Updates on 2020-21 at Southern Hancock

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Please read below to see weekly updates shared with Southern Hancock families about the upcoming 2020-21 school year. 

This update was shared with families on June 26, 2020:

Please see below for Dr. Lantrip's weekly update on the 2020-21 school year.

Happy Independence Day weekend. I will keep this week’s update short due to the holiday weekend.

  • Our Blueprint for Reentry was released on Monday. I want to stress that, like any blueprint, many of these protocols and guidelines may still change before or during the school year begins. We’ll continue to work closely with our local, county, and state government agencies to form plans to keep students safe while keeping our buildings open.
     
  • Director of Student Services Katy Eastes, Director of Instructional Services Miles Hercamp, Community Relations Director Wes Anderson, and I held an hour-long Facebook Live Q&A Wednesday morning. You can watch it here. We have another Facebook Live scheduled for next Wednesday, July 8, at 11 a.m. on the district Facebook page. If you have questions, please either submit them during our Facebook Live or share them with Mr. Anderson at wanderson@newpal.k12.in.us.
     
  • Enrollment will open for families on Monday, July 6. During your registration, you will need to indicate whether you wish to return your child to school or enroll in our virtual school program. I know some of you may still be undecided or have additional questions that still need to be answered. Please share those with us. Your enrollment must be submitted by July 17. The links to complete the registration process will be shared with you via email, on our website, and on our social media pages on Monday afternoon.

I hope you and your family have a safe, healthy, and fun Independence Day weekend. Our next update with be Friday, July 10, 2020.

Dr. Lisa Lantrip
Superintendent

This update was shared with families on June 26, 2020:

Please see below for Dr. Lantrip’s weekly update on the 2020-21 school year.

  • Our blueprint for reentry will be shared with you on Monday. Our reentry task force reviewed the plan for the final time earlier this week. We encourage all families to read the blueprint document in full next week.
    • On Wednesday, July 1, at 11 a.m., a group of administrators and I will be available during a Facebook Live on the district’s Facebook page to answer any questions about the blueprint. Please tune in and submit your questions.
       
  • The four Hancock County Superintendents released a joint statement earlier today with information on the upcoming school year. You can read it here. We are grateful for the support of our community during this trying time for all of us. I appreciate our neighboring corporations for their collaboration in making school safe for residents and students in Hancock County.
     
  • School supply lists are now available. Each grade level has added 1 cloth mask for students. Our guidance for face coverings has not changed:
    • Face coverings will be strongly recommended for students during situations where proper social distancing is in effect. 
    • Face coverings will be required when social distancing cannot be guaranteed. The blueprint will contain a list of situations where this will be likely.
       
  • We are also announcing changes to our school start times for 2020-21. K-8 students will start school 5 minutes later each day. This is to allow extra time to stagger our releases from buses to our classrooms each morning. Dismissal times will not change, though your bus rider may be home a few minutes later than last year. Bus stop information will be shared with you next month. The change to Block Four at NPHS means their school day will start at 7:55.
     

Brandywine Elementary:        8:55 a.m. - 3:40 p.m.

New Palestine Elementary:    8:50 a.m. - 3:35 p.m. 

Sugar Creek Elementary:       8:50 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.

New Palestine Intermediate:  8:00 a.m. - 2:40 p.m.

New Palestine Junior High:    7:55 a.m. - 2:25 p.m.

New Palestine High School:   7:55 a.m. - 2:20 p.m.


I encourage all parents to have plans in place for these adjusted start times. Car rider lines are usually busier than normal during the first few days of school. Please plan ahead and arrive early for student carline dropoff and pickup.

  • Registration will open to parents and students on Monday, July 6. At that time, parents will choose whether to send their children back to school in-person or enroll in the virtual program. The blueprint will have guidelines about switching between the two options once the school year begins.

Our full blueprint will be released to you on Monday. Have a great weekend.


Dr. Lisa Lantrip
Superintendent

This update was shared with families on June 19, 2020.
 

CSCSHC families,

Please see below for Dr. Lantrip’s weekly update on our plans for the 2020-21 school year. 

Before I begin, I want to stress the fluidity of this situation and our plans. We have designed our plans to be flexible. They may change multiple times as the parameters of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hancock County change over time. Some of our plans have changed multiple times already and will continue to change as we receive new information from Governor Holcomb, the Indiana State Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

In this week’s update, you will read about another change to our plans for face coverings. State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box and the Hancock County Health Department provided us with new guidance this week on student face coverings:

  • Face coverings will be strongly recommended for students in all situations when social distancing is in effect. Face coverings will not be required for the full day.
     
