First Quarter Update
Students, Staff and Parents:
First off, a huge Thank You to everyone for helping us get this challenging year started! We have officially reached the end of the first quarter of our school year which is something to celebrate and be proud of. We know how fortunate we are to have all our students on campus each day and we could not have done it without everyone's help, especially our parents! Parents have helped us reduce our transportation burdens, adjust student arrival and dismissal times, make sure our students arrive with masks and are prepared each day, monitor their child's health and take precautions if they don't feel well and many other sacrifices and efforts too numerous to mention. All the mitigation efforts we have implemented this year have been far more successful than we had hoped and have created a much safer learning and working environment. While we are pleased with how things have gone thus far we all know we cannot eliminate the inherent risk in having school during a pandemic and we will continue to have localized outbreaks and quarantines to work around throughout the year.
As most of you know we work closely with our Shawnee County Health Department both in terms of planning for and working through and around positive cases and quarantines. Their physicians, epidemiologist and nurses give us access to the best medical and scientific advice and guidance available to schools in our state. They also monitor our data and make health policy decisions based on what the data and research tells them. The effectiveness of the mitigation efforts with younger children has prompted a modification in quarantining with students in grades PreK-8th, specific to the classroom setting:
“If there is a close contact in the classroom and both individuals (the positive case and the exposed individual) are wearing a mask correctly and for the entire duration of the close contact, in general the exposed individual(s) will not be placed into a 14 day quarantine. Each case/situation will continue to be evaluated on a case by case basis, through collaboration with the school(s)/district POC and SCHD.”
This change is made possible by all of us doing a good job following the mitigation plans and the data showing how well they are working. We are pleased this change will reduce the number of students in grades Prek-8th required to enter quarantine but it should also emphasize the effectiveness and importance of wearing a proper face mask and wearing it correctly. The change should also underscore the importance of data and that decisions are made as data is reviewed. It is our hope that the data will eventually show that classroom spread among older students (grades 9-12) is likewise near zero with these mitigation efforts and the same flexibility regarding masks and quarantine requirements will be extended to our high school students. This change applies only to the school setting and not activities or to adults who work in the school. As part of this change the SNCO Health Department has also issued more specific guidance on appropriate face masks that must be worn which will also be posted on our website. Please note that beginning Monday, October 26th, Gaiters, Bandanas and Masks with valves or vents will no longer be considered acceptable face coverings at school.
Finally, we understand the burden that comes with having to quarantine when someone is considered a "close contact." In addition to trying to reduce the numbers needing to quarantine through effective mitigation efforts and supporting data, we hope that more available and better testing routines will be able to shorten the length of quarantines from the current 14 days over the coming months. None of those will be possible unless we continue to follow all our mitigation efforts to the best of our ability. Thanks again for all your help and flexibility as we navigate this challenging year.
Silver Lake Schools
Seamless Summer Option Meal Program
Late last week the USDA announced a waiver for schools to utilize the Seamless Summer Option meal program similar to the one we used to feed students for free in the spring. This is a waiver USD #372 qualifies for and our waiver has been approved. Beginning September 4, 2020 all ENROLLED students of USD 372 Silver Lake will receive free meals (in person and Remote learners). The district will be able to operate this program through December 2020 or until the federal money is no longer available, whichever is sooner. This means that all students will receive a free breakfast and lunch if they elect to eat each day. Any extras, ala carte items and 2nd breakfast or lunch will still have the normal charges if the student chooses to take these.
The district will update the meal accounts for all students to reflect free meals as of the date above. Parents don’t have to do anything at this time. Once the program funds are spent, all students will return to their original meal status prior to September 4, 2020. This waiver does not affect meal status and the district will continue to accept free and reduced meal applications.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact Debbie Walburn at dwalburn@silverlakeschools.
Silver Lake Schools
Fan information for upcoming games
(Thursday, October 22, 2020)
Fans can find information about attendance at upcoming home and away games here. The information will be updated regularly to reflect current rules and guidelines.
High School State Cross Country Saturday, Oct. 31 at Wamego
High School Bracket Football Friday, Oct. 30 at Silver Lake
Silver Lake partners with NFHS Network
(Friday, October 30, 2020)
Silver Lake and the Mid-East League have partnered with the NFHS Network to live stream events. Two Pixellot cameras have been in installed, with one in the main gym and one at C.J Hamilton Field. Those who want to view events happening at Silver Lake, and support the school through subscription sales, can subscribe to the NFHS Network and view both home and away events.
Grade school kicks off One School, One Book program
(Wednesday, October 28, 2020)
The grade school is getting ready to kickoff the 4th annual One School, One Book program by reading the novel The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
During the One School, One Book program, families read and discuss the book each night by following a reading schedule. The first night is reading is Nov. 2nd.
If your family did not purchase a copy of the book at enrollment, there are still many options for participation. You could visit the Silver Lake Public Library or the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library to get a copy through interlibrary loan. You can also find the audiobook here.
The library website can be found here, which has the reading schedule as well as the the daily questions. Upon completition of the book, students will view the movie version that was recently released on Disney Plus.
A sequel to the book titled The One and Only Bob was also released this summer. Please contact Mrs. Podlena if you have any questions about this program. Thank you in advance for your participation!
Remote learning information and daily logs available
(Thursday, August 27, 2020)
Silver Lake JR/SR High has created a remote learning handbook for our remote students to follow. Remote students also have a daily learning log to complete and submit each week.