June 22nd, 2020
To: Whitehall School District Families
From: Mike Beighley
Date: June 22nd, 2020
Re DPI Newly Released Reopening Plan
For immediate release:
Just this morning, DPI issued Education Forward guidelines for the reopening of schools this fall. We have been working on regional reopening plans for the past month and will continue these complex, lengthy and essential discussions as we move closer to the fall. There are many scenarios that will be talked about and looked at, but as we have seen over and over again the past few months, this situation will continue to change. We remain committed to building and maintaining an educational system that allows for in-person, virtual and/or asynchronous instruction to best cover any all needs as well as provide for family choice as we head into the fall of 2020 and beyond. Our planning will blend common sense and reasonable mitigation strategies related to COVID 19 as well as the needs of a true future ready instructional model, but there may well be COVID-19 related suggestions that we are not able to meet due to other constraints or realities. We will work to communicate our plans completely and thoroughly as we draw closer to September of 2020. We will communicate much more as the summer moves on and are planning to survey parents in early July as to their feelings and needs for the fall. This information will be blended into our decision making process and a formal plan will be released around the 1st of August.
Para liberación inmediata
Esta mañana, DPI publicó las directrices de Education Forward para la reapertura de las escuelas este otoño. Hemos estado trabajando en los planes regionales de reapertura durante el mes pasado y continuaremos estas complejas, largas y esenciales discusiones a medida que nos acerquemos al otoño. Hay muchos escenarios de los que se hablará y se estudiará, pero como hemos visto una y otra vez en los últimos meses, esta situación seguirá cambiando. Seguimos comprometidos con la construcción y el mantenimiento de un sistema educativo que permita la instrucción en persona, virtual y/o asincrónica para cubrir mejor todas las necesidades, así como para ofrecer opciones familiares a medida que nos acercamos al otoño de 2020 y más allá. Nuestra planificación combinará el sentido común y estrategias de mitigación razonables relacionadas con COVID 19, así como las necesidades de un verdadero modelo de instrucción preparado para el futuro, pero es muy posible que haya sugerencias relacionadas con COVID 19 que no podamos cumplir debido a otras limitaciones o realidades. Trabajaremos para comunicar nuestros planes de forma completa y exhaustiva a medida que nos acerquemos a septiembre de 2020. Comunicaremos mucho más a medida que avance el verano y estamos planeando hacer una encuesta a los padres a principios de julio sobre sus sentimientos y necesidades para el otoño. Esta información se incorporará en nuestro proceso de toma de decisiones y un plan formal se dará a conocer alrededor del 1 de agosto.
March 24, 2020
Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25th, the food service program will become a food pantry distribution. Food will be available in bulk for pick up only at:
- Whitehall Memorial Schools (front entrance)
- Hale Town Hall parking lot in Pleasantville
- Peace Lutheran Church parking lot in Pigeon Falls
- Northfield Town Hall parking lot in Northfield
We will be providing two options for pick up times. Families will be able to pick up food either between 11:00 AM-1:00 PM or between 4:00-6:00 PM at each location. Bulk products like buns, burgers, chicken, vegetables, milk, etc., will be available. Look for the school bus at each location and staff will be there to assist you.
To help us prepare:
If you are NOT currently receiving meals and would like to be added to the list, please tell us how many meals you are requesting, in addition to your preferred pick up location. That information can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call the school, 715-538-4364 ext. 8, and leave a message.
If you are already receiving meals, we will have your meals at the closest pick-up location to your home.
We apologize that we can no longer conduct the rural food deliveries, but we are obligated to honor the Governor’s Safer at Home order that will be issued on Tuesday, March 24th. This will happen every Wednesday and we will continue to do this as long as we have supplies available.
March 19, 2020
March 17, 2020
The Whitehall School District teachers have been hard at work getting content ready for the students in our district. The website below will become a one-stop place for students to find review and enrichment activities from their teachers. This is a work-in-progress and our staff will continue to add content in the days and weeks to come. If you have any questions, please contact your teacher directly.
March 16, 2020 – 7:00pm
Here are some reminders as of Monday night.
Whitehall Schools will close at 3:45 on Tuesday, March 17 and are scheduled to reopen on April 14th at this point. During this closure, you will be able to reach someone at school by phone most if not all days between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM. If you would like to come in and pick up either your child’s device or other school supplies in the next day or two, please feel free to come in and please call ahead and so we can make sure we are ready to help.
We are also hoping that everyone will return the informational items that we asked for or please email or call the school with the requested information. All pieces of information will be useful in determining how to best serve our students and school families moving forward, these items include:
- Grades 4K-12 students: The meal form so students can begin receiving breakfast and lunches on Wednesday.
- Grades 4K-6: The WIFI Form sent home with students so we can accurately assess our options for instruction in case this closure extends past April 14.
- Grades 4K-6: The personal contact form for students as our staff will be touching base with each student multiple times each week. This information will give us the best way to contact them
- Grades 7-12: The student information Google form that was emailed to that provides information on wifi needs and personal contact information.
Elementary Students: All winter clothing can stay home, tennis shoes are fine tomorrow.
In the event that your students have issues with the devices they use for school during the break, please contact the IT Department at school as they will be available to help until school is back in session.
As we have stated before, if you feel it best to keep your child home tomorrow, we certainly understand and support that decision. Please simply call the office and let us know so we know who we should be looking for tomorrow morning.