  • Face coverings will be required in situations when social distancing cannot be guaranteed. Our team is in the process of creating a list of situations where this restriction will be in effect. This will be included in our blueprint for reentry. Some examples of these types of situations include passing periods at the secondary level, on our school buses, or when elementary students are traveling to another part of their building as a group.
     
  • A cloth mask will be on your school supply list for the upcoming school year. We will be releasing supply lists as soon as possible. The district has a supply of paper masks. Masks will be provided to students who don’t have one or lose theirs throughout the course of the school day. 
     
  • These guidelines have been created by the health department to help us keep our schools open. We want to take every step we can to prevent closures. I realize childcare during a closure is a significant issue for our working families. Our goal is to prevent closures by following the health department’s guidelines while still providing a welcoming and comfortable environment for learning.

 

  • The Board of School Trustees received a final draft of our blueprint for reentry during a work session meeting on Monday night. Our reentry task force will receive a final update at their next meeting next week. We are still on target to release our blueprint for reentry to all of you on July 1. 
     
  • As our blueprint begins to enter its final stages, I want to let you know that some parts of our day-to-day operations will be changing for 2020-21. We anticipate school start times may potentially change in some buildings. Some buildings will be changing their car rider procedures to be able to stage students safely while adhering to social distancing guidelines before school begins. The times the school bus stops at your house may change by a small margin to accommodate releasing students to and from our buses in smaller groups. Please begin to make arrangements should these changes have an effect on your specific situation.
     
  • Registration and re-enrollment will open for all CSCSHC families on July 6. During your registration, you will be asked whether you intend to enroll your student for in-person school or use our virtual option. We are releasing the blueprint for reentry on July 1 to provide your family the opportunity to review our plan and make the best choice for your student. The blueprint will include a full synopsis of our procedural changes in the buildings and a full description of the virtual curriculum. The virtual program will be a full-day option different from the E-Learning your student received in the spring. Our intent is to create a learning environment as close to being in the actual classroom as we possibly can.
     
  • Childcare opportunities will be available in our before and after-school programs at all K-6 buildings through the YMCA. We are currently working with the YMCA to create some full-day options for families if a building or our corporation is required to close. We will provide more information to you once these plans are formally in place.
     
  • In the interest of student safety, we are making a change to our requirements for student immunizations. The district will require students to be up to date with all Indiana state-required vaccinations by August 3, 2020. We have moved this deadline to the start of the school in order to protect students from diseases that may weaken their immune system. Please contact your child's pediatrician or the Hancock County Health Department for an appointment if your child needs a required vaccination. This document can help you determine which vaccines your child will need for the upcoming school year.
     

Our next update will be Friday, June 26. As always, we appreciate your patience and understanding as our plans evolve. This community is so supportive of our schools and teachers. Thank you for your support!


Dr. Lisa Lantrip
Superintendent

 

This update was sent to families on Friday, June 12, 2020:

CSCSHC families,

Here is this week’s update on the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

  • Our reentry task force met yesterday. Our task force is nearing completion with an initial blueprint for reentry. Our administrative team will present the draft of our blueprint to the Hancock County Health Department in the coming days. We will work collaboratively with the health department to create a safe environment for students. Our tentative release date for the blueprint document is July 1.
     
  • In last week’s update, we shared the DOE’s IN-CLASS document for the reopening of schools. Earlier this week, the DOE provided additional clarification on this document. All guidance included should be taken as suggestions and not requirements. 
    • In last week’s update, we mentioned the IN-CLASS document said masks would be required for all students while at school. With new information that this guidance is only a suggestion, we will be strongly recommending, but not requiring, masks for students while they are at school. This detail is still subject to change based on guidance from the Hancock County Health Department. 
       
  • At this time, we are focusing on providing two educational options for families:
    • An in-person, “normal” school day for any family who wishes to send their child back to school. The parameters and restrictions for this environment are still subject to guidance from the Hancock County Health Department and will be included in our blueprint plan on July 1.
    • A retooled virtual school program. The feedback you provided through surveys earlier this summer has helped us create this new virtual offering. The online program will be structured similarly to a normal school day. Students will have school on a daily basis with direct video contact with the teacher and their classmates. Our goal is to make the student as much of a part of the classroom as possible while participating virtually.
       
  • Transportation plans are still being determined. We are still waiting for guidance about any potential restrictions for students on buses. Our plan is to require students, aides, and drivers to wear face coverings on school buses due to the size of our buses and inability to be socially distant. If this plan is approved by the health department, transportation can proceed in a “normal” fashion for 2020-21. 
    • Any reductions in capacity on our buses may cause other school schedules to be created, including alternate day.  Our transportation team is creating several plans for routing based on several different potential capacity scenarios.
       
  • All field trips for the first semester have been canceled. Field trips for second semester, including the 4th-grade field trip to southern Indiana and the 8th-grade field trip to Cincinnati, will be evaluated at a later date.
     
