COVID-19 Communication

Press Release March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

Dear Students, Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

Sweetwater County School District Number One will continue to base decisions with the health and well-being of our students, employees and community as our highest priority. We will practice social distancing as our staff works to ensure services are provided to our students during this unprecedented time. It is through difficult times that we rally and find strength in one another. Let this be an opportunity
to show that no act of kindness goes unnoticed.

Our District leadership team met virtually to outline the educational process for March 23 - 27, 2020 and March 30 - April 3, 2020. The following plans are in place:
 
Nutrition Services
Free meals through Nutrition Services will be available both weeks for all students and any individual under the age of 19, enrolled student or not. All individuals under the age of 19 are eligible to eat for free. This opportunity also includes children that are not school age (i.e. 3 year olds, toddlers, etc.). Breakfast and lunch opportunities will be available at the same time, Monday through Friday from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. at the following sites:

  • Rock Springs Municipal Cemetery, 800 Thompson Street
  • SCM Parish Center Parking Lot, 633 Bridger Avenue
  • Imperial Apartments, Imperial Drive
  • Kum & Go (right-hand side), 9th Street
  • Tegler & Associates (across from Grubb’s Drive-In), 1125 Pilot Butte Avenue
  • Desert View Elementary School Parking Lot, 1900 Desert Boulevard 
  • Gateway Trailer Park (the dirt lot), 222 Gateway Boulevard
  • Rock Springs High School (garage doors on James Drive), 1375 James Drive
  • Overland Elementary School Parking Lot, 3400 Foothill Boulevard
  • Winterhawk and Raindance mailboxes
  • Volcic Mobile Home Park (by the mailboxes), 166 Foothill Boulevard
  • Purple Sage Mobile Home Park (by the mailboxes), 45 Purple Sage Road
  • Superior - Berta and Main, Superior, WY
  • Point of Rocks (Conoco Station), Point of Rocks,WY
  • Farson-Eden School parking lot, Highway 28 Farson, WY
  • Desert School (Wamsutter) parking lot, 235 Bugas, Wamsutter, WY


Families will need to practice social distancing when buses arrive for deliveries. Children do not need to be present and breakfast and lunch meals can be picked up by parents/guardians. 

Technology 
The District Information Technology (IT) Department will be distributing devices to students in grades K - 6. Kindergarten - 3rd grade will receive iPads from their classroom, and grades 4 - 6 will receive their laptops. Included with this technology will be a letter with directions for care, filtering, cleaning, connecting to wireless, and login information. The IT Go-Bag will also contain a Badge that can be scanned with the iPad or laptop camera to log students into relevant educational sites. A charger will also be included in the bag. There will be ample technical support available to our students, staff, and families. Information for that may be found at: http://www.sweetwater1.org/groups/4798/information_technology/technology_support. Live Chat support with our IT team may be initiated here: https://tawk.to/scsd1.it. This support will be available during regular school hours for each of our school sites beginning March 23, 2020 from 8:00 - 4:00 p.m. Families will be able to pick up their IT Go-Bags at your child’s school from 9:00 - 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 to pick up your technology and curriculum. Do not exit your vehicle. The equipment will be brought to your car by District staff.

Students in grades 7 - 12 have individual laptops already provided to them. If your student did not bring their device home over the spring break, please call the school on Monday, March 23 and let the office staff know. Families will be able to pick up their student laptop at your child’s school from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Similar to above, please do not exit your vehicle. The equipment will be brought to your car by District staff. Note, we will be limited on office staff as we are trying to have staff work from home when possible. Junior and high school students will have access to coursework via Canvas, Google Classroom, Unified Classroom, etc. This is already a part of their routine, so it should be a little more seamless.  Additionally, teachers will be using other technology to support two-way interactions between students and teachers.  

Students and parents are not allowed in the schools during the closure. This is for safety reasons as we continue to practice social distancing. Please help us by supporting this expectation as we know it is important for your student to stay in contact with their teachers and be transparent.

Nurses
The nurses will be available at the schools from 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 23 and Tuesday March 24 to provide parents their child’s medications.  Please call the school if you need alternative arrangements and when you will be arriving so they can be taken out to you.

The nurses will also be available during the closure by ParentSquare if you have questions and concerns you need to inquire about.

Facilities
Sweetwater #1 is using this opportunity to sanitize and disinfect all of our buildings and buses with approved COVID-19 fighting products. This sanitizing process includes every aspect of the school such as the cafeteria, classrooms, doorknobs, desks, restrooms, and buses. 

