USD 460 - Questions and Answers

Updated 3.24.2020

When will my child begin receiving school work?

Phase I of our Continuous Learning Plan is to connect with our students.  Our goal is to connect through emails, phone calls, or other technology with every single student in USD 460.  We've made very good progress with this, and beginning Monday, March 30, you can expect to begin receiving information directly from teachers about what our new approach to teaching and learning will look like this spring.  Initial communication will feel a bit like "back to school" communication as new procedures and new expectations must be shared.  Our plan is to start slow, remain flexible, give lots of grace, and continue to put relationships first.

How will you support those who do not have internet access?

This is a big challenge for us, but we are going to accommodate all students, even if they do not currently have internet access.  We are working to provide wifi access on our campus, which will be parking lot hotspots and these should be operational within the next week or two.  We are working with internet service providers and mobile carriers to see how we can support other creative ways to expand internet services.  In the short-term, we will work to facilitate hardcopy instructions and learning activities for those without internet access.  If you have not completed our Technology Needs Survey, please do so to let us know what your needs are.

Is it too late to sign up for the school lunch and breakfast program?

It is not too late and we encourage you to sign up by clicking here and reading more about the program.  We do offer a delivery service to those in need.  Although we are happy to deliver to those in need, we do ask any families that are capable of picking up food at the middle school, please do so as we have quite a few deliveries to make at this point.  Please keep in mind that we need to see your child to give him or her the food.  If you child is not present, we are not supposed to provide food under the food program guidelines.

Do I need a device for each of my children and when will the school distribute devices?

You do not need a device for every child, but it might help to have multiple devices if you have three or more children in the house.  We are working to coordinate a process to distribute devices and plan to coordinate this process when we distribute personal belongings to students.  This will likely happen early next week.

When will my child be able to pick up his or her belongings from school?

We are working to coordinate pick up and plan to begin this process early next week. Once we figure out the logistics of this, we will contact you.  Our plan is to schedule by building and grade level to make this process as efficient as possible.

How does my child access his/her school email address?

Each student has a school issued email account, and the email address is:  graduation year, first name.last name@usd460.org and the password is swather + lunch code.  For example 2026john.smith@usd460.org and swather4422.  If you have trouble accessing your child's email, please contact a teacher or our central office at 620-327-4931.

Will there be a prom or graduation this year?

We do not know what the next few weeks and months will bring, but we are committed to providing any and all opportunities for our kids in accordance with current safety guidelines, recommendations, and mandates. We know how disappointing the loss of spring activities is for everyone and want to support our kids and families through this challenging period of time. We will continue to follow federal, state, and local safety guidelines and mandates and will constantly review this information to plan future student and community opportunities and events.

Updated 3.21.2020

What is the USD 460 Continuous Learning Plan (CLP)?

The CLP is something we had never heard of before the Coronavirus outbreak. Now it is standard language for all of us. Although the campus is closed, our teachers are going to give our very best effort to embrace a new approach to teaching and learning in Hesston Schools. All teachers will stay connected to their students. We are working to create authentic learning experiences for our students that focus on essential competencies for each grade level and content area. This plan will develop over time and will emphasize interaction, creativity, service, and family involvement. This is not simply moving everything online, and we will begin rolling out this plan in very early April.

Who qualifies for the daily lunch and breakfast program?

Anyone 18 years or under in the Hesston community may receive a lunch and breakfast Monday-Friday. These meals are free, and will be available for pick-up each day from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm in the back of the middle school outside the gym entrance. We will also offer delivery beginning at 11:00 am each day. If you plan to have your child participate in this food program, please complete the following form….Lunch and Breakfast Form

Does my child need a technology device to complete school work?

Having a device, such as a Chromebook, iPad, or other technology that can access web-based platforms will be important for our Continuous Learning Plan. We have devices that can be checked out to you, and we will develop a method to make this happen soon. We will work to ensure each household has at least one device. You will want to work with your kids to make sure they share their devices. If your child needs a school issued device, please complete the following form...Family Technology and Internet Survey

How will we receive a school-issued device and what will the device be?