  • Any athlete in grades 8-12 in 2020-21 with a physical on file from 2019-20 does not need a new physical to participate in athletics for 2020-21. All 7th-grade students and any 8th-12 grade student without a physical on file must still complete a physical to be eligible for competition.
     
  • In the interest of student safety, we are making a change to our requirements for student immunizations. The district will require students to be up to date with all Indiana state-required vaccinations by August 3, 2020. We have moved this deadline to the start of the school in order to protect students from diseases that may weaken their immune system. Please contact your child's pediatrician or the Hancock County Health Department for an appointment if your child needs a required vaccination. This document can help you determine which vaccines your child will need for the upcoming school year.
     
  • Our corporation office will reopen on Monday, June 15. Visitors are welcome by appointment only. Please call (317) 861-4463 to make an appointment or conduct any school business until further notice.
     
  • Our partners at the YMCA are operating their summer day camp and childcare program at Sugar Creek Elementary through Friday, July 24. If you are interested in this child care option, contact the YMCA at BeforeAndAfterSchool@indymca.org or (317) 484-9622. The YMCA program will operate at all K-6 buildings in 2020-21 once school resumes.


We will provide another update on Friday, June 19.

-Dr. Lisa Lantrip
Superintendent

This message was shared with our families on Friday, June 5, 2020:

CSCSHC families,

This is Dr. Lantrip’s weekly update on our plans for the upcoming 2020-21 school year. 

  • The Indiana Department of Education released initial guidance this morning about how schools should reopen. You can read the full document here. Here are a few important details:
    • Face coverings will be worn by all staff members and students while at school.
    • Specific guidelines for school closures when a confirmed case of COVID-19 occurs. Buildings are expected to close between 2-5 days for extended cleaning when anyone in the building tests positive for COVID-19. We encourage all families to start making childcare plans in the event one or more of our buildings has to close. 
    • Water fountains will be turned off at all schools. Our team is working to acquire bottle filling stations for all buildings. We will share more details about this later this summer.
    • Guidelines for how extracurriculars and athletics will return. 
       
  • Our administrative team is still evaluating this new guidance and what it means for our upcoming school year. We continue to be optimistic that school will start on time and as close to “normal” as possible. 
     
  • A survey was sent home to our K-8 families yesterday about their preferred educational environment. Last week, a separate survey went home to NPHS families. Nearly 80% of respondents indicate they want their students to return to school full-time. The survey results will be discussed at our next reopening task force meeting. The goal of our task force is to make every attempt to provide quality educational opportunities to all families. We will continue discussions about quality educational opportunities for all students in 2020-21.

    If you have a K-8 student and still need to complete the survey, please do so here. If you have a high school student and still need to complete the survey, please do so here
     
  • Our task force continues to work on logistics for maintaining social distancing in our buildings. For example, guidelines need to be set for student lunch, passing periods, restroom usage, and recess. We hope to have logistics out to you soon. 

We will have another update on Friday, June 12.

-Dr. Lisa Lantrip
Superintendent

This message was shared with our families on Friday, May 29, 2020:

CSCSHC families,

This is our weekly update on the district’s plans for the 2020-21 school year. You will receive this email each Friday afternoon during summer break with important updates on decisions by the district’s reopening task force or new guidance from the state or federal government on how schools should reopen. 

  • As mentioned last week, there are a number of potential outcomes the district is preparing for. School may start as normal with no restrictions, with some restrictions and/or social distancing, or continue to be closed. At this time, the district is preparing for all three scenarios. However, we intend to provide multiple options for families while following any mandates or restrictions. These options potentially include:
  • A full-day option for students to return to school as “normal”
  • A half-day option for secondary students where some class periods may occur online and others may occur in the building.
  • A completely online curriculum (virtual school) where students are not required to come to our building at all

Guidance from the governor will help determine which of these options will be available for 2020-21. Our objective is to make all three available to all families if we are permitted to do so.

Next week’s update will contain an interest survey about the virtual school. I want to stress that this program will be structured differently than the E-Learning programming your student received for the last two months of the 2019-20 school year. With additional time to prepare, we have the ability to craft a fully-developed and carefully curated online curriculum. We ask any family who may have an interest in the virtual school to complete the survey so our administrators can begin to make staffing decisions and plan for potential social distancing mandates.

  • Thank you for participating in our E-Learning feedback survey. In addition to responses from parents and students, we also solicited feedback from Southern Hancock teachers. Here are a few common themes throughout the three groups:
  • Consistent procedures for collecting virtual attendance 
  • Support systems for students who are behind or routinely not turning in work
  • Increased focus on quality Professional Development opportunities for staff and/or an improvement in the quality of online instruction
  • Consistent procedures district-wide for delivering assignments to students, due dates, and grading practices.