We continue to be impressed and amazed at the outpouring of support for our school children from both outside and inside our schools. We have great faith that we will all be ok as we do what we need to do during this challenging and unsettling time!
March 16, 2020
After the recent notification from Governor Evers requiring mandatory school closure throughout the state of Wisconsin, district administration will of course comply. Therefore, Whitehall Schools will be closing at 3:45 PM on Tuesday, March 17. The tentative date of return is Tuesday, April 14, 2020 (due to Easter).
Governor Evers stated, “Closing our schools is not a decision I made lightly, but keeping our kids, our educators, our families, and our communities safe is a top priority as we continue our work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.” In his communication, Governor Evers mandated all schools to be closed as of 5:00 PM, Wednesday, March 18. We will be closing at 3:45 on Tuesday. Because of the complex needs that so many in our greater community face, we feel the decision to remain open through March 17 is in the best interest of our students, staff, and community.
The school district has reviewed the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and encouraging social distancing, which the CDC defines as, “Remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible”, but we feel that is even more important to provide our families as much time to prepare for this extended scenario as possible, especially given the lack of documented cases in our specific area, so we will remain open as long as we are able.
In addition, please know that we do and will respect your individual rights and feelings regarding sending your children to school over the next two days and welcome you to make that specific decision. In the event you decide to keep your child(ren) home starting Monday, we will ensure that it does not reflect negatively on attendance records moving forward. Please continue to call the office if you are not planning to send your children as it will help us know who should be at school.
For all travelers returning to Wisconsin from U.S. states where the CDC determined that sustained community transmission is occurring, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommends those individuals self-quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 (including fever and cough). The CDC provides instructions on how to self-quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms. The Whitehall School District is following the recommendations of the DHS and requires all staff and students to follow the 14-day self-quarantine if you have traveled outside of Wisconsin in the past week. The CDC updates this information daily, and up-to-date information can be found by visiting this website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html
Given that many of our students do not have access to high-quality internet at home, we will not be offering formal required instruction during this initial closure. However, school staff will be sending devices, chargers and other related resources home with students as early as Monday, March 16. These resources are for voluntary use and will not be graded or recorded. We do, however, strongly encourage all students to stay engaged in their own learning as this extended hiatus from school at an important time of the year is less than desired. School staff members will also be reaching out to all students multiple times during each week we are not in session. The overall well being of our students and our families is of utmost importance in the coming days and weeks so that will be our focus. Please make sure all of your contact information is up to date in Skyward and/or contact your child’s teacher or respective office to provide the best way for us to stay in contact with your child(ren).
We understand this situation has put many families in a difficult situation. The school district will be providing a free breakfast and lunch to all individuals 18 years of age and younger or those students still in high school but between the ages of 19 and 21, beginning Wednesday, March 18. There will be a form on the district website and shared via social media, by Monday, March 16 at 2:00 PM, that families will need to fill out if they are interested in receiving a free breakfast and lunch. Note: Forms will also be sent home with each student to ensure that all families have the opportunity to use this service. The meals will be delivered to district residents according to bus routes beginning at 11:30 AM. If you live in the City of Whitehall, Village of Pigeon Falls, Pleasantville, Northfield or York, there will also be designated pick up locations if that works better for your families. The approximate times for these pickups will be 11:00-11:45 AM.
***Please send any extra plastic shopping bags that you may have at home as they may be used for food drop off***
Again, please fill out the form by the end of the day Tuesday if you would like meals delivered, as we will be delivering meals each Monday, Wednesday and Friday based on the information we receive. If you are unable to complete an electronic form, please either send back the paper form or call one of the Whitehall Memorial Schools offices at 715.538.4374 and leave a voicemail with the following information: family name, number of meals for individuals 18 years of age and younger requesting a meal, and which location you will be picking up or would like your meals delivered to. If information is not received, meals will not be delivered.
Delivery dates will be:
Wednesday, March 18
Thursday, March 19
Friday, March 20
Monday, March 23
Wednesday, March 25
Friday, March 27
Monday, March 30
Wednesday, April 1
Friday, April 3
Monday, April 6
Wednesday, April 8
Friday, April 10
Again, we understand you may have further questions and concerns as we continue to work through this situation. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding. All information regarding the school closure can be found on the homepage of the district website, www.whitehallsd.k12.wi.us. Further information will be communicated as the situation continues to develop.
In closing, please understand, as we have looked at this scenario, we can only really be wrong in one direction. Overreaction can be looked at and learned from by many for a long time, but underreaction may not allow some to reflect at all. That is the basis from which we try to operate on all things, but we never could have imagined something like this developing so quickly. Please stay positive and be patient with one another and us at school. We will do all we can to support our Norse Family going forward!
March 14, 2020
As many of you have already seen or heard, Wisconsin Schools have been ordered to close at 5:00 on Wednesday, March 18 and remain closed at least through April 6, 2020. We will be working through the weekend to think through the many questions we have as well as plan for the coming weeks. We will share as much information as fast as is practical early next week regarding any specific plans to support our students and families.
Unless something changes again, we will have normal school days on Monday the 16th, Tuesday the 17th and Wednesday the 18th. Busses will run at normal times. The changes that I previously shared with you will remain in place during these three days so there will be no after school activities with the exception of the CLC After-School Program and no student travel other than to and from school.
We are making plans to provide meals for kids that need them at least during the day when parents may be working. We will get information out on that as soon as we can.
Thank you for your continued patience.
March 12, 2020