Because of the multiple changes in the Governor's plan to re-open Kansas that have occurred over the last week, we will be pushing our Graduation Ceremony from June 21 to Monday, June 22 at 8pm in Hobbs Stadium. (June 22 was originally our rain-out date)
If you are unfamiliar with the phased plan to re-open Kansas I would encourage you to read through the information found here.
As you can see in the Governor's plan, June 22 is the earliest that we are able to hold a ceremony with over 45 people. The abrupt addition of phase 1.5 last week, along with the change to a "phase 2" with new requirements and guidelines this week, have caused us to change many of our previously approved plans for summer activity on the USD 460 campus.
Tentatively we will plan to use June 23 as a rain-out date. All other information and expectations that we have previously shared regarding the ceremony remain intact, including 8 guests per graduate along with seating that will allow for distancing from family to family.
Also, the ceremony will be live-streamed for friends, family, and community who are not able to be in attendance that evening. Our Video Production program will host the event via "Swather Sports Productions", which they developed earlier this school year.
Thanks for you continued flexibility and support as we move through an ever-changing Spring and Summer.
Just a few days left before we wrap up the year for our 9th through 11th grade students! Seniors completed classes on the 12th and checked-in their books this morning. I'm awfully proud of our students and staff for their efforts over the last several weeks! A few updates as of today....
1. Yesterday Governor Kelly added a phase (phase 1.5) to her plan for re-opening Kansas. The announcement was completely unforeseen by school districts and we had previously created plans for summer that were approved by the Harvey County Health Department. There is potential that this additional phase will alter some of those previously approved plans. We will be working with the Harvey County Health Department on any changes that will need to be made regarding summer workouts, Drivers Ed, and graduation, along with other uses of our school facilities.
2. If your son or daughter participates in school activities please take a moment to fill out the survey that was sent yesterday by Mr. Proctor regarding participation this summer. As stated above, the Governor's added phase may alter our approved plan, but we will still work to provide summer opportunities for our students. The plan previously approved by the County can be found here.
3. Tonight is the Spring music concert that includes the Variety Show, along with HS and MS choir performances. The show can be found on the Hesston High Choral Department Facebook page. The link can be found here. It should be a great show and will highlight the talents of our students!
4. Individual student schedules for the 2020-2021 school year will be available at the end of the month. Once Mrs. Hiebert has finalized those for each student we will send out a notification that they are available via Infinite Campus. Mrs. Hiebert will also communicate methods for any needed schedule changes at that time.
5. Please be aware of our check-in date next Wednesday, May 20! Vanessa sent the following message to all 9th, 10th, and 11th graders yesterday....
Just a reminder that every student will need to attend check-in Wednesday, May 20 at the assigned time. If you are scheduled to work you must find a reliable person to return your items during your time slot and pick up any packets that have been put together for you (academic awards, spring sports, etc.) Please follow the procedure we used for locker pick up by entering the drive by the weight room. If you forget something we will have to send you back home for it!
Please return the following items:
Chromebook (up to $100 if lost/damaged)
Charger ($40 if lost/damaged)
Calculators ($95 if lost-bring exact separate payment)
World Geography Trifolds
Choir Folders ($30 separate payment if lost/damaged)
Library Books - bring exact separate payment if you've lost your book-email Vanessa to see how much you owe
Lunch accounts - your parents have this information in their email if you were negative
We are incredibly blessed to work with your kids. Please let us know how we can assist you!
The past two months have felt like an eternity, yet somehow also flown by! We are rapidly approaching the end of the school year and I have several important pieces of information to share....
1. Graduation has been set for June 21! Click here to view the letter I released yesterday to the Class of 2020 and their parents. A piece of information not noted in the letter is that the ceremony will also be broadcast live via Swather Sports Network and our A/V Production program led by Ms. Gaston.
2. In accordance with the Harvey County Health Department, the Governor, and KSHSAA we have put together a plan for beginning summer activities on campus starting June 1. This includes weights/conditioning with Coach Bauerle, use of gyms by athletic teams, and any other school activity that will plan to use USD 460 facilities this summer. The plan accounts for group sizes, safety measures, and cleaning, and the details will be reviewed by the BOE on Monday night. After school board review we will also be asking for parent feedback related to your hopes and concerns regarding a return to in-person activities. As with all decisions, this will all be dependent on any changes made at the county and state level.
