Weekly Update: May 22, 2020
Weekly Update: May 22, 2020
Dear Grinnell-Newburg Board of Education, Staff, Families and Friends:
The Governor's announcement has sent many questions my way regarding the opening of summer events on June 1, 2020. These announcements came early for superintendents and our group did not expect this announcement going into the Holiday Weekend. Regardless, I want to assure you that we are working through the CDC flow chart guidelines, the Department of Education guidance, and the health and safety plan. I have organized a committee that includes our school nurses, Chris Coffman, Shawn Edelen, Chris Astelle, Lisa Johnson, Building Principal representative, and I am hoping to recruit a local Physician, and a couple of parents to participate to ensure that we address all avenues. Our EMA and IDPH will also be reviewing our guidance.
This task force will create an FAQ about our summer programs, protocols and guidance. The athletic association’s documents will be included in our guidance as well. It is important to remember that not all families are ready to participate. Softball and Baseball are voluntary and only open for high school athletes. This is the only activity allowable for athletics and will only be able to practice outside. Some families, due to health concerns, are not ready to participate and are worried about pressure to participate. I am asking all families to recognize that this is voluntary, and we do not want to pressure anyone to participate if they are not comfortable. I want to take all precautionary measures to ensure that we are able to provide a safe activity for our athletes, staff, and fans. Therefore, there may be more strict guidelines than what the DE is suggesting. We may have to have parents drive their students to away games, not use all of the dugout, take temps of athletes upon arrival, etc... This task force will be working through the details.
All other summer programs will be virtual and there will be no indoor use of spaces by students, except for the link program that is serving essential workers and hosting additional child care so that families can get back to work. This program has been approved by DHS. This program may be expanded to BP using space that will have 5-10 children per section.
Individual band lessons were thought to be ok as of yesterday morning, however the DE has stated that this needs to be investigated further. At this time individual band lessons are virtual at this time.
We will not be opening any indoor rentals during the month of June. We will re-evaluate for July. The health and safety committee will assist us to develop a plan moving forward. We need to examine equipment, supplies, PPE and other items that need to be on hand in order to ensure we follow the CDC flow chart. As the Department of Education director stated, “we need to take this slow and not open too quickly”. At this time the one additional outdoor area that is being considered to open on June 1, 2020 is the track to be used for walking.
I will be sending a voice message later today to let families know that we are working through the guidance from the DE, and that we have implemented a task force to establish our protocols and guidelines. I will continue to update our families.
Meal Pick Up Next Week:
Next week, due to the Memorial Day Holiday, meals will be available on Tuesday and Thursday. The time for pick up is the same, 11:00-12:30 pm, high school west parking lot. If you have meals being delivered, it will also be on Tuesday and Thursday next week.
I want to thank the many staff members, students and families who have completed the COVID-19 Support survey. You should have received this in an email yesterday. Teachers, I have reshared the link with you as the short link was not working for some staff. If you did not receive the survey, please email Amber.firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it to you.
Elementary Art Highlights:
Last day for Ms. Johnson’s online art classes will be next Friday, May 29th.
Virtual beach party with Classmates on zoom:
Please watch for details from your building principal about picking up items and dropping off items. Also as of today, we have roughly 35 summer school virtual activities for students to sign up for. We will be sending a google form out on Tuesday for sign up along with a brochure of descriptions of courses. Space may be limited! We hope that students and families will try out some new learning opportunities!
Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!