Monthly Notes from Dennis Honkala, Ravenna School District Superintendent
Thank you for making the effort to stay informed on what’s happening in the Ravenna School District. Contact me anytime with feedback and questions. My email is at the end of this post.
Today I share with you thoughts on:
- Our high standards of safety and cleanliness during this COVID-19 global pandemic
- How well we adhere to school sports safety guidelines
- My retirement announcement and choosing your next superintendent
Meeting High Standards for Safety and Cleanliness
I am very proud of how well the school district is adapting to change brought about by COVID restrictions. Our staff, students and families have already demonstrated how well they can adjust. From November 24, 2020 to January 8, 2021, we switched to 100% remote learning.
On January 11th, we resumed in-person learning in the classroom while allowing for any students and families who wished to continue remote learning.
Four weeks into the new year, we are still working well with all students. I am impressed by how diligent everyone has been – from our youngest students to our teachers and staff – in wearing masks. Overall, everyone is practicing social distancing, washing their hands and sanitizing.
Thanks also to our custodial staff. They give our facilities a daily deep cleaning and sanitizing that has set a new standard for daily cleanliness. Once this pandemic is behind us, you can be sure that we will maintain this high standard.
Get ready for testing: Keep up these safety practices. After being canceled last year, state testing will return this spring. We want all students to be healthy and focused so they can do their very best in state testing.
How well we adhere to school sports safety guidelines
Raven athletes and their supporters can be proud of how successfully we have followed the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Return to Play Guidelines and Sport Specific Recommendations.
By wearing masks and keeping safe distances, you keep our programs successful even during these challenging times.
Your compliance allows our student athletes to participate in the sports they love in a safe, responsible manner.
Here’s another thing to be proud of: Athletes who have tested positive followed the rules. By following their doctors’ orders and the safety and health department guidelines, all have returned to their teams from quarantine with minimal pauses to their participation in sports.
Obviously, we have had to restrict the number of fans who can attend. To compensate, we now livestream Raven sporting events. The feedback is tremendous – with hundreds logging to remotely support our teams.
Athletes, parents, families and supporters – keep up the good work – and let’s give our student athletes a great spring season!
Retirement and Choosing the Next Superintendent
I recently shared the news that I am retiring after 33 years as an educator and serving as your school superintendent since 2011.
It has been a privilege working with such a tight-knit community with great kids, teachers and supportive families and businesses. Together, we have helped guide our students to bright futures.
One of my most satisfying accomplishments includes building community relationships that persuaded businesses to donate $800,000 for the stadium renovation in 2013. I am also proud of the Momentum Award from the state of Ohio for academic accomplishments in 2016 – among many other achievements that you helped the district achieve.
Your voice has always been important – and will continue to be.
The Ravenna School District will recruit your next superintendent by first listening to you. There will be a series of focus groups made up of community members who will define the qualities they want from the next superintendent.
Please follow us on our district website at www.ravennaschools.us and our Facebook page for continuing updates.
In closing, I hope that everyone stays safe and warm as we march toward spring.
– Dennis Honkala
Superintendent, Ravenna School District