District Q & A
Updated April 20th 11:00 AM Students, Staff, Parents and Patrons:
Working through the COVID-19 outbreak has been a challenge for all of us in these unprecedented times. I’m sure many of you have questions as you begin to make plans for the end of the current school year, this summer and for the start of school in August. To help we have posted some of our most common questions and answers below which we hope will provide some guidance into how we are planning to move forward in some areas at this time.
As you all know this is a very fluid situation and things will change and our plans adjusted as facts and realities dictate . We know the virus will still be among us over the summer and into next school year. Without a vaccine or even widely available testing we believe the social distancing and crowd size limitations designed to flatten the infection curve will be with us in some form for the foreseeable future. When these restrictions are lifted, we anticipate it will be done gradually allowing local and state health officials to monitor the public for secondary infection outbreaks.
All this leaves us with the challenge of conducting school as well as our activities and ceremonial tasks with numerous restrictions. While some will not be satisfied with our decisions in certain areas, we will make decisions and move forward with the health, safety and well-being of students, staff and our community foremost in our actions.
Will the school work I am doing during this time count in my final grade?
Yes. We are working to limit the downside academically for students because normal instruction, as well as the other variables of homelife for each student, can be so different. We want to give students credit for the academic tasks they are asked to complete and participate in while we are in the Continuous Learning model. That leaves us relying heavily on the work done during the third quarter in determining final grades. You could see grades increase based on the quality of work and participation in assigned activities but should not see grades falling unless you choose to disengage and not participate in expected activities. If a student completely disengages that student will see as much as a 10% reduction in their final grade relative to their 3rd-quarter grade for that class.
Will there be a public graduation ceremony this spring?
Given the restrictions we are currently operating under there is no possible way to hold Graduation ceremonies in May unless it was done virtually. We are cautiously optimistic that by moving Graduation for the class of 2020 to Saturday, July 25th, 2020 @ 11:00 AM, it will increase the likelihood that some of the social gathering restrictions will be relaxed and we will be able to hold Graduation ceremonies. While we hope that those ceremonies are more traditional in nature, we must be prepared to adjust the ceremonies to meet any social distancing requirements and crowd size limitations that we are operating under at that time. Considering the Senior class size, the limited staff required to conduct a graduation ceremony, the ability to adjust to location (Outside if needed) we are hopeful that gives us the flexibility we need to provide our 2020 Graduates with a ceremony that allows them to experience Graduation together. . . . even if that means limiting the crowd that is in attendance.
Will we have Prom this spring?
Given the various orders that we are under to limit public gatherings to no more than 10 and what health officials are saying will be a gradual return to normal, not an immediate return to allowing large groups to congregate, we do not see a path forward for the school to host an in-person formal affair such as the traditional prom. We looked at the possibility of a virtual type of Prom experience and surveyed students. The feedback from the survey was that only 19% were interested in attempting a virtual prom setting so at this time we do not have plans to continue pursuing that option. Based on a gradual release of social distancing requirements we do not anticipate conducting Prom this year.
Will we have Driver’s Education this summer?
We will constantly reassess the public health situation and take guidance from our local, county, state and national officials. We are optimistic that we will be able to hold some type of driver’s education program however it may look drastically different as compared to our preferred traditional setting. A final decision will be made in early May as more guidance is released from local and state health officials.
Can my children participate in the school’s lunch program during this time?
Absolutely. USD 372 has been granted a waiver by KSDE and the Federal School Lunch Program to operate a “Summer Feeding Program.” This waiver allows the district to feed all children in the district (Even if they are not enrolled in 372) ages 1-18 or up to age 21 if they are enrolled in Silver Lake Schools, for free. The district is reimbursed for the costs of the meals at the free lunch rate so the district is not burdened with absorbing the costs of these meals. This service actually helps the district by allowing some revenue flow through our Food Service Fund to help cover the costs of salaries.