3. We will be hosting Driver's Education this summer! As with other activities mentioned above, we are targeting June 1 as a start date. If you are interested in your son or daughter taking the class please email Phil Oelke at email@example.com. Phil is a teacher in the Hillsboro school district, but will be the director of our Driver's Ed program this summer.
4. While we were unable to host our traditional Academic Awards assembly this year, we will begin recognizing those students beginning next week via multiple announcements, social media posts, the Swather app, and local news outlets.
5. Library books were due yesterday, May 7. Bills for lost and/or unreturned books will be sent out soon. Last chance to drop them off at the front of the high school today before the bills go out!
6. Please make note of the important pick-up/drop-off dates in the post from 5.1.2020 below if you have not yet seen those!
Please let me know if I can help you or your family in any way. I look forward to and hope for normalcy soon!
I hope this information finds you healthy and in good spirits as we move through the Spring season. We've reviewed the Governor's address and plan for Kansas that was released last night, and nothing changes for us as we end our 19-20 school year. A number of important pieces of information are shared below....
1. Please complete the online enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year by May 4 for any returning students! The link can be found here. Contact Vanessa Schroeder with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. As we approach the last few weeks of school there are a handful of important dates to know...
May 12 - This will be the last official day of class for Seniors. Teachers will use the remainder of that week to catch up with those who still need to complete work or take care of class obligations.
May 15 - Seniors will do drop-off/pick-up of school items from 9-10am. Lettering and academic awards will be distributed to them, and they should have chromebooks, chargers, and textbooks to turn in. (More detailed info will be sent out that week)
For Frosh, Sophs, and Juniors....
May 15 - This will be the last official day that teachers distribute any course work. The following week (May 18-20) will be used to catch up with those who still need to complete work or take care of class obligations.
May 20 - All 9th, 10th, and 11th graders will do a drop-off/pick-up of school items. Lettering and academic awards will be distributed to them, and they should have chromebooks, chargers, and textbooks ready to turn in. (More detailed info will be sent out that week)
3. If any student has a library book to return prior to the end of the school year they may do so in a drop-box at the lunch pick-up at HMS next week on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday, or they may drop them off in a drop-box at the front of HHS on Thursday from 1-3pm. These should all be returned by May 7!
4. We are currently working on our master schedule for the 2020-2021 school year. The nature of our workflow has been impacted and we are a bit behind where we would normally be at in the process. We'll be finishing that up over the next couple of weeks and will notify students when their individual schedules are available in Infinite Campus. From there, Mrs. Hiebert will communicate any processes and important dates for schedule changes.
5. The KSHSAA board of directors are meeting today for a number of topics, including guidelines for summer activities. I'm hopeful that as we enter June we'll have the opportunity to have coaches/sponsors working with our kids again, and that our kids can again be active in the sports and activities that they love. I know this is an important topic for many of you, and we'll continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.
6. Mrs. Hiebert and I are working with HMS on transition plans for 8th graders. This is a time of year in which we normally hold multiple face-to-face presentations and meet-and-greet functions for those students. On May 4 we will hold a Google Meet with the 8th grade students to share information about HHS and answer any questions they may have. We are also working on other video type presentations to help with the transition.
I continue to be encouraged by seeing so many families out on walks and bike rides in the evenings. I hope you are enjoying some extra time with your kids!
I hope you are all doing well, enjoying time with your kids, and staying healthy! Please read through a few updates on our Spring semester here at HHS....
1. While we must still be in a holding pattern to determine the details of our graduation for the Class of 2020, we did shoot out a survey to our Seniors to gather some feedback and information on what their wishes are for a graduation ceremony. Overwhelmingly, our Senior class prefers to find the opportunity, even if it means waiting, to hold an in-person graduation. Certainly not shocking that they would prefer and value that opportunity! Please understand, we are not able to create a firm plan yet, but we are working to gather input and information that will help us move forward.
Many schools across Kansas have made plans for virtual graduations in May. Others have already scheduled dates later in the summer with the hopes of a traditional ceremony. I place a high premium on the feedback we've received from our Senior class, and we will do everything we can to provide an in person, face-to-face, and personal experience for them.
Please remain patient as we move through the Spring. The stay-at-home order runs through May 3 and any orders from Governor Kelly at that point will be important pieces in our decision-making process. Information, guidelines, and orders from state and local agencies will continue to be evaluated.
