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March 28th, 2020

Dear USD 289 Students, Parents, and Patrons,

This continues to be an unprecedented time in our state and district. As we navigate the many changes brought about by COVID-19, we understand that this can be a time of anxiousness and uncertainty for many families. What isn’t an uncertainty is the love and passion our staff have for our students, their families, and one another and the care and support our community has for one another. Our staff miss their students immensely and are dedicated to providing them meaningful learning opportunities for the remainder of the year. We will get through this together!

On Thursday, March 26th, Franklin County issued a “stay at home” order. Today, Governor Kelly issued a statewide “stay at home” order. I want to assure you that these orders WILL NOT impact our ability to serve meals in USD 289. These meals are for ALL children ages 1-18 and do not have to be a student in USD 289. Additionally, these orders will not impact our ability to offer a continual learning plan. Our staff has been working very hard over the past week to finalize the USD 289 Continual Learning Plan. The following are important details, I would like to share with you regarding the Continual Learning Plan.

  • The Continual Learning Plan will officially begin on Monday, March 30th, 2020. There will NOT be any assignments the week of March 30th. Teachers will use this time to connect with students and families. If you do not have internet or technology, teachers will be reaching out to set up a learning plan using paper and pencil.
  • Grab and Go breakfast and Lunch will continue to be served. These can be picked up at Wellsville High School and/or delivered. The “stay at home orders” do not impact this service or your ability to pick up the meals.
  • The plan includes a very workable path for seniors to complete graduation requirements - both for students who have internet access and those that do not.
  • Teachers will focus on essential learning and essential outcomes for students - “less is more.”
  • This is a flexible plan that is adaptive as needs change.
  • The plan supports all populations of students.
  • Due to challenges associated with COVID-19, students will not be brought back into the building for small group learning at this time.
  • The MAXIMUM student commitment each day are as follows:
    • Pre-K : 30 minutes
    • Grades K-1: 45 minutes
    • Grades 2-3: 60 minutes
    • Grades 4-5: 90 minutes
    • Grades 6-12: 30 minutes per teacher (3 hours max in a day)
  • The plan has had input from multiple stakeholder groups (teachers, administrators, counselors and parents).
  • The CLP will not be simply making copies of worksheets and sending them home.
  • The CLP will not require hours of screen time for students and parents.
  • Operational aspects of the plan have been shared with the Franklin County Health Department to ensure that we are in compliance with all county health guidelines related to COVID-19.

Thank you to all families who filled out the survey. This information was essential in building and finalizing our plan.

Due to the “stay at home” and social distancing requirements from Franklin County and KDHE, all USD 289 Spring activities have been canceled. We understand that this is a tremendous loss of our students, families, and community. I am happy to announce that there will be a graduation event on May 16th to honor and celebrate the senior class of 2020. While the event will not be the traditional graduation ceremony, we will be working with parents and students to create a meaningful and memorable event that recognizes, celebrates, and honors our seniors. This event will comply with all health department and state guidelines in place at that time related to COVID-19.

Students (with parent permission) can check out a Chromebook to use at home as part of their Continual Learning Plan. If you would like your student to check out a Chromebook, please complete the online checkout form here. Chromebook Checkout Form Announcements regarding Chromebook pick up will be made next week.

With students unable to return to the building, teachers, administrators, and staff have cleaned out lockers and desks, so that students and their families can pick up these items this coming week. Elementary students can pick up their supplies on Monday. An announcement regarding secondary student pick up times will be made on Monday.

A huge thank you to our teachers and entire USD 289 staff who have worked tirelessly to develop the Continual Learning Plan this past week. And thank you to our Food Service staff and volunteers who served 1,921 meals this past week.

Parents and community members continue to be extremely supportive through what I know are times filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Just a reminder that our frequently asked questions and answers have been compiled and can be found here. We will continue to update through the remainder of the year.

With any challenge, comes uncertainty, but also opportunity. The opportunity to learn in a new way that provides them more choice and flexibility. Together, we can make this a memorable and valuable learning experience for all students. It is A Great Day to Be an Eagle!

