Dear HGSD Parents, Staff and Community, August 21st, 2020
We are almost there! The start of school is just around the corner. I hope you all are finding time to enjoy one more week of summer break. As you know, the first day of school is Tuesday September 1st, and Thursday, September 3rd for our Junior Kindergartners. I know I speak for our teachers and staff when I say that we are excited to see kids again and have them back in school.
This week I want to talk about a few safety measures we have in place to help us reopen schools safely. Communication and parent involvement are going to be keys to staying open beyond the first few days. By that I mean please keep your child home if they present any symptoms. We are providing a screener checklist on our website for you to use daily. You should review the questions before sending your child to school. We know that you know your child best, so please keep us informed if they have any symptoms or illness that we need to be aware of. If we can reduce and trace the exposure to all students, we will be able to manage this virus and remain open for the duration.
Also on our website, you will find the Sheboygan Public Health Department decision tree for people with COVID-19 symptoms, which we will follow. This decision tree will guide you through the different scenarios of exposure, positive tests, and those with symptoms and negative tests. It is important that you review this document, as it will inform you on the varying durations of quarantine for all exposure types. It will be vital to have your backup plans in place and be prepared to go virtual should the need arise.
There are several steps you can take to keep your family safe. There is a full list on our resource page, but some examples include: practice good hand hygiene, social distance when possible, wear your facial covering when in school, cleaning/disinfection, and stay home when you have COVID-19 symptoms or you just don’t feel right. As a parent, there have been many times I have asked my children to “tough it out” and go to school. This is not the year to do that. As a community, we need everyone to work together to keep our buildings open and our children and staff safe.
As we finalize our transportation (bus routes) I want to remind you that if you can find alternative means for your children to get to school, please do so. Our busses will be at full capacity with safety procedures in place. Please don’t mistake, we will get everyone to school safely, however if you are able to find alternative means, you will certainly aid our safety efforts.
All of the above information and more can be found on our district and building website. Under the menu tab, you will find a COVID-19 resource tab and drop down. All of the topics covered in this letter can be found there in greater detail.
The Howards Grove School District is part of the Big East Athletic Conference. The conference is composed of 14 school districts and they recently met to discuss all of the fall sports. I am pleased to share that the conference has determined that the Fall sport season will run as usual, however with a few stipulations. Football, volleyball, and boys’ soccer (deemed high contact sports) will all have a limit on the number of fans and spectators (2 per athlete), there will be a mask requirement for players and fans for those sports for the duration of the season, all other sports will follow the WIAA recommendations, and these stipulations will be implemented Conference wide. This decision is certainly not perfect; however, it is a good option for our students and does allow them to play.
We are all in this together and are here to help. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Chris Peterson, Scott Fritz, Heather Zizis, Jason Cole, and Tracy Bandt