Instructional needs during this time
Thank you for your patience while the District received confirmation on a waiver from the Wyoming Department of Education. This waiver reduces the number of required instructional calendar days that the District is closing school. In essence, the school closure dates from March 23, 2020 – April 3, 2020 do not need to be made up. However, in the best interests of our students, the District will be providing online learning so students receive instruction during this time. By expanding online education, the District will be prepared in the event school closures would need to continue after April 3.

On Monday, March 23, families can expect a communication from their student’s school Principal. You will have most likely received information from them already. 

In general, here is what you can expect for the weeks of March 23-27, 2020 and March 30 - April 3, 2020.  

Monday, March 23, 2020 

  • Meal service begins for all students and any individual under the age of 19.
  • Certified and classified staff report to their home school. 


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

  • Technology for students in grades K - 12 will be distributed. 


Wednesday, March 25 - April 3, 2020

  • Online instruction begins. Families and students will receive information from their child’s teachers. This will be content that your student really needs to know for the next couple of weeks. Please be patient. For some, this is a new format. Take time to learn the platform and how things work. Keep the communication going with teachers. Utilize the Tech support. We can do this!
  • Principals will be available from 8:00 - 4:00 p.m. to help and answer questions. They can be contacted through ParentSquare or by the email addresses provided on the website at http://www.sweetwater1.org/leadership_team and scrolling down.
  • All of our teachers will have specific availability hours Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. that will be communicated from the school.


As mentioned earlier, we are trying to keep District staff healthy too and follow the Centers For Disease Control Guidelines. Staff are encouraged to work or engage in school from home whenever possible. The District will be sending information on how to contact your teachers. It is the same format used during our last parent-teacher conferences. 
 
Students receiving services under IDEA or Section 504
All students will receive equal access to the educational opportunities and services provided by the District. Students receiving services under IDEA will have IEP meetings as scheduled. Parents and staff can attend via phone and will be contacted by the District as needed. Parents should feel welcome to contact their child’s teacher of record with any questions. 

Activities
All extracurricular activities and events (i.e. Bingo for Books, prom, sports, the school play) have been suspended at this time. Teams and clubs will not hold any practices or meetings during this time. This includes all community activities housed in the District’s buildings, after hours. No field trips will occur during this time of closure. As the District receives more information on closures, and if we are able to reschedule postponed events we will share them with the community.

Appreciation
We are so very grateful for the outstanding leadership in this District and community.  As we all navigate these uncertain and stressful days, we could not be more grateful for our District Staff, parents, and community members working around the clock to provide timely communications and support. The District has received great questions and understands the impact closing schools has on a community. We would especially thank All West Communications for the support and services during this time. 

Our District team is dedicated to ensuring our students are safe and have outstanding educational opportunities at home. It will certainly not be the same without the energy of the students and staff in the buildings, but we are confident that together, as a team, we will figure it out. Thank you for being patient with us as we make these decisions and know that we are all doing our best, cognizant of all the impact each decision has on our students, families and community. Times like this bring us together and we want you to know that your trust in our school District means a lot to each of us. We are united in service to your students first and foremost. 

We will continue to base our decisions with the health and well-being of our students, employees and community as our highest priority. Sweetwater #1 is a place for all of us. 

Sincerely,

Kelly McGovern                                                      Carol Jelaco
Superintendent of Schools                                    Chairman of the Board

Stephanie Thompson            Max Mickelsen        George Reedy
Vice Chairman                        Clerk                        Trustee

Matt Jackman                         Lenny Hay                John Bettolo        
Treasurer                                Trustee                      Trustee

Sweetwater School District Number One will be following the recommendation of Governor Gordon and State Superintendent Balow to close the District schools beginning March 16 with a tentative return date of Monday, April 6. It is in the best interest of community health and efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. We will communicate information regarding the details tomorrow, Monday, March 16. The District is currently on a scheduled spring break, giving much needed time to adequately plan next steps moving forward. This closure impacts many aspects of school and families. We know there are concerns about food, on-line schooling, sports, scheduled events, make-up days, etc. All of these items and more need to be taken into consideration as we finalize the closure for Sweetwater 1. We appreciate your patience as we work through the details so we can communicate all aspects of the closure in order to best meet the needs of our students, staff, and community.  Maintenance, custodial staff, and all 12 month employees will report to work as scheduled tomorrow, unless you are not feeling well, have a fever, cough, etc. or have scheduled time off.
 
If you have symptoms or are showing symptoms it has been suggested that you contact this hotline before going to a clinic or hospital: 307-522-8523. You will be connected to a triage nurse or health supervisor who can offer guidance on next steps.
 
As always, safety is our primary concern. Thank you for your support as our District works to ensure the health and well-being of our entire community.
 
Kelly McGoven
Superintendent
Carol Jelaco
Board Chairman