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LUNCH and BREAKFAST FORM         TECHNOLOGY FORM

March 18, 2020 - Community Update

USD 460 Families,

Earlier today, you should have received an email from your child's principal with some information on a variety of topics. We have a new team in our district called the Continuous Learning Team, which is a group of teachers and administrators tasked with developing a plan for how we can best support student learning this spring. The team held its first virtual meeting this morning and we decided that the first phase of our plan is to connect with you and your children. Over the next week, our teachers will communicate with their students in a few different ways but the focus is on connection, touching base, and just checking in with one another.
Over the next couple of weeks, our Continuous Learning Team will work towards a second phase of our plan, which will be more of an academic focus, but we are not ready to move in that direction just yet. We want to connect first.

We know closing schools to our normal everyday functions creates so many hardships, and all of us are recognizing just how much our schools mean to each one of us. There are immediate needs in our community, and below are a few forms that will help us identify these needs and how we can best support families at this time.

We are going to begin serving breakfast and lunch to our students or any child in our community ages 1-18 on Monday, March 23. If you are interested in learning more and would like to sign up for drive-through or delivery service, please click the following link to share important information with us: Lunch and Breakfast Form

In order to move forward towards a new approach to teaching and learning, technology will play an important role. If you need technology support, specifically a school-issued device for your child or if you do not have home internet access, please complete the following form so we can help you with those issues: Technology Needs Form

As always, please let me know if you have any questions on anything at all, and we'll be back in touch very soon. Feel free to call our central office at 620-327-4931 or email ben.proctor@usd460.org.

Ben Proctor
Superintendent


March 17, 2020 - Coronavirus Update including School Closure Information

Today, March 17, 2020 Governor Laura Kelly announced the closure of school facilities to normal daily functions for the remainder of the school year. This will place tremendous hardship on our families and staff, and impact the well-being of our students.

We have been working on contingency plans since mid-March, including how we can meet the ongoing learning needs of our students and provide breakfast and lunch for our students. Our Continuous Learning Team will be working on this plan over the next couple of weeks as we work towards communicating with our families.

Our staff and board of education are also working on other critical issues, such as what this means for our graduating seniors, how this will affect next school year and what impact this will have on our employees. We will provide updates on these issues as soon as the information is available.

We are committed to working together as a community to support one another throughout these unprecedented times, and communication will remain a top priority. We will provide ongoing updates on this webpage.

There will be much more information to come, but we will plan to serve lunch and breakfast to all children who need it beginning Monday. We are also in discussions about how we can best support childcare needs in our community as well. We know there are many needs in our community and our school district is committed to serving the community.

As a reminder, this school closure is in response to the current public health crisis. The focus should remain on preventing the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it is also referred to.

Please be mindful of the following:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing (cough/sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue).
  • Please keep sick children at home.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Follow additional guidance from these sources:

Respectfully,

Ben Proctor
Superintendent


March 15, 2020 - Coronavirus Update

Late this afternoon, KSDE in coordination with the Governor’s office, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), and many other educational agencies in the state provided new recommendations for Kansas schools. This includes a strong recommendation that all schools who are not on spring break close this week, March 16-20. We are already on break for the coming week.

As these recommendations apply to Hesston USD 460, we will have no activity on our campus this week other than essential personnel only. Essential personnel in this situation are defined as custodial and operations staff who will focus on deep cleaning in buildings and our Health Advisory Team who will be working to coordinate our short and long-term contingency plans.

We know this is not ideal for anyone, but it is necessary to ensure we accomplish our goal of “flattening the curve.” There are no known cases of the Coronavirus in our schools, but aggressive social distancing measures, good hygiene practices like handwashing, and deep cleaning of facilities are essential at this critical time in dealing with this unprecedented and historical event.

KSHSAA has suspended spring activities including practices through March 22. HRCE (recreation) activities have also been canceled for the week. Our hope is to know more about long-term plans by the middle of the week.

Ben Proctor Superintendent

March 15, 2020 - Coronavirus Update

Late this afternoon, KSDE in coordination with the Governor’s office, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), and many other educational agencies in the state provided new recommendations for Kansas schools. This includes a strong recommendation that all schools who are not on spring break close this week, March 16-20. We are already on break for the coming week.

As these recommendations apply to Hesston USD 460, we will have no activity on our campus this week other than essential personnel only. Essential personnel in this situation are defined as custodial and operations staff who will focus on deep cleaning in buildings and our Health Advisory Team who will be working to coordinate our short and long-term contingency plans.

We know this is not ideal for anyone, but it is necessary to ensure we accomplish our goal of “flattening the curve.”  There are no known cases of the Coronavirus in our schools, but aggressive social distancing measures, good hygiene practices like handwashing, and deep cleaning of facilities are essential at this critical time in dealing with this unprecedented and historical event.

