students will be asked to check their student emails/BlackBoard beginning on Monday, March 23rd to access continued learning opportunities.  We understand that online learning will likely create a greater divide between the “haves” and “have nots”, however, we were told by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) that they have been in discussions with the Governor’s office regarding a potential extension of the closure beyond 3/30/2020.  The Governor’s office will continue to evaluate over the next two weeks.  The OTHS administration believes the direct instruction provided by our teachers is, by far, the most effective educational delivery method.  However, providing some continued education opportunity is in the best interest of students, given that closures may be extended beyond the two weeks. 
    1. If students do not have any access to technology, we encourage families to reach out to the administration.  We will provide alternative methods opportunities for continued learning, if possible.  Technology available can be checked out from 1:00 to 7:00 pm tomorrow (March 16th) on a first-come-first-served basis.
    1. School Calendar – As this is evolving, no changes to the school calendar are being made at this time.  Per an ISBE directive received over the weekend, the days closed due to Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order will be Act of God days. Therefore our calendar will remain as it was posted after the February Board of Education meeting.  In other words, at this time, spring Break and the days after Memorial Day will remain non-attendance days for students. 
    1. Meals for students eligible to receive free or reduced breakfast/lunch – Plans for meal delivery is in the works.  We are engaged in a collaborative effort with the feeder districts, Aramark, Sodexo, and Illinois Central Bus Company.  More information will be forthcoming as logistics are finalized.

    OTHS is respectful of the challenges that our students and families have during this pandemic crisis and our aim will be to provide an opportunity for students to continue learning during this time without creating additional stresses.   

    Thank you for your support and understanding.

  • Outdated Information

    OTHS Students, Parents, and Employees:

    Governor Pritzker announced that a directive to close all public and private schools for students beginning on Tuesday, March 17th due to the COVID-19 outbreak.   Students will return to school on Tuesday, March 31st.

    The Governor’s Office will continue to monitor developments related to COVID-19 to determine if additional closures will be needed.

    OTHS is reviewing calendar modifications to minimize the loss of instruction as a result of this closure. It will be recommended to the Board of Education that school will now be in session on Wednesday, April 8th and Thursday, April 9th.  These days were previously slated as part of spring break. Good Friday, April 10th, will remain a holiday.  In addition, the recommendation will be for the calendar to be revised so that Tuesday, May 26th, Wednesday, May 27th, and Thursday, May 28th will be final exam days.  The final day of student attendance will be on Thursday, May 28th, with graduation still scheduled for Saturday, May 30th.  These changes to the calendar will allow 5 of the 9 days lost due to the closure to be recouped so that the negative impact to instruction is minimized. The District will apply for Act of God days for the remaining 4 days of closure that will not be made up.

    I understand this may be inconvenient for families that have made plans.  OTHS made every effort to maintain the 3-day spring break and to end school prior to the Memorial Day holiday.  However, this is an unprecedented event that could not be predicted.  The resulting changes in the school calendar may be different for high school and elementary districts in our community, as the educational needs for grade levels and districts may differ.  We are all doing our best to serve and educate our students.  

    More information will be forthcoming as it is known.

    Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

     

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

  • Updated as of 3/12/2020

    OTHS Students, Families, and Employees:

    I wanted to reach out and reaffirm the OTHS’s current response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.  Again, we do not intend for our emails to cause panic, but rather to reassure our students, families, and employees that we are working proactively keep our school community safe and to provide accurate information to stakeholders. 

    Today, community leaders in city government, school administration, health care, and religious services met to discuss preparedness for the possibility of an outbreak of COVID-19 in our area.  In addition, Superintendents from St. Clair County met this morning with St. Clair County Health Department representatives to learn the latest news on the virus and to collaborate our educational efforts.  We are all working together --- sharing ideas, information, and communications.

    The good news is that at this time, there are no reported COVID-19 cases in St. Clair or Madison Counties.  You may have heard that some schools across the country are closing their buildings due to outbreaks in their areas.  Because there are no active cases in St. Clair and Madison Counties, the decision to close OTHS is not a consideration at this time.  Closing school is a decision that will most likely be made in collaboration with local and state officials, and/or the St. Clair County Health Department.  School leaders are preparing for the possibility of closures, but are primarily focused at this moment on preventing contraction of the disease through social distancing and good hygiene practices.

