DCS School Update by Superintendent Jim Kent_3-30-20

State of the Schools

I want to provide some more information about the status of the school district and our students during this time of uncertainty. I will leave any instruction about the coronavirus itself to the experts.

 

Education:

We are trying very hard to keep educating students. Please remember that school is in session, it just looks different. The materials teachers are sending to students matters and will be part of both their final grades for a class as well as part of their educational knowledge and skillset as they move forward. This work matters and needs to be finished. If you are having issues please contact the teacher directly.

 

At the high school the teachers are working to set up ‘office hours’ via video conferencing. Teachers will let students know a time each day when they will be available online to answer questions and clarify information. Students will be able to simply join the meeting, ask questions, chat with the teacher and other students and then log out of the meeting. Students will be apprised of the times and provided a link to the meeting. If you do not have internet please be sure to contact the District Office or contract your provider directly. They have been great to work with.

 

At the elementary schools we are moving into new material with the students. The teachers are using google classroom, see-saw and zoom meetings in addition to the packets that are being sent home. The teachers are using programs like iXL, Rocket Math, Khan Academy, Reading A to Z, Epic Reading, Spelling City and Newsela to supplement the materials and provide some additional explanations help to students. Again, if your student is having issues please contact the teacher directly.

 

Students will probably have more homework than in the past in large part because they aren’t in school for 6+ hours a day receiving direct instruction and working on the tasks assigned. Now everything is ‘home’ work.

 

It is imperative that students in all grades and classes check emails and the other forms of communication teachers are using. There are assignments there. Elementary students need to check not only with the classroom teacher but other teachers they have as well. This is particularly true for 4th, 5th and 6th grade students at Benkelman Elementary as their math comes from Mr. Schields. Parents, check with your students and if they are not getting anything, call the student’s teachers. We need to know. Thank you.

 

Food service:

The food service is moving along really well. Please note that we are serving Monday through Thursday at noon. On each Thursday you will be receiving two sets of meals. Please call if you wish to receive meals. They are free, anyone 18 and under can get the meals regardless of where they live or what school they attend.

 

Spring events:

As I have stated previously spring events, particularly the milestones, are in jeopardy. We are beginning to work out a plan for graduation. So much will depend on any travel and gathering size restrictions but for now we are putting our efforts into having it the same weekend. Please understand that no matter what we do the number of attendees will be limited and that will cause a limit on your individual guest lists to ‘immediate family’. We also will be encouraging you to account for those individuals with high risk as you make your family plans.

 

Other:

I think the pace of the changes is slowing down so we can establish a new ‘normal’. I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their patience and understanding. I simply cannot stress enough that we are all learning right now and if something we are doing is not working the way we intend or its not getting through please let your teacher know. The only way we can make that adjustment is if we know.

 

Thanks again and keep bearing with us.

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