The waiver does have restrictions which dictate how we can operate and limits how we can disperse and deliver meals. Meals are provided M-F and are available for pick-up (drive Thru Style) each day from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM in front of the Jr-Sr High. You can sign up for meals each week on the Silver Lake Schools website. Please sign up and check what days you would like lunch on by 9:00 AM each Monday.
What about Summer School?
If your high school student failed a core-content class first semester and would like to start making up the work now he/she should email Mr. Womack or Mrs. Liggatt immediately. We do hope that we are able to offer the credit recovery of first and second-semester courses this summer in a virtual setting.
What about Summer Camps?
We will constantly reassess the public health situation and take guidance from our local, county, state and national officials. Summer weights and summer camps seem very unlikely at least for the first part of the summer. We know how much the kids want to get back into their normal summer activities but we will just have to monitor the situation and proceed based on guidelines from public health officials.
Will there be a Kindergarten Roundup this year?
While we hope that we will be able to have some sort of roundup for our 2020-2021 kindergarten students, we will wait to determine if and when this will occur. We will keep parents posted as decisions are made.
How are School Board Meetings being conducted during this time when group size is limited to 10 or less?
We are operating under the same social distancing and crowd size restrictions as everyone else in the state. We are still required to live up to the KOMA requirements and conduct “school business” in an open meeting. To accomplish both of these and keep everyone safe we have made the following adjustments to the April, May and June Board Meetings:
● All meetings are closed to attending in person except for Board members, Board Clerk, Superintendent and a staff NEA Representative which puts us at our 10 person limit.
● All Board meetings are conducted via Zoom allowing staff, students and patrons to see and hear school business being conducted in an open setting. A Zoom link for each meeting is shared with staff the day of the meeting and posted on our district website so the public can observe. You will have to register and sign in as part of the connection.
● We have modified Public Communications since the public cannot attend the meeting in person. There is a specific email for Board Public Communications set up for those who wish to address the Board: While we are operating under social distancing and group size restrictions, attendance to our meetings will be closed to non-board members. Our public board meetings will be conducted via Zoom and the public is invited to watch and listen. To facilitate public communications a specific email account has been established if you have communications you wish to share with the Board. Please direct Public Board Communications to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
● Again we anticipate all Board meetings in April, May and June will be conducted in the manner. We will reassess the meeting format in June and follow local and state health officials guidance as we plan for meetings in the months that follow.
Curbside lunch pickup available
(Monday, April 27, 2020)
USD 372 will provide free lunches for children ages 1-18, Monday through Friday. Lunches will be distributed on Mondays (for M-T), Wednesdays (for W-Th) and Fridays.
Please fill out this form by 9 a.m. Monday, for the entire week.
There is curbside pickup at Silver Lake Jr./Sr. High school from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Use the west parking lot entrance and pull up to the South Jr. High entrance. Please stay in your vehicle during pickup.
Interest meeting for girls golf
(Tuesday, May 5, 2020)
There is an interest meeting for anyone interested in playing girls golf next year. It will be held virtually over Google Meet at 7 p.m. on May 14th. More information can be found on the girls golf facebook page. The link for the meeting can be found here.
BE THE LIGHT - RECOGNITION
We will be participating in the BE THE LIGHT recognition of our senior class. Please join us by turning on your outside lights at home to let the seniors know that we are proud of their accomplishments!
Book Bombers win grade school Battle of the Book competition
(Thursday April 9, 2020)
The grade school held a virtual Battle of the Book competion on Thursday, April 9. The Book Bombers, made up of Cooper Frieden, Grady Bergmann, Brayden Just, Breanna Ackerly, Sofie Liggatt, and Joel Heier, were the champions. In the final round, they took on the William Allen White Warriors, made up of Josie Swaim, Carley Erb, Jadeyn Perry, Addison Beyer, Lila Day, and Ali Gerber.
Congratulations to the finalists and all who competed in the Battle of the Book competition!