KSHSAA has suspended spring activities including practices through March 22. HRCE (recreation) activities have also been canceled for the week. Our hope is to know more about long-term plans by the middle of the week.

Ben Proctor, Superintendent


March 14, 2020 - Coronavirus Preparedness

Earlier this month USD 460 convened our Health Advisory Team to discuss our district’s level of preparedness for potential instances of the Coronavirus. As part of this process, we identified important partners and essential resources that will help guide our decision-making during a time of rapidly changing information related to the Coronavirus.

Over the past week, and especially in the past day or two, we have seen many organizations, events, and everyday parts of our lives canceled or disrupted. Schools are a place where many people gather each day, and therefore, we are an organization that must evaluate the most appropriate steps moving forward to help curb the spread of the Coronavirus. In doing so, we will continue to rely heavily on state and local health agencies to make important decisions.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the Harvey County Health Department, the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are critical resources for USD 460 as we make decisions moving forward. Our Health Advisory Team receives daily updates from agency partners and discusses how we will communicate should our everyday operations be disrupted.

Currently, we are advised to continue to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses through common sense actions such as staying home when sick and washing hands frequently. Our operations team is being extra diligent and attentive to disinfecting hard surfaces, door handles, and other areas that are touched often. We will continue to follow and promote these common sense practices.

We are committed to making certain our kids and our staff feel safe at school. There is potential for people of all ages, the little ones and big ones alike, to feel scared, anxious, or a wide range of other emotions as they see events canceled and hear more about the spread of the virus. Although we must remain vigilant, it is not a time to panic, but it is a time to stay informed and exercise discernment based on factual and reliable information.

We will accomplish this through daily collaboration with health agency partners at the state and local levels. We will practice situational awareness at all times. We will promote common sense practices that slow the spread of respiratory illness. We will know what to do if there is a case of Coronavirus in our region, or community, or school. If there is a need to close school for a time, we will do that too in collaboration with our state and local health agencies and other community partners.

As of today, state agencies are not recommending we close schools unless our local health agencies in collaboration with state health authorities advise us to do so. There are guidelines we will follow promoting good hygiene and social distancing at school, and we will provide more guidance on this during spring break.

We do know school closure is a possibility, so we want our families to be prepared if that were to happen. Our goal at this point is to plan for all contingencies including how our schools could support childcare needs, food service needs, and other needs in our community.

We are scheduled for spring break next week. I will be in the office throughout spring break, and we will closely monitor all developments related to the Coronavirus over the break. Should we need to make decisions related to school after spring break, we will communicate accordingly.

We hope everyone enjoys spring break spending quality time with family. Should you have questions or concerns over the break, please feel free to call our office next week at 620-327-4931 or email ben.proctor@usd460.org anytime.

For up-to-date information, click here for the KDHE Coronavirus Resource Center or the CDC Website. Additionally, we will keep this web page updated as we receive new information and make important decisions about school and events. 

Respectfully,

Ben Proctor, Superintendent



March 4, 2020

The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority, and we want to share with everyone in our community that our school district is well-aware of the Coronavirus concern in our country.

According to the CDC, the risk of contracting the Coronavirus remains low, and there have been no confirmed cases in our state or community. However, USD 460 is committed to taking forward-thinking steps to keep our students and staff healthy and safe, and that is the primary purpose of this communication.

In collaboration with the Harvey County Health Department (HCHD), the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), and the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), our district has developed a Preparedness and Response Plan to address the remainder of the cold and flu season along with uncertainty around the Coronavirus situation.

Below are recommendations from the CDC to prevent the spread of respiratory illness:

Students and Staff

  • Wash your hand frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick and only return to school when there are no signs of fever or other symptoms for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Use hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available.
  • Cough into your elbow or sleeve.

Parents

  • Monitor your children for illness and do not send them to school if symptoms are present.
  • Please call the school to report absences and share symptoms to assist school personnel in monitoring the spread of respiratory illnesses.
  • Stay informed through this website link and Infinite Campus (IC) communication.

Schools

  • Ensure systematic and thorough cleaning of hard surfaces, door handles, drinking fountains, etc.
  • Provide hand sanitizer stations throughout our buildings.
  • Review attendance patterns and communicate with local health agencies if absenteeism seems to be a result of respiratory illnesses.
  • Follow our district Continuity of Operations Plan should a large number of staff members need to stay home.
  • Partner with local health agencies, such as the Harvey County Health Department.
  • Utilize available communication platforms to share updates with staff and families.
  • Daily review data and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the HCHD.
  • Enact our district response plan should there be any confirmed cases of coronavirus in our school district.

USD 460 will remain proactive with our communication as we work closely with various state and local agencies. You can also visit the CDC Coronavirus website by clicking here and the KDHE Coronavirus website by clicking here.

As always, please call our central office at (620) 327-4931 should you have questions on this matter.

Respectfully,

Tammi Krehbiel
USD 460 Nurse