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March 28, 2020 - USD 234 District Update
March 28, 2020 - USD 234 District Update
Ted Hessong
Saturday, March 28, 2020

March 28, 2020

RE: USD 234 COVID-19 District Update

KS Statewide Stay-at-Home Order:

Today, Kansas Governor, Laura Kelly, issued Statewide Stay-at-Home Order which goes into effect at 12:01 AM on Monday, March 30, 2020.

The statewide stay-at-home order does not change anything for school districts.  The order is basically the same as the stay-at-home order issued for Bourbon County this weekend.

With permission from Becky Johnson, the SEK Multi-County Health Department Administrator, our district is able to move forward with our current plans because schools are deemed essential during the stay-at-home order.

1.  The school district can have students come to the buildings to retrieve personal and academic materials in an orderly manner following the Social Distancing guidelines.

2.  The school district can continue with providing meals for families either by pickup at designated school buildings or through the bus route pick-up points throughout the district, again using Social Distancing guidelines.

3.  If needed, in only specific instances, we could provide face-to-face instruction with students and staff if we follow the less than 10 in space, six feet apart in our buildings.  The school district is not planning to do this, but we are not sure if there will come a point when we will need to have face-to-face to assist students.

USD 234 Special Board Meeting:

On Friday, March 27, 2020 the USD 234 School Board approved the waiver application to submit to KSDE.  Included in the waiver is the request to wave 239 student contact hours (the number of hours remaining for our school year when schools were closed by the Governor of Kansas).  Also included were assurances to create Continuous Plans to provide learning for the remainder of the school year, pay all hourly employees who have a current work agreement with the district, enroll new students who move into the district, and follow the guideline of KDHE and the local health departments.  And finally included in the waiver is an overview of the Continuous Learning Plans you developed this past week with your building administrators.  KSDE understands these plans will be fluid as we work through them, but we need to submit our waiver before April 8th to be approved by the Kansas State Board of Education.

The USD 234 School Board also approved a resolution to change the number of credits for the FSHS graduating class of 2020 to the State minimum requirement of 21 credits, a resolution to follow local health department guidelines, and a resolution regarding wage payments during the emergency school closings.

Food Service Update:  We also provided an update to the school board about the meal delivery and pick-up this past week.  I want to give a huge thank you to Robin Button, our food service director, and her staff, Gina Shelton, Business Manager, for her assisting Robin, Joe Allen, Transportation Director, and some of the bus drivers who are delivering meals to pick-up locations in the district,  and Brenda Hill, Eugene Ware Instructional Coach, for the scheduling of volunteers and the volunteers who have helped with distribution of meals.  The school district providing meals for families has been a success after one week of school closure.  Food Service is planning on providing 5,000 meals for our families this coming week.  WOW!!!, it is great seeing how Food Service is providing meals when schools are closed. 

Continuous Learning Plans:

The Continuous Learning Plans will begin to be rolled out starting on Monday, March 30, 2020.  Each building has created plans to provide learning opportunities during this school closure.  These plans will be fluid as district staff learn from our students and families.  We ask for your patience and understanding with the implementation of these plans.  Each building will be doing its best to communicate with families during this school closure.  If you have questions, please contact your child’s building office.


Sincerely,

Ted Hessong

Superintendent

Fort Scott Schools