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Letter from USD 235 Superintendent March 25, 2020
Letter from USD 235 Superintendent March 25, 2020
Bret Howard
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

USD 235 Parents/Guardians:

In between webinars and Zoom Meetings I have returned to reading for pleasure every day this past week.  I can’t help but appreciate even more the books USD 235 Uniontown faculty read for our book study during the 2018-19 school year.  I wanted to share some of what those authors are sharing via their social media sites at this time.  It is very practical to our current situation.

You are loved.  You matter.  Simple words that can mean so much. Make sure you say them to yourself and to someone else today. #TheEnergyBus @JonGordon11

#ThoughtForTheDay Today is a great reminder that we are all where we are today because someone helped us get there.  Grateful to all of you have given me your time, advice, thoughts, ideas, wisdom & most of all, your encouragement, love, & inspiration.  #Culturize @casas_jimmy

Many educators are feeling stressed right now about trying to succeed with remote learning.  Start where you are.  Do the best you can with what you have.  Keep learning, growing, and changing.  Be generous with yourself.  You’re doing great! #FutureDriven @DavidGeurin


I take solace from the words shared here.  I know many of you are uneasy and nervous about the time ahead.  We are going to take this slow and ease into the Continuous Learning Plan for Uniontown USD 235.  We will create a plan that takes into account every student. 

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 will continue to communicate often 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.  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.

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. 

We will 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.  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 11:00 AM on March 25, 2020, 234 people have filled out the survey representing approximately 410 of our students.  We still need to reach just over 40 more students to have 100% of them represented.    

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

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