Area superintendents seek state pilot to keep students in classrooms

ZANESVILLE, OhioAs school districts across the state are being impacted by COVID-19, superintendents from southeast Ohio are asking Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, to approve a pilot project designed to keep healthy children in classrooms. “The Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center (MVESC) officially made the request to the state on behalf of 40 superintendents from southeast and east-central Ohio,” said Lori Snyder-Lowe, Superintendent, MVESC. The request comes days after Governor DeWine announced a pilot program for 10 districts in Warren County in southwestern Ohio.

The letter of request cites data released September 1, 2021, by the Ohio Department of Education showing that students on remote learning did not achieve near the levels of students who attended “in person” school. Further, it suggests that districts in rural areas experience more difficult educational challenges in terms of providing remote instruction to students due to lack of access to internet and transportation.

The letter of request provides a plan for the pilot, which differs from the state’s current guideline that requires unvaccinated students and staff without symptoms to quarantine at home if they were not wearing masks or distanced when exposed to COVID-19. Specifically, the superintendents propose when an unvaccinated student who is not wearing a mask is identified as a close contact, the following options are presented to the student’s family:

  • Traditional Quarantine – 10 days at home or return to schools on day 7, with proof of a negative test result on days 5, 6 and 7.
  • Mandatory Mask Quarantine – If the student is symptom free, then he or she is allowed to return to school wearing a mask for 10 days.

The letter asks the governor and director of the Ohio Department of Health for immediate consideration of the pilot proposal stating, “In this very divided world of masks vs. No masks and vaccines vs. No vaccines, this proposal is the most common sense approach school leaders can use to keep healthy students in school.”

Click the link to see a copy of the letter: Request to Governor and ODH for Rural Pilot Program

MVESC offices closed September 6th

The Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center offices in Zanesville and New Lexington will be closed Monday, September 6, 2021, for Labor Day. The offices will reopen Tuesday, September 7, 2021. For more information, contact Bill Arnett, Communicators Coordinator, at or 740-452-4518.

About MVESC: Since 1914, we’ve been serving the educational staff, district administrators and service organizations who support the students and families within our region.  Our agency has the largest service region in Ohio, covering more than 2,700 square miles. We serve more than 1,600 teachers and more than 24,000 students in 16 school districts. Within and beyond our seven counties, we have partnered with more than 105 educational service providers in 62 Ohio counties, 39 states and Canada.

Muskingum Valley ESC Governing Board September meeting

The Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center Governing Board will meet in regular session Monday, September 13, 2021, at 7:00 PM at 205 N. 7th Street. For more information, contact Superintendent Lori Snyder-Lowe at

Community Guides for Parents, Educators

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center (MVESC) is making available free Community Resource Guides for parents and educators. The guides list social service providers and government agencies with their contact information in all seven counties covered by MVESC. Guides are available online at for Coshocton, Hocking, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry and Tuscarawas Counties. To find the guides, click the “For Parents” or “For Educators” links on the website’s homepage. 

Tonya Steele, MVESC’s Family and Community Partnership Liaison, worked cooperatively with social service agencies and governmental entities to develop the guides. “I would like to thank MVESC community partners, especially each county’s Family and Children First Council, for assisting me in gathering accurate information about the available resources in our region,” Steele said.    

Lori Snyder-Lowe, MVESC Superintendent, said the guides are designed to be easy to use and are a valuable resource for parents and educators. “Gathering and compiling information for multiple counties was no small task, and Tonya did an excellent job working with partners and getting the project completed,” Snyder-Lowe said. “We believe the guides will help parents, educators and agencies quickly determine what programs are available when students, individuals or families are in need,” she added. 

As programs, services or contact information changes, the guides will be updated on the website. Contact Tonya Steele with questions, corrections, or additions at or 740-452-4518, ext. 1117. 

Preschool Supply Lists Available

Supply lists are now available for MVESC’s preschool sites. The supply lists are also being mailed to parents. Click the link shown here ( to access the supply lists for each preschool location.

If you have questions about preschool programs in Muskingum, Noble or Tuscarawas Counties, please email Krystal McFarland, Director of Preschool Services, at For questions about preschool programs in Perry County, email Lisa Gormley, Perry County Program Coordinator, at

MVESC Offices Open by Appointment Only

The Muskingum Valley ESC New Lexington and Zanesville offices are open to the public by appointment only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To schedule an appointment, please call 740-342-3502 for our New Lexington office or 740-452-4518 for our Zanesville Office.

We’re Hiring!

Would you like to be part of a team-oriented organization that helps students learn and teachers teach? You’re in luck! We’re looking for high quality individuals to join our MVESC family.
Full list of open positions

Let’s work together to improve education.