    The CDC has excellent resources on their web site regarding COVID-19.  Because information is changing so rapidly, I encourage you to frequent the CDC web site for updates: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

    We all have a role in this fight against the spread of COVID-19.  The most important actions you can take is to remain vigilant about safe hygiene practices and to use extra precautions if you and/or your student must be in contact with large crowds.  Please take the time to talk to your students about hand washing, covering coughs, and avoiding face touching.  We ask that if your student is sick to please keep them home until they are fully recovered (at least 24 hour fever free).  We will do our part to reinforce good hygiene and sanitizing practices here at school.  We will also continue to err on the side of caution and will send students home if they are exhibiting any signs of illness.

    Many field trips, athletic/activity competitions, and other events are being either cancelled or postponed at this time.  The administration continues to evaluate each event on a case-by-case basis, using the latest information available, before making a decision regarding our student’s participation.  In many instances, the host school or educational agencies having oversight of the events are making the decisions regarding cancellation.  We are saddened that some opportunities may be lost, but we stand by our efforts to put the safety of our students and staff first and foremost.

    Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this challenging time.

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

     

    -OUTDATED-

    Update as of 3/10/2020

    OTHS Parents and Guardians:

    As you know, the Coronavirus is continuing to spread throughout the United States.  Last week, I met with first responders in our area and representatives from the City of O’Fallon to discuss community plans and preparations.  Superintendents from St. Clair County will be meeting Thursday morning to discuss concerns.  At OTHS, it is important that we not panic or overreact, but rather continue to be proactive in efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, and to increase our preparedness should cases begin to show up in St. Clair County. 

    At this time our faculty and staff will be evaluating the necessity for field trips and student travel outside of the Metro-East.  Each trip will be evaluated on a case by case basis.  

    Should OTHS be required to cancel school at some point in the future, the school calendar will be adjusted and Act of God days requested as appropriate.  As always, the first priority is our students and what serves their best interests --- interests of safety and academics.  I have been asked if OTHS will implement required e-learning in the event of school closure.  The answer is no.  The rationale for not implementing online or e-learning at this time is as follows:

    • OTHS Students, Families, and Employees:

      I wanted to reach out and reaffirm the OTHS’s current response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.  Again, we do not intend for our emails to cause panic, but rather to reassure our students, families, and employees that we are working proactively keep our school community safe and to provide accurate information to stakeholders. 

      Today, community leaders in city government, school administration, health care, and religious services met to discuss preparedness for the possibility of an outbreak of COVID-19 in our area.  In addition, Superintendents from St. Clair County met this morning with St. Clair County Health Department representatives to learn the latest news on the virus and to collaborate our educational efforts.  We are all working together --- sharing ideas, information, and communications.

      The good news is that at this time, there are no reported COVID-19 cases in St. Clair or Madison Counties.  You may have heard that some schools across the country are closing their buildings due to outbreaks in their areas.  Because there are no active cases in St. Clair and Madison Counties, the decision to close OTHS is not a consideration at this time.  Closing school is a decision that will most likely be made in collaboration with local and state officials, and/or the St. Clair County Health Department.  School leaders are preparing for the possibility of closures, but are primarily focused at this moment on preventing contraction of the disease through social distancing and good hygiene practices.

      The CDC has excellent resources on their web site regarding COVID-19.  Because information is changing so rapidly, I encourage you to frequent the CDC web site for updates: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

      We all have a role in this fight against the spread of COVID-19.  The most important actions you can take is to remain vigilant about safe hygiene practices and to use extra precautions if you and/or your student must be in contact with large crowds.  Please take the time to talk to your students about hand washing, covering coughs, and avoiding face touching.  We ask that if your student is sick to please keep them home until they are fully recovered (at least 24 hour fever free).  We will do our part to reinforce good hygiene and sanitizing practices here at school.  We will also continue to err on the side of caution and will send students home if they are exhibiting any signs of illness.

      Many field trips, athletic/activity competitions, and other events are being either cancelled or postponed at this time.  The administration continues to evaluate each event on a case-by-case basis, using the latest information available, before making a decision regarding our student’s participation.  In many instances, the host school or educational agencies having oversight of the events are making the decisions regarding cancellation.  We are saddened that some opportunities may be lost, but we stand by our efforts to put the safety of our students and staff first and foremost.

      Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this challenging time.

