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Letter from USD 235 Superintendent March 24, 2020
Letter from USD 235 Superintendent March 24, 2020
Bret Howard
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

USD 235 Parents/Guardians:

In what seems like the blink of an eye, our world has changed. The important thing to remember is in every challenge, there is opportunity. How we respond now will determine our level of success later. This doesn’t just apply to individuals but to organizations and families as well. 

I want to continue to communicate with our students, parents, and patrons of Uniontown USD 235 to make you aware of our plans going forward.  I know these posts will not answer every question, but we are doing our best to get this information out to everyone through multiple outlets.  I called into the radio station in Fort Scott this morning at 7:45 AM and discussed many of the details in this letter.  I realize not everyone in our district has access to the internet and may not have a social media account on either Facebook or Twitter.  If you know of people in this category, please help us get information to them or email me at bhoward@uniontown235.org and we will make sure to get this information in their hands.

With the confirmed positive test result for COVID-19 in Bourbon County I want to continue sharing information I shared yesterday as well.  At this time, we have no immediate plans to bring students back into our buildings in small group settings. 

We will be proceeding in planning our Continuous Learning Plan during March 30 through April 3 with our staff by focusing on 1) Online learning opportunities using video conferencing and 2) Packet learning.  We will provide more details to our parents/guardians when the plan is created.  We will not be ready to put our plan in place until Monday, April 6, at the earliest. 

We are still reviewing all of our options for continuing meals.  The approved waiver from USDA allows us to serve meals to anyone from the age of 1-18.  With the confirmed positive test in Bourbon County we are reviewing our plan and will make that plan/schedule available to the public as soon as possible.  Our waiver does not allow us to serve meals during anytime we were scheduled to not have school.  That is why we can’t serve meals this week during our scheduled Spring Break. 

Our building principals will create a schedule in the next 7-14 days that will allow you the opportunity to come and pick up your child’s personal items at school.  With the current guidelines of no more than 10 in any area and no one within 6 feet of each other this will be difficult to plan.  We thank you for your patience in these extraordinary times.

We still need the help of all parents/guardians in planning what our Continuous Learning Plan will look like in Uniontown USD 235.  If you haven’t done so yet, please fill out the survey using the link below.  We ask that all USD 235 Parents fill out the survey by noon on Tuesday, March 24.  If you haven’t done so yet, the link is still active.  We will use the information collected in this survey to begin forming our plan. As of 2:15 PM on March 23, 2020, 232 people have filled out the survey representing approximately 400 of our students.  We still need to reach just over 50 more students to have 100% of them represented.    

Please continue to help us to spread the word asking all parents/guardian of students in Uniontown USD 235 to fill our Tech Survey.  We have just over 450 students in our district and at this time we have received a survey from right at 400.   

Our administration team along with our technology staff be meeting at the end of this week during Spring Break so that we may have information ready for our staff to use in forming the Uniontown Continuous Learning plan during the week of March 30 - April 3.   

We appreciate your willingness to work together to make this the best experience possible for your child(ren).

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NQKQZG6

I have put some new information below, but most of it is a repeat from yesterday (3/24).

Our thoughts to implement into the USD 235 Continuous Learning Plan:

  • We will be focusing on essential learning and essential outcomes for students – “Less is More”.
  • We will be emphasizing relationships in this new learning environment.
  • Our decisions must support all populations of students.
  • We will establish a consistent and agreed upon framework of expectations, communication models and practices that all stakeholders share.
  • We will be using 1-2 platforms of learning for all students.  We simply can’t have every person using their own platforms.  This would be confusing for students and parents alike.
  • The guidance we received has recommendations on time for students to spend learning each day.  We will be using these recommendations. They are 30 minutes for Pre-K; 45 minutes for KG and 1st grade; 60 minutes for 2nd and 3rd grade; 90 minutes for 4th and 5th grade; and 30 minutes per teacher in 6th through 12th grade. (3 hours maximum in a day.)  These will be maximum minutes and doesn’t mean that it will even be daily.
  • Continuous Learning will not be hours of screen time for students and parents.
  • We will not just be making copies of worksheets and sending them home. A) Online Learning and B) Packet Learning. 

I want to again thank all of you for the emails and responses on social media letting us know you are thinking of us.  We are all thankful to work in such a caring school district.

Be safe Eagles!

Thank you and God Bless,

Bret Howard, Superintendent Uniontown USD 235