We are working to create a check-out process that will likely occur in early April at the front of the middle school. The device your child receives will likely be a Chromebook or an iPad, either of which will be sufficient for the work they will do this spring.

Will the Continuous Learning Plan mean my child is on a device all day?

We do not plan to structure our new model in a way that is going to require being on a computer or tablet for long periods of time. We will use online platforms such as Class Dojo at HES and Google Classroom at HMS and HHS to share learning activities. There will likely be some activities involved that requires a device, but many learning activities will be offline too.

What if I do not have internet access at home?

We are working on ways to solve this challenge and will have more information very soon. For now, please make sure you let us know that this is a concern by filling out the Family Technology and Internet Survey so we know who we need to help.

Do I need to find my own resources to teach my children since school is closed?

Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to have many resources available to you and your children that can assist in our implementation of the Continuous Learning Plan in USD 460. So, there is no reason, at this point, to purchase or acquire a lot of new resources. You are more than welcome to promote learning as you see fit, but your child’s teachers will have many resources and strategies at their disposal to engage students.

I’ve heard that kids might be able to come to school in small groups of less than 10. Is that going to happen in Hesston?

We have no plans at this time to bring students into the building. Local Health Departments can determine if this is allowable, but our school district is not comfortable with students being in classrooms or buildings based on strict distancing guidelines.

Will my child be able to get things from their locker or classroom?

Yes, we are working on a plan to make this happen and will communicate when we are ready to do so. It will likely be at the very beginning of April when this happens. We know this is a pressing need for some but ask for your patience as we determine the very best approach to get everyone what they need from the buildings.

When can I expect teachers to contact my child?

Through March 27, our teachers are contacting students just to check-in with them and see how they are doing. For HES students, our classroom teachers are contacting their students. At HMS, RS teachers are reaching out to their RS groups. At HHS, Crew leaders are getting in touch with their Crew groups. We do want to account for all of our kids and hear back from them, so please encourage your child to respond to their teacher's messages.

When can I expect my child to begin school work under the Continuous Learning Plan?

We are planning to be ready to go by very early April. Teachers and administrators will be working the week of March 23-27 to develop our Continuous Learning Plan and determine how each teacher will approach this new model. There is certainly a lot of work to do, but we have gotten off to a good start with our plans. We have guidance from the Kansas State Department of Education and an excellent team of Hesston teachers that comprise our local Continuous Learning Team. This team has already been working hard, and we've taken initial steps to prepare for our new teaching and learning model.

As a parent, what should I do to help support my child in this new Continuous Learning Plan model?

The big thing right now is we need our kids to be receptive to this completely different style of teaching and learning. It is not going to be ideal, and we are going to learn a lot in the first few days and weeks. We need your feedback and will provide formal ways for you to share how things are going. We also will need you to pay attention to the activities we are asking your children to engage in and help us ensure the work is being done. Many of the activities will be project-based and service-oriented, while some might be more traditional type school work. As a parent or guardian, you are a critical part of this plan’s success.

Who do I contact if I have concerns or questions?

For the short-term, you can call our Central Office at 620-327-4931. Although our office is not currently keeping traditional hours, the superintendent, Ben Proctor, is on-duty each day and will work to answer the phone if at all possible. You can also email ben.proctor@usd460.org. As the new Continuous Learning Plan takes off in very early April, your child’s teacher will be a good resource, but until then, feel free to use Ben Proctor or one of our school principals as a point of contact for questions or concerns.

Will school building offices be open? What about the Central Office?

Right now, school buildings will not be open to the public and offices will not be operational. The central office will be open on a limited basis, but we are not currently operating on normal business hours. We will see how CDC guidelines change and that will dictate whether office hours are established or adjusted.

I have children in different building and receive the same information over and over. Could you streamline your communication so we do not receive so much redundant correspondence? 

Yes, this is something our administrative team is working to do better. We recognize there has been a lot to share over these past few days and apologize for not having that as streamlined as we should. We are assessing our communication platforms and will work hard to align these to make information relevant and easy to access.