July 3, 2020
Dear Families and Staff,
I hope all of you are having a great summer so far and are looking forward to celebrating Independence Day on the 4th this weekend. I know that many of you are curious about what the start of school year will bring. We do not currently have all of the answers and I know there is a wide-range of opinions on what you would like to see happen by reading through the parent/guardian surveys.
It is our current plan to physically be in school provided health regulations allow us to do so. The health regulations will come locally from the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department.
School districts across the state will be receiving guidance from the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) on July 16. Uniontown USD 235 will adapt these guidelines as necessary and merge our USD 235 Reopen Committee recommendations with the state’s guidance. Our Committee has been meeting to discuss options and review feedback from families, students and staff. I’d like to say THANK YOU to the individuals who are working throughout their summer break to ensure we will have meaningful learning experiences while always keeping safety as our top priority.
However, while we await that guidance, I want to share with you some things that we have already accomplished:
* We will have multiple ways to deep-clean and sanitize our school buildings including; electrostatic sprayers, hand sanitizing stations, and other disinfectants.
* We have purchased multiple touchless handheld thermometers to take temperatures of all staff, students, and visitors entering any of our buildings. Our coaches are already doing temperature checks for all students before strength and conditioning sessions.
We know that the future impact of COVID-19 is unpredictable and requires that we plan for multiple scenarios. I’d like to share a few brief highlights on possible learning models and a general back to school timeline below. Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEPs) and other educational support plans will receive appropriate accommodations regardless of the learning environment we are in. Students will also have grading expectations for any of the possible learning models. Please know that more details will be available in the coming weeks.
Our families will have decisions to make about their individual situations in attending school in-person this fall. It will be helpful to discuss how school may look a little different this coming year. Families may also want to consider how they will deal with changes in on-site learning, hybrid learning (a combination of onsite and remote learning), or remote learning which would be used only if we were not allowed to meet in person due to rates of positive cases of COVID-19. Some of the changes we are considering include: meal preparation and service; hygiene; cleaning in the buildings; personal protective equipment made available; and symptom screening. If we are meeting in-person and you are not comfortable with that choice then families may choose an on-line platform from Uniontown USD 235 if so desired.
August 6 - Enrollment from 8 AM to 4:00 PM. We will also have an on-line enrollment option available.
August 24 - Teachers scheduled to report.
August 27 - First day of school
In summary, we are still planning on starting school in-person on August 27, 2020. I know this date is many weeks off and the situation may change, but I truly believe that whatever happens our families and communities are ready to accept the challenges this school year will bring. We will get through this together! Please look for more information in the future as we continue to plan for the fall
Bret Howard, Uniontown USD 235 Superintendent