News from Mrs. Davis - Superintendent
I hope this finds your family healthy and maintaining a positive outlook with so many unknowns surrounding us as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a district, we want to thank all of our families for your patience and understanding as we navigate through this unprecedented time in public education.
Last week, we received new guidance from the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) and West Central Health Department. With this new information in mind, Hershey Public Schools announced on March 27th that we will be physically closed indefinitely. This means that it is highly possible that students will not be back in our building the rest of this school year for classes. Beginning on Thursday, April 2nd, the school will only be open to essential personnel. If you need to come to school, please call and make an appointment. Administration will be available. This closure will be periodically reviewed based on information from the health officials’ monitoring of COVID-19 and advice from the Department of Education and the Governor’s office. If anything changes, we will let you know. For now, all of our learning will take place online. In the elementary, classroom computers were distributed to our students last week so that our students and parents have needed Internet filters in place to provide a safe learning environment for our students. I want to personally thank every person who worked tirelessly to make this happen in such a short time frame. Prom is currently scheduled for May 2nd and Graduation is scheduled for May 9th these events will be decided upon at a later date.
We do have plans in place to continue the educational journeys for each of our students through our Continuity of Learning Plan. As a district, we will continue to evaluate and evolve in the development of our Continuity of Learning Plan (CLP) for the remainder of this school year. The Department of Education is expected to provide us guidance in the near future that we can then communicate to each of you in regards to our CLP. This has been a challenging and unprecedented event for all of us. For now the guidelines that we have given to our teachers to provide student learning enrichment opportunities for each grade groups include the following:
K-2 Students – 1.5 hours a day
Grades 3-6 – 2 hours a day
Grades 7-8 – 3 hours a day
Grades 9-12 – 3.5 - 4 hours a day
For now, we encourage parents to continue interacting with their students and monitoring their work on these enrichment opportunities. All class work that students have been assigned will be marked completed or missing. The importance of these opportunities cannot be understated as we work to prepare students for their grade placement in the fall. We appreciate your help in monitoring your child’s progress with the enrichment work that they are doing. Hershey Public Schools is so blessed to have an amazing staff that have flipped their student interaction to online in a matter of days. Everyone has done an amazing job.
We understand there are many questions raised with the realization that school will not resume its “normal” function this year. How will final grades be calculated? Will my student progress to the next grade level? Will my student graduate? All of these questions will be answered once we have received the necessary guidance from NDE and had time to work through such details. We can promise that we will make decisions in the best interest of students’ health, safety, and academic progress. Please continue to have patience as we develop those plans and share that information at the appropriate time. If you have any questions, please reach out to your student’s teacher(s) and/or principal. We recognize it is difficult to change the educational process in the middle of a semester and this can create feelings of anxiousness in homes. The ultimate goal is to support the student as much as possible in his/her academic journey, and the district wants you to maintain open communication with the individuals that can help achieve that goal.
Jane Davis, Superintendent
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