We have a team in place, comprised of staff members and Senior students, that will continue to meet in order to gather input, seek advice, and create plans when the time comes. We met today to discuss the feedback from the Seniors and will meet again on May 5 to review any new information from the State level.
A special thank you to the Seniors who are serving on that team.... Ben Roth (Stuco President and graduation ceremony presenter), Jason Hecht (Stuco Vice-President), Celbi Richardson (Senior Speaker for graduation), and Chet Albin (Senior Speaker for graduation). They have been incredibly thoughtful and I appreciate their help!
2. Have you seen this video from Ms. Gaston, our video production teacher, yet? I'm so proud of our staff and students! (If your allergies flare up a little while you are watching it's ok.....I understand!)
3. The HHS Variety Show shall go on this Spring! Mr. Enns will provide a virtual concert and the Variety Show on the Hesston High Choral Department Facebook page at 7pm on May 15. The show will include performances from all choirs along with components of the traditional Variety Show. Here is a preview of what's to come that night! (again, if your allergies flare up I understand!) I can't wait for this event!
4. If you haven't yet, please find a moment to fill out the Parent Survey that Mr. Proctor has sent out previously. This will allow us to gather some info and feedback related to communication as we move through this time of school closure.
5. Online enrollment for 2020-2021 is open! Click here to access the forms. Contact Vanessa Schroeder at email@example.com if you need any help.
Thanks for all that you do for your children and our school community!
Just a few pieces of information to be aware of as we continue through the Spring....
1. We will not be finalizing details for graduation until the start of May. The Governor's stay at home order runs through May 3 and we will remain patient until that order is reviewed and more information and guidance are available to schools. A variety of options will be considered, but please keep in mind that our state and county health officials will play a key role in determining when and how these types of gatherings are able to occur. I understand the anxiety of not knowing answers, and that many of you have questions regarding graduation. Many decisions made at the federal, state, and local levels over the coming weeks will impact our options, hopefully in a good way! We'll determine the best option to honor our graduating class as we enter the month of May.
2. For those of you with Seniors who are still deciding what to do next year, Mrs. Hiebert will be reaching out to the class of 2020 to determine what supports are needed for each individual. She will follow up with those in need of more help and provide resources and guidance needed to enroll in college, find apprenticeships, etc.
3. KSDE is encouraging schools to hold off on summer programs such as Driver's Education until early May as well. The extension or reduction of the stay at home orders, along with the school closure as mandated by Governor Kelly, will impact the ability to host Driver's Ed this summer. I've been in contact with our lead instructor Phil Oelke, and he is also gathering more info regarding the program. At this point in time, we will not be able to make a decision until early May, but will get more info out as it becomes available.
4. Overall our students are doing a great job of staying connected with their teachers and submitting the homework assigned. I'm impressed and proud of our kids as many are also juggling jobs and supporting siblings at home! I also know the novelty of the situation is wearing off for many, and a great number of students have expressed how they miss school, friends, activities, etc. We miss them, too! I'm proud of our staff for hanging in there as well. We're incredibly fortunate to have the collection of teachers, coaches, and sponsors at our school that serve as leaders, role models, and mentors for the kids in our community. Please keep encouraging your kids to stay engaged with their school work and if you see any of their teachers give them a pat on the back! Or, a social-distancing appropriate minimum of 6 feet "air" pat on the back! :)
5. If you haven't yet, please find a moment to fill out the Parent Survey that Mr. Proctor has sent out previously. This will allow us to gather some info and feedback related to communication as we move through this time of school closure.
Thank you again for your interest in the success of your kids and the support of the schools. I'm constantly encouraged by the strength of our community.
Please contact me if I can provide any support!
Thank you to all of the parents and students that drove through our "Pick-up" day on March 30. The ten days since have felt like an eternity. We had 100% of our students accounted for on that day!
April and May at HHS are my favorite time of year, and I'm really missing all of the activities that occur for students during this time. I've spoken with several parents who have expressed the same thing, and many of our staff members have shared with me the comments that students have made about missing school, friends, teams, etc. Know that our staff cares tremendously about the kids in our school, and we all want to support them the very best that we can.
A few pieces of information to share at this point....
1. If your son or daughter has an issue with their chromebook they can use this form to report the problem to our tech director, Phil Unruh. I've sent this link to the students, as well, and asked them to bookmark the form for quick and easy access if a need arises. Phil will check the form responses regularly and is working hard to keep all student up and running!
2. Phil has also set up a wifi hotspot in the football stadium parking lot. If there is a need for internet access, students have open access anywhere in that large parking area.
