Dear HGSD Parents, Staff and Community, August 7th, 2020
Welcome to August. School is just around the corner. I know that many of you are looking forward to the reopening of school, and many of you have concerns and worries about sending your child to school. We are working hard to provide a safe reopening of school for all students and staff.
In addition to the Statewide Mask Mandate, the remainder of our Reopening of Schools Plan 2020 is now on our website. Again this week I have include the Tips for Getting Kids to Wear Masks resource.
I have heard many questions regarding a decision tree for people with COVID-19 Symptoms in staff and students. The full flow chart from the Sheboygan County Health Department is found here:
Our protocol, from a school stand point will be to send students home if they have any one of the following symptoms: Fever greater than 100.0 F, New or worsening cough, or shortness of breath. Students may also be sent home if they have two of the following symptoms: sore throat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, headache, unexplained fatigue/muscle aches, runny nose, or chills. If someone is sent home, they should then follow the flow chart decision tree. Additionally, we will be providing a daily screening checklist for you to use when determining if you should send your child to school in the morning.
I also want to share an additional safety feature that is sometimes overlooked. The district has invested in some new technology that will disinfect rooms daily. The Clorox® Total 360™ System utilizes innovative electrostatic spray technology to allow Clorox® disinfecting and sanitizing solutions to reach surfaces outside the line of sight, covering what conventional trigger sprays may miss, including the sides, underside and backside of surfaces.
We understand that the mental health of our students, families, and staff is of paramount importance. The pupil services staff, district-wide, has been meeting and working on a plan to address the mental wellness of our students. As a reminder, if you need support or have questions, please contact Amanda O’Connell, our elementary school counselor at Northview (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jessica Luecke, our middle school counselor (email@example.com), Krista Neave, our new school counselor at the high school (firstname.lastname@example.org), David Hickmann, district school social worker (email@example.com), or Tracy Bandt, district school psychologist (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you to all who worked hard to have our in-person graduation ceremony this past weekend. The ceremony was held out on the football field. While the weather didn’t fully cooperate, we were able to get through the majority of the program before the rain started. I am so thankful and happy that we were able to provide this opportunity for our seniors. Congratulations to all of our graduates.
We will continue to provide up-to-date information and additional details as we continue to move closer to the start of school. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any
Chris Peterson, Scott Fritz, Heather Zizis, Jason Cole, and Tracy Bandt
Tips for getting kids to wear masks
- Be a role model. You want your kids to wear a mask? Show them how it’s done! By presenting a positive and easy-going attitude about wearing a mask, kids will be able to follow your lead.
- Do practice sessions at home. Find a time when kids are in a good mood, well rested and have had a little something to eat. Allow kids to hold the mask, sniff it and generally get the feel of it. Then have them either hold it to their mouth or put it on, starting with a few seconds, gradually building up to longer periods of time. Normalizing mask wearing in low risk environments can help avoid unintentional exposure outside your home.
- Make it fun. Find a mask with their favorite character on it or, if you’re crafty, make masks your kids can decorate. You can even make masks for their stuffed animals and dolls.
- Normalize it. Once they have a mask they like, you can try reading their favorite books or coloring a picture while wearing masks as a way to get used to it. Set up a video call with grandparents or friends with everyone wearing masks to help normalize it. Distractions can be a good way to help them get used to this new sensation of something covering their nose and mouth. Don’t forget to give your kids lots of praise for their efforts.
- Provide incentives if necessary. As with any new behavior, some kids may need a little encouragement. Use ideas that have worked in the past: sticker charts, picking out a small treat, getting to stay up 15 minutes later or an extra book at bedtime can all be good incentives for kids struggling to wear masks.
- Acknowledge their frustration. Kids may experience frustration with how COVID-19 has disrupted their lives. Wearing a mask and the feeling of tightness around their face may feel like another negative impact of this virus. Acknowledging and normalizing their feelings can be helpful to getting kids to understand the importance of wearing masks. If your kids are still struggling, check out this blog post on how to talk to your kids about COVID-19.
Please remember to fill out our survey for in-person or virtual options of instruction for the first quarter.