As COVID-19 hits our communities hard, we are saddened to announce that we have found ourselves in a position that necessitates us to shut down all Prairie Central schools for one week at this time (November 9th-13th.) The shut-down is due to the lack of staff members able to be at work, and the high number of students we have sent home late this week. We realize that in-person learning is what is best for kids, and have been working extremely hard to keep them in school. We have been creative in our use of staff, even using our administration in classrooms throughout the district; however we simply do not have enough substitutes to fill these positions. The week will also allow us to gauge if the high number of students sent home this week are COVID-related, or simply seasonal sickness as “usual”. Please continue to call the school this week if your child tests positive, so we can continue to keep accurate data!! We need is imperative to our decision making.
We will start the week with a planning day for teachers, so students will have a “day off” on Monday. PLEASE be aware that this week’s learning is NOT OPTIONAL! Students are required to complete lessons and will receive grades. We want to emphasize this. We don’t want to see kids fail because they chose not to participate in learning when we are in a remote learning situation. Some of the remote lessons will be live, and most will also be recorded. We will try our best to record all lessons so that students who are unable to view them during the school day (because they are at daycare, etc.) can view them once they are home. Also, some lessons will require additional work from students, such as the completion of an activity or homework. You should expect communication from your teachers by Tuesday morning. If your child cannot participate, contact his or her teacher. If you are in need of technology, you may pick up your child’s device at his or her school on Monday any time from 8:00am until 6:00 pm. Calling ahead would be appreciated.
Lunches will not be served on Monday, however additional information is forthcoming regarding meals for the rest of the week. Remember, all meals are free to all students through this school year.
We want to emphasize that we continue to believe that our schools are the safest place for students and staff, and we continue to be committed to keeping our schools open. Through the 11 weeks of this school year so far, our K-8 schools have had only 5 students test positive (total). The data that we have been keeping shows that students and staff are not contracting the virus at school. Up until this past couple of weeks, we had no transmissions at school. Even now, nearly all cases are coming from home and/or outside events. We are committed to a safe environment for students to learn.
Despite the safe environment in schools, through this past couple of weeks we have realized more than ever that we cannot do this alone. As the virus has hit home in our communities, we are now asking for your help to keep our kids in school. Please be extra vigilant in doing what is necessary to stop the spread of this virus in our communities. As always, thank you for your support of Prairie Central schools!
Paula Crane Superintendent