To the Parents, Guardians, Staff, and Students of Valley View Local Schools,

In light of recent declarations from government officials and healthcare experts, I want to let you know how we are dealing with the COVID-19 virus, or coronavirus, at Valley View Local Schools. At the onset, it is important to understand that this is an evolving situation, and we will work diligently to update you when appropriate and necessary.

First and foremost, attached to this correspondence is a memo from the Montgomery County Health Department.  It outlines important information for everyone to know.  Key points are:

  • Be diligent about washing hands and avoid touching your face.
  • Keep students home if they are sick.  
  • Cover up coughs and sneezes.
  • Be informed based upon facts.

In consulting with the Department of Health today, here are a few statistics/facts to share:

  • The mortality rate of the seasonal flu is .1%
  • Globally, the mortality rate of COVID-19 is 3.6%.  In Italy it is 6.2%
  • COVID-19 spreads 3.5 times faster than the flu.
  • The most at-risk demographic are the elderly and individuals with pre-existing immunodeficiency issues.
  • There is minimal significant risk to individuals under 19 years of age.

The governor today announced that he is not recommending the closure of K-12 schools.  However, we should be prudent in moving forward by implementing the following:

  • The high school will postpone the Senior Citizen brunch for next Thursday.  We will look to reschedule that event.
  • The Spring Sports meeting for tomorrow, March 12th, will be postponed and moved to an online format.  Athletic Director Brian Lemke will be sharing information about this in the near future.
  • A decision on concerts and events prior to Spring Break will be made shortly, after we receive guidance on the topic.
  • If there is a student event scheduled in the next two weeks, please be diligent about checking for updates from the appropriate staff member.
  • Our high school is a polling location.  We have been cleared to continue using it as a location with some extra precautionary measures which we will employ.
  • We have two students who have qualified for the state wrestling meet this weekend.  Due to a ruling by OHSAA, spectators will not be permitted to attend.  However, we are doing a recording tomorrow to recognize these student athletes for their exemplary performance and will be sharing that video on various platforms.  Please make sure to send it to various people so our students understand how much our community supports them.
  • The Ohio Department of Education cancelled an event today that was to recognize our senior students who have enlisted in the military upon graduation due to COVID-19.  We will do a video recognition of them tomorrow as well.  Please share the video with others as we recognize these outstanding students for their commitment to serve and defend our country.

Additionally, here are some proactive steps we are taking to ensure that we are prepared for a variety of scenarios:

  • Tomorrow we will send out a survey through ParentSquare asking you to identify your own readiness in your home should we be forced to close school for an extended period of time.
  • Our live webinar for tonight at 8:00 p.m. to discuss the facts about the upcoming ballot issue will also address some of these same updates regarding COVID-19 as well and allow for individuals to ask general questions about our response to it.   This can be viewed by going to the district website.  Note: It will be shared tomorrow as a recording.
  • Our custodial staff will prioritize disinfecting and sanitizing contact points (door knobs, light switches, faucets, drinking fountains, etc.).
  • We will review policies and look to update anything to allow us to more effectively respond to this issue.
  • All buildings will encourage and stress the need for students to wash hands and avoid touching their face.  
  • In the coming days, we will also send out a voluntary survey for those individuals traveling out-of-state for Spring Break.  Since this situation is evolving by the day, this information can better assist us in dealing with future issues.  Once again, your involvement in the survey is completely voluntary.

ParentSquare will be our primary means of communicating new developments with parents and staff on this topic.  All of my posts will also be placed on our website.  While social media can be a fantastic resource to share information, regretfully, it can also be used to share incorrect information.  We are committed to communicating factual information with transparency as we continue to learn more.  

Please know that the health and safety of our students and community is our ultimate goal. Know that we are working with experts in this field, and that we are collaboratively solving these issues as they arise. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to ask an administrator. We may not have an answer for you right away, but we will certainly work to provide one as soon as possible. 

While we do not know all of the answers for what we can expect in the coming days/weeks, I am extremely confident in our ability to confront it with facts, compassion, and professionalism. 

Proud to be your Superintendent,
Ben Richards


Letter from Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County