PCS Superintendent Coronavirus
October 22, 2020
Good evening. I hope everyone is having a great week and staying safe.
We continue to proceed with in-person learning and remote learning for our students. Although we have learned a lot over the past several months, there is still much uncertainty as we continue to navigate our current COVID-19 environment.
Here is what we know right now. Health officials recommend the following strategies to prevent/slow the spread of the virus.
Our students and staff members have been doing a great job of implementing our COVID-19 protocols. Everyone has additional responsibilities related to monitoring of masks, physical distancing, and sanitizing. I also understand that students, staff members and parents/guardians may be experiencing COVID-19 fatigue. That is understandable. We want to help everyone with social and emotional support in this very unique and uncertain environment. If you or someone that you know needs assistance, please contact one of our school social workers/licensed mental health practitioners (SSW/LMHP) listed below.
Early Childhood/Head Start: Bri Renninger, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elementary School: Sarah Coniglio, email@example.com
Middle School: Sara Barada, firstname.lastname@example.org
High School: Keryl Mines, email@example.com
Based on available information at the local, state, and national levels, it appears that we will need to continue the prevention strategies listed above for the foreseeable future. While we diligently implement these strategies in school settings, we need your assistance with ongoing implementation of these strategies at home and in the community, including any gatherings that might occur relative to Husker games or any other events. I believe that together we can slow the spread of the virus as we ride the storm out.
Today, the Sarpy/Cass Health Department (SCHD) COVID-19 risk dial remained at 2.0. That is directly between yellow (moderate risk) and orange (high risk). Please keep in mind that the dial is intended to provide an overview of the cumulative risk of COVID-19 in Sarpy and Cass Counties together.
Therefore, if the SCHD dial moves completely into the orange level, that does not necessarily mean that PCS will move to our orange COVID-19 protocols. In addition to the risk dial, I will continue to review available data that is specific to our school district and community and also communicate with the SCHD when making any decisions relative to in-person and remote learning.
At the present time, we have experienced less than 10 total cases of COVID-19 in our school district so far this school year. This equates to a positivity rate of less than 1% of our student population and a positivity rate for staff members of approximately 1%. At the present time, we will continue with our yellow COVID-19 protocols. I will continue to review the data for our school district and community.
That being said, in addition to implementing the COVID-19 protocols, our faculty and staff members have been working very hard to create robust learning environments for both in-person students and remote students. This often requires additional time and preparation and adjusting the plans as we learn more in this environment.
We are pleased that our Nebraska Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Matt Blomstedt is providing reasonable flexibility for school systems and school districts as it relates to instructional hours. Specifically, school systems and school districts may utilize instructional hours for additional professional learning, teacher and/or staff work time, or time for teachers to consult with parents/caregivers.
Therefore, we are adding three additional teacher planning days for the 2020-2021 school year. Students will not be in school on these days. I believe the additional planning days will allow teachers to continue planning robust learning experiences for in-person students and remote students in our unique COVID-19 environment.
The first additional planning day is over one month away, and I wanted to provide sufficient notice for our parents/guardians. The additional planning days are Mon., Nov. 30, Fri., Dec. 18, and Fri., Feb. 12. POPS Place and BDA will not be open on these days. Please see the updated district calendar by clicking HERE.
We have some great news! Free meals for all students have been extended to June 30, 2021! Read about it by clicking HERE. As of Mon., Sept. 14, 2020, no student will be charged for a full breakfast or lunch. Seconds and a la carte (including milk) will still be charged to their accounts. This is for in-person and remote learners. Meal pickup for remote learners is now from 1-2 PM daily, with a hot lunch and cold breakfast available for any student participating in remote learning. The CACFP food program at the early childhood center/Head Start does not change right now.
We are in the process of purchasing and installing Reme Halo air purifiers in our buildings. We are doing this to enhance our safe and healthy learning environment for our students, staff members, and anyone that visits our buildings. It appears that it will be several weeks before we will receive them. We plan to install them as soon as possible for improved safety at PCS. Learn more about Reme Halo at https://www.rgf.com/products/air/reme-halo.
PCS guidelines for attendance at high school activities are available by clicking HERE. The guidelines did not change for the week of Oct. 19, 2020. We will continue to work in collaboration with the Sarpy/Cass Health Department relative to COVID-19.
Information about COVID-19 test sites is available below.
-Nebraska Medicine at 402-559-0041.
-Bellevue Intermediate Care Nebraska Medicine at 402-559-7800. 6:00 PM start time. Call ahead from a parking stall on the south side by the pharmacy parking area.
-Visit www.testnebraska.com to complete an assessment and sign up for an appointment at a drive-through testing site offered through the State of Nebraska.
-OneWorld Community Health Center, 4920 South 30th St., Omaha, NE. Testing is for OneWorld patients with symptoms. Call 402-734-4110 for an appointment.
-Charles Drew Health Centers, 2915 Grant Street and 5319 North 30th St., Omaha, NE. Call 402-451-3553 for an appointment.
-CVS Minute Clinics. Visit https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing to schedule an appointment. Locations include 14460 West Maple Road, 4840 Dodge Street, and 6901 South 84th St., Omaha, NE.
-University of Nebraska Medical Center at 50th and G, Omaha, NE. Visit https://is.gd/sohatest to schedule an appointment.
Let’s stay on our positive path with the implementation of the protocols. If you see a friend not following the protocols, remind them to wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of physical distance whenever possible, along with regular handwashing. If you are sick, stay home. I believe we can do this together, if we remain diligent with our protocols.
The PCS molecular test is preferred over the antigen test, per feedback from the SCHD.
Oct. 2, 2020
New Documents - Sept. 21, 2020
PCS 2020-2021 Return to School Documents
State of Nebraska (Governor Pete Ricketts)
Nebraska Department of Education (Commissioner Dr. Matt Blomstedt)
Sarpy/Cass Health Department (Director Sarah Schram)
Plattsmouth Community Schools (Dr. Richard E. Hasty)
Given our COVID-19 environment, I believe it is important to remind everyone about Say Something-Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS). In addition to saying something to a trusted adult, the SS-ARS provides other methods (telephone, website, and app) for reporting potentially unsafe situations. Please speak with your children about these ways to report potentially unsafe situations, as we continue to focus on keeping our schools safe for everyone. For more information, please visit https://www.saysomething.net.
In-Person and Remote Learning
As a reminder, if you have concerns with your child attending school in-person, we have the option of remote learning available for you. If you are interested in remote learning, please contact the building principal where your child attends school.
Together, let's ride the storm out. We can do it. Stay focused on positive things. We Are Blue Devil Nation! We are #PLATTSMOUTHSTRONG!
Superintendent Dr. Richard E. Hasty
I anticipate that our PCS Fall 2020 Return to School Protocols and the brief overview document will answer many of your questions, but we also developed a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document that is available by clicking HERE. This document will be an ongoing work in progress as we progress into the 2020-2021 school year.
Congratulations to our 2020 Board of Education members and newly elected officers representing Blue Devil Nation!
The Plattsmouth Education Foundation awarded education grants to Kristen Allen, Emma Shaner, Marla Smith, and Becky Stoskopf. Congratulations!
Campus Parent Portal will have a new look beginning July 9th. When you log into your parent portal it will look different. See below for instructions on how to navigate through your new portal. Remember to download the new app. The old app will be removed from the app store soon.
If you still need to register your student, click on the tab For Parents then Infinite Campus. Once you have logged into your portal, select “MORE” from the dropdown menu on the left-hand side of your portal page to access the Online Registration link. Click on “Online Registration” to begin.