PCS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - Apr. 3, 2020


PCS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update-Apr. 3, 2020


Good afternoon. A safe and healthy learning environment continues to be a top priority at PCS. I understand this is a very challenging time for our students, staff members, Board, and our community. We will get through this together. It will take some time, patience, and diligence in implementing the recommended steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that can be found at https://bit.ly/2xzwOu3. We also need to support one another.

Our buildings have been closed since March 9, 2020. On April 1, 2020, Governor Ricketts issued a Directed Health Measure (https://bit.ly/2xM4xAR) that stated schools statewide are directed to operate without students in their buildings through May 31, 2020.  Extracurricular activities are also cancelled statewide.  This restriction does not apply to school staff working in school buildings. Nonetheless, we have reduced staff access to buildings, in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve.” That being said, we will not have classes, activities or events at our buildings until after at least May 31, 2020.

This is heartbreaking for many of us, especially our seniors. We appreciate their commitment to our district and the community. Unfortunately, there are many activities and events that might not happen in their traditional formats. Regardless, we want to honor and recognize our students’ accomplishments this year.

Therefore, President Winters and I plan to meet with the student advisory board next week to discuss possible alternatives for graduation, prom, and other important events. We are looking forward to working with the students and exploring possible options that will allow our students to be honored and recognized by our school and community for their accomplishments in the 2020-2021 school year. I am confident that we will identify some appropriate alternatives. Stay tuned for more information in the next update on April 10, 2020.

Continuity of Learning

Due to the great leadership of our Board of Education, administrators, teachers, and non-certified staff members, we have a quality plan to continue learning in a remote environment for the remainder of the school year. To that end, the Nebraska Department of Education is requiring all school districts in Nebraska to submit a continuity of learning plan that is being implemented as we continue education without students in our buildings for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Our district’s Continuity of Learning Plan is available at https://bit.ly/2x07ptL. We will continue to review the plan and update it, as needed, for our students. Please be patient with our dedicated professionals.

Grading is an ongoing topic of discussion, as we continue to receive feedback from the Nebraska Department of Education. Accordingly, our dedicated professionals are implementing the learning plan to support students for advancement to the next grade level. Seniors that were on track for graduation should remain on that path, with support from our educators. Seniors that were not on track for graduation will have support available to assist them with getting on track for graduation. If you have questions or comments about the remote learning plans for your children, please contact the building principals where your children attend school.

Families in Need of Assistance

Our school social workers prepared another message that includes information about community resources such as wi-fi access, food, and coping strategies. Go to https://bit.ly/2UEgOA4 and read the latest message from our school social workers. Please note that the food distribution for families will take place at our middle school starting on Monday, April 6, 2020.

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 brenninger@pcsd.org, elementary school-Sarah Coniglio at sconiglio@pcsd.org, middle school-Sara Barada at sbarada@pcsd.org, and high school-Keryl Mines at kmines@pcsd.org. 

Bond Projects

With your support, our bond issue passed in May of 2019. Recently, our Board of Education approved a proposal from Lund-Ross Constructors for some high school projects. They started construction of our high school skilled and technical sciences building addition earlier this week. There is also heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) work being done at our middle school. At the April meeting, our Board of Education will be considering proposals for projects at our early childhood center and proposals for projects at our elementary school/middle school.

In closing, I want to express my gratitude for our students, families, staff members, Board of Education, and our entire community, during this very challenging time. Our resilient community has united and supported one another, again this year. I believe this situation will make us even better together. We will get through this together, but it will take some time, patience, and diligence. Thank you for your support of our students, staff members, families, Board members, and our entire community. As always, we are #PLATTSMOUTHSTRONG!

Superintendent Dr. Richard E. Hasty