Sincerely,

Ryan Bradbury

Superintendent

USD 289 Wellsville 

March 20th, 2020

Dear USD 289 Students, Parents, and Patrons,

This is an unprecedented time in our state and district. However, it gives me great comfort to know that we have a district full of talented staff, students, and a tremendously supportive community and parents. Together we will get through this.

On Tuesday, March 18th, 2020, Governor Kelly issued an executive order that school buildings would essentially be closed for the remainder 2019-2020 school years, but that schools would be developing continual learning plans to meet the educational needs of all students. The Kansas Department of Education convened a task force of educators from across the state to develop guidance to districts in developing their plans. On Thursday, March 19th, 2020, their report was released.

Our staff has been working very hard over the past two days to review the report and create a framework and process for developing the USD 289 Continuous Learning Plan (CLP). On Monday, teachers will begin meeting and working to create this plan for their classrooms, courses, and students. We will be hard at work March 23rd - March 27th.

While some details are unknown at this time, what I can tell you about our continual learning plan at this time is as follows:

  • We will be focusing on essential learning and essential outcomes for students - “less is more.”
  • This will be a flexible plan that is adaptive as needs change.
  • Relationships, social/emotional and mental health supports will be a key focus throughout the plan.
  • We will establish a consistent and agreed upon framework of expectations, communication models and practices that all stakeholders share.
  • The plan must support all populations of students.
  • Instruction models may be a blending of non-technology, face to face, and virtual platforms.
  • KSDE task force guidance has recommendations on time for students to spend on learning each day -- this will not look like the typical 6.5 hour day.
    • KSDE recommended guidelines for MAXIMUM student commitment each day are as follows:
      • Pre-K : 30 minutes
      • Grades K-1: 45 minutes
      • Grades 2-3: 60 minutes
      • Grades 4-5: 90 minutes
      • Grades 6-12: 30 minutes per teacher (3 hours max in a day)
  • The plan will have input from multiple stakeholder groups.
  • The CLP will not just be making copies of worksheets and sending them home.
  • The CLP will not be hours of screen time for students and parents.

We understand that all families and students will have situations and needs that are unique. As staff work to create and finalize the plan, we are asking for your assistance. Please complete the Planning for Continuous Learning Parent Survey for your student(s) HERE. This information will be essential as we complete our CLP.

If you have seen the movie “Martian”, Matt Damon is stuck on Mars, when he returns to Earth - he talks to his students about his experience and what it took to make it home. He described it by saying, “You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem. And you solve the next one. And then the next. And if you solve enough problems, you get to come home”. In many ways, that is exactly what our staff has been doing over the last few days and will continue to do next week. When they are done, I am confident that we will have a valuable continuing education plan for all students.

A huge thank you to our custodial department who has been deep cleaning the buildings all week, to our Food Service staff who is preparing free Grab and Go Breakfast and Lunches beginning Monday, March 23rd, and to our administrators and staff who gave up their Spring Break to begin working on this plan. Our teachers have been tremendously positive throughout the process and have been filling in throughout the break wherever needed. Thank you.

Parents and community members have been extremely supportive through what I know are times filled with anxiety and uncertainty. I know that you have a lot of questions. I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers that we know at this time. It can be found here.

A COVID-19 link has been added to the district website (top of the page) and school app. All COVID-19, continuous learning plan news and announcements will be placed here.

In the words of Gene Kranz, flight director of Apollo 13, when told that the outcome of this mission “could be the worst disaster that NASA ever experienced” - he responded by saying, “With all due respect sir, I believe this will be our finest hour”.

While this situation is far from ideal, by working together, I have no doubt that we have the opportunity to make this our finest hour.

Sincerely,

Ryan Bradbury

Superintendent

USD 289


USD 289 Timeline

  • Spring Break, March 23-27, will remain student and staff time off as scheduled.
  • March 30-April 3, will be a planning week for our staff to plan and finalize the CLP for USD 289. The anticipated start date is March 30th, 2020. Once the plan is ready to implement we will notify students and families of what this will look like going forward.
  • USD 289 will serve Free Grab and Go Breakfast and Lunch beginning March 23rd for any student ages 1-18 at Wellsville High School (curbside by the main office doors). If you need to have the meals delivered, please request this via email at plangenfeld@usd289.org. Your child and/or student must be present in the vehicle to get the meals (USDA waiver requirement)