Dear HGSD Parents, Staff and Community, September 4th, 2020
Week one is in! Thank you all for a very successful reopening of our schools. Each of our buildings has come alive with staff and students. Everyone is working together to make our reopening safe, productive, and a positive experience. I am very proud of all the efforts made by each of you. Thank you to all the families that have prepared their children to return. They all seem excited to be here. I have had the opportunity to visit many classrooms and see how staff and students are making things work.
This week has gone well, but we still have a few areas to clean up and refine, but we will get it all worked out. Drop off and pick up at Northview Elementary School and the Middle School are two areas that are of concern. I am working with Mr. Cole and Mrs. Zizis on improving both of those processes. Thank you for your patience as we work on making this process safe and efficient. Please watch for additional communications from Mr. Cole and Mrs. Zizis as we make adjustments.
Breaking News: The USDA announced it will provide flexibility in the schools meals program which allows HGSD to provide FREE MEALS to all HGSD children through December 31st 2020 or until the funds run out. What does this mean? All HGSD students will be offered a FREE lunch. As a parent or guardian, what do I have to do? You do not have to do anything. Lunch transactions will be recorded however your meal accounts will not be charged. This will begin on Wednesday, September 9th.
In addition to having a new food service provider (it is no longer subcontracted), we have several new procedures for lunch time. We have limited the amount of students in the commons during lunch which has allowed us to space everyone out appropriately. This has been very successful. Students seem more relaxed and the volume in the lunch room is much better than years past. I have heard from many students that food is also much better and they seem to be eating more.
Staff are making progress on our virtual option for students as well. We still have some improvements to make and routines to establish. Please continue to work with the appropriate teacher on improving the virtual option for your student.
Now that we are open, staying open will be the next challenge. I want to reiterate a couple of key points that we need your help with in order to achieve this goal. Please keep your child home if they present any symptoms. You can find the student screener checklist on our website. I would suggest that you print a copy and hang it on your refrigerator so that you can review it daily. 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, we will be able to manage this virus and remain open for the duration.
While students have done an amazing job of coming back to school, I certainly don’t want to lose sight of many social issues that still exist. Earlier this summer I wrote you about the anxiety some may feel from racial issues or protest violence. These issues persist in our country and state. There is no question that the current situation in Kenosha can create fear and anxiety with our students and families. As students grapple with these social justice issues please know our staff is here to support students in need. Please reach out our pupil service staff for help if you need it. Please contact Tracy Bandt, school psychologist (firstname.lastname@example.org); Amanda O'Connell, elementary school counselor (email@example.com); Jessica Luecke, middle school counselor (firstname.lastname@example.org); or David Hickmann, school social worker (email@example.com).
Thank you all for working together to reopen schools. Our goal has always been to keep our students and staff safe as we begin the 2020-21 school year. Your continued support and help is making this possible. Thank you. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Chris Peterson, Scott Fritz, Heather Zizis, Jason Cole, and Tracy Bandt