Date: March 17, 2020
Subject: School Closure Information for March 23-April 5
Platte County School District #1 Students, Parents/Guardians, and Staff,
Platte County School District #1 (PCSD #1) staff members and administration met on Tuesday morning to discuss the COVID-19 situation that is sweeping across the world. First and foremost, we value the safety and academic instruction of our students, as well as the safety of our stakeholders. We have been working closely with the Wyoming Department of Education during this time. At this meeting, we discussed the following items: instruction of students, food for students, safety of staff, financial impact to the district, and activities for students.
During this closure, students will not be in school and should remain at home with their parents and/or guardians. We want to provide our students with some optional and beneficial activities to complete during this time. We recognize that not all students will have Internet access. If you do not have Internet access, please encourage your student to read, play board games, practice essential math skills, etc. Again, these activities are NOT REQUIRED. They are just meant to provide some support for students during this time.
A major topic we discussed today was the nutritional needs of our students during the closure. PCSD #1 will be providing meals FREE OF CHARGE for students under the age of 18. These meals will be distributed curbside from West Elementary and in the parking lots of Glendo and Chugwater on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Distribution of food at West Elementary will be from 9-11 a.m. and distribution of food at Glendo and Chugwater will be at 8 a.m. There will be an autodialer sent out on Thursday, March 19th in the afternoon with instructions to request meals to allow for the proper number of meals to be prepared. You will need to follow the phone prompt and the results will not be used to identify participants, but used as a means for us to count the number of meals we need to prepare. If you don’t respond to the autodialer, please call the central office by Friday, March 20th at noon to request meals.
We recognize that our staff members are constant professionals and want to do whatever is necessary for their students. Therefore, we need to allow our staff members access to their classroom in order to prepare for this closure. All buildings will be open on March 23rd from 8AM-Noon to staff only. This will allow for teachers and classified staff to gain access to necessary materials and resources. After this time, all buildings will be closed to certified and classified staff. At noon, staff badges will be disabled for building access so please plan accordingly. We hope that our staff members recognize the need for personal health and safety.
PCSD #1 also recognizes the financial impact that is present during this school closure. We want to ensure that our classified staff does not suffer financially during this time so we will be continuing to provide paid leave for these staff members based on their regular daily rates and hours. We will continue to work with our classified and certified employees to ensure that the financial impact is minimal, at best.
Activities play an important role in the lives of our students and families. The Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) has CANCELLED all practices and events for WHSAA approved activities through April 5th. PCSD #1 will honor this request. This includes Middle School activities, as well. All activities and scheduled events at PCSD #1 are cancelled during this closure. Book Fairs, Parent Teacher Conferences, and Proms will be rescheduled for a later date. Other activities outside of the closure window will be monitored and adjusted as we get closer to those dates.
The Wyoming Department of Education is operating under W.S. 21-13-307(a)(ii)(B) to hold school districts harmless on both instructional days and financial implications. This means that schools that are closed during this pandemic will NOT have to make up these days and will not lose funding. The additional ten (10) days that we will be closed will NOT be made up at the end of the year. We appreciate this flexibility that the State Superintendent has shown districts throughout Wyoming.
Platte County School District #1 will continue to work through this situation and frequently review the current information and guidelines. Please find comfort in knowing that we are doing what we believe is best for our students, parents, staff, and community. There will be additional information provided as it becomes available. We will continue to provide updates through the District Website, Facebook page, and automated calls. If you have any additional thoughts, comments, or questions, please feel free to reach out to us.
Platte County School District #1 Administrative/Leadership Team