PCS Superintendent Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
July 10, 2020
Good evening. I hope everyone is staying cool and staying safe.
All of us are experiencing very uncertain times in this COVID-19 environment. I assure you that we will get through this together. It is essential, now more than ever, that we are willing to listen to the opinions of others and remain respectful of their perspectives.
It is evident from our recent surveys of parents/guardians and staff members, that there are some ready to return to school without restrictions, others that are not comfortable sending their children to school regardless of what health and safety measures are in place, and other perspectives that range anywhere in-between the other two scenarios.
That makes it very challenging to come up with a solution that will work for everyone. Regardless, we want to strive for a reasonable solution that maintains a focus on health and safety for our students and staff members.
That being said, we distributed an initial staff survey and a parent/guardian survey relative to returning to school in the fall. Those surveys were developed with guidance from our school attorney and were reviewed by our administrative team that includes 10 administrators from across our district. I have also been communicating with Plattsmouth Education Association (i.e. teachers union) representatives Leigh La Rosa and Sherri Johnson. I have also received feedback from parents/guardians and staff members that contacted me directly, in addition to survey input. Data from the first staff survey is available by clicking HERE. Data from the first parent/guardian survey is available by clicking HERE. Narrative responses are not included for public viewing due to confidentiality.
After our administrative team reviewed the data from the initial staff survey and the parent/guardian survey, we developed the latest survey that included three potential scenarios for returning to school, while being mindful of recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and our Sarpy/Cass Health Department. The three scenarios included all students (100%) returning to school on the regular start date with a mask requirement, 50% of our students attending two days of in-person learning and three days of remote learning per week with masks recommended but not required, and a third option of adjusting the school calendar to start Sept. 8 with all students and a mask requirement.
We had some respondents that submitted more than one response. So, the data is included below with all 777 of the responses to the survey. Unduplicated data (only using one response per respondent) was also reviewed and the percentage of respondents supporting each scenario remained nearly the same. Please see the data below.
Option 1 - All students (100%) return to school according to the start date on the current calendar that has students starting in August with in-person instruction five days per week. Masks are required for students and staff members. A daily schedule similar to our Friday early release days might be a possibility.
Option 2 - 50% of our students attend a schedule that includes two days of in-person instruction on-site at school and three days of remote/home-based learning per week. The other 50% of our students would attend in-person on two other days during the same week as the other students and also have three days of remote/home-based learning per week. Masks are recommended, but not required, for students and staff members.
Option 3 - Adjust the school calendar with all students (100%) starting on Sept. 8 (the day after Labor Day) and finishing on June 16. Staff would likely start on Sept. 1 and finish on June 17. Masks are required for students and staff members.
As you can see from our data, there is nearly a 20% difference between each choice, with Option 1 receiving the greatest support. We plan to have a resolution on our July 13 Board of Education agenda relative to reopening school for the 2020-2021 school year.
Pending Board approval of the resolution on Mon., July 13, our district safety/return to school team will be moving forward with clarifying protocols related to Option 1 from the most recent survey. At this time, we plan to implement Option 1 for reopening in the 2020-2021 school year. Our district safety/return to school team includes approximately 27 representatives from our PEA (teachers union), administration, nurses, school social workers, our before and after school programs, school resource officers, nutrition services, transportation, custodial, and maintenance. We also plan to involve others beyond the district safety/return to school team in discussions about various protocols related to Option 1. We might also develop protocols for Option 2, in case there is an increase in the spread of COVID-19 and the Sarpy/Cass Health Department provides guidance that it would be best to reduce capacity at that point in the future.
Coincidentally, we are anticipating additional information from the Sarpy/Cass Health Department relative to a COVID-19 dial that might be similar to the one used in the Lincoln/Lancaster Health Department. We plan to develop language in our return to school protocols that will complement information that we receive in the Sarpy/Cass COVID-19 dial.
Additionally, we also intend to offer enhanced remote learning and/or virtual learning experiences available for children whose parents are not comfortable sending their children to school in August due to health reasons or other concerns. If you feel that remote/virtual learning would be best for your children, please contact the building principal where your children will attend school. Contact information for our building principals is included below.
Early Childhood/Head Start-Pam Dobrovolny firstname.lastname@example.org
Elementary School-Amy Petricek email@example.com
Middle School-John Campin firstname.lastname@example.org
High School-Todd Halvorsen email@example.com
Again, I believe it is important, now more than ever, that we listen to the opinions of others and remain respectful of their perspectives. We want to continue improving our educational programs and enhance the learning for all of our students in our district. I assure you that we will get through this together with support for one another.
We welcome your thoughts and will be developing a frequently asked questions document (FAQ) document to complement our return to school plan. If you have questions that you would like to have considered for the FAQ document, please submit them through Let’s Talk by clicking HERE. Scroll down to Trending Topics and select Return to School FAQ.
We are looking forward to seeing our students at PCS this fall. Thank you for the support of the Plattsmouth Community Schools during a very unique environment for all of us. #PLATTSMOUTHSTRONG
At the present time, we are implementing a strength and conditioning plan that includes no more than 15 student-athletes at a time with strength training in the fitness center and no more than 15 student-athletes conditioning on the football/soccer field (weather permitting). We also developed a plan for baseball/softball with primarily student-athletes that will be in 9th through 12th grades in the 2020-2021 school year, while maintaining a focus on the health and safety for participants and fans. Given the current COVID-19 environment, these organizations have enhanced guidelines relative to the lease agreement, insurance, and facilities responsibilities.
