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Update from USD 235 Superintendent Bret Howard March 28, 2020
Update from USD 235 Superintendent Bret Howard March 28, 2020
Bret Howard
Saturday, March 28, 2020

USD 235 Parents/Guardians:

In a previous update I reminded all of us that we need to read more than just the headline and to read the entire article.  It’s always important to do so, especially during these times.

Governor Laura Kelly issued Executive Order 20-16, establishing a statewide “stay home” order in conjunction with the Kansas Essential Function Framework for COVID-19 response efforts starting on Monday, March 30 through April 19. 

I want to explain what I have learned that means for students, parents, and patrons of Uniontown USD 235.  I have learned that there are No Changes for Operations of Schools as we know them by Executive Order 20-16.  On page 5-6 of the order, specifically item 9b on page 6, the Executive Order 20-16 states that all actions that were permitted under Executive Order 20-07 still apply as it relates to Schools. 

Executive Order 20-07 was the Order regarding schools through May 29, 2020.  Per Commissioner Randy Watson and attorneys from Governor Kelly’s office, the KS Attorney General’s office, KASB, KSDE and KNEA are all in agreement this is what Executive Order 20-16 from Governor Kelly means.  

I also checked with Bourbon County Health Officer Rebecca Johnson at 2:00 PM on March 28 and she verified the statewide “stay home” Order issued by the Governor will not change anything she had already approved for USD 235 Uniontown. 

Both the JH/HS and WBE will still have an opportunity for students to pick up their personal belongings from school on Tuesday, March 31.  The JH/HS plan may be reviewed at this link:  https://www.uniontown235.org/article/221031?org=uniontown-usd-235  The WBE plan may be reviewed at this link:  https://www.apptegy.net/s/news-dc970f3b-0c2d-48c1-a827-6629ba8d3ef3/articles/wbe-student-material-collection-and-technology-check-out-on-tuesday-march-31.  Again, both of the plans are still approved by Bourbon County Health Department Officer, Rebecca Johnson.

We are still planning to serve meals.  Anyone wanting to pick up a meal at one of the pick-up points or have a meal delivered to a rural address within the district boundaries must call Michelle DeMott at 620-238-4968.  If you don’t call Michelle and request a meal and provide a rural address for delivery or let Michelle know a pick-up point there will not be a meal made for you.  Please see our Facebook post on March 27 for more details or go to the following link on our website.  https://www.uniontown235.org/article/220059?org=uniontown-usd-235

I will continue to communicate frequently with our students, parents, and patrons of Uniontown USD 235 to keep you aware of district plans going forward.  I know these posts will not answer every question, but I will do my 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.

Reminder for parents:  At this time, we have no 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 will ease into our plan.

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

The week of Monday, March 30 through April 3 our district staff will be hard at work to create the USD 235 Continuous Learning Plan.

Our Admin team thoughts for the USD 235 Continuous Learning Plan still are:

  • 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. It will involve a combination of A) Online Learning and B) Packet Learning for students who do not have reliable internet connection. 
  • We are continuing to work with Craw-Kan to find different places around our districts for Hot Spots.  We will post the addresses of these Hot Spot locations as they are made available.

Be safe Eagles!

Thank you and God Bless,

Bret Howard, Superintendent Uniontown USD 235