      Dr. Darcy G. Benway, Superintendent

      OTHS has a significant population of low income students.  The implementation of e-learning or online learning would only increase the academic inequity between those student that “have” and those students that “have not”.  Students that “have” will likely possess the necessary technology and supplies to be successful with online learning, and will also “have” family help and support in completing required assignments.  Those students that “have not” may not have access to technology, Wi-Fi, or other supplies, and may not have the family structure to support their academic efforts in the absence of the direct instruction from a teacher.  
    • Some classes requiring hands-on learning (science labs, industrial tech, behind-the-wheel driver education, foods, etc.) are not conducive to online instruction.
    • The unknown timeline for a school closure would make it impossible for teachers to determine which lessons in sequence should be created for online instruction. 

    More information is becoming available regarding the Coronavirus on a daily basis.  The administration is carefully monitoring information as it becomes available and will base decisions on guidelines provided by the Illinois State Board of Education and health organizations such as the Illinois Department of Public Health, CDC, World Heath Organization, etc.

    Please continue the following preventative measures that are recommended from the World Health Organization and please reinforce these measures with your student:

    • Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
    • Maintain social distancing (at least three feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing).
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth without first washing your hands.
    • Practice respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
    • If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
    • Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider.

    If your student is experiencing any symptoms of the cold, flu, Coronavirus, or other transmittable illnesses, please keep them home. 

    The District will continue additional efforts to sanitize both campuses.  Students are encouraged to bring hand wipes or sanitizer to use throughout the day if they are able to do so.

    The following is a communication from O’Fallon Mayor, Herb Roach, that was received yesterday that I want to share with you.  I thought it contained great information even though some of the cases reported have increased since then. 

     

    ­­­“An Open Door to O’Fallon”
    A Weekly Note from Mayor Herb Roach

    By now, everyone has heard of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 70 locations internationally, including in the United States. Those affected may develop a fever, dry cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some can progress to pneumonia and multi-organ failure.

    The infection is spread from one person to others via respiratory droplets produced from the airways, often during coughing or sneezing. Hand washing, maintaining distance from people who are coughing and not touching one's face with unwashed hands are measures recommended to prevent the disease.

    More cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States. It’s also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in communities in the United States. The widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States could occur. At this time, there is still only a small number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in comparison to the overall population. The State of Illinois has seven cases out of a population of 12.5 million people.

    Widespread transmission of COVID-19 would translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time. Schools, childcare centers, workplaces, and other places for mass gatherings may experience more absenteeism and may have to close temporarily. Depending on the severity it could impact the availability of services from Public Health and healthcare systems. Other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and transportation industry may also be affected.  We are gathering data and information to make sure that we are prepared.  We want to be proactive with this instead of being reactionary after the fact.

    This column by no means is intended to provoke fear. It is just a warning and update on what we can do to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, if it does come to our community.

    The City of O’Fallon has been meeting with the State of Illinois, St. Clair County Department of Public Health, O’Fallon’s schools, day-cares, retirement homes and churches to improve preparedness and response plans to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus.

    Here are a few basic protective measures that are recommended from the World Health Organization:

    • Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
    • Maintain social distancing (at least three feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing).
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth without first washing your hands.
    • Practice respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
    • If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
    • Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider.

    O’Fallon is fortunate to have an excellent Public Safety Department and access to quality healthcare. There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in O’Fallon, but we still want to be prepared.

    As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open!

     

     Outdated Information

    ------Outdated-----

    OTHS Students, Families, and Employees:

    As more cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) are being reported in the U.S., school officials continue to more closely monitor the situation and prepare for any necessary response on our campuses.  Given recent news reports about the spread of the Coronavirus, it is understandable that our families and employees may have questions or concerns.  We are sending this email to provide helpful information to our students, families and employees.

    First, I want to assure our families that OTHS is taking precautions to stop the spread of viruses in our buildings.  Classrooms and common surface areas are being sanitized daily by our custodial staff. In addition, teachers are being provided with sanitizing wipes upon their request.

    In order to further prevent the spread of illness, we encourage our students, families, and employees to remember to take the following steps to reduce risk of infection from the flu, COVID-19, or even the common cold:

    • Wash hands frequently.
    • Avoid touching areas of the face.
    • Avoid contact with others who are sick.
    • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and immediately dispose of the tissue, then wash or sanitize your hands.
    • Students should report to the nurse at OTHS immediately if cold or flu symptoms arise during the school day.
    • Students and employees should stay home when sick. 
    • Please notify the school if you have been diagnosed with the flu or any other virus.

    For more information about COVID-19, please visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

    OTHS will continue to work diligently on behalf of all of our students and employees to keep OTHS sanitized and to minimize the potential spread illness.

    Dr. Darcy G. Benway, OTHS Superintendent