We will be allowing additional district-sponsored activities on our campuses for students that will be in 9th through 12th grades in the 2020-2021 school year in July. In an effort to maintain health and safety for children and adults, we do not plan to open any other indoor or outdoor facilities for public use during the month of July. June and July will be trial periods, given that there are still many unknowns with COVID-19. I believe it is worthy of pointing out that we also do not plan to have childcare (including POPS Place) at any of our buildings during the month of July.
State of Nebraska (Governor Pete Ricketts)
Nebraska Department of Education (Commissioner Dr. Matt Blomstedt)
Nebraska School Activities Association (Executive Director Jay Bellar)
Sarpy/Cass Health Department (Director Sarah Schram)
Plattsmouth Community Schools (Dr. Richard E. Hasty)
I am pleased to inform you that we finalized guidelines for our July 25 in-person graduation ceremony to celebrate our 2020 seniors. Click HERE for the details.
What can we do right now? All of us can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve.” Please go to the page on our website at https://bit.ly/2xzwOu3 to stay informed about COVID-19, including how to protect yourself and your family. It should help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Wed., May 6 - Honors Night is posted on the Blue Devil Television (BDTV) page of our website. Go to www.pcsd.org > For Community > BDTV. Thank you to Mrs. Ayala for spending many hours preparing the virtual experience to honor our students, particularly our seniors. Thus far, we have approximately $950,000 in scholarships for our seniors.
Sat., May 9 - An audio Graduation Broadcast was live at 10:00 AM. Thank you to Mr. Halvorsen and Mrs. Ayala for coordinating the broadcast with our students.
Tue., May 19-A virtual broadcast of 8th-grade graduation is available at https://youtu.be/dI9y7ngkOS4. Thank you to Michelle Knight for preparing the virtual broadcast to recognize our 8th graders and their accomplishments.
Thu., July 16-A brief STARS event will be held to recognize our 2020 seniors that were in the top 10% of their class. This event is by invitation only and includes a variety of health measures to ensure the safety of the participants.
Fri., July 17 - Unfortunately, prom is canceled for 2020. We are hopeful that we will be able to have prom in 2021.
Sat., July 25 - A traditional, in-person ceremony in which students walk and receive their diplomas has been scheduled for this day.
Click HERE to see the guidelines for our in-person graduation ceremony.
Bond Construction Progress - We have a link on our website where you can access video showing the progress with bond construction on our campuses. Check out the latest bond construction video at https://www.pcsd.org/Page/3965.
The Plattsmouth Community Schools and OPAA! continue to provide food for families at no charge for any child in a household from birth to age 18 regardless of income. Meals are being distributed by the sidewalk near the front entrance of Plattsmouth Middle School at 1724 8th Ave. Meals are distributed each weekday in one shift between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Each child will receive one lunch for that day and one breakfast for the following day. We plan to continue this format on weekdays through the summer until Fri., July 31, 2020. Everyone that has been receiving deliveries will continue to receive them in the same format that has been used up to this point with one delivery per week.
To help us get an accurate meal count, if you need food assistance, please call 402-296-3361 and provide the necessary information.
Our school social workers prepared their last message of the 2020-2021 school year that includes tips for coping with COVID-19. Go to https://bit.ly/3bUCg9p and read their message.
If you or someone you know needs assistance with water, food, or other supplies, please contact the school social worker at the building where your child attends school. Early childhood-Bri Renninger at firstname.lastname@example.org, elementary school-Sarah Coniglio at email@example.com, middle school-Sara Barada at firstname.lastname@example.org, and high school-Keryl Mines at email@example.com.
2020-2021 State Aid Certification is available from the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) at https://www.education.ne.gov/fos/state-aid/. PCS will have a decrease of $565,916 in State Aid for 2020-2021. When we figure in the prior year (2018-2019) correction of +$128,469 that we received in 2019-2020, the difference between 2019-2020 State Aid and 2020-2021 State Aid is even greater. At the May meeting, our Board of Education approved the 2020-2021 Budget Efficiency Plan that can be viewed at https://bit.ly/2WU23u1. Scroll down to item 7.15.
The good news is that in 2020-2021 we estimate the second year of approximately 100 students entering kindergarten, as opposed to lower numbers from the immediately preceding years that are evident in our 1st grade (78 students), 2nd grade (88 students), 3rd, grade (93 students) and 4th grade (93 students). If you have suggestions for how our district might be more efficient with resources and address the decrease in State Aid, please submit your ideas in the Business Services/Budget section under District Topics on our Let’s Talk site at https://bit.ly/2Y9ua9N.
PUBLIC NOTICE-Meetings of the Board of Education of Plattsmouth Community School District #1, Cass County, Nebraska, are scheduled for Monday, July 13, 2020, with a workshop at 6:00 PM and a regular meeting at 7:00 PM, in the Board Room at the Plattsmouth Community Schools Administration Center, 1912 Old Hwy. 34, Plattsmouth, Nebraska. Due to COVID-19, everyone is strongly encouraged to log in to the meeting remotely via the link that will be posted on the district website prior to the meeting, unless you desire to speak during the public forum-reception of delegates. Those wishing to speak will need to attend in-person. If you wish to speak during the public forum-reception of delegates at the meeting, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can plan for adequate physical spacing at the meeting. The agendas for the meetings shall be kept continually current and are readily available for public inspection at the Superintendent’s office during normal business hours and at www.pcsd.org. There are many action items on the agenda, including approval of a proposal for elementary school playground equipment and athletic training services.
Go to https://www.pcsd.org/
Stay safe. We are Blue Devil Nation! We are #PLATTSMOUTHSTRONG!
Superintendent Dr. Richard E. Hasty
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.