3. Many of you may be wondering about how grading will work during this stretch of school building closure. Applying some of our traditional school policies to our current delivery model is a bad idea, in my opinion. I have conisderable concerns for equity, support, and the ability for any policy to account for the challenges that many students are facing outside of school. That said, here are a few main points for students and parents to understand regarding grading and earning course credits:
a. Students who had a failing grade in any class going into the school closure will be communicated with by the teacher and informed of exactly what they can do to raise their grade to a passing score.
b. Students interested in raising a class grade will have the opportunity to do so via work assigned by the teachers over the remainder of the semester.
c. We do not want to penalize any grades from where they were going into the closure, but students must be willing to participate in their classes and stay in communication with their teachers. Ultimately, their engagement in classes over the next several weeks may impact their final assigned grade.
4. I'm proud of our Crew teachers for taking ownership of staying in touch with their groups. This will continue to be a main point of contact between the school and students. Check with your son or daughter to see if they have been responding to meeting requests and/or emails from their Crew teacher.
5. Have you downloaded the Hesston Swather app yet? It's available in the App Store and Google Play by searching "Hesston Swathers". Turn on notifications on the app if you'd like to notified of updates and info from HHS and USD 460.
Thanks for all you are doing as parents to make the best of a challenging situation. I have three children of my own at home, and I understand the juggling act you are experiencing! Please let me know if I can answer any questions or provide any help.
Thank you for the outpouring of support and patience you have shown over the last two weeks. Please read through the important information below regarding item pick-up/drop-off and academic work for your child.
1. Please read through this document outlining the school item pick-up and drop-off on Monday, March 30. It is extremely important that we are able to distribute personal items and collect school items on that day! You may pick up for your child.
2. Phase 1 of our Continuous Learning Plan is to make contact and stay connected with students. Your son/daughter's Crew teacher will be the main point of contact. The Crew classes are small groups, 12-14 students, that meet daily at HHS. Our Crew teachers want to provide support for your child through this time! Please check with your child to make sure they are staying in communication with our staff.
3. Phase 2 of our Continuous Learning Plan will involve academic progress for students across USD 460. There are an incredible number of considerations that must be made, and we have encouraged our staff to start "small and simple". We don't want your child to be immediately overwhelmed. It is extremely important that they regularly check their school email and Google Classroom for communication and assignments from the teachers. Google Classroom will be common platform our teachers use to distribute work and for students to return work. Expect the academic portion of our plan to begin on Monday. Some classes are difficult to replicate from home, and please understand that some classes will require more/less work than others given the context we are living in.
4. If you haven't yet, please download the new Hesston Swather mobile app on your phone. It can be found in either the App Store or Google Play. By turning on "notifications" you will be alerted to any information we push out from the building or district level. This will provide improved avenues of communication for our school district as we move forward.
Thank you for your time. Your kids are extremely important to us, and we want to support them through this confusing and challenging time. Please contact me if I can help in any way!
Please see the following information regarding student meals and technology needs.
Please read through the following information.
School Lunch & Breakfast. Beginning March 23, we will be serving lunch and breakfast each weekday from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm outside the middle school gym. This is free for all kids ages 1-18, even those who are not USD 460 students will get a free lunch and breakfast if they need one. If you need food delivered, we can do that too. Please use the following link to let us know if you would like to pick-up food at the middle school or need delivery, which will begin at 11:00 am.... Lunch and Breakfast Form
Technology Needs. As we transition to a new way of teaching and learning, technology will become an essential aspect of our new model. We recognize that some students need a device and some need internet access. To identify those in need, we ask you to complete the Technology Needs Form. The school district is working to make sure that every family has at least one device, and our teachers will be flexible when delivering instruction. No one needs to purchase new technology. (Note: All HS students should already have a chromebook!)
Parents, I have two primary concerns and considerations as we finish the spring semester....(1) make sure kids are fed, and (2) make sure we remain connected and in contact with our students.
If your son or daughter hasn't already, they will be receiving an email from their Crew teacher. The Crew classes are small groups of 12-13 students that we will use as the primary point of contact and interaction to get ourselves started. Please talk to your son or daughter about checking their school email regularly! That will be an important source of communication and information.
Do not expect much in the way of academic work being sent home next week. Our teachers will be working through the what's and how's for a few days before we begin that portion of the spring semester.
Thank you for your patience and understanding!