These four areas will be our main focus for improving our digital curriculum for 2020-2021.

  • In the interest of student safety, we are making a change to our requirements for student immunizations. The district will require students to be up to date with all Indiana state-required vaccinations by August 3, 2020. We have moved this deadline to the start of the school in order to protect students from diseases that may weaken their immune system. Please contact your child's pediatrician or the Hancock County Health Department for an appointment if your child needs a required vaccination. This document can help you determine which vaccines your child will need for the upcoming school year.
     
  • Our district has put additional safety protections and protocols in place for staff in our buildings during the summer. All staff are currently wearing masks or face coverings while in our buildings. All staff members are subject to a temperature and symptom check at our building’s entrances. The district has purchased additional cleaning equipment to fully disinfect each building on a daily basis. High-traffic and high-touch areas will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day.
     
  • Safety protocols for the upcoming school year are still being determined. We expect the governor’s July announcement to provide additional guidance on how we should proceed. As we shared last week, the CDC shared initial guidance for how schools should reopen. The document includes, among other things, recommendations that students wear masks while at school and social distancing measures be put in place in classrooms, common areas like cafeterias, gymnasiums, and media centers, and on school buses. We do not have formal plans in place for these situations yet, though they are being evaluated. As I am sure you can imagine, social distancing requirements on buses would cause significant changes to our transportation plan. Mr. Martin and his transportation team are creating multiple plans for what bus routes may look like in August. I ask for your flexibility and patience in this area while we work through some potentially difficult logistical hurdles.
     
  • Our partners at the YMCA will begin running their summer day camp and childcare program at Sugar Creek Elementary on Monday, June 1. Camp will run through Friday, July 24. If you are interested in this child care option, register at this link.

We will provide another update on Friday, June 5. Have a great weekend!

-Dr. Lisa Lantrip
Superintendent

This message was shared with our families on Friday, May 22, 2020:

As we begin summer break, our administrative team is turning our attention to what school may look like in August. We’ll be sharing new information with you every Friday on our plans and any new guidance released about how schools should safely reopen. 

We expect Governor Holcomb to make an announcement about the 2020-21 school year sometime around the start of July. We will know more about how our school year will take shape after his plans are announced. In the meantime, our team is creating plans for a variety of potential situations.

To help make the most appropriate decisions for all stakeholders, we have created a task force to facilitate the reopening of our schools. The task force is composed of teachers, staff members, administrators, parents, and community members. Our task force is working with current guidance and Indiana’s Back on Track plan to best determine how school will begin in 2020-21. 

Current Situation:
We realize some families may be hesitant to send their children back to school due to health concerns. We are in the initial stages of launching a full-time online curriculum (virtual school) for families who wish to keep their students home to mitigate the risk for their child or family. We believe it is critical to offer a variety of educational opportunities for families based on the health of their students and other family members. We will share additional information about this program and its structure soon. We ask for your help in completing this feedback survey about how E-Learning went for your family over the past two months. This will help in the creation of a quality online curriculum.

Our goal is to welcome students back to school on August 3 while being as safe as possible. We realize that guidelines or restrictions put in place by Governor Holcomb may force school to take a few different forms. For those families who wish to return to school, we are creating plans for a variety of situations for August 3 and beyond: 

  • School begins in-person with no restrictions. While this may be unlikely, we still must plan for this should the governor choose to let school go on as scheduled if Indiana reaches Stage 5 of the Back on Track plan.
  • School begins in-person with some restrictions on gathering sizes and/or social distancing. This may include an element where E-Learning continues for some at risk students and/or staff. Other students may attend school part-time and complete E-Learning part-time. A portion of our student body may still complete a normal school day in our buildings.
  • Governor Holcomb does not permit schools to open and all students continue with E-Learning full-time to begin the school year.

New This Week:
The CDC released initial guidance on how schools should reopen based on conditions in their respective areas. (The link should automatically take you to page 45 of the document. The entire document covers a multitude of organizations.) Beginning with Step 2 of the document, where schools are permitted to re-open with enhanced distancing measures, here are a few key challenges from these guidelines currently being evaluated by our task force:

  • Enhanced cleaning procedures to ensure all surfaces are disinfected regularly. Frequently-used materials and surfaces should be disinfected after each use.
  • All staff and students should be checked daily for symptoms and temperature
  • Establish protocols for what happens in a building if a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed in a student, staff member, or family member of a student or staff member. 

As I’m sure you are aware, guidance, protocols, and best practices change almost daily. We will continue to adjust our plans based on those changes. While August 3 is a long way off and many things will change between now and then, our task force will continue to form plans based on the best information we have at the time. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this together.

-Dr. Lisa Lantrip
Superintendent





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