Schools aim to maintain community


Remote spirit weeks help students remain connected

By Kyle Shaner - kshaner@sidneydailynews.com



Botkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are eighth grader Malanie Maurer, fifth grader Maguire Maurer and high school junior Makenna Maurer. Also pictured is the girls’ dog, Maverick.

Botkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are eighth grader Malanie Maurer, fifth grader Maguire Maurer and high school junior Makenna Maurer. Also pictured is the girls’ dog, Maverick.


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Fort Loramie Local Schools’ online school spirit week began with Super Hero Day on Monday, which encouraged students to dress in honor of health care providers and essential personnel on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. Pictured is kindergartner Drew Bornhorst, the daughter of Andy and Megan Bornhorst.


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Minster Elementary School’s remote learning spirit week began with Pajama Day, which encouraged students to be comfy while learning. Pictured is second grader Brielle Barhorst and her cat, Wiley, who is named after the Minster mascot.


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Botkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are fifth grader Amelia Greve, first grader Wyatt Greve and seventh grader Noah Greve.


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Fort Loramie Local Schools’ online school spirit week began with Super Hero Day on Monday, which encouraged students to dress in honor of health care providers and essential personnel on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. Pictured is third grader Marlan Frey, the daughter of Ron and Pam Frey.


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Minster Elementary School’s remote learning spirit week began with Pajama Day, which encouraged students to be comfy while learning. Pictured, left to right, are fourth grader Aiden DuLaney and third grader Logan DuLaney.


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Botkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are seventh grader Alaia Mann and third grader Courtney Mann.


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Fort Loramie Local Schools’ online school spirit week began with Super Hero Day on Monday, which encouraged students to dress in honor of health care providers and essential personnel on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. Pictured is senior Andrea Rodeheffer.


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Minster Elementary School’s remote learning spirit week began with Pajama Day, which encouraged students to be comfy while learning. Pictured is fourth grader Magdalena Slonkosky doing math.


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Botkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are sixth grader Bella Bucio and kindergartner Claire Bucio.


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Minster Elementary School’s remote learning spirit week began with Pajama Day, which encouraged students to be comfy while learning. Pictured is kindergartner Olivia Osterloh, who was using the online resource ABC Mouse.


Courtesy photo

SIDNEY – While they presently can’t be together, students and staff from local schools are working to maintain a sense of community with remote learning spirit weeks.

“Elementary schools, we’re all about togetherness,” Minster Elementary Principal Leanne Keller said. “I think our students are missing school, and our teachers are missing our students. We just want to stay connected and have a little fun as well as keeping the learning going.”

Schools across Ohio have been closed since March 17, and will remain closed through April, in response to an order from Gov. Mike DeWine that seeks to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During their time apart, school officials said it’s important that they maintain a sense of community.

“I would say it’s critical,” Keller said. “That is the most difficult part of this, missing each other, not being together every day. We’re trying to find other ways.”

One way Minster Elementary and other schools, such as Botkins Local School and Fort Loramie Local Schools, are maintaining a sense of community is by hosting remote spirit weeks.

“We just kind of wanted to create some camaraderie and unity with the kids being at home,” Botkins Guidance Counselor Krista Meyer said. “Definitely important for them to still feel connected to each other and connected to their school while they’re at home.”

The remote spirit weeks, which are similar to spirit weeks the schools regularly host, encourage students to dress up for a daily theme.

Botkins’ spirit week began with an America Monday theme that encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. The school then had a Touchdown Tuesday theme with students wearing clothing of their favorite sports teams.

Botkins’ Wacky Wednesday theme encourages students to dress in a single color like a crayon. For Throwback Thursday, students are encouraged to wear outfits from past decades.

The school’s spirit week concludes with Trojan Pride Friday with students encouraged to show Botkins pride.

“We just encourage them to find things around the house, be creative,” Meyer said.

Fort Loramie’s spirit week began with Super Hero Day on Monday, which encouraged students to dress in honor of health care providers and essential personnel on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. Tuesday’s theme was Old Person Day with students dressing in honor of the generation that is most at risk to the coronavirus.

For Dude Shoe Day on Wednesday, students are encouraged to show off their Dudes or Dudettes or their style of home school comfort. Thursday’s theme is Jersey Day and encourages students to dress in honor of their favorite teams that can’t play right now.

Fort Loramie’s spirit week concludes on Friday with the theme of Red & Black Loramie Gear.

Minster’s spirit week began Monday with Pajama Day, encouraging students to be comfy while learning. The school then had a Parent & Pet Day theme on Tuesday that encouraged students to show love and give hugs to those who support their learning at home.

For USA Day on Wednesday, Minster students are encouraged to show their appreciation for leaders who are keeping everyone safe. Thursday’s theme is Super Hero Day and honors those who work in health care.

Minster’s remote spirit week concludes Friday with Orange & Black Wildcat Day, which honors the school and its teachers.

“We’re trying to honor those who are making the tough decisions we’re all dealing with right now and also honoring those on the front lines, the health care workers,” Keller said. “And certainly our parents.”

Sixth grade teacher Lori Brunswick proposed the idea for Minster’s remote learning spirit week after she saw her niece’s school had one. She loved the opportunity it provided to engage with students.

“You can imagine it may be unsettling for little ones used to being with their teacher each weekday to have routines changed like this,” Brunswick said. “So we hope to connect with the students through our Google meets and pictures Mrs. Keller is sharing on the website, just trying to wrap our arms around them in a virtual hug kind of way.”

