Date: July 14, 2020
To: Chadron Public School Patrons
From: Ginger Meyer, Superintendent; Chadron Public Schools Subject: School Information
Hello fellow Cardinals. This letter is written in an attempt to keep you in the loop of all the items that are happening, and some items that are still being considered in dealing with COVID-19. I know many of you have been waiting for some sort of information to come from the school regarding how school will look moving forward. Many of the items that will be discussed in this letter are coming from state and national leaders. We have guidelines set out by these leaders and it becomes our job, as a school district, to ensure that our procedures fall within these guidelines. Some of them will come and go with little notice from the students or the public. Others will have major impacts on how the students’ day to day procedures will occur and how parents will deal with the alterations. This situation is very fluid, and ever changing so let it be no surprise that as we get closer to fall, these plans will likely change or be altered to maintain the highest level of safety possible.
Graduation- An in person graduation scheduled for July 18, 2020 has been cancelled. Mr. Mack did a fabulous job with the virtual graduation, many in the area have stated they wish they would have done something similar. The original plan was rejected by our local health district. We were going to have to limit the number of audience. Please see Mr. Mack’s blog.
2020-2021 School Year- We will have a student start date of AUGUST 13, 2020. August 13 & 14 will be a 1:30pm dismissal. With this being said, we will only open if it is safe to do so. I am in continuous contact with The Panhandle Health Department and almost daily given the current state of the situation. We obviously feel it is best to have “in person” learning but we feel safety is of the utmost importance. If the situation dictates, we will alter our school day and calendar as necessary. These changes could include simply minimizing contact between students in a regular “in person” setting. It may include an “even” and “odd” day grouping (with family considerations) where students are placed into groups of “even” and “odd”. Or on an even date half of the students come in and the other half have digital learning altering from one day to the next. It could include going 100% digital like we had to last spring. These potential alterations will no doubt cause issues with parent work schedules and day care schedules. We have formulated a CoVid Start plan that phases a Green, Yellow, and Red system. At this time we feel we are in the Green section.
Mask Wearing- At this point there are still several debates going on at the state and national level about the need to wear masks or to allow students and their families to have the choice whether to participate in mask wearing or not. As we sit right now ALL staff members will be encouraged to wear masks during the school day. At this point, students are free to choose to or not to wear masks. In doing so the student and their family do so at their own risk. Student masks will need to be purchased at their own expense.
Classroom Social Distancing- We are working right now on a plan to spread out our students while in the classroom. Schools were obviously not built to incorporate a six-foot space between children. We no doubt will have challenges with lunch, recess, along with before and after school commons areas, but the plans we will have in place with do the best we can to maintain appropriate social distancing as best we can.
Cleaning/Sanitizing- The custodial staff of Chadron Public Schools has done a great job of cleaning and sanitizing our buildings. Obviously not having 900+ bodies in the building for summer break has helped us in this process, however we have plans in place to regularly clean and sanitize each instructional space on a more frequent basis. In addition, through the University of Nebraska we have had ample supplies of alcohol-based hand sanitizer supplied to us to enable students to frequently and more aptly apply hand sanitizer throughout the school day.
Extra-Curricular Events- As you probably know we are amid loosening some restrictions for the summer conditioning and program specific practicing. With all of these openings, we have made alterations to the way we do things to provide a more socially distant atmosphere. As we get closer to fall and actual competition, there will no doubt be restrictions that we will have to follow as a school as well as protocols that spectators will have to follow in order to safely watch the Cardinals in action. As these come available, we will get them out to the public.
I know this information is a lot to digest and it is not ideal. I know that the frustration level can creep up as there are so many questions and not enough answers. Please continue to be patient. As a school district, we want to get back into a normal routine as much as anyone. We want to get back to “in person” learning with a normal schedule that is easier to plan around. We want each of our students to get to experience school. I want you to know that we will do the very best we can to make this happen.
Please see our plan and take our survey.
Ginger Meyer, Superintendent
Chadron Public Schools