Raven Report March-April 2021

Mar 11, 2021

Raven Report March-April 2021

Monthly Message from Dennis Honkala, Ravenna School District Superintendent

Thanks for staying connected to what’s happening in the Ravenna School District. My email address is listed below. I welcome any comments or questions on the following or any other topics.

In this Raven Report, I will discuss:

  1. Our Successful Celebration of Black History Month (February)
  2. State Testing is Back–What Parents Can Do This Spring
  3. Spring Safety Tips


  1. Successful Celebration of Black History Month

Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month. 

I can remember when Black History Month was mostly a mention in a History or Social Studies class. I am proud to say that in 2021, every single teacher in the district – all subjects and grades – taught our students about Black History in the United States.

If you follow the Ravenna School District on social media, you will have seen just some of the many Black History Month activities enjoyed by our students and staff. 

This past year has been full of stress, like COVID-19, racial strife, and civil unrest. But the way our teachers responded to this moment is a great example of how we can use education to not only build knowledge – but character.  

I am proud of our teachers for taking a positive step forward by giving all students – in every grade and subject – an opportunity to learn of the many accomplishments of African-Americans over the past several hundred years. 

  1. State Testing is Back–What Parents Can Do This Spring

The abrupt 2020 COVID-19 lockdown and remote learning last spring led to the cancellation of state testing. But now it’s back. Beginning the week after spring break, please be aware that state testing begins. 

I am very optimistic about this. Our students have been working hard during the past few months. They have demonstrated an eagerness to learn, a willingness to meet responsibilities and an amazing flexibility in adapting to remote learning when needed.

Parents, here is how you can help prepare your children to do their best in state testing:

  • Rest: Be sure your children are in bed and getting the proper rest. Spring time is tempting to stay out – and up – later. 
  • Nourished: A strong body contributes to a strong mind. Make sure students remain well nourished, hydrated – lots of water – and feeling fit. 
  • Encouragement: Speak to your children about the importance of doing their very best. I observe students every day whose parents give them encouragement. It shows in their work and attitude. 
  • Monitor Stress: Testing is stressful under normal conditions. Add in the pandemic and other factors, and there are many conditions that can bring about anxiety. Recognize this and do all the practices you can to reduce and relieve stress and anxiety. All of this can give kids confidence and be best prepared.

More details about state testing to come. Be aware that individual building principals will be sending emails and all calls with more specific details about dates for Ohio state testing. 

  1. General School Safety – Buses, playground, classroom.

As the weather gets nicer, we are all more excited to get outdoors and enjoy the open space and fresh air. It is extremely important that our students are aware of their surroundings and practice safety precautions in the following ways:

Stay Clear of the Buses. We do our best to supervise students and we encourage them to stay in designated areas that are clear of moving buses. Remind students to be careful.

Watch Out For Automobiles. As children walk to and from school, or just move about their own neighborhoods, please remind them to watch out for automobile traffic. 

Playgrounds & Recreational Safety. Spring brings out the excitement and the enthusiasm to go out and play. Whether the children are at recess or playing outside of schools in backyards, playgrounds or parks – let’s remind them to practice COVID-19 protocols. Sanitize. Keep social distancing. Where masks. But most of all – while playing – be nice to one another, show respect and have fun. 

It feels like we have all been through so much together this past year. Now, just as there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel with the arrival of vaccinations and encouraging numbers, let’s continue to practice these spring safety tips.

Finally, please follow us on our district website at www.ravennaschools.us and our Facebook page for news and information about the Ravenna School District.

Thank you for reading – and happy springtime!

-Dennis Honkala
Superintendent, Ravenna School District

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