Schools, including Botkins, Fort Loramie Minster, are sharing photos submitted by families on their websites and social media pages so the entire community can view them.

“If they can look on the Twitter page or can look on our website and see some of the other students are doing the same things they are,” Meyer said, “hopefully that makes them all feel that we’re all still together some way.”

It’s been difficult being apart, Keller said, but feedback has shown the students and teachers have enjoyed their opportunities to connect through video chats.

And now with the remote spirit weeks, they have one more way to remain connected while they’re separated.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all their smiling faces,” Keller said.

Botkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are eighth grader Malanie Maurer, fifth grader Maguire Maurer and high school junior Makenna Maurer. Also pictured is the girls’ dog, Maverick.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/03/web1_Maurer.jpegBotkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are eighth grader Malanie Maurer, fifth grader Maguire Maurer and high school junior Makenna Maurer. Also pictured is the girls’ dog, Maverick. Courtesy photo

Fort Loramie Local Schools’ online school spirit week began with Super Hero Day on Monday, which encouraged students to dress in honor of health care providers and essential personnel on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. Pictured is kindergartner Drew Bornhorst, the daughter of Andy and Megan Bornhorst.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/03/web1_Drew-Bornhorst.jpgFort Loramie Local Schools’ online school spirit week began with Super Hero Day on Monday, which encouraged students to dress in honor of health care providers and essential personnel on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. Pictured is kindergartner Drew Bornhorst, the daughter of Andy and Megan Bornhorst. Courtesy photo

Minster Elementary School’s remote learning spirit week began with Pajama Day, which encouraged students to be comfy while learning. Pictured is second grader Brielle Barhorst and her cat, Wiley, who is named after the Minster mascot.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/03/web1_Barhorst.jpgMinster Elementary School’s remote learning spirit week began with Pajama Day, which encouraged students to be comfy while learning. Pictured is second grader Brielle Barhorst and her cat, Wiley, who is named after the Minster mascot. Courtesy photo

Botkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are fifth grader Amelia Greve, first grader Wyatt Greve and seventh grader Noah Greve.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/03/web1_Greve.jpegBotkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are fifth grader Amelia Greve, first grader Wyatt Greve and seventh grader Noah Greve. Courtesy photo

Fort Loramie Local Schools’ online school spirit week began with Super Hero Day on Monday, which encouraged students to dress in honor of health care providers and essential personnel on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. Pictured is third grader Marlan Frey, the daughter of Ron and Pam Frey.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/03/web1_Marlan-Frey.jpegFort Loramie Local Schools’ online school spirit week began with Super Hero Day on Monday, which encouraged students to dress in honor of health care providers and essential personnel on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. Pictured is third grader Marlan Frey, the daughter of Ron and Pam Frey. Courtesy photo

Minster Elementary School’s remote learning spirit week began with Pajama Day, which encouraged students to be comfy while learning. Pictured, left to right, are fourth grader Aiden DuLaney and third grader Logan DuLaney.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/03/web1_DuLaney.jpegMinster Elementary School’s remote learning spirit week began with Pajama Day, which encouraged students to be comfy while learning. Pictured, left to right, are fourth grader Aiden DuLaney and third grader Logan DuLaney. Courtesy photo

Botkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are seventh grader Alaia Mann and third grader Courtney Mann.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/03/web1_Mann.jpegBotkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are seventh grader Alaia Mann and third grader Courtney Mann. Courtesy photo

Fort Loramie Local Schools’ online school spirit week began with Super Hero Day on Monday, which encouraged students to dress in honor of health care providers and essential personnel on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. Pictured is senior Andrea Rodeheffer.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/03/web1_Andrea-Rodeheffer.jpegFort Loramie Local Schools’ online school spirit week began with Super Hero Day on Monday, which encouraged students to dress in honor of health care providers and essential personnel on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. Pictured is senior Andrea Rodeheffer. Courtesy photo

Minster Elementary School’s remote learning spirit week began with Pajama Day, which encouraged students to be comfy while learning. Pictured is fourth grader Magdalena Slonkosky doing math.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/03/web1_Slonkosky.jpegMinster Elementary School’s remote learning spirit week began with Pajama Day, which encouraged students to be comfy while learning. Pictured is fourth grader Magdalena Slonkosky doing math. Courtesy photo

Botkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are sixth grader Bella Bucio and kindergartner Claire Bucio.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/03/web1_Bucio.jpegBotkins Local School’s remote spirit week began with America Monday, which encouraged students to wear red, white and blue. Pictured, left to right, are sixth grader Bella Bucio and kindergartner Claire Bucio. Courtesy photo

Minster Elementary School’s remote learning spirit week began with Pajama Day, which encouraged students to be comfy while learning. Pictured is kindergartner Olivia Osterloh, who was using the online resource ABC Mouse.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/03/web1_Osterloh.jpgMinster Elementary School’s remote learning spirit week began with Pajama Day, which encouraged students to be comfy while learning. Pictured is kindergartner Olivia Osterloh, who was using the online resource ABC Mouse. Courtesy photo
Remote spirit weeks help students remain connected

By Kyle Shaner

kshaner@sidneydailynews.com

Reach this writer at kshaner@sidneydailynews.com or 937-538-4824.

Reach this writer at kshaner@sidneydailynews.com or 937-538-4824.