3/26/20 Update - Priorities of District / Soft Closure
Dear Parents and Staff,
Our community is experiencing unprecedented circumstances with these new challenges, and despite the challenges, I can't think of anywhere else I would rather be! On behalf of the West Jefferson Board of Trustees and our district admin/supervisors, I appreciate the support and patience we have received as we move forward with the COVID-19 situation. We will get through this together!
These are the priorities for the district through April 21:
1. Provide child nutrition
2. Protect the welfare of students and staff
3. Deliver instruction remotely
Earlier this week, the Idaho State Board of Education directed all Idaho schools to operate in "Soft closure" mode through Monday, April 20, 2020. Governor Little declared a 21-day stay home order for all non-essential services. I have received some clarification on what this will look like for schools.
K-12 Educational Institutions fall under the definition of an "Essential Service" for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
Teachers and staff are considered to be "on-call" and can be asked to report to work. Once distance learning procedures are in place, teachers and staff should work from home as much as possible during the 21-day stay home order. They should, however, be accessible to parents and students by phone or technology for academic direction and support. Exceptions to the requirement for teachers and staff to report to work include individuals at-risk or quarantine measures due to illness or travel.
So a "Soft" closure means that teachers and staff MAY report to work, but students remain at home. Teachers will be providing home learning opportunities for students. These will either be online or assignment packets. I am asking teachers to make these assignments "Content-rich and assignment light." We want to be sensitive to the needs of busy parents. Paraprofessionals and support staff should only report to work during this time when asked by your direct supervisor.
Monday, March 30, teachers will make preparations for distance learning. They will contact parents through the Edlio Engage and inform them when and where parents can access their learning packets or pick up Chromebooks for digital learning. Please be sure to check the email that you have on file with the school (PowerSchool.) This is where the teachers will be sending on-line school information for the children to be doing at home.
Lunch Services will continue providing Grab and Go Meals. These are Free for anyone ages 1-18. They are available from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm at the following 4 locations:
- Terreton School Lunchrooom (drive-up window)
- Hamer Elementary School
- Monteview LDS Church
- Mud Lake City Building
Traveling during the 21-day stay home order for educational purposes is defined as "Essential Travel." This includes traveling to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related service.
We are hoping that we will be able to return to regular school on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.
At this time we are unsure of the status of Spring sports and are waiting for direction from the IHSAA. I will provide more information as it becomes available.
Mr. Shane